Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013 Bob Hackett

2 September 1918:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Shipbuilding as a 6,780-ton passenger-cargo ship for Chugai Shosen Kaisha, K. K., Kobe.

8 February 1919:
Launched and named YONE MARU.

8 February 1919:
Completed and placed in Japan ~ Europe service.

24 March 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Genoa, Italy.

18 June 1922:
Arrives at Ellis Island from Algiers and Pireus, Greece.

18 October 1929:
Sold to Kaiyo Kisen, K. K. and renamed TAMAHOKO MARU.

1 August 1933:
TAMAHOKO MARU arrives at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

5 February 1935:
Owners restyled as Tamai Steamship Co., Ltd. due to merger.

10 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a troop transport and alloted Army No.522.

13 December 1941: Operation “E” – The Invasion of Malaya:
At 0830, 39 invasion transports including TAMAHOKO MARU depart Camranh in the No. 2 Malaya Invasion Convoy escorted by light cruiser KASHII, DesRon 3’s light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 4’s ARASHI, HAGIKAZE, MAIKAZE, NAKASUGI and NOWAKE, DesDiv 19's AYANAMI, ISONAMI, SHIKINAMI and URANAMI, DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI, YUGIRI and ISONAMI, kaibokan SHIMUSHSHU and minesweeper W-4. The convoy carries 2,500 men of the IJA 25th Army’s 5th Infantry Division, 5th Tank and 41st Regiments. SeaplanTenDiv 12’s KAMIKAWA and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.

16 December 1941:
Gulf of Siam (Thailand). At 2300, TAMAHOKO, BORNEO and YURI MARUs escorted by SHIMUSHSHU arrive off Nakhorn, Siam and land troops.

17 December 1941:
At 0600, TAMAHOKO, BORNEO and YURI MARUs covered by KASHII arrive off Bandon, Siam and land troops.

3 October 1942;
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Bugu, Mindanao for Manila carrying 268 prisoners-of-war (POWs) from Camp Casisang.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

January 1943:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Shanghai in a convoy also consisting of HAMBURG, HIMALAYA and TOYAMA MARUs.

E 29 January 1943:
Destroyer HASU joins the convoy as escort.

31 January 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

3 May 1943:
At 0600, TAMAHOKO MARU departs Imari Bay in convoy SA-14 also consisting of DOWA, HIDAKA, JUNYO, NANKA, SHOKO (MATSUE), YASUKUNI and UGA MARUs escorted by minelayer KAMOME.

5 May 1943:
At about 0600, arrives at Hua Niao Shan.

15 July 1943:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 605 also consisting of GYOSAN, KIYO, NICHIRIN (5106 grt), NICHIWA, SAMARANG, SAN PEDRO, MARUs and JUNGEN GO MARU probably escorted by Vichy French frigate LA PEROUSE [2]

18 July 1943:
At 1100 arrives at St Jacques.

3 August 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure.

16 September 1943:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-608 also consisting of KASHU, MITAKESAN, MEXICO, OSAKA, TOYOOKA, TOUN and RYUOSAN MARUs escorted by YURIJIMA, torpedo boat SAGI, auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU and auxiliary patrol boat SHINKO MARU.

E 17 September 1943:
SHINKO, TAMA and YURIJIMA MARUs are detached at 29N.

11 November 1943:
At 1600, TAMAHOKO MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 113-MA-07 consisting of ANYO, ARABIA, CHIYO, DAKAR, HIDA, NACHISAN, NANEI, NITTETSU, RYUYO, SYDNEY and TOSEI MARUs escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

13 November 1943:
At 0556, LtCdr Robert E. Dorin's USS TRIGGER (SS-237) torpedoes and sinks NACHISAN MARU at 32-55N, 125-09E. KURETAKE drops five depth charges that damage TRIGGER slightly.

21 November 1943:
At 1140, arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

13 January 1944:
At noon, in monsoon weather, TAMAHOKO MARU departs Manila for Takao in convoy No. 882 also consisting of ASOSAN, TOHO and TATSUNO MARUs escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU.

