ZATSUYOSEN!

(TATSUWA MARU prewar)

IJN TATSUWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


1 May 1937:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. Zosensho, as a 6,335-ton cargo ship for Tatsuuma G.K., Nishinomiya.

22 September 1937:
Launched and named TATSUWA MARU.

1 February 1938:
Completed.

E 1938:
Placed on Tatsuuma’s Nishinomiya ~ Formosa commercial service.

18 November 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

29 November 1940:
Departs Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan) and operates in French Indochina waters.

7 December 1940:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

9 December 1940:
Departs Mako and operates in southern China waters.

16 December 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category under internal order No. 980 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District as her homeport. [1]

19 December 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

7 May 1941:
Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Shibuya Shusaku (36) (ex-XO of SHIRETOKO) is appointed supervisor. The civilian captain resigns on 31 Aug '41.

E May 1941:
Departs Koniya, Amami-Oshima, Ryukyu Islands.

15 May 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

19 May 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date at Takao, then Mako.

E May 1941:
Departs Mako.

22 May 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

11 June 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date at Takao, then Sasebo.

E June 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

25 June 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

1 July 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date at Mako, then Takao.

E July 1941:
Departs Takao.

6 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

30 July 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture, then Sasebo.

E August 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

12 August 1941:
Operates in southern China waters and then steams to French Indochina waters.

11 September 1941:
Departs French Indochina waters and arrives first at Takao, then at Sakito.

E October 1941:
Departs Sakito.

6 October 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

12 October 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date first at Mako, then Takao.

E October 1941:
Departs Takao.

16 October 1941:
Operates in southern China waters and returns to Takao for a refit.

20 October 1941:
Refitting is completed. Departs Takao and operates in southern China waters.

11 November 1941:
Departs southern China waters and arrives at an unknown date at Yawata for more refitting.

20 November 1941:
Refitting is completed. Departs Yawata and arrives at an unknown date at Takao.

E November 1941:
Departs Takao.

27 November 1941:
Operates in southern China waters and arrives at Haikow (Haikou), Hainan Island at an unknown date.

4 December 1941:
Departs Haikow for Samah, Hainan Island.

5 December 1941:
Arrives at Samah and departs the same day for Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Indochina (now Vietnam).

8 December 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

14 December 1941:
Departs Saigon for Camranh Bay.

15 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

19 December 1941:
Departs Camranh Bay for Haikow.

22 December 1941:
Arrives at Haikow.

25 December 1941:
Departs Haikow.

26 December 1941:
About 80 nautical miles ESE of Portuguese, Macau. Sustains a torpedo attack from an unidentified submarine at 21-29N, 115-11E, without being hit. [2]

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Kirun (now Keelung).

30 December 1941:
Departs Kirun for Koniya, Amami-Oshima.

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Koniya.

1 January 1942:
At 1200 departs Koniya for Sasebo.

3 January 1942:
At 1430 arrives at Sasebo.

11 January 1942:
At 1430 departs Sasebo and arrives at 1545 at Sakito.

12 January 1942:
At 1015 departs Sakito for Mako.

15 January 1942:
At 1500 arrives at Mako.

20 January 1942:
At 1310 departs Mako for Takao.

21 January 1942:
At 1110 arrives at Takao.

25 January 1942:
At 0800 departs Takao for Haikow.

27 January 1942:
At 2200 arrives at Haikow.

1 February 1942:
At 1540 departs Haikow for Hong Kong.

2 February 1942:
At 1400 arrives at Hong Kong.

3 February 1942:
At 1700 departs Hong Kong for Amoy (now Xiamen), China.

4 February 1942:
At 2240 arrives at Amoy.

5 February 1942:
At 1550 departs Amoy for Gonoura, Iki Island. Japan.

8 February 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Gonoura.

9 February 1942:
At 1730 departs Gonoura for Sasebo.

10 February 1942:
At 1015 arrives at Sasebo.

13 February 1942:
At 0820 departs Sasebo for Kobe.

15 February 1942:
At 0510 arrives at Kobe. Enters dock at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries K. K. shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

26 February 1942:
Repairs are completed. Undocked. At 1700 departs Kobe for Sakito.

28 February 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Sakito.

1 March 1942:
At 0800 departs Sakito and arrives at 1000 at Sasebo.

6 March 1942:
At 0900 departs Sasebo for Takao.

9 March 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Takao.

10 March 1942:
At 0730 departs Takao for Samah.

12 March 1942:
At 1845 arrives at Samah.

17 March 1942:
At 0900 departs Samah for San Tsao (Sanzao) Island, (Ladmore Islands Group), southern China.

18 March 1942:
At 1400 arrives at San Tsao and at 1430 departs for Takao.

20 March 1942:
At 1115 arrives at Takao.

23 March 1942:
At 0830 departs Takao for Sasebo.

26 March 1942:
At 1100 arrives at Sasebo.

4 April 1942:
At 1515 departs Sasebo for Takao.

8 April 1942:
At 0915 arrives at Takao.

9 April 1942:
At 1845 departs Takao for Samah.

12 April 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Samah.

18 April 1942:
At 2045 departs Samah for Singapore.

22 April 1942:
At 1930 arrives at Singapore.

27 April 1942:
At 0920 departs Singapore for Saigon.

29 April 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Saigon.

7 May 1942:
At 1000 departs Saigon for Takao.

9 May 1942:
At 1200, departs Mako, Pescadores for Sasebo with convoy No. 206 also consisting of auxiliary storeship SHINSEI MARU, IJA transports SENZAN, KEIFUKU, TAISHO and KINUGAWA MARUs, civilian cargo ship C-AK) MEIYU MARU, auxiliary water tanker WAYO MARU and government cable layer NANYO MARU escorted by destroyer SANAE and minelayer TSUBAME.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 May 1942:
At 0335 arrives at Moji.

