(Dollar Lines' WOLVERINE STATE, later PRESIDENT HARRISON, still later KACHIDOKI MARU)
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett
Camden, New Jersey. Laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Co., as Hull No. 248, a 10,533-ton passenger-cargo ship for the U.S. Shipping Board (later United States Maritime Commission), Washington DC.
Launched and named JAKIN.
Completed. She can accommodate 133 passengers and 440,704 cubic feet of cargo.
Renamed WOLVERINE STATE.
Sold to the Dollar Steamship Lines Inc. Ltd., San Francisco, California.
5 January 1924:
Departs New York inaugurating Dollar Lines' first Round-the-World service: New York, Havana, Cristobal, Balboa, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, Honolulu, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Penang, Colombo, Suez, Port Said, Alexandria, Naples, Genoa, Marseilles, Boston and New
21 August 1929:
Atlantic. Captain J. H. Benson's WOLVERINE STATE rescues the 26-man crew of the German steamer QUIMSTAN which caught fire and was abandoned in mid-ocean.
The United States Maritime Commission judges the Dollar Steamship Company financially unsound and assumes control of it. The company is renamed the American President Lines.
SS WOLVERINE STATE is sold to the American President Lines (APL), President Terminal Steamship Co., San Francisco, renamed SS PRESIDENT HARRISON and transferred to APL's Pacific routes.
PRESIDENT HARRISON steams between Philippine and Chinese ports.
Requisitioned by the United States Navy.
Under USN orders PRESIDENT HARRISON departs Manila, Philippine Islands, for Hong Kong, BCC, where she is to be converted into a troop transport.
27-28 November 1941:
Shanghai. The 4th United States Marines are evacuated aboard SS PRESIDENT HARRISON and SS PRESIDENT MADISON, but six men fail to board and are left behind.
3 December 1941:
PRESIDENT HARRISON arrives safely at Olongapo, Philippines. She is chartered by the U.S. Navy on a day-to-day basis and dispatched to Chingwangtao (near Peking) to pick up about 300 Marines of the Peking and Tientsin Legation Guards and some 1400 tons of equipment and return to Manila.
8 December 1941:
At about 0330, PRESIDENT HARRISON's master, Captain Orel A. Pierson, receives a message from Cavite that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.
Off the Yangtze River, Shanghai. PRESIDENT HARRISON is pursued in the East China Sea by aircraft and the NAGASAKI MARU, a 22-knot mail boat on the Japan-China run. Shortly after 1300, Captain Pierson runs HARRISON aground on Shaweishan Island at 16 knots to rip her bottom out and deny her use to the Japanese. HARRISON strkes the edge of the island on her port side and then rolls off. The impact rips a hole 90 feet long, but doesn't reach the engine room spaces. The ship almost turns over, but rights herself. Strong currents then carry her off the rocks and she settles on a mud bank.
Captain Pierson orders "Abandon Ship." One lifeboat is caught by the swift current and wind. The ship's exposed turning propeller splits the lifeboat in half, killing three men and severely injuring many others.
A landing party from an unidentified nearby Japanese destroyer storms aboard HARRISON and orders all personnel in the lifeboats to return to the ship.
PRESIDENT HARRISON's crew of 164 spends the next 40 days aboard while Nippon Salvage Co. refloats and make repairs sufficient for her to make nearby Shanghai where her crew is then interned in a Prisoner-of-War (POW) camp. 
PRESIDENT HARRISON is dry-docked, most probably in Shanghai, and undergoes repairs to her hull. Renamed KAKKO MARU.
Repairs are completed and KAKKO MARU is renamed KACHIDOKI MARU, placed under Senpaku Un'eikai (Civilian Shipping Administration) control and shares in some
transport missions with the IJA as a (A/C-APK) Rikugun Haitosen. She is alloted IJA No. 5025.
16 September 1942:
Formosa Strait. KACHIDOKI MARU is in a collision with Desdiv 22’s FUMIZUKI. The destroyer sustains heavy damage.
14 August 1942:
Takao. IJA NAGARA MARU arrives and berths astern of KACHIDOKI MARU.
