(Sister SHANGHAI MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

27 June 1919:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd. as Yard No. 419, a 4,105-ton stock boat for Kawasaki Kisen, K. K.

8 October 1919:
Launched and named TASMANIA MARU.

30 October 1919:

1 February 1920:
Sold to Kokusai Kisen, K. K. (International Steamship Co.), Kobe

July 1937: Second Sino-Japanese War:
Chartered by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop transport.

2 August 1937:
TASMANIA MARU arrives to load at Pusan, Korea as part of the second echelon of China Emergency troop transports also consisting of HANKOW, HIDE, HOKUSHO, MIKASA, SINGAPORE and TOKYO MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1.

30 October 1937:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Goto Islands. Carrries elements of the IJA 114th Division’s 150th Infantry Regiment including the 1st Battalion HQ, 1st Company and 1st Company of the 18th Cavalry Battalion.

3 November 1937:
TASMANIA MARU departs Goto Islands in a convoy also consisting of transports ALASKA, DAIMON, ETO, FUKUSHO, HAKUSHIKA, KANKO, MALACCA, NAVEL, OIRDONO, SHINAI, and SHUKI MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer MOCHIZUKI.

5 November 1937:
Arrives at Hangzhou Bay, China. Stands by for five days because of faulty landing craft.

10 November 1937:
Lands troops.

E 1938:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

Sold to Okada Gumi, K. K., Osaka.

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

26 September 1941:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

16 April 1942:
Okada Gumi transfers registry to Tokyo.

26 May 1942:
At 0930, TASMANIA MARU departs from Minato, Tokyo Bay in an unnumbered northbound convoy consisting of SUMIDA, SHINNAN, TAIZAN and TSUNESHIMA MARUs escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI. Later that day, KOMAHASHI is detached and returns to Yokosuka.

14 December 1942:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA ship No. 98

31 December 1942:
TASMANIA MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy “R” also consisting of FUKUYO, NICHIUN and TETSUZAN MARUs and Naval fleet oiler KAMOI, and tanker TOHO MARU escorted by minelayers NATSUSHIMA and NASAMI.

E 1 January 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

12 March 1943:
At 1420, TASMANIA MARU departs Rabaul in a convoy consisting of ASAKA, NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN), MOMOHA, FLORIDA, TOHO and TONEI MARUs and salvage tug NAGAURA MARU escorted by destroyer MOCHIZUKI.

15 March 1943:
At 1115, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy S. Benson's USS TRIGGER (SS-237) torpedoes and sinks MOMOHA MARU at 00-02S, 145-05E. At 1355, as the escorts are transferring survivors to FLORIDA MARU, the ship is also torpedoed and damaged by TRIGGER. Subchaser CH-23, that came to assist, rescues survivors.

18 March 1943:
TONEI Maru and destroyer MOCHIZUKI return to abandoned FLORIDA MARU, which remains afloat, and tow her to Mowe anchorage, New Hannover.

19 March 1943:
The rest of the convoy arrives at Palau.

6 November 1943:
RYUKO MARU departs Saeki towing medium-sized non-propelled submergible transport No. 6 in convoy O-607 also consisting of IJA transports HOKKO, KANKYO, KANTO, HOZAN, SORACHI and TASMANIA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8. Soon after departure the convoy is reinforced by auxiliary minesweepers YACHIYO MARU, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and AOI MARU who remain until latitude 27N.

7 November 1943:
An aircraft reports five submarines ahead. At 1253, the convoy reverses course. At 1605, the convoy resumes course again.

17 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

19 November 1943:
RYUKO MARU departs Palau still towing medium-sized non-propelled submergible transport No. 6 in convoy SO-904 also consisting of IJA transports TASMANIA and KENZAN MARUs and civilian salvage vessel HOZU MARU escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38. During the voyage south the convoy is plagued by submarine attacks.

25 November 1943:
At 1025, KENZAN MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Oscar Hagberg's (USNA ’31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) at 00-51N, 146-00E. Seven crewmen are KIA.

