IJN Seaplane Tender KAGU MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Allan Alsleben and Peter Cundall
Revision 15

21 November 1935:
Aioi, near Harima. Laid down at the Harima Zosensho Ship Building and Engineering Co. as a 6.806-ton cargo ship for for the Kokusai Kisen KK Line.

18 April 1936:
Launched and named KAGU MARU.

30 June 1936:

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge ("China") Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops fire blank cartridges on night maneuvers at the bridge. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. The Japanese demand entry to Beijing to look for the soldier. The Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.

25 August 1937:
As a result of the China Incident, the IJN requisitions KAGU MARU. She is registered in the Yokosuka Naval District and begins conversion to a 6,807-ton single shaft seaplane tender. Six Ten Year type 120-mm (4.7-inch)/45 cal. HA guns are installed. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kira Shunichi (40) (former CO of RYUJO) is the Commanding Officer.

10 September 1937:
Re-attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

18 September 1937:
Reassigned to the Third Fleet, 3rd Naval Air Group (NAG). KAGU MARU carries 12 seaplanes, probably four Type 94 Kawanishi E7K2 “Alf” and eight Type 95 Nakajima E8N1 “Dave” reconnaissance floatplanes. The tail code of her aircraft is "14-xx"

20 September 1937:
Departs Yokosuka to operate off the central and southern areas of the Chinese coast.

22 September 1937:
Sasebo’s 23rd Sea Scout Unit is embarked aboard submarine tender TAIGEI. After establishing a base at Niujianshan, China, half of the 23rd’s Type 95 Daves (6) are transferred to KAGU MARU.

29 September 1937:
Off Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks). Receives fresh food from converted supply ship TENYO MARU.

10 October 1937:
Off Wanshan (Thieves) Archipelago. Receives additional provisions from TENYO MARU.

20 October 1937.
At Mako, Pescadores. KAGU MARU is reassigned to the Fourth Fleet, 3rd Naval Air Group.

22 October 1937.
Departs Takao, Formosa.

29 October 1937.
Arrives at Sasebo.

31 October 1937.
Departs Sasebo.

2 November 1937:
Departs Kure.

25 November 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai.

1 December 1937:
Reassigned to the Third Fleet, 3rd NAG.

13 December 1937:
The Imperial Japanese Army captures the capital city of Nanking. The Chinese are forced to move their capital to Hankow.

15 December 1937:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Obayashi Sueo (43) (former XO of YAKUMO) assumes command. Captain Kira is reassigned to the Navy's Air Arsenal.

17 December 1937:
Departs Takao to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

8 January 1938:
Arrives in Tonkin Bay, off French Indochina.

10 January 1938:
Departs Tonkin Bay.

19 January 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

21 January 1938:
Departs Takao to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

24 January 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

5 February 1938:
From 1900 ~ 2110 storeship HARUNA MARU provisions KAGU MARU with fresh food.

11 February 1938:
Reassigned to the Fifth Fleet, 3rd NAG.

20 February 1938:
From 1023 ~ 1024 storeship HARUNA MARU provisions KAGU MARU with fresh food.

23 February 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

26 February 1938:
Departs Takao to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

E 20 March 1938:
At 1050 at Haikou storeship HARUNA MARU 1050 provisions KAGU MARU with fresh food.

23 March 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

26 March 1938:
Departs Takao to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

19 April 1938:
Arrives at Mako.

23 April 1938:
Departs Mako to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

17 May 1938:
Arrives at Takao.

20 May 1938:
Departs Takao to operate off the southern Chinese coast.

15 June 1938:
Near Zhoushan Archipelago, China. Auxiliary transport KINUGASA MARU comes alongside to starboard and loads fresh water water.

21 June 1938:
Arrives at Zhoushan Archipelago.

22 June 1938:
Departs Zhoushan Archipelago.

3 July 1938:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 July 1938:
Departs Sasebo to support the capture of Hankow.

26 October 1938:
The Japanese capture Hankow. After the fall of Hankow, the Chinese move their capital to Chungking.

2 December 1938:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 December 1938:
Decommissioned. Captain Obayashi is reassigned as the CO of the Kanoya Air Group. KAGU MARU returns to merchant service. Enters drydock.

15 January 1939:
Rerated an auxiliary repair in the Sasebo Naval District.

16 January 1939:
Undocked. The CO of TATSUTA, Captain (Vice Admiral,posthumously) Ito Yasunoshin, (42) is assigned additional duty as CO of KAGU MARU.

19 January 1939:
Loads food provisions.

21 January 1939:
The IJN naval ensign is raised.

24 January 1939:
From 0904-1640, an oil barge comes alongside to port and heavy oil is loaded.

25 January 1939:
KAGU MARU's outside gunwales are repainted while loads assorted goods.

26 January 1939:
Undergoes a center of gravity assessment.

27 January 1939:
At 1110, undergoes machine gun official trial firing and 11428 centimeter angle of elevation gun official trial firing. At 1410, conducts speed test. Later, arrives at Sasebo.

