(TOEI MARU as a Nitto Kogyo tanker)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 6

E 1938:
Kobe. Laid down by Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a 10,022-ton merchant tanker for Nitto Kogyo Kisen (Nitto Steamship Co.) K.K., Tokyo.

E 1938:
Kobe. Launched and named TOEI MARU

21 February 1939:

23 December 1940:
Captain (Retired) Ishiguro Torao (37) is appointed Supervisor (Kantokukan).

26 December 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN and registered in the Kure Naval District as a Converted Merchant Transport (Oil Supply).

31 December 1940:
Osaka. Enters Sanoyasu Dockyard for conversion to a naval auxiliary.

26 January 1941:
The conversion is completed.

6 February 1941:
Departs Kure on voyage to North American coast to pick up a cargo of oil, probably at the Associated Oil Company's refinery at Port Costa, California.

11 March 1941:
Arrives at the IJN oil storage depot at Tokuyama. Unloads the American oil.

15 March 1941:
Departs Tokuyama on a second voyage to the North American coast.

17 April 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

28 April 1941:
Departs Kure for the Dutch East Indies to load oil cargo.

13 May 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Unloads Dutch oil.

24 May 1941:
Departs Kure on a third voyage to North America.

25 June 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

1 July 1941:
TOEI MARU is re-rated a Converted Transport (Oil Supply) and fully manned by IJN personnel. Captain Ishiguro is the Commanding Officer.

5 July 1941:
Departs Tokuyama.

19 July 1941:
Arrives at Los Angeles, probably loads oil at San Pedro.

22 July 1941:
Departs Los Angeles.

6 August 1941:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

4 September 1941:
Yokohama. Undergoes further conversion at Mitsubishi, probably to allow at-sea refuelling.

6 October 1941:
Captain (Retired) Ishiguro is reassigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.

12 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

15 October 1941:
TOEI MARU is re-rated a Converted Merchant Transport (Oil Supply) and manned mostly by civilian merchant marine personnel. Captain-Ret (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kusagawa Kiyoshi (38) is appointed Supervisor.

1 November 1941:
Yokosuka. The CINC 1st Air Fleet, Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) signals TOEI MARU that after completing battle preparations, TOEI MARU will obtain about 750 drums of fuel oil (for use by AKAGI) and 12,000 kerosene tins of fuel oil (for use by HIRYU) from Yokosuka and rendezvous at Sasebo on 10 November.

5 November 1941:
In addition to refueling from oilers, the Strike Force is required to carry a deck cargo of oil drums. On the carriers, the extra weight of the drums is a cause for concern.

The Chief, Bureau Military Affairs Section signals the Chief of Staff, 1st Air Fleet that loading of drums of fuel oil on the 1st Air Fleet's ships will affect the strength of the hull and the ship's performance. He advises that AKAGI should be loaded under 600 tons; SORYU and HIRYU under 400 tons, and that an equivalent weight should be removed. The AKAGI and HIRYU should be loaded amidships and the bow and stern areas avoided. The SORYU should be loaded evenly over length of ship.

10 November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 November 1941: The Hawaii Operation:
Departs Saiki. Seven oilers are assigned to Operation AMO, but the IJN’s practical experience in refueling at sea is almost nil. Earlier in the month, three refueling exercises were held in Sukumo Bay and the Ariake Sea. Now, while enroute to the Kuriles, all units in the carrier formation are refueled ten times.

26 November 1941:
TOEI MARU departs Hitokappu Bay at Etorofu Island in the Kuriles with Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Niimi Kazutaka's (40) Supply Group No. 2's oilers TOHO and NIPPON MARUs and Captain Ota Masanao's (39) Supply Group No. 1's oilers KOKUYO, KYOKUTO, KENYO and SHINKOKU MARUs. Provides fuel for Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) Carrier Striking Force ("Kido Butai") CarDiv 1's AKAGI, KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU and the Support Force.

The Support Force consists of Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (38) BatDiv 3/1's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (39) CruDiv 8's TONE, CHIKUMA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (41) DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's ARARE, KASUMI, KAGERO and SHIRANUHI and CarDiv 5's AKIGUMO and Captain (later Rear Admiral) Konishi Kaname's (44) Midway Bombardment Unit's DesDiv 7's SAZANAMI and USHIO.

Nagumo's orders from Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (32), CINC, Combined Fleet, are that if refueling proved impossible in the stormy winter waters of the Northern Pacific, Nagumo is to detach AKAGI, SORYU and HIRYU and his destroyers and make the attack with only KAGA, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU that need no refueling.

2 December 1941:
940 miles N of Midway Island. Nagumo’s Force receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).

5 December 1941:
600 miles N of Oahu, Hawaii. At about 1130, after fleet refueling is completed, the 2nd Supply Group's oilers TOHO, NIPPON and TOEI MARUs and destroyer ARARE are detached from the Striking Force and turn towards a designated rendezvous point with the carriers for the retrurn trip to Japan.

6 December 1941:
400 miles N of Oahu, Hawaii. At 0810, after refueling the Carrier Force, the 1st Supply Group's oilers SHINKOKU, KENYO, KOKUYO and KYOKUTO MARUs and destroyer KASUMI are detached and turn towards a designated rendezvous point with the carriers for the return trip to Japan. The Striking Force increases speed to 24 knots and proceeds to Hawaiian waters to launch the attack.

