KAMOTSUSEN!

(IKUTAGAWA MARU former RAMB II in 1937)

Freighter IKUTAGAWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 1


14 December 1936:
Monfalcone, Italy. Laid down at CRDA, Cantieri Riuniti dell' Adriatico, (Reunited Yards of the Adriatic) as a 3,685-ton refrigerated cargo ship (fruit carrier) for Regia Azienda Monopolio Banane (R.A.M.B.)(Royal Banana Monopoly Company).

7 June 1937:
Launched and designated RAMB II.

6 September 1937:
Completed and registered in Genoa.

1937-1940:
In R.A.M.B.’s service. Transports refrigerated bananas from Somaliland and Eritrea in Italian East Africa to Italy and southwest European ports.

9 April 1940:
Requisitioned by the Regia Marina (Italian Navy). Registered in the RM as an auxiliary cruiser. Capitano di Corvetta (LtCdr) C. Mazzella is the Commanding Officer.

10 June 1940:
Rome. Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, declares war on France and Great Britain.

1940:
Massawa, Eritrea. Converted to an auxiliary cruiser (merchant raider). Armed with two 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns and eight 0.52-inch (13.2) mm AA guns. RAMB 2 is part of the Italian Navy's Red Sea Flotilla.

27 September 1940:
Berlin, Germany. Germany’s Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano and Japan’s Ambassador Kurusu Saburo sign the Tripartite Pact that establishes the Axis Powers. The Pact recognizes each nation's spheres of interest and pledges each to assist one another with all political, economic and military means when one of the three nations is attacked by a country not already involved in the war, excluding Soviet Russia.

February 1941:
The Regia Marina's Comando Supremo orders some Massawa-based units, including RAMB 2, to sail to the Far East.

23 March 1941:
Arrives at Kobe, Japan.

24 March 1941:
Because Japan is still neutral, RAMB II departs Kobe within 24 hours and supposedly in international waters (probably still within the Inland Sea) dismounts her guns.

1941:
Tokyo. Italian diplomats and military attachés discuss with Japanese authorities the possibility of using RAMB II as a Commerce Raider to interdict British traffic in the Indian Ocean, but the IJN strongly opposes the idea and RAMB II remains moored at Kobe.

May 1941:
Renamed CALITEA II. [1]

September 1942:
Chartered to the IJN in accordance with the Tripartite Pact. Undergoes additional refrigeration construction at Kawasaki Heavy Industies, Ltd. shipyard. [2]

