YUSOSEN!

(TOEN MARU, ex-British AUNGBAN, prewar )

IJN TOEN MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Revision 2


February 1917:
Laid down as a 5,125-ton tanker for Burmah Oil Company Co. Ltd. (later BP), Newcastle at Palmers' Shipyard, Hebburn, England. Port of registry, Newcastle. [1]

30 August 1917:
Launched and named AUNGBAN.

February 1918:
Completed.

1920:
Port of registry is changed to Rangoon, Burma.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The "First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers fire blank cartridges. Nearby Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a Peking suburb to look for the soldier. The Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

13 February 1938:
Purchased by the Okada group of Osaka. Renamed TOEN MARU. Port of registry is changed to Osaka.

28 March 1938:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a charter oil supply boat.

20 April 1940:
Departs Takao in support of operations in southern China.

3 May 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

8 May 1940:
Departs Takao for south China area.

3 June 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

9 June 1940:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

26 June 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

3 July 1940:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

21 July 1940:
Arrives at Mako.

26 July 1940:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

3 August 1940:
Arrives at Sasebo.

7 September 1940:
Departs Sasebo in support of operations in southern China.

24 September 1940:
Arrives at Mako.

26 September 1940:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

8 October 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

11 October 1940:
Departs Takao in support of operations in southern China.

29 November 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

6 December 1940:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

31 December 1940:
Arrives at Takao.

8 January 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

24 January 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

26 January 1941:
Departs Mako for south China area.

26 February 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

2 March 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

15 March 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

19 March 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

10 April 1941:
Arrives at Takao. .

18 April 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

20 May 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

24 May 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

15 June 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

20 June 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

27 June 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

1 August 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

10 August 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

19 September 1941:
Departs Sasebo for operations in the south China area.

11 October 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

15 October 1941:
Registered in Sasebo Naval District as a specially installed transport ship (oil supply).

16 October 1941:
Departs Mako in support of operations in southern China.

13 November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 November 1941:
Begins conversion to a fleet oiler.

6 December 1941:
Completes conversion. Rated a fleet post and oil supply boat. Assigned to replenish China Area Fleet units in the Hong Kong area.

17 December 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

25 December 1941: Fall of Hong Kong:
Major General Christopher M. Maltby, British Indian Army, advises Governor Sir Mark A. Young to surrender the outnumbered British garrison because of lack of food and water. At 1800, Young surrenders the Crown Colony to LtGen Sakai Takashi, C-in-C, 23rd Army. That night, nearly 6,500 British and Commonwealth troops go into captivity.

1 January 1942:
SW of Hong Kong. TOEN MARU hits a British mine that blows off her bow. She is beached to prevent sinking. MOJI MARU is assigned to lighten the ship of its heavy fuel oil cargo; but high winds and strong currents mean MOJI MARU frequently has to operate in areas not yet swept of mines.

3 January 1942:
SW of Hong Kong. In heavy seas, MOJI MARU enters an unswept area, strikes a mine and sinks.

January-June 1942:
Hong Kong. Drydocked for repairs.

18 June 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

20 June 1942:
Reassigned to the Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet (Combined Fleet). Departs Takao and later that day arrives at Mako.

28 June 1942:
Departs Mako for Manila escorted by auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU.

7 July 1942:
Okada Gumi is reconstituted as Okada Shosen K.K. TOEN MARUís port of registry is changed to Tokyo.

20 August 1942:
Reassigned to the Southwest Area Fleet (Combined Fleet).

11 October 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

12 October 1942:
Arrives back at Surabaya.

30 October 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

10 November 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

27 December 1942:
TOEN MARUís crew returns to Japan

Late December 1942:
Okada Shosen, the ship's owners, request the Navy Ministry to return TOEN MARU, but the Navy declines on the grounds of a shortage of tankers. [2]

14 January 1943:
Departs Surabaya manned by Navy personel.

23 January 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

6 February 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

February 1943:
At Kau Bay, Halmahera, Moluccas. Okada Shosen again requests the Navy Ministry to return TOEN MARU, but the Navy again declines.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

1 March 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

2 March 1943:
Makassar Strait, Netherlands East Indies. LtCdr William J. Millicanís USS THRESHER (SS-200) is patrolling on the surface when his lookouts sight smoke on the horizon. Millican closes until he can make out a tanker and a freighter. Millican submerges and fires four torpedoes. One hits, but is a dud. A second hits TOEN MARU in the stern and she sinks at 03-29S, 117-17E. Millican fires his last torpedo at the freighter, but her lookouts spot its wake and she takes evasive action. An unidentified escort arrives and keeps THRESHER down while the freighter escapes.

20 April 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.


[1] The ship was unusual for her time in having the bridge completely aft with the engine, with a profile similar to modern tankers of today, rather than the traditional three island type.

[2] Allan Alsleben obtained an interview with the owners of TOEN MARU in 1988. It seems in all TOEN MARU was used for approximately 30 days out of some 180. The agreement with the Navy had been for the return of the ship by the end of 1942, but the Navy didn't honor the agreement. Okada Shosen did get the log from the 21st Base Force Harbormaster's Office of the dates she was out of port, but the destinations were censored. During the 1945 Firestorms over Tokyo, the Okada's lost most of the paperwork.

In 1947, Okada Shosen was able to recover most of the records from the Minister of Transportation. The consensus on TOEN MARU's censored war time route and destinations was that it was from Surabaya calling on Balikpapan or Tarakan, Kau Bay, Ambon and Kendari, then returning to Surabaya.

Thanks for assistance with this TROM goes to Allan Alsleben of Oregon. Photo credit goes to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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