ZATSUYOSEN!

(Launching of SHOKEI MARU)

IJN SHOKEI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


E 1937:
Osaka. Laid down by Naniwa Dock K.K. shipyard for the Soviet Government as a cargo ship with strengthened hull for ice navigation.

Summer 1937:
Due to deteriorating relationship between Soviet Union and Japan, the Soviet Government cancels the order. The hull is purchased on stocks by Towa Kisen K.K., Kobe.

16 February 1938:
Launched and named SHOKEI MARU. [1]

6 May 1938:
Completed and registered in Kobe with 2,557-tons Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) and 1,712 Net Registered Tonnage (NRT). [2]

9 September 1938:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

10 September 1938:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 751 and attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as home port.

13 October 1938:
Departs Mako, Pescadores.

E November 1938:
Arrives at Humen anchorage, China.

9 November 1938:
Departs Humen anchorage.

17 November 1938:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 November 1938:
Departs Sasebo.

E November-December 1938:
Operates in Chosen (Korea) waters.

6 December 1938:
Arrives at Furue, Hyuga-Nada. Transfers later to Sasebo.

22 December 1938:
Departs Sasebo.

E December 1938:
Operates in Chosen (Korea) waters.

2 January 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

6 January 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

E 10 January 1939:
Drops anchor 1800-meters SE of Hanadzuno river, China.

11 January 1939:
At 1825, supplies auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU, which comes alongside on starboard.

12 January 1939:
At 1155, DELHI MARU is released.

E 13 January 1939:
Departs Hanadzuno anchorage.

14 January 1939:
Arrives at Humen and drops anchor one nautical mile SE of the lighthouse.

15 January 1939:
At 1600, supplies minesweeper W- 18, which comes alongside. At 1910, W-18 is released. At 2100, supplies minesweeper W-17, which comes alongside.

16 January 1939:
Between 0845 and 1705, supplies auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU, which comes alongside on starboard, with 135-tons of coal and fresh water.

E January 1939:
Departs Humen.

22 January 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo. Transfers later to Saeki, Kyushu.

2 February 1939:
Departs Saeki.

E February 1939:
Arrives at Haikow, Hainan Island, China.

12 February 1939:
At 1600, begins to supply auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU, which comes alongside on starboard, with 140-tons of coal and fresh water.

13 February 1939:
At 1415, DELHI MARU is released.

E February 1939:
Departs Haikow Bay.

14 March 1939:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan.

16 March 1939:
Departs Samah.

18 March 1939:
Arrives at Humen. At 2015, begins to supply auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU, which comes alongside on starboard, with coal and fresh water.

19 March 1939:
At 1750, DELHI MARU is released.

21 March 1939:
Departs Humen for Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

23 March 1939:
Arrives at Takao. Transfers later to Mako.

25 March 1939:
Departs Mako.

E March 1939:
Operates in southern China waters.

1 April 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo. Removed that same day from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 260.

15 April 1939:
Derequisitioned.

29 April 1940:
Requisitioned again by the IJN as a general transport attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

5 August 1940:
Civilian Captain Sakakura Sotaro is scheduled to be appointed as Commanding Officer.

14 September 1940:
Captain Sakakura is appointed CO.

E 1941:
Her NRT is changed to 1,475-tons. [2]

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category under internal order No. 1256 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as home port. [3]

4 December 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

10 December 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

13 December 1941:
Arrives at Seito (Tsingtao), China.

14 December 1941:
Departs Seito.

15 December 1941:
Arrives at Chefoo (now Yantai), China. Departs later that day.

16 December 1941:
Arrives at Ryojun (ex-Port Arthur), Manchuria (now Lushun, China).

20 December 1941:
Departs Ryojun and arrives later in the day at Dairen (now Dalian).

21 December 1941:
Departs Dairen.

22 December 1941:
Arrives at Weihai. Departs later that day for Seito.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Seito.

