(Type 2TL Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

4 December 1943:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. as a 10,241-ton Type 2TL wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Nitto Kisen K.K.

10 February 1944:
Launched and named TENEI MARU.

30 March 1944:

17 April 1944:
Departs Nagasaki

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

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

E 28 April 1944:
South China Sea. KURAHASHI and CD-20 arrive from Manila and rejoin the convoy.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

29 April 1944:
Departs Takao.

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

9 May 1944:
Arrives at Tarakan.

17 May 1944:
Departs Tarakan. Loads fuel oil.

1 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

3 June 1944:
Departs Manila.

10 June 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

16 June 1944:
Departs Kure.

6 July 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

13 July 1944:
At 1600, TENEI MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-69 also consisting of tankers HAKKO, OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN, KUROSHIO, HARIMA, SERIA MARUs and transports KIMIKAWA, AKI, ASAMA, SAIGON, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON) and MANKO MARUs and escort carriers KAIYO and TAIYO, each loaded with aircraft for Luzon, escorted by light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan CHIBURI, SADO, CD-7 and CD-17 and auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU. Escort carrier SHINYO's aircraft conduct ASW patrols. TENEI MARU crries a deck cargo of 200 men, four torpedo boats, and four large landing craft.

18 July 1944:
Near Takao, Formosa. HARIMA MARU straggles from the convoy. About 0600, LtCdr John J. Flachsenhar's USS ROCK (SS-274) fires four torpedoes at HARIMA MARU, but misses. At 0850, Cdr Alan Banister's USS SAWFISH (USS 276) fires nine torpedoes at the convoy at 21-58N, 119-50E. HARIMA MARU is hit by a single torpedo, but remains able to steam. At 1055, LtCdr Roger M. Keithy's USS TILEFISH (SS-307) torpedoes and heavily damages CD-17 at 20-27N, 119-11E. The convoy continues to Manila without stopping at Takao as originally planned, but damaged CD-17 and HARIMA MARU put into Takao.

20 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

25 July 1944:
TENEI MARU departs Manila in convoy HI-69's section bound for Singapore also consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, HAKKO, OTOWASAN, KUROSHIO, HARIMA and SERIA MARUs and transports KIMIKAWA, and KACHIDOKI MARUs escorted by escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan CHIBURI, SADO, CD-7, CD-13 and CD-19.

31 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 August 1944:
Departs Singapore.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

25 August 1944:
Departs Manila.

11 September 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

14 September 1944:
Departs Takao.

26 September 1944:
Arrives at Nagasaki, probably for minor repairs.

18 October 1944:
At 1700, TENEI MARU departs Samah, Hainan Island in convoy HI-76 (that originally departed Singapore for Moji on 2 Oct) now also consisting of KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs escorted by escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan KANJU, KURAHASHI, CD-8, CD-25, CD-32 and CD 130.

19 October 1944:
Stops at Miehara. The convoy is on stand-by and also on the 20th.

20 October 1944:
CD-25 is detached.

21 October 1944:
Departs Miehara for Moji.

22 October 1944:
Arrrives at Mako. CD-130 is probably detached. SHINYO is detached for Kure unescorted. At 1200, KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and CD-32 are also detached and kaibokan YASHIRO joins.

24 October 1944:
TENEI MARU has an engine breakdown and falls behind, but later rejoins.

26 October 1944:
At 1130, HI-76 arrives at Moji. SHINYO was detached to Kure prior to arrival.

26 October 1944:
At 1730, TENEI MARU departs Mutsure in convoy HI-79 also consisting of tanker MATSUSHIMA MARU transports KAGU, MELBOURNE and ARIMASAN MARUs and fleet stores ship MAMIYA. The ships are initially escorted by light cruiser KASHI, kaibokan NOMI, UKURU and minelayer NIIZAKI.

27 October 1944:
Kaibokan CD-17 joins the escort.

28 October 1944:
W-21 joins the escort.

29 October 1944:
MELBOURNE MARU is detached for Keelung escorted by UKURU and CD-17.

30 October 1944:
Convoy HI-79 arrives at Takao, Formosa. W-21, MAMIYA and KAGU MARU are detached. Kaibokan MANJU joins HI-79 now consisting of tankers TENEI, MATSUSHIMA, KUROSHIO and RYOEI MARUs (the latter two from Takao) escorted by light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan UKURU, NOMI, CD-17 and minelayer NIIZAKI.

2 November 1944:
At 1432, the convoy is attacked by a B-24 without damage.

9 November 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Singapore.

17 November 1944:
TENEI MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-80 also consisting of MATSUSHIMA, RYOEI, MUNAKATA, ARIMASAN, KUROSHIO, NICHINAN and KAIHO MARUs escorted by light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan MANJU, NOMI, UKURU, KASADO, MIYAKE, CD-17, CD-23 and CD-51 and minelayer NIIZAKI.

