ZATSUYOSEN!

(TAITO MARU prewar)

IJN TAITO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2011-17 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 2


1 November 1934:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. Zosensho shipyard for Osaka Shosen K.K., Osaka.

18 June 1935:
Launched and named TAITO MARU.[1]

30 September 1935:
Completed and registered at Osaka.

E 1935:
TAITO MARU is placed on O.S.K.’s Tokyo ~ Takao and Kirun, Formosa (now Kaohsiung and Keelung, Taiwan) service to transport bananas from Formosa to Japan.

July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River. Japanese troops fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge. Chinese troops across the river fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Beijing suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

July 1937:
TAITO MARU is requisitioned by the Imperial Army with number No. 64.

9 November 1937:
Arrives at Wusong, entrance of Shanghai, China.

11 November 1937:
Departs Wusong.

E 1941:
Released to her owners.

1 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). [2].

10 November 1941:
Registered in the IJN under internal order No. 1391 and attached to the Kure Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category. Her home port is Kure. [3]

29 November 1941:

5 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau carrying the 2nd Naval Construction Unit Regiment assigned to the Davao invasion.

16 December 1941: The Occupation of Davao, Mindanao, Philippines:
TAITO MARU is assigned to the Philippines Invasion Group under command of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet as part of the Davao Invasion Unit under command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo (39).

The occupation of Davao is a combined IJN/IJA operation which involves Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachi’s command’s Southern Expeditionary Army. The 16th Army, under LtGen (later General) Imamura Hitoshi fields MajGen (later LtGen) Sakaguchi Shizuo's “Sakaguchi” Detachment of about 6,000 troops consisting of the 56th Inf Div's 56 Hq Company (Coy), 146th Inf Rgt, 2nd Btn of 56 Art Rgt with 12 75mm field guns, one tank Coy, one Eng Coy, one Transport Coy, one Signal unit platoon, 56th medical Unit, Field Hospital Unit and the “Miura” Detachment of about 1,200 troops of the 16th Inf Div's the 16 Inf Div’s Heavy weapons Coy of 33th Inf Rgt, 3rd Inf Bn and two Eng platoons of the 56th Inf Div. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports. The invasion units are embarked on eight IJA transports: HANKOW, HAVANA, HITERU, KANKO, KURETAKE, LIVERPOOL, TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and YAMAZUKI MARUs.

The Navy force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35) (former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo's (39) Invasion Unit consists of his 32st Special Base Force aboard TONAN MARU No 2, elements of 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop and a detachment of 3rd Munitions Unit aboard KINUGASA MARU, a company of the No. 1 Kure Special Naval Force (SNLF) aboard AMAGISAN MARU, 2nd Construction Unit Rgt aboard TAITO MARU and 3rd Construction Unit Rgt aboard KOSHIN MARU. Other transports are EIKO MARU No. 2 GO, KIRISHIMA, TATSUKAMI and TENRYU MARUs carrying equipment and material for the future Davao and Jolo airbases.

The convoy’s close escort consists of minelayer SHIRITAKA and patrol boats PB-36 and PB-37. Cover is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (41) light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. Rear Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (39) (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 5's NACHI, MYOKO and HAGURO provide distant cover. Air cover is provided by light carrier RYUJO and seaplane carrier CHITOSE.

The convoy is subdivided in three divisions:

1st subdivision: TAITO (IJN), KIRISHIMA (IJN), YAMATSUKI (IJA), KINUGASA (IJN) and AMAGISAN (IJN) MARUs.

2nd subdivision: TONAN MARU No. 2 (IJN), TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG) (IJA) (carrying elements of the 3rd Munitions Unit & the 103rd Aerial Field Repair Shop), KURETAKE (IJA) and TENRYU (IJN) MARUs, escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and OYASHIO.

3rd subdivision: HANKOW (IJA), HAVANA (IJA), TATSUKAMI (IJN), and KOSHIN (IJN) MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2 GO (IJN).