28 January 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi (41) (former CO of ASAGIRI) assumes command from Captain Ito. Captain Ito resumes duty as CO of TATSUTA on a full-time basis.

29 January 1939:
From 0910-1550, loads food provisions. At 1010, Captain Kimura arrives. At 1030 Cdr Ito departs to resumes duty as CO of TATSUTA on a full-time basis. From 1125-1550, a water barge comes alongside and provides fresh water.

31 January 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

3 February 1939:
Arrives at Zhoushan Archipelago.

4 February 1939:
From 1432-1610, an unidentified auxiliary minesweeper comes alongside to starboard.

5 February 1939:
From 1900-2110, at Wanshan Anchotage, loads fresh provisions from storeship HARUNA MARU.

6 February 1939:
Off Hainan Island. At 1224, undergoes machine gun test-firing and 9358 centimeter angle of elevation gun test-firing.

7 February 1939:
Zhoushan Archipelago. From 0930, begins practicing launching landing craft. Later that day, departs Zhoushan Archipelago.

8 February 1939:
Off Hainan Island. Between 1500-2305, auxiliary transport CALCUTTA MARU comes alongside to port and cargo is transferred.

9/10 February 1939:
At midnight, KAGU MARU and a convoy under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake’s (35) Fifth Fleet’s South China Naval Force, enters and anchors in Tsinghai Bay, northern Hainan Island. Kondo’s forces carry out a successful assault landing.

10 February 1939:
At 1200, the 4th Base Force’s 4th Yokosuka, No. 6 Kure and No. 8 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) effect a landing at Haikow. Thereafter, IJA MajGen Iida Shojiro’s Taiwan Mixed Brigade consisting of the 1st and 2nd Infantry and Mountain Gun Regiments and Navy SNLF forces mop up the northern part of the island.

11 February 1939:
Combat units land at Samah at the southern Hainan Island and occupy Yulin (Samah) and Yai-Hsien. Thereafter, these units and the 5th Garrison Unit occupy and subjugate the entire island. Later, Hainan Guard District Headquarters is established at Samah and an air base is completed on the island.

14 February 1939:
At 0500, IJA forces begin an opposed landing. At 0720, Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) begin landing. At 0805, boats carrying horses are landed and at at 0840 construction workers and security troops begin landing. At 2035, transport CHOKO MARU begins retrieval of the boats carrying horses, construction workers and security troops.

17 February 1939:
Samah. From 2000 ~ 2947, the 362th search light unit conducts a search light drill. At 2300, destroyer MOCHIZUKI comes alongside to port and at 2320, destroyer MUTZUKI comes alongside to starboard.

20 February 1939:
From 1023 ~ 1040, HARUNA MARU loads fresh provisions.

25 February 1939:
From 0900 ~ 1250, security troops land, then return to the warships.

26 February 1939:
From 0910 ~ 1325, security troops land, then return to the warships.

27 February 1939:
KAGU MARU's outside gunwales are repainted.

28 February 1939:
Samah. At 0900, destroyer MOCHIZUKI separates. At 1300 destroyer MUTZUKI separates.

3 March 1939:
At 1540, destroyer destroyer MUTZUKI comes alongside to starboard. At 1610 destroyer MOCHIZUKI comes alongside to port.

At 1400, destroyer MUTZUKI separates. At 1412, MOCHIZUKI separates.

4 March 1939:
Arrives at Takao.

5 March 1939:
Departs Takao for the southern Chinese coast. From 1315 ~ 1318, a fire occurs that is quickly extinguished.

7 March 1939:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

8 March 1939:
Samah. From 1200-1420, DING HAI comes alongside for repairs. From 2020-2110, undergoes a drill. [1]

9 March 1939:
From 1000-1230, moored to port side of NANSHIN MARU No. 13 and refuels. After 1945. the ship's boats are stowed aboard.

10 March 1939:
At 1914, minesweeper W-7 comes alongside for repairs.

11 March 1939:
From 1150-2030, DING HAI comes alongside for repairs.

12 March 1939:
From 1200-1905, DING HAI comes alongside to port for repairs.

13 March 1939:
At 0925, minesweeper W-7 separates. At 0934, DING HAI comes alongside to starboard for repairs.

16 March 1939:
At 1250, DING HAI departs. At 1520, supply ship CHIYO MARU comes alongside and loads fresh provisions. At 1540, DING HAI returns, departing at 1650.

12 April 1939:
Arrives at Keelung, Formosa.

20 April 1939:
Demilitarized. A new, but now unknown, captain assumes command. Captain Kimura is reassigned as CO of oiler SHIRETOKO.

