FUSETSUKAN!


(Cargo ship by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Minelayer SHINKO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2018 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 5


26 July 1933:
Yokohama. Laid down at Yokohama Dock Co. as a 6,479 gross register ton (GRT) cargo ship for Shinko Shosen K.K., Tokyo.

5 March 1935:
Launched and named SHINKO MARU.

3 June 1935:
Completed. Operates for Kinkai Yusen K.K. (Near Seas Mail Co.) steaming to various ports in Japan and China.

1937:
Requisitioned by the IJA.

11 January 1938:
At Seito (Tsingtao [now Qingdao]), China.

3 December 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered as an auxiliary minelayer in the Maizuru Naval District.

16 December 1940:
Begins conversion to a minelayer at the Harima shipyard. Captain Sakai Suminobu (37) (former CO of SHINONOME) is posted Commanding Officer.

14 January 1941:
Completes conversion. Assigned to the Third Fleet’s Second Base Force at Takao, Formosa.

24 March 1941:
Departs Sasebo for the central China coast.

3 April 1941:
Arrives at Tachibana Bay.

10 June 1941:
Departs Sasebo for the southern China coast.

7 July 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

11 July 1941:
Departs Takao for southern China coast.

29 August 1941:
Arrives at Osaka.

1 October 1941:
Captain Watanabe Osamu is posted Commanding Officer.

7 November 1941:
Departs Takao for Osaka.

1 December 1941:
Arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa.

4 December 1941:
At 1600 departs Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa with SEIAN, IMIZU and SUMANOURA MARUs escorted by gunboats MANYO, TAIKO and OKUYO MARUs.

7 December 1941:
At 1030 arrives at Kirun.

17 December 1941:
Departs Kirun.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

31 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to the 23rd Special Base Force of the Southwest Area Fleet’s Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

8 May 1942: Operation "S" – The Seizure of the Lesser Sunda Islands:
At 0900, SHINKO MARU and Army transport SHINGU MARU, both carrying elements of the 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, depart Surabaya for Lombok Island in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kenzaburo’s (37) Lesser Sunda Islands Invasion Force escorted by subchasers CH-6 and CH-19.

9 May 1942:
The Army Landing Force (ALF) lands at Mataram, Lombok Island.

11 May 1942:
The ALF lands at unknown place on Sumbawa Island.

12 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Subawa Besar, Sumbawa Island.

14 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Labuhanbadjo on Flores Island. Later that day, the ALF lands at Waingapoe on Sumba Island.

15 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Endeh on Flores Island.

16 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Reo on Flores Island. Later that day, the ALF lands at Laratuka on Flores Island.

17 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Baah on Sawu Island.

18 May 1942:
The ALF lands at an unknown place on Sumbawa.

19 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Makassar Town, Celebes for refueling. Later that day, the ALF lands at Singaradja on Bali.

23 May 1942:
The ALF lands at Mataram on Lombok Island. Later, the ALF debarks at Singaradja on Bali Island.

25 May 1942:
Operation S is considered complete. All participating elements returned to their parent organizations.

19 September 1942:
Departs Surabaya, Java. Apparently returns at unknown date.

29 September 1942:
Departs Surabaya, Java.

9 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

10 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul Later that day, arrives at Shortland, Bougainville, where she unloads a cargo of mines.

3 December 1942:
Captain Kamiyama Tokuhei (38) is posted Commanding Officer.

21 May 1943:
Admiral Nagano Osami, (28) Chief of the Naval General Staff, issues an order to lay a minefield in the Yellow Sea for antisubmarine defense.

19 June 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

29 June 1943:
Departs Maizuru.

10 July 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

15 July 1943:
At 0500 departs Maizuru with auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU.

27 July 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

3 August 1943:
At 0500 departs Maizuru with auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU and armed merchant cruiser SAIGON MARU.

14 August 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

18 August 1943:
At 0700 departs Maizuru with auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU.

31 August 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

September 1943:
Captain Oishi Kenshiro (42) (former CO of ATAKA) is posted Commanding Officer.

7 September 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai (Jinhae), Korea.

14 September 1943:
Departs Chinkai.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

24 October 1943:
Departs Kobe.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

8 November 1943:
Captain Kato Buntaro (43) (former CO of KOMAHASHI) is posted Commanding Officer. Captain Oishi is posted CO of IWATE.

10 November 1943:
Departs Saeki.

13 November 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

16 November 1943:
Departs Saeki.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Tsukumi.

7 December 1943:
Departs Tsukumi.

10 December 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

23 December 1943:
Departs Kobe.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Yoshiura.

30 December 1943:
Departs Yoshiura.

4 January 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 January 1944:
Reassigned to the 18th Escort Squadron, 7th Fleet at Sasebo.

