(Prewar Dutch tanker TALANG AKAR later TANGO
IJN TANGO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2011-2013 Bob Hackett
27 March 1926:
Haverton Hill-on-Tees, England. Laid down as Yard Number 107
at Furness Ship Building Co. Ltd. as a 2,046 ton tanker for N.V. Nederlandsche
Koloniale Petroleum Maatschappij of The Hague.
24 August 1926:
Launched and named TALANG AKAR.
Completed and registered in Batavia, Java.
Owner restyled as N.V. Nederlandsche Koloniale Tankvaart
Java. The Dutch assign TALANG AKAR call letters PHWI.
2 March 1942:
Scuttled off Surabaya, Java.
Surabaya. Refloated and salved.
Requisitioned by the IJN. Repaired and reconditioned.
Ownership is transferred to Teikoku Senpaku Kaisha, Ltd. (Imperial Steamship
Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government. Renamed TANGO MARU.
Operated for the IJN by Mitsubishi Kisen, K. K. of Tokyo. Captain Nagayama
Masaru (former captain of AITEN MARU) is captain of TANGO MARU.
30 September 1943:
Captain Katsumi Shigetaro relieves Captain Nagayama.
3 November 1943:
At 1800 (JST), TANGO MARU arrives at Balikpapan from
Surabaya. Takes on a full load of heavy oil.
7 November 1943:8 November 1943:
At 1800 (JST), departs Balikpapan for Davao, Mindanao,
Philippines carrying 14 IJN passengers.
Makassar Straits, off Bali, Java. At 1655, LtCdr
Edward S. Hutchinson, CO of USS RASHER (SS-269), is manning the periscope when
he spots heavy black smoke at about 20,000 yards. As the range closes,
Hutchinson identifies the target as an old-style tanker with a high stack aft
riding high indicating she is in ballast. He fires a spread of three stern
TANGO MARU evades the first torpedo. The second torpedo hits portside
amidships, but is a dud. The third torpedo hits the drinkwater tank at stern and
explodes. The bulkhead between the drinkwater tank and the engine room collapses
and the, engine room floods. Two minutes later, flooding reaches the propeller
shaft. TANGO MARU settles by the stern. By 1705, only the upper part of deck is
above water. Shortly afterwards. TANGO MARU sinks 45 km SE of Cape Labuanbini,
Borneo at 00-25N, 119-45E. Captain Katsumi survives, but two IJN passengers and
six Javaese (Indonesian) crew are MIA.
Over the next hour, the sole escort, auxiliary subchaser CHa-41 drops 14
depth charges, but RASHER escapes by diving deep and slips away.
Removed from the Navy List.
 Later, Captain Katsumi is again appointed captain of
AITEN MARU at Singapore. On 15 Jul '45, he was relieved by Captain Tsunekichi
Sato at Seletar Navy Yard.
 By an unusual coincidence, a second TANGO MARU, also a captured Dutch
ship (former TOENJOEK) is sunk by RASHER, now under LtCdr Willard R. Laughon, on
25 February 1944. Thus, the same submarine sank the only two vessels of the same
name, both of which had been captured from the Dutch.
Photo credit goes to Gilbert Casse of France and
Thanks also go Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
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