KYUTANSEN!

(SHIN YUBARI MARU, prewar)

IJN SHIN YUBARI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2016 Gilbert Casse, Berend van der Wal and Peter Cundall


27 June 1936:
Tama. Laid down by Mitsui Bussan K.K. Zosenbu Kojo shipyard for Kyoritsu Kisen K. K. as a 5,354 GRT cargo ship.

1 November 1936:
Launched and named SHIN YUBARI MARU.

7 December 1936:
Completed and registered at Tokyo.

E 1937:
Requisitioned by the IJA as Army transport No. 362.

3 November 1937:
Departs Goto Islands in the second part of a convoy transporting elements of the 114th Division. The convoys second part consists also of transports BEIJING, FUSHIMI, HORAI, JUYO, KARAFUTO, MEIKO, SHINYO, KURETAKE, SHINSEI, TAIAN and YAMATO MARUs escorted by destroyer MIKAZUKI.

5 November 1937:
Arrives at Hangzhou Bay, China. Faulty landing craft prevent a landing.

10 November 1937:
Problems with landing craft are solved. Troops are disembarked.

E January 1938 ~ 20 May 1938:
Released to her owners.

20 May 1938:
Her owners are changed to Hokkaido Kisen K.K.

15 January 1939:
Arrives at Humen (Pearl river estuary), China.

23 July 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

20 September 1941:
Registered as an auxiliary collier attached to the Sasebo Naval District under instruction No. 1093.

29 September 1941:
Tama. Conversion starts at the Mitsui Zosen K.K. shipyard.

23 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

E November 1941:
Attached to the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary collier, (Otsu) category. [1]

3 December 1941:
Departs Tsukumi.

4 December 1941:
Arrives at Osaka.

7 December 1941:
Departs Osaka.

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Tokyo.

12 December 1941:
Departs Tokyo.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

8 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Ebye, Kwajalein atoll later that day.

9 January 1942:
Departs Ebye and arrives at Kwajalein later that day.

14 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Pikeji, Kwajalein atoll later that day.

15 January 1942:
Departs Pikeji and arrives at Kwajalein later that day.

17 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls. Departs there later that same day.

20 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

21 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Emidji (Emiedj), Marshalls.

31 January 1942:
Departs Emidji and arrives at Jabot, Marshalls later that day.

1 February 1942: American Air and Surface raid on the Marshalls and Gilberts:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr’s (USNA ’04) Task Force 8 USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje in the Marshall Islands. USS ENTERPRISE’s Douglas “Dauntless” SBDs of VB-6 and VS-6 and TBD “Devastators” of VT-6 damage the hull of SHIN YUBARI MARU in 30 places. They also damage light cruiser KATORI, flagship of the Sixth Fleet’s (Submarines) Commander, Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi (36) (former CO of ISE). Submarine I-23, auxiliary submarine depot ship YASUKUNI MARU, minelayer TOKIWA, oilers TOA and HOYO MARUs, auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 2 and IJA transport SHINHEI MARU. Several other ships are also damaged in the raid. They sink IJA transport BORDEAUX MARU with the loss of two crewmen and one gunner. Heavy cruisers USS NORTHAMPTON (CA-26) and USS SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25) sink auxiliary gunboat TOYOTSU MARU and destroyer USS DUNLAP (DD-384) sinks auxiliary net-layer KASHIMA MARU. [2]

14 February 1942:
Departs Jabot.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Taroa, Marshalls.

20 February 1942:
Departs Taroa.

21 February 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

22 February 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Wotje later that day.

25 February 1942:
Departs Wotje.

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E March 1942:
Assigned to ammunition transport mission under secret instruction No. 423. Loads munitions that same day.

8 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

10 March 1942:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

12 March 1942:
Departs Muroran.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

E March 1942:
Assigned to personnel and ammunition transport mission under secret instruction No. 381.

24 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka fo the South Seas (Japanese mandated islands). Auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO arrives from Uraga and escorts her South.

E 25 March 1942:
HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO detaches and returns to Uraga.

6 April 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

16 April 1942:
Coals auxiliary gunboat SEIKAI MARU.

17 April 1942:
Coals auxiliary gunboat NIKKAI MARU.

18 April 1942:
Coals auxiliary gunboat KEIJO MARU.

24 April 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

15 May 1942:
Fitted with one type 92 mod A 7.7mm MG and five type 38 ‘Arisaka’ rifles under Navy’s secret instruction No. 5990. Departs Truk later that day.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Angaur, Palau.

22 May 1942:
Departs Angaur.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Misumi, western Kyushu.

1 June 1942:
Departs Misumi and arrives at Miike later that day.

2 June 1942:
Departs Miike.

6 June 1942:
Arives at Chinnampo, Chosen (now North Korea).

9 June 1942:
Departs Chinnampo.

11 June 1942:
Arrives at Sakito.

12 June 1942:
Fitted with one type 11 8cm/40 deck gun under Navy’s instruction No. 7246.

14 June 1942:
Departs Sakito.

18 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

21 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Tokyo later that day.

