Transport TEIKAI MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 7

E 1923:
Bremen, Germany. Laid down at A.G. Weser as a 9,492-ton passenger-cargo ship for the Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) (NDL) Line, Bremen.

12 August 1924:
Launched and named FULDA.

30 November 1924:
Completed and officially delivered to Norddeutscher Lloyd.

14 December 1924:
Departs Bremen for East Asia on her maiden voyage.

July 1927:
Shanghai. Chinese revolutionaries occupy FULDA for a week, but then release the ship.

16 April 1932:
Lightly damaged in collision with American steamer BAYOU CHICO (5,401 grt, 1920) on the Schelde River, Antwerp Harbor, Belgium.

Receives call sign DOBS.

11 January 1934:
Slightly damaged in collision with German steamer CEUTA (2719 grt, 1929) on the Weser River.

FULDA is converted into a cargo ship. 24 passenger quarters are turned into cargo spaces.

14 March 1937:
Damaged in collision with German steamer OLDENBURG (8,537 grt, 1924) on the Schelde River. FULDA stays afloat, but OLDENBURG sustains serious damage and has to be beached.

July 1937 - The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
FULDA is at Shanghai when Japanese troops, on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge across the Hun River, fire blank cartridges during their maneuvers. Chinese troops across the river fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Beijing suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.

22 August 1939:
Under Captain John Meller departs Taku Bar for Bremen.

3 September 1939: World War II Begins:
Enroute FULDA is surprised by outbreak of war. Reverses course and makes Dairen, Manchuria.

13 August 1940:
Sold to Teikoku Senpaku (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government and entrusted to Mitsui Bussan K.K.

17 September 1940:
Renamed TEIKOKO MARU and given signal letters JNWO.

13 December 1940:

9 February 1941:
Allocated Army number 237.

25 March 1941:
Conversion to a Communications Ship is completed.

5 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army for trooping service. Allocated Army number 804. The same day departs Takao for Mako.

18 December 1941:
At 1200, departs Mako for Lingayen Gulf as part of the 2nd transport unit consisting of 28 ships. The Lingayen Invasion Convoy is made up of 3 transport units consisting each of 28 ships (total 84) and carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's Fourteenth Army.

22 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines:
Arrives at Lingayen and departs later that day.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Bauang and departs later that day. Probably anchors in Lingayen Gulf.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Santo Tomas and departs.

E 3 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

5 January 1942:
Departs Takao.

17 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

18 January 1942:
Departs Ujina.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan), Korea.

23 January 1942:
Departs Fusan.

25 January 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

12 February 1942:
Departs Moji.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai.

16 February 1942:
Departs Shanghai.

23 February 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

26 February 1942:
Departs Moji.

28 February 1942:
Arrives at Fusan and some days later departs port.

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Ujina.

7 March 1942:
Departs Ujina.

12 March 1942:
At 0900, TEIKAI MARU departs Mutsure for Mako, Pescadores in a convoy also consisting of FUKKAI, MAYA, SEISHO, KOCHI, TAIKAI and RYUZAN MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayers HIRASHIMA and UKISHIMA and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU. The ships are carrying about 4,500 personnel of an unidentified aviation group.

16 March 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

28 March 1942:
At 0800, TEIKAI MARU depart Mako for Camranh Bay in a convoy also consisting of FUKKAI, KOCHI, TAIKAI, RYUZAN, TETSUYO, SAMARANG, PENANG and MONTREAL MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayer SOKUTEN and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

5 April 1942:
Departs Saigon.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

14 April 1942: Transport Operation U - transport of troops and material from Singapore to Rangoon:
TEIKAI MARU departs Singapore as part of Transport Unit No. 3 consisting of 32 marus including ANYO, ENGLAND, GINYO, KUWAYAMA, KOCHI, KENKOKU, SAMARANG, SUEZ, TAIKAI, TAZAN, HAMBURG, BUYO, HAVRE, BRAZIL, PENANG, HOKUROKU, MONTREAL, YAWATA and YONEYAMA MARUs. The 3rd Transport Unit carries the 56th Mixed Brigade and other units.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar).

22 April 1942:
Departs Rangoon.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

3 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Batavia (Jakarta).

