KYUTANYUSEN!

(TAMASHIMA MARU, sistership of TAGONOURA MARU, prewar)

IJN TAGONOURA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2016 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall


24 June 1940:
Yokohama. Laid down by Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. shipyard for Mitsubishi Shoji K.K. as a 3,521-tons cargo ship.

27 March 1941:
Launched and named TAGONOURA MARU.

31 May 1941:
Completed and registered at Tokyo.

June 1941:
Departs Hokkaido and operates in the Keihin District (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama).

8 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

November 1941:
Transport cement and other sundries to Wotje, Marshalls.

10 December 1941:
Registered as an auxiliary collier/oiler attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under Navy’s instruction No. 1634. That same day, Captain Sawada Minoru (38) is appointed supervisor.

December 1941:
Loads 800-tons of lump coal and 40 mines to be delivered at Palau, Western Carolines.

12 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau.

21 December 1941:
Departs Palau.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

31 December 1941:
Departs Truk. Assigned that same day to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shiyegoshi’s (37 )Fourth Fleet as an auxiliary collier/oiler (Otsu) category. [1]

1 January 1942:
Arrives at Motorokku-shoto, Central Carolines.

2 January 1942:
Departs Motorokku-shoto.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at No. 65 military base.

9 January 1942:
Departs No. 65 military base.

16 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 January 1942:
Rerated a general requisitioned transport (Ippan Choyosen) (B-AK) attached to the Yokosuka Naval District and directly assigned to the Navy’s Department.

25 January 1942:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal instruction No. 147.

January 1942:
Assigned to personnel and ammunition transport mission under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 35.

26 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka apparently alone.

4 February 1942:
Arrives at Eniwetok, Marshalls.

5 February 1942:
Departs Eniwetok.

7 February 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

12 February 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi-Namur, Marshalls later that day.

14 February 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Wotje.

21 February 1942:
Departs Wotje and arrives at Taroa, Marshalls later that same day.

26 February 1942:
Departs Taroa.

27 February 1942:
Arrives at Emiedj, Marshalls.

3 March 1942:
Departs Emiedj and arrives at Jaluit, Marshalls later in the day.

8 March 1942:
Departs Jaluit.

14 March 1942:
Arrives at Rota, Marianas.

18 March 1942:
Departs Rota.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Transfers to Yokohama later that day.

27 March 1942:
Transfers to Yokosuka.

April 1942:
Assigned to ammunition transport mission under secret instruction No. 635.

1 April 1942:
Departs Yokosuka apparently alone.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

7 April 1942:
Departs Yawata and arrives at Tsukumi, Oita Prefecture, Kyushu later that same day.

11 April 1942:
Departs Tsukumi.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

April 1942:
Assigned to ammunition transport mission under secret instruction No. 724.

28 April 1942:
Departs Yokohama possibly with auxiliary transport KAIHEI MARU and auxiliary oiler KYOKUYO MARU.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

5 May 1942:
Departs Moji. Later that day, S of Ikitsuki-shima collides and sustains moderate damage with auxiliary transport TARUSHIMA MARU that sustains bow damage at 33-29N, 129-24E.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Nagasaki. Enters Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K. shipyard for emergency repairs.

23 May 1942:
Emergency repairs are completed.

24 May 1942:
Departs Nagasaki and joins convoy No. 117 also consisting of IJA transports MANILA, SEIZAN (NISHIYAMA) and KOHOKU MARUs escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA, that departed Moji at 1200 the previous day.

28 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

2 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Kirun (now Keelung), Formosa.

6 June 1942:
Departs Kirun.

11 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

16 ~ 29 June 1942:
Undergoes permanent repairs at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K.K. shipyard.

30 June 1942:
Permanent repairs are completed.

1 July 1942:
Departs Yokohama in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports ASAKA, SETSUYO, NICHINAN, KOWA, SHOJU MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer OKIKAZE.

3 July 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido.

5 July 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

8 July 1942:
Departs Otaru.

11 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

14 July 1942:
Departs Yokohama in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports KOWA, HITORA (ex-Panamanian RAMONA) and SHINRYU MARUs escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE. The convoy departs from off Futtsu at 1200 and sails at 9 knots.