20 May 1942:
At 0800 departs Moji for Sasebo.

21 May 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Sasebo.

28 May 1942:
At 1400 departs Sasebo and arrives at 1800 at Sakito.

29 May 1942:
At 1130 departs Sakito for Takao.

1 June 1942:
At 1630 arrives at Takao. Her CO is now Captain Kusuoka Junichi (36). Date of his assignment is unknown.

4 June 1942:
At 1815 departs Takao for Saigon.

9 June 1942:
At 1345 arrives at Saigon.

11 June 1942:
At 1400 departs Saigon for Singapore.

14 June 1942:
At 1915 arrives at Singapore.

19 June 1942:
At 0900 departs Singapore for Saigon.

21 June 1942:
At 2020 arrives at Saigon.

28 June 1942:
At 1400 departs Saigon for Takao.

4 July 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Takao.

6 July 1942:
At 1030 departs Takao and arrives at 1745 at Mako.

7 July 1942:
At 0600 departs Mako for Moji in convoy No. 231 also consisting of IJA transports KIYO and YASUKUNI MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships, escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

12 July 1942:
At 1800 the convoy arrives at Moji.

14 July 1942:
At 1800 departs Moji for Sasebo.

15 July 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Sasebo.

23 July 1942:
At 1400 departs Sasebo for Takao.

27 July 1942:
At 1130 arrives at Takao.

31 July 1942:
At 1330 departs Takao for Samah, Hainan Island.

3 August 1942:
At 0930 arrives at Samah.

7 August 1942:
At 1200 departs Samah for Singapore.

11 August 1942:
At 1830 arrives at Singapore.

17 August 1942:
At 0900 departs Singapore for Saigon.

20 August 1942:
At 0830 arrives at Saigon.

25 August 1942:
At 1400 departs Saigon for Takao.

30 August 1942:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

31 August 1942:
At 1630 departs Takao for Moji.

4 September 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Moji.

7 September 1942:
At 1720 departs Moji for Sasebo.

8 September 1942:
At 1730 arrives at Sasebo.

19 September 1942:
At 1400 departs Sasebo for Miike.

20 September 1942:
At 0750 arrives at Miike.

21 September 1942:
At 0800 departs Miike for Takao.

25 September 1942:
At 0900 arrives at Takao.

28 September 1942:
At 1700 departs Takao for Samah.

1 October 1942:
At 0850 arrives at Samah.

6 October 1942:
At 0620 departs Samah for Singapore.

10 October 1942:
At 1500 arrives at Singapore.

16 October 1942:
At 0725 departs Singapore for Saigon.

19 October 1942:
At 1815 arrives at Saigon.

29 October 1942:
At 0530 departs Saigon for Seito, China.

6 November 1942:
At 1915 arrives at Seito (Tsingtao).

7 November 1942:
At 0700 departs Seito.

8 November 1942:
At 1210 arrives at Nagasaki.

13 November 1942:
At 1215 departs Nagasaki and arrives at 1600 at Sasebo.

21 November 1942:
At 1300 departs Sasebo for Miike.

22 November 1942:
At 0915 arrives at Miike.

23 November 1942:
At 0815 departs Miike for Takao. Probably joins convoy No.192 consisting of five unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

27 November 1942:
At 1700 arrives at Takao.

1 December 1942:
At 1615 departs Takao for Samah.

4 December 1942:
At 1130 arrives at Samah.

10 December 1942:
At 2400 departs Samah for Singapore.

12 December 1942:
TATSUWA MARU shifts category from Zatsuyosen (Ko) to Zatsuyosen (Otsu) [1].

15 December 1942:
At 1230 arrives at Singapore.

21 December 1942:
At 0915 departs Singapore for Saigon in a convoy also consisting of IJN shared tanker (B/C-AO) AKATSUKI MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

23 December 1942:
At 1730 arrives at Saigon.

31 December 1942:
At 0845 departs Saigon for Nagasaki.

9 January 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Nagasaki.

15 January 1943:
At 1030 departs Nagasaki and arrives at 1515 at Sasebo.

22 January 1943:
At 1500 departs Sasebo for Miike.

23 January 1943:
At 0030 arrives at Miike.

24 January 1943:
At 1215 departs Miike for Takao in convoy No. 121 that departed Moji earlier that day also consisting of auxiliary transport TAITO MARU, auxiliary collier/oiler TAGANOURA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HOKAZE.

28 January 1943:
At 1130 arrives at Takao.

2 February 1943:
At 1200 departs Takao for Shantou, China.

3 February 1943:
At 1830 arrives at Shantou.

4 February 1943:
At 0900 departs Shantou.

5 February 1943:
30nm SE of Yangjiang. LtCdr (later Cdr) John A. Scott’s (USNA '28) USS TUNNY (SS-282) attacks TATSUWA MARU at 21-30N, 113-42E. A torpedo hits and floods starboard engine room compartment, but fails to detonate. Damage is minimal and TATSUWA MARU proceeds to Niutoshan Island, Wanshan Archipelago, China where she drops anchor later in the day at 1030 to make emergency battle-damage repairs.