2 November 1942:
Serves as a store ship for the IJN from the Sasebo Naval District.

30 November 1942:
At 1200, departs Kobe.

3 December 1942:
At 0900, arrives at Shanghai. Additional crew are taken on for a full complement.

10 December 1942:
At 1300, departs Shanghai.

18 December 1942:
At 1300, arrives at Singapore.

20 December 1942:
At 1400, departs Singapore.

23 December 1942:
At 1600, arrives at Surabaya.

28 December 1942:
At 1500, departs Surabaya.

30 December 1942:
At 1943, arrives at Makassar.

6 January 1943:
At 1600, departs Makassar.

8 January 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Surabaya.

17 January 1943:
At 1000, departs Surabaya.

19 January 1943:
At 1330, arrives at Makassar.

21 January 1943:
At 1500, departs Makassar.

22 January 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Kendari.

25 January 1943:
At 0900, departs Kendari.

26 January 1943:
At 1030, arrives at Ambon.

28 January 1943:
At 0800, departs Ambon.

31 January 1943:
At 1015, arrives at Ampenan.

12 February 1943:
At 1300, departs Ampenan.

13 February 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Makassar.

17 February 1943:
At 1230, departs Makassar.

18 February 1943:
At 1700, arrives at Balikpapan.

21 February 1943:
At 0700, departs Balikpapan.

22 February 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Tarakan.

24 February 1943:
At 1730, departs Tarakan.

27 February 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Makassar.

4 March 1943:
At 1600, departs Makassar.

6 March 1943:
At 1700, arrives at Surabaya.

15 March 1943:
Loads raw and salted animal meat from auxiliary transport SHIRA MARU.

16 March 1943:
At 0900, departs Surabaya.

18 March 1943:
At 1330, arrives at Makassar.

21 March 1943 At 1030, departs Makassar.

22 March 1943:
At 1830, arrives at Kendari.

23 March 1943:
At 1430, departs Kendari.

24 March 1943:
At 1700, arrives at Ambon.

25 March 1943:
At 0700, departs Ambon.

26 March 1943:
At 1730, arrives at Babo.

30 March 1943:
At 0630, departs Babo.

1 April 1943:
At 0930, arrives at Manokwari.

7 April 1943:
At 0630, departs Manokwari.

8 April 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Hollandia. Embarks 346 passengers.

11 April 1943:
At 2100, departs Hollandia.

13 April 1943:
At 1130, arrives at Manokwari, New Guinea.

15 April 1943:
At 1504, arrives at Matua. Disembarks 346 passengers. At 2000, departs port.

17 April 1943:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

20 April 1943:
At 1630, arrives at Surabaya.

29 April 1943:
At 0900, departs Surabaya.

1 May 1943:
At 1730, arrives at Balikpapan.

9 May 1943:
At 0700, departs Balikpapan.

10 May 1943:
At 1530, arrives at Makassar.

13 May 1943:
At 1330, departs Makassar.

15 May 1943:
At 1615, arrives at Surabaya.

21 May 1943:
At 0900, departs Surabaya.

22 May 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Ampenan.

27 May 1943:
At 0900 departs Ampenan.

28 May 1943:
At 1530, arrives at Surabaya.

3 June 1943:
At 1200, departs Surabaya.

7 June 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Ambon.

8 June 1943:
At 0700, departs Ambon.

10 June 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Kokas and departs at 2300.

11 June 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Sorong.

12 June 1943:
At 1800, departs Sorong.

17 June 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Balikpapan.

24 June 1943:
At 0800, departs Balikpapan.

26 June 1943:
At 1600, arrives at Surabaya.

2 July 1943:
At 1100 ,departs Surabaya.

3 July 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Ampenan.

8 July 1943:
At 0750, departs Ampenan.

9 July 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Surabaya.

3 August 1943:
At 1600 ,departs Surabaya.

6 August 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Singapore.

11 August 1943:
At 0900, departs Singapore.

13 August 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Saigon and departs at 1740.

18 August 1943:
At 0730, arrives at Keelung (Kirun) and departs at 1800.

24 August 1943:
Arrives at Kobe. Undergoes repair work.

8 September 1943: Fascist Italy Surrenders:
Mussolini is deposed and Italy declares an armistice. At Kobe, CALITEA II’s Italian crew, despite possible consequences to themselves, scuttle their ship.

1943:
CALITEA II is refloated and placed in Japanese service.

3 October 1943:
In accordance with a secret IJN message, the former CALITEA II is renamed IKUTAGAWA MARU and assigned call sign JXBY.

30 November 1943:
Registered as an auxiliary transport ship (victualler) in the Sasebo Naval District.

December 1943:
Completes repair work.

24 December 1943:
At 1000, departs Kobe for Sasebo.

1 January 1944:
Assigned to the Combined Fleet and attached to the Southwest Area Fleet as an auxiliary transport ship.

3 January 1944:
At 1700 departs Sasebo.

7 January 1944:
At 1500 departs Moji in convoy No. 127 also consisting of ASUKA, GETSUYO, YAHIKO, NIKKI, HOKOKU, KINREI, ROKKO MARUs escorted by gestroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-27.

10 January 1944:
USS SEAWOLF launches a series of attacks in which ASUKA, GETSUYO and YAHIKO MARUs are sunk at 27-32N, 127-25E.

12 January 1944:
Arrives at Naha, Okinawa. Destroyer KURI and minesweeper W-27 are added to the escort.

15 January 1944:
At 1930, IKUTAGAWA MARU departs Naha for Takao.

26 January 1944:
At 1700, departs Takao in convoy No. 788 consisting of HOKUAN and IKUTAGAWA MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

30 January 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Later departs for Balikpapan.

18 January 1944:
At 1455, arrives at Takao.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java. At 1500, departs Surabaya in a convoy consisting of IKUTAGAWA and SENKO MARUs with patrol soat PB-104 as escort.

24 March 1944:
At 1900, arrives at Laut island.

17 May 1944:
Arrives at Ambon.

18 May 1944:
Arrives at Saloe.

19 May 1944:
Departs Little Saloe and later that day arrives at Kendari, Celebes.

22 May 1944:
Departs Kendari and later that day arrives at Tioro Channel east entrance.

23 May 1944:
Departs Tioro Channel road east entrance.

24 May 1944:
Arrives at Pulau Laut island then departs and later arrives at Makassar.

29 May 1944:
Departs Makassar.

31 May 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya.

10 June 1944:
At 1000, departs Surabaya in a convoy consisting of IKUTAGAWA and SEIA MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-12.

11 June 1944:
At 2030 arrives at Laut island.

12 June 1944:
Departs Laut island at midnight and at 1920 arrives at Doangdoangan Island. At 2100, auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 1 joins the convoy.

