KACHOSAN MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2017 Bob Hackett

2 June 1924:
Tama. Mitsui Bussan Zosensho, K. K. Laid down as Yard No. 100, a 2,428-ton cargo ship for Mitsui Bussan Kaisha (Steamship Co.), K. K.

29 December 1924:
Launched and named KACHOSAN MARU

10 February 1925:

1925~ 1941:
KACHOSAN MARU is employed carrying seaweed to the Chinese ports of Tainjin and Shanghai and zinc on her return voyages.

5 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Converted to a troop transport. Allotted IJA No. 876.

16 June 1942:
Departs Mako (Makung), Pescadores in convoy No. 223 also consisting of cargo/transports ANZAN, HAKONESAN, INDUS, KOKO, OSAKA, SHINTO and TOTAI MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and six unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE and torpedo boat SAGI.

20 June 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

21 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

22 June 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

E November 1942:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Hokkaido for Attu, Aleutians transporting IJA units.

27 November 1942:
Off Attu. USAAF's 11th Air Force Martin B-26 "Marauder" medium bombers based at Adak, Aleutians, bomb and heavily damage KACHOSAN MARU.[1]

November 1942-1943:
Undergoes repairs at unknown location(s).

28 December 1942:
With the establishment of Mitsui Shipbuilding, Tokyo, KACHOSAN MARU is transferred from Mitsui Bussan Kaisha.

27 March 1943:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Saeki for Palau in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy “J2” also consisting of JINZAN, KOSO, SHICHISEI and UGO MARUs escorted by minelayer NASAMI, patrol boat PB-31 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3.

E 28 March 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

23 May 1943:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Palau in convoy P-523 also consisting of ARATAMA, CHINZEI, FUKKO, TEIRYU (ex German AUGSBURG) and TOYO MARUs.

E 29 May 1943:
Minesweeper W-18 and patrol boat PB-46 join the convoy at 29-50N, 132-02E.

31 May 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

22 August 1943:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 317 also consisting of CHOJO, KAIKO, KOYU and RYUKO MARUs, tankers KIYO and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 3 and four unidentified merchants escorted by patrol boat PB-2.

26 August 1943:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

6 September 1943:
At 0905, departs Saigon, Vichy French Indochina (Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam). At 1225, arrives at St Jacques.

11 September 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

8 January 1944:
At 1000, KACHOSAN MARU departs Kagoshima for Amami Oshima, Ryukuyus in convoy ROKU-706 also consisting of FUJI, KANTO, RYUWA, SANYO and TAIKYU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-27

9 January 1944:
At 1300, KANTO MARU is detached for Naze, Amami Oshima. At 1600, TAIKYU MARU is detached for Koniya, Amami Oshima. SANKA MARU joins the convoy from Koniya.

10 January 1944:
At 1140, arrives at Naha.

22 February 1944:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMA-05 also consisting of CHINKAI, FUYO, FUJIKAWA, HOZAN, TAIKOKU, TEIYU (ex-Italian CARIGNANO) and ZUIYO MARUs and NISSHO MARU No. 16 escorted by minesweeper W-17, auxiliary netlayer TOKACHI MARU, auxiliary TERUKUNI MARU and two other unidentified auxiliary warships.

26 February 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Manila.

28 March 1944:
At 0030, departs Wasile for Ambon in a convoy also consisting of FUYO, KACHOSAN, RYOCHI and SHINRYU YAMAMIYA MARUs escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18.

29 March 1944:
At 1830, AOTAKA is detached.

April 1944:
Arrives at Ambon.

8 August 1944:
At 0200, convoy MATA-26 departs Manila consisting of KACHOSAN, ASAKA, HINAGA, IKOMASAN, KENEI, SHINEI and TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs and fourteen unidentified merchants escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA, YASHIRO, CD-5, CD-6, CD-9 and CD-16 and subchaser CH-58.

10 August 1944:
Off Cape Bolinao. At 1029, USS GUITARRO torpedoes and sinks SHINEI MARU at 16-15N 119-45E. Soon after, minesweepers W-38 and W-39 arrive to bolster the escort.

12 August 1944:
YASHIRO assists KACHOSAN MARU from the convoy.

3 November 1944:
At 1000, KACHOSAN MARU departs Moji for Miri, Borneo in convoy MI-25 also consisting of AKAGISAN, DAIA, HINAGA, KENSEI, KINSEN NICHIYO, NIKKO, OJIKASAN and SHOEI MARUs and tankers ATAGO, DAIEI DAIRETSU, DAISHU, DAITO, GYOSHIN, RYUSHO, OTSUSAN, and YAMAMURA MARUs and YUZAN MARU No. 2 and two unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-23, CD-33, CD-51, CD-52 and CD-130.

8 November 1944:
KACHOSAN MARU, destined for Hong Kong, is detached for Kirun (Keelung) and Takao, Formosa as are two unidentified ships. DAIA, KINSEN, NIKKO MARUs and NIKKO MARUs are also detached for Kirun. AKAGISAN and NICHIYO MARUs, both destined for Manila, are also detached for Kirun.

1 December 1944:
At 0755, KACHOSAN MARU departs Takao for Hong Kong in convoy HO-103 also consisting of KANSHU and SHINSEI MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-102.

3 December 1944:
At 1100, arrives at Hong Kong.

21 March 1945:
KACHOSAN MARU departs Kagoshima in convoy KANA-101 also consisting of cargo ship YAMATO MARU No. 19 escorted by kaibokan CD-29, subchaser CH-58 and auxiliary and minesweeper TAIAN MARU. The cargo ships are probably each towing a midget submarine.

22 March 1945:
At 2200, arrives at Kuji Wan (Bay), Amami Oshima.

23 March 1945:
At 0530, departs Kuji Wan. At 1030, the CO of CD-29 orders the convoy away from its intended destination of Okinawa and directs it to head to the China coast.

24 miles NW of Amami Oshima. At 1615, Grumman F6F “Hellcat” fighter-bombers of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA ’10) Task Force 58 attack the convoy. KACHOSAN MARU, carrying 1,300 soldiers including 30 from the 50th Maritime transport Battalion and 82 Kempei Tai of the Okinawan Military Police, is bombed and hit exploding her cargo of gasoline and depth charges. At 1628, she sinks at 28-40N, 128-50E.

62 ship’s gunners and 60 crewmen are KIA. CD-29 and CH-58 are also damaged. TF 58's aircrews also claim sinking one midget submarine and damaging another. [2]

Author's Note:
[1] Some sources erroneously claim KACHOSAN MARU was sunk.

[2] Some sources claim 212 men were KIA.

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett

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