Transport TEIKA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2013 Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

Revision 2

Nantes, France. Laid down at Chantiers de la Loire shipyard as a 7,677 ton cargo freighter for Compagnie Française de Navigation à Vapeur Chargeurs Réunis (United Shippers).

Launched and named KERSAINT.

January 1922:

February 1922-1926:
Enters and remains in service on Chargeurs Réunis France-South America route.

Vibrations produced by machinery cause passenger discomfort so it is decided to convert the machinery. Tonnage increases to 8,099 tons. Renamed CAP VARELLA and placed on Chargeurs Réunis’ Marseille-Saigon route.

18 February 1927:
Departs on her first voyage from Marseilles to Indochina.

February 1934:
Marseilles. When docking, strikes the quay hard enough to cause a leak.

March 1936:
Arrives in Port Said, Egypt with a broken propeller blade and has to enter dry dock.

3 September 1939-World War II Begins:
After the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declare war on Nazi Germany.

CAP VARELLA cruises to Indochina via Beirut, Lebanon and the Suez Canal.

25 June 1940: Franco-German Armistice:
Enroute back to Marseilles, CAP VARELLA’s crew learn of the Armistice while at Madagascar. After the Armistice, she becomes part of the Vichy fleet and remains in Madagascar.

13 February 1941:
Departs Madagascar for France via Dakar.

14 March 1941:
Arrives at Dakar.

March 1941:
Departs Dakar in a convoy with three other unidentified French ships bound for Casablanca and Oran.

30 March 1941:
Unsuccessfully chased by British warships. Takes refuge at Nemours, Algeria to escape British naval forces.

April 1941:
The convoy arrives unharmed in Marseilles.

29 July 1941:
Under the Franco-Japanese "common defence" agreement signed at Vichy by Deputy-Premier Admiral Darlan and Japanese Ambassador Kato, Indo-China is "integrated" in "common defence" and the Japanese are allowed to use Saigon as an advance base for operations in South-East Asia.

CAP VARELLA is assigned to the Saigon-Shanghai-Manila route.

12 April 1942:
The Japanese Government requisitions CAP VARELLA under the Right of Angary.

14 April 1942:
Departs Saigon for Yokohama with her French crew.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama. Chartered by Teikoku Senpaku Kaisha (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government. Renamed TEIKA MARU and operated by the O.S.K. Line. Used as a transport under civilian control. Assigned signal letters JKGR.

April-May 1942:
CAP VARELLA's French crew and those of requisitioned PERSEE, BOUGAINVILLE and VILLE DE VERDUN are repatriated to Haiphong, northern Indochina on board TEIKA MARU.

15 June 1942:
Charter rates are agreed upon between the Japanese and the Vichy French-Indochina Navy. TEIKA MARU’s rate is 83,616 Japanese Yen per month.

16 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in a convoy also consisting of YAMADORI MARU escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE. The convoy sails at 9 knots bound for the Inland Sea.

15 March 1943:
At 1500 departs Takao for Hong Kong.

5 May 1943:
Departs Kobe.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

8 May 1943:
TEIKA MARUs departs Moji in convoy No. 155 also consisting of KUNISHIMA, SHINKYO, tankers SAN LUIS and HOKUAN MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Takao. SHINKYO MARU had been previously detached and arrived at Kirun (Keelung) the previous day.

15 May 1943:
At 1500 departs Takao at 10 knots.

17 May 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

20 May 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.

24 May 1943:
Departs Yulin.

25 May 1943:
Arrives at Haiphong, Indochina.

11 June 1943:
Departs Haiphong.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Haikow, China.

15 June 1943:
Departs Haikow.

18 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

23 June 1943:
At 0815, TEIKA MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 275 also consisting of SAN LUIS, SEKKO, MAEBASHI, TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA), CHOJUN, YASUKUNI, ROKKO and RISSHUN MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36. [1]

29 June 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Moji.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

4 July 1943:
Shifts from Kobe to Osaka.

16 July 1943:
Shifts from Osaka to Kobe.

24 July 1943:
Departs Kobe.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

30 July 1943:
TEIKA MARU departs Mutsure in convoy No. 181 also consisting of YASUKUNI and ARATAMA MARUs and fifteen unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer SANAE and patrol boat PB-36.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

8 August 1943:
At 1800 departs Takao at 9 knots.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

14 August 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

16 August 1943:
Arrives at Basuo.

19 August 1943:
Departs Basuo.

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

8 September 1943:
Departs Saigon.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Haikow.

13 September 1943:
TEIKA MARU departs Haikow and joins convoy No. 425 also consisting of GINYO, KIYO MARUs, tankers SHOYO MARU, OGURA MARU No. 2 and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

24 September 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

25 September 1943:
Departs Moji.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Kobe. Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs.