28 May 1942:
Departs Batavia.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

6 June 1942:
Departs Davao.

9 June 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

17 June 1942:
Departs Manila.

22 June 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

23 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

29 June 1942:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, North China).

4 July 1942:
Departs Dairen.

10 July 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

23 July 1942:
At 1500 departs Moji in convoy with KOYU MARU.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai. (ETA 1800).

1 August 1942:
At 0600 departs Woosung in convoy with KEIKI MARU bound for Ujina.

E 5 August 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

15 October 1942:
Departs Moji.

17 October 1942:
Arrives at Fusan (Pusan), Chosen (Korea).

18 October 1942:
Departs Fusan.

19 October 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

20 October 1942:
Departs Moji and arrives at Fusan later that day.

21 October 1942:
Departs Fusan and arrives at Moji later that day.

23 December 1942:
At 1400 departs Mutsure in convoy No. 106 also consisting of KOAN, RIKKO, NICHIRAN, NICHIRIN, NICHIREN, KUWAYAMA, YAMAGIKU MARUs and NISSHIN MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.

28 December 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

1 January 1943:
At 1400 departs Mako escorting convoy No. 359 also consisting of KOAN, RIKKO, NICHIRIN, NICHIREN, KUWAYAMA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer SANAE.

6 January 1943:
At 1746 arrives at St Jacques.

12 January 1943:
Departs Singapore.

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Bintan.

20 January 1943:
Departs Bintan and arrives Singapore later that day.

24 January 1943:
TEIKAI MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 662 also consisting of SAN DIEGO MARU escorted by destroyer FUYO.

27 January 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

30 January 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No. 469 also consisting of SAN DIEGO MARU escorted by destroyer FUYO.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

7 February 1943:
Departs Takao.

12 February 1943:
Arrives at Fusan.

13 February 1943:
Departs Fusan.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

26 February 1943:
Arrives Kobe.

4 March 1943:
Arrives at Fusan.

5 March 1943:
Departs Fusan.

22 March 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

16 April 1943:
TEIKAI MARU departs Palau for Rabaul, New Britain in a convoy consisting of NISSHUN, KURAMASAN and NIKKI MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 3 escorted by subchaser CH-38.

18 April 1943:
Near Truk. At 1230, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Bernard F. McMahon's (USNA ’31) USS DRUM (SS-228) torpedoes NISSHUN MARU. Hit in the port engine room, she sinks at 02-02N, 148-27E. (150 km SW of Manus Island). 35 men are KIA. Loaded with foodstuffs and general cargo, the ship takes down 35 crewmen. CH-18 rescues the survivors that include a number of impressed Korean "comfort" women.

24 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

20 May 1943:
TEIKAI MARU departs Palau escorting convoy No. 3208 also consisting of KASHU, NANKO and SATSUMA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

25 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 June 1943:
At 0815, TEIKAI MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 275 also consisting of TEIKO (ex-French D’ARTAGNAN), SAN LUIS, SEKKO, MAEBASHI, CHOJUN, YASUKUNI, ROKKO and RISSHUN MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

25 June 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Moji.

13 July 1943:

Departs Ujina.

18 August 1943:
Arrives at Halmahera, Moluccas.

10 October 1943:
At 1505, TEIKAI MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 105 consisting of CHICAGO, AMERICA, GYOKUREI, MIKASA, HEIAN, NICHIEI and GYOTEN MARUs and tankers SAN RAMON and MITSU MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE.

15 October 1943:
At 0110, LtCdr (later KIA) Charles F. Brindupke's USS TULLIBEE (SS-284) torpedoes and sinks CHICAGO MARU at 24-30N, 120-26E. 42 troops, one gunner and 8 crew are killed. Over the next five hours, SAN RAMON MARU, NICHIEI and GYOKUREI MARUs rescue survivors. Later that day arrives Takao.

At 2122, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that says CHICAGO MARU had aboard 1,304 men, elements of a field antiaircraft artillery battalion.

24 October 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 774, also consisting of TATSUHA, SHIRANESAN, MATSUEI (SHOEI) (1877gt), KOHOKU, TOHO, TOYAMA, IKOMASAN, JUNYO, NICHINAN (2732 gt) MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No.1, SHINSEI MARU No. 17 and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer KURETAKE. MATSUEI (SHOEI) MARU apparently dropped out of this convoy at some point and returned to Takao.