6 February 1943:
At 0750 departs Niutoshan Island and arrives at 1125 at Hong Kong.

8 February 1943:
At 1530 departs Hong Kong for Samah, Hainan Island.

10 February 1943:
At 0950 arrives at Samah.

17 February 1943:
At 0530 departs Samah and arrives at 0900 at Yulin, Hainan Island.

22 February 1943:
At 1844 departs Yulin for Takao.

26 February 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Takao.

1 March 1943:
At 1110 departs Takao for Sasebo in convoy No. 236 also consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships, escorted by destroyer KURETAKE. The rest of the convoy sails for Moji.

5 March 1943:
At 1345 arrives at Sasebo.

7 March 1943:
At 1430 departs Sasebo for Yawata.

8 March 1943:
At 1210 arrives at Yawata.

10 March 1943:
At 1600 departs Yawata for Kobe.

11 March 1943:
At 1215 arrives at Kobe.

13 March 1943:
Enters dock at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co. shipyard for inspection of her hull damage and permanent repairs.

27 March 1943:
Repairs are completed and TATSUWA MARU is undocked.

28 March 1943:
At 1615 departs Kobe for Sasebo.

30 March 1943:
At 1345 arrives at Sasebo.

7 April 1943:
At 0630 departs Sasebo for Miike.

8 April 1943:
At 1515 arrives at Miike.

9 April 1943:
At 1045 departs Miike and arrives at 1650 at Nagasaki.

10 April 1943:
At 1200 departs Nagasaki and arrives at 1655 at Tomie, Fukue Island, Goto Islands.

12 April 1943:
At 0825 departs Tomie for Takao. TATSUWA MARU left Tomie at the same time as civilian tanker (C-AO) SEINAN MARU. They probably join convoy No. 143 also consisting of 14 unidentified merchant ships (sailing in two parts) accompanied by destroyer KARUKAYA. Auxiliary transport SUITEN MARU and auxiliary oiler KIYO MARU are likely also part of this convoy.

16 April 1943:
At 1350 arrives at Takao.

18 April 1943:
At 1400 departs Takao for Samah.

21 April 1943:
At 1215 arrives at Samah.

26 April 1943:
At 0500 departs Samah for Saigon.

28 April 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Saigon.

4 May 1943:
At 1500 departs Saigon for Singapore, Malaya.

7 May 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Singapore.

16 May 1943:
At 0850 departs Singapore for St. Jacques, French Indochina in convoy No. 690 also consisting of auxiliary oiler SAN PEDRO MARU and two unidentified merchant ships without escort.

19 May 1943:
The convoy arrives at St. Jacques. TATSUWA MARU departs and arrives at 1300 at Saigon.

26 May 1943:
At 0815 departs Saigon and arrives the same day at St. Jacques.

27 May 1943:
At 1900, departs St. Jacques for Takao in convoy No. 498 that steams in two parts also consisting of IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) TACHIBANA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships without escort. TATSUWA MARU is in the first part.

1 June 1943:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

6 June 1943:
At 0745 departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 269 also consisting of auxiliary transport NACHISAN MARU, civilian tanker (C-AO) NITTATSU MARU, auxiliary oilers HOKUAN MARU and OGURA MARU No. 3 and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

7 June 1943:
Collides with tanker OGURA MARU No. 3 at 24-05N, 122-59E. However, damage is light and both ships resume their course to Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan) where they arrives at 1600.

21 June 1943:
At 0900 departs Kirun for Nagasaki.

24 June 1943:
At 1645 arrives at Nagasaki.

5 July 1943:
At 0930 departs Nagasaki and arrives at 1445 at Sasebo.

18 July 1943:
At 1325 departs Sasebo and arrives at 1745 at Nagasaki.

22 August 1943:
At 0830 departs Nagasaki and arrives at 1215 at Sasebo.

28 August 1943:
At 0700 departs Sasebo and arrives at 1645 at Miike.

30 August 1943:
At 1855 departs Miike in convoy No. 191 also consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer FUYO that had departed from Moji the previous day.

4 September 1943:
Arrives at Takao. Later that day at 1135, arrives at Mako

7 September 1943:
At 1550 departs Mako for Samah.

10 September 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Samah.

14 September 1943:
At 0555 departs Samah for St Jacques.

16 September 1943:
At 0740 arrives at St Jacques. At 1042 departs St Jacques and at 1645 arrives at Saigon.

22 September 1943:
At 0800 departs Saigon.

23 September 1943:
About 60 nms E of Kuantan, Malaya. TATSUWA MARU is attacked by an unidentified submarine at 04-30N, 105-05E, but sustains no damage. She resumes course to Singapore. [2]

25 September 1943:
At 1125 arrives at Singapore.

3 October 1943:
At 0850 departs Singapore for St Jacques in convoy No. 625 consisting of TATSUWA MARU and one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

6 October 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques. At 1945 arrives at Saigon.

19 October 1943:
At 1810 departs Saigon.

20 October 1943:
At 1400, departs St Jacques in convoy No. 435 consisting of auxiliary transport KOSHIN MARU and 14 unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer FUYO and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

29 October 1943:
At 1120, departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 215 also consisting of IJA transports DURBAN, REIYO, KOFUKU MARUs and IJA tankers RIKKO and ZUIYO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

30 October 1943:
The convoy arrives at Kirun. IJA tanker NICHINAN MARU joins the convoy.

E 4 November 1943:
TATSUWA MARU is detached at an unknown point for Sasebo.

