TERUKAWA MARU ex-NORA MAERSK, prewar in Kawasaki’s colors)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 7

E 1933:
Odense, Denmark. Laid down as a 6,433-ton cargo-motorship at Odense Staalskibsværft (Odense Steel Shipyard) for D/S A/S Svendborg og A/S D/S af 1912 (A P Moller), Copenhagen.

August 1934:
Launched and named NORA MAERSK.

Completed, thereafter operated by A.P. Möller (Maersk Line).

19 July 1936:
Zamboanga, Philippines. While on a voyage to Manila, China, Japan and the U.S. with a cargo of copra, hemp, lumber and sugar a fire occurs that causes NORA MAERSK's oil tanks to explode. The ship is declared a total loss. Later, the hulk is towed to Hong Kong where it is sold at auction. Kitagawa Shoten, K. K. submits the successful bid.

26 July 1936:
Towed to Caldera Bay and beached.

3 August 1936:
Refloated and towed to Hong Kong.

September 1937:
Sakurajima. Begins repairs at Osaka Iron Works. Sold to Shimatani Kisen and renamed HOKOKU MARU. Immediately resold to Goyo Shosen K.K., renamed TERUKAWA MARU and registered at Kobe.

April 1938:
Completes repairs. Kawasaki Kisen K. K, Ltd. charters the ship for service on their Kobe - New York route.

15 June 1938:
Departs Kobe for New York.

5 August 1939:
Departs Kobe on Kawasaki’s San Francisco route.

January 1940:
In service on Kawasaki’s Seattle route.

1 September 1941:
Departs Kobe for Central and South America, Saigon, Indochina and Yokohama.

16 December 1941:
At 0900 in Marshall Islands, TERUKAWA MARU encounters auxiliary gunboat IKUTA MARU. Each takes the other for an enemy vessel, but the error is realized before any damage occurs.

27 June 1942:
At 0500 arrives at Dairen.

September 1942:
The IJA requisitions TERUKAWA MARU. She serves as an Army transport with allotted number 825, to transport supplies between Yokohama-Rangoon-Shimonoseki/Kanmon.

10 November 1942:
At 2000 departs Rangoon alone and without escort.

14 November 1942:
At 1200 due to arrive at Singapore.

11 December 1942:
Requisitioned by the IJN and attached to the Kure Naval District. Departs Moji.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Kobe. Begins emergency conversion to a fleet oiler at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard.

15 January 1943:
The conversion is completed. Departs Kobe.

16 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

17 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Moji and departs later that same day.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

25 January 1943:
Departs Takao.

30 January 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

January 1943:
Refuels and replenishes fresh water for minesweeper W-7.

3 February 1943:
Departs Miri.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama and later that day arrives at Kawasaki.

21 February 1943:
Departs Kawasaki.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

1 March 1943:
Registered in the Kure Naval District as an auxiliary transport (oil supply).

8 March 1943:
Departs Kobe.

9 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 March 1943:
Departs Kure.

11 March 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

12 March 1943:
Departs Moji.

17 March 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

24 March 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 379 consisting of TERUKAWA MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques and departs later that day in convoy No. 488 consisting of TERUKAWA MARU and two unidentified merchant ships without escort. .

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 April 1943:
Reverses course to return to Singapore.

7 April 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

9 April 1943:
Departs Singapore.

12 April 1943:
Arrives at Miri. Probably loads fuel oil.

14 April 1943:
Departs Miri.

17 April 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques and departs that day.

24 April 1943:
At 1000 departs St Jacques in the "N" convoy consisting of TERUKAWA MARU and cargo ship TAGANOURA MARU with minelayer TAKASHIMA as escort.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Mutsure and departs that day. Arrives at Marifu. Probably unloads oil at the refinery located there.

3 May 1943:
Departs Marifu. Arrives at Aioi. Enters dock at Harima shipyard.

11 May 1943:
Undocked. Departs Aioi.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Probably discharges crude oil. Departs that same day.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

14 May 1943:
Departs Kure and later arrives at Tokuyama. Probably loads fuel oil.

18 May 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

24 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

25 May 1943:
Pumps 2,900 tons of heavy grade L0 and 2,000 tons of grade L2 oil to tanker TEIYO MARU.

29 May 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

1 June 1943:
Northern unit attachment.

2 June 1943:
Arrives at Noma.

6 June 1943:
Departs Noma and arrives at Tokuyama at 1800.

8 June 1943:
At 1400 departs Tokuyama.

9 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 June 1943:
At 0700 departs Kure.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 June 1943:
Departs Ominato and arrives at Aomori. Departs later the same day.

18 June 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Aomori and departs at 1200. Later that day arrives at Ominato.

19 June 1943:
At 1700 departs Ominato in an unnumbered convoy consisting of TERUKAWA, HAKKAI and AKASHISAN MARUs and fleet supply ship SHIRASAKI escorted by destroyers HATSUSHIMO and WAKABA.