1 July 1942:
At 1100, departs Tokyo in an unnumbered convoy consisting of YAMASHIRO, INARI and TATEYAMA MARUs escorted by auxiliary cruiser NOSHIRO MARU.

6 July 1942:
The convoy is partially dissolved at 19-33N, 146-55E. YAMASHIRO and INARI MARUs head unescorted to Saipan, Northern Marianas and TATEYAMA MARU steams unescorted to Truk. NOSHIRO MARU continues to escort SHIN YUBARI MARU and proceed to Ponape, Eastern Carolines.

11 July 1942:
At 0500, arrives at Ponape.

20 July 1942:
Departs Ponape.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Mili, Marshalls.

30 July 1942:
Departs Mili.

6 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

8 August 1942:
Departs Truk.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Woleai, Eastern Carolines.

16 august 1942:
Departs Woleai.

18 August 1942:
Arrives at Tinian, Northern Marianas.

25 August 1942:
Departs Tinian and arrives at Saipan. Departs there later that same day.

1 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

3 September 1942:
Transfers to Yokosuka later that day.

3 ~ 9 September 1942:
Undergoes maintenance and repairs.

9 September 1942:
Transfers to Yokohama later that day.

13 September 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

28 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Buin, Bougainville.

1 October 1942:
At 1552, departs Buin in convoy No. 1610 consisting of OSAKA, auxiliary store ship SENKAI and ammunition ship NISSHUN MARUs, escorted by minesweeper W-22

2 October 1942:
At 0720, an unidentified enemy submarine is detected. At 0750 W-22 drops depth charges, but without effect.

3 October 1942:
At 0508, arrives at Rabaul.

5 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng, New Ireland.

14 October 1942:
Departs Kavieng.

15 October 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

16 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

17 October 1942:
Arrives at Buin.

18 October 1942:
Sustains an air attack by USAAF Fifth Air Force Boeing ‘Flying Fortress’ B-17s.

23 October 1942:
Departs Buin.

27 October 1942:
Arrives back at Buin.

30 October 1942:
Supplies transport AZUSA MARU with charcoal.

9 November 1942:
Departs Buin and arrives at Ballale, S of Bougainville and N of Shortlands, later that day.

12 November 1942:
Supplies KISARAGI MARU with munitions and other sundries.

13 November 1942:
Supplies KISARAGI MARU with munitions and other sundries.

16 November 1942:
Supplies KISARAGI MARU with rations.

22 November 1942:
Departs Ballale and arrives at Buin later that day.

23 November 1942:
Departs Buin.

25 November 1942:
At 0200, arrives at Rabaul likely escorted by minesweeper W-21.

1 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul in convoy with auxiliary storeship TAKUNAN MARU.

5 December 1942:
At 05-20N, 152-10E destroyer YUNAGI meets the convoy.

6 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

16 December 1942:
Departs Truk.

22 December 1942:
Arrives at Angaur.

23 December 1942:
Departs Angaur and arrives at Palau later that day.

24 December 1942:
Departs Palau and arrives at Angaur later that day.

26 December 1942:
Departs Angaur.

30 December 1942:
Auxiliary transport HIYOSHI MARU joins the convoy.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Niihama.

12 January 1943:
Departs Niihama and arrives at Tamano later that day. Undergoes repairs until the end of the month.

31 January 1943:
Departs Tamano and arrives at Kobe later that day.

1 February 1943:
Departs Kobe in convoy No. 8201 also consisting of auxiliary oiler SAN LUIS MARU, auxiliary transport (ex-Harbor Affairs Vessel) HAKOZAKI MARU, IJA transport KANSEISHI and NAGATA MARUs, IJN cargo ships (B-AK) KOJUN and ISSEI MARUs and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) KIYOTADA (SEICHU) MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat KEISHIN MARU from the Omaezaki area to Tokyo Bay.

3 February 1943:
Off Mikimoto Jima SAN LUIS MARU damages her bow in a collision with passenger-cargo vessel ISSEI MARU.

4 February 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo.

11 February 1943:
Departs Tokyo in convoy 3211A also consisting of auxiliary storeships KAIKO and HYUGA MARUs, naval storeship KINZAKI and SENYO (SENYU?) MARU No. 2 GO escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE.

25 February 1943:
Arrives at Tarawa, Gilberts.

13 March 1943:
Departs Tarawa.

25 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

27 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

1 april 1943:
Departs Muroran.

3 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

11 April 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

14 April 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Kobe. Departs there later that day.

17 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3420 also consisting of SHINKO MARU and aircraft transport MOGAMIGAWA MARU and auxiliary storeship HOKKAI MARU, escorted by kaibokan OKI.

E 24 April 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3 joins the convoy.

E 25 April 1943:
SEKI MARU No. 3 returns to Saipan.

30 April 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

3 May 1943:
Departs Truk in a convoy consisting of MOGAMIGAWA and HOKKAI MARUs with destroyer ONAMI as escort.

7 May 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

16 June 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy No. 607 also consisting of IJA transports ADEN, TAIKO, HOFUKU, YAMAFUKU and KURAMASAN MARUs and another unidentified ship of 7243 grt escorted by subchasers CH-16, CH-23 and CH-39. CH-16 is detached en route and returns to Rabaul.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Koror, Palau.

