(TENZAN MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1

22 October 1928:
Tama. Laid down by Mitsui Bussan Zosenbu K.K shipyard for Dairen Kisen K.K. as a 2,775-ton cargo ship.

2 March 1929:
Launched and named TENZAN MARU. [1]

28 May 1929:
Completed and registered in Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China).

20 December 1941:
Scheduled to be requisitioned under Navy’s instruction No. 1559.

22 December 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN and attached to the Kure Naval District.

24 December 1941:
Scheduled to be converted as an auxiliary transport under Navy’s secret instruction No. 12390.

30 December 1941:
Starts conversion at the Kure Naval Yard.

9 January 1942:
Attached directly to the Combined Fleet under secret instruction No. 432. Assigned that same day to the Southern Area under telegram No. 39. (Effective 15 Jan ’42)

10 January 1942:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport attached to the Maizuru Naval District with Maizuru as home port under Navy’s instruction No. 35. That same day an unknown IJN Captain is appointed supervisor.

11 January 1942:
Tactically assigned to Southern Area, 11th Air Fleet under telegram No. 59 (effective 15 Jan ’42).

14 January 1942:
The conversion is completed. Undocked.

15 January 1942:
Attached to the Combined Fleet as an auxiliary transport (Ko) category. [2]

27 January 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Davao.

2 February 1942:
Departs Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

1 March 1942:
Tactically assigned to Southern Area, 11th Air Fleet, Supply Unit. That same day, depart Kendari, Celebes (now Sulawesi).

4 March 1942:
Arrives at Kupang, Timor.

20 March 1942:
Departs Kupang.

E 27 March 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

7 April 1942:
Departs Macassar, Celebes.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas. Tactically assigned to supply Air Bases Units.

16 April 1942:
Departs Ambon.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Kupang.

21 April 1942:
Departs Kupang.

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

2 May 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with a stereoscopic range finder and related spare parts under Navy’s secret instruction No. 5289.

4 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Port Blair, Andamans.

14 May 1942:
Departs Port Blair.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 May 1942:
Departs Singapore.

28 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

2 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

8 July 1942:
30 nautical miles W of Rabaul, New Britain. LtCdr James R. Reynolds’ (USNA ’31) USS S-37 (SS-142) sights a transport escorted by a subchaser. Closing, at 1405, Reynolds fires three torpedoes that all hit aft and sink TENZAN MARU at 04-00S, 151-50E with the loss of 81 passengers and one crewman. CH-30 depth-charges S-37, but without success. Reynolds goes to 110 feet (34m) and runs silent on a northerly course as the subchaser drops depth charges where the submarine had been.

31 July 1942:
Removed from the Navy List under instruction No. 1393.

Authors Notes:
[1] Not to be confused with civilian cargo ship (3,142 GRT, ’20). Two other ships bearing the same name also were completed in Sep ’42 and Jul ’45.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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