4 September 1939:
Collides with RIO DE JANEIRO MARU at 46-16N, 177-10E. Takes the latter in tow.

22 September 1939:
In the Kitan Strait, SEIHA MARU takes over the tow. Arrives at Kobe.

23 September 1939:
Departs Kobe for Yokkaichi.

31 October 1941:
Reserve Lt (j.g.) Masuda Kinsaku is appointed CO.

1 November 1941:
At Sasebo.

9 November 1941:
Loads wood ship fittings and outfitting materials from MIDORI MARU.

10 November 1941:
At 0805 departs Sasebo for Nagasaki. Arrives Nagasaki at 1150. Lands 80,679 tons of materials.

11 November 1941:
Begins conversion to an auxiliary transport at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' shipyard. Rerated as a converted transport (misc) in the Sasebo Naval District.

24 November 1941:
The conversion is completed. She is now 8,417-tons. At 1110 departs Nagasaki and at 1350 arrives at Sasebo.

26 November 1941:
Equipped with six Daihatsu barges. At 1425 departs Sasebo.

27 November 1941:
At 0925 arrives at Kure.

28 November 1941:
Launches six Daihatsu barges.

29 November 1941:
At 1535 departs Kure.

30 November 1941:
At 0320 arrives at Osaka.

2 December 1941:
At 1405 departs Osaka.

3 December 1941:
At 0235 arrives at Kure.

4 December 1941:
Begins loading 6,500 cubic meters of cargo and military weapons.

10 December 1941:
Attached to the Sasebo Guard Force as an auxiliary transport.

19 December 1941:
Embarks LtCol Murahashi and 335 construction men and LtCol Okuyama and 574 construction engineer team members and others.

20 December 1941:
Completes loading and loads four Daihatsu barges. At 1740 departs Kure.

21 December 1941:
Off Sata Misaki. At 0800 rendezvouses with a convoy consisting of auxiliary transports RAKUTO MARU and KUNITSU MARU.

25 December 1941:
At 0800 KAGU MARU is detached from the convoy.

27 December 1941:
At 1500 arrives at Palau, Carolines.

28 December 1941:
Lands some munitions.

29 December 1941:
Launches four Daihatsu barges.

30 December 1941:
Conducts practice assault landing training.

1 January 1942:
At 1145, departs Palau for Davao, Philippines.

4 January 1942:
At 1410, arrives at Davao. Launches four Daihatsu barges.

5 January 1942:
Begins landing munitions and unloading.

6 January 1942:
Completes landing munitions and unloading.

7 January 1942: The Invasion of Dutch Borneo:
At 1020, KAGU MARU departs Davao in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's (39) (former CO of AOBA) Tarakan Occupation Force carrying MajGen Sakaguchi Shizuo’s 56th Mixed Infantry Group (Sakaguchi Brigade) and the Kure No. 2 SNLF. The Tarakan Occupation Force that also includes Navy transports KUNIKAWA, KANO and RAKUTO MARUs, oiler KOKUYO MARU and Army transports TSURUGA, LIVERPOOL, HAVANA, KURETAKE, NICHIAI, HITERU, TEIRYU, HANKOW and EHIME MARUs.

Escort is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji’s (39) DesRon 4’s light cruiser NAKA with DesDiv 2’s HARUSAME, SAMIDARE, YUDACHI and MURUSAME, DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO and MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO and DesDiv 24’s UMIKAZE, KAWASKAZE, YAMAKAZE and SUZUKAZE. The 21st Air Flotilla’s tenders SANUKI and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.

Rear-Admiral Hirose’s No. 2 Base Force includes patrol boats PB-36, PB-37 and PB-38, Minesweeper Division 11’s W-13, W-14, W-15, W-16, 30th Minesweeper Division’s W-17, W-18 and Subchaser Div 31’s CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12 and other auxiliary ships.

