(TATSUMIYA MARU in prewar service)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Revision 5

25 January 1938:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. shipyard as a 6,344-ton cargo ship for Tatsuuma Kisen K.K., Nishinomiya.

14 September 1938:
Launched and named TATSUMIYA MARU.

21 November 1938:
Completed and registered in Nishinomiya.

In service between mainland ports and Keelung and Takao, Formosa. Carries bananas, rice, sugar, fruit and vegetables.

3 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

5 September 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary minelayer under internal order No. 1025 and attached to the Maizuru Naval District. Her homeport is Maizuru Naval Base. Attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet’s in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kobayashi Tetsuri’s (38) Mine Division 17 based at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan) with fleet minelayers ITSUKUSHIMA and YAEYAMA. Begins conversion to a minelayer at Nippon Fujinagata shipyard, Osaka. Captain Takeo Hirano (34) is appointed Commanding Officer.

15 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

19 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

22 November 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

23 November 1941:
Departs Samah. Lays 750 mines. [1]

27 November 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

30 November 1941:
Departs Mako.

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Samah and later departs on a mission to lay mines between the Anambas and Tioman islands.

6 December 1941:
N of Pulo Tioman, off the coast Johore. TATSUMIYA MARU is sighted by a Dutch flying boat that causes her to turn back prematurely. Before reversing course, however, she lays 456 mines about 18 mile north of the assigned position between Pulo Tioman and the Anambas. [2]

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Vichy French Indochina.

10 December 1941:
In the Third Fleet’s Mine Division 17.

21 December 1941:
At about 0230, Dutch Ltz. I (LtCdr) Anton J. Bussemaker's submarine O-16 strikes a mine while exiting the Gulf of Siam during her homebound voyage to Singapore. 41 men are lost. Only one crewmember, boatswain Cornelis de Wolf, survives. [1]

21 December 1941:
Dutch Ltz. I Henri C. Besançon's submarine K-XVII strikes a mine while exiting the Gulf of Siam. K-XVII and all 36 hands are lost. [1]

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

3 January 1942:
Assigned to transport Third Fleet’s 22nd Naval Air Group’s base personnel and materials.

8 January 1942:
Arrives at the Singora, Malaya anchorage.

30 January 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

2 February 1942:
Departs St Jacques.

2 February 1942:
Arrives at Pamangkat, NW Borneo, then departs and arrives at Pontianak, W Borneo.

4 February 1942:
Arrives at Pamangkat.

12 February 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Anambas Is.

15 February 1942:
At 1700 departs Anambas Is for Muntok.

8 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Invasion of Northern Sumatra:
At 1600 (JST), the northern Sumatra invasion convoy departs Singapore consisting of Navy transports TATSUMIYA and HEITO MARUs transporting the Kobayashi Detachment of the Imperial Guards Division and Army transports ANYO, ALASKA, RAKUYO and KINUGAWA MARUs transporting other elements of the same division. KORYU and KISOGAWA MARUs also steam in this convoy, but are later detached and head separately to Penang.

The convoy is escorted by DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI (F), DesDiv 19 ISONAMI, URANAMI and AYANAMI, DesDiv 20 AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI and YUGIRI, MineDiv 1 W1, W3, W4 and W5, SC-Div 11 CH-8 and CH-9, Escort No. 1 Force light cruisers KASHII and YURA, kaibokan SHIMUSHU and MineDiv 41's REISUI and TAKAO MARUs.

Distant cover is provided by Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37) heavy cruiser CHOKAI (flagship), CruDiv 7’s MOGAMI, MIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA, DesDiv 11 FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI and DesDiv 12 MURAKUMO and SHIRAKUMO. Light aircraft carrier RYUJO, seaplane tender SAGARA MARU and aircraft from the 40th Naval air Group, Seletar airfield and from the Bihoro Naval Air Group, Penang airfield provide air cover.

10 March 1942:
Attached to Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet’s 21st Special Base Force.

11 March 1942:
At 2030 (JST), the six transports of the Northern Sumatra invasion convoy are divided into the Sabang/Idi Group: TATSUMIYA, KINUGAWA and HEITO MARUs and the Koetaradja Group: ANYO, ATLAS and RAKUYO MARUs.

12 March 1942:
At 0005jst the two groups enter their assigned landing places. Unopposed landings begin at 0100jst.

13 March 1942:
At 1500 TATSUMIYA and HEITO MARUs depart Sabang for Singapore.

1 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Sabang.

4 April 1942:
Departs Sabang.

5 April 1942:
Arrives at the South Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean and departs the same day for Penang, Malaya.

7 April 1942:
Arrives at Penang.

10 April 1942:
The Combined Fleet is reorganized. TATSUMIYA MARU remains attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Southwest Area Fleet in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro’s (35) Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet’s 21st Special Base Force. Departs Penang for Singapore.

11 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

18 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

20 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

24 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, Celebes and departs the same day.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Singaradja.