4 November 1943:
At 0845 arrives at Sasebo. At 0740, the remainder of the convoy arrives safely at Moji.

8 November 1943:
At 1400 departs Sasebo for Osaka.

10 November 1943:
At 1030 arrives at Osaka.

17 November 1943:
At 1610 departs Osaka for Sasebo.

19 November 1943:
At 1055 arrives at Sasebo.

30 November 1943:
At 0640 Departs Sasebo for Miike. At 1700 arrives at Miike.

3 December 1943:
At 0030 departs Miike for Samah. Joins convoy No. 118 consisting also of IJN requisitioned (B-AK) RAIZAN MARU, IJA transports PANAMA, NANREI, DURBAN, TSUKIKAWA, TACOMA, NISSHU, KAIRYU MARUs and civilian (C-AK) JUICHISEI MARU (HOSHI MARU No. 11) and four unidentified merchant ships with unknown escort/s.

8 December 1943:
At 1330 arrives at Takao.

9 December 1943:
At 1200 departs Takao in convoy No. 334 also consisting of IJA tanker HAKKO MARU, civilian ore carrier TOYOKUNI MARU and others escorted by auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

13 December 1943:
At 1115 arrives at Samah.

16 December 1943:
At 0755 departs Samah for Saigon.

18 December 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Saigon.

23 December 1943:
At 1200 departs Saigon and arrives at 1600 at St. Jacques.

26 December 1943:
At 1230 departs St. Jacques for Singapore.

29 December 1944:
At 1315 arrives at Singapore.

15 January 1944:
At 0835 departs Singapore.

17 January 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Saigon.

27 January 1944:
At 1600 departs Saigon and arrives at 2020 at St. Jacques.

1 February 1944:
At 2055 departs St. Jacques for Yulin in convoy SATA-01 also consisting of auxiliary transport RAKUTO MARU and three unidentified ships, escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

4 February 1944:
At 1620 arrives at Yulin

6 February 1944:
At 1500 the convoy departs Yulin for Takao.

10 February 1944:
At about 2200, TATSUWA MARU is torpedoed and damaged by LtCdr Joseph W. Williams' (USNA ‘33) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) at 21-55N, 119-30E. However, she resumes her course and steams to Takao independently.

11 February 1944:
At 1145 arrives at Takao. Undergoes temporary battle damage repairs.

22 February 1944:
At 1710 departs Takao. Later, she reverses course back to Takao.

24 February 1944:
At 1740 arrives back at Takao. Additional repairs are performed.

10 March 1944:
Repairs are completed. At 0920 departs Takao for Sasebo in convoy TAMO-09 also consisting of nine unidentified ships escorted by auxiliary minesweepers SEKI and FUJI MARUs.

11 March 1944:
At 1830 arrives at Kirun.

14 March 1944:
At 0255 departs Kirun. At 1935 arrives at Ishigaki Jima.

15 March 1944:
At 0555 departs Ishigaki Jima and at 1555 arrives at Miyako Jima.

16 March 1944:
At 0410 departs Miyako Jima. At 1120 arrives at Kerama Retto.

17 March 1944:
At 1230 departs Kerama Retto and at 1730 arrives at Nakagusuku Wan and departs there at 2338.

18 March 1944:
At 1720 arrives at Koniya.

19 March 1944:
At 0835 off Seso, Amami Oshima, torpedo boat MANAZURU joins the escort. The convoy departs Koniya at 0830.

21 March 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Sasebo.

24 March 1944:
At 1530 departs Sasebo for Osaka.

26 March 1944:
At 0530 arrives at Osaka.

30 March 1944:
At 1400 departs Osaka for Kasado Jima, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

31 March 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Kasado Jima.

1 April 1944:
TATSUWA MARU enters dock for maintenance and repairs.

17 May 1944:
Maintenance and repairs are completed. Undocked.

18 May 1944:
Departs Kasado Island for Sasebo.

22 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

27 May 1944:
Departs Sasebo for Mutsure Jima.

28 May 1944:
Arrives at Mutsure Jima.

29 May 1944:
Departs Mutsure Jima and joins convoy HI-65 bound for Singapore, also consisting of fleet oiler SHIRETOKO, auxiliary oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, OMUROSAN MARUs, IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) ZUIHO and TOHO MARUs, IJA transports ARIMASAN, MANILA and KASHII MARUs and IJA landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU, escorted by escort carrier SHINYO, light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan AWAJI, CHIBURI and CD-19 and subchaser CH-60. Later, light minelayer TSUBAME departs Moji, then catches up with the convoy and joins the escort.

2 June 1944:
E of Formosa. The convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins’ (USNA ’33) new USS GUITARRO (SS-363) en route from Pearl to Fremantle. At 0519 and 0527, Haskins makes a moonlight periscope approach and fires six torpedoes at an oiler. One of the torpedoes makes a circular run and GUITARRO is forced deep. Later, GUITARRO avoids depth charge and aircraft attacks and escapes to Australia. Haskins claims four hits and sinking an oiler, but the claims cannot be substantiated.

Bashi Strait, near Yasho Island. LtCdr Albert L. Raborn’s (USNA ‘34) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks kaibokan AWAJI at 22-34N, 121-15E. CD-19 and CHIBURI rescue the survivors, but several die of their wounds. [3]

Raborn's USS PICUDA (SS-382) fires two torpedoes at IJA transport ARIMASAN MARU that cause her to collide with IJA landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU's stern. This causes a depth-charge explosion that kills about 70 men and causes rudder damage. IJA transport KASHII MARU takes SHINSHU MARU in tow. IJA transport ARIMASAN MARU is lightly damaged in the attack and heads for Kirun (Keelung), Formosa with KASHII and SHINSHU MARUs.

3 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Kirun, Formosa.