24 December 1941:
Departs Seito.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

28 December 1941:
Departs Hakata.

29 December 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 January 1942:
At 1130 departs Sasebo.

6 January 1942:
At 1030 arrives at Shanghai.

8 January 1942:
At 0830 departs Shanghai.

10 January 1942:
At 1550 arrives at Sasebo.

12 January 1942:
Assigned to a transportation of personnel and supply mission to China under Sasebo Naval District confidential order No. 15.

15 January 1942:
Confirmed as “graduated” transport under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 14.

17 January 1942:
At 1110 departs Sasebo.

20 January 1942:
At 1235 arrives at Seito.

21 January 1942:
At 0850 departs Seito.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Chefoo.

23 January 1942:
Departs Chefoo and arrives at 1920 at Ryojun.

26 January 1942:
At 1600 Departs Ryojun and at 1930 arrives at Dairen.

28 January 1942:
At 1750 departs Dairen.

29 January 1942:
At 0440 arrives at Weihai. Departs at 1230 for Seito.

30 January 1942:
At 1035 arrives at Seito.

31 January 1942:
At 1055 departs Seito.

3 February 1942:
At 0750 arrives at Hakata.

4 February 1942:
At 1730 departs Hakata.

5 February 1942:
At 1630 arrives at Sasebo.

11 February 1942:
At 1405 departs Sasebo.

16 February 1942:
At 1630 arrives at Takao.

20 February 1942:
At 0900 departs Takao.

26 February 1942:
At 1835 arrives at Nagasaki.

1 March 1942:
Transfers to Sasebo, arriving at 1305.

3 March 1942:
Assigned to a transportation of personnel and supply mission to Chosen (Korea), Manchuria and China under Sasebo Naval District confidential order No. 126.

E 3-4 March 1942:
Loads 300-tons of weapons bound for Chinkai, Chosen (now Jinhae, South Korea), 150-tons of ammunition and 650-tons of steel bound for Busan (Fuzan), 50-tons of weapons and two vehicles bound for Ryojun and 140-tons of ammunition bound for Seito.

5 March 1942:
At 1440 departs Sasebo.

7 March 1942:
At 1130 arrives at Chinkai.

E 7-8 March 1942:
Unloads 300-tons of weapons.

9 March 1942:
At 0800 departs Chinkai and arrives at 1315 at Busan, Chosen (now Pusan, South Korea).

E 9-10 March 1942:
Unloads 150-tons of ammunition and 650-tons of steel.

11 March 1942:
At 1550 departs Busan.

15 March 1942:
At 0846 arrives at Ryojun.

E 15-16 March 1942:
Unloads 50-tons of weapons and two vehicles.

17 March 1942:
At 1820 departs Ryojun.

19 March 1942:
At 0905 arrives at Seito.

E 19-20 March 1942:
Unloads 140-tons of ammunition.

20 March 1942:
At 1800 departs Seito.

24 March 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Sasebo.

25 March 1942:
Assigned to a transportation of personnel and supply mission under Sasebo Naval District confidential order No. 159.

1 April 1942:
At 0700 departs Sasebo.

6 April 1942:
At 1920 arrives at Mako.

8 April 1942:
At 0815 departs Mako.

10 April 1942:
Confirmed as “graduated” transport under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 22.

11 April 1942:
At 1950 arrives at Samah.

16 April 1942:
At 0800 departs Samah.

17 April 1942:
At 1410 arrives at Haikow.

20 April 1942:
At 0940 departs Haikow.

21 April 1942:
At 2000 arrives at Hong Kong.

26 April 1942:
At 0820 departs Hong Kong.

3 May 1942:
At 1545 arrives at Sasebo.

9 May 1942:
At 1010 departs Sasebo.

12 May 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Shanghai.

15 May 1942:
At 1615 departs Shanghai. That same day, scheduled to be fitted with one 7.7 mm MG Type 92 and five Arisaka rifles Type 38, under Navy confidential order No. 5990.