31 October 1943:
At 1200, TEIKAI MARU departs Manila for Cebu escorting convoy H-1 also consisting of TOHO, NICHINAN (2732 gt), SHINSHU and SHIRANESAN MARUs escorted by PB-103.

2 November 1943:
At 1915, while nearing Cebu Port, TEIKAI MARU runs aground on the western side of Lauis Ledge Light (10-14.12N, 123-53.26E), W tip of Mactan Island. NICHINAN MARU (2732 gt) is detached to assist. At 2305, TEIKAI MARU is refloated and they arrived at Cebu the following day, at 0830.

6 November 1943:
At 0900, TEIKAI MARU departs Cebu for Halmahera in convoy H-3 also consisting of NICHINAN (2732 gt), TATSUHA, TOHO and TOYAMA MARUs escorted by PB-103.

10 November 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Kau, Halmahera and departs that day.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Sorong. TEIKAI MARU disembarks the 1st Company, 11th Debarkation Unit, 5th Debarkation Unit (large battalion, light regiment size with landing craft), 11th Taiwanese Specially Established Labor Group, 55th Line of Communications Sector Unit, 227th Independent Truck Company, 248th Independent Truck Company (184 men),105th Field Airfield Construction Unit and the 107th Field Airfield Construction Unit.

15 November 1943:
Departs Sorong.

19 November 1943:
Arrives at Halmahera.

10 December 1943:
At 1400 departs Manila in convoy No. 877 also consisting of LIMA, HASSHU and NARITA MARUs and possibly others escorted by destroyer FUYO.

13 December 1943:
At 2345 arrives at Takao.

1 January 1944:
Departs Halmahera.

12 January 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

20 January 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy No.236 also consisting of TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), ROKKOSAN MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

10 February 1944:
Departs Tama.

12 February 1944:
Arrives at Fusan.

13 February 1944:
Departs Fusan.

16 February 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

22 February 1944:
Departs Moji.

28 February 1944:
Arrives at Fusan.

6 March 1944:
Departs Fusan.

10 March 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

8 April 1944:
Departs Ujina.

13 April 1944:
At 2355, TEIKAI MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-17 also consisting of MANSHU, FUKUYO, KANAN and TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA) MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan CD-20 and minesweeper W-22. Soon after departure convoy is rerouted to Chinkai (Chinhae), Chosen (Korea).

14 April 1944:
At 1748, arrives at Chinkai, where the convoy is dissolved. These ships subsequently form part of the "Take" convoy.

21 April 1944:
TEIKAI MARU departs Ssuchiaoshan (Raffles Island), SE of Shanghai in the "Take" convoy consisting of KAZUURA, MITSUKI, BRAZIL, AMATSUSAN, TAJIMA, ADEN, YOZAN, MANSHU, FUKUYO, KANAN, TEIKA (ex-French CAP VARELLA), UNKAI MARUs, YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and an unidentified ship escorted by destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-20 and CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA (F), minesweeper W-22, subchasers CH-37, CH-38, and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7, gunboat ATAKA and river gunboat UJI. The convoy is carrying troops of the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions from China via Manila to New Guinea.

26 April 1944:
At about 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykers' (USNA ’27) USS JACK (SS-259) makes a radar-assisted surface attack on the convoy. Dykers torpedoes and sinks YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 at 18-06N, 119-40E. She takes down 61 crewmen, two passengers and 2586 of 3400 soldiers of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment including its commander.

Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

1 May 1944:
TEIKAI MARU departs Manila for Wasile, Halmahera in a continuation of the "Take" convoy consisting of KAZUURA, MITSUKI, BRAZIL, AMATSUSAN, TAJIMA, ADEN and YOZAN MARUs with SHIRATAKA and other unknown escorts based on previous convoy escort pool.