4 June 1944:
Departs Kirun. Later that day, arrives at Takao, Formosa. Escort carrier KAIYO rejoins the convoy after brief stop at Saei (Tsoying), Formosa. Civilian tanker (C-AO) JINEI MARU joins the convoy at sea. ARIMASAN, MANILA, KASHII, TATSUWA and SHINSHU MARUs are all detached for Manila.

7 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila and docks at Cavite Naval Base’s pier.

8 June 1944:
Five troops disembark and two postal parcels are landed. Unloading operations begin.

10 June 1944:
Unloads 960-tons of explosives, other military supplies, aircraft and electrical parts. Loading operations begin.

12 June 1944:
82 troops disembark. Loads 145-tons of drinking water and 200-tons of boiler water.

13 June 1944:
Loads 1,111-tons of explosives, military supplies, machinery equipment, vehicles and other supplies. Departs harbor and tethers to a buoy in Manila Bay.

14 June 1944:
Departs Manila for Cebu in convoy C-143 also consisting of another unidentified merchant ship with an unknown escort, if any.

16 June 1944:
Arrives at Cebu.

17 June 1944:
Departs Cebu and arrives the same day at Bantayan Island anchorage, northern tip of Cebu.

18 June 1944:
Departs Bantayan Island and arrives the same day back at Cebu.

19 June 1944:
Departs Cebu and arrives the same day at one of the many anchorages named “Looc Bay”, probably the one located W of Dinagat Island, Philippines.

20 June 1944:
Departs Lock Bay and arrives the same day at Lianga Bay anchorage, Mindanao, Philippines.

21 June 1944:
Departs Lianga Bay. At 1400, joined by kaibokan MIKURA as escort. Arrives the same day at Mati anchorage, Mindanao.

22 June 1944:
Departs Mati and arrives later in the day at Davao. Docks at the aircraft factory pier.

23 June 1944:
One postal parcel is landed. 868 troops disembark. Loading operations begin.

28 June 1944:
Loads 2,024-tons of explosives, military supplies, aircraft and electrical parts. Later in the day loads 224-tons of supplies, one boat, one barge, 70-tons of charcoal fuel, 20-tons of water and 105 postal parcels. 333 troops embark.

29 June 1944:
Departs Davao. At 1624, scrapes a reef at 06-37N, 126-14E. At 1730, some flooding is noticed and damage control parties start emergency repairs. At 1800, she alters her course for Mati anchorage to continue emergency repairs. At 1900, damage control parties still perform repairs.

30 June 1944:
At 0800, destroyer AKIKAZE transfers some lubricant oil to TATSUWA MARU. At 0950, departs Mati anchorage and arrives at 2140 in Lianga Bay anchorage.

1 July 1944:
Departs Lianga Bay for Melgar anchorage, Dinagat Island.

2 July 1944:
Arrives at Melgar and departs the same day for Manila.

3 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Drops anchor in the bay.

4 July 1944:
Undergoes an inspection of her hull bottom by divers.

5 July 1944:
Weighs anchor and tethers to a buoy. 201 troops disembark. Loads 100-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water.

6 July 1944:
Enters the harbor and docks at a pier at Cavite Naval Base. Unloads one boat and one barge. 132 troops disembark. Begins loading operations.

7 July 1944:
Loads 150-tons of drinking water, 250-tons of boiler water and 450-tons of charcoal fuel. Later in the day, unloads 211-tons of military supplies.

8 July 1944:
Departs Manila for Yulin in convoy MAYU-05 also consisting of IJA transports MACASSAR and JUNPO MARUs escorted by Auxiliary gunboats HUASHAN (KAZAN) and PEKING MARUs.

11 July 1944:
Arrives at Yulin and drops anchor outside the harbor.

12 July 1944:
Enters the harbor to the anchor roller. Loading operations begin.

13 July 1944:
Loads 6,500-tons of iron ore and 70-tons of boiler water. Departs Yulin, arrives later in the day at Samah and begins loading operations.

14 July 1944:
Loads 147-tons of explosives, military supplies, vehicles and their related equipment. Later in the day, loads 350-tons of charcoal fuel and embarks 602 troops.

15 July 1944:
At 0400, departs Samah in convoy YUTA-09 also consisting of IJA (A-AK) TEIRYU MARU (ex-German AUGSBURG) and six unidentified ships escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and auxiliary gunboats PEKING and HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARUs.

19 July 1944:
At 0945, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Norvell G. Ward’s (USNA ’35) USS GUARDFISH (SS-217) torpedoes TEIRYU MARU. Hit in her port side boiler room, she breaks in half and sinks at 20-50N, 118-27E taking down 108 passengers, three gunners and 38 crewmen. At an unknown point HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU is detached from the convoy. At 1808, the convoy arrives at North San Fernando, Philippines.

21 July 1944:
Departs North San Fernando. At an unknown point, kaibokan CD-10 joins the convoy to provide additional escort. At 2255, PEKING MARU runs aground at 17-31N, 120-22E. [4].

22 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at San Fernando.

24 July 1944:
IJN auxiliary transport HAKOZAKI MARU transfers 240-tons of charcoal fuel and 60-tons of water to TATSUWA MARU.

26 July 1944:
Convoy YUTA-09 departs San Fernando and joins convoy MATA-25 consisting of auxiliary transports HAKOZAKI MARU and NISSHO MARU No. 18, IJA transport SHINFUKU MARU and and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) SEIGA MARU and three unidentified merchant ships, escorted by kaibokan CD-10, subchaser CH-48, auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU, auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 8 and an unknown warship.

