Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2018 Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall
Revision 5

La Ciotat, France. Laid down at the Provençale shipyard as a 9,877-ton passenger/cargo ship for Messageries Maritimes.

29 October 1922:
Launched and named LECONTE DE LISLE as a mixed turbine steamer with only one funnel. Sea tests are unsatisfactory. The turbines are replaced by fuel oil triple expansion machines. A dummy second funnel is added and the promenade deck removed to improve stability.

June 1926:
Finally completed.

10 June 1926:
Departs for Madagascar.

In service with Messageries Maritimes’ alternating between their Indian Ocean and Indochina routes.

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

May 1940:
While at sea, a fire alarm is activated. Sabotage is suspected, but no serious damage is done.

25 June 1940: Franco-German Armistice:
After the Armistice, LECONTE DE LISLE becomes part of the Vichy fleet.

June to December 1940:
Docked in Diego Suarez for 6 months.

September 1940:
Vichy France grants Japan limited military occupation of Indochina.

23 December 1940:
Departs Diego Suarez for Marseilles.

In service on Messageries Maritimes’ Marseilles-Madagascar-Indochina route.

19 April 1941:
Departs Marseilles for Indochina via the Cape.

May 1941:
Arrives at Saigon. Later, she is assigned to the Saigon-Manila-Shanghai route.

5 July 1941:
Departs Marseilles in a convoy bound to Dakar and Madagascar. Off Cape Town, during a storm, she loses one of her propellers and has to make repairs in a Diego Suarez shipyard.

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.

8 December 1941: The Pacific War Begins:
Moored at Haiphong, Indochina.

29 January 1942:
Departs Haiphong for Saigon.

6 February 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

10 April 1942:
Saigon. Requisitioned by the Japanese Government under the Right of Angary.

2 June 1942:
Saigon. Chartered by Teikoku Senpaku (Imperial Steamship Co.) wholly owned by the Japanese government. Renamed TEIRITSU MARU. Used as an armed troop transport. Her rear dummy funnel is removed and replaced by an AA platform. Assigned signal letters JKHR.

15 June 1942:
Charter rates are agreed upon between the Japanese and the Vichy French-Indochina Navy. TEIRITSU MARU’s rate is 94,809.60 Japanese Yen per month.

25-28 March 1943:
At Singapore.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, TEIRITSU MARU departs Moji in convoy No. 175 also consisting of DAINICHI, RAKUYO, FUSEI, WAKATSU, MACASSAR and KASHU MARUs and tankers NITTASU, KOZUI and TATSUNO MARUs escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 July 1943:
Departs Takao for Mako.

E 24 July 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

28 September 1943:
At 1615, patrol boat PB-36 departs Mutsure for Takao escorting convoy No. 102 consisting of TEIRITSU, SUEZ, BELGIUM, CHIYODA, MISAKI, TAIAN, FRANCE and YUBAE MARUs.

29 September 1943:
At 1300 TEIFU and HAVRE MARUs join the convoy from Miike.

3 October 1943:
At 1925, arrives at Takao.

10 October 1943:
At 1040 departs Mako for Samah. Joins convoy No. 329 also consisting of IJA transports FRANCE, HOTEN and MANKO MARUs and tankers KIYO, HOKKI, HAKKO MARUs, FUSHIMI MARU No. 3 and twelve unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, torpedo boat TOMOZURU and subchaser CH-9.

15 October 1943:
MANKO MARU is detached.

16 October 1943:
At 2330 destroyer FUYO joins up with convoy No. 329. Submarine chaser CH-9 joins at around this time.

18 October 1943:
At 1930 arrives at St Jacques.

19 October 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No. 518 also consisting of KIYO, HAKKO, REIYO, HOKKI and FRANCE MARUs and one unidentified ship escorted by torpedo boat TOMOZURU and auxiliary gunboat EIFUKU MARU.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

11 November 1943:
At 1100, departs Singapore in Convoy No. 635 (Part 1) also consisting of RAKUYO and MANKO MARUs and tanker EIHO MARU with no escort.