27 November 1944:
At 0930, RYOEI and ARIMASAN MARUs escorted by NIIZAKI are detached for Takao.

4 December 1944:
At 1025, HI-80 arrives at Sasebo.

9 December 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

29 December 1944:
Departs Kure.

31 December 1944:
TENEI MARU departs Moji on the first part of its route via Formosa to Hong Kong and Singapore in convoy HI-87 also consisting of fleet oiler KAMOI, with the convoy commander aboard, and oilers KAIHO, KUROSHIO, HASHIDATE, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA, MIRI, MUNAKATA and SARAWAK MARUs and passenger-cargo ship TATSUWA MARU escorted by destroyers YUKIKAZE, SHIGURE, HATAKAZE and DesDiv17’s HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE and kaibokan MIKURA, YASHIRO, KURAHASHI and CD-13. Light carrier RYUHO provides air cover. YUKIKAZE soon suffers a burst steam pipe and has to return to the Inland Sea.

3 January 1945:
At 0900, the convoy anchors temporarily in the Chusan Islands group because of the threat of air attacks on Formosa.

5 January 1945:
At 0500, convoy HI-87 departs the Chusan Islands anchorage.

7 January 1945:
East China Sea. The convoy is sighted by a wolf pack consisting of USS BARB (SS-220) and PICUDA (SS-382), later joined by QUEENFISH (SS-393). At 0905, in heavy seas, PICUDA torpedoes and heavily damages MUNAKATA MARU’s bow. She proceeds separately to Kirun (Keelung). At 1300, RYUHO and SHIGURE are also detached and proceed to Kirun.

The convoy anchors at Shinchiku Roadstead, Formosa. HAMAKAZE collides with KAIHO MARU. The destroyer is detached with ISOKAZE as escort to Mako, Pescadores for emergency repairs. At 1830, in dense fog, the convoy anchors temporarily on the W Formosan coast. The ships split up and enter Takao’s port at different times.

8 January 1945:
At 1200, KAMOI arrives with KAIHO MARU and escorts MIKURA, YASHIRO and kaibokan CD-13. Then KAIHO MARU experiences an engine breakdown. The ships anchor temporarily outside Takao’s port.

9 January 1945:
Vice Admiral John S. McCain's (USNA '10) Task Force 38 attacks shipping at Takao. At 1200, 17 Grumman TBM "Avengers" and F6F "Hellcats" attack and sink KAIHO MARU, heavily damage KUROSHIO MARU and damage escorts YASHIRO, MIYAKE and kaibokan CD-13. Fleet oiler KAMOI suffers light damage, probably from the near-miss of a bomb.

10 January 1945:
At 1700, TENEI MARU departs Takao for Mako, Pescadores in the reformed convoy now also consisting of KAMOI, SARAWAK, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA and HASHIDATE MARUs escorted by kaibokan KANJU, KURAHASHI, NOMI, SHINNAN, YASHIRO, MIYAKE and CD-13, CD-60 and CD-205 and destroyer SHIGURE that rejoins from Kirun.

RYUHO and DesDiv 17’s HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE are detached from HI-87 and depart for Japan. At 1830, MITSUSHIMA MARU suffers an engine breakdown and returns to Takao.

12 January 1945:
At 0600, TENEI MARU's steering breaks down. The convoy receives a radio report that Kirun is under air attack and the ships are ordered to head for Hong Kong, not Mako. CD-60 escorts TENEI MARU to Hong Kong.

13 January 1945:
At 1100, convoy HI-87 enters Hong Kong.

15 January 1945:
Hong Kong. At 0915, an air raid warning is sounded and soon after carrier aircraft from Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38 begin attacks. Bomb and machine gun strafing attacks harry the ships all day, but they escape major damage.

16 January 1945:
At 0820, carrier aircraft from Task Force 38 strike Hong Kong again. While moored at buoy A5, TENEI MARU suffers a fierce air attack. The ship fights back valiantly, but at 1100 two bombs hit near the Officers Mess aft and a fire breaks out. Firefighting continues till 1230. At 1300, TENEI MARU weighs anchor, but at 1515, she is hit by four bombs on the port side aft of the engine room. At 1530, four bombs hit oil tanks No. 2 and No. 3.

TENEI MARU floods, heels over to port and begins sinking by the stern. The passengers on board abandon ship. At the same time, the starboard side of hold No. 3 is damaged by the near miss of a bomb. TENEI MARU’s list increases. At 1830, the aircraft retire. TENEI MARU appears beyond repair and breaking up. By 2200, she develops a 35 degree list and the crew is ordered to abandon ship.

17 January 1945:
At 0550, TENEI MARU rolls over and sinks loaded with many weapons and 159 troops. One passenger, two armed guards and three crewmen are KIA.

Authors Note:
[1] Alternately, TENEI MARU may have joined convoy HI-59 convoy near Nagasaki.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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