28 July 1944:
The combined convoy arrives at Takao. TATSUWA MARU moors to buoy No. 13, outside the harbor.

29 July 1944:
Enters the harbor to anchor roller. 125 troops disembark. Loads 100-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water.

30 July 1944:
Loads 380-tons of charcoal fuel (until 31 Jul), 200-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water. Embarks one passenger and takes aboard 53 funerary urns.

31 July 1944:
Departs Takao in Convoy TAMO-22 also consisting of six unidentified ships escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan CD-10, subchaser CH-48 and minelayer YURIJIMA.

1 August 1944:
The convoy arrives at Kirun. TATSUWA MARU tethers to buoy No. 6 outside the harbor and then to an anchor roller. Loads 100-tons of boiler water.

2 August 1944:
Loads 100-tons of drinking water.

4 August 1944:
Convoy TAMO-22 departs Kirun.

8 August 1944:
At 0615, TATSUWA MARU is detached from the convoy; at 0920 she arrives at Sasebo Naval Arsenal and tethers at 1125 to buoy No. 3. 388 troops disembark.

9 August 1944:
61 funerary urns are landed. Unloading operations begin.

10 August 1944:
Unloads 147-tons of explosives, military supplies, vehicles and their related equipment. Departs Sasebo and arrives the same day at Yahata anchorage, Iki Island.

11 August 1944:
Departs Yahata, makes a call at Mutsure Jima anchorage, arrives the same day at Yawata and tethers to buoy No. 2, then to anchor roller at pier No. 8. Unloading operations begin.

12 August 1944:
Unloads 2,800-tons of iron ore. Departs Yawata and arrives the same day at Wakamatsu, tethering to buoy No. 6.

13 August 1944:
Begins to unload her iron ore cargo.

15 August 1944:
Unloads 3,700-tons of iron ore. Loading operations begin.

16 August 1944:
Loads 375-tons of steel, oil and four landing barges and their related equipment. Later in the day, loads 85-tons of drinking water and departs Wakamatsu for Sasebo.

17 August 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo and tethers to buoy No. 3. Unloading operations begin.

18 August 1944:
Unloads 375-tons of steel, oil and four landing barges and their related equipment.

19 August 1944:
Loads 40-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water.

20 August 1944:
Loads 200-tons of drinking water and 200-tons of boiler water.

21 August 1944:
Loads 100-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water.

22 August 1944:
Loads 150-tons of charcoal fuel.

23 August 1944:
Loads 200-tons of drinking water. 282 troops embark. Complete loading operations of 2579-tons of explosives, aircraft and electrical parts.

25 August 1944:
Departs Sasebo and arrives the same day at Miike. Drops anchor outside the harbor.

26 August 1944:
Enters Miike harbor and docks at pier to load 78-tons of charcoal fuel and 35-tons of boiler water. Later in the day, departs Miike.

27 August 1944:
Arrives at Kagoshima Bay, S Kyushu, and drops anchor off Chiringashima Island.

28 August 1944:
At 0400, departs Chiringashima in convoy KATA-827 also consisting of IJA transports TSUKUSHI MARU No. 3, DOSHI, ISSHIN, KINZAN, NANYO, HAKUYO, JOGU, KORYU and DAISHIN MARUs, civilian cargo ships (C-AK) KEIUN and KOTSU MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo ships (B-AK) KEIZAN and AMOY MARUs, civilian tankers (C-AO) HORAI MARU No. 6, HORAI MARU No.7 and NANKO MARU No.1 and 15 other unidentified ships. Escorts include torpedo boat MANAZURU, minelayer NIIZAKI, subchasers CH-17, CH-18 and CH-49, auxiliary netlayer SHINTO MARU No. 2, auxiliary subchaser CHIKUTO MARU, auxiliary minesweepers SHONAN MARU No. 16, HOEI MARU and auxiliary HOKOKU MARU No. 3. The convoy is bound for Kirun, Formosa but TATSUWA MARU aand TSUKUSHI MARU No. 3 both make a longer call at Naha.

30 August 1944:
Arrives at Naha. Drops anchor outside the harbor.

31 August 1944:
278 troops disembark. Loading operations begin.

2 September 1944:
Loads 15-tons of boiler water.

3 September 1944:
Enters the harbor. Loads 15-tons of boiler water.

4 September 1944:
Loads 15-tons of boiler water.

5 September 1944:
Loads 30-tons of boiler water.

6 September 1944:
Loads 15-tons of boiler water.

7 September 1944:
Loads 30-tons of boiler water.

8 September 1944:
Loads 15-tons of boiler water.

9 September 1944:
Loads 20-tons of boiler water.

10 September 1944:
Loads 15-tons of boiler water. Completes loading of 1,392-tons of explosives, military and other supplies, alcohol, mineral oil, gasoline and aircraft and electrical parts. Later in the day, loads six-tons of ethanol and 454 postal parcels. Lands two postal parcels.

11 September 1944:
100 troops embark. Departs Naha, Okinawa and arrives the same day at the Kerama Islands, Ryukyus.

13 September 1944:
Departs Kerama in convoy KATA-817 consisting of unidentified ships and arrives the same day at Miyako Jima.

14 September 1944:
Enters Hirara harbor. 100 troops disembark.

15 September 1944:
Unloading operations begin.

17 September 1944:
81 troops embark.

22 September 1944:
Complete unloading operations of 559-tons of explosives, military and other supplies, gasoline and electrical parts. 454 postal parcels are landed.

