Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 2

25 August 1937:
Tamano. Laid down at Tama Zosensho as a 5, 644-ton cargo ship for Matsuoka Kisen K. K., Sedo.

24 December 1937:
Launched and named SHOEI MARU.

26 February 1938:

November 1940:
Port of registry changed to Ashiya.

13 January 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

1 March 1941:
Registered as a specially installed construction warship in the Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to the Fourth Fleet. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikeuchi Masamichi (40)(former CO of CHITOSE) assumes command. Enters Dock and begins conversion at Sasebo Naval Yard.

20 April 1941:
Sasebo Navy Yard. Completes conversion.

5 May 1941:
Departs for Yokosuka.

18 May 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

20 May 1941:
From this date, SHOEI MARU is referred to in records as MATSUE MARU. [1]

11 August 1941:
Captain Matsumoto Shojiro (40)(former XO of FUSO) assumes command.

30 December 1941:
Kwajalein. Undertakes repairs of auxiliary gunboat DAIDO MARU.

2 January 1942:
Truk. In preparation for the invasion of Rabaul, SHOEI MARU provides repairs for light cruiser TATSUTA that suffered minor damage at Wake Island.

13-16 January 1942:
At Truk undertakes repairs of auxiliary gunboat KEIJO MARU.

20 March 1942:
Rabaul. Undertakes repairs of auxiliary gunboat NIKKAI MARU.

12 May 1942:
Off New Ireland. LtCdr Oliver G. Kirk's USS S-42 (SS-153) sights minelayer OKINOSHIMA through driving rain. At 0439, in a night submerged attack, Kirk fires four torpedoes. At 0452, he gets two or three hits. By 0515, OKINOSHIMA's escorts close S-42's position and begin dropping depth charges that continues for over six hours until 1130. Although damaged by the attacks, USS S-42 slips away.

SW of Buka Island, Bougainville. At 0640, OKINOSHIMA capsizes and sinks in St. George's Channel, Bismarck Sea while being towed by destroyer MOCHIZUKI.

6 miles NE of Cape St. George, near New Ireland. SHOEI MARU and an unidentified trawler are returning to Rabaul after being dispatched earlier to assist OKINOSHIMA. At 0957, LtCdr John R. Moore's USS S-44 (SS-155) fires four torpedoes and two hit SHOEI MARU portside. She sinks about 1440 at 04-51S, 152-54E. The trawler drops 16 or more depth charges, but USS S-44 evades.

Captain Matsumoto is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

25 May 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors’ Note:
[1] The name changed occurred because of confusion with gunboat SHOEI MARU. MATSUE MARU is an alternate reading of SHOEI MARU in kanji.

Photo credit goes to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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