(Prewar Dutch tanker JOSEFINA, later YOSEI MARU)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2016 Bob Hackett
Revision 1

E 1927:
Amsterdam, Netherlands. Laid down at van Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij as a 2,594-ton tanker for Scheepvaart Maatschappij, Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.

E 1928:
Launched and named JOSEFINA.


In service with Nederlandsch Indische Tankstoomboot (N.I.T.) Maatschappij-Gravenhage. [1]

8 December 1941:
The commander of the Goevernementsmarine (GM), on behalf of Dutch East Indies Governor-General Alidius W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh-Stachouwer, militarizes some ships, including JOSEFINA, and they become part of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNN). Designated TAN 6.

2 March 1942:
Off Surabaya, Java. Scuttled by her own crew and sunk to avoid capture.

Surabaya. JOSEFINA is refloated by the Japanese. Undergoes repairs by the IJN’s 102nd Repair Unit at Surabaya and renamed YOSEI MARU.

10 June 1942:
Repairs are completed and she is placed in Japanese service.

11 November 1943:
YOSEI MARU is chartered by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) under the jurisdiction of the Kure Naval District. She is assigned to the Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

1 May 1944:
Surabaya. YOSEI MARU undergoes hull and engine maintenance.

17 May 1944:
Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet, Sir) James F. Somerville’s (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Task Force 65 and Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet/Sir) Arthur J. Power's Task Force 66’s carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA (CV-3) launch Operation "TRANSOM". Forty-five Grumman “Avenger” torpedo-bombers and Douglas "Dauntless" dive-bombers escorted by 40 Grumman “Hellcats” and Chance-Vought “Corsair” fighers attack the Wonokromo refinery and nearby harbor facilities and shipping at Surabaya. SARATOGA's planes damage YOSEI MARU, cargo ships CHUKA and TENCHO MARUs, patrol boat PB-36 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-107 and CHa-108. ILLUSTRIOUS’ planes sink transport SHINREI MARU.

22 June 1944:
Repairs are completed.

26 June 1944:
At 1300, YOSEI MARU departs Surabaya for Kotabaru, Borneo in a convoy also consisting of oilers ENOSHIMA MARU and HISHI MARU No. 2 and cargo TAI MARU, TORA MARU No. 1 escorted by minesweeper W-11. At 2039, anchors at Menpa before proceeding.

28 June 1944:
At 0915, YOSEI MARU incurs engine trouble.

29 June 1944:
At 2003, reaches the mouth of the Laut River.

30 June 1944:
Arrives at Kotabaru, N Laut Island. Steams on to Balikpapan, loads gasoline and departs for Manila, Tawi Tawi and Davao.

6 July 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

6 July 1944:
Departs Balikpapan.

24 July 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

17 August 1944:
Departs Surabaya.

25 August 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan

28 August 1944:
Departs Balikpapan.

9 September 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya

30 September 1944:
Departs Surabaya.

9 October 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 October 1944:
Departs Singapore.

22 October 1944:
Arrives at Palembang, Sumatra

23 October 1944:
Departs Palembang.

28 October 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

2 November 1944:
Departs Singapore.

4 November 1944:
Arrives at Palembang

5 November 1944:
Departs Palembang

10 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

16 November 1944:
Departs Singapore.

23 November 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya.

24 November 1944:
Undergoes maintenance

30 November 1944:
Maintenance is completed.

April 1945:
Departs Surabaya. Later, arrives at Balikpapan.

15 April 1945:
Arrives at Surabaya.

11 May 1945:
YOSEI MARU departs Rembang Roads, Surabaya for Singapore in a convoy with tanker ENOSHIMA MARU escorted by auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and SHONAN MARU No. 17. YOSEI MARU is carrying a cargo of rice and empty oil drums.

12 May 1945:
Departs Surabaya and arrives at Lembang.

13 May 1945:
Departs Lembang.

Java Sea. At about 0400, LtCdr (later Captain) Benjamin C. Jarvis’ (USNA '39) USS BAYA (SS-318) makes a surface radar approach on a tanker which is hugging the coast inside the ten-fathom curve. Racing at high speed, BAYA fires six torpedoes for three hits. TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and SHONAN MARU No. 17 carry out unsuccessful counterattacks. BAYA retires leaving YOSEI MARU sinking. Soon after, YOSEI MARU sinks at 06-31S, 111-19E. 16 men are KIA.

14 May 1945:
FRUMEL decrypts the following message from Surabaya, timed 131842: "1) At 0630 on 13th in 5-34S 111-16E YOOSEI MARU was torpedoed by enemy submarine and sunk. ENOSHIMA MARU is anchored at Rembang and No. 17 SHOONAN MARU is engaged in keeping this submarine down. 2) Minesweeper 34 sails tomorrow to attack, then escort ENOSHIMA to Cheribon."

Authors' Note:
[1] N.I. T. (Netherlands Indies Tank Steamboat Co.) was founded in 1904 for inter-island traffic in the Dutch East Indies.

Thanks go to Berend van der Wal of the Netherlands and Gengoro S. Toda-san of Japan.

- Bob Hackett

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