23 September 1944:
Departs Hirara harbor. Later in the day, departs Miyako Jima for Naha.

24 September 1944:
Arrives at Naha.

25 September 1944:
67 troops embark. Loads 24-tons of boiler water. Departs Naha and arrives the same day at Sesoko Island, northern tip of Okinawa.

26 September 1944:
Departs Sesoko and arrives the same day at Kakeroma Island, S of Amami Oshima. Tethers to buoy No. 2.

27 September 1944:
Five troops disembark. Loads 23-tons of boiler water.

28 September 1944:
Loads 30-tons of boiler water. One postal parcel is landed. Unloading operations begin.

29 September 1944:
Two soldiers disembark and 76 troops embark. Completes unloading of 681-tons of explosives, electrical and spare parts and other supplies. Loads 24 oxygen bottles and three funerary urns.

30 September 1944:
Departs Kakeroma and arrives the same day at Nanatsu-shima, Kagoshima Bay.

1 October 1944:
Departs Nanatsu-shima and arrives the same day at Kagoshima. 63 troops disembark.

2 October 1944:
Seven troops disembark.

7 October 1944:
Weighs anchor and moves to anchorage area No. 7.

8 October 1944:
Moves again to the bay anchor. Loads 70-tons of boiler water. Later in the day, moves to anchorage area No. 10.

9 October 1944:
68 troops disembark. Departs Kagoshima and arrives the same day at Chiringashima Island, S of Kagoshima Bay.

10 October 1944:
Departs Chiringashima in convoy ROKU-KITA-909 also consisting of auxiliary transport NICHIRIN (ex-British MATA HARI) MARU and civilian cargo ships (C-AK) KEIUN MARU and NISSHO MARU No. 1 and possibly other merchant ships without escort. The convoy arrives the same day at Ushibuka.

12 October 1944:
Departs Ushibuka. At 1100, TATSUWA MARU is detached and arrives at 1500 at Sasebo, tethering to buoy No. 10. At 1615, she is towed to Sasebo Naval Yard and enters dock No. 5 at 1717. At 1800, 83 troops disembark. At 1830, the dock gates are closed.

13 October 1944:
Water is drained from the dock.

16 October 1944:
Dock is flooded with water. Undocks and tethers to buoy No. 5. Undergoes general repairs and maintenance.

17 October 1944:
Repairs and maintenance continue aboard the ship.

18 October 1944:
Repairs and maintenance continue. At 1300, towed and arrives at 1345 at Sasebo Naval Yard, dock No. 7. Dock gates are closed at 1615 and water drained at 1630. Drainage is aborted at 1800.

19 October 1944:
Drainage is resumed and completed.

20 October 1944:
Undergoes hull maintenance and repairs.

30 October 1944:
Repairs are completed. At 1600, dock flooding begins, but is aborted at 1710.

31 October 1944:
At 0545, dock flooding resumes and is completed. At 0720, dock gates are opened. She is towed at 0910. Tethered to buoy No. 1 at 1035.

1 November 1944:
Repairs and maintenance are made to her drainage pipes and double hull compartments. Water is drained from her holds, leaks are secured and other repairs performed 'til 7 Nov.

6 November 1944:
Loads 927-tons of explosives, military supplies, electrical parts and other supplies 'til 10 Nov.

7 November 1944:
Loads 200-tons of drinking water and 200-tons of boiler water.

9 November 1944:
Three postal parcels are loaded.

10 November 1944:
Loads 500-tons of charcoal fuel up to 11 Nov, 200-tons of drinking water and 150-tons of boiler water.

11 November 1944:
1,436 troops embark. Departs Sasebo and arrives the same day at Nomozaki northern anchorage.

12 November 1944:
Departs Nomozaki and arrives the same day at Kagoshima. Drops anchor outside the harbor.

13 November 1944:
Loads 55-tons of drinking water.

15 November 1944:
Weighs anchor and steams to a location nearer the harbor where she drops anchor again. Two troops disembark.

17 November 1944:
Due to suspicions of possible infectious disease, three soldiers are temporarily transferred to IJA hospital ship TACHIBANA MARU.

18 November 1944:
10 troops presenting symptoms of dysentery are landed.

19 November 1944:
TATSUWA MARU undergoes quarantine and disinfection procedures. Four additional troops are transferred to a hospital. However, loading operations resume. She loads 100-tons of charcoal fuel, 55-tons of drinking water and 100-tons of boiler water. 1,124 postal parcels are carried aboard.

20 November 1944:
Departs Kagoshima.

21 November 1944:
Arrives at Oshima Bay, Kakeroma Island near Amami-Oshima, Ryukyus. Drops anchor off the naval station and then tethers to No. 2 buoy. Begins unloading 929-tons of explosives, military supplies, electrical parts and other supplies. 1,444 troops disembark. Afterwards, the ship undergoes a complete disinfection procedure.

22 November 1944:
1,127 postal parcels are landed.

24 November 1944:
Loads 45-tons of boiler water.

25 November 1944:
Loads an aircraft engine, a cutter boat, and 1.31-tons of spare parts, 55-tons of drinking water and 55-tons of boiler water.

E December 1944:
Departs Kakeroma and returns to mainland Japan proper at an unknown date.

31 December 1944:
Departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-87 also consisting of fleet oiler KAMOI, IJN shared tankers (B/C-AO) TENEI and MATSUSHIMA MARUs, IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) KAIHO, MUNAKATA and SARAWAK MARUs, auxiliary oilers KUROSHIO and MIRI MARUs and civilian tanker (C-AO) MITSUSHIMA MARU. Light carrier RYUHO provides air cover. Additional escort is provided by destroyers SHIGURE, HATAKAZE and DesDiv17’s HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE, kaibokan YASHIRO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA and CD-13.