14 November 1943:
At 1030, arrives at St Jacques

24 November 1943:
At 1300, TEIRITSU MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 444 also consisting of TAINAN, MANKO (4471 gt), TARUSHIMA and SANTOS MARUs, tanker OGURASAN MARU and three unidentified ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU.

26 November 1943:
At 0445, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter T. Griffith's (USNA ’34) USS BOWFIN (SS-287) torpedoes and sinks OGURASAN MARU carrying aviation gasoline, at 13-25N, 109-30E. 30 crewmen are killed and there are only two survivors. That same morning, at about 1000, USS BOWFIN (SS-287) torpedoes and sinks TAINAN MARU in the same vicinity. 24 crewmen are KIA.

1 December 1943:
At 1100, TEIRITSU MARU arrives at Takao in a convoy now consisting of SANTOS and TARUSHIMA MARUs. MANKO MARU arrives at 1520. It is probable the three unidentified ships were detached for Yulin or Hong Kong.

8 March 1944:
TEIRITSU MARU departs Moji in convoy MOTA-09 also consisting of liner TEIRITSU MARU (ex-French LECONTE DE LISLE) and cargo ships BATOPAHAT, TAKETOYO, HAMBURG, KYOKUZAN, MATSUE, MURORAN, CHUYO, BUNZAN, TAIYU, SHOEI (1986 gt) MARUs, HINO MARU No. 1, tankers OGURA MARU No. 2 and SAN LUIS MARU and ore carrier DAIZEN MARU escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE and patrol boat PB-38. Later that day, arrives at Tomie Bay, Goto Retto, Fukue-Jima.

9 March 1944:
Convoy MOTA-09 departs Tomie Bay for Takao.

E 10 March 1944:
Patrol boat PB-38 joins the escort of MOTA-09.

11 March 1944:
CHUYO MARU develops engine trouble. At 0950, PB-38 is detached to find her, but is unsuccessful and later rejoins the convoy.

12 March 1944:
Minelayer MAESHIMA joins the escort of the convoy.

13 March 1944:
At 1844, an enemy submarine is detected at 25-58N, 121-34E. The escorts drop 50 depth charges and drive it off.

14 March 1944:
PB-38 detects another enemy submarine and drives it away by dropping three depth charges. Convoy MOTA-09 arrives at Mako.

15 March 1944:
Departs Mako. At 1845, arrives at Takao.

24 March 1944:
Kaibokan AWAJI departs Takao for Singapore with auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU escorting convoy TASA-13 consisting of NICHIAN, SHOEI (1986 gt), FUKUJU, CHINA, DURBAN, TASMANIA, SETSUZAN, TEIRITSU (ex French LECONTE DE LISLE), HIDA, KYOKUZAN, SHONAN MARUs and five other unidentified merchant ships.

29 March 1944:
HIDA MARU and KYOKUZAN MARU are both detached and HIDA MARU arrives at Yulin while KYOKUZAN MARU arrives at Sana the following day. During the day subchaser CH-19 that has departed Qui Nhon joins the convoy as an additional escort. Later that day, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz, Jr’s (USNA ’36) USS HADDO (SS-255) torpedoes and lightly damages NICHIAN MARU at 17-42N 109-57E. The convoy seeks shelter in Baie de Kiquik.

30 March 1944:
Departs Baie de Kiquik.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

20 April 1944:
At 0600, TEIRITSU MARU departs Moji-Mutsure for Singapore in convoy HI-59 also consisting of tankers NIPPPO, EIHO, MANEI (BANEI), TENEI,OTORISAN and NIYO MARUs, passenger/cargo MANKO MARU and probably KINUGASA, NOSHIRO and tanker NICHINAN MARU No. 2 in ballast escort by kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-10, CD-11 and CD-20.