16 December 1941:
At 1600, the 3rd subdivision departs Palau.

17 December 1941:
At 0700, the 2nd subdivision departs Palau.

17 December 1941:
At 1300, the 1st subdivision departs Palau.

19 December 1941:
200 miles E of Davao. In the afternoon, RYUJO launches six planes to attack the radio station at Cape San Augustin, at the eastern tip of Davao Gulf, while seaplane carrier CHITOSE launches planes to reconnoiter Davao.

20 December 1941:
The transports arrive off Davao after midnight. At 0145, the 1st subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage (15 km NNE of Davao). At 0320, the 3rd subdivision arrives at Talomo Anchorage (6 km SW of Davao). At 0440, the 2nd subdivision arrives at Tibungko Anchorage At 0500, troops of LtCol Miura Toshio's 33rd Infantry Regiment's detachment, covered by RYUJO's aircraft, begin landing in the northern section of Davao while elements of the Sakaguchi Detachment come ashore along the coast SW of the city. Resistance by the garrison of some 3,500 Filipino-American troops is quickly overcome and, by 1500 that same day, Davao and its airfield are occupied. That evening a seaplane base is established S of the city.

29 December 1941:
Departs Davao in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transports OKITSU and TOEI MARUs, auxiliary aircraft transport LYONS MARU and IJA transport YAMAZUKI MARU escorted by destroyer AMATSUKAZE bound for Takao.

6 January 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure.

10 January 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Begins to embark troops and load materials of the 5th Naval Construction Unit for the forthcoming Bali invasion Operation.

15 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

23 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao. Departs later that same day for Tarakan, Borneo, N.E.I.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Tarakan.

17 February 1942:
Departs Tarakan for Balikpapan, Borneo.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

20 February 1942:
Departs Balikpapan for Macassar, Celebes.

22 February 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

23 February 1942:
Departs Macassar for the just captured Bali Island, N.E.I, in a reinforcement convoy consisting of OKITSU, RAKUTO, and TOYOSAKA MARUs and HINO MARU No. 3 directly escorted by DesDiv2 with distant cover by RearAdmiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji’s (35) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) light cruiser NAGARA and other unidentified ships.

24 February 1942:
N of Bali. British LtCdr Hugh A. V. Haggard's submarine HMS TRUANT arrives and makes an approach on Rear-Admiral Kubo's force. Haggard fires six torpedoes at NAGARA and gets two hits, but they are duds. The others miss. HMS TRUANT is discovered and pursued by NAGARA's escorts, but escapes to Surabaja.

That same day about 120 nms NE Bali. LtCdr Kenneth C. Hurd’s (USNA ’25) USS SEAL (SS-183) sights the reinforcement convoy. At 0500, Hurd torpedoes and scores one hit on OKITSU MARU at 06-45S, 117-24E. However, the unreliable Mark 14 torpedo is a dud and OKITSU MARU resumes her course, arriving off Bali later that same day.

25 February 1942:
At 0800 arrives at Bali. Begins to land troops and materials of the 5th Naval Construction Unit.

13 March 1942:
North exit of Lombok Strait. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Eugene B. McKinney’s (USNA ‘27) USS SALMON (SS-182) sights TAITO MARU. At 2300, McKinneys fires two torpedoes and scores one hit on TAITO MARU in position 07-45S, 116-15E. TAITO MARU is moderately damaged but resumes her course to Macassar.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Macassar to undergo emergency repairs.

10 April 1942:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 662.

15 April 1942:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). [2]

6 May 1942:
Emergency repairs are completed. TAITO MARU departs Macassar with captured Dutch ship TJISAROEA. [4]

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

E May 1942:
Enters shipyard to undergo extensive repairs.

E July 1942:
Shifted to ex RN Dockyard at Hong Kong where repair work continues.

23 September 1942:
Repairs are completed. Departs Hong Kong for Sasebo.

27 September 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

2 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Osaka.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

6 October 1942:
Departs Osaka for Kure.

7 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

13 October 1942:
Requisitioned again by the IJN as transport (Ippan Choyosen) and attached to the Kure Naval District. [2]. Departs Kure that same day for Osaka.