17 July 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

18 July 1942:
Departs Otaru.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Asase, Karafuto (now Sakhalin).

24 July 1942:
Departs Asase.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

1 August 1942:
Departs Osaka.

3 August 1942:
Arrives at Miike, Fukuoka Prefecture.

5 August 1942:
Departs Miike.

9 August 1942:
Arrives at Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture.

10 August 1942:
Departs Gamagori and arrives at Handa, Aichi Prefecture later that day.

13 August 1942:
Departs Handa.

15 August 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

16 August 1942:
Departs Moji.

18 August 1942:
Arrives at Chinnampo, Chosen (now North Korea).

21 August 1942:
Departs Chinnampo.

26 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

4 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in a convoy also consisting of civilian cargo ship (C-AK) HOZAN MARU, IJA transports KORYU and RIZAN (ex-British MUNLOCK) MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO. The convoy departs from off Futtsu at 1000 and sails at 9 knots.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

8 September 1942:
Departs Otaru.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Raichikokorozashi, Karafuto.

12 September 1942:
Departs Raichikokorozashi.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

20 September 1942:
Departs Osaka.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

26 September 1942:
Departs Otaru.

28 September 1942:
Arrives at Raichikokorozashi.

30 September 1942:
Departs Raichikokorozashi.

1 October 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

2 October 1942:
Departs Otaru.

7 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

9 October 1942:
Departs Osaka.

11 October 1942:
Arrives at Nishiura, Aichi Prefecture.

13 October 1942:
Departs Nishiura and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

14 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 October 1942:
Arrives at Otaru.

19 October 1942:
Departs Otaru.

21 October 1942:
Arrives at Shikuka (now Poronaisk), Karafuto.

28 October 1942:
Departs Shikuka.

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Otaru. Departs later that same day.

4 November 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

6 November 1942:
Departs Osaka.

7 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

8 November 1942:
Departs Kure.

9 November 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

10 November 1942:
Departs Moji.

11 November 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

12 November 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Chinnampo.

19 November 1942:
Departs Chinnampo.

25 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

2 December 1942:
Transfers to Yokohama.

5 December 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 December 1942:
Departs Kure.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Miike.

15 December 1942:
Departs Miike.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Chinnampo.

22 December 1942:
Departs Chinnampo.

25 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

30 December 1942:
Departs Kure.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

2 January 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

3 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

13 January 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

14 January 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

17 January 1943:
Departs Kobe and arrives at Osaka later in the day.

20 January 1943:
Departs Osaka.

21 January 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

23 January 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

24 January 1943:
At 1230, departs Moji in convoy No. 121 also consisting of auxiliary transports TAITO and TATSUWA MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HOKAZE. The convoy sails at 8 knots.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

8 February 1943:
Departs Takao.

12 February 1943:
At 1100, departs Kobe and sails in convoy No. 8212 also consisting of IJA transports NANKO, NIKKIN and NISSHO MARUs, IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo ship (B-APK) KENSHIN MARU and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) OSHIMA MARU escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Nagoya.

17 February 1943:
Departs Nagoya and arrives at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture later that day.

19 February 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

24 February 1943:
Departs Moji.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

4 March 1943:
Departs Kirun.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

7 March 1943:
Departs Takao.

8 March 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

12 March 1943:
Departs Kirun.

16 March 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

19 March 1943:
Scheduled to be loaded with Daihatsu craft No. 5269 and No. 5270 under Sasebo Naval District secret instruction No. 183.

26 March 1943:
Departs Osaka.

27 March 1943:
Arrives at Nagoya.

2 April 1943:
Departs Nagoya and arrives at Yokkaichi later that day.

4 April 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

11 April 1943:
Departs Moji.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Kirun.

19 April 1943:
Departs Kirun.

20 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

24 April 1943:
At 1000, departs Takao in ‘N’ convoy also consisting of auxiliary emergency tanker TERUKAWA MARU escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA. The convoy sails at 10 knots.

April 1943:
Detached from the convoy off Tungting Tao (Chapel Island), China.

27 April 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

3 May 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Wusong (Woosung) near Shanghai. At 1500, departs there in convoy SHI-13 also consisting of auxiliary transport TAIRYU MARU, IJA ore carrier HAKOZAKI MARU and IJA transport JUNPO (ex-Chinese SHUN FOONG) MARU escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure.

