YUSOSEN!

(KOTOKU MARU sistership of TOKUWA MARU, in wartime)

IJN TOKUWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall
Revision 3


16 August 1941:
Koyagi Jima, laid down by Kawaminami Kogyo Zosensho K.K. as a Peacetime Standard (D) Type cargo ship for Nitto Kogyo Kisen K.K.

23 November 1942:
Launched and named TOKUWA MARU.

10 December 1942:
Scheduled to be requisitioned from 13 Dec ‘42 under Third Secret Military Preparation instructions.

24 December 1942:
Completed and registered at Tokyo.

25 December 1942:
Registered as a general transport (refueling ship) attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

28 December 1942:
Koyagi Jima. Begins conversion to an oil tanker (primary emergency oil tanker) at the Kawaminami Kogyo Zosensho K.K Shipyard.

16 February 1943:
The conversion is completed.

17 February 1943:
Departs Nagasaki and arrives at Sasebo later that day.

19 February 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai, Chosen (now Jinhae, South Korea).

21 February 1943:
Departs Chinkai.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

24 February 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

25 February 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai.

26 February 1943:
Departs Chinkai. That same day, her owners are restyled to Nitto Kisen K.K.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Tainoura, Chiba Prefecture later that day.

2 March 1943:
Departs Tainoura.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai .

4 March 1943:
Departs Chinkai.

5 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

9 March 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai.

10 March 1943:
Departs Chinkai.

11 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

13 March 1943:
Arrives at Chinkai.

14 March 1943:
Departs Chinkai.

15 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo in B convoy with one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer KURETAKE.

21 March 1943:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

22 March 1943:
Departs Mako.

28 March 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

31 March 1943:
Departs Maizuru.

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Moji. Departs later that day.

2 April 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

3 April 1943:
Begins repairs to her supply piping.

12 April 1943:
Supply pipe repairs are completed.

13 April 1943:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Tomie, Nagasaki Prefecture later that day.

14 April 1943:
Departs Tomie in convoy No. 147 also consisting of NIKKAKU MARU and NISSHIN MARU No. 2 without surface escort.

17 April 1943:
At 1815, in position 23-30N, 124-19E about 93km E of Shiraho Zaki, Ishigaki Jima NISSHIN MARU No. 2 strikes mines presumably from a defensive barrage. 26 crew are killed after fire breaks out. The ship breaks into three parts with the fore and aft sections sinking but the large centrepart remaining afloat. Eventually this will drift ashore on the Formosan coast.

18 April 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

19 April 1943:
Departs Mako.

20 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaoshiung, Taiwan).

22 April 1943:
At 1020, departs Takao in convoy No. 254 also consisting of SHOKEI, MITO, YASUSHIMA, SHINSOKU, YAMATO and TAITO MARUs, tanker NIKKAKU MARU and auxiliary survey ship KYODO MARU No. 36 escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

26 April 1943:
With SHOKEI MARU detaches from convoy and arrives at Sasebo.

28 April 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

30 April 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

2 May 1943:
Departs Maizuru.

3 May 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

5 May 1943:
At 1500, departs Moji in convoy No. 154 also consisting of NITTATSU and LIVERPOOL MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.

11 May 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

13 May 1943:
Departs Mako.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru.

23 May 1943:
Departs Maizuru.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu, Wakayama Prefecture.

28 May 1943:
Departs Shimotsu and arrives at Osaka later that day.

29 May 1943:
Departs Osaka.

30 May 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

1 June 1943:
Departs Kure.

6 June 1943:
Arrives at Ryojun (ex-Port-Arthur), Manchuria (now Lushun, northern China).

9 June 1943:
Departs Ryojun and arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China) later that day.

10 June 1943:
Departs Dairen.

15 June 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

20 June 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

22 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Kawasaki later that day.

30 June 1943:
Departs Kawasaki.

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

2 July 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

3 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

15 July 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 July 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

23 July 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

31 July 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

4 August 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

9 August 1943:
Departs Shimotsu and arrives at Osaka later that day.

10 August 1943:
Departs Osaka.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

12 August 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

13 August 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

14 August 1943:
Departs Kure and arrives at Hiro later that day.

15 August 1943:
Departs Hiro.

16 August 1943:
Arrives at Shimotsu.

19 August 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

21 August 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

23 August 1943:
The ship will be derequisitioned from 27 Aug ‘43. (New charter planned from 31 Aug ‘43).

25 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 August 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

2 September 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

5 September 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Derequisitioned and requisitioned again as a Navy supply ship attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

28 October 1943:
At 1630, in 37-35N, 137-10E sights a submarine periscope.

8 November 1943:
Designated the 19th special Naval ship.

7 December 1943:
At 1600, departs Takao in convoy No. 225 also consisting of auxiliary transports TARUSHIMA and TOYOSAKA MARUs, IJA transport YASUKUNI MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships with destroyer ASAKAZE as escort.

8 December 1943:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 422.

14 December 1943:
At 1600, arrives at Moji.

11 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 January 1944:
Due to arrive at Tokuyama.

