(SHINSEI MARU No. 18 prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2017 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 2
25 September 1940:
Kobe. Laid down by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K shipyard for Hara Shoji K.K. as a 2,711-ton cargo ship.

15 March 1941:
Launched and named SHINSEI MARU No. 18.

31 July 1941:
Completed and registered in Kobe.

21 February 1942:
Scheduled to be requisitioned by the IJN.

24 February 1942:
Requisitioned by the IJN and temporarily attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

25 February 1942:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport attached to the Maizuru Naval District with Maizuru as home port under instruction No. 354.

1 March 1942:
Tactically assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Tsukahara Nishizo’s (36) 11th Air Fleet Supply Unit as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category. Ordered that same day to supply aviation units in the Southern Area. [1]

5 March 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

9 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

15 March 1942:
Departs Takao.

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

24 March 1942:
Departs Saigon.

27 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

2 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

7 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar).

10 April 1942:
Assigned to supply air bases.

12 April 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Sabang, Sumatra.

27 April 1942:
Departs Sabang.

7 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

9 May 1942:
Departs Mako.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.

19 May 1942:
Departs Tateyama and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

22 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama.

24 May 1942:
Departs Tateyama in an unnumbered northbound convoy also consisting of auxiliary storeship SAPPORO MARU, IJA transports AMAHO, FUKOKU and NICHIUN MARUs and IJN requisitioned (B-APK) HEIWA MARU, escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI and minelayer UKISHIMA. Late that day when 55 degrees off Katsuura, KOMAHASHI is detached and returns to Yokosuka.

31 May 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro, Kuriles.

20 June 1942:
Departs Paramushiro.

20 July 1942:
At Ominato, Aomori Prefecture.

6 August 1942:
Departs Ominato.

9 August 1942:
Arrives at Abashiri, Hokkaido.

11 August 1942:
Departs Abashiri.

12 August 1942:
Arrives at Kushiro, Hokkaido.

15 August 1942:
Departs Kushiro.

18 August 1942:
Arrives at Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.

20 August 1942:
Departs Kisarazu.

22 August 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 September 1942:
Departs Kobe.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

15 September 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

16 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Scheduled to be fitted with depth-charge (DCs) equipment under Navy’s secret instruction No. 11672.

24 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 October 1942:
Tactically assigned to the Southeast Area.

5 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

8 October 1942:
Departs Truk with auxiliary transports CANBERRA and YAMAGIRI MARUs as part of Oki Part 3 convoy escorted by destroyers AKATSUKI and IKAZUCHI and minesweepers W-1 and W-3. [2]

12 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain. Departs later for Kavieng, New Ireland.

18 October 1942:
Departs Kavieng. (or alternatively departed Rabaul for Buin following day)

20 October 1942:
Arrives at Buin, Bougainville, Solomons.

21 October 1942:
Departs Buin and returns back that same day.

22 October 1942:
Departs Buin.

27 October 1942:
Arrives back at Buin.

30 October 1942:
Departs Buin.

31 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

26 November 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

27 November 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng. Departs later for Japan.

4 December 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

6 December 1942:
Departs Saipan.

16 December 1942:
At 0900, arrives at Yokosuka after being delayed by bad weather.

19 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in West Convoy No. 75 also consisting of auxiliary oiler KYOKUYO MARU, civilian tanker (C-AO) MITSU MARU, IJA tanker RIKKO MARU and IJA transport SHINYU MARU escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI.

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

23 December 1942:
Departs Yokkaichi.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 December 1942:
At 1400, departs Yokosuka in convoy also consisting of auxiliary gunboat TERUSHIMA MARU escorted by subchasers CH-26 and CH-34.

4 January 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

11 January 1943:
At 0530, departs Saipan, Marianas.

17 January 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Kavieng. TERUSHIMA MARU remains there. SHINSEI MARU No. 18 steams to Rabaul arriving the following day. [3]

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

25 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

27 January 1943:
Arrives at Buin.

8 February 1943:
Departs Buin.

9 February 1943:
Arrives at Buka.

17 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

18 February 1943:
Arrives at Buka.

19 February 1943:
Departs Buka.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

23 February 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

28 February 1943:
Departs Kavieng.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

8 March 1943:
Departs Saipan and steams with auxiliary transport SANSEI MARU (3266 gt) escorted by auxiliary subchasers SEKI MARU No. 2 and FUMI MARU.

15 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

29 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

6 April 1943:
Departs Moji.

7 April 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

9 April 1943:
Departs Kobe in convoy No. 8409 also consisting of IJA transports RYUA, KATSURAGISAN, WAKATAKE and OYO (WOYO) MARUs, IJN shared (B/C-AK) TEISHO (ex-German HAVENSTEIN) MARU, civilian cargo ship (C-AK) TAISHU MARU, civilian tanker (C-AO) KYOEI MARU No. 5 and auxiliary transport HAKUTETSU MARU No. 7 with minesweeper W-5 as sole escort.