23 January 1944:
Departs Sasebo on a minelaying mission with with KOEI MARU. The ships are escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA and minesweeper W-25.

27 January 1944:
At 0042 arrives at Saeki.

6 February 1944:
Departs Saeki with KOEI MARU.

7 February 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

13 February 1944:
Departs Sasebo with TOKIWA, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU.

20 February 1944:
All four ships arrive at Saeki.

26 February 1944:
Departs Saeki with TOKIWA, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU.

27 February 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 March 1944:
Departs Sasebo with TOKIWA, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU.

4 March 1944:
SHINKO MARU suffers an engine breakdown at sea.

6 March 1944:
TOKIWA, SHINKO MARU, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU arrive at Terajima Retto and depart later the same day.

14 March 1944:
TOKIWA, SHINKO MARU, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU arrive at Ebisu Wan.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

22 March 1944:
Departs Sasebo with with TOKIWA, KOEI MARU and SAIGON MARU and later that day arrives at Ebisu Wan.

23 March 1944:
The minelayers depart Ebisu Wan.

25 March 1944:
The minelayers all arrive back at Sasebo.

4 April 1944:
Rerated a transport. TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU, SHINKO MARU and KOEI MARU depart Sasebo escorted by minensweeper W-15 and patrol boat KAII and soon after arrive at Ebisu Wan.

5 April 1944:
The minelayers and escorts depart Ebisu Wan. Off Mutsure W-15 is detached.

6 April 1944:
The minelayers and escort all arrive at Saeki.

10 April 1944:
TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU, SHINKO MARU and KOEI MARU and patrol boat KAII depart Saeki.

11 April 1944:
The minelayers and escort arrive at Ebisu Wan.

17 April 1944:
TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU, SHINKO MARU and KOEI MARU depart Ebisu Wan escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU, minelayer TAKASHIMA, minesweeper W-15, patrol boat KAII and submarine chaser CH-58 and later that day arrive at Terajima Retto.

20 April 1944:
The ships all depart Terajima Retto.

24 April 1944:
Arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa (Taiwan).

26 April 1944:
TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU, SHINKO MARU and KOEI MARU depart Kirun.

28 April 1944:
The minelayers arrive at Ebisu Wan.

29 April 1944:
The minelayers depart Ebisu Wan and later that day arrive at Sasebo.

11 May 1944:
Departs Sasebo as part of the 18th minelaying unit with minelayers KOEI MARU, TAKASHIMA and TOKIWA, auxiliary gunboat (ex AMC) SAIGON MARU, submarine chasers CH-58 and KAII (ex HAI WEI) and torpedo boat TOMOZURU.

16 May 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

18 May 1944:
Departs Kirun with TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU and KOEI MARU escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA and submarine chaser CH-58.

23 May 1944:
Arrives at Kobe. The other minelayers are detached en route (KOEI MARU to Osaka, the others to Sasebo).

26 May 1944:
Departs Kobe. KOEI MARU and escort submarine chaser CH-58 join en route.

27 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 June 1944:
At 1600 departs Sasebo with TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU and KOEI MARU.

7 June 1944:
At 1740 returns to Sasebo.

8 June 1944:
At 1414 departs Sasebo and at 1600 arrives at Kosazu.

9 June 1944:
At 1425 departs Kosazu and later that day at 1620 arrives at Sasebo.

15 June 1944:
At 1840 departs Sasebo and at 1915 arrives at Ebisu Bay (Wan).

17 June 1944:
At 0200 departs Ebisu Bay with TOKIWA, SAIGON MARU and KOEI MARU.

19-20 June 1944:
Off Okinawa. The 18th Escort Squadron consisting of auxiliary minelayer SHINKO MARU, converted armored cruiser minelayer TOKIWA (F), ex armed merchant cruiser SAIGON MARU, small minelayer TAKASHIMA and auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU lay 1,650 mines. Torpedo boat TOMOZURU, subchaser CH-58 and patrol boat KAII provide escort.

22 June 1944:
At 1940 arrives at Sasebo.

27 June 1944:
At 0400 departs Sasebo.

28 June 1944:
Ar 0700 arrives at Kure. Unloads munitions, weapons and explosives in preparation for docking.

29 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Kure.