Vice Admiral Nagumo dispatches ABUKUMA and DesDiv 17's TANIKAZE to Supply Group No. 1 at the rendezvous point following final refueling before the attack. At about 2100, the two warships reach the oilers, refuel and return with the oilers to the First Air Fleet.

7 December 1941: Operation "Z" - The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
At 0618, the Carrier Striking Force launches attacks that later sink battleships USS ARIZONA (BB-39), USS OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44) and damage USS NEVADA (BB-36), USS PENNSLYVANIA (BB-38), USS TENNESSEE (BB-43), USS MARYLAND (BB-46), USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB-49) and other smaller ships. 2,335 American servicemen die in the attack, most on USS ARIZONA. After recovering all but 29 of its aircraft lost in the attack, the Striking Force departs Hawaiian waters towards Japan.

21 December 1941:
SSW of the Bonin Islands. The 2nd Supply Group's oilers TOEI, NIPPON and TOHO MARUs rendezvous with, and refuel, the Striking Force. That same day, seven destroyers of DesDiv 21 and DesDiv 27 from Tokoyama rendezvous with the 1st Air Fleet to provide additional ASW protection.

23 December 1941:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

24 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

4 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

5 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

7 January 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

12 January 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

14 January 1942:
Refuels destroyer URANAMI.

16 January 1942:
Refuels destroyers ISONAMI and AYANAMI.

20 January 1942:
Refuels cruisers MIKUMA and MOGAMI.

24 January 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

26 January 1942:
Departs St Jacques.

31 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

4 February 1942:
Departs Mako.

5 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 May 1942:
Departs Tokuyama for Hashirajima.

29 May 1942: Operation “MI” - The Battle of Midway:
Departs Hashirajima with Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigeyoshu's (40) Supply Group No. 1's oiler NARUTO and Admiral Yamamoto's First Fleet, Main Body's BatDiv 1, light carrier HOSHO, seaplane tenders CHIYODA and NISSHIN, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (43) DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI with destroyers FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, MURAKUMO, HATSUYUKI, ISONAMI, URANAMI, SHIKANAMI, AYANAMI and YUKAZE. Remains 300 miles behind the First Carrier Striking Force. Refuels DesRons 3 and 10 at sea.

2 June 1942:
At 1130, in bad weather, TOEI MARU begins refueling destroyers.

3 June 1942:
At 0700, TOEI, TOA and SAN CLEMENTE MARUs refuel the remaining five destroyers.

5 June 1942:
At dawn, TOEI MARU refuels the Main Body's battleship NAGATO. After receipt of a report of enemy ships in the area, TOEI MARU refuels two destroyers while also simultaneously refueling NAGATO.

14 June 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima.

16 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 August 1942:
Reassigned to the Guadalcanal Transport Replenishment Group No. 1 to support the Carrier Striking Force (Kido Butai). Departs Kanogawa.

21 August 1942:
At sea with oiler TOHO MARU refuels carrier ZUIKAKU.

22 August 1942:
At sea in vicinity of 02-36N 157-47E refuels heavy cruiser KUMANO with 1205 tons heavy fuel oil.

25 August 1942:
At 2300 begins refuelling heavy cruiser KUMANO again.

26 August 1942:
At 0500 completes refuelling after transferring 1307 tons heavy fuel oil.

3 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy with tanker TOHO MARU bound for Truk. The ships sail at 15.5 knots.

28 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Hiro.

12 October 1942:
TOEI MARU and tanker NISSHO MARU meet up with destroyer YUZUKI and later that day arrives at Truk.

17 October 1942:
N of the Solomons. TOEI MARU makes a rendezvous with the Supply Group’s oilers TOHO, KYOKUTO and KOKUYO MARUs to provide refueling for the Third Fleet, Striking Force, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 7’s KUMANO and destroyers AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, ARASHI, MAIKAZE, TERUZUKI and HAMAKAZE. At sea in 00-35N 162-15E (noon position) between 1625 and 2350 TOEI MARU transfers heavy fuel to heavy cruiser KUMANO and from 2017 TOHO MARU transfers fuel to heavy cruiser SUZUYA.

17-24 October 1942:
N of the Solomons. Destroyer NOWAKI arrives from Shortlands. The Supply Force refuels the fleet at sea for eight consecutive days.

Between 1625 and 2335 on 17 October, TOEI MARU refuels heavy cruiser KUMANO.

26 October 1942:The Battle of Santa Cruz:
Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force engages Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Task Force 17's USS HORNET (CV-8) in an air battle. Nagumo's planes sink USS HORNET and damage USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and USS SAN JUAN (CL-54).

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

7 November 1942:
Transits the Bungo Straits enroute to Kure in a convoy also consisting of tankers GENYO, KENYO and NIPPON MARUs.

12 November 1942:
Captain (Retired) Kusagawa is relieved by an unknown Captain.

19 November 1942:
Departs Hiro. Joined by minelayer NATSUSHIMA and escorted to 90 degrees off Toi Misaki where the minelayer is detached.

7 December 1942:
At 0900 arrives at Shortland in convoy with KIRISHIMA MARU.

18 January 1943:
100 miles SW of Truk. Alerted by an "Ultra" signal based on code-breaking, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Creed C. Burlingame's (USNA ’27) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) intercepts and attacks TOEI MARU. At about 0105, Burlingame fires four torpedoes in a submerged attack and gets three hits. TOEI MARU sinks at 06-21N, 150-23E. Four crewmen are KIA.

1 April 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Thanks for assistance goes to Allan Alsleben of Oregon, USA and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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