11 January 1942:
Rear Admiral Hirose's Force invades Tarakan, Borneo.

3 February 1942:
At 1830 departs Tarakan.

5 February 1942:
At 1355, arrives at Davao.

14 February 1942:
At 1110, departs Davao.

16 February 1942:
At 1015, arrives at Tarakan

28 February 1942:
At 1645, departs Tarakan.

7 March 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

9 March 1942:
Departs Sasebo. Arrives at Moji the same day.

15 March 1942:
Departs Moji.

17 March 1942:
At 1450, arrives at Yokohama.

27 March 1942:
At 1135, departs Tokyo.

5 April 1942:
At 0725 arrives at Rabaul. Loads a cargo of Copra (dried coconut).

16 May 1942:
At 1000, departs Rabaul with auxiliary gunboat MATSUEI MARU as escort.

19 May 1942:
At 1150, arrives at Truk via the south passage.

7 June 1942:
At 1540, departs Truk.

9 June 1942:
At 0615, because of submarine warning, arrives at Mereyon.

10 June 1942:
At 1350, departs Mereyon.

13 June 1942:
At 1010, arrives at Angaur, Palau.

16 June 1942:
At 0800, departs Angaur.

21 June 1942:
At 1900, arrives at Osaka.

21 June 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

30 June 1942:
Departs Osaka.

3 July 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Seito (Tsingtao), China and loads a cargo of salt.

6 July 1942:
At 1420 departs Seito.

8 July 1942:
At 1355 arrives at Tomita.

11 July 1942:
At 0815 departs Tomita. Arrives at Tokuyama at 0930 the same day.

14 July 1942:
At 0815 departs Tokuyama. At 1800 arrives at Kure.

19 July 1942:
At 0900 departs Kure.

20 July 1942:
At 0805 arrives at Osaka.

22 July 1942:
At 0735 departs Osaka.

23 July 1942:
At 0945 arrives at Shibaura, Tokyo.

26 July 1942:
At 0735 departs Shibaura and at 0935 arrives at Yokohama.

28 July 1942:
At 0850 departs Yokohama.

5 August 1942:
At 0835, arrives at Rabaul.

20 August 1942:
At 0755, departs Rabaul.

30 August 1942:
At 0830, arrives at Saigon. Loads 7,752 tons of Toumorokoshi (sorghum or millet).

6 September 1942:
At 1130 departs Saigon in convoy with TOKAI MARU.

10 September 1942:
At 1315, arrives at Takao, Formosa.

13 September 1942:
At 1000, departs Takao in convoy No. 261 also consisting of TARUSHIMA and TOKAI MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by the torpedo boat SAGI. The convoy sails at 14 knots.

17 September 1942:
At 0900, arrives at Osaka.

26 September 1942:
At 0800, departs Osaka.

28 September 1942:
At 1045 arrives at Shibaura.

4 October 1942:
At 1205 departs Shibaura and at 1445 arrives at Yokosuka.

5 October 1942:
At 1200 departs Yokosuka in convoy with KENSHO MARU escorted by destroyer SAWAKAZE.

6 October 1942:
SAWAKAZE is detached from escort.

11 October 1942:
At 1650 arrives at Truk.

29 October 1942:
At 1300 Auxilary cruiser UKISHIMA MARU departs Truk escorting KAGU MARU.

30 October 1942:
UKISHIMA MARU completes escorting KAGU MARU.

2 November 1942:
At 1215 arrives at Palau.

4 November 1942:
At 1000 departs Palau and at 1300 arrives at Angaur.

6 November 1942:
At 1600 departs Angaur.

12 November 1942:
At 1225 arrives at Yokohama.

19 November 1942:
At 0425 departs Yokohama.

20 November 1942:
At 1240 arrives at Kobe.

29 November 1942:
At 1700 departs Kobe.

1 December 1942:
At 1100 arrives at Sasebo.

6 December 1942:
At 1300 KAGU MARU departs Sasebo in an unnumbered convoy also consisting of NANKAI MARU escorted by minesweepers W-3 and W-5.

7 December 1942:
At 1700, the minesweepers depart. KAGU and NANKAI MARUs proceed unescorted.

8 December 1942:
At 1615, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/ComSubLant) Vernon L. Lowrance's (USNA ’30) USS KINGFISH (SS-234) intercepts KAGU and NANKAI MARUs. Lowrance fires three Mark-14 torpedoes N of Okino-Tori-Shima at 22-49N, 136-07W. One strikes NANKAI MARU, but fails to explode. The two ships continue the voyage.

13 December 1942:
Patrol Boat PB-1 joins the convoy.

14 December 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Rabaul, New Britain. Later KAGU MARU is damaged by USAAF B-17 “Flying Fortresses” that bomb Simpson harbor. They also damage cargo ship KOZAN MARU. Probably undergoes repairs by repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

26 December 1942:
Reserve Lt (j.g.) Maeda Kosaku is appointed CO.

31 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul on a Munda supply run.

6 January 1943:
Rabaul. Six B-17's and six B-24 “Liberators” attack the harbor and airfields. Two B-17's of the 43rd Bomb Group, including one carrying Brig Gen Kenneth N. Walker, Commanding General, V Bomber Command, are shot down by IJN fighters. Walker and his entire crew are KIA. Walker is awarded the MOH, posthumously. KAGU MARU and SEIA MARUs are lightly damaged as is destroyer TACHIKAZE. Army transport KEIFUKU MARU is sunk at nearby Takubar with the loss of three crewmen.

9 January 1943:
Arrives at Kolombangara and discharges cargo.

January 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

12 January 1943:
Borrows a 13mm machine gun from 31th Air Defense Unit. Replenishes water.

13 January 1943:
At 1730 departs Rabaul with YAMASHIMO MARU escorted by submarine chaser CH-26.

15 January 1943:
At 0300 arrives at Shortlands, Bougainville carrying 88 men destined for the 17th Naval Construction Unit, 39 airmen assigned to the Navy’s 108th Air Group, five men to the Navy’s 252nd Air Group, the 101-man 12th Navy Air Defense Unit and 159 men destined for the Kure 6th Special Naval Landing Force.

Departs Shortlands that same day for Balalle Island and Buin.

16 January 1943:
Arrives at Shortlands, apparently still with YAMASHIMO MARU that is escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI, and disembarks the 12th Navy Air Defense Unit's weapons, and i65 tons of sundry items and food.