11 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

15 April 1943:
Departs Tokyo in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport OKITSU MARU escorted by minesweeper W-3.

E 24 April 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

28 April 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy No. 1282 also consisting of civilian cargo ship (C-AK) (ex-auxiliary gunboat) KAHOKU MARU escorted by destroyer KIYONAMI.

2 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 May 1943:
At 1500, departs Rabaul for Buka, Bougainville escorted by minesweeper W-22.

27 May 1943:
At 1700, departs Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of IJA auxiliary netlayer KYOSEI MARU escorted by subchaser CH-30.

29 May 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Shortland.

30 May 1943:
At 1430, departs Shortland escorted by subchaser CH-29.

1 June 1943:
At 0600, arrives at Rabaul.

21 June 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2213 also consisting of auxiliary storeship CHOKO (1,794 GRT) MARU and auxiliary transport (ex-auxiliary command ship) HAKOZAKI MARUs escorted by destroyer ASANAGI.

25 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

July 1943:
At Rabaul. Comes alongside and transfers cement to auxiliary transport KEISHO MARU.

10 August 1943:
At 1500, departs Shortland for Rabaul in an unnumbered convoy also consisting of IJN requisitioned (B-AK) GIYU MARU escorted by subchaser CH-10.

12 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

8 September 1943:
Departs Truk for Japan in convoy No. 4908 also consisting of IJN requisitioned (B-AK) KENSHIN MARU and auxiliary storeship HOKO MARU escorted by kaibokan FUKUE.

19 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

27 September 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

30 October 1943:
Departs Kobe.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

2 November 1943:
At 1800, departs Tokuyama.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 November 1943:
At 1100, departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3113 also consisting of auxiliary transports KENSHO, KIMISHIMA and SHOEI (3083 gt) MARUs, requisitioned transports (B-AK) YAMAKUNI and TSUNESHIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer IKAZUCHI and kaibokan HIRADO. Arrives at Tokuyama later in the day.

14 November 1943:
The convoy departs Tokuyama for Truk.

23 November 1943:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Truk. SHINSEI MARU No. 18 has straggled slightly and is met by auxiliary minelayer KINJO MARU.

24 November 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Truk.

10 December 1943:
At 1230, departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy No. 1103 also consisting of requisitioned (B-AC) HIDAKA (NIKKO) MARU and auxiliary transport KIMISHIMA MARU escorted by minesweepers W-19, W-21 and W-22 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-48. HIDAKA MARU is towing an unidentified midget submarine and KIMISHIMA MARU is towing a tokugata unkato midget supply submarine. [4][5].

11 December 1943:
SHINSEI MARU No. 18 suffers navigational troubles and leaves the convoy with W-22 and CHa-48, heading for Kavieng.

15 December 1943:
At 0810, SHINSEI MARU No. 18 is detached from the convoy with W-22 and CHa-48, and heads for Kavieng arriving there later in the day. At 1210, that same day, the rest of the convoy is attacked by American aircraft, but incurs no damage.

18 January 1944:
Departs Kavieng escorted by subchaser CH-23 and at 1730, arrives at Rabaul.

5 February 1944:
At 0030 departs Rabaul for Kavieng escorted by destroyer AKIKAZE.

19 February 1944:
At 1925, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from subchaser CH-16 that reads: “The No. 18 SHINSEI MARU received an attack of three torpedoes in position 03-34N, 136-36 E. No damage.”

30 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One” :
Palau Harbor, Western Carolines. Admiral Raymond A. Spruance’s (USNA ’06) TG-58.1 F6F "Hellcats", SBD "Dauntless", TBF "Avenger" and SB2C "Helldiver" carrier aircraft from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and USS COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 58. 2's USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17), USS HORNET (CV-12), USS MONTEREY (CVL-26) and USS CABOT (CVL-28) and TG 58. 3's USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS PRINCETON (CVL-23) and USS LANGLEY (CVL-27), attack the anchorage. During these attacks, SHINSEI MARU No. 18 is hit and sunk with the loss of seven of her crew.

31 March 1944:
Operation "Desecrate One" concludes. It accounts for 36 Japanese vessels sunk or damaged.

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 606.

Authors Notes:
[1] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.
[2] It is not definite that YAMAGIRI MARU proceeded all the way to Rabaul.
[3] It is unclear if CH-34 was still an escort at this stage.
[4] HA-53, the last Type A midget submarine, was completed as the Type B prototype. Later, HA-49 through HA-52 were rebuilt as B Types. All five were sent to Rabaul, towed by merchants, but HA-49 and others were lost in transit. The 46-ton midgets were towed because they were too heavy to be handled by the ships' derricks.
[5] A Tokugata Unkato, also called a "pipe", was a partially completed Type A midget submarine converted into an underwater special cargo carrier. Two sections of a Type A were used together with a torpedo engine and a nose cap. It is doubtful whether any completed Type A's were used for this purpose.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan and John Whitman of Virginia.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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