18 May 1942:
At 1800 arrives at Sasebo.

24 May 1942:
At 1030 departs Sasebo.

26 May 1942:
At 1710 arrives at Osaka. Enters dock for hull repairs and refit.

12 June 1942:
Fitted with one 8-cm/40 Type 88 gun under Navy confidential order No. 7246.

14 June 1942:
Repairs are completed. Undocked.

15 June 1942:
At 1020 departs Osaka.

16 June 1942:
At 1245 arrives at Moji.

17 June 1942:
At 1300 departs Moji.

18 June 1942:
At 1340 arrives at Sasebo.

19 June 1942:
Assigned to a transportation of personnel and supply mission under Sasebo Naval District confidential order No. 368.

23 June 1942:
At 1230 departs Sasebo.

25 June 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Koniya, Amami-Oshima, Ryukyus.

27 June 1942:
At 0600 departs Koniya.

30 June 1942:
At 1330 arrives at Mako.

3 July 1942:
At 1400 departs Mako.

7 July 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Samah.

9 July 1942:
At 1520 departs Samah.

10 July 1942:
At 1510 arrives at Haikow.

12 July 1942:
At 0850 departs Haikow.

13 July 1942:
At 1130 arives at Hong Kong.

20 July 1942:
At 0900 departs Hong Kong.

21 July 1942:
At 1250 arrives at Amoy (now Xiamen), China.

22 July 1942:
At 1015 departs Amoy.

26 July 1942:
At 0810 arrives at Sasebo.

30 July 1942:
At 1310 departs Sasebo.

31 July 1942:
At 0700 arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

7 August 1942:
At 1710 departs Yawata.

8 August 1942:
At 1430 arrives at Sasebo.

14 August 1942:
At 1100 departs Sasebo.

16 August 1942:
At 1115 arrives at Koniya.

17 August 1942:
At 1400 departs Koniya.

20 August 1942:
At 1730 arrives at Mako.

23 August 1942:
At 1425 departs Mako.

26 August 1942:
At 1830 arrives at Samah.

30 August 1942:
At 1300 departs Samah.

31 August 1942:
At 1930 arrives at Haikow.

5 September 1942:
At 0850 departs Haikow.

6 September 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Hong Kong.

9 September 1942:
At 1115 departs Hong Kong.

10 September 1942:
At 1740 arrives at Amoy.

11 September 1942:
At 1805 departs Amoy.

16 September 1942:
At 1720 arrives at Sasebo.

27 September 1942:
At 1230 departs Sasebo.

2 October 1942:
At 1640 arrives at Takao.

4 October 1942:
At 0915 departs Takao.

7 October 1942:
At 0915 arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island, China.

8 October 1942:
At 0840 transfers to Samah, arriving at 1245.

17 October 1942:
At 1200 departs Samah.

19 October 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Hong Kong.

26 October 1942:
At 0800 departs Hong Kong.

28 October 1942:
At 0310 arrives at Amoy.

30 October 1942:
At 0800 departs Amoy.

4 November 1942:
At 1400 arrives at Sasebo.

13 November 1942:
At 1220 departs Sasebo.

17 November 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Takao.

21 November 1942:
At 1000 departs Takao.

25 November 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Samah.

30 November 1942:
At 1200 departs Samah.

3 December 1942:
At 1120 arrives at Hong Kong.

12 December 1942:
At 1410 departs Hong Kong.

14 December 1942:
At 1515 arrives at Mako.

16 December 1942:
At 1400 departs Mako in convoy No. 208 also consisting of auxiliary transport KAISHO MARU and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer MINAZUKI.

