(Duncan-built SHEAF MEAD similar to TEIAN MARU)

Freighter TEIAN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 1

E 1927:
Port Glasgow, Scotland. Laid down at R. Duncan & Co., Ltd., as a 5,387-ton cargo ship for Jugoslavenska Amerikanska Plovidba, Dubrovnik, Jugoslavia.

E 1928:
Launched and named TOMISLAV.


In Jugoslavenski Lloyd’s service.

6 April 1941:
German troops invade Yugoslavia. That same day, Italy declares war on Yugoslavia.

17 April 1941:
Yugoslavia surrenders to the Axis.

22 April 1941:
TOMISLAV arrives at the Whangpoo River, Shanghai from Melbourne via Manila. Royal Italian Marines board and seize the ship. The Italians claim TOMISLAV had been purchased by the Lloyd Triestino Line. A Japanese naval spokesman states that transfer of the vessel is not valid under Chinese Maritime Code unless it is registered with the Chinese Government. Thereafter, the Italians release the ship.

31 October 1941:
Shanghai. A company of Royal Italian Marines again boards and seizes TOMISLAV. The master and his crew are threatened with pistols and forced to abandon the ship and their personal effects. After the seizure, all vestiges of Yugoslav ownership are removed. The ship’s funnel is repainted with Lloyd Triestino’s colors. The Italians rename her VENEZIA GIULIA and press her into service.

1 December 1941:
VENEZIA GIULIA is chartered by Teikoku Senpaku Kaisha (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government. Renamed TEIAN MARU and used as a transport under civilian control. Assigned signal letters JDGR.

E 5 January 1942:
TEIAN MARU departs Muroran, Hokkaido for Yokohama with a cargo of coal.

9 January 1942:
40 miles SSW of Inubozaki, Japan. At 0050, lookouts aboard LtCdr Stanley P. Moseley’s (USNA '25) USS POLLACK (SS-180) sight a target to the WSW with dimmed running flights. POLLACK (not equipped with radar) begins a night surface approach. At 0130, Moseley fires two bow torpedoes at TEIAN MARU, but both miss.

At about 0440, Moseley fires two stern torpedoes and gets one hit. TEIAN MARU sinks by the stern at 35-00N, 140-36E - one of the first Japanese-flagged vessels sunk by an American submarine in the Pacific war. One man is KIA. Two days earlier, POLLACK had made the first offically confirmed sinking of a Japanese merchant by a ComSubPac submarine! [1]

Authors' Note:
[1] As noted by reader Lorenzo Colombo, according to the Italian book "Forzate il blocco!", casualties among the crew (which was Italian) were nine: eight men killed by the torpedo explosion (which also wounded many others including her master, Severi (first name not mentioned). The "one KIA" reported by the late John D. Alden (4th Ed.) probably refers to a Japanese casualty.

Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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