6 May 1944:
N Celebes Sea. About 0800, lookouts aboard LtCdr Charles H. Andrews’ (USNA ’30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) spot SHIRATAKA's coal-burning smoke at 19 miles. By 1300, Andrews completes an "end-around" and gains an attack position on convoy Take No. 1. He sets up carefully and fires two three-torpedo salvos at the transports. TAJIMA and ADEN MARUs are hit and sink quickly. TAJIMA MARU takes down 58 of 2701 troops, three crewmen and nine gunners. ADEN MARU takes down 499 troops, 12 crewmen and four gunners.

The escorts launch a heavy counterattack against USS GURNARD. Andrews evades 98 depth charges, after which the escorts break off their attack. USS GURNARD surfaces and finds one of the transports burning, but still afloat. About midnight, USS GURNARD shells the transport with her four-inch deck gun, but she still does not sink. Andrews then fires another torpedo that finally sinks AMATSUSAN (TENSHINZAN) MARU. 95 out of 212 soldiers on board are killed.

7 May 1944:
Takes refuge at Banka Anchorage.

8 May 1944:
At 0700, departs Banka Anchorage.

9 May 1944:
At 1824, arrives at Wasile, Halmahera Island.

13 May 1944:
At 0355, the remnants of convoy Take No. 1 departs Wasile Bay consisting of TEIKAI, MITSUKI, KAZUURA, BRAZIL MARU, YOZAN MARUs and newly joined ATLAS MARU escorted by minelayer SHIRATAKA, patrol boats PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224) and PB-104, subchaser CH-38 and auxiliary netlayer KOREI MARU.

14 May 1944:
Arrives at Lembeh anchorage, Celebes.

20 May 1944:
At 2105, the convoy arrives at Manila.

9 August 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

15 September 1944:
Departs Manila.

23 September 1944:
Arrives at Ujina.

28 September 1944:
Released by the Japanese Army and control transferred to Senpaku Uneikai (Shipping Control Authority).

6 December 1944:
TEIKAI MARU departs Moji for Pusan, southern Korea.

7 December 1944:
Arrives at Pusan. Embarks 2,651 Army personnel, 228 dogs and horses and a military cargo of about 3,000 tons.

9 December 1944:
Departs Pusan.

11 December 1944:
Arrives at Miike. Embarks 380 Army personnel.

14 December 1944:
TEIKAI MARU departs Miike in convoy MOTA-28 also consisting of MURORAN MARU and tankers DAINAN, SHINGI, OEI and YAMAZAWA MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-20 and CD-138. TEIKAI MARU carries the 1st Battalion, 76th Infantry Regiment, 19th Division, Regimental Rapid Fire Artillery Company (antitank)(76th Infantry Regiment), Regimental Gun Company (76th Infantry Regiment), Regimental Signal Company (76th Infantry Regiment), 3rd Company, 19th Transportation Regiment, 19th Division and Division medical personnel plus other unknown units of substantial size..

22 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

30 December 1944:
At 0800, TEIKAI MARU departs North San Fernando for Takao in convoy MATA-38 also consisting of MURORAN, KAZUURA and NISSHO MARUs escorted by old destroyer KURETAKE, subchasers CH-21 and CH-18 and three unidentified escorts. TEIKAI MARU is carrying 122 military passengers and 2 motor vehicles.

2.5 km N of Santiago Cove, Luzon, (17-17N, 120-24E). At 1310, the convoy undergoes a series of air attacks by 26 of Fifth Air Force's B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers, A-20 “Havoc” light bombers and P-40 “Warhawk” fighters that skip bomb at low level. TEIKAI and MURORAN MARUs and CH-18 are hit by bombs and sunk. MURORAN MARU was largely empty but a bomb strikes some of the ammunition cargo remaining on board and the ship explodes and sinks with the loss of all 71 crewmen and 94 passengers. The planes also damage KAZUURA and NISSHO MARUs near Lingayen.

TEIKAI MARU sustains one bomb hit at No. 1 hold while two more bombs hit the engine room. One near miss explodes just off starboard No. 6 hold. Heavily afire. At 1430, all hands are ordered to abandon ship. The burning wreck drifts with the tide and finally runs aground on the nearby coast. The transport is also empty except for two motor vehicles and 122 military passengers, 23 crewmen and 15 shipboard gunners are lost.

[1] Thanks go to John Whitman for MOTA-28 troop info in Rev 4

Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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