18 December 1942:
KACHIDOKI MARU arrives in Tokyo Bay West from the Inland Sea area in convoy No. 72 also consisting of NICHIREN and KOZUI MARUs
escorted by subchaser CH-33.
13 January 1943:
KACHIDOKI MARU departs Yokosuka for Kure in convoy 7113A also consisting of MYOKO and HAKUSAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI.
15 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure where she probably undergoes conversion to a troop transport and is fitted with AA guns.
4 July 1943:
KACHIDOKI MARU departs Singapore for Ujina in convoy No. 615 also consisting of KINUGASA, TEIKO (ex-Vichy French D’ARTAGNAN), AKI and MIIKE MARUs and tankers KIRISHIMA, KUROSHIO and OMUROSAN MARUs escorted by an
5 July 1943:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.
6 July 1943:
At 1600 arrives at St Jacques, Indochina (now Vung Tau, Vietnam).
8 July 1943:
KACHIDOKI MARU departs St Jacques in the "J" convoy also consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, KIRISHIMA and KUROSHIO MARUs and transports KINUGASA, AKI, MIIKE and TEIKO MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE.
E 10 July 1943:
TEIKO MARU is detached for Manila.
11 July 1943:
Arrives at Mako and later that day at Takao.
17 July 1943:
Arrives at Ujina.
10 August 1943: At 1400, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Moji for Mako, Pescadores in convoy No. 185 also consisting of tankers TACHIBANA, TONAN, SAN RAMON, YAMAMIZU and NICHIRIN MARUs, passenger-cargo GINYO MARUs, cargo ship ASUKA MARU and four unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan SADO.
15 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako.
1 November 1943:
At 1115, convoy HI-17 arrives at Takao from Moji.
2 November 1943:
At 1500, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Takao in convoy HI-17 now consisting of transport ASAMA MARU and fleet oiler TAKASAKI, tankers OMUROSAN, TATEKAWA, TARAKAN, ITSUKUSHIMA MARUs and three unidentified ships
escorted by destroyer FUYO.
11 November 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Singapore.
31 December 1943:
At 0600, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-29 also consisting of (ex cargo) OKIGAWA MARU and cargo passenger KUROSHIO and ASOSAN MARUs escorted by kaibokan SADO. That same day, ASHIZURI and sister
oiler SHIOYA depart Sasebo and join the convoy.
4 January 1944:
At 1600, convoy HI-29 arrives at Takao. OKIGAWA MARU, ASHIZURI and SHIOYA are detached. Tanker GOYO MARU joins the convoy.
6 January 1944:
At 1315, oilers ASHIZURI, SHIOYA and OKIKAWA MARU depart Takao in the Rinji (special) M convoy escorted by kaibokan SADO and patrol boat PB-36 This convoy accompanies convoy HI-29 to Manila.
9 January 1944:
At 1530, convoy HI-29 arrives at Manila. The Rinji M convoy is detached.
10 January 1944:
16 January 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.
2 February 1944:
At 1300, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-38 also consisting of transports KAGUMARU, oilers AMATSU, OTOWASAN and OKIKAWA MARUs and two other ships escorted by fleet oiler ASHIZURI and kaibokan KANJU.
8 February 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Takao.
9 February 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.
13 February 1944:
At 1430, arrives at Moji.
19 March 1944:
At 1530, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Moji in convoy HI-55 also consisting of tankers ASANAGI, OTORISAN, RYOEI, TARAKAN and TENSHIN MARUs and and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE. KACHIDOKI MARU carries Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 8th Railroad Regiment and the battalion's 3rd and 4th Companies.
24 March 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Takao. The six unidentified merchant ships and HARUKAZE are detached.
26 March 1944:
KACHIDOKI MARU MARU departs Takao in convoy HI-55 also consisting of ASANAGI, OTORIYAMA, RYOEI, TARAKAN and TENSHIN MARUs escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA and torpedo boat HATO. Soon after departure, RYOEI and TENSHIN MARUs develop unknown problems and return to Takao.
31 March 1944:
Arrives and anchors at Cap St. Jacques.