14 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka. Enters shipyard to be fitted with new depth charge equipment.

E 20 October 1942:
Depth charge equipment fitting is completed.

21 October 1942:
Departs Osaka for Moji.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

23 October 1942:
Departs Moji for Sasebo.

24 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

30 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Takao and joins convoy No. 180 also consisting of five unidentified ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

3 November 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

5 November 1942:
Departs Takao arriving that same day at Mako, Pescadores.

7 November 1942:
Departs Mako for Saint Jacques, Indochina in convoy No.346 also consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Saint Jacques.

16 November 1942:
Departs Saint Jacques for Singapore.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 December 1942:
Departs Singapore for Makassar.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.

10 December 1942:
Departs Makassar for Pomalaa, Celebes.

11 December 1942:
Arrives at Pomalaa.

16 December 1942:
Departs Pomalaa for Kure.

30 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

31 December 1942:
D eparts Kure and arrives that same day at Niihama, Shikoku.

4 January 1943:
Departs Niihama arriving later that day at Kobe.

6 January 1943:
Departs Kobe for Kure.

7 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Enters Navy shipyard for mechanical repairs and increase of armament.

22 January 1943:
Repairs and addition of new weapons are completed. Departs Kure for Moji.

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later and arrives that same day at Mutsure.

24 January 1943:
Departs Mutsure for Takao in convoy No. 121 also consisting of TAGANOURA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HOKAZE. Later that day, auxiliary transport TATSUWA MARU joins the convoy.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

30 January 1943:
Departs Takao for Saint Jacques in convoy No.366 also consisting of four unidentified merchant ships without escort.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Saint Jacques. Departs that same day for Singapore in convoy No.566 also consisting of one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

8 February 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 February 1943:
Departs Singapore for Surabaya, Java.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

19 February 1943:
Departs Surabaya in convoy also consisting of KUWAYAMA MARU and other unidentified ships and escorts.

21 February 1943:
North of Soembawa Island, N.E.I. LtCdr (later Cdr) William J. Millican’s (USNA ‘33) USS THRESHER (SS-200) intercepts the convoy. At 1503, Millican fires three bow tubes torpedoes and scores two hits on KUWAYAMA MARU under and aft of bridge at 07-54S, 119-13E. 12 soldiers and one crewman are KIA. TAITO MARU drops depth charges with no effect. At 1650, KUWAYAMA MARU goes dead in the water. TAITO MARU and another unidentified ship rescue 252 passengers at 08-01S, 119-02E. KUWAYAMA MARU lists to port and is later abandoned. The convoy resumes its course to Kendari, Celebes.

22 February 1943:
At 0800, Millican sights the abandoned and awash KUWAYAMA MARU’s hulk. Between 0841 and 1414 he fires four torpedoes. First misses the target, next two are dud hits, the fourth one hits KUWAYAMA MARU that breaks in two and sinks three minutes thereafter at 08-15S, 119-15E.

23 February 1943:
Arrives at Kendari.

28 February 1943:
Departs Kendari for Macassar.

2 March 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

5 March 1943:
Departs Macassar for Ambon, Moluccas.

8 March 1943:
Arrives at Ambon.

19 March 1943:
Departs Ambon for Macassar.

21 March 1943:
Arrives at Macassar.

25 March 1943:
Departs Macassar for Singapore.

27 March 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Singapore.

29 March 1943:
Departs Singapore arriving that same day at Bintang Island, S Singapore. Probably loads bauxite.

1 April 1943:
Departs Bintang arriving later that day at Singapore.

6 April 1943:
At 0800, departs Singapore for Saint Jacques in convoy No. 680 also consisting of SAIHO MARU and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 without escort.

9 April 1943:
Arrives at Saint Jacques.

11 April 1943:
Departs Saint Jacques for Takao in convoy No. 487 also consisting of SAIHO MARU, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and seven unidentified ships escorted by patrol boat PB-39.