7 May 1943:
Departs Mutsure and arrives at Moji. Departs there later in the day.

8 May 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

9 May 1943:
Departs Kobe.

10 May 1943:
Arrives at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.

11 May 1943:
Departs Tateyama and arrives at Yokosuka later that day.

12 May 1943:
Transfers to Yokohama.

17 May 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 May 1943:
Departs Osaka.

25 May 1943:
Departs Saiki in convoy K-525 also consisting of IJA transports TAGA, TOYOOKA, DELAGOA MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1, and IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo ship (B-APK) NICHIRYO MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

E 27 May 1943:
TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 is detached.

2 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

14 June 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy P-614 also consisting of IJA transports MIYADONO MARU and HAKUTETSU MARU No. 13 and IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo ship (B-APK) NICHIRYO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-22.

19 June 1943:
At 1514, MIYADONO MARU carrying 1,457 men of an automobile unit and a special labor corps is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Arnold F. Schade's (USNA ’33) USS GROWLER (SS-215) at 01-52N, 148-03E. The badly damaged MIYADONO MARU is beyond saving. Three passengers and five crewmen are KIA. About midnight, after the survivors had been rescued, CH-22 shells and sinks her.

21 June 1943:
Her owners are restyled to Mitsubishi Kisen K.K.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

Between 21-25 July 1943:
Auxiliary transport KEISHO MARU comes alongside and transfers Daihatsu craft to TAGONOURA MARU.

25 July 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

27 July 1943:
Arrives at Buin, Bougainville Island, Solomons and unloads cargo of airfield construction materials.Immediately after starting unloading, the ship is discovered and attacked by enemy aircraft. Unloading was stopped and the same day TAGONOURA MARU sheltered at Tonolei Harbor, E of Buin and restarted unloading. During her stay at Tonolei Harbor TAGONOURA MARU sustained some structural damage to her hull when receiving several near misses by daily aircraft atatcks. After unloading of about 50% cargo further unloading was stopped and the ship received order to return to the Japan for urgent required repairs in dock.

6 August 1943:
Departs Buin.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Embarks about 70 Japanese women and children returnees.

12 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2022 also consisting of auxiliary storeship HOKKAI MARU escorted by destroyer UZUKI and subchaser CH-28.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk. At Truk TAGONOURA MARU receives orders to load about 2.000 AA shells for reconditioning in Japan. These shells came from a torpedoed warship and were indundated by flooding. The shells were stored in the lower part of #1 hold. To support the ship´s buoyancy for the return voyage to Yokosuka, the lower parts of #2, #3 and #4 holds were completely filled with empty drums. TAGONOURA MARU also embarked ca. 30 naval soldiers and ca. 10 sick and wounded naval soldiers who were placed in the between decks.

27 August 1943:
Departs Truk carrying 110 passengers including the 70 returnees from Rabaul, shells and drums, in convoy No. 4827 also consisting of auxiliary ammunition ship NICHII MARU and auxiliary aircraft transport NAGOYA MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI and auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10. The convoy sails at 11 knots.

30 August 1943: At 0835, auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2 departs Saipan to assist after NAGOYA MARU reports an unsuccessful torpedo attack. Later that day the ships arrive at Saipan. (KYO MARU No. 10 arrives the next day). The convoy departs later for Japan.

3 September 1943:
About 32 nautical miles SE of Miyake-Jima, Izu Shoto (Islands). At 1955, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E. Lewellen's (USNA ’31) old USS POLLACK (SS-180) torpedoes and sinks TAGONOURA MARU at 33-43N, 143-00E. One of the torpedoes hit starboard at #1 hold. Several minutes later the ship already settled down with her portside foreship. Inrushing seawater also reached the engine room. The ship now gradually started to sink by the bow but was kept afloat by the cargo of empty drums until about 2100 when she finally went down bow first. When TAGONOURA MARU was hit, Captain Kawamura at once ordered all hands Abandon Ship. First, all children, women and sick/wounded soldiers were transferred to lifeboats, but 6 of the sick/wounded soldiers died. Also one crewman perished. OKI counterattacks USS POLLACK and drops 17 depth charges unsuccessfully. Later, OKI rescues 149 survivors.

30 September 1943:
Removed from the Navy’s general requisitioned transports list.


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

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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