17 January 1943:
At 1130 departs Shortlands for Buin and comes under air attack. Fires 167 AA rounds.

At 2400 arrives at Kolombangara that same day and lands 288 tons of materials, equipment food for 11th Air Fleet, 17th billeting detail disembarks 560 passengers including 91 men of the 252nd Air Group. Loads 45-tons of sundry items, and embarks 71 Army men, and 17 others. Departs Kolombangara.

18 January 1943:
At 0830 arrives at Buin and departs escorted by submarine chaser CH-26. Departs at 1730.

19 January 1943:
At 1330 arrives at Rabaul.

31 January 1943:
At 1545, departs Rabaul in an unnumbered convoy consisting of KAGU, TATSUTAKE and SHINRYU MARUs that steam unescorted.

4 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk at 1600.

6 February 1943:
At 0630, departs Truk in a convoy also consisting of KUNIKAWA MARU escorted by destroyer YUNAGI.

7 February 1943:
At 14-05N 149-18E YUNAGI detaches from the convoy.

12 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo at 1500.

19 February 1943:
At 1030 departs Sasebo. Arrives at Nagasaki at 1330 the same day. Undergoes battle-damage repairs.

19 March 1943:
At 1230 departs Nagasaki.

22 March 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Yokohama.

25 March ~ 2 April 1943:
Yokohama. Loads construction materials.

3 April 1943:
Loads food for passengers

4 April 1943:
Loads four 14 meter Daihatsu barges and construction materials.

5 April 1943:
Loads fuel for the 121st Naval Construction Unit (NCU).

6 April 1943:
Loads an automobile for the 121 NCU.

7 April 1943:
Loads supplies for the 121 NCU. The 121 NCU embarks 925 men.

8 April 1943:
At 0750, KAGU MARU departs Yokohama in convoy No. 3408 also consisting of HIDE and TATSUMIYA MARUs escorted by minelayer UKISHIMA.

16 April 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Saipan. UKISHIMA is detached.

18 April 1943:
Arrives at Truk at 1020 now escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

21 April 1943:
At 1000 departs Truk in convoy with TATSUMIYA and HIDE MARUs and NANYO MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

25 April 1943:
At 0900 arrives at Rabaul.

2~17 May 1943:
The 121 NCU and materials are landed at Rabaul.

26 May 1943:
Submarine I-5 comes alongside and loads a 14 meter Daihatsu barge.

21~29 May 1943:
The 121 NCU and materials land at Rabaul.

29 May 1943:
Rabaul. Loads passengers and materials.

30 May 1943:
Loads a gun and accessories for destroyer YUGIRI that was damaged in 16 May '43 torpedo attack by USS GRAYBACK (SS-208).

31 May 1943:
Loads a torpedo tube and accessories for YUGIRI. Also loads three airplanes, probably in need of overhaul and repairs.

1 June 1943:
At 1600 departs Rabaul in convoy No. 2012 with aircraft transport GOSHU MARU escorted by submarine chaser CH-33.

4 June 1943:
At 1230 arrives at Truk.

7 June 1943:
At 0545 departs Truk in convoy No. 4607 with aircraft transport GOSHU MARU escorted by destroyer INAZUMA.

13 June 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Yokosuka. Disembarks passengers.

15 June 1943:
Unloads aircraft. Loads 1,825 cubic meters of war materials.

16 June 1943:
Unloads a torpedo tube and gun for YUGIRI.

18 June 1943:
At 0335 departs Yokohama.

19 June 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Kobe.

23 June 1943:
At 1650 departs Kobe.

24 June 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Kure.

29 June 1943:
At 1600 departs Kure.

30 June 1943:
At 0130 arrives at Moji and departs there at 1310.

1 July 1943:
At 1010 arrives at Sasebo.

2 July 1943:
At 1700 KAGU MARU departs Sasebo in fleet convoy "G" also consisting of armed merchant cruiser KIYOSUMI MARU and oiler KENYO MARU escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Singapore.

12 July 1943:
At 1600 departs Singapore.

15 July 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Surabaya.

21 July 1943:
At 1330 departs Surabaya.

23 July 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Macassar.

28 July 1943:
At 1200 departs Macassar.

29 July 1943:
At 1830 arrives at Balikpapan.

12 August 1943:
At 0655, departs Balikpapan.

16 August 1943:
At 1240, arrives at Singapore

17 August 1943:
At 0835 departs Singapore and at 1430 arrives at Bintan. Loads 4400 tons bauxite.

18 August 1943:
At 1600 departs Bintan.

19 August 1943:
At 1245 arrives at Singapore.

24 August 1943:
At 1400, KAGU MARU departs Singapore in convoy HI-06 also consisting of oilers TATEKAWA MARU, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, RYUEI MARU and ASHIZURI escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA.