19 April 1943:
Arrives at Mako and transfers later that day to Takao.

E 20-21 April 1943:
Replenishes fresh water tanks. Embarks passengers.

22 April 1943:
Departs Takao for Kure in convoy No. 254 also consisting of SHOKEI, MITO, YASUSHIMA, SHINSOKU, YAMATO, TOKUWA, NIKKAKU MARUs and KYODO MARU No. 36 escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

26 April 1943:
SHOKEI and TOKUWA MARUs are detached for Sasebo.

27 April 1943:
Arrives at Moji. TAITO MARU steams on and later that day arrives at Kure. Disembarks passengers. Loads ammunition for her guns and 100-tons of coal.

28 April 1943:
Departs Kure for Osaka.

29 April 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

4 May 1943:
Departs Osaka, calls at Kobe and departs later that same day for Kure.

5 May 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

6 May 1943:
Departs Kure for Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

7 May 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Loads aviation gasoline.

9 May 1943:
Departs Tokuyama for Yokosuka.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Saipan, Marianas in convoy No. 3516 also consisting of SHOEI (1986 gt), and HARUNA MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU and possibly others.

22 May 1943:
At 1200, auxiliary gunboat SHOEI MARU (3580 gt) and auxiliary patrol boat KYO MARU No.8 meets up with convoy at 17-24N, 142-22E. Then TAITO MARU and KYO MARU No.8 are detached from the convoy.

23 May 1943:
Arrives at Saipan with KYO MARU No.8.

E 24-25 May 1943:
Unloads aviation gasoline and mail parcels. Replenishes coal and fresh water tanks. Loads private cargo and assorted goods. Embarks passengers.

26 May 1943:
Departs Saipan for Truk, Carolines in convoy No. 3521 also consisting of TAIYO MARU escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

31 May 1943:
At 0500, arrives at Truk.

E 1-12 June 1943:
Unloads mail parcels, aviation gasoline, ship crane parts, supplies and private goods. 18 passengers are disembarked. Replenishes boiler water.

13 June 1943:
Departs Truk for Fuhaesu Island (Fais), Carolines in convoy No. 7131 as only ship in convoy escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU and auxiliary minesweeper TAKASAGO MARU.

17 June 1943:
A rrives at Fuhaesu.

E 18-19 June 1943:
Loads phosphorite and mail. Embarks six passengers.

20 June 1943:
Departs Fuhaesu for Palau, Carolines.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E 23-30 June 1943:
Lands mail. Disembarks six passengers.

1 July 1943:
Departs Palau for Kobe via Saeki in convoy FU-105 also consisting of ARIMASAN, SHINYUBARI MARUs and Navy fleet oiler TSURUMI escorted by torpedo boat HATO.

Shortly after departure LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles H. Andrews’ (USNA ‘30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) intercepts the convoy. At 0900, Andrews launches several unsuccessful attacks against the convoy firing a total of 11 torpedoes that all miss.

11 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe. Disembarks three passengers. Replenishes fresh water.

12 July 1943:
Departs Kobe for Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

13 July 1943:
Arrives at Nagoya.

15 July 1943:
Departs Nagoya arriving later that day at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

E 16-17 July 1943:
Unloads phosphorite.

18 July 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi for Kobe.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Kobe. Docks at Mitsubishi Kobe Zosensho Heavy Industries K.K. shipyard to undergo maintenance and repairs.

7 August 1943:
Repairs are completed. Undocked. Departs Kobe for Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

E 9 August 1943:
Replenishes coal.

10 August 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives later that day at Tokuyama.

14 August 1943:
Departs Tokuyama arriving that same day at Kure.

E 15-16 August 1943:
Loads ammunition. Replenishes boiler water.

17 August 1943:
Departs Kure for Saeki, Kyushu.

18 August 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

21 August 1943:
Departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-104 also consisting of KUMAGAWA, ALASKA, and YAMAGATA MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-18 and W-33, and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7.

E 22 August 1943:
At 30-30N, 134-05E the two auxiliary minesweepers are detached from the convoy.

