(SHIRANESAN MARU, prewar)
IJA SHIRANESAN MARU:
Tabular Record of
© 2013-2017 Bob Hackett
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui Bussan K. K. as yard No. 342, a 4,739-ton
Wartime Type 1B Standard Cargo Ship for Mitsui Senpaku K. K., Tamano.
Launched and named SHIRANESAN MARU. 
30 September 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and alloted IJA No. 1123.
24 October 1943:
SHIRANESAN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 774 also
consisting of IKOMASAN, JUNYO, KOHOKU, NICHINAN, TATSUHA, TOHO and TOYAMA MARUs
and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by
28 October 1943:
Arrives at Manila.
31 October 1943:
At 1200, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Manila for Cebu in
convoy H-1 also consisting of NICHINAN, SHINSHU, TEIKAI (ex German FULDA) and
TOHO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-103.
2 November 1943:
At 1915, while nearing Cebu Port, TEIKAI MARU runs
aground on the western side of Lauis Ledge Light (10-14.12N, 123-53.26E), W tip
of Mactan Island. NICHINAN MARU is detached to assist. At 2305, TEIKAI MARU is
3 November 1943:
Arrives at Cebu.
5 December 1943:
SHIRANESAN MARU joins convoy No. 2612 that departed
Balikpapan on 30 November and now also consists of FRANCE and YAMAGIKU MARUs
escorted by patrol boat PB-2, auxiliary minesweeper Wa-103 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-37.
7 December 1943:
At 1020, arrives at Palau.
17 December 1943:
At 1200, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Palau in convoy
SO-705 also consisting of IJA transports KOYO and MEXICO MARUs and auxiliary
storeship HOKKAI MARU with an unknown escort.
24 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.
27 December 1943:
At 0800, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Rabaul for Palau
escorting convoy O-706 consisting of HARUNA, HIDAKA, HOKKAI and RYUA MARUs and
KOSHU MARU No. 3 escorted by subchasers CH-39 and CH-33.
3 January 1944:
At 0800, arrives at Palau.
9 January 1944:
SHIRANESAN MARU departs Palau for Saeki, Japan
escorting convoy FU-905 also consisting of HIDAKA, KURAMASAN, SORACHI and
TOYOKAWA MARUs escorted by torpedo-boat SAGI and subchaser CH-26. 20 January
260 km SE of Cape Muroto. At 0103, LtCdr Wayne R. Merrill's (USNA ’34)
USS BATFISH (SS-310) attacks the convoy on the surface. Merrill fires eight
torpedoes and gets two hits in HIDAKA MARU’s No. 4 hold that cause her to lose
power, steering and communications. She drifts helplessly for many hours. At
1456, HIDAKA MARU, carrying about 1000 troops and 2230-tons of bauxite ore,
sinks by the stern south of Shiono Misaki at 31-32N, 135-58E. 14 passengers, one
guard and one crewman are KIA.
19 January 1944:
SHIRANESAN MARU arrives at Ujina.
7 February 1944:
At 1230, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Moji for Takao
in convoy MOTA-02 also consisting of CHINKAI, FUYO, FUJIKAWA, LIMA, NANREI, OYO,
RAKUYO, TAIKEI, TESHIO, TOSHIN and UCHIDE MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 and KYOEI
MARU No. 5 escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. SHIRANESAN MARU is carrying the 108th
Flight Training Squadron.
8 February 1944:
At 0720, patrol boat PB-38 departs Sasebo and joins
W coast of Kyushu, about 30 miles SE of Goto Archipelago. At about
2200, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles O. Triebel's (USNA '29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) torpedoes transport LIMA MARU at 31-05N,
127-37E. Hit by three torpedoes, she sinks at 31-05N, 127-37E. 2,765 troops, four civilians, 9 gunners and 56 crewmen are KIA, many succumb to
the frigid water.
SNOOK also torpedoes and damages SHIRANESAN MARU. 135 men are KIA.
SNOOK survives depth-charging. SHIRANESAN MARU is detached with torpedo boat SAGI and proceeds to Sasebo.
February ~ June 1944:
Undergoes battle damage repairs in an unknown shipyard.
9 July 1944:
At 1000, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Kagoshima, Kyushu for
Naha, Okinawa in convoy KANA-912 also consisting of DAII, GYOKU, NANREI,
NISSHIN, TAIKEN, TERUKUNI and TOYOSAKA MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 12, ASAHI MARU
No, 2, BANEI MARU No. 6 and NANKAI MARU No. 1 and two unidentified ships
escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, minelayers NUWAJIMA, SAISHU and TSUBAME and
auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 1, HOEI, HIMESHIMA and SEKI MARUs.
The convoy is carrying elements of the IJA's 9th Infantry Division, 27th
Tank Regiment, 3rd and 7th Independent Machine Gun Battalions and 1st
Independent Artillery Mortar Regiment for the defense of Okinawa.
10 July 1944:
Part of the convoy arrives at Koniya and part at nearby
Naze, Amami-Oshima. NANKAI MARU No. 1 is detached at Koniya.
11 July 1944:
Departs Amami-Oshima and later that day arrives at Naha.