30 June 1944:
At 1230 arrives at Kobe.

1 July 1944:
Kobe. Drydocked. Undergoes repairs at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shipyard.

10 July 1944:
Undocked and transferred to Wada Pier where work continues.

28 July 1944:
Repairs are completed.

29 July 1944:
At 1940 departs Kobe.

30 July 1944:
At 1050 arrives at Kure.

31 July 1944:
At 1315 departs Kure and at 1430 arrives off Miyajima.

1 August 1944:
At 0510 departs Miyajima anchorage and later that day at 1440 arrives at Tsukumi. Loads cement.

6 August 1944:
At 0655 departs Tsukumi and later that day at 1440 anchors off Mutsure Shima.

7 August 1944:
At 0455 departs Mutsure anchorage and later that day at 1600 arrives at Sasebo. Loads foodstuffs.

14 August 1944 :
At 1700 departs Sasebo and anchors overnight from 1900 in Terajima Strait.

15 August 1944:
At 0300 departs Terajima Straits escorted by kaibokan CD-30 and later that day at 1900 arrives at Kagoshima.

17 August 1944:
At 0305 departs Kagoshima in convoy KATA-717 consisting of SHINKO, ESASHI, UJINA, UNTEN, KOTSU, DAIBOSHI, HIKOSAN, MAKO, MIKAGE, KORYU, SHIROTAE, TAIKYU, DAISHIN, DAITOKU, DAIYA, BRAZIL, HOKUYU, WASHIN MARUs, HOEI MARU No. 2, NAVY TRANSPORT No. 135 and three unidentified merchant ships enroute to Koniya or Kagoshima, some direct and some via Naha. The escorts were kaibokan CD-30, torpedo boat TOMOZURU, minelayers NUWAJIMA, TSUBAME, NIIZAKI, subchasers CH-17 and CH-18, auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARUs No. 1 and No. 3, SHONAN MARU No. 16, CHITOSE and HOEI MARUs.

19 August 1944:
At 1320 arrives at Naha. Later departs Naha for Sesoko then Seso.

3 September 1944:
Departs Sesoko.

4 September 1944:
Arrives at Seso.

10 September 1944:
Departs Seso.

12 September 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 September 1944:
Captain Yamataka Matsujiro (44)(former CO of TSUKUSHI) assumes command.

24 September 1944:
At 0800, SHINKO MARU departs Mutsure in convoy TAMA-29A consisting of minelayer MAESHIMA and second class transports T. 135 and T. 136. The convoy carries 18 Type 2 amphibious tanks, 165 tank crewmen and trucks. At 1740, arrives at Tomie, Goto Retto.

27 September 1944:
At 0700, departs Tomie.

30 September 1944:
At 0700, arrives at Amoy.

2 October 1944:
At 0900, departs Amoy. At 1840, arrives at Mako.

6 October 1944:
At 0925, departs Mako. At 1625, arrives at Takao.

9 October 1944:
At 0900, departs Takao. At 1020, arrives Saei, departing at 1300. At 1645, arrives at Toko, southern Formosa.

10 October 1944:
At 0400, departs Toko. At 1815, arrives at Sabtang Island, Luzon Strait.

11 October 1944:
Manila. Hq, 3rd Southern Expeditionary Fleet orders convoy TAMA-29A to withdraw to an anchorage south of Luzon Strait. At 0830, the convoy departs Sabtang Island. At 1835, it arrives at Musa Bay, Fuga Island.

16 October 1944:
Hq, 3rd Southern Expeditionary Fleet orders the convoy advance to Lapoc Bay, west coast of Luzon. At 0900 departs Musa Bay. At 1800, arrives at Lapoc Bay anchorage.

18 October 1944:
Salomague Bay, near Lapoc Bay. At 1050, SHINKO MARU and transport T. 135 begin unloading. At 1300, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Gerald F. Bogan's (USNA ’16) Task Group 38.2's carrier aircraft from USS INTREPID (CV-11) and others begin bombing attacks.

SHINKO MARU is hit by bombs that induce explosions in her cargo of mines. She sinks instantly with no survivors at 18-35N, 121-40E. Captain Yamataka is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

Transport T. 135’s upper deck is machine-gunned and the amphibious tanks set afire. At 1340, T.135 is abandoned. T. 136 is hit on the stern by three bombs. Fuel of the amphibious tanks catches fire. At 1335, T. 136 is ordered abandoned. After the bombers depart, the ship is wracked by internal explosions and sinks. About 360 crewmen from the transports and amphibious tanks swim to the shore and survive.

At Salomague, minelayer MAESHIMA, tied up alongside a pier, is attacked by aircraft and severely damaged. MAESHIMA is beached at 17-46N, 120-25E.

10 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
The following American submarines were probably lost to mines in the Yellow Sea area:
-USS SCORPION (SS-278), 1 Feb ‘44
-USS ESCOLAR (SS-294), Oct ‘44
-USS SWORDFISH (SS-193), Jan ‘45

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance and to Mr. Matthew Jones of USA for identifying COs.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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