(Sister CHOWA MARU, prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2017 Bob Hackett

E 1940:
Sakurajima or Innoshima. Laid down at Osaka Iron Works K.K. shipyard as a 2,747-ton cargo ship.

E 1940:
Launched and named TOKO MARU. [1]


27 March 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as an Ippan Choyosen (B-AK).

25 May 1941:
Released back to her owners.

4 December 1942:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a troop transport. Allotted IJA No. 971.

9 December 1942:
TOKO MARU departs depart Saeki in Military Movement No. 8's convoy “G” also consisting of ANNAN, BUNZAN, HOEISAN, KOSO, MOMOYAMA and TAIMEI MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and subchasers CH-39 and CH-37.

E 10 December 1942:
CH-39 is detached at 28N.

20 June 1943:
At 0630, TOKO MARU departs departs Saeki for Palau in convoy O-007 also consisting of KAZUURA, NISSHU, RYOYO, SHOHO, TAIRIN and UMEKAWA MARUs escorted by kaibokan IKI, torpedo boat HATO and minesweeper W-18.

E 22 June 1943:
W-18 is detached at latitude 29N.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

26 July 1943:
At 1400, TOKO MARU departs Rabaul in convoy O-604 also consisting of IJA transports HOKKO, KANAYAMASAN and RYOYO MARUs, IJA Landing Craft Depot Ship NIGITSU MARU, and one unidentified Navy transport escorted by subchasers CH-16 and CH-17.

2 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

5 August 1943:
Departs Palau and arrives at Garasumao, Babeldaob (Babelthuap), Palaus later in the day.

11 August 1943:
Departs Garasumao and arrives at Palau later that same day.

13 August 1943:
TOKO MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-207 also consisting of IJA transports MYOGI, SHOKO, TAIKO and UCHIDE MARUs, IJN cargo ship HAKKO MARU (B-AK), IJA repair and salvage vessel CHINZEI MARU, and auxiliary collier/oiler TONEI MARU escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKASAGO MARU.

E 14 August 1943:
TAKASAGO MARU is detached.

E 19 August 1943:
Auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 join the convoy's escorts.

21 August 1943:
Arrives at Hesaki.

22 August 1943:
Departs Hesaki and arrives at Moji later that day.

8 September 1943:
At 0900, convoys No. 201 and No. 204 depart Takao. The convoys include TOKO, TOFUKU, HITORA (ex Panamanian RAMONA), HIROTA, TAIRIN and RYUYO MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships, but it is unclear to which convoy each ship belongs. The convoys consist of nine merchant ships (No. 201) and three merchant ships (No. 204). Kaibokan TSUSHIMA and two unidentified warshipsis are the escort.

13 September 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Moji.

21 September 1943:
TOKO MARU departs St Jacques in convoy No. 511 also consisting of IMAHARU (ex-Dutch DE KLERK) and YAGUMO MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 without escort.

24 September 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Singapore.

28 January 1944:
At 1600, TOKO MARU departs Palau for Rabaul in convoy SO-805 also consisting of TOEI and HOKKAI MARUs, tanker TAKATORI MARU No. 2 and TAIEI MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-16, CH-34, CH-35 and CH-40 and auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-47 and CHa-61. The convoy is also given air cover.

30 January 1944:
At 0150, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes TOKO MARU, carrying troops of the 2nd Battalion, 66th Infantry Regiment, 51st Division and the 4th Field Hospital to Manus Island, Admiralties at 06-20N, 138-08E. All three of the three torpedoes fired hit TOKO MARU. She sinks by the stern. 457 troops, seven gunners and 15 crewmen are KIA..

Author’s Note:
[1] Not to be confused with a similarly named cargo ship of 4,180-tons.

Thanks go to Erich Muethlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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