23 December 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Sasebo.

24 December 1942:
At 1010 departs Sasebo.

25 December 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Yawata.

29 December 1942:
At 1630 departs Yawata.

30 December 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Sasebo.

7 January 1943:
At 1025 departs Sasebo.

9 January 1943:
At 0910 arrives at Koniya.

10 January 1943:
At 1400 departs Koniya.

14 January 1943:
At 1230 arrives at Mako.

18 January 1943:
At 1400 departs Mako likely in convoy No. 363 also consisting of auxiliary tanker NASUSAN MARU and one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

21 January 1943:
At 2210 arrives at Samah.

24 January 1943:
At 0400 transfers to Yulin, arriving at 1010.

27 January 1943:
At 1230 departs Yulin.

1 February 1943:
At 1030 arrives at Takao.

5 February 1943:
At 1030 transfers to Mako. Departs later in the day in convoy No. 228 also consisting of auxiliary oiler SAN DIEGO MARU and two unidentified merchant ships unescorted.

E 7 February 1943:
SAN DIEGO MARU is detached from the convoy.

11 February 1943:
At 1250 arrives at Sasebo.

13 February 1943:
At 1000 departs Sasebo.

14 February 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Yawata.

15 February 1943:
At 1650 departs Yawata.

16 February 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Sasebo.

21 February 1943:
At 1310 departs Sasebo.

26 February 1943:
At 1530 arrives at Hong Kong.

28 February 1943:
At 1440 departs Hong Kong.

2 March 1943:
At 1630 arrives at Samah.

6 March 1943:
At 0355 transfers to Yulin, arriving at 0910.

7 March 1943:
At 2135 departs Yulin.

12 March 1943:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

13 March 1943:
At 1500 departs Takao in convoy No. 240 also consisting of civilian tanker TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships without escort.

18 March 1943:
Detached from convoy and at 1545 arrives at Sasebo.

19 March 1943:
At 1425 departs Sasebo.

20 March 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Yawata.

22 March 1943:
At 1340 departs Yawata.

23 March 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Sasebo.

27 March 1943:
At 1610 departs Sasebo and joins convoy No. 141 that departed Moji that same day, consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship SHOZUI MARU and six unidentified ships escorted by destroyer SANAE.

2 April 1943:
At 1510 arrives at Takao.

5 April 1943:
At 1100 departs Takao.

7 April 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Hong Kong.

17 April 1943:
At 1000 departs Hong Kong.

19 April 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Takao.

22 April 1943:
At 1200 departs Takao in convoy No. 254 also consisting of IJA shared tanker NIKKAKU MARU (A/C-AO), civilian tanker TOKUWA MARU, auxiliary transport TAITO MARU, IJA transports MITO, YASUSHIMA, SHINSOKU and YAMATO MARUs and auxiliary survey vessel KYODO MARU No. 36 escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

26 April 1943:
SHOKEI and TOKUWA MARU are detached and at 1900 arrive at Sasebo, the rest of the convoy resumes its course to Kure.

28 April 1943:
At 1520 departs Sasebo.

29 April 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Yawata.

4 May 1943:
At 0730 departs Yawata.

7 May 1943:
At 1130 arrives at Haizhou, Chosen.

12 May 1943:
At 0630 departs Haizhou.

14 May 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Sasebo.

24 May 1943:
At 0710 departs Sasebo.

27 May 1943:
About 40nm ESE Wenchow (now Wenzhou, China). At 27-55N, 121-47E, SHOKEI MARU strikes a drifting mine that causes moderate damage. Arrives later in the day at the mouth of Ou River, Wenchow. Salvage tug KASASHIMA (ex-HASHIMA) provides emergency repairs.

29 May 1943:
Departs Wenchow.

31 May 1943:
At 1130 arrives at Takao.

E June 1943:
Undergoes a hull inspection.

11 June 1943:
At 0720 departs Takao in convoy No. 271 also consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

16 June 1943:
At 1620 arrives at Sasebo.

18 June 1943:
At 1225 transfers to Nagasaki, arriving at 1730.

22 June 1943:
At 0800 departs Nagasaki.

24 June 1943:
At 1520 arrives at Osaka.

E June-July 1943:
Probably undergoes extensive repairs to her hull.