3 January 1945:
The convoy arrives at Zhoushan (Shushan) Archipelago northern anchorage, S of Shanghai.

5 January 1945:
Departs Zhoushan.

7 January 1945:
East China Sea. The convoy is sighted by "Loughlin's Loopers", a submarine wolf pack consisting of Cdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene R. Fluckey's (USNA ‘35) USS BARB (SS-220) and LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ‘35) PICUDA (SS-382), later joined by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ‘33) QUEENFISH (SS-393). At 0905, in high seas, Shepard's PICUDA heavily damages MUNAKATA MARU in the bow. She is assisted by KURAHASHI then proceeds separately to Kirun (Keelung). The convoy anchors at Shinchiku Roadstead, Formosa. At 1300, the convoy is sighted by the wolf pack and tracked. RYUHO and SHIGURE are detached and proceed to Kirun. At 1830, in dense fog, the convoy anchors temporarily on the W Formosan coast. The ships then split up and enter Takao’s port at different times.

8 January 1945:
TATSUWA MARU arrives at Takao.

19 January 1945:
At 0600, departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-38 also consisting of Dof IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) DAINAN MARU, civilian cargo ship (C-AK) BINGO MARU, IJA transports TOYOKAWA, RASHIN and SHINNO MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan IKUNA, CD-26, CD-39 and CD-112.

20 January 1945:
The convoy arrives at Nanri Island (now Fujian Putian Xiuyu) anchorage, southern China.

21 January 1945:
The convoy departs Nanri Island.

22 January 1945:
At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay and merges with anchored convoy MOTA-32 consisting of IJA shared ore carrier (A/C-AC) DAIKYO MARU, IJA shared transports (A/C-AK) TENSHO, SHUNSHO and DAISHUN MARUs, IJA transports SAMARANG and AIZAN MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16 and five unidentified merchants, possibly including IJN shared transport (B/C-AK) TETSUYO MARU and auxiliary transport (ex-auxiliary minelayer) TATSUHARU MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-31, CD-132, CD-144, MANJU and destroyer SHIOKAZE and subchasers CH-19 and CH-57.

23 January 1945:
At 0402, LtCdr Fluckey's BARB penetrates the outer escort screen on the surface and enters the harbor. An unbroken line of ships at anchor, 4200 yards in length, is clearly visible. Fluckey fires a total of eight torpedoes into the target line. DAIKYO MARU is hit and her cargo of munitions detonates in a massive explosion killing 56 crewmen, 28 gunners and 360 of 558 troops; also lost were six Daihatsu and two shohatsu landing craft. SAMARANG and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and SHUNSHO MARU are all damaged.

25 January 1945:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa where the merged convoy is dissolved. Departs Kirun later in the day.

28 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

E February 1945:
TATSUWA MARU departs Moji at an unknown date.

E March 1945:
Arrives at Chinkai, Chosen (Korea) at an unknown date.

24 March 1945:
At 0100, departs Chinkai for Ogasawara Gunto (Bonin Islands) via Moji, in convoy SHIMO-01 also consisting of YIJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) YUKIKAWA MARU and IJA transport UMEGAWA MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-32 and CD-52.

25 March 1945:
The convoy makes a call at Moji and departs the same day for the Bonins.

27 March 1945:
The convoy arrives at Ani-Jima, Bonins. TATSUWA MARU loads raw food.

E April 1945:
Departs Bonins at an unknown date.

10 May 1945:
Off Shimonoseki, TATSUWA MARU strikes a mine, probably dropped by a USAAF 20th Air Force B-29 bomber, and founders as a result of progressive flooding. [5]

10 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 526.

1946:
Identified as salvable and salvage operations begun. The vessel then undergoes lengthy repairs.

1947:
Owners restyled Shinnihon Kisen K. K. Port of registry remains Nishinomiya.

9 December 1949:
Repairs completed and returns to service.

10 May 1954:
While on a voyage from Maulmein (Moulmein) to Kobe with rice, goes missing after reporting in distress in typhoon conditions at 15N, 111E. Believed to have capsized. There are no survivors.


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

[2] No record of this attack has been found in Allied files.

[3] Some sources credit AWAJI's sinking to LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' USS GUITARRO (SS-363).

[4] On 28 Jul ‘44, the wreck is torpedoed and sunk by USS ASPRO (SS-309).

[5] In 1945, the U. S. Army Air Force launched a five-phased campaign known as “Operation Starvation” to mine Japan’s home waters. The USAAF used 80 to 100 B-29 “Super Fortress” heavy bombers of the 21st Bomber Command based at Tinian in the Marianas. The B-29s could carry seven 2,000 lb. or twelve 1,000 lb. mines.

Beginning on 27 March 1945 and continuing until 5 August 1945, the B-29s flew 1,529 nighttime radar sorties and laid 4,900 magnetic, 3,500 acoustic, 2,900 pressure and 700 low-frequency mines for a total of more than 12,000 mines laid in Japanese waters. These mines sank 294 ships, damaged 137 beyond repair and damaged another 239 that could be repaired. The total was 1, 250,000 tons sunk or damaged or about 75 percent of Japanese shipping available in March 1945. Only 15 B-29s were lost during the mining campaign.

Postwar, removal of these mines posed a major challenge for the Allied Occupation Forces. They pressed 269 former Japanese ships of various types into mine sweeping service to augment their own efforts.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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