Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2017 Bob Hackett

Osaka. Laid down at Takemoto Chukichi, as a 997-ton cargo ship for Toyo Kisen K. K (Oriental Steamship Co.), Fushaki.

January 1918:
Launched and named SEKINO MARU.


Transferred to Toyo Kaiun K. K.

Sold to joint-stock Co. Nakagawa Kisen, K. K. (Ogi-Cloth Marine Company) of Fushiki.

Sold to Ogifu Kaisho K. K. of Takaoka.

Ogifu Kaisho K. K. moves to Sotaro Okiba, Fushiki.

E 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJA and allotted Army No. 377.

23 November 1943:
At 1530, SEKINO MARU departs Takao, Formosa for Cape St. Jacques, Vichy French Indochina in convoy No. 340 also consisting of cargo ships SHOEI, SYDNEY and UNKAI MARUs, tankers TONAN and ZUIYO MARUs, small Vichy French cargo ship BERYL and seven unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA. In the next four days, five ships are detached for various reasons.

25 November 1943:
At 1200, an unidentified ship is detached for Hong Kong.

26 November 1943:
At 1200, YASUKUNI MARU and two unidentified ships are detached for Yulin.

28 November 1943:
South China Sea, off Indochina. At about 0200, Cdr Frederick C. Lucas' (USNA ’30) USS BILLFISH (SS-286) picks up the convoy heading south at nine knots seven miles off Varella. Lucas signals Cdr Walter T. Griffith's (USNA ’34) USS BOWFIN (SS-287) about the convoy. Griffith, three miles off Cap Varella, receives sister-ship USS BILLFISH's signal and USS BOWFIN begins tracking the convoy on the surface. At 0412, USS BOWFIN torpedoes and sinks TONAN MARU at 12-50N, 109-35E. 84 crewmen are KIA. Griffith also torpedoes and sinks SYDNEY MARU. 38 crewmen and five gunners are KIA.

7 February 1944:
Convoy MO-72 departs Palau for Miri consisting of SEKINO and IJA repair ship MINRYO MARUs unescorted.

9 February 1944:
SEKINO MARU, loads 6,000 tons of gasoline and oil and departs Miri for Manila in convoy MO-72, now also consisting of MINRYO MARU and tanker HOKUAN MARU escorted by PB-103 (ex-USS FINCH, AM-9).

11 February 1944:
At 0900, arrives at Cebu.

12 February 1944:
At 0750, departs Cebu.

13 February 1944:
Off Cape Santiago, Luzon, P.I. At about 1700, LtCdr (later Captain) Stephen H. Armbruster's (USNA '28) U.S.S. ROBALO (SS-273), on her first patrol, attacks convoy MO-72 at 13-25N, 121-30E. ROBALO fires four torpedoes, but misses the targets.

14 February 1944:
At 0505, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker’s (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER (SS-249) attacks the convoy. FLASHER fires three torpedoes at IJA repair ship MINRYO MARU. She dodges the first two, but the third torpedo hits No. 2 hold. She sinks at 13-43N, 120-39E. Eight crewmen are KIA.

At 0750, Whitaker again attacks the convoy. Three torpedoes hit and sink HOKUAN MARU at 13-44N, 120-29E. 45 crewmen are KIA. The remainder of the convoy arrives at Manila later that day at 2000.

May 1944:
Due to a merger, transfers as North Sea ship (Fushiki).

1 September 1944:
Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Celebes Sea. SEKINO MARU is sunk by land-based US Navy aircraft at 01-06N, 122-21E. Casualties are unknown.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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