E 23 August 1943:
At 29N, minesweeper W-33 is detached from the convoy.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

E September 1943:
Replenishes coal and boiler water. Loads three cars.

11 September 1943:
Departs Palau for Rabaul, New Britain in convoy SO-105 also consisting of MEXICO, TAIAN, TOTAI and YAWATA MARUs with unknown escort.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

E September 1943:
Loads aviation gasoline, ammunition and vehicles.

25 October 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Palau presumed in convoy also consisting of transports KOSEI and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs with unknown escort.

2 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

3 November 1943:
Departs Palau arriving later that day at Garasumao, Babeldaob (Babelthuap), Palaus.

E 4-5 November 1943:
Loads bauxite.

6 November 1943:
Departs Garasumao and arrives that same day at Palau. Loads coal, replenishes boiler water and embarks 12 troops.

7 November 1943:
At 1000, departs Palau for Wakamatsu in convoy FU-703 also consisting of NITTAI and SAIHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI.

E 15 November 1943:
Torpedo boat SAGI joins the escort at 29N.

17 November 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

E 18-19 November 1943:
Unloads bauxite. Replenishes boiler water. Loads coal and two Daihatsu craft.

20 November 1943:
Departs Saeki arriving that same day at Moji. Loads four Daihatsu craft and three vehicles.

21 November 1943:
Departs Moji for Sasebo.

22 November 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

E 23-30 November 1943:
Enters Naval yard to undergo a reconstruction to her cargo holds.

1 December 1943:
Takes aboard mail parcels and embarks troops. Departs Sasebo for Takao.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao. Disembarks troops.

17 December 1943:
Departs Takao for Manila, Luzon, Philippines in convoy No. 78 also consisting of GOZAN, RAIZAN, BUSHO and SHOZUI MARUs and about seven other unidentified ships, escorted by destroyer FUYO, subchaser CH-46 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-7.

20 December 1943:
Off Subic Bay. At 0915 (JST), LtCdr Frank G. Selby‘s (USNA ’33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and hits FUYO´s stern with two torpedoes. She sinks in two minutes at 14-45N, 119-54E. Lt Kakuno is among the survivors rescued by the escorts. Losses are unknown.

At 0950, USS PUFFER again attacks the convoy. GOZAN MARU reports torpedo tracks at 14-40N, 119-55E, but one prematures and four others miss. CH-46 and Wa-7 counter-attack while BUSHO MARU retires with the convoy. Later, the convoy arrives at Manila.

E December 1943:
TAITO MARU departs Manila and calls at Kau, Halmahera Island, Moluccas ~ Lolobata, Halmahera ~ Ambon ~ Pomalaa ~ Makassar ~ Surabaya and Singapore.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila. Departs later for Wakamatsu.

17 January 1944:
Arrives at Wakamatsu. Departs later and arrives at Kure at an unknown date.

E January 1944:
Kure Navy yard. TAITO MARU is fitted with two Type 96 twin 25mm AA guns.

25 January 1944:
Departs Kure for Manila.

E January 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

7 March 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MATA-10 also consisting of KENWA, KOHO, SORACHI, TARUYASU MARUs and tankers NITTETSU, TACHIBANA, SAN DIEGO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), SANKO (YAMAKO) MARUs, and OGURA MARU No.1 escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-17.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-11 also consisting of oilers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1, SAN DIEGO TAKETSU (BUTSU) and SANKO (YAMAKO) MARUs, cargo/transports ASAHISAN, KOAN, SHINNO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU (ex British TALTHYBIUS), KENWA, KENZUI, BRAZIL and KENNICHI MARUS and UNKAI MARU No. 12. Escort is provided by destroyers SHIGURE and NOKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and subchasers CH- 37 and CH-38.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TOYO and TEIKO MARUs join the convoy.

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI, and TOYO MARUs are detached from the convoy.

22 March 1944:
ASAHISAN, KOAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.12 are detached to Karatsu Wan (Bay), arriving at Moji the following day. The rest of the convoy arrives at Moji. TAITO MARU departs later for Kure.