28 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

25 January 1944:
At 1800, TASMANIA MARU departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-510 also consisting of HASSHU, HINODE, KIBI, KIZUGAWA, MACASSAR, MITO, SANKO and YAKUMO MARUS and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7, the latter as far as 28N. KIZUGAWA MARU is towing midget submarine HA-52.

6 February 1944:
Convoy O-510 arrives safely at Palau.

6 March 1944:
At 0800, TASMANIA MARU departs Palau for Takao, Formosa with escorting convoy PATA-04 also consisting of ASAHISAN, BRAZIL, CHINZEI, CLYDE HIYAMA, KENNICHI, KENZAN and YOZAN MARUs escorted by destroyers SHIGURE and SHIRANUHI, subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and patrol boat PB-31. Torpedo boat SAGI joins the escort at an unknown point.

13 March 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Takao.

24 March 1944:
TASMANIA MARU departs Takao for Singapore in convoy TASA-13 also consisting of CHINA, DURBAN, FUKUJU, HIDA, KYOKUZAN, NICHIAN, SETSUZAN, SHOEI, SHONAN and TEIRITSU (ex-Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE) MARUs and five other unidentified merchants escorted by kaibokan AWAJI and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

29 March 1944:
HIDA MARU and KYOKUZAN MARU are detached. During the day subchaser CH-19 from Qui Nhon joins the convoy as an additional escort. Later that day, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz, Jr’s (USNA ’36) USS HADDO (SS-255) torpedoes and lightly damages NICHIAN MARU at 17-42N 109-57E. The convoy seeks shelter in Baie de Kiquik.

30 March 1944:
Departs Baie de Kiquik.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

April 1944:
TASMANIA MARU departs St Jacques in convoy SAMA-04 also consisting of transport RAKUYO MARUs and tanker SEISHIN MARU escorted by subchaser CH-21.

16 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

24 June 1944:
At 0630, TASMANIA MARU departs Manila in convoy MATA-23 also consisting of cargo ships KAMO, KAZAN, NICHIZUI, TOUN and USSURI MARUs, tankers MEDAN, RIKKO and SAN PEDRO MARUs and six unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-8 and CD-17.

25 June 1944:
S China Sea, off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 0430, LtCdr Arthur E. Krapf's (USNA '34) USS JACK (SS-259) torpedoes and sinks SAN PEDRO MARU at 16-09N, 119-41E. 35 crewmen are KIA. NICHIZUI MARU rescues survivors.

27 June 1944:
Bashi Channel. At 0517, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA '35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes MEDAN MARU. As her volatile cargo ignites, she erupts into a a red ball of flame At about 0600, MEDAN MARU sinks at 21-10N, 120-31E. There are no survivors.

Later that day, Cutter's SEAHORSE torpedoes and damages USSURI MARU that is attacked twice by a USAAF 14th Air Force B-24 heavy bombers and finally sunk at 0315 the next day. Two crewmen are KIA.

30 June 1944:
At 0600, TASMANIA MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAMO-20B also consisting of KAMO, KONZAN, MANSHU, SHIROTAE, TOUN and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-17 and minesweeper NUWAJIMA.

3 July 1944:
East China Sea. At 2300, LtCdr Donald F. Weiss' USS TINOSA (SS-283) attacks the convoy and torpedoes and sinks transport KAMO MARU. 415 troops, 3 other passengers, 74 crewmen and 7 gunners are KIA.

TINOSA also torpedoes and sinks KONZAN MARU west of Kyushu at 32-25N, 128-50E. 23 crewmen are KIA.

4 July 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Moji.

9 September 1944:
At 1200, TASMANIA MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-19 also consisting of cargo ships DAIBIN (OTOSHI), ENOURA, MATSUURA, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA, ARISAN, TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE) , SHINSEI, DAIA, NIKKO and SHUNSHO MARU escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, kaikoban ETOROFU, SHONAN, CD-6 and CD-16 and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and tankers CHIHAYA, DAIMEI, IWAKUNI, KENZUI, MITSU and SAN DIEGO MARUs. In the evening, land-based IJA aircraft provide ASW cover.