8 July 1943:
At 1240 departs Osaka.

9 July 1943:
At 1450 arrives at Moji.

10 July 1943:
At 1815 departs Moji.

11 July 1943:
At 0950 arrives at Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

12 July 1943:
At 1220 departs Tokuyama.

13 July 1943:
At 0940 arrives at Sasebo.

18 July 1943:
At 0820 departs Sasebo.

23 July 1943:
At 1700 arrives at Takao.

27 July 1943:
At 1600 departs Takao. Likely joins convoy No. 311 consisting of auxiliary collier/oiler TONEI MARU, IJN shared (B/C-AO) tanker TAKETOYO MARU, IJA transports HAVRE, TAIJIN, SUGIYAMA, HOKUYO and SHOTO MARUs without escort. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots.

31 July 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Samah.

1 August 1943:
Departs Samah.

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Yulin.

4 August 1943:
At 1810 departs Yulin.

8 August 1943:
At 0200 arrives at Takao.

10 August 1943:
At 1940 departs Takao.

11 August 1943:
At 0930 arrives at Mako. Departs at 1100 for Japan in convoy No. 291 also consisting of IJA shared (A/C-AO) tanker KOKUEI MARU, IJA transports SYDNEY, TSUKIKAWA and TSUYAMA MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

16 August 1943:
Detached from convoy and arrives at Ebisu Wan (Bay), S of Sasebo.

19 August 1943:
Departs Ebisu Wan.

20 August 1943:
At 0940 arrives at Sasebo.

25 August 1943:
At 1410 departs Sasebo.

26 August 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Yawata.

28 August 1943:
At 1700 departs Yawata.

29 August 1943:
At 1130 arrives at Sasebo.

3 September 1943:
At 0600 departs Sasebo and joins convoy No. 193 that departed Moji, also consisting of civilian tanker TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU, IJA transport YAMAKO (SANKO) MARU, civilian cargo ship TAMON MARU No.8 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

9 September 1943:
At 1330 arrives at Takao.

12 September 1943:
At 0020 departs Takao.

16 September 1943:
At 1800 arrives at Samah.

22 September 1943:
At 0700 departs Samah and at 0830 arrives at Yulin.

23 September 1943:
At 1600 departs Yulin.

27 September 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Takao.

28 September 1943:
At 0915 departs Takao in convoy No. 207 also consisting of IJA transports LONDON, KOHO and NORFOLK MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by the destroyer KARUKAYA.

4 October 1943:
At 1115 arrives at Ebisu Wan.

6 October 1943:
Departs Ebisu Wan.

7 October 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 October 1943:
At 1415 departs Sasebo.

9 October 1943:
At 1030 arrives at Yawata.

13 October 1943:
At 0710 departs Yawata.

14 October 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Sasebo.

24 October 1943:
At 0940 departs Sasebo.

5 November 1943:
At 2125 arrives at Samah.

9 November 1943:
At 1000 departs Samah.

11 November 1943:
At 1700 arrives at Hong Kong.

20 November 1943:
At 1700 departs Hong Kong.

24 November 1943:
At 1700 arrives at Takao.

30 November 1943:
At 0920 departs Takao and joins convoy No. 223 consisting of auxiliary netlayer TOYO MARU No.3, IJA transport YOSHU MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

6 December 1943:
Detached from convoy and arrives at Ebisu Wan.

7 December 1943:
Departs Ebisu Wan.

8 December 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Sasebo.

11 December 1943:
At 1500 departs Sasebo.

12 December 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Yawata.

15 December 1943:
At 1430 departs Yawata.

16 December 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Sasebo.

22 December 1943:
At 1730 departs Sasebo for Shanghai in convoy SHI-403 also consisting of civilian ore carrier KOKKA MARU, IJA shared cargo ship YUZAN MARU (A/C-AK), IJA transport MIIKESAN MARU, civilian cargo ships HOKUJU MARU and BANSHU MARU No. 32 escorted by minesweeper W-15.