24 March 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

30 March 1944:
Departs Kure arriving that same day at Niihama.

2 April 1944:
Departs Niihama for Wakamatsu.

3 April 1944:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

5 April 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives that day at Moji.

6 April 1944:
Departs Moji arriving later that day at Tokuyama. Loads aviation gasoline.

11 April 1944:
Departs Tokuyama for Osaka.

12 April 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

13 April 1944:
Departs Osaka arriving that same day at Kobe.

14 April 1944:
Departs Kobe arriving later that day at Gobo, Wakayama Prefecture.

15 April 1944:
Departs Gobo and arrives later that day at Shinojima, Aichi Prefecture.

16 April 1944:
Departs Shinojima arriving that same day at Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.

17 April 1944:
Departs Tateyama and arrives later that same day at Yokohama.

20 April 1944:
Departs Yokohama arriving later that day at Shibaura, Tokyo.

22 April 1944:
Departs Shibaura and arrives that same day at Yokosuka.

25 April 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.

26 April 1944:
Arrives at Kisarazu.

29 April 1944:
Departs Kisarazu for Chichi Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins) and rejoins the “Higashi Matsu” Convoy No.7-Go (outbound), that departed from Tokyo the previous day, also consisting of TATSUHARU, MITAKESAN, ASAHISAN, OKINAWA, YAMATAMA, BINGO, MEIRYU, MOJI and MIHO MARUs bound for Saipan; ASAKA MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 for Palau; KOSHIN and BOKUYO MARUs for Yap. Escort is provided by kaibokan NOMI, CD-12, CD-18 and CD-22, and subchasers CH-16 and CH-18. The convoy arrives safely at these destinations.

2 May 1944:
Arrives at Chichi Jima.

E 3-13 May 1944:
Unloads 4,000-tons of aviation gasoline.

14 May 1944:
Departs Chichi Jima for Saipan in convoy No. 3506 at this point also consisting of TAKUNAN, SHOSEI, MAMIYA, KAIKO MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 10 escorted by auxiliary cable layer OSEI MARU, auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 7 and SHONAN MARU No. 8, CHa-54, CHa-56 and CHa-57 and auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU.

20 May 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Unloads two tanks, four cars, two Daihatsu craft, one boat and a large barge. Later that day, starts to load 5,300 aviation gasoline cans, 2,500m3 of arms and 500-tons of cement. When news came of a potential airstrike from US carrier-based aircraft, TAITO MARU departs Saipan for Palau in convoy also consisting of OSAKA MARU with destroyer MINATSUKI, auxiliary cable layer OSEI MARU and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 3 as escorts.

24 May 1944:
NW Yap Island (Yappu-To), Carolines. Nightime. LtCdr (later Captain) Robert D. Risser’s (USNA ‘34) USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) intercepts the convoy. At 2217 Risser attacks OSAKA MARU but score no hits. During the night, USS FLYING FISH continues to track the convoy.

25 May 1944:
About 200 nms NW Yap. Risser attacks again the convoy. At 0920, USS FLYING FISH torpedoes hits OSAKA MARU starboard in hold No.1 and in the engine room, at 11-12N, 135-14E. OSAKA MARU goes dead in the water and is later abandoned by her crew, sinking at 1422 with the loss of 97 of her 824 passengers.

At 0921, TAITO MARU is also hit in the same attack. Her cargo of aviation gasoline erupts and she sinks at 0925, at the same position, taking with her 18 of her crew and passengers.

30 June 1944:
Removed from the Ippan Choyosen (IJN generally requisitioned ships) list.


Authors Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with captured ex-Chinese TATUNG (1560 GRT ’28), Uchida Kisen’s (2726 GRT ’17) or auxiliary patrol-boat (267 GRT ’32).
[2] See Zatsuyosen home page for full explanation.
[3] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.
[4] TJISAROEA later served in the IJN as an auxiliary transport and was renamed CHIHAYA MARU.

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

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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