21 April 1944:
KURAHASHI and CD-20 are detached for Manila.

22 April 1944:
Arrives at the Chusan Islands Group.

26 April 1944:
Departs Chusan Islands.

28 April 1944:
At 1410, arrives at Takao. KURAHASHI and CD-20 arrive from Manila and rejoin the convoy’s escort.

29 April 1944:
At 0930, departs Takao.

2 May 1944:
At 1200, HI-59 arrives at Manila where the convoy is dissolved.

23 May 1944:
At 0700, TEIRITSU MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-62 also consisting of tankers SARAWAK, OTORISAN, and NICHINAN (5175 gt) MARUs and transports KINUGASA, NOSHIRO, NISSHO and TAMATSU MARUs escorted by escort carrier TAIYO and kaibokan KURAHASHI, SADO, CD-5, CD-7 and CD-13.

29 May 1944:
HI-62 arrives at Manila.

1 June 1944:
At 0400, HI-62 departs Manila.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Mutsure anchorage, later proceeds to Moji arriving at 0230.

9 June 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

13 June 1944:
Departs Kobe.

14 June 1944:
Arrives at Niihama.

18 June 1944:
Departs Niihama.

19 June 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

2 July 1944:
Departs Kobe.

3 July 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

4 July 1944:
Departs Moji.

5 July 1944:
Arrives at Miike.

7 July 1944:
Departs Miike.

9 July 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

12 July 1944:
At 1500, TEIRITSU MARU departs Moji in convoy MI-11 also consisting of tankers KOEI, TAKETOYO, SHICHIYO, ZUIYO, AYAYUKI and AYAKUMO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 (F) and cargo/transports EIKYU, YOSHINO, MIHO, ENOSHIMA, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO and FUKUJU MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 16 escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, subchaser CH 55 and minesweepers W-38 and W-39.

21 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao. Auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU joins the escort of convoy MI-11.

29 July 1944:
The convoy departs Takao with additions of tanker HARIMA MARU, transport MANKO MARU and minesweeper W-28. Destroyer SHIOKAZE is detached.

30 July 1944:
At 2200, BANSHU MARU No. 16 incurs rudder problems and collides with MANKO MARU, but both proceed.

31 July 1944:
Luzon Strait. A wolfpack patrols the Strait under Captain (later Rear Admiral) Lewis S. Parks (USNA ’25). It consists of LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH/COMSUBLANT) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA ’31) USS PARCHE (SS-384)(F), LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) and LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA ’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364). [3]

280 miles NNW of Cape Mayraira, Luzon. At 0332, LtCdr Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks KOEI MARU. 105 out of 1050 troops on board and 9 crewmen are KIA. About the same time, oiler OGURA MARU No. 1 is hit by a torpedo, but does not sink. At 0340, Ramage torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) YOSHINO MARU carrying 5,012 soldiers of the Kwantung Army and 400-m3 of ammunition. She carries down 2,442 soldiers, 18 naval gunners and 35 sailors and her cargo of ammunition.

At 0420, Whelchel's USS STEELHEAD torpedoes DAKAR MARU, but she does not sink. At 0455, Whelchel torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) FUSO MARU. She takes down 1,350 troops, 12 other passengers and 22 crewmen and a cargo of 36 railway carriages and 1,120-tons of other military supplies.

At 0514, Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks MANKO MARU carrying 517 sailors and naval civilians and 5500-tons of ammunition and equipment. She takes down about 240 naval personnel, 17 crewmen and 20 Gunners and her cargo of ammunition. The convoy commodore transfers his flag from OGURA MARU No. 1 to TEIRITSU MARU.

3 August 1944:
At 1730, arrives at Manila. TEIRITSU MARU is detached.

12 August 1944:
At 0600, TEIRITSU MARU departs Manila in convoy MASA-10 also consisting of DURBAN, RISSHUN and YAMABUKI MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-19, CH-32, minesweeper W-18 and four small unidentified auxiliary gunboats. Later that day, stops at Lucanin, Bataan Peninsula.