2 April 1944:
South China Sea, near Anambas Islands. At 0400, a surfaced submarine is discovered. The convoy opens fire and the sub submerges. MATSUWA and HATO each drop depth charges, but are unsuccessful. At 0405, LtCdr John C. Broach’s USS HAKE (SS-256) torpedoes and damages TARAKAN MARU at 01-58N, 106-20E, but she is able to continue.
At 0520, HAKE again torpedoes TARAKAN MARU, this time breaking the tanker in two. The forward part sinks, but the stern with the engine room remains afloat. TARAKAN MARU makes for Singapore at slow speed escorted by torpedo boat HATO. The rest of the convoy continues on and, by 1900, arrives at Singapore.
13 July 1944:
At 1600, KACHIDOKI MARU departs Moji for Singapore carrying a cargo of vehicles on deck in convoy HI-69 consisting of escort carriers KAIYO and TAIYO, each loaded with aircraft for Luzon, tankers KOEI, OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN, KUROSHIO, HAKKO, HARIMA, SERIA, TENEI MARUs and transports KIMIKAWA, AKI, ASAMA, SAIGON,, MANKO MARUs and possibly MANJU MARU escorted by escort carrier SHINYO, light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan CHIBURI, SADO, CD-7 and CD-17. SHINYO's aircraft conduct patrols.
18 July 1944:
Near Takao, Formosa. HARIMA MARU straggles from the convoy. About 0600, LtCdr John J. Flachsenhar's USS ROCK (SS-274) fires four torpedoes at HARIMA MARU, but misses. At 0850, Cdr Alan Banister's USS SAWFISH (USS 276) fires nine torpedoes at the convoy at 21-58N, 119-50E. HARIMA MARU is hit by a single torpedo, but remains able to steam. At 1055, LtCdr Roger M. Keithy's USS TILEFISH (SS-307) torpedoes and heavily damages CD-17 at 20-27N, 119-11E. The convoy continues to Manila without stopping at Takao as originally planned, but damaged CD-17 and HARIMA MARU put into Takao.
20 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.
25 July 1944:
KACHIDOKI MARU departs Manila in convoy HI-69's section bound for Singapore consisting of tankers HAKKO, OMUROSAN, TENEI, OTOWASAN, KUROSHIO, HARIMA and SERIA MARUs and transport KIMIKAWA MARU escorted by escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan CHIBURI, SADO, CD-7, CD-13 and CD-19.
31 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore. KACHIDOKI MARU is chartered by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and is the flagship of No. 16 Maritime Command.
6 September 1944:
KACHIDOKI MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-72 consisting of ASAKA, NANKAI, RAKUYO, SHINCHO and ZUIHO MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIKANAMI and kaibokan HIRADO (F), MIKURA, KURAHASHI, CD-11 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-19. KACHIDOKI MARU carries KACHIDOKI MARU is carrying an Army unit of 487 men and 608 passengers, gunners and crewmen and 950 Allied POWs of whom about 900 are British and Australians. She also carries the ashes of 582 Japanese and is loaded with raw rubber and bauxite.
RAKUYO MARU carries 1,317 POWs.
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) 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.
KACHIDOKI MARU makes a radical course change, zigzagging wildly in the darkness. She strikes another ship almost bow-to-bow and they scrape together for most of the length of their hulls before separating. KACHIDOKI MARU heels over steeply before righting herself.
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. SHIKANAMI is torpedoed by GROWLER 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) fires three torpedoes at KACHIDOKI MARU and gets one hit in No. 7 hold that causes flooding.
At 2315, KACHIDOKI MARU stops and founders. At 2337, she sinks by the stern. 12 sailors and 476 passengers (including the POWs) are KIA. The escorts rescue 521 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, PAMPANITO also torpedoes and sinks ZUIHO MARU at 19-23N, 111-50E. There are no casualties, but her cargo of 8,000-tons of aviation gas and oil is lost.
 Of PRESIDENT HARRISON's 164 captured crewmen, 12 die as POWs including four who are lost on ARIZAN MARU while being transferred to Japan.
Thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France and the late John Whitman of Virginia. Thanks also go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
to IJA Transports