21 October 1943:
Shifts from Kobe to Osaka.

25 October 1943:
Departs Osaka.

29 October 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

7 November 1943:
TEIKA MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 336 also consisting of cargo ships YULIN, TAINAN, KISHU, SEIWA, SEINAN and SHORYU MARUs and tankers TEIYO and TERUKAWA MARUs plus an unidentified ship (possibly tanker SANKO MARU) without escort.

13 November 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

27 November 1943:
Departs Saigon.

23 December 1943:
On that day, FRUMEL intercepts the following message from Naval Control Officer, Manila, timed 221723: "TEIKO MARU, carrying 1,000 troops for Singapore, and SEISHIN MARU bound for Balikpapan leave Manila at 0800 on 23rd, speed 12 [knots]. 1600 23rd off Cape Calavite 0700 25th 60 miles west of Balabac Island 0400 26th 45 miles northwest of Miri 0700 27th north of South Natuna and part company." [2]
This was Rin Convoy that sailed without escort.

20 January 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy No.236 also consisting of TEIKAI (ex German FULDA), ROKKOSAN MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by the kaibokan MATSUWA.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

27 January 1944:
At 1200, KURETAKE departs Moji for Takao escorting convoy No. 132 consisting of NAGATA, TEIKA (Ex French CAP VARELLA), BOKO (ex British SAGRES) MARUs and nine unidentified ships at 9 knots.

29 January 1944:
At 0745 minesweeper W-27 joins the convoy and remains with the convoy until only 1045.

1 February 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

9 February 1944:
Reported in Takao area.

1 March 1944:
At 1635, TEIKA MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-07 also consisting of tankers RIKKO, NITTATSU, SARAWAK, KONSAN, ATAGO and CHIYODA MARUs and transports/cargo ships YAMAHAGI, SUGIYAMA, KENSEI and HOKUROKU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-30 and destroyer AMAGIRI.

8 March 1944:
Off the coast of northern Formosa, TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) and YAMAHAGI MARUs are detached for Kirun (Keelung).

15 March 1944:
At 1200, sub-chasers CH-37 and CH-38, destroyers SHIGURE and NOKAZE and minesweeper W-17 depart Takao escorting convoy TAMO-11 consisting of TAITO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU (ex British TALTHYBIUS), KENWA, KENZUI, BRAZIL, KENNICHI, SHINNO and KOAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO and SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TOYO and TEIKA (Ex French CAP VARELLA) MARUs join the convoy from Kirun.

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI, and TOYO MARUs are detached from the convoy. At 1200, the convoy arrives Nagasaki.

22 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

23 April 1944:
At Takao.

27 April 1944:
TEIKA MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMO-18 also consisting of TAINAN MARU, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 (from An Ping) and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan FUKUE, CD-2, river gunboat UJI and armed transport MAMIYA. Sails first to nearby An Ping and shelters there for a few days.

2 May 1944:
Arrives at Keelung. Several ships are detached and others join. The convoy now consists of TEIKA, TOYOURA, TAINAN and RYUKO MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and two other unidentified merchant ships with the same escort and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7.

6 May 1944:
Cdr Joseph W. Williams' (USNA ’34) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) torpedoes and sinks TOYOURA MARU with 35 men KIA, and damages MAMIYA in 33-18N, 127-11E. Later that day, Williams attempts unsuccessfully to finish off MAMIYA. The escorts counter-attack USS SPEARFISH and inflict minor damage. UJI probably tows MAMIYA.

8 May 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

4 June 1944:
TEIKA MARU departs Keelung and joins convoy MI-04 also consisting of tankers SHUNTEN, CHIYODA, TAKETOYO and SUIYO MARUs and cargo ships PACIFIC and CHOHAKUSAN MARU escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE and torpedo boat HATO.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

9 June 1944:
Departs Moji.

10 June 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

20 June 1944:
Departs Kobe.

21 June 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

23 June 1944:
TEIKA MARU departs Moji in convoy MOMA-09/MI-09 also consisting of SAIHO, SAINEI, CHILE, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA), KENSEI, NORFOLK, KINRYO, KYOKUZAN, UGA, NATSUKAWA, TATSUHARU, BINGO, AMAHI MARUs and tankers SHIMOTSU, CHIYODA, SHUNTEN, YOKO MARUs, KYOEI MARU No. 3 and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboats KAZAN (HUASHAN), PEKING MARUs, kaibokan CD -9, minesweeper NUWAJIMA and torpedo boats HATO and TOMOZURU.