15 January 1944:
Luzon Strait, about 75 miles north of Luzon. At 2232, LtCdr (later Cdr) Duncan C. MacMillan’s (USNA ’26) USS THRESHER (SS-200) fires four torpedoes at TATSUNO MARU and gets two hits in her No. 2 hold. She explodes and breaks in two. The ship’s fore part sinks immediately, but the aft part, although on fire, remains afloat. The crew puts out the fire, but the engine room floods.

16 January 1944:
At 0700, the crew abandons TATSUNO MARU that sinks later that day at 20-05N, 120-13E. Eight passengers and 12 crewmen are KIA.

3 March 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Pusan, Korea for Ujina in convoy in Convoy TOSHO-2. She carries about 6,000 men of the IJA 6th Expeditionary Unit consisting of Headquarters, 11th Infantry Group, 11th Division (256 men), 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 11th Division (617 men),3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry, 12th Division,3rd Battalion, 43rd Infantry, 11th Division (617 men),1st Battalion, 44th Infantry, 11th Division (617 men), 3rd Battalion, 46th Infantry, 12th Division,3rd Battalion, 48th Infantry, 12th Division, 3rd Battalion, 11th Mountain Artillery, 11th Division (367 men), 3rd Battalion, 24th Artillery, 12th Division, 3rd Company, 11th Engineers, 11th Division (188 men), 3rd Company, 18th Engineers, 12th Division Headquarters and 52nd Field Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion HQ and 2nd battery.

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

12 March 1944:
At 0400, TAMAHOKO MARU departs Tokyo in convoy Higashi Matsu (“East Pine”) No. 2 also consisting of ATLANTIC, AWA, DAITEN, HIBI, KOKUYO, MIHO, RYUKA, TAJIMA, TAKAOKA 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.

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.

20 March 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Saipan escorted by W-20 and later that day arrives at Guam.

22 March 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Guam escorted by W-20.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

24 March 1944:
At 0700, TAMAHOKO 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, TAJIMA, TAKAOKA 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.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, TAMAHOKO MARU departs Tokyo in convoy Higashi Matsu No. 6 also consisting of AWA, AWAJI, BATAVIA, HAKUBA, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, and HOKUSHIN MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, JOKUJA, BISAN and JINSAN MARUs bound for Palau, KAMISHIMA and SHOZAN MARUs bound for Woleai, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TATSUSHO (TATSUAKI) and TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima escorted by destroyers HOKAZE, YUNAGI, UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers KYOSAI, SARUSHIMA and YURIJIMA, minesweepers W-20, W-28 and subchasers CH-10 and CH-12.

18 April 1944:
TAMAHOKO and TATSUSHO MARUs are detached for Chichi-Jima escorted by KYOSAI and YURIJIMA. Arrives later that day.

13 May 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-19 also consisting of ATSUTA, CHINZEI, GENKAI, IKUTA, KANKYO, KENZUI, KOAN, KONSAN, JUZAN, MIIKESAN, MEDAN, NISSHU, RIKKO, SHIRAMINE and YUKI MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-2 and CD-17.

Convoy MOTA-19 carries the Army’s 26th, 98th and 114th Airfield Battalions of about 350 men each. The 98th and 114th Battalions' two battalions were activated in Manchuria in Apr '44.

For additional airfield support, three new Manchuria-activated 209-man airfield companies, the 51st, 52nd and 53rd and the 49th and 50th airfield companies activated in Japan are sent to the Philippines. The new 18th Shipping Engineer Regiment is sent to Halmahera with the 547-man, two-company 9th Air Intelligence Unit with eight Type B fixed early warning radars.

Half of the 12th Air Signal Regiment—the regiment’s first echelon—is in this convoy as is the 96th Independent Wire Company. The Japanese are laying the foundation for an aviation command, control, and early warning net.