10 May 1942:
At 1200 departs Singaradja. At 1500 departs from Ampanan.

11 May 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Surabaya.

8-16 May 1942: Operation "S" – The Seizure of the Lesser Sunda's:
TATSUMIYA MARU is involved in support of a combined Army/Navy Operation to "sanitize" the local area that includes Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores and Bali Islands. No resistance by the Dutch is encountered.

3 August 1942:
Reassigned to the Navy Ministry of Supplies.

25 August 1942:
Released from her auxiliary minelayer role under internal order No. 1581. The same day, registered under internal order No. 1582 as an auxiliary transport and attached to the Maizuru Naval District. Her home naval base is Maizuru. Assigned by the Naval Ministry under secret Maritime Act No. 574-32 to the Maizuru Naval District as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category. [3]

5 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

9 October 1942:
Departs Osaka.

11 October 1942:
Arrives at the Maizuru Navy Yard. Begins conversion to a military transport.

6 December 1942:
The conversion is completed.

8 December 1942:
Loads machinery parts and other sundries totaling 30-tons.

December 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

18 December 1942:
Departs Kure.

25 December 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

30 December 1942:
Departs Palau for Hollandia (now Jayapura), Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), New Guinea.

2 January 1943:
Arrives at Hollandia.

1 February 1943:
Departs Hollandia and arrives at Wakde Island, N New Guinea.

15 February 1943:
Departs Wakde Island.

16 February 1943:
Arrives at Manokwari, New Guinea.

17 February 1943:
Departs Manokwari.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

4 March 1943:
Departs Palau.

11 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

15 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

17 March 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

20 March 1943:
Departs Muroran.

Three nms off Shiranuka lighthouse. At 1725 (K) Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert’s (USNA ‘30) USS SCAMP (SS-277) fires three stern Mark 14-3A torpedoes at TATSUMIYA MARU. The first prematures after a 15 seconds run, the other two torpedoes hit, but do not detonate.

22 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

26 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

27 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

30 March 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

31 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

8 April 1943:
At 0750, TATSUMIYA MARUs departs Yokohama in convoy No. 3408 consisting of KAGU and HIDE MARU escorted by minelayer UKISHIMA as far as Saipan.

16 April 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Saipan. UKISHIMA is detached.

18 April 1943:
At 1020, arrives at Truk now escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

21 May 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4521 also consisting of ONOE, NICHIRO, MOGAMIGAWA, NICHIZUI and YAMAGIRI MARUs escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

25 May 1943:
Nearing Saipan, auxiliary netlayer SHUKO MARU joins the escort. MOGAMIGAWA MARU is detached from the convoy and arrives at Saipan with an unidentified ship.

30 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

2 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

4 June 1943:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

7 June 1943:
Departs Muroran.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

20 June 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

25 June 1943:
At 0800, TATSUMIYA MARU departs Saeki in convoy O-503 consisting of NICHIZUI and HAVRE MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and subchaser CH-31.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

11 July 1943:
Departs Palau.

14 July 1943:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

24 July 1943:
Departs Ambon.

26 July 1943:
Arrives at Tua (Tual oe Toeal), Kai Islands.

2 August 1943:
Departs Tua.

4 August 1943:
At 1340, arrives at Ambon.

8 August 1943:
Departs Ambon.

11 August 1943:
Off Salayar, Celebes (now Sulawesi). At 1100 LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) John A. Tyree’s (USNA ‘33) USS FINBACK (SS-230) torpedoes and hits TATSUMIYA MARU in the engine room at 05-30S, 120-48E. USS FINBACK endures an unsuccessful counterattack by TOSEKI MARU. TATSUMIYA MARU loses power and goes dead in the water. Eight crewmen are KIA.

12 August 1943:
YUSHO MARU arrives at the site of the attack and takes TATSUMIYA MARU in tow.

15 August 1943:
TATSUMIYA MARU arrives at Makassar under tow by YUSHO MARU.

19 August 1943:
TATSUMIYA MARU departs Makassar under tow by YUSHO MARU.

23 August 1943:
TATSUMIYA MARU arrives at Surabaya Navy Yard under tow by YUSHO MARU. Begins repairs by the IJN’s 102nd Repair Unit.

28 October 1944:
Repairs are completed. Departs Surabaya. [4]

2 November 1944:
Arrives at Batavia (Djakarta), Java.

3 November 1944:
Departs Batavia.

7 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

9 November 1944:
Departs Singapore.

11 November 1944:
Arrives at Palembang.

15 November 1944:
Departs Palembang.

18 November 1944:
Arrives at Bintan.

19 November 1944:
Departs Bintan and arrives at Singapore.

27 November 1944:
At 0205, TATSUMIYA MARU departs Singapore in convoy SHISA-30 consisting of EININ, TOHO, FUJISAN, HIKACHI (NISSHO), ENRYAKU, YAMAKUNI and DAISHU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-34, kaibokan CD-27, subchasers CH-34 and CH-35 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

30 November 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

5 December 1944:
Departs St Jacques.

22 December 1944:
Arrives at Keelung, Formosa.

24 December 1944:
Departs Keelung in convoy TAKA-406 consisting of TATSUMIYA MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU, subchaser CH-49, kaibokan CD-30 and CD-42, auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2 and auxiliary minesweepers CHITOSE MARU, HIMESHIMA MARU and CHOUN MARU No. 8.