28 June 1944:
TEIKA and AMAHI MARUs having been detached, arrive at Kirun.

12 July 1944:
Departs Keelung and joins convoy MI-06 also consisting of HIROTA, AKAGISAN, KANKYO, TSUYAMA, YAGI MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 5, tankers ZUIHO, TOKUWA, TACHIBANA, ATAGO MARUs, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, OGURA MARU No.2 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-14, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

17 July 1944:
At 1450 arrives at Moji.

18 July 1944:
Departs Moji.

19 July 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

30 July 1944:
Departs Kobe.

1 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

4 August 1944:
At 1600, TEIKA MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-22 also consisting of KENJO, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, GENKAI, TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), HIOKI, MANSHU, SHIRANESAN, SHONAN, KOSHIN, RAKUTO, TERUKUNI, NANREI MARUs, DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and tankers YAMAMIZU MARU No.2, TACHIBANA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, HIBURI, CD-8, CD-10, CD-25, CD-32, river gunboat UJI and minelayer TAKASHIMA.

6 August 1944:
At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA ’34) USS PINTADO torpedoes and sinks SHONAN MARU carrying elements of IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau, North China to Formosa, general cargo and four daihatsu barges, at 30-55N, 129-45E. Two crewmen and three gunners are KIA.

9 August 1944:
At 1310, at 26-10N, 124-15E KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly detonates and the ship sinks. 28 crewmen are KIA.

10 August 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Keelung. GASSAN, KENJO, HAKUSAN, TEIKA and HIOKI MARUs are detached.

26 August 1944:
TEIKA MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAMO-24 also consisting of YASUKUNI MARUs and eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-26 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU.

2 September 1944:
Arrives at Moji and later that day departs.

3 September 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

23 September 1944:
At 1600, TEIKA MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MI-21 also consisting of TSUYAMA, EJIRI, FUSHIMI, KEISHIN, KEIZAN, CHOSAN, TATSUBATO, KENEI and YOSHU MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, SHUNTEN, TOYOKAWA and EIKYO MARUs escorted by kaibokan DAITO, patrol boat PB-104, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-87 and CHa-92. Later that day, EIKO MARU and tanker RYUEI MARU join the convoy from Sasebo.

29 September 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Takao where the convoy is dissolved.

30 October 1944:
TEIKA MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAMO-27 also consisting of UNZEN, DAIKO MARUs, tanker EIYO MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyers HASU, TSUGA, kaibokan DAITO and CD-25 and cable ship TSURUSHIMA.

5 November 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

7 November 1944:
Departs Moji.

8 November 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 November 1944:
Departs Kobe and later that day arrives at Tamano where docked for repairs.

23 December 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

12 January 1945:
Departs Osaka and shifts to nearby Kobe.

18 January 1945:
Departs Kobe.

19 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

22 January 1945:
At 0600, TEIKA MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-33 also consisting of CLYDE, NIKKO, NANKING, TAKUSAN, SANJIN, MIYAJIMA and SHOKA MARUs escorted by destroyer KIRI and kaibokan CD-14, CD-16 and CD-46.

29 January 1945:
At 0640, LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks CLYDE MARU at 25-20N, 121-06E. At the time the seas are rough and this makes rescue difficult. 972 troops on board, 66 ship’s gunners and 61 crewmen are KIA.

30 January 1945:
At 0900, arrives at Kirun.

23 February 1945:
TEIKA MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAMO-45 also consisting of two unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan OKINAWA and CD-39.

3 March 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

4 March 1945:
Departs Moji.

5 March 1945:
Arrives at Kobe.

17 March 1945:
20th Air Force USAAF B-29s bomb Kobe and damage TEIKA MARU, cargo vessels ENKEI, HYOGO and TENRYU MARUs and submarine I-158.

28 April 1945:
After repairs departs Kobe and arrives later that day at nearby Osaka.

30 April 1945:
Departs Osaka and shifts to nearby Kobe before departing late that evening.

2 May 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

7 May 1945:
Near Shimonosaki, Japan. TEIKA MARU carrying 7,900-tons of rice, strikes a mine laid by USS FINBACK (SS-230) then is run aground at 34-06N, 130-47E and later deemed a constructive total loss. Three crewmen are KIA.

Authors' Note:
[1] One Japanese source lists TEIKO MARU rather than TEIKA MARU in this convoy, but this seems incorrect.

[2] FRUMEL gives name as TEIKO MARU and TEIKA can be read as TEIKO. By assumption only this refers to TEIKA MARU as the large liner TEIKO MARU was close to arriving Singapore at the departure date from Manila given.

Thanks to Sander Kingsepp of Estonia.

- Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

Back to Ex-French Transports in Japanese Service