13 June 1944:
At midnight, departs Doandoangan Island and at 1845 arrives at Tioro Channel.

14 June 1944:
At 0910, departs Tioro Channel without SHONAN MARU No. 1 and at 1800 arrives at Wowoni Channel.

15 June 1944:
At 0500, departs Wowoni Channel and at 1730 arrives at Little Saloe.

16 June 1944:
At 0900 departs Little Saloe and later that day arrives at the north side of Sanana island.

17 June 1944:
At 0230, departs north side of Sanana island and at 1630 arrives at Namrole, Buru Island.

18 June 1944:
At 0600, departs Namrole and later that day arrives at Ambon.

30 June 1944:
At 1100, departs Ambon in a convoy consisting of IKUTAGAWA and SEAI MARUs and fast transports T-101 and T-102 escorted by minesweeper W-12, torpedo boat KARI and auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 2 and at 1850 arrives at Namrole

1 July 1944:
At 0500, departs Namrole and at 1900 arrives at Besbias.

2 July 1944:
At 0700, departs Besbias and at 1800 arrives at Gule Tosru.

3 July 1944:
At 0320, departs Gule Tosru and after 1100 arrives at Laea Bay.

4 July 1944:
At 0600, departs Laea Bay and transits the Salajar Channel. At 1000, arrives at Tandjung Patjiub.

5 July 1944:
At 1900 departs Tandjung Patjiube and at 2100 arrives at Daziandazian. SHONAN MARU No. 2 is detached from the convoy.

7 July 1944:
At 0650, departs Daziandazian.

9 July 1944:
At 1130, arrives at Surabaya Griesse lighthouse.

13 July 1944:
Departs Surabaya Griesse lighthouse and later that day arrives at Surabaya.

14 August 1944:
At 1000, IKUTAGAWA MARU, departs Surabaya for Makassar, Celebes with German tender BOGOTA and transport (ex-seaplane tender) KIMIKAWA MARU escorted by minesweeper W-11. At 2030, BOGOTA and KIMIKAWA MARU are detached and steam independently.

15 August 1944:
At 1220, arrives at Tanjung Petang lighthouse. Departs at 2110.

16 August 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Makassar.

17 August 1944:
At 1500, departs Makassar.

23 August 1944:
Arrives at Pulau Kapapasang island.

24 August 1944:
Departs Pulau Kapapasang island.

25 August 1944:
Arrives near Batanga, Buton Island and later that day departs.

26 August 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Surabaya.

17 September 1944:
At 0833, departs Surabaya.

18 September 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Makassar and later that day departs.

20 September 1944:
Departs Makassar.

27 September 1944:
Arrives at Great Deia island.

28 September 1944:
Departs Great Deia island.

30 September 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya.

2 October 1944:
Departs Surabaya.

4 October 1944:
Arrives at Makassar.

6 October 1944:
Departs Makassar.

8 October 1944:
Arrives at Parepare.

11 October 1944:
Departs Parepare and later that day arrives at Pulau Sagaru island.

12 October 1944:
Departs Pulau Sagaru island and later that day arrives at Makassar.

14 October 1944:
Departs Makassar.

17 October 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

21 October 1944:
Departs Balikpapan.

22 October 1944:
Arrives at Telok Bakong.

23 October 1944:
Departs Telok Bakong and later that day arrives at Tandjung Bohe.

24 October 1944:
Departs Tandjung Bohe and later that day arrives at Tarakan.

25 October 1944:
Departs Tarakan and later that day arrives at Langas Island.

26 October 1944:
Departs Langas Island and later that day arrives at Sandakan, NE Borneo.

27 October 1944:
Departs Sandakan and later that day arrives at Balewibangan.

28 October 1944:
Departs Balewibangan and later that day arrives at Kudat.

30 October 1944:
Departs Kudat and later that day arrives at Gaya Bay off Api.

31 October 1944:
Departs off Api, Gaya Bay and later that day arrives at Labuan island.

1 November 1944:
Departs Labuan island and later that day arrives at Api.

4 November 1944:
At 1155, off Cape Agal runs aground approximately 900m off Batumandi Rock, near Bonanza Shoal. At 1530, refloated under her own power. Later, arrives at Banggi Island.

5 November 1944:
Departs Banggi Island and later that day arrives at Tanjong Siasib (today Tanjung Sesip).

6 November 1944:
Departs Tanjong Siasib.

7 November 1944:
Arrives at Langas Island, North Borneo.

12 January 1945: Operation "Gratitude"- Task Force 38's Strikes on Indochina:
Saigon. Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38 attacks Japanese shipping, airfields, and other shore installations in southeastern French Indochina. TF 38 planes sink IKUTAGAWA MARU at 10-20N, 107-50E. The planes also sink or damage many other ships in the raid.

5 February 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors’ Notes:
[1] Some sources give the date as Sep ’42.

[2] Some sources give the date of the charter as Dec ’41.

Thanks for help go to Luca Ruffato of Italy.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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