(Sister TOYOHASHI MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2016 Bob Hackett

6 August 1915:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Kisen, K. K. as Yard No. 380, a 7,296 ton cargo ship for Nippon Yusen Kaisha K.K. (NYK Line), Tokyo.

7 February 1916
Launched and named TAJIMA MARU

15 April 1916:

22 November 1917:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York.

29 April 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Fowey, England.

15 December 1919:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Rotterdam, Holland.


23 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Assigned Army No. 894.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines -“M” Operation (M Sakusen):
At 1700, TAJIMA MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo's (37)(former CO of TAKAO) 1st Lingayen Invasion Unit with 27 other IJA transports escorted by DesRon 5's light cruiser NATORI, DesDiv 5's ASAKAZE, HARUKAZE and MATSUKAZE, DesDiv 22's FUMIZUKI, MINAZUKI, NAGATSUKI and SATSUKI, minesweepers W-15 and W-16 and subchasers CH-1, CH-2, CH-3 CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15.

The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport echelons and carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army. The first echelon is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral Hara , the second echelon of 28 transports under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (39) and the third echelon of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto (39).

24 December 1941:
Lingayen Gulf. Between 0110 and 0430, the Lingayen Invasion Convoy lands troops at Lingayen.

12 February 1942: Operation "L" (L Sakusen) -The Invasions of Muntok, Banka Island and Palembang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies (NEI):
ALASKA MARU departs Camranh Bay, Indochina in an invasion convoy consisting of transports TACOMA, MANSEI, TAJIMA, ANYO, OYO, SADO and KINUGAWA MARUs escorted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro’s (41) DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 11's FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI, DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI, YUGIRI and ASAGIRI, MinSwpDiv 1’s W-1, W-2,W-3,W-4 and W-5 and SubChasDiv 11’s CH-7 and CH-8. Air cover is provided by floatplane fighters from seaplane tenders SAGARA and KAMIKAWA MARUs.

The convoy carries seven companies of the 229th Regiment of the IJA 38th Division, a mountain gun battery of the 10th Independent Mountain Artillery Battalion, an engineer company of the 38th Engineer Regiment and men of the 38th Medical Unit.

15 February 1942:
At 0100, the invasion convoy arrives off Muntok, Bangka Stait and at 0130 successfully lands its troops on Bangka Island Sumatra. OYO MARU suffers slight damage in an air attack, probably by RAAF Lockheed “Hudson” light bombers.

1 July 1943:
TAJIMA MARU departs Takao in convoy “D” also consisting of CHOJO, HAVRE, KONSAN, SHINKYO, SHONAN, TAINAN and TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE) MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer SANAE.

5 July 1943:
SHINKYO MARU is detached at Sakito.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

5 October 1943:
TAJIMA MARU departs Balikpapan, Borneo for Palau in convoy No. 2608 also consisting of ASUKA, ONDO, RYOYO and TSURUMI MARUs and two unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SANAE and subchaser CH-5. Soon after leaving, TSURUMI encounters machinery problems and is forced to turn back.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

20 October 1943:
TAJIMA MARU departs Palau in convoy SO-002 also consisting of SHINKO MARU escorted by subchasers CH-16 and CH-39.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

9 November 1943:
TAJIMA MARU departs Rabaul, New Britain for Kavieng, New Ireland in convoy O-802 also consisting of oiler KOKUYO MARU.

28 November 1943:
TAJIMA MARU departs Palau for Saeki in convoy FU-009 also consisting of IJA transports KIZUGAWA, KOSEI, NISSHIN, RYUWA, SAN FRANCISCO, TENCHO, TOSHO, TOYOOKA, and MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17 and W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8. Enroute, NISSHIN MARU is detached due to engine trouble and returns to Palau.

E 29 November 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 is detached.

6 December 1943:
At 28N, the escort is joined by minelayers NUWAJIMA and YURIJIMA. Later that day at 29N, auxiliary minesweepers OI MARU and TAMA MARU No. 6 also join the convoy.