15 January 1944:
Due to depart Tokuyama.

20 February 1944:
Scheduled to be registered as a Navy supply ship under Third Secret Military Preparation instruction No. 216.

3 June 1944:
At 0415, departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-05 consisting of fleet KENEI, HINAGA, NIPPO, FUYUKAWA, SURAKARUTA, TATSUJU, and SHOEI MARUs, and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, TOA, CERAM, SANKO (YAMAKO), AYAKIRI, AYANAMI, OEI, MARIFU, TAKETSU (BUTSU) and MARIFU MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and fleet oiler NOTORO plus thirteen other unidentified ships. escorted by kaibokan CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-17, auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 and two unidentified escorts.

8 June 1944:
Arrives at Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan) in convoy MI-05. TOYO MARU No. 3 is detached.

9 June 1944:
Departs Kirun in convoy MI-05. At 1940, the convoy stops because of mine danger. Minesweeper W-17 sweeps the route.

10 June 1944:
At 1200, torpedo boat SAGI, patroal boat PB-38 and kaibokan CD-18 are detached. At 1830, arrives at Takao in convoy MI-05.

11 June 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy MI-05 consisting of KENEI, KENZUI, IKOMASAN, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Swedish NINGPO), FUYUKAWA, SURAKARUTA and TATSUJU MARUs, tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, CERAM, YAMASACHI, AYAKIRI, AYANAMI, OEI, TAKETSU (BUTSU) and MARIFU and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and fleet oiler NOTORO plus nine unidentified ships escorted by minesweepers W-17, auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 and two unidentified escorts.

At 0645, transports ARIMASAN, MANILA, MIIKESAN and USSURI MARUs and tankers JINEI, BAIEI and SAN DIEGO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 8 join the convoy from Takao escorted by minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

At 0945, torpedo boat SAGI and kaibokan CD-18 join as escort. At 1025, patrol boat PB-38 joins as escort.

13 June 1944:
At 1555, LtCdr John D. Crowley's (USNA ’34) USS FLIER (SS-250) torpedoes and damages MARIFU MARU, carrying 299 troops and 5 aircraft, at 15-57N, 119-42E. At 1556, minesweeper W-17 drops 19 depth charges. At 1600, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38 are detached and start escorting MARIFU MARU. At 1733, the ship is taken in tow by MIIKESAN MARU and later reaches Manila.

14 June 1944:
At 0820, kaibokan CD-1 joins as escort. At 1230, CD-1 is detached and heads towards Manila. At 1410, minesweeper W-17 and kaibokan CD-18 are detached and ordered to escort MARIFU MARU.

15 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Manila. Many ships are detached.

18 June 1944:
Departs Manila in convoy MI-05 now consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO, tankers ATAGO, TACHIBANA, JINEI, SAN DIEGO, BAIEI, KENZUI, AYANAMI, CERAM and OEI MARUs, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, KYOEI MARU No. 8 and cargo/transports ARIMASAN, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Swedish NINGPO), TATSUJU, SURAKARUTA, TEIFU (ex-Vichy French BOUGAINVILLE), ROKKO, DAIZEN, MIIKESAN, NICHIYO, HIDA and SEIWA MARUs with the same escorts.

23 June 1944:
At 1257, arrives at Miri, Borneo.

27 June 1944:
At 1650, departs Miri in convoy MI-06 also consisting of tankers ATAGO, NICHINAN (5175 grt), NICHINAN (1945 grt), MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, NANSEI, ZUIHO, BAIEI and KOTOKU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by kaibokan CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18. At an unknown point, tanker CERAM MARU joins the convoy.

1 July 1944:
At 1140, W-18 drops three depth charges. Later that day W-18 is detached from the convoy.

2 July 1944:
At 0845, arrives at Manila in convoy MI-06.

4 July 1944:
At 1145, departs Manila in convoy MI-06 now consisting of tankers ATAGO, TACHIBANA and ZUIHO MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 5, OGURA MARU No. 2 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and transports TSUYAMA, AKAGISAN, KANKYO and YAGI MARUs and two unidentified ships (probably PACIFIC and MURORAN MARUs) escorted by CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao. The two unidentified ships are detached.

12 July 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy MI-06 now consisting of the same 11 ships and escorts with additional escorts kaibokan CD-8 and auxiliary patrol boat TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

17 July 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Moji.

24 July 1944:
Arrives at Karatsu Bay, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu.

25 July 1944:
Departs Karatsu Bay.

25 July 1944:
Arrives at Imari Bay, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu.

26 July 1944:
At 0600, departs Imari Bay in convoy MI-13 also consisting of tankers ATAGO, KOKUSEI, HIGANE, HIYORI, SHINCHO, TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU) and KYOEI MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 and cargo ships ATLAS, CHINA, DURBAN, KIZAN, KUNIYAMA, MATSUURA, RISSHUN, SHIROTAE and URAL MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA and CD-14, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-18, minelayer NIIZAKI, auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU and auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.

27 July 1944:
CHINA MARU suffers engine trouble and drops out of convoy. Auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorts the ship back to Imari Bay.