4 August 1944:
SHIRANESAN MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-22
also consisting of GASSAN GENKAI, HAKUSAN, HIOKI, KENJO, KOSHIN, MANSHU, TEIKO
(ex-Vichy French D’ARTAGNAN), TEIHOKU MARU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE), RAKUTO, SHONAN,
TACHIBANA and TERUKUNI MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and
five unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, FUKUE, HIBURI, CD-8,
CD-10, CD-25, CD-32 and CH-49, minelayer TAKASHIMA and gunboat UJI. HAKUSAN MARU
carries the 5th Independent Field Artillery Battalion. TERUKUNI MARU carries the
406th and 407th Independent Infantry Battalions, 61st Independent Mixed Brigade.
The convoy also carries the IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau,
North China to Formosa.
6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later
Admiral/CinCPacFlt) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA '35) USS PINTADO (SS-387) hits
SHONAN MARU with three torpedoes. She breaks in two and sinks at 30-55N,
129-45E. She was carrying general cargo and four Daihatsu landing craft. Five
crewmen are KIA.
9 August 1944:
At 1310, KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly explodes and the
ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E.
10 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa (Taiwan).
GASSAN, HAKUSAN, HIOKI, KENJO and TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) MARUs are
18 September 1944:
At 0630, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Takao for Manila
scorting convoy TAMA-26 also consisting of ARABIA, AWAJI, EIMAN, HOTEN, MIZUHO,
NICHINAN, TEMPI, TOSHIKAWA and TSINGTAO MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 escorted by
minesweepers W-17 and W-20 and subchasers CH-41 and CH-63. That day, TAMA-26 anchors off Daibanratsu
(Ta-fan-lieh), Nan Wan (South Bay), southern end of Formosa.
19 September 1944:
At 2130, the convoy anchors in Sabtang Channel.
20 September 1944:
At 0300, departs Sabtang Channel. At 2000, the
convoy anchors at Fuga Island, Musa Bay.
21 September 1944:
At 0300, HOTEN MARU suffers engine trouble and
remains behind at Musa. At 0700, a friendly aircraft flies overhead to a
position forward of the convoy from which it dive-bombs a submarine.
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's USS PICUDA (SS-382) fires
three torpedoes at AWAJI MARU, carrying 600 passengers, 500 tons of ammunition
and 67 crewmen. Two torpedoes hit in AWAJI MARU’s engine room. She floods, lists
to port, then splits into two parts. Her cargo begins to explode. Abandon Ship
is ordered. At 0705, the forward part of the ship rises vertically, then sinks,
the rear half quickly follows at 18-43N, 120-53E. 327 men are KIA including 284
passengers, 3 escort troops and 40 crewmen. At 0745, the convoy heads southwards
again. NICHINAN MARU remains behind to rescue survivors.
At 0835, LtCdr Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395)
torpedoes MIZUHO MARU carrying 2,150 troops and 3,029 civilian employees. Hit by
three torpedoes, MIZUHO MARU takes on a list and starts to sink by the stem. She
is immediately abandoned. Sinks at 18-37N, 120-4IE. 1, 313 passegers, 81 crewmen
and three gunners are KIA. Also lost are horses, baggage and equipment plus a
large quantity of ammunition. W-17 counterattacks while W-20 rescues 370
survivors. Motor sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors. At 2215, the
convoy arrives at Lapoc Bay.
24 September 1944:
At 1858, departs Lapoc.
26 September 1944:
At 1645, the convoy arrives San Fernando,
Philippines. Departs the same night.
29 September 1944:
Arrives at Santa Cruz and departs the same day.
1 October 1944:
At 2056, convoy TAMA-26 arrives at Manila.
17 October 1944:
Manila. Japanese naval authorities, fearing another
air attack by Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06)
Task Force 38, order a number of ships out of Manila to relieve congestion in
At 1820, SHIRANESAN MARU departs Manila for Miri, Borneo in the "Taihi" (Refugee) convoy
also consisting of ARABIA,DAIIKU, DAIMEI, EIMAN, KENEI, MANILA, SHINSEI, TAIKAI
and TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE), MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and
tanker KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, torpedo boat HIYODORI,
subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary gunboats CHOUN and KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARUs.
SHIRANESAN MARU is carrying instructors of the Independent 107th Flying Corps
and men of the 31st Aviation Repair Workshop.
18 October 1944:
South China Sea. At 0716, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric
L. Barr's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) torpedoes and damages ARABIA MARU at
14-4N, 119-52E. Subchaser CH-21 assists ARABIA MARU joined by patrol boat PB-104
and HAKKO MARU from a separate convoy.
At 1208, Barr's BLUEGILL again torpedoes ARABIA MARU carrying 2,635 men
of whom 1,870 are from the IJA's 49th Infantry Division with others from the
20th Infantry Division and 5th Division. She sinks taking down 1,658 troops and 89 gunners and crewmen.
After rescuing survivors, patrol boat PB-104 and HAKKO
MARU return to Manila with survivors. CH-21 remains with the convoy.
At 2210, LtCdr Maurice W. Shea's (USNA ’37) USS RATON (SS-270) attacks the convoy and
torpedoes and sinks SHIRANESAN and TAIKAI MARUs at 12-30N, 119-10E. SHIRANESAN MARU's
Captain Ishisu Shinobu and 1,318 troops, 47 gunners and 61 crewmen are KIA.
TAIKAI MARU, carrying aviation supplies and 495 passengers, also sinks. 445
passengers, 37 gunners and 101 crewmen are KIA.
 Also known as SIRANESAN MARU.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and to the late John Whitman for IJA troop info.
to IJA Transports