3 September 1943:
At 0930, arrives at Moji.

4 September 1943:
At 0810 arrives at Osaka.

8 September 1943:
At 1650 departs Osaka. At 1850 anchors off Kobe.

9 September 1943:
At 1110 departs off Kobe.

10 September 1943:
At 1025 arrives at Shimizu. Discharges the cargo of bauxite.

12 September 1943:
At 0455 departs Shimizu for Yokohama. At 1355 arrives at Yokohama.

14 September 1943:
At 0825 departs Yokohama.

16 September 1943:
At 1150 arrives at Kobe.

22 September 1943:
At 1545 departs Kobe. Arrives at Osaka at 1700 that same day.

24 September 1943:
At 1200 departs Osaka.

25 September 1943:
At 0545 arrives at Moji and at 1200, KAGU MARU departs Moji in high speed convoy HI-11 also consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA and KYUEI MARUs and transports AKI, AWA and MANKO MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.

29 September 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Takao and departs at 1835.

4 October 1943:
At 1835, arrives at Singapore.

5 October 1943:
At 1700 departs Singapore.

9 October 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Macassar.

16 October 1943:
At 0535 departs Macassar.

17 October 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Balikpapan.

28 October 1943:
At 1300, departs Balikpapan.

31 October 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Eastern Anchorage, Singapore.

November 1943:
Kokusai Kisen K. K. Line is merged into the Osaka Shosen Kisen (O. S. K. ) Line. The ownership of KAGU MARU is transferred to OSK.

1 November 1943:
At 0945 arrives at Bintan Island. Loads 6500 tons bauxite.

2 November 1943:
At 1030 departs NBintan Island and at 1700, arrives at Singapore.

3 November 1943:
At 1210, KAGU MARU departs Singapore in fast convoy HI-14 consisting of transports AWA, HOKUROKU and AKI MARUs and oilers AMATSU and KYOKUEI MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

8 November 1943:
Near Dangerous Ground, Palawan, Philippines. At 0505, LtCdr (later Cdr) George E. Porter's (USNA ’32) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) attacks the convoy on the surface. Porter fires all ten tubes; one torpedo prematures just after leaving the tube. USS BLUEFISH reloads and Porter makes three more attacks sinking KYOKUEI MARU with two torpedoes. No casualties are sustained and TSUSHIMA detaches to rescue the crew and passengers, but is unable to relocate the convoy. HI-14 is forced to proceed unescorted.

9 November 1943:
At 0540, LtCdr (later Cdr) Royce L. Gross' (USNA ’30) USS SEAWOLF (SS-197) makes three separate attacks on convoy HI-14. Gross fires a total of eight torpedoes. In his second and third attacks, Gross hits oiler AMATSU MARU with two Mark-14 torpedoes and one Mark-14 torpedo respectively, but all three are duds. Gross' other five torpedoes all miss AMATSU, HOKUROKU and AKI MARUs, probably as a result of running deep.

10 November 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Takao. TSUSHIMA arrives the following day, but is detached from the convoy.

11 November 1943:
At 0740, the convoy departs Takao escorted by kaibokan WAKAMIYA.

13 November 1943:
At 1455 arrives at Daicho Anchorage, Chusan Islands.

14 November 1943:
At 0930, departs Daicho anchorage, Chusan Islands, China. [2]

16 November 1943:
At 1930, arrives at Moji.

17 November 1943:
At 0630, arrives at Osaka.

20 November 1943:
At 0900 departs Osaka.

21 November 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Shimizu. Discharges the bauxite cargo.

24 November 1943:
At 0425 departs Shimizu.

25 November 1943:
At 0820 arrives at Kobe.

26 November 1943:
Captain Shiraishi Taro is appointed CO.

2 December 1943:
At 1600 departs Kobe.

3 December 1943:
At 0845 arrives at Kure.

8 December 1943:
At 1635 departs Kure.

9 December 1943:
At 0835 arrives at Moji.

10 December 1943:
At 0940 departs Moji and at 1045 arrives off Mutsure.

11 December 1943:
At 1400, KAGU MARU departs Mutsure in fast convoy HI-25 also consisting of transports NISHI (ex-KALGAN en route to Manila), SHOZUI and JUYO MARUs and oilers ZUIHO and AMATSU MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA.

15 December 1943:
At 0830, the convoy is unsuccessfully attacked by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's (USNA ’30) USS ASPRO (SS-309). Stevenson fires four torpedoes, but all miss or are evaded. At 1500, the convoy arrives at Takao.

16 December 1943:
At 1530, departs Takao. NISHI MARU is detached from the convoy for Manila soon thereafter.

22 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore at 1320.

23 December 1943:
At 1600 departs Singapore.

26 December 1943:
At 1800 arrives at Surabaya.

30 December 1943:
At 1600 departs Surabaya.

1 January 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Macassar.

7 January 1944:
At 1300, KAGU MARU departs Macassar for Balikpapan in a convoy also consisting of KUNISHIMA MARU escorted by subchaser CH-112.

8 January 1944:
At 1600 arrives at Kota Baru.

9 January 1944:
At 0300 departs Kota Baru. At 1500 arrives at Balikpapan.

20 January 1944:
At 0700 departs Balikpapan escorted by PB-102 bound for Bintan Island. Soon after departing PB-102 is detached.

