(TOKYO MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2013 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

20 December 1935:
Tama. Laid down by Mitsui Bussan K.K Zosenbu shipyard for Settsu Shosen K.K. (subsidiary of OSK) as a 6,486-tons cargo ship.

22 June 1936:
Launched and named TOKYO MARU.

31 August 1936:
Completed and registered in Osaka. Her Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) and Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) respectively are 6,486-tons and 3,863-tons. [1]

Placed on Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK) service.

5 September 1936:
Departs Yokohama and arrives later at Kobe.

9 September 1936:
Departs Kobe for Australia.

26 July 1937:
Departs Kobe for Australia on her fifth voyage.

Requisitioned by the IJA with allotted No. 54.

2 August 1937:
TOKYO MARU arrives to load at Pusan, Korea as part of the second echelon of China Emergency troop transports also consisting of HANKOW, HIDE, HOKUSHO, MIKASA, SINGAPORE and TASMANIA MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1.

23 September 1937:
TOKYO MARU departs Osaka in an unidentified convoy. The convoy is carrying the 7th Infantry Regiment of the IJA's 9th Division. TOKYO MARU is carrying the Regimental HQ and 1st Battalion (less 3rd and 4th Companies).

26 September 1937:
Arrives at the Whangpoo (Whampoa) (now Huangpu) River that flows through Shanghai.

27 September 1937:
Starts landing troops at Woosung (now Wusung) (14 miles downriver from Shanghai) and at Shanghai proper.

E 1938:
Released to her owners.

Placed on the Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China) route.

20 August 1938:
Civilian Captain Abe Heikichi is appointed Commanding Officer.

26 January 1939:
Departs Kobe on a commercial trip according to schedule.

26 June 1939:
Departs Kobe for Australia.

Her GRT and NRT are respectively changed to 6,481-tons and 3,859-tons. [1]

31 May 1941:
Departs Kobe for Australia.

9 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Departs Kure that same day.

E August ~ December 1941:
Calls at Sasebo ~ Innoshima, Hiroshima Prefecture ~ Moji and Tokyo.

10 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein, Marshalls.

14 December 1941:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

16 December 1941:
Scheduled to be fitted with new maintenance and other accommodation facilities under Navyís secret instruction No. 116-966.

20 December 1941:
Departs Saipan.

25 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokohama. Then, departs and arrives at Tokyo later that day.

29 December 1941:
Departs Tokyo.

31 December 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as home port under Navyís instruction No. 1775.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

4 January 1942:
IJN Captain Sato is appointed CO.

6 January 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

16 January 1942:
Arrives at Legaspi, Luzon. Departs later that same day for Davao, Mindanao.

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

19 January 1942:
Her crew receives special medical care from auxiliary hospital ship ASAHI MARU. Departs Davao later in the day.

21 January 1942:
Arrives at Banga Island (near Mindanao). Departs later that day.

23-24 January 1942: The Invasion of Kendari, Celebes:
Rear Admiral Kubo Kuijiís (38) Kendari Invasion Force consists of DesRon 10ís light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 15ís HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16ís TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, MineSweepDiv 21ís W-11, W-7, W-8, W-9 and W-12, and Subchaser Div 1ís CH-1 and CH-2 escorting the invasion convoy consisting of TOKYO MARU and five other transports carrying Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizoís (40) Sasebo No. 1 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). The 11th Seaplane Tender Divisionís CHITOSE and MIZUHO provide distant support.

24 January 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, Celebes.

3 February 1942:
Departs Kendari.

5 February 1942:
Arrives at Banga.

7 February 1942:
Departs Banga.

8 February 1942:
Arrives at Jolo, Philippines.

9 February 1942:
Departs Jolo and arrives at Pata, Philippines later in the day.

12 February 1942:
Departs Pata.

20 February 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

21 February 1942:
Captain Sato is relieved of his command.

26 February 1942:
Departs Kure.

4 March 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

12 March 1942:
Departs Davao.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

20 March 1942:
Departs Makassar.

22 March 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

7 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

10 April 1942:
Her attachment is changed to Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as home port under Navyís instruction No. 660. Graduated to supply and troops transport missions under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 74.

14 April 1942:
Arrives at Port Campha, Indochina. Departs later.

1 May 1942:
Graduation to supply and troops transport missions is confirmed under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 78. Attachment to Yokosuka Naval District as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category is also confirmed. [2]

2 May 1942:
Departs Keihin Region (Tokyo Ė Kawasaki Ė Yokohama). Arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

4 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Nishiura, Aichi Prefecture. Departs for Kure later that same day.

8 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 May 1942:
Departs Kure and arrives at Moji later in the day.