24 December 1943:
At 1315 the convoy arrives at Shanghai.

E December 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

1 January 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Takao.

3 January 1944:
At 1040 departs Takao.

6 January 1944:
At 0840 arrives at Hong Kong.

8 January 1944:
At 1650 departs Hong Kong.

10 January 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Samah.

13 January 1944:
Transfers to Yulin.

14 January 1944:
At 1700, SHOKEI MARU departs Yulin for Takao in a convoy also consisting of IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo MENADO MARU and civilian ore carrier HOREI MARUs with an unknown escort. MENADO MARU is carrying 230 passengers and 1,400 tons of iron ore, ammunition and five training aircraft.

20 January 1944:
155 miles S of Formosa. At 1158, the convoy is attacked by three aircraft that make repeated bombing and strafing passes. At 1210, a bomb explodes off MENADO MARU's stern. At 1215, a near miss bomb destroys her engines and causes flooding. At 1220, a bomb is skipped into her engine room. Abandon Ship is ordered. SHOKEI MARU rescues survivors. At 1300, MENADO MARU sinks. 30 passengers and 29 crewmen are KIA.

22 January 1944:
At 1230 arrives at Takao.

31 January 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao in convoy No. 239 also consisting of IJN requisitioned (B-AO) tanker KONSAN MARU, civilian cargo ship BANSHU MARU, IJA transport TAIRYU MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by the torpedo boat TOMOZURU.

10 February 1944:
Detached from convoy and at 1200 arrives at Sasebo.

17 February 1944:
At 1400 departs Sasebo.

19 February 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Yawata.

29 February 1944:
At 1500 departs Yawata.

1 March 1944:
At 1110 arrives at Sasebo.

14 March 1944:
At 1210 departs Sasebo.

16 March 1944:
At 0940 arrives at Kagoshima, Kyushu.

18 March 1944:
At 1300 departs Kagoshima.

20 March 1944:
At 1920 arrives at Koniya.

22 March 1944:
At 0535 departs Koniya.

23 March 1944:
At 1310 arrives at Kerama Shoto (Kerama Islands).

26 March 1944:
At 0200 departs Kerama Shoto.

30 March 1944:
At 1515 arrives at Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

31 March 1944:
Departs Kirun.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

2 April 1944:
Departs Takao.

7 April 1944:
Arrives at Samah.

21 April 1944:
Departs Samah.

27 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

30 April 1944:
Departs Takao.

7 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

11 May 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

14 May 1944:
Arrives at Yoshiura, near Kure.

18 May 1944:
Departs Yoshiura.

19 May 1944:
Arrives in Ujina vicinity.

22 May 1944:
Departs Ujina vicinity.

24 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

E May-June 1944:
Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs.

22 June 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

23 June 1944:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

27 June 1944:
Departs Kagoshima in convoy KATA-412 also consisting of shared tankers (A/C-AO) NANSHIN MARU No. 21 and (B/C-AO) TAKASAGO MARU No. 1, auxiliary gunboat SHINKO MARU No.2 GO, civilian cargo ship BOKO MARU (ex British SAGRES), IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo AMOY MARU, civilian cargo ship KAKO MARU, IJA transports SHOSHIN, KAIJO, HITORA (ex Panamanian RAMONA), TOYAMA MARUs and an unknown ship called ZUYO GO escorted by minelayer NIIZAKI, auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 16, auxiliary patrol boats RYUSEI and CHIKUTO MARUs and auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2.

28 June 1944:
Arrives at Koniya.

29 June 1944:
Departs Koniya.

1 July 1944:
Arrives at Kerama Shoto.

3 July 1944:
Departs Kerama Shoto.

4 July 1944:
Arrives at Ishigaki-Jima, Yaeyama Retto (Yaeyama Islands), NE of Formosa.

8 July 1944:
Departs Ishigaki-Jima.

9 July 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

11 July 1944:
Departs Kirun.

12 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

14 July 1944:
At 1900, departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-21C also consisting of IJN requisitioned (B-AK) MANTAI and YAMATAMA MARUs, IJN shared ore carrier (B/C-AC) YASUKUNI MARU, IJA transports MITSUKI, JINZAN, SEATTLE, TENSHIN, HIYAMA, and SHOZAN MARUs, civilian ore carrier (C-AC) KOKKA MARU, civilian cargo ship (C-AK) SAINEI, IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) SHONAN MARU, civilian tankers MITSU, AYAGIRI and AYAZONO MARUs escorted by kaibokan KUSAGAKI, CD-1, CD-22 and minelayers MAESHIMA, ENTO and minesweeper W-34.