23 January 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Bintan Island and loads 7,100 tons of bauxite.

24 January 1944:
At 1130, departs Bintan. At 1800, arrives at the western anchorage of Singapore.

2 February 1944:
At 1230, KAGU MARU departs Singapore in fast convoy HI-38 also consisting of transports KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON), oilers AMATSU, OTOWASAN and OKIKAWA MARUs and two other ships escorted by fleet oiler ASHIZURI and kaibokan KANJU.

8 February 1944:
Arrives at Takao at 1700.

9 February 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Moji at 1430.

14 February 1944:
At 0930, departs Moji and arrives later that day at Osaka.

16 February 1944:
At 1710 departs Osaka with KACHIDOKI MARU and at 1900 arrives off Kobe.

19 February 1944:
At 0200 departs Kobe. At 1520 arrives at Owase Wan.

20 February 1944:
At 0505 departs Owase Wan. At 1750 arrives at Shimizu.

23 February 1944:
At 0500 departs Shimizu. At 1630 arrives at Owase Wan.

24 February 1944:
At 0510 departs Owase Wan and at 1700 arrives at Kobe.

9 March 1944:
At 1800 departs Kobe.

10 March 1944:
At 0800 arrives at Kure.

14 March 1944:
At 1700 departs Kure.

15 March 1944:
At 1430 arrives at Sasebo.

19 March 1944:
At 1100 departs Sasebo. Joins convoy HI-55 en route from Moji to Singapore also consisting of OTORISAN, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON), RYOEI, ASANAGI, TARAKAN and TENSHIN MARUs and six unidentified ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE.

24 March 1944:
At 1330 arrives at Takao. The six unidentified ships and destroyer HARUKAZE are detached. She is replaced by kaibokan MATSUWA and torpedo boat HATO.

26 March 1944:
At 1200 the convoy departs Takao. Soon after departure, RYOEI and TENSHIN MARUs develop unknown problems and return to Takao.

2 April 1944:
Near Anambas Islands. At 0400, a surfaced submarine is discovered. The convoy opens fire on it and the escorts drop depth charges after the submarine submerges, but at 0405, TARAKAN MARU is torpedoed and damaged by LtCdr John C. Broach’s (USNA ’27) USS HAKE (SS-256), but is able to continue. At 0520, HAKE again torpedoes TARAKAN MARU, this time breaking the ship in two. The forward part sinks with five crewmen and 14 gunners KIA, but the stern remains afloat. She makes for Singapore at slow speed escorted by torpedo boat HATO. At 1900, the rest of the convoy arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. Disembarks 110 passengers.

3 April 1944:
KAGU MARU begins unloading weapons and munitions and 253 cubic meters of cargo. At 1700, TARAKAN MARU and HATO arrive at Singapore.

4 April 1944:
Completes unloading weapons and munitions.

6 April 1944:
At 1000 departs Seletar.

9 April 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Surabaya, Java. Begins unloading weapons, ammunition and munitions.

13 April 1944:
Completes unloading weapons, ammunition and munitions.

14 April 1944:
Begins unloading 570 cubic meters of cargo.

18 April 1944:
Completes unloading cargo.

20 April 1944:
At 0300 departs Surabaya with TAIKO MARU and three unidentified escorts.

21 April 1944:
Arrives off the coast of Laut island. TAIKO MARU is detached from convoy.

22 April 1944:
Departs Laut island.

23 April 1944:
At 0840 arrives at Macassar. Disembarks 147 passengers. Begins unloading weapons and munitions and 2742 cubic meters of cargo.

29 April 1944:
Completes unloading weapons, ammunition and munitions.

30 April 1944:
Embarks 45 passengers and at 0630 departs Macassar with NOSHIRO MARU escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 2.

1 May 1944:
At 1530 arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

2 May 1944:
Begins unloading weapons and munitions.

11 May 1944:
Completes unloading weapons and munitions. Begins loading aviation gasoline.

20 May 1944:
Completes loading aviation gasoline.

21 May 1944:
Ship is cleaned.

17 June 1944:
Departs Balikpapan in convoy also consting of tankers MANEI, YUHO and EIHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan KANJU and MIYAKE.

18 June 1944:
Arrives at the Berouw (Berau) River mouth, NE Borneo.

19 June 1944:
Departs the Berouw River mouth.

20 June 1944:
Arrives Tarakan. KAGU MARU is detached there.

2 July 1944:
Departs Tarakan.

4 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

14 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan).

25 July 1944:
Departs Takao.

29 July 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

5 August 1944:
Departs Kobe.

9 August 1944:
Arrives at Miike and departs.

10 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

22 August 1944:
Departs Kure.

25 August 1944:
At 0630, departs Moji after arriving earlier that day from Mutsure anchorage. KAGU MARU is part of fast convoy HI-73 consisting of IJA landing craft depot ship KIBITSU MARU, transport/cargo liners ex-armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU, ex-seaplane tender SANUKI MARU, tankers TOHO, OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, TAIHO, FUJISAN, HAKKO, AMATO, TOA and KUROSHIO MARUs and fleet storeship IRAKO escorted by escort carrier UNYO, light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan CHIBURI, CD-13, CD-19, CD-21 and CD-27.

