KYUHEIKAN!

(TATSUTAKE MARU prewar)


IJN TATSUTAKE MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement


© 2008-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.
Revision 5


6 April 1939:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 7,068-ton cargo ship for Tatsuma Goshi Kaisha, (G.K.), Nishinomiya.

13 November 1939:
Launched and named TATSUTAKE MARU.

29 February 1940:
Completed. Enters service on Tatsuma G.K.ís Japan-Formosa route.

1941:
In service on Tatsuma G.Kís Japan-North American routes.

24 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

25 November 1941:
Yokohama. Begins conversion by Mitsubishi Jukogyo (Heavy Industries).

1 December 1941:
Registered as an auxiliary ammunition ship in the Yokosuka Naval District.

8 December 1941:
Anchored off Sasebo.

30 December 1941:
The conversion is completed. Assigned to the Inner Southern Ocean Force.

9 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 January 1942:
At Truk provides water to auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO.

18 March 1942:
At Rabaul supplies ammunition to auxiliary gunboat SEIKAI MARU moored alongside.

11 May 1942:
At Rabaul supplies ammunition to auxiliary gunboat KEIJO MARU.

1 July 1942:
Departs Truk.

10 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 August 1942:
Assigned to the Outer Southern Ocean Force.

15 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Truk and Yokosuka escorted partway by submarine chaser CH-16.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

20 October 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Ara Tadashi (33)(former CO KATSURIKI) is appointed Supervisor.

5 November 1942:
At 0800 auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 GO departs Rabaul for Palau escorting a mixed convoy consisting of IJN Submarine depot Ship YASUKUNI MARU, IJN ammunition ship TATSUTAKE MARU, Army cargo ship TAIFUKU MARU and civilian (3011 ton) EIKO MARU. The convoy sails at 10 knots.

12 November 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

23 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 December 1942:
A new, but unknown officer is appointed Supervisor.

10 December 1942:
TATSUTAKE MARU departs Yokosuka for Truk as part of No. 1 Go convoy consisting of BANGKOK, YAMAFUKU and FLORIDA MARUs and possibly others escorted by seaplane carrier NISSHIN and probably others.

15 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

19 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 January 1943:
At 1545, TATSUTAKE MARU departs Rabaul for Truk in an unnumbered convoy consisting of KAGU and SHINRYU MARUs that steam unescorted.

4 February 1943:
At 1600, arrives at Truk.

6 February 1943:
Departs Truk.

12 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 April 1943:
Reassigned to the Eighth Fleet at Rabaul.

3 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2023 also consisting of transports KINAI, KUNIKAWA MARUs and Army landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU escorted by destroyer KIYONAMI.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 May 1943:
TATSUTAKE MARU departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4508 consisting of Army landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU and transports KUNIKAWA and KINAI MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

9 May 1943:
At 0211, KUNIKAWA MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Raymond H. Bassí (USNA '31) USS PLUNGER (SS-179). Two dud torpedoes hit the port bow and port stern causing light damage. At 1600, another dud is hits the ship. HIYODORI counterattacks with depth charges. The convoy resumes its course to Yokosuka.

10 May 1943:
About 243 nms E of Saipan. At dawn, Bass attacks again the convoy tracked since the day before and makes two attacks on KINAI MARU. At about 0400, USS PLUNGER torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU leaving her dead in the water. At 0705, TATSUTAKE MARU is ordered to take off about 400 troops and passengers. At 0748, USS PLUNGER torpedoes TATSUTAKE MARU while she is taking off troops and passengers from KINAI MARU. TATSUTAKE MARU dodges two torpedoes but the third one hits her No. 4 hold and causes a vast explosion. Many of the evacuees are KIA. TATSUTAKE MARU sinks by the stern at 14-29N, 149-23E with four of her crew.

In addition, torpedo boat HIYODORI is damaged in collision with TATSUTAKE and KINAI MARUs, during the rescue of survivors.

At 1253, USS PLUNGER again torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU.

11 May 1943:
At about 0600, USS PLUNGER finds KINAI MARU still afloat. LtCdr Bass surfaces and finishes her off with gunfire. She sinks at 0827 in position 14-33N, 149-23E. Only one crewman is KIA. Later that day HIYODORI arrives at Saipan carrying survivors of KINAI and TATSUTAKE MARUs.

19 May 1943:
The remainder of the convoy arrives at Yokosuka.

15 July 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
Photo credit and special thanks goes to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


Back to Ammunition Ships Page