16 July 1944:
At 0946, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's (USNA ’33) USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks SEATTLE MARU at 19-17N, 120-15E. The transport is carrying 4.285 IJNAF personnel. 45 crewmen, 25 gunners and 296 passengers and troops are KIA. HIYAMA and SHOZAN MARUs rescue the survivors.

Over the next six hours, Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret) William V. O'Regan’s (USNA ’23) wolf pack, nicknamed the "Mickey Finns", consisting of LtCdr Duncan C. MacMillian's (USNA ’26) USS THRESHER (SS-200), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Novell G. Ward's (USNA ’35) USS GUARDFISH (SS-217) and Ruble's USS PIRANHA closes in and decimates the convoy.

At 2300, MacMillian's USS THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SAINEI MARU at 18-53N, 119-32E. 21 troops and passengers on board, and three crewmen are KIA. At 2350, Ward's USS GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks JINZAN MARU. 38 troops, one passenger, seven gunners, two watchmen and three crewmen are killed – a total of 51 dead. Two minutes later, Ward torpedoes and sinks MANTAI MARU. 72 military passengers and 43 crewmen are KIA.

17 July 1944:
The attacks continue. At 0034,Ward's USS GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks HIYAMA MARU. The ship was loaded with two companies of an Army group totaling 101 troops, of whom four along with four of the crew are KIA. W-34 and CD-1 rescue survivors. At 0345, MacMillian's USS THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SHOZAN MARU at 18-50N, 119-43E. 24 gunners, 125 troops, 500 AZUSA MARU survivors and 64 crewmen are killed.

19 July 1944:
At 1920, convoy TAMA-21C arrives at Manila, Luzon.

10 August 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MAYU-06 also consisting of IJN shared ore carrier YASUKUNI MARU (B/C-AC) and four unidentified ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-26 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

14 August 1944:
Arrives at Samah.

18 August 1944:
Departs Samah.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

30 August 1944:
Departs Hong Kong.

1 September 1944:
Arrives at Mako.

3 September 1944:
Departs Mako.

4 September 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

8 September 1944:
Departs Kirun for Naha, Okinawa, in convoy TAKA-808 also consisting of storeship KINEZAKI, IJA shared oiler KENJO MARU (A/C-AO) and cargo ships SHINTEN (A-AK), NICHIAN (C-AK), BUSHU(A/C-AK), NICHIMAN (A/C-AK) MARUs and DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 (A/C-APK) and TOYO MARU No. 1 (C-AK) escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, submarine chaser CH-49, minelayer NIIZAKI, auxiliary minesweepers HIMESHIMA, SEKI, and HOEI MARUs, auxiliary NITTO MARU, and auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2.

At 2205, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Cdr) Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA ‘32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411). Underwood torpedoes and sinks NICHIAN MARU at 24-45N, 123-20E. 51 crewmen are KIA. Underwood also torpedoes and sinks NICHIMAN MARU at 24-45N, 123-20E. 53 crewmen are KIA.

At 2320, USS SPADEFISH again attacks and Underwood torpedoes and sinks SHINTEN MARU. Eight crewmen and two gunners are KIA. Underwood also torpedoes and hits SHOKEI MARU’s port side aft. She sinks at 24-45N, 123-20E. Two crewmen are KIA.

10 November 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 1258.


Authors Notes:

[1] Not to be confused with the Ministry of Railways ferry (3620 GRT, ‘23)

[2] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by subtracting non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

[3] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Photo credit and thanks go also to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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