(Japanese wartime ore carrier by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2017 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

E 1941:
Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Jukogyo K.K., as a 5,792-ton ore carrier for Nippon Seitetsu K. K., Tokyo.

Launched and named YASUKUNI MARU.

May 1942:

29 September 1942:
YASUKUNI MARU departs Saeki for Rabaul in convoy OKI, Part 6, consisting of EHIME, SUMIYOSHI and MOMOHA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat HATO and patrol boat PB-31.

October 1942:
Convoy OKI, Part 6, arrives at Rabaul.

23 June 1943:
At 0815, YASUKUNI MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy No. 275 consisting of tanker SAN LUIS MARU and transports TEIKO (ex-Vichy French D’ARTAGNAN) and TEIKAI (ex-German FULDA) MARUs and MAEBASHI, SEKKO, CHOJUN, ROKKO and RISSHUN MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

29 June 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Moji.

4 August 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Takao.

28 July 1943:

At 1430, YASUKUNI MARU departs Mutsure in convoy No. 181 also consisting of ARATAMA, KIRISHIMA, KONSAN, SAN LUIS, TAIRYU, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) MARUs and eleven other unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer SANAE and patrol boat PB-36. The convoy sails in two parts with PB-36 escorting a contingent of ten ships. SANAE and the first contingent sails two days later and catches up en route.

30 July 1943:
At 1940, SAN LUIS MARU develops engine problems and returns to Moji. At 2250, tanker TONAN MARU joins the convoy.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

19 January 1944:
At 0730, YASUKUNI MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy No. 130 consisting of hospital ship ASAHI MARU, passenger/cargo liner TERUKUNI MARU, cargo ships PANAMA, ATSUTA, MAYA and KASASHIMA MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1 escorted by auxiliary guard boat MYOJIN MARU No. 2 and auxiliary patrol boat SHINEI MARU.

23 January 1944:
China coast. 14th Air Force North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers attack the convoy at 27-15N 120-45E. YASUKUNI and ATSUTA MARUs are damaged and PANAMA MARU is sunk.

13 April 1944 :
YASUKUNI MARU departs Kirun (Keelung), Formosa in convoy TAMO-16 also consisting of TOYO MARU No. 3, HAKUSHIKA, NORFOLK, HAWAII and HIOKI MARUs and eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

20 April 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

6 July 1944:
At 1245, YASUKUNI MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Takao, Formosa in convoy MOMA-02 consisting of SEATTLE, SHOZAN, JINZAN, TOKUSHIMA, HIZAN (HIYAMA), KOKKA and RYOFU MARUs escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO, kaibokan CD-1 and CD-22 and minesweeper W-34.

12 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

14 July 1944:
At 1900, YASUKUNI MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-21C consisting of MANTAI, MITSUKI, JINSAN, SEATTLE, TENSHIN, YAMATAMA, SAINEI, HIZAN (HIYAMA), KOKKA, SHOZAN and SHOEI MARUs and tankers SHONAN, MITSU, AYAGIRI and AYAZONO MARUs escorted by kaibokan KUSAGAKI, CD-1 and CD-22, minelayers MAESHIMA and ENTO and minesweeper W-34.

16 July 1944:
At 0946, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's (USNA ‘33) USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks SEATTLE MARU carrying 4,285 IJNAF personnel at 19-17N, 120-15E. HIYAMA and SHOZAN MARUs rescue all but 286 airmen.

Over the next six hours, Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret) William V. O'Regan’s wolf pack consisting of Cdr Duncan C. MacMillian's (USNA ‘26) USS THRESHER (SS-200), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Novell G. Ward's (USNA ‘35) GUARDFISH (SS-217) and Ruble's PIRANHA close in and decimate the convoy.

At 2300, THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SAINEI MARU at 18-53N, 119-32E. 21 troops and three crewmen are KIA.

At 2350, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks JINZAN MARU. Two minutes later, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks MANTAI MARU. 72 troops and 43 crewmen are KIA.

17 July 1944:
The attacks continue. At 0034, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks HIYAMA MARU. Four gunners and four crewmen are KIA. W-34 and CD-1 rescue survivors.

At 0345, THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SHOZAN MARU at 18-50N, 119-43E. 149 troops, 64 crew and about 500 survivors of SEATTLE MARU are KIA.

19 July 1944:
At 1920, convoy TAMA-21C arrives at Manila.

10 August 1944:
YASUKUNI MARU departs Manila in convoy MAYU-06 also consisting of SHOKEI and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-26 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

12 August 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

14 August 1944:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island, China. YASUKUNI MARU probably loads bauxite ore.

18 August 1944:
At 1800, YASUKUNI MARU departs Yulin in convoy YUTA-10 also consisting of six unidentified ore carriers escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-26 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

19 August 1944:
At 0047, an enemy sub is sighted at 18-03N, 116-16E. At 0107, a sub is sighted again.

20 August 1944:
At 2120, another sub is sighted at 20-37N, 113-17E.

22 August 1944:
HARUKAZE carries out an anti-submarine sweep in the vicinity of the convoy.

At 0931, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the captain of HARUKAZE that reads: "CD-26, when visibility was confined to ----- kilometers, at 0505 collided with YASUKUNI MARU-- (blanks) ---. There was no obstacle to (blank) ---- duties and the damage to YASUKUNI MARU was very slight."

23 August 1944:
At 0105, codebreakers decrypt a message from the captain of HARUKAZE that says "in position 21-14N, 116-53E, was attacked by enemy bomber aircraft. CD-26 (blank)--- damage to echo ranging gear (sound oscillating not operating) Otherwise, no damage."

At 1130, arrives at Takao, southern Formosa .

3 December 1944:
YASUKUNI MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-34 consisting of JINYO, KENJO, YAMAKUNI and FUKUYO MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 31 and SHINPUKU MARU escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-28, CD-54 and subchaser CH-33.

YASUKUNI MARU carries 315 troops, 155 passengers, coal, military vehicles and tanks.

6 December 1944:
a concerted wolfpack attack begins by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy M. Davenport's (USNA '33) USS TREPANG (SS-412) and LtCdr James D. Fulp's (USNA '34) USS SEGUNDO (SS-398).

W of Dalupiri Island. At 2147, TREPANG torpedoes and sinks JINYO MARU at 18-54N 120-49E with 1430 lives lost, mostly troops.

At 2237, SEGUNDO fires four torpedoes at YASUKUNI MARU and gets one hit at 18-57N-120-58E. YASUKUNI MARU loses power and drifts away.

7 December 1944:
At 0043, LtCdr Charles D. Brown’s (USNA ‘38) USS RAZORBACK (SS-(394) fires four torpedoes at YASUKUNI MARU making about three knots. At 0047, Brown gets two or three hits and sets YASUKUNI MARU afire. RAZORBACK sees her still burning at about 0300.

37 miles N of Cape Mayraira. YASUKUNI MARU is run aground at Fuga Island and later abandoned near 18-59N 120-56E. 25 crewmen and three guards are KIA. Passenger casualties are unknown, but most went ashore. CD-54 is detached to rescue YASUKUNI MARU with unknown results. [1]

Author’s Notes:
[1] Reportedly, beached YASUKUNI MARU is sunk by USN carrier-based planes on 15 Dec ’44.

- Bob Hackett

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