RIKUGUN HAITOSEN!

(Type 1TM Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker underway)

TENSHIN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


1943:
Osaka Laid down at Hitachi Zosen Sakurajima yard as a 5,068-ton Type 1TM Wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Kyodo Kigyo K.K., Tokyo,

November 1943:
Launched and named TENSHIN MARU.

30 December 1943:
Completed.

1944:
Ownership transfers to Nippon Yusosen K.K., Tokyo.

1944:
Placed under Senpaku Uneikai (Civilian Administration) control at an unknown date. Allotted to the Imperial Army (A/C-AO) with Army No. 5082, later No. 5103.

19 March 1944:
TENSHIN MARU departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-55 also consisting of RYOEI, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON), ASANAGI, TARAKAN and OTORISAN MARUs and six unidentified ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE.

24 March 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. The six unidentified ships and destroyer HARUKAZE are detached. She is replaced by kaibokan MATSUWA and torpedo boat HATO.

26 March 1944:
TENSHIN MARU departs Takao in the convoy also consisting of RYOEI, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON), ASANAGI, TARAKAN and OTORISAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA and torpedo boat HATO. Soon after departure TENSHIN and RYOEI MARUs develop unknown problems and return to Takao.

5 April 1944:
At 0240, TENSHIN MARU departs Imari Bay for Takao in convoy MOTA-16 also consisting of OGURA MARU No. 1, TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, SANKO, HIROTA and MITSU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18.

15 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

19 April 1944:
At 0800, TENSHIN MARU departs Takao with an amalgamation of three convoys TASA-17, TE-03 and No. 82 also consisting of cargo ships FRANCE, KINREI, SHORYU, DAIBU, YULIN, TOYOHI, HOKKA, NARUO, DAIYOKU, WAKO, JINJU, RAKUZAN, SEISHO, IKOMASAN, KAIKO, OAKITA, YOSHUN, HIROTA and NINGPO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1, minesweeper W-18, torpedo boat HATSUKARI, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU and subchasers CH-41 and CH-43.

21 April 1944:
At 1000, the convoys split. Ore convoy TE-03 and KAZAN MARU with CD-1 head for Yulin, Hainan Island. Convoys TASA-17 and No. 82 with HATSUKARI and W-18 head for St Jacques.

4 May 1944:
At 1030, TENSHIN MARU departs Miri for Moji in convoy MI-02 (return journey) also consisting of tankers MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, HAKUBASAN, SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU), NISSHIN, SHINCHO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and cargo ships KENSEI, TAIHEI, AKAGISAN and TAIYU MARUs and passenger ship KURENAI MARU escorted by kaibokan AWAJI, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38. At 2100, anchors in Imuruan Bay, NW Borneo.

5 May 1944:
At 0530, departs Imuruan Bay.

6 May 1944:
At 0801, LtCdr Francis D. Walker's USS CREVALLE (SS-291) torpedoes and sinks NISSHIN MARU at 07-19N, 116-52E. 15 crewmen are KIA. The fate of her 291 passengers is unknown. At 16,801-tons, she was the largest ship in the convoy.

7 May 1944:
At 2000, anchors Ulugan Bay, Palawan.

8 May 1944:
At 1130, departs Ulugan Bay.

10 May 1944:
At 1330, arrives at Manila. TENSHIN, KENSEI, TAIHEI, AKAGISAN and TAIYU MARUs and passenger ship KURENAI MARU are detached.

24 July 1944:
At 0730, TENSHIN MARU departs Singapore for Moji via Manila in convoy SHIMA-02 also consisting of HINAGA, KENEI and SIBERIA MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-9 and torpedo boat HATO. TENSHIN MARU is carrying a cargo of aviation gasoline.

31 July 1944:
Off S Palawan Island, Philippines. At 2103, LtCdr Lowell T. Stone's USS LAPON (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks TENSHIN MARU at 08-50N, 16-00E. All 44 crewmen are lost. LAPON also torpedoes and damages HINAGA MARU.

3 August 1944:
At 1442, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “HIJUN MARU while proceeding north in SIMA-02 received a torpedo attack (amidships) at ---- on 31st in position 08-51N, 116-45E and was subsequently lost touch with. CD-9 searched for her until noon on the 2nd but was not (seen?)”


Authors’ Note:
[1] TENSHIN MARU was under civilian control when sunk, but previously she performed voyages under charter to the Imperial Army.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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