12 May 1942:
Departs Moji.

14 May 1942:
Arrives at Tama, Tokyo Prefecture.

E 15 May ~ 12 June 1942:
Drydocks at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Tamano shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

13 June 1942:
Repairs are completed. Undocked.

15 June 1942:
Graduated again to troops and supply transport missions under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 99. Departs Tamano that same day.

16 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Departs and arrives later that day at Yokohama.

19 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives later in the day at Yokosuka.

27 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives later that day at Shibaura, near Tokyo.

2 July 1942:
Departs Shibaura.

7 July 1942:
Arrives at Wake (renamed Otori Island after its capture).

13 July 1942:
Departs Wake.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Ponape, Eastern Carolines.

26 July 1942:
Departs Ponape.

1 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

4 August 1942:
Assigned to an ammunition transport mission No. 23 under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 42.

5 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later that same day.

18 August 1942:
Moored at buoy.

19 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later in the day.

20 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

21 August 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

22 August 1942:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Kure later in the day.

26 August 1942:
Departs Kure.

27 August 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

28 August 1942:
Departs Moji for Kure. Stranded later that day off Yanagijima shore. Refloating attempts are unsuccessful.

29 August 1942:
At 1008, emergency repairs are made to her hull and bent rudder and she undergoes other refloating attempts. At 1500, TOKYO MARU is finally refloated and departs towards Moji.

30 August 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

8 September 1942:
Departs Sasebo and joins convoy No. 160 also consisting of IJA transports KISO, NAGARA, CHOKO, YURI and NIKKYU MARUs, Government owned BOKO (ex British SAGRES) MARU and auxiliary oiler KUROSHIO MARU as well as two unidentified merchant ships escorted by old destroyers WAKATAKE and SANAE. Soon after departing Mutsure the convoy splits into two parts. TOKYO MARU joins the faster first part as well as NAGARA and KUROSHIO MARUs with the disposition of the others unknown. CHOKO MARU is detached at an unknown date and later arrives at Shanghai. The ships make an extremely fast passage.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

11 September 1942:
Departs Mako and arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan) later that day.

14 September 1942:
Departs Takao.

16 September 1942:
Arrives at Haikow, Hainan Island.

17 September 1942:
Departs Haikow.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

21 September 1942:
Departs Samah.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya. Assigned that same day to a convoy supply mission under Yokosuka Naval District secret instruction No. 126.

2 October 1942:
Departs Singapore in convoy also consisting of unidentified vessels.

9 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

13 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

14 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

18 October 1942:
Departs Kure.

19 October 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 October 1942:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

2 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

9 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines with auxiliary oiler TATEKAWA MARU, the latter having sailed from Balikpapan.

21 November 1942:
Departs Truk.

27 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Departs later for Yokohama.

5 December 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

11 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Wake. Departs later that same day.

19 December 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

27 December 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

28 December 1942:
Arrives at Wotje, Marshalls.

29 December 1942:
Departs Wotje and arrives at Taroa, Marshalls later in the day.

1 January 1943:
Departs Taroa.

2 January 1943:
Arrives at Mili, Marshalls.

6 January 1943:
Departs Mili.

7 January 1943:
Arrives at Emiedj, Marshalls.

9 January 1943:
Departs Emiedj.

10 January 1943:
Arrives at Wotje.

11 January 1943:
Departs Wotje.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

16 January 1943:
Departs Saipan and arrives at Tinian, Marianas later in the day.

22 January 1943:
Departs Tinian.

26 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

27 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama later that day.

30 January 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

7 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 February 1943:
North of Biak, New Guinea. About 1400, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Frank W. Fennoís (USNA í25) USS RUNNER (SS-275) fires a spread of torpedoes and claims a hit on a large ship at 07-31N, 134-21E. However, TOKYO MARU has evaded all torpedoes and resumes her course to Palau, Western Carolines where she arrives later that same day.

18 February 1943:
Departs Palau sailing alone.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

11 March 1943:
Departs Truk escorted by destroyer AKIZUKI.

13 March 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

15 March 1943:
Departs Saipan with auxiliary minelayer KOEI MARU and unknown escort.

20 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

31 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

10 April 1943:
Arrives at Tarawa, Gilberts.

15 April 1943:
Departs Tarawa.

16 April 1943:
Arrives at Nauru Island.

19 April 1943:
Departs Nauru Island.

20 April 1943:
At 0400, arrives at Ocean Island.

21 April 1943:
Departs Ocean Island.

28 April 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

3 May 1943:
Departs Saipan.

4 May 1943:
At 0330, arrives at Guam (renamed Omiya Island after its capture), Marianas.

15 May 1943:
Departs Guam.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Then, departs and arrives at Yokohama later that same day.

27 May 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

31 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Shimotsu, Wakayama Prefecture later that day.

