(A Standard 2A Class underway)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

Laid down by Kawaminami Kogyo K. K., Koyagishima as a 6,886-ton cargo ship for Nanyo Kaiun K.K., Tokyo.

Launched and named SURAKARUTA MARU. [1]

24 March 1942:

28 April 1944:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Allotted Army No. 1230.

3 June 1944:
At 0415, SURAKARUTA MARU departs Imari Bay for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-05 also consisting of cargo/transports KENEI, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Chinese NINGPO), FUYUKAWA, TATSUJU and SHOEI MARUs and thirteen unidentified merchant ships and tankers AYAGIRI, AYANAMI, BAIEI, CERAM, KENZUI, NITTETSU, OEI, SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA, TOA, TOKUWA, MARIFU, YAMASACHI (a converted type K ore carrier) and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and fleet oiler NOTORO escorted by kaibokan CD-14, CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-17, auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 and two unidentified warships.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Keelung.

9 June 1944:
Departs Keelung.

11 June 1944:
The convoy is joined by cargo ships/transports ARIMASAN, MANILA, MIIKESAN and USSURI MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO MARU and KYOEI No. 8 and JINEI MARU from Takao. Minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95 join the escort. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

13 June 1944:
LtCdr John D. Crowley's USS FLIER (SS-250) torpedoes and damages MARIFU MARU at 15-57N, 119-42E. She is taken in tow by MIIKESAN MARU.

15 June 1944:
The convoy arrives Manila. Damaged MARIFU MARU arrives later and is detached.

18 June 1944:
SURAKARUTA MARU departs Manila in convoy MI-05 also consisting of cargo/transports ARIMASAN, HINAGA, JINEI, NIPPO (ex-Chinese NINGPO), TATSUJU, TEIFU, ROKKO, DAIZEN, MIIKESAN, NICHIYO, HIDA and SEIWA MARUs and fleet oiler NOTORO, tankers ATAGO, AYANAMI, BAIEI, CERAM, KENZUI, OEI, SAN DIEGO, TACHIBANA and TOKUWA MARUs, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, and KYOEI MARU No. 8 with the same escorts.

23 June 1944:
At 1257, arrives at Miri.

25 June 1944:
At 1915, SURAKARUTA MARU departs Miri for Singapore in convoy MISHI-03 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and SAN DIEGO, NICHIYO, HIDA, FUYUKAWA, AYANAMI, KYOEI No. 8, BAIEI, NIPPO, DAIZEN, TEIFU (ex-BOUGAINVILLE), SEIWA, HINAGA, MANILA, ARIMASAN, JINEI, ROKKO, TATSUTAMA (ex-American SS Admiral Y. S. WILLIAMS), TOA and KENZUI MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, subchaser CH-21, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and TOSHI MARU No. 2.

28 June 1944:
South China Sea, off Singapore. At 2100, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Rueben T. Whitaker’s USS FLASHER’s (SS-249) radar picks up the convoy. Whitaker, operating in relatively shallow water (150 feet), decides to wait until after the moon sets to make a surface attack on the convoy’s two largest ships.

29 June 1944:
At 0111, Whitaker torpedoes freighter NIPPO MARU. Then he torpedoes NOTORO. At 0117, two or three torpedoes hit NIPPO MARU and two or three torpedoes hit NOTORO. NIPPO MARU breaks in two and sinks by the bow. NOTORO remains afloat, but goes dead in the water. The escorts begin blindly dropping depth charges. Whitaker, still on the surface, leaves the area on four engines.

30 June 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

19 September 1944:
At 0800, SURAKARUTA MARU departs Manila for Cebu, Philippines in convoy MATA-27 also consisting of , YUKI, HOFUKU, SHICHIYO and NANSEI MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan SADO, CD-1, CD-3, CD-5, CD-7, minelayer ENOSHIMA and auxiliary cable layer OSEI MARU. That evening the convoy arrives and anchors at Subic Bay.

21 September 1944:
At 0625, departs Subic Bay. At 1028, N of the Masinloc Sea, about 40 carrier-based aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 38 attack the convoy and sink HOFUKU MARU. The ship is carrying POW's and of 1287 on board, 907 are KIA along with 11 crewmen and possibly up to 144 Japanese passengers. At 1056, a second raid begins. OGURA MARU No. 1 is bombed about 1130 and later abandoned. Five crewmen are KIA. At 1515, a third raid by 40 aircraft begins. YUKI, SHICHIYO and NANSEI MARUs are bombed and set afire and later sink. Casualties are mixed, on YUKI MARU 54 crewmen are KIA, SHICHIYO MARU loses 20 crewmen KIA and NANSEI MARU has 12 gunners and 17 crewmen KIA.

At 1634, a fourth raid begins. SURAKARUTA MARU is bombed and sunk. One crewman is KIA.

Author's Note:
[1] Her romanized name was SURAKARTA MARU, named after the city of Surakarta on the island of JAVA. Also known as SOERAKARTA MARU.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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