3 January 1945:
Arrives at Osaka.

10 February 1945:
Departs Kobe.

11 February 1945:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 February 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

18 February 1945:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

20 February 1945:
Departs Wakamatsu.

5 March 1945:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.

8 March 1945:
TATSUMIYA MARU departs Yulin for Hong Kong as the sole vessel in convoy YUMO-01 escorted by kaibokan MIKURA, CD-33, CD-36, CD-69 and subchaser CH-21. At sea, later that day, the convoy is attacked by USAAF 14th Air Force B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers. CD-69 is hit by bombs and disabled at 19-02, 111-50E. She is taken in tow and drops behind the convoy.

14 March 1945:
TATSUMIYA MARU departs Hong Kong for Moji.

15 March 1945:
USAAF B-24 “ Liberators” bomb convoy YUMO-01. The attack on TATSUMIYA MARU is unsuccessful, but they damage CD-36 at 23-03N, 116-52E. CH-21 is also damaged and run aground at Namoa Island.

25 March 1945:
Arrives at Mutsure.

20 April 1945:
Arrives at Yawata and departs.

21 April 1945:
Arrives at Kure.

1 May 1945:
Departs Kure.

3 May 1945:
Arrives at Moji and later at Hakata.

9 May 1945:
Kaibokan UKU had been scheduled to escort TATSUMIYA MARU from Mutsure to Niinoshima, but struck a mine the day before.

11 May 1945:
Departs Hakata.

16 May 1945:
Arrives at Seito (Tsingtao), China.

24 May 1945:
Departs Seito.

31 May 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

22 June 1945:
One kilometer off Ganryu Jima Light. Mines laid by 20th Air Force B-29s damage TATSUMIYA MARU.

25 June 1945:
Departs Moji.

26 June 1945:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan), Korea.

30 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy List and re-requisitioned by the IJN. Commissioned as cargo ship crew accomodation barracks.

2 July 1945:
Arrives and departs Fusan later that day.

29 July 1945:
At Maizuru. Loads 800 soldiers and crated aircraft for transport.

30 July 1945:
Maizuru Bay. Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 carrier aircraft damage TATSUMIYA MARU, TAKANE and kaibokan CD-2, sub tender CHOGEI, submarine I-153 and merchants SHOTAI and FUKUAN MARUs. They sink minelayer TOSHIMA and cargo ship TARUYASU MARU.

15 August 1945:
Japan accepts the Potsdam agreement and hostilities cease.

19 April 1946:
Refloated. Assigned SCAJAP No. T-160.

30 August 1947:
Tatsuuma Kisen K.K is re-established as Shinnihon Kisen K.K. (New Japan Steamship Co. Ltd.).

16 December 1947:
Kure. Completes repairs at Harima shipyard.

1 October 1956:
Completes interior and exterior overhaul and refurbishment.

Sold to a subsidiary, Naigai Kisen K.K., but Shinnihon Line remains manager. In service with the Shinnihon Line. Ports of call are Kobe or Moji, Hong Kong, Singapore and Penang, Malaya, Madras, Colombo, Bombay and Karachi, India and Persian Gulf ports.

10 May 1959:
Innoshima. Undergoes conversion of main engine at Hitachi shipbuilding. New Hitachi diesel engine develops 3,450 bhp and 12.5/13.5 knots.

1 April 1964:
Yamashita-Shinnihon (Yamashita-Shin-Nihon) Kisen K.K is formed by the merger of Yamashita Kisen K.K. and Shinnihon Kisen K. K. TATSUMIYA MARU is transferred to the new company.

12 May 1965:
Sold to the Chung Ou Marine Corp., Taiwan and renamed CHUNG PING.

Scrapped in Kaohsuing, Taiwan.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] The exact location where the mines were laid is unclear, but probably somewhere in the shipping lanes along the southern coast of China.

[2] In 1982, the remains of Dutch submarine K-XVII were found to lay exactly within the relocated minefield. In 1995, the remains of Dutch submarine O-16 were found to lay within the same area as the former minefield was laid by TATSUMIYA MARU.

[3] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

[4] The 14 months it took to repair TATSUMIYA MARU is testament to the IJN’s overwhelming ship repair workload and its shortage of skilled men and materials, primarily critical parts that had to be ordered, manufactured and sent from Japan to Surabaya.

Special thanks go Gilbert Casse of France and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for help in translating locations in Katakana and to Gilbert for a review of this TROM. Thanks also go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan and Jean-François Masson of Canada.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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