19 May 1944:
KENZUI MARU is detached to Kirun.

20 May 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

22 May 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-19 also consisting of cargo ships ATSUTA, CHINZEI, DAIRIN, GENKAI, IKUTA, KANKYO, KOAN, MEDAN, MIIKESAN, NISSHU, SHIRAMINE, TATSUYASU and YUKI MARUs, tankers KONSAN, MATSUMOTO and RIKKO MARUs and five unidentified merchants escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-2 and CD-17.

26 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

3 June 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in bauxite convoy HO-02 also consisting of CELEBES, HIOKI, HONAN, KOKUSEI, MIYO, NASUSAN, NICHIWA, TAINAN, TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE), SHONAN, and SEISHIN MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1 and five unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-8, CD-15, CD-20 and minelayer AOTAKA.

TAMAHOKO MARU is carrying 772 Allied POWs from camps at Batavia, Java, including 42 American POWs. CELEBES and SEISHIN MARUs carry aviation gasoline. HIOKI MARU carries bauxite and about 450 POWs. KOKUSEI MARU carries bauxite and 456 POWs, and MIYO MARU carries 267 Australian POWs, 190 British POWs, 266 Dutch POWs, 18 American POWs and 25 other POWs. SHONAN MARU carries bauxite, [1]

6 June 1944:
160 miles ESE of Cape St. Jacques, Indochina. LtCdr James W. Davis' USS RATON (SS-270) attacks the convoy. At 2225, Davis torpedoes and sinks CD-15 at 08-57N, 109-17E. 104 crewmen are KIA. CD-8 and CD-20 rescue 34 survivors. CD-1, CD-8 and CD-20 counterattack, dropping a total of 57 depth-charges. RATON is damaged, but remains on patrol.

11 June 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Manila. TAMAHOKO MARU loads 7,500 tons of copper.

14 June 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Manila in convoy HO-02 also consisting of HIOKI KENNICHI, MIYO, NASUSAN, NICHIWA SHONAN, TAINAN, TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1 and ten unidentified ships escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and kaibokan CD-1 and CD-20.

15 June 1944:
The convoy encounters a typhoon that badly batters MIYO MARU.

18 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao. MIYO MARU's Allied POWs from camps at Batavia, Java, including 42 American POWs, are transferred to TAMAHOKO MARU.

19 June 1944:
Loads a cargo of rice and sugar.

20 June 1944:
TAMAHOKO MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy HO-02, now consisting of KENNICHI, NASUSAN, TAINAN and TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) MARUs and seven other unidentified ships escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and kaibokan CD-1 and CD-20 and an unidentified whaling ship. In addition to the POWs, TAMAHOKO MARU is carrying about 500 IJA troops.

24 June 1944:
Koshiki Straits, 40 miles SW of Nagasaki, Kyushu. At 2350, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret/MOH) Richard H. O’Kane’s TANG (SS-306) attacks the convoy. At 2354, O’Kane torpedoes NASUSAN MARU. Hit in the engine room, she sinks at 32-24N, 129-38E. 11 crewmen are KIA.

At about the same time, TANG also torpedoes and sinks TAMAHOKO MARU at 32-24N, 129-38E. The whaling ship picks up some survivors, but 35 crewmen and 560 POWs are lost including 15 American soldiers and sailors. CD-1 attempts to counterattack, but is not fast enough to pursue TANG.[3]

Author's Notes:
[1] TAMAHOKO MARU was considered a "Hell Ship" by Allied POWs.

[2] On 15 July 1943, at 0730, LA PEROUSE departed Singapore for Saigon. It seems probable she escorted the convoy.

[3] TANG also torpedoes and sinks KENNICHI MARU at 32-24N, 129-38E. 36 crewmen are KIA. At 2355, TANG hits TAINAN MARU in the stern with two torpedoes. She is carrying 454 passengers, probably troops of an unknown unit (s). She sinks at 32-24N, 129-38E. 39 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are KIA.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and to John Whitman of Virginia for troop movement data.

-Bob Hackett

Back to IJA Transports