30 July 1944:
MATSUURA MARU, OGURA MARU No. 2 and W-18 are detached and head towards Kirun.

31 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao in convoy MI-13. SHIROTAE MARU is detached and tankers SHIMPO and ZUIYO MARUs and cargo ship SHINKO MARU join the convoy. CHOHAKUSAN MARU and NIIZAKI are detached from the escort and replaced by destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan KUSAGAKI and YASHIRO. Naval Transport T. 3 also joins.

4 August 1944:
At 0830, departs Takao in reconstituted convoy MI-13 also consisting of tankers ZUIYO, SHIMPO, SHINCHO, TEIKON (ex-German WINNETOU), KYOEI and ATAGO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2, cargo ships ATLAS, SHINKO, HIYORI, DURBAN, KIZAN, KUNIYAMA, URAL, KOKUSEI, HIGANE and RISSHUN MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and Naval Transport T. 3 escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan KUSAGAKI, YASHIRO, MATSUWA and CD-14, minesweeper W-18, patrol boat PB-38 and auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.

7 August 1944:
Off Capones Island, Luzon. At 2205, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskin's USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes and sinks kaibokan KUSAGAKI at 14-50N, 119-57E. USS GUITARRO survives depth-charging by ASAKAZE, CD-14 and W-18 (W-18 dropped nine depth charges). 97 of KUSAGAKI's crew are KIA, 30 others drift throughout the night. In the morning, the survivors, including CO LtCdr Ozaki Takashi (60), are rescued by ASAKAZE and taken to Manila.

8 August 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Manila. DURBAN, KIZAN, RISSHUN, KUNIYAMA, SHINKO and ATLAS MARUs are detached. SHOEI MARU joins the convoy. All of the escorts are detached except CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.

11 August 1944:
At 2100, the convoy departs Manila.

12 August 1944:
At 0730, LtCdr Frank G. Selby’s USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and damages SHINPO MARU. 20 crewmen are KIA. She is taken under tow by SHOEI and KYOEI MARUs and beached, then abandoned. Selby also torpedoes and sinks TEIKON MARU (ex-German WINNETOU), but no casualties are sustained. CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38 drop 37 depth charges, but PUFFER slips away unscathed.

18 August 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

29 August 1944:
At 0830, departs Miri in convoy MI-14 also consisting of auxiliary oiler OGURA MARU No. 2, IJA tanker ATAGO MARU, IJA shared transport A/C-AK) KENSEI MARU, IJA transports IIDA, CHUKA and SURAKARUTA MARUs and IJN transport JUZAN MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and subchaser CH-20.

30 August 1944:
Arrives at Gaya Bay and departs later that day.

5 September 1944:
Arrives at Manila. The convoy is reformed to consist of oilers ATAGO and TOKUWA MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2, TOKUSHIMA, ENOSHIMA, MIHO, KENSEI and KEISHU MARUs with the same escorts.

9 September 1944:
At 1600, departs Manila. Enroute north the convoy is joined by minesweepers W-38 and W-39 off Musa Bay, Fuga Island. Anchors at Santa Cruz.

10 September 1944:
Departs Santa Cruz and later that day anchors at North San Fernando.

12 September 1944:
Departs North San Fernando and later that day arrives at Aparri.

13 September 1944:
Departs Aparri.

14 September 1944:
Arrives at Basco Bay, Batan Island, Philippines.

16 September 1944:
At 0440, departs Basco Bay. At 1355, TOKUSHIMA MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho‘s (USNA ’27)USS PICUDA (SS-382) in the Bashi Channel at 21-27N, 121-35E. She was carrying 112 passengers and 5,400 tons of chrome ore. 82 passengers, 47 crewmen and 50 gunners are KIA.

TOKUSHIMA MARU’s explosion damages nearby oiler OGURA MARU No. 2. She stops for repairs, but at 1515 is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30)USS REDFISH (SS-395) at 21-42N, 121-41E. 15 crewmen, 3 guards and 23 passengers are KIA.

17 September 1944:
Arrives at Takao. CH-20 is detached from the convoy.

8 October 1944:
At 0700, TOKUWA MARU departs in ballast Manila for Miri in convoy MI-19 also consisting of NITTETSU, SAN LUIS, DAIZEN, DAISHU, HIDA, SAN DIEGO, EIKYO, SHUNTEN, TATSUBATO and YOSHU MARUs escorted by kaikoban CD-18 and CD-26, patrol boat PB-105. subchaser CH-19 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-56.

9 October 1944:
About 1700, LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s (USNA '33) USS BECUNA (SS-319) torpedoes and damages SAN LUIS MARU, but she is able to continue. LtCdr Francis W. Scanland’s (USNA '34) USS HAWKBILL (SS-366) also torpedoes SAN LUIS MARU about the same time. At 1804, USS BECUNA torpedoes and sinks TOKUWA MARU. 10 crewmen are KIA. [1]


Author’s Note:
[1] TOKUWA MARU was under civilian control at the time of her sinking.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

- Berend van der Wal, Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.


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