10 September 1944:
E of Quelpart Island. At 1212, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA '33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes and sinks CHIHAYA MARU at 33-49N, 127-41E. 79 soldiers and nine crewmen are KIA. The convoy retires to Chinto (Chin Hajo Island) where it regroups. The escorts launch an unsuccessful attempt to find the submarine.

12 September 1944:
Convoy MI-19 departs Chinto.

13 September 1944:
At about 1600, an unknown submarine attacks convoy MI-19. The escorts drop DCs. No damage is recorded.

17 September 1944:
MI-19 splits. ENOURA, KENZUI, MATSUURA, NIKKO and SHUNSHO MARUs head for Keelung escorted by kaikoban SHONAN.

18 September 1944:
At about 1000, arrives outside Takao. DAIBIN and SAN DIEGO MARUs are detached.

30 September 1944:
At about 1200, TASMANIA MARU departs Takao in reorganized convoy MI-19 consisting of ARISAN, DAIA, DAIBIN, DAIMEI, HAKUSHIKA, KENEI, IWAKUNI, MITSU, TEIFU(ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE), SHINSEI and YULIN MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-18, CD-26 and subchaser CH-19.

2 October 1944:
Arrives at Aparri, N Luzon and at 2300 departs.

3 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Lapoc, N Luzon.

4 October 1944:
At 0600, departs Lapoc and at 1700 arrives at N San Fernando.

5 October 1944:
At 0600, departs North San Fernando.

6 October 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Manila.

18 November 1944:
At 0645, TASMANIA MARU departs Singapore for Manila in convoy SHIMA-05 also consisting of KENEI and MANILA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and tanker AYANAMI MARU escorted by kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-31, CD-32 and subchaser CH-56.

24 November 1944:
The convoy arrives at Miri, Borneo and departs at 1710. KENEI MARU is detached and remains behind at Miri.

25 November 1944:
At 0535, LtCdr John R. Madison's (USNA ’37) USS MINGO (SS-261) torpedoes MANILA MARU and gets three hits. Loaded with ammunition and gasoline, she explodes and sinks in four minutes at 05-42N, 113-15E. Captain Uike Matsuichi, four passengers, 51 gunners and 96 crewmen are KIA. Also lost are cargo of gasoline and 10 Daihatsu barges. The escorts do not counter-attack.

9 December 1944: Operation "TA No. 9" – The Reinforcement of Leyte, Philippines:
TASMANIA MARU departs Manila for Ormoc in convoy TA No. 9 also consisting of MINO and SORACHI MARUs escorted by DesDiv 30’s KIRI., UZUKI and YUZUKI and SubChasDiv 21’s CH-17 and CH-37. The convoy carries about 4,000 soldiers of the Takahashi Detachment (5th Infantry Regiment) plus food and ammunition. The convoy is accompanied by landing ships T. 140 and T. 159 with 400 amphibious tank-equipped marines of the Ito Naval Landing Force.

TASMANIA MARU is carrying of the 8th Division, of the 68th Brigade and of the 5th Infantry Regiment, totaling 2,204 soldiers plus supplies and ammunition.

11 December 1944:
30 miles off Leyte. The convoy is attacked twice by about 40 USMC F4U "Corsair" fighter-bombers of VMFs 211, 218 and 313. In the second low level attack, TASMANIA and MINO MARUs are hit and and left dead in the water. Later, they sink at 11-20N, 124-10E.

1,053 IJA soldiers, 96 shipboard gunners and 48 crewmen aboard TASMANIA MARU are KIA. MINO MARU carried troops, ammunition, foodstuffs and stores. One soldier and 43 crewmen are KIA.

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

-Bob Hackett

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