(Similar size Japanese cargo ship, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017-2018 Bob Hackett

E 1917:
Osaka. Laid down at Asaki Shoji, K.K. of Tokyo as a 2,473-ton cargo ship for Murao Kisen Goshi Kaisha. K. K., Kobe.

E 1918:
Launched and named TAISOKU MARU.

Completed and registered at Kobe.

16 October 1926:
Bangkok, Siam (Thailand). TAISOKU MARU is turning in the Bangkok River when she hits and damages a wharf at Kosichang and sinks three steam launches.

14 March 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as an Ippan Choyosen cargo ship (B-AK).

21 May 1941:
Released by the IJN back to her owners.

25 September 1943:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as a troop transport. Assigned an unknown IJA No.

30 October 1943:
At 1630, TAISOKU MARU departs Takao, Formosa in convoy "E" also consisting of KIYO, KOGEN, MATSUEI, MIIKESAN, MURORAN, NARITA, ODATSUKI, SEISHO and SHINWA MARUs escorted by destroyer FUYO.

3 November 1943:
At 1000, FUYO and the E convoy arrive at Manila, Philippines.

15 January 1944:
At 1350,TAISOKU MARU departs Kau, Halmahera, W New Guinea for Manokwari, New Guinea in convoy No. 14 also consisting of NANKA MARU and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer WAKATAKA.

17 January 1944:
NANKA MARU is detached.

19 January 1944:
At 0435, the convoy arrives at Manokwari and departs at 0750.

20 January 1944:
At 1335, arrives at Kau.

28 January 1944:
At 2150, TAISOKU MARU departs Sarmi, New Guinea for Halmahera in convoy “A”also consisting of transports NANKA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-10. En route, AOTAKA is detached.

31 January 1944:
At 1530, TACOMA MARU, in ballast, from Sorong escorted by minelayers AOTAKA and WAKATAKA joins convoy “A”.

1 February 1944:
At 0148, the convoy's escort is joined by minesweeper W-5 from Ambon, Moloccas. At 0225, LtCdr John C. Broach's (USNA '27) USS HAKE (USS-256) attacks the convoy as it nears Halmahera. With the three targets in a line of bearing, HAKE launches six bow torpedoes and gets two hits in TACOMA MARU's No. 1 and No. 3 holds. Two men in TACOMA MARU's engine room are KIA, but all other seamen are rescued. About 0315, she sinks. HAKE then also torpedoes and sinks troop transport NANKA MARU. HAKE is not counter-attacked. The remainder of the convoy arrives at Kau that day.

25 February 1944:
TAISOKU MARU departs Ambon for Halmahera.

27 February 1944:
W of Halmahera. At 0409, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey's (USNA '31) USS COD (SS-244) fires four torpedoes and gets two hiys that sink TAISOKU MARU at 02-00S, 127-40E. 35 passengers and 42 crewmen are KIA.

Authors' Notes :
[1] Not to be confused with IJA transport No. 1347 (1,148-tons, ’41) or IJN passenger/cargo ship (3,787-tons, '37).

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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