7 December 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

3 March 1944:
TAJIMA MARU departs Pusan carrying troops.

12 March 1944:
At 0400, TAJIMA MARU departs Yokohama in convoy Higashi Matsu (“East Pine”) No. 2 also consisting of ATLANTIC, AWA, DAITEN, HIBI, KOKUYO, MIHO, RYUKA, TAKAOKA, TAMAHOKO and TSUSHIMA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by light cruiser TATSUTA, destroyers ASAKAZE, NOWAKI, UZUKI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRADO and minelayers KYOSAI and SOKUTEN. The convoy is carrying the 1st Expeditionary Unit, 25th Infantry Group Headquarters, 25th Division, 3rd Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Division, 3rd Battalion, 40th Infantry, 25th Division, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry, 10th Division, 3rd Battalion, 89th Infantry, 24th Division (618 men), Headquarters, 3rd Independent Mountain Artillery Regiment, 1st Battalion, 3rd Independent Mountain Artillery Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 10th Artillery, 10th Division, 3rd Company, 25th Engineers, 25th Division, 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment and 8th Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment (searchlight).

13 March 1944:
40 miles NNE of Hachijo-jima. At 0310, LtCdr Malcom E. Garrison's new USS SAND LANCE (SS-381) sets up and fires four stern torpedoes at the convoy. At 0314, two hit and sink TATSUTA at 32-52N 139-12E. The other two hit and sink transport KOKUYO MARU carrying 1,029 troops to Guam. SAND LANCE undergoes an 18-hour attack by the escorts. SAND LANCE, a thick-skinned BALAO-class, dives to 550-feet and escapes 105 depth charges. Minesweeper W-20 is ordered to the area of the sinking.

19 March 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Saipan.

24 March 1944: At 0700, TAJIMA MARU departs Saipan in convoy Higashi Matsu (“East Pine”) No. 2 (return) also consisting of AWA (ex-WAWA), BINGO, DAITEN, HIBI, MIHO, NACHI, RYUKA, SHINFUKU, TAKAOKA, TAMAHOKO and TATSUHARU MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1, store-ship SOYA and an unidentified ship escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE and NOWAKI, kaibokan MANJU, minelayer KYOSAI and subchasers CH-17, CH-31, CH-32. En route, SOYA is detached and arrives at Chichi-Jima.

1 April 1944:
At 1000, the convoy arrives at Tokyo.

21 April 1944:
TAJIMA MARU departs Ssuchiaoshan (Raffles Island), SE of Shanghai in the "Take" convoy also consisting of ADEN, AMATSUSAN, BRAZIL, FUKUYO, KANAN, KAZUURA, MANSHU, MITSUKI, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA), TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), UNKAI and YOZAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and an unidentified ship escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-20 and CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA (F), minesweeper W-22, subchasers CH-37, CH-38, auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7, gunboat ATAKA and river gunboat UJI. The convoy is carrying troops of the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions from China via Manila to New Guinea. TAJIMA MARU carries 2,714 troops of the 35th division.

26 April 1944:
At about 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykers' (USNA ’27) USS JACK (SS-259) makes a radar-assisted surface attack on the convoy. Dykers torpedoes and sinks YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 at 18-06N, 119-40E. She takes down 2,586 of 3,400 soldiers of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment, two passengers and 61 crewmen.

Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

1 May 1944:
TAJIMA MARU departs Manila for Wasile, Halmahera in a continuation of the "Take" convoy consisting of ADEN, AMATSUSAN, BRAZIL, KAZUURA, MITSUKI, TEIKAI and YOZAN MARUs escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA and other unknown escorts.

6 May 1944:
N Celebes Sea. About 0800, lookouts aboard LtCdr Charles H. Andrews’ (USNA ’30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) spot SHIRATAKA's coal-burning smoke at 19 miles. By 1300, Andrews completes an "end-around" and gains an attack position on convoy Take No. 1. At 1403, he fires two three-torpedo salvos at the transports. TAJIMA and ADEN MARUs are hit and sink quickly at 02-24N, 124-07E. 58 troops, nine gunners and three crewmen on TAJIMA MARU are KIA. On ADEN MARU 499 troops, four gunners and 12 crewmen are KIA.

Author's Notes:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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