(TATSUNO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2016 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

17 September 1915:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Kisen as a 7,296-ton cargo passenger ship for Nippon Yusen K. K. (Kabushiki Kaisha) (NYK Line) of Tokyo.

21 March 1916:
Launched and named TATSUNO MARU.

20 May 1916:

11 November 1918:
An Armistice is declared and World War 1 ends.

1 February 1919:
TATSUNO MARU arrives at Hamburg on NYK’s initial post-World War 1 service to Germany.

E 15 December 1922:
TATSUNO MARU departs Singapore in NYK service for Liverpool, England.

26 June 1923:
TATSUNO MARU departs Singapore for Liverpool.


10 December 1940:
TATSUNO MARU departs Vancouver, BC, Canada for Kobe.

21 January 1942:
TATSUNO MARU departs Mutsure with transports FUSHIMI, SOMEDOMO, TAKETOYO, TOFUKU, BRAZIL, COLUMBIA, MAEBASHI, GENOA, HOEISAN, ATSUTA, DAINICHI, TOKIWA, SYDNEY, MOTOYAMA, PACIFIC, KIZZAN, REIYO and TSUYAMA MARUs escorted by CruDiv 9's light cruiser OI and DesDiv 32's FUYO, ASAGAO and KARUKAYA. The transports are carrying the 2nd Infantry Division.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores. Later, the convoy departs for Camranh Bay to mobilize for the Invasion of Java

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
TATSUNO MARU is attached to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoki, Kumeichi’s (39) 9th Base Force in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s Western Java Seizure Force. At 1000, TATSUNO MARU departs Camranh Bay in a convoy also comprised of 55 troop transports.

17 February 1942:
Arrives at Anambas Islands, Netherlands East Indies.

21 February 1942:
Departs Anambas.

28 February 1942: The Battle of the Sunda Strait:
Bantam Bay. 27 transports land the main body of the IJA's 2nd Infantry Division. At about 2215, American Captain Albert H. Rooks USS HOUSTON (CA-30) and Australian Captain Hector M. L. Waller’s light cruiser HMAS PERTH, sortie for Tjilatjap via the Sunda Strait, but by chance encounter Ozawa’s Western Java Seizure Force transports screened only by DesDiv 5's HARUKAZE, HATAKAZE, DesDiv 11's FUBUKI and MineSweepDiv 1's minesweepers W-1, W-2, W-3 and W-4.

The two Allied cruisers attack. The Japanese destroyers make smoke to mask the transports. FUBUKI charges and launches a salvo of nine torpedoes at HOUSTON and PERTH.

At 2300, the Western Support Force's MIKUMA and MOGAMI, destroyer SHIKINAMI, Third Escort Force's light cruiser NATORI and destroyers SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI and ASAKAZE arrive and engage HOUSTON and PERTH with gunfire and torpedoes.

1 March 1942:
The Japanese fire about 90 torpedoes in the engagement. At 0108, torpedoes strike both HOUSTON and PERTH.

At 0135, torpedoes fired by MOGAMI sink W-2 and sink or disable transport SAKURA MARU, hospital ship HORAI MARU and landing craft depot ship SHINSHU (RYUJO) MARU carrying LtGen Imamura Hitoshi, Commander-in-Chief of the IJA 16th Army. Imamura jumps into the sea, but survives.

TATSUNO MARU runs aground while avoiding a torpedo. The other transports carrying MajGen Nasu Yumio’s detachment of LtGen Maruyama Masao’s 2nd Infantry Division commence landing their troops at Merak, Java.

At 0142, PERTH sinks at 05-51-42S, 106-07-52E. At 0206, HOUSTON sinks at 05-48-45S, 106-07-55E. TATSUNO MARU and SHINSHU (RYUJO) MARU are later raised.

8 March 1942: The Surrender of Java:
At 0900, the C-in-C of the Allied forces. Dutch LtGen Ter Poorten announces the surrender of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army in Java. That afternoon, Governor Jonkheer Dr. A.W.L. Tjarda Van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and Ter Poorten, meet the C-in-C of the Japanese forces, LtGen Hitoshi Imamura at Kalidjati and agree to capitulate.

4 January 1943:
Innoshima. Begins conversion to an emergency tanker (Ohkyu Yusosen) at Hitachi Zosen Sakurajima.

19 February 1943:
Completes conversion. That same day, TATSUNO MARU is requisitioned by the IJN.

1 March 1943:
TATSUNO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 132 also consisting of three unidentified merchant ships escorted by patrol boat PB-39.

6 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

1 June 1943:
TATSUNO MARU departs Manila escorting convoy No. 851 consisting of KOZUI MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

4 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

8 June 1943:
TATSUNO MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 270 also consisting of KEMBU MARU and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, TATSUNO MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 175 also consisting of tankers NITTATSU, KOZUI and MARUs and transports TEIRITSU MARU (ex- Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE), DAINICHI, RAKUYO, FUSEI, WAKATSU, MACASSAR and KASHU MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 July 1943:
Departs Takao for Mako.

E 24 July 1943:
Arrives at Saigon. DAINICHI MARU is detached. Later RAKUYO, FUSEI, and WAKATSU MARUs depart for Singapore.

1 August 1943:
TATSUNO MARU departs Manila in convoy No. 916 also consisting of NANREI, NACHISAN, SHOYU, SEIZAN and TACHIBANA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

3 August 1943:
Palawan Passage, Philippines. At 1714, LtCdr (later Cdr) Russell Kefauver's (USNA ’33) USS TAMBOR (SS-198) attacks the convoy at 09-54N, 117.37E. Kefauver fires four torpedoes, but fails to damage a ship. The convoy drops 11 DCs, but TAMBOR evades undamaged.

7 August 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 January 1944:
At noon, in monsoon weather, TATSUNO MARU departs Manila for Takao in convoy No. 882 also consisting of TOHO, TAMAHOKO and ASOSAN 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. Two hit in her No. 2 hold. She explodes and breaks in two. The ship’s fore part sinks immediately, but the aft part, although afire, remains afloat. The crew puts out the fire, but the engine room floods.

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

Removed from the Navy List.

- Bob Hackett

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