(Type 1TM Standard Tanker underway)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2010-2017 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
10 May 1943:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Jukogyo as a 5,135-ton Type 1TM Standard Tanker for Iino Kisen, K. K..
30 July 1943:
Launched and named ZUIHO MARU.
17 September 1943:
Placed under Senpaku Uneikai (Civilian Administration) control at an unknown date. Allotted to the Army (A/C-AO) with Army Number 5084.
11 December 1943:
Departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-25 consisting of tankers ZUIHO, OMINESAN and AMATSU MARUs and cargo ships JUYO, NISHI, SHOZUI and KAGU MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.
15 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (Taiwan). NISHI MARU is detached.
16 December 1943:
21 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.
21 January 1944:
Departs Singapore in RIN convoy consisting of tankers ZUIHO and SARAWAK MARUs escorted by auxiliary minesweeper CHOUN MARU No. 7.
24 January 1944:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.
E 23 February 1944:
Arrives at Shanghai, China.
1 April 1944:
ZUIHO MARU probably departs Moji for Singapore in convoy HI-57 consisting of tankers ITSUKUSHIMA, OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN and RYOEI MARUs, Army landing craft depot ships SHINSHU and MAYASAN MARUs and two unidentified ships (likely tankers SHINCHO and SEIA MARUs) escorted by escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, coast-defense vessels CD-8 and CD-9 and torpedo boat SAGI.
2 April 1944:
The convoy encounters extremely severe weather and returns to Moji.
3 April 1944:
At 0600, the unchanged convoy departs Moji.
7 April 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Takao.
8 April 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.
12 April 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.
13 April 1944:
At 1200, departs Camranh Bay.
16 April 1944:
At 1240, arrives at Singapore.
21 April 1944:
At 0700, ZUIHO MARU probably departs Singapore with escort carrier KAIYO, kaibokans IKI, ETOFORU, CD-8 and CD-9 escorting convoy HI-58 consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, RYOEI, OMUROSAN and OTOWASAN MARUs, IJA landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU transport KACHIDOKI MARU (ex PRESIDENT HARRISON) and probably IJA landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU.
3 May 1944:
HI-58 arrives at Moji.
29 May 1944:
At 0600, ZUIHO MARU departs Moji escorting convoy HI-65 consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, OMUROSAN and TOHO MARUs, naval oiler SHIRETOKO, cargo liners ARIMASAN, MANILA, KASHII and TATSUWA MARUs and IJA landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU escorted by light cruiser KASHII, escort carriers SHINYO and KAIYO, kaibokan AWAJI, CHIBURI, CD 11, CD-19 minelayer TSUBAME and subchaser CH-60.
2 June 1944:
Formosa Straits. AWAJI is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Captain) Albert L. Raborn's (USNA ’34) USS PICUDA (SS-382) and sinks near Yasho Island at 22-48N, 121-24E. Raborn fires two torpedoes at ARIMASAN MARU that cause her to collide with SHINSHU MARU's stern. This causes a depth charge explosion that kills about 70 men and damages her rudder.
KASHII takes SHINSHU MARU in tow. ARIMASAN MARU is lightly damaged in the attack and heads for Kirun with KASHII and SHINSHU MARU.
4 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. KAIYO rejoins the convoy after brief stop at Saei. Oiler JINEI MARU joins the convoy at sea.
At sea off Saei. Kaibokan CD-7 joins convoy HI-65 as an escort. Later, convoy HI-65 splits. Only ZUIHO, ITSUKUSHIMA, OMUROSAN and TOHO MARUs escorted by CD-7, KAIYO, KASHII, CD-11, CHIBURI remain with the Singapore contingent. The rest of the convoy heads to Manila.
11 June 1944:
At 1350, arrives at Singapore.
20 June 1944:
At 1900, ZUIHO MARU departs Singapore for Miri in convoy SHIMI-04 consisting of MATSUMOTO, NANSEI, NICHINAN (1TM 42 5175) and KOTOKU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 and another ship also named NICHINAN MARU (1D 43 1945) escorted by minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary minesweepers TOSHI MARU and CHOUN MARU No. 6.
24 June 1944:
At 1145, arrives at Miri.
27 June 1944:
At 1650, ZUIHO MARU departs Miri for Moji in convoy MI-06 consisting of tankers OGURA MARU No. 2, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, MATSUMOTO, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA, CERAM, NICHINAN (43 1945), KOTOKU MARU, NANSEI, ATAGO, NICHINAN and BAIEI MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by kaibokan CD-14, patrol boat PB-38 and minesweeper W-18.
E 1 July 1944:
W-18 is detached from the convoy.
2 July 1944:
At 0845, arrives at Manila.
4 July 1944:
At 1145, ZUIHO MARU departs Manila for Moji in convoy MI-06 now consisting of OGURA MARU No. 2, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, AKAGISAN, TACHIBANA, TOKUWA, YAGI, ATAGO, TSUYAMA and KANKYO MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 5 plus two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-14 and patrol boat PB-38.
10 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao.