13 August 1944:
At 2000, departs Lucanin. Bad weather forces the ships to return.

14 August 1944:
At 0300, all ships back at Lucanin. At 1700, the convoy sets sail again.

15 August 1944:
The four small auxiliary gunboats lose contact with the convoy.

20 August 1944:
At 1810, arrives at Camranh Bay.

21 August 1944:
At 0800, departs Camranh Bay. At 0951, LtCdr Michael P. Russillo's (USNA ’27) USS MUSKALLUNGE (SS-262) torpedoes DURBAN MARU. Although DURBAN MARU is taken under tow by new arrival OYO MARU, she eventually sinks at 11-45N 109-46E. 6 crewmen and 509 troops are KIA. Later that day, the rest of the convoy arrives at Saigon.

3 September 1944:
Departs Saigon.

7 September 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 October 1944:
Departs Singapore.

16 October 1944:
Arrives at Saigon.

8 November 1944:
Departs Saigon. Later joins convoiy MI-20 consisting of SHUNTEN, SAN DIEGO and DAISHU MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan CD-34 and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

15 November 1944:
At 0730 departs Qui Sande Bay.

17 November 1944:
S of Hainan Island. At 0300, LtCdr Guy E. O'Neil's (USNA ’37) USS GUNNEL (SS-253) torpedoes and sinks HIYODORI. At about 0400, O'Neil torpedoes and sinks SHUNTEN MARU carrying 190 passengers and loaded with 8,010-tons of crude oil, at 16-45N, 110-15E. Casualties are unknown.

20 November 1944:
At 0220 anchors near Shanchua Shan Island. Departs at 0800. Late that evening anchors near Portugese Macau.

21 November 1944:
Early in the morning departs from near Portugese Macau. At 1700 arrives at Hong Kong.

23 November 1944:
Departs Hong Kong.

26 November 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

30 November 1944:
Departs Takao.

1 December 1944:
Arrives at Keelung.

7 December 1944:
Departs Keelung.

8 December 1944:
Departs Takao in a convoy consisting of TEIRITSU and KIYOKAWA MARUs and possibly others with an unknown escort. That evening, anchors off Mako.

10 December 1944:
Departs Mako.

12 December 1944:
Anchors in Sanmen Bay and departs later that day.

14 December 1944:
Arrives in Imari Bay.

15 December 1944:
Departs Imari Bay and later that day arrives at Mutsure.

16 December 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

18 December 1944:
Departs Moji.

19 December 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

8 January 1945:
Departs Kobe.

9 January 1945:
Docked at Innoshima for repairs.

23 April 1945:
Undocked. Departs Innoshima.

24 April 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

28 April 1945:
Departs Moji.

1 May 1945:
Arrives at Seishin (Chongjin), Chosen, (Korea).

2 May 1945:
Departs Seishin and later that day arrives at Rashin (Najin).

12 May 1945:
Departs Rashin.

14 May 1945:
Arrives at Tsuruga.

16 May 1945:
Departs Tsuruga and later that day arrives at Maizuru.

28 July 1945:
Wakasa Bay. Strikes a Japanese mine that explodes aft. TEIRITSU MARU partially sinks by the stern, but is successfully beached at Maizuru.

18 August 1948:
Refloated and repaired by the Japanese. Given a new silhouette. Her interior is also modernized for passenger travel.

14 December 1950:
Departs Maizuru for Saigon.

22 December 1950:
Returned to France. Again named LECONTE DE LISLE and given to the Maritime Transport in Saigon. Assigned to the Indian Ocean route.

23 March 1951:
Departs Marseilles.

27 January 1954:
Disarmed and given to the Merchant Navy.

10 August 1954:
After the Geneva agreements, rearmed and repatriates French troops from North Vietnam.

Transports French troops to Algeria.

4 August 1955:
Removed from the Merchant Navy.

28 February 1956:
La Spezia, Italy. Scrapped.

Author's Notes:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and Berend Van Der Wal of the Netherlands for additional info on convoy MOTA-09.

Bob Hackett, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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