1 June 1943:
Departs Shimotsu.

2 June 1943:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

5 June 1943:
Departs Yawata.

6 June 1943:
Arrives at Tamano.

7 June 1943:
Drydocks at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

29 June 1943:
Repairs are completed. Undocked.

30 June 1943:
Departs Tamano.

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Komatsushima, Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku.

7 July 1943:
Departs Komatsushima and arrives at Osaka later in the day.

8 July 1943:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Kobe later that day.

9 July 1943:
Departs Kobe.

10 July 1943:
Arrives at Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

15 July 1943:
Departs Shimizu and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

27 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3727 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) TOYU MARU and auxiliary tanker (ex-Ammuition ship) ONOE MARU escorted by destroyer YUZUKI. The convoy sails at 12 knots.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

13 August 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 1133 also consisting of TOYU MARU and probably ONOE MARU escorted by subchasers CH-29 and CH-33.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

3 September 1943:
Departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2032 also consisting of auxiliary merchant cruiser KIYOSUMI MARU escorted by minelayer SOKUTEN, minesweeper W-4 and subchaser CH-28.

6 September 1943:
At 0930, arrives at Truk.

14 September 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 4914 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) HOKKO MARU escorted by destroyer SHIRATSUYU. The convoy sails at 12 knots.

23 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

4 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3004 also consisting of Naval storeship IRAKO escorted by destroyer SHIRATSUYU. The convoy sails at 12 knots.

13 October 1943:
At 0500, arrives at Truk.

15 October 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy No. 1152 also consisting of auxiliary transport (ex-Harbour Affairs vessel) HAKUSAN MARU escorted by destroyer SHIRATSUYU. The convoy steams at 10 knots.

17 October 1943:
The convoy is attacked by a lone PB-4Y of VPB-104 and HAKUSAN MARU is strafed and hit by a bomb on her bows. A total of 36 men are killed in this attack but by 2200 the fires are extinguished and the ships resume the voyage.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

2 November 1943:
Damaged by a near-miss during the major USAAF 5th AF air raid.

(KOAN MARU and TOKYO MARU in background near-missed)

E 2 ~ 7 November 1943:
Undergoes emergency repairs.

8 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2082 also consisting of auxiliary transport MITAKESAN MARU escorted by destroyer SHIGURE.

9 November 1943:
At 0925, the convoy is attacked and bombed by B-17s aircraft but sustains only slight damage.

10 November 1943:
About 240 nms SSW of Truk Atoll. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's (USNA í30) USS SCAMP (SS-277) intercepts the convoy. At 0918, Ebert fires a spread of four Mark-14 Type 3A torpedoes at a large transport, three are evaded but one hits TOKYO MARUís boiler room and No. 4 hold, at 04-06N, 150-17E. The escort counterattacks and forces Ebert to go deep. After evading, Ebert fires three more torpedoes into the listing target but scores no hits. At 1235, TOKYO MARU is prepared to be towed. At 1345, her eight depth-charges (DCs) are transferred to SHIGURE. At 1510, she is taken under tow by MITAKESAN MARU. At 1620, towing starts. At 1900, towing is suspended until adjustment to be made on MITAKESAN MARUís towing line. At 2000, towing is resumed and drainage of flooded areas begins. At about 02100, the crippled TOKYO MARU is observed being towed away by MITAKESAN MARU.

11 November 1943:
At 0500, some of her cargo is transferred to No. 5 hold to facilitate drainage operations. At 0900, destroyers HATSUZUKI and SUSUTSUKI come from Truk to provide further assistance. At 1140, towing is scheduled to be taken over by HATSUZUKI. At 1240, HATSUZUKI takes over from MITAKESAN MARU the towing of TOKYO MARU. At 1245, auxiliary minesweeper HAGOROMO MARU comes alongside the crippled transport but collides with her and suffers serious damage. At 1710, SUSUTZUKI comes alongside TOKYO MARU on starboard. At 1800, drainage of No. 6 hold is undertaken simultaneously by TOKYO MARUís and SUSUTSUKIís pumps. 18 crewmen are transferred to MITAKESAN MARU. At 1900, flooding is out of control. At 1945, drainage operations are suspended and Ďabandon shipí ordered. At 2000, SUSUTZUKI separates from TOKYO MARU. At 2030, the tow cable breaks.

12 November 1943:
At 0715, another towing preparation is made by HATSUZUKI. At 0800, the towing preparation is completed and at 0810, resumed. At 1210, TOKYO MARUís list to starboard increases and towing is abandoned. At 1455, the transport sinks at 05-42N, 151-09E with the loss of three of her crew. Meanwhile MITAKESAN MARU and SHIGURE arrive at Truk later that day.

5 January 1944:
Removed from the Navyís list under instruction No. 54.

Authors notes :
[1] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by subtracting non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

[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 and to John Whitman of Virginia and Fontessa-san of Japan for info on 1937.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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