24 June 1943:
At 0440 arrives at Paramushiro.

1 July 1943:
Attempts to refuel station tanker TEIYO MARU, but the operation is foiled by bad weather.

4 July 1943:
Pumps 1,000 tons of L2 and 3,215 tons of L3 to TEIYO MARU.

6 July 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

7 July 1943:
Refuels cruisers NACHI and MAYA with L3 heavy oil.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

14 July 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at Kure and departs the same day.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji and departs later that day.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Otaru and departs soon after at 1900.

22 July 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Paramushiro.

6 August 1943:
At 1035 departs Paramushiro.

9 August 1943:
At 1900 arrives at Ominato.

14 August 1943:
At 0900 departs Ominato.

15 August 1943:
Sea of Japan. At 0222, from 1,150 yards, LtCdr (later Cdr/KIA) Dudley W. Morton’s (USNA ’30) USS WAHOO (SS-238) fires a single Mark-14-3A torpedo at TERUKAWA MARU that hits, but fails to explode. Morton continues to track the target. Later, he surfaces and makes an "end around" to gain a set up on the target. At 0418, USS WAHOO fires two Mark-14s at TERUKAWA MARU from 750 yards, but both miss. At 0424, Morton fires an “up-the stern” shot that also misses. TERUKAWA MARU arrives safely at Otaru later that day. [1]

August 1943:
Undergoes temporary repairs.

20 August 1943:
Departs Otaru.

23 August 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Paramushiro.

August 1943:
Refuels light cruiser ABUKUMA and an unidentified destroyer with heavy oil.

21 September 1943:
At 1200 departs Paramushiro escorted by destroyer ASAGUMO.

25 September 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido.

26 September 1943:
Departs Hakodate escorted by submarine chaser CH-44.

28 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

6 October 1943:
Enters dock at the Nippon Kokan, K. K. shipyard.

13 October 1943:

23 October 1943:
Departs Yokohama and later arrives at Yokosuka.

25 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

29 October 1943:
Departs Moji and later arrives at Mutsure.

30 October 1943:
At 1600, TERUKAWA MARU departs Mutsure for Takao in convoy No. 110 consisting of TEIKO (ex-French D’ARTAGNAN), ASAHI, MALTA, HANAKAWA, KIZAN, YOZAN, SEIZAN, OSHIMA, CHINKAI, TAINAN, TOYO, YULIN, SHINKOKU and SEIWA MARUs and oilers TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU) and SANKO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-2 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU.

4 November 1943:
At 1410, arrives at Takao, Formosa.

6 November 1943:
Departs Takao and later that day arrives at Mako.

7 November 1943:
Arrives at Mako. Later that day, TERUKAWA MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 336 consisting of tanker TEIYO MARU and cargo ships TEIKO (ex-French D’ARTAGNAN), YULIN, TAINAN, KISHU, SEIWA, SHORYU MARUs plus two unidentified ships escorted by an unknown escort.

13 November 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

16 November 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No. 525 consisting of TERUKAWA MARU and four unidentified merchant ships without escort.

19 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

1 December 1943:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

2 December 1943:
At 1700, TERUKAWA MARU departs Singapore in convoy No. 1040. consisting of oilers NICHIEI and KYOKUTO MARUs without escort.

15 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Loads drums of heavy oil, depth charges, miscellaneous goods, mail and embarks 147 passengers.

20 December 1943:
TERUKAWA MARU departs Truk towards Saipan escorted by destroyer AMAGIRI.

21 December 1943:
At 0518, LtCdr Eugene B. McKinney’s (USNA ’27) USS SKATE (SS-305) torpedoes TERUKAWA MARU. Two torpedoes hit her in the central part of the engine room. She sinks at 09-45N, 152-00 E. 12 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are KIA.

At 0540, USN code breakers intercept and decode a message from the CO of AMAGIRI that reads: “At 0518, in position 09-45N, 151-56E, TERUKAWA MARU received a torpedo attack and sustained two hits, in danger of sinking. -----.”

At 0735, USN codebreakers at Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) intercept and decode a message from Truk Base Force that reads: "TERUKAWA MARU proceeding escorted by AMAGIRI was torpedoed and sunk at 0518 about 145 miles off Dublon Island. OK1 is to sail as soon as possible and KINJO MARU is to leave her patrol and proceed to the scene to sweep for the submarine. 902 Air Group is to send out aircraft to assist."

Destroyers HAMAKAZE, HIBIKI and INAZUMA are dispatched from Truk to assist destroyer AMAGIRI in rescuing an unknown number of survivors.

5 February 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] On 11 Oct '43, USS WAHOO was lost with all hands in La Pérouse/Soya Strait, Northern Japan. In Jul '06, her hulk was found by Russian divers in about 213 feet (65 meters) of water.

The loading and unloading of bulk fuel oil at various ports in this TROM is speculative.

Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts. Thanks go also to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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