24 June 1943:
Departs Koror and arrives at Glas Mao, Palau later that day.

30 June 1943:
Departs Glass Mao and arrives at Palau later that day.

1 July 1943:
At 0600, departs Palau in convoy FU-105 also consisting of TAITO, HIGASHI and ARIMASAN MARUs and oiler TSURUMI, escorted by torpedo boat HATO. Shortly after departure LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles H. Andrews’ (USNA ‘30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) intercepts the convoy. At 0900, Andrews launches several unsuccessful attacks against the convoy firing a total of 11 torpedoes that all miss. Naval oiler TSURUMI and IJN hospital ship MURO MARU report seeing torpedo tracks. Later, Japan protests the attack on MURO MARU. [3]

10 July 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Moji.

11 July 1943:
At 0730, departs Moji.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Fushiki.

16 July 1943:
Departs Fushiki.

17 July 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

19 July 1943:
Departs Muroran.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

31 July 1943:
At 1200, departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3731 for Saipan also possibly consisting of SANTO, and TAIAN (3158 grt) MARUs escorted by auxiliary minesweepers TAIAN MARU and TOSHI MARU No. 5 .

9 August 1943:
Arrives at Saipan. Auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3 meets the convoy shortly before arrival.

12 August 1943:
Departs Saipan in second stage of convoy likely also consisting of SANTO and TAIAN MARUs escorted by auxiliary minesweepers TAIAN MARU and TOSHI MARU No. 5.

13 August 1943:
Subchaser CH-32 arrives as an escort.

14 August 1943:
From 1120, an unidentified submarine attacks SHIN YUBARI MARU three times at 19-40N, 147-21E. CH-32 counterattacks, but without success. [4]

16 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

9 September 1943:
Due to depart Kure for Palau.

20 September 1943:
At 1300, departs Truk in convoy No. 4920 also consisting of auxiliary storeship CHIYO MARU, auxiliary transport CHOKO MARU and fleet oiler NOTORO escorted by destroyer OITE, subchaser CH-29 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No ?.

21 September 1943:
About 80 nms W of Onoun (Ulul), Ororu Shoto, Carolines. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy M. Davenport's (USNA ’33) USS HADDOCK (SS-231) intercepts the convoy. At 1821, at 08-53N, 148-30E SHIN YUBARI MARU is torpedoed by USS HADDOCK. She is hit just below the port bridge. OITE is struck by a dud torpedo, possible launched by USS HADDOCK. About 2300 that same day, W of Truk, in a radar attack on the surface, USS HADDOCK (SS-231) fires a spread of six bow torpedoes. One hits and damages NOTORO. She makes for Truk assisted by CH-29.

24 September 1943:
Arrives at Saipan. Appears to have remained at Saipan undergoing repairs.

22 November 1943:
After a merger her owners are changed to Mitsui Senpaku K.K.

22 February 1944:
Departs Saipan in a convoy consisting of freighters YAMASHIMO, FUKUYAMA, SHIN YUBARI MARUs and two or more unknown escorts. At about 1500, LtCdr Robert J. Foley’s (USNA '27) USS GATO (SS-212) attacks the convoy, but Foley’s torpedoes hit a reef instead of his targets.

Later that evening, LtCdr (later MOH/Rear Admiral-Ret.) Richard H. O’Kane’s (USNA '34) USS TANG (SS-306) also finds the convoy. At about 2200, O’Kane closes to 1,500 yards on the surface and fires four torpedoes at FUKUYAMA MARU, which blows up and sinks with the loss of 47 of her crew.

23 February 1944:
At about 0100, O’Kane maneuvers USS TANG for a second close-range attack. The lead ship, YAMASHIMO MARU’s escort, moves from its covering position on the port bow. At 0120, O’Kane slips in and fires four torpedoes. The first hits YAMASHIMO MARU’s stern, the second hits aft of the stack, and the third strikes forward of the bridge and causes a huge secondary explosion. The blast damages USS TANG, but she remains on patrol. YAMASHIMO MARU sinks by the stern at 14-45N, 144-32E. Captain Kashiwagi Ei (36) and three crewmen are KIA. Kashiwagi is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

23 February 1944:
W of Saipan. At 0230, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby’s (USNA '33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) fires a spread of four torpedoes at a large freighter. Shelby scores three hits that sink SHIN YUBARI MARU at 15-13N, 146-02E. Seven crewmen are KIA. Some crew are rescued by a fishing boat and others are rescued 10 days later by a submarine.

31 March 1944:
Removed from the Naval list under internal order No. 508.


Authors' Notes:
[1] There were two categories of Kyusuisen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

[2] It is unknown, but probable that oiler SHIRETOKO is damaged too in the raid.

[3] Almost certainly MURO MARU was not in convoy FU-105 as hospital ships travelled alone and unescorted.

[4] According to SORG, the submarine probably was LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles F. Brindupke's (USNA ’32) USS TULLIBEE (SS-284).

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

- Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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