12 July 1944:
Kaibokan CD-8 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU join the escort. MI-06 departs Takao.
17 July 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Moji.
30 July 1944:
Convoy MI-08 that departed Moji on 10 July consisting of 16 ships and three escorts, departs Takao at 1800. It now consists of ZUIHO, CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, BOKO, MANILA, SANKO, SAN LUIS, TSUYAMA, ARABIA, RYUSHO, MIRI, TATSUBATO, NITTETSU, YAGI, TOUN and EIHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU.
1 August 1944:
At 1400, convoy MI-08 diverts to Kirun (Keelung) because of a submarine threat.
4 August 1944:
At 1600, departs Kirun.
9 August 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Robert A. Keating's (USNA '33) USS BARBEL (SS-316) torpedoes and sinks YAGI and BOKO MARUs at 27-56N, 128-47E. YAGI MARU takes down 31 crewmen and three gunners. Casualties aboard BOKO MARU, carrying a cargo of sugar, are unknown. At 1200, the convoy arrives at Koniya, Amami O-Shima.
11 August 1944:
At 0400, departs Koniya.
13 August 1944:
At 2030, arrives at Moji.
25 August 1944:
At 1650, ZUIHO MARU departs Manila in convoy HI-71 with AZUSA, KYOKUTO, HOKKAI, KYOKUHO and AWA MARUs escorted by destroyer FUJINAMI, kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI and MIKURA, kaibokan CD-11 and subchaser CH-28. Later at 1845, KYOKUHO MARU develops engine trouble and drops behind escorted by FUJINAMI. Later, they catch up with the convoy.
27 August 1944:
At 1845, KYOKUHO MARU suffers a system breakdowns and falls out of the convoy.
29 August 1944:
Arrives at Miri.
1 September 1944:
At 1356, arrives at Singapore.
6 September 1944:
ZUIHO MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-72 consisting of ASAKA, NANKAI, RAKUYO, SHINCHO and KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON) MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIKINAMI and kaibokan HIRADO (F), MIKURA, KURAHASHI, CD-11 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-19. RAKUYO MARU carries 1,317 POWs and KACHIDOKI MARU carries 900.
11 September 1944:
South China Sea. 100 miles NE of the Paracel Islands. At 0910, convoy HI-72 is joined by convoy MAMO-03 consisting of transport (ex-seaplane tender) KAGU MARU, Army landing craft depot ship KIBITSU MARU and armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU. The combined convoy is placed under the command of 6th Escort Convoy’s Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi (39)(former CO of KISO) in kaibokan HIRADO (F).
12 September 1944:
At 0200, LtCdr Thomas B. Oakley’s (USNA '34) USS GROWLER (SS-215) torpedoes HIRADO. She blows up and sinks at 17-54N, 114-49E. Her CO, Cdr Segawa Iwao, and 106 sailors are KIA. Rear Admiral Kajioka, victor of Wake Island, is also KIA. He is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.
At 0500, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli Reich’s (USNA '35) USS SEALION II (SS-315) torpedoes and sinks RAKUYO MARU carrying 1,318 Allied POWs. She stays afloat for another 13 hours, sinking at 1820 that evening. Nine crewmen are KIA and 1,051 Allied POWs are lost.
At 0527, Reich also torpedoes and sinks NANKAI MARU carrying 525 passengers, 6,500 tons of bauxite ore, 4,000 drums of gasoline, 170 tons of other oil, 76 packages and the ashes of 18 war dead. Hit in Hold Nos. 3 and 6, she sinks about 0800. 196 passengers and three crewmen are KIA.
At 0840, USN codebreakers intercept a message from unknown Japanese station that says, “Have rescued survivors of HIRADO (survivors include the staff and 26 men plus 74 crew members. Captain of HIRADO killed in action ---.”
240 miles south of Hong Kong. SHIKINAMI is torpedoed by USS GROWLER (SS-215) and sinks at 18-16 N, 114-40 E. Kaibokan MIKURA rescues 128 crewmen, but her CO, LtCdr Takahashi Tatsuhiko and an unknown number of other crewmen are KIA. The rest of the convoy heads towards Samah, Hainan Island.
At 2254, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Paul E. Summers’ (USNA '36) USS PAMPANITO (SS-383) torpedoes KACHIDOKI MARU leased to Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and carrying an Army unit of 487 men and other 608 patients, gunners and crewmen and 1,318 Allied POWs. At 2337, KACHIDOKI MARU founders and sinks. 12 sailors and 476 passengers (including the POWs) are lost The Japanese rescue a few POWs and transfer them to KIBITSU MARU for Japan. American submarines later return and rescue 159 survivors of whom seven die enroute to Saipan. In all, 92 Australian and 60 British ex-POWs survive.
At about the same time, USS PAMPANITO also torpedoes and sinks ZUIHO MARU at 19-23N, 111-50E. There are no casualties, but her cargo of 8,000-tons of needed of aviation gas and oil is lost.
ZUIHO MARU was civilian operated under charter to the Imperial Army on specific voyages.
- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
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