Later that day, the convoy is joined briefly by transports MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs and oiler MANEI MARU that all depart the following day.

26 August 1944:
At 0900, MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs are ordered away because of excessive smoke. MANEI MARU remains at Kyushu because of engine problems.

29 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. Departs that same day and arrives at Tsoying (near Takao).

30 August 1944:
Off Saei. The convoy splits. KAGU, KIBITSU and GOKOKU MARUs (and probably IRAKO) head for Manila. The remaining ships head for Singapore.

10 September 1944:
KAGU MARU departs Manila for Moji with armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU and IJA landing craft depot ship KIBITSU MARU in unescorted fleet convoy MAMO-03.

11 September 1944:
S China Sea. 100 miles NE of the Paracel Islands. KAGU MARU and convoy MA-MO-03 join fleet convoy HI-72 that departed Singapore on 6 September for Moji. HI-72 consists of ASAMA, NANKAI, RAKUYO, ZUIHO, SHINCHO and KACHIDOKI MARUs (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON).

HI-72's escort is provided by Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (victor of Wake Island and former CO of KISO) 6th Escort Convoy Command’s destroyer SHIKANAMI, kaibokan HIRADO (F), KURAHASHI MIKURA, CD-11 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-19.

12 September 1944:
S China Sea. E of Hainan, China. HIRADO is torpedoed by Cdr Thomas B. Oakey’s (USNA ’34) USS GROWLER (SS-215) and sinks at 17-54N, 114-59E. Cdr Segawa Iwao and 106 sailors are KIA. Rear Admiral Kajioka goes down with the ship. He is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.

At 0531, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli T. Reich (USNA ’35) in USS SEALION (SS-315) torpedoes RAKUYO MARU, but she stays afloat for another 13 hours, sinking at 1820 that evening. She is carrying 1,318 Allied POWs (601 British, 716 Australian and several US POWs), of whom 1,159 are lost. At the same time, Reich also sinks torpedoes and scores two hits on NANKAI MARU’s starboard side in holds No. 3 and No. 6. The ship is carrying 525 passengers, 6,500-tons of bauxite, 4,000 gasoline drums, 77 mail parcels and 18 funerary urns. A big explosion from the gasoline drums in No. 6 hold engulfs the ship with fire and her depth-charges on stern explode as well. NANKAI MARU goes dead in the water due to mechanical breakdown caused by the shock of explosion. From the exploding ship, passengers jump in the sea. NANKAI MARU manages to float several hours but finally sinks by the stern at 0845 in position 18-15N, 114-21E, taking with her 196 passengers and three crewmen.

240 miles south of Hong Kong. At 0700, SHIKANAMI is torpedoed by GROWLER and sinks at 18-16 N, 114-40 E. MIKURA rescues eight officers and 120 men, but her CO, LtCdr Takahashi Tatsuhiko and an unknown number of other crewmen are KIA.

At 2254, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Paul E. Summers' (USNA ’36) USS PAMPANITO (SS-383) torpedoes and sinks KACHIDOKI MARU with 950 Allied POWs aboard. 12 crewmen, 431 POWs and 45 passengers are lost. PAMPANITO also sinks ZUIHO MARU at 19-23N, 111-50E. There are no casualties, but her 8,000-tons cargo of needed aviation gas and oil is lost.

The Japanese rescue a few POWs from the two prison ships. The survivors are transferred to KIBITSU MARU and taken to Japan.

13 September 1944:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan.

15 September 1944:
Departs Samah and arrives at Yulin, Hainan.

16 September 1944:
Departs Yulin.

20 September 1944:
Off Formosa. USAAF B-24 bombers attack the convoy. KAGU MARU suffers hull damage by near-misses. The bombers also damage cargo vessels ASAKA MARU, GOKOKU MARU and SHINCHO MARU. The convoy makes port at Takao.

25 September 1944:
Departs Takao.

28 September 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

7 October 1944:
Arrives at Aioi.

8 October 1944:
Enters dock at Harima Shipbuilding for repairs.

13 October 1944:

14 October 1944:
Departs Aioi for Kure.

24 October 1944:
Kure. Embarks the 218th Naval Construction Unit.

25 October 1944:
Departs Kure.

26 October 1944:
At 1730, KAGU MARU departs Mutsure in fast convoy HI-79 consisting of transports MELBOURNE and ARIMASAN MARUs, fleet supply ship MAMIYA and oilers TENEI and MATSUSHIMA MARUs. Initially, the escorts are light cruiser KASHI, kaibokan NOMI and UKURU and minelayer NIIZAKI.

27 October 1944:
Kaibokan CD-17 joins the escort.

28 October 1944:
Minesweeper W-21 joins the escort.

29 October 1944:
MELBOURNE MARU, escorted by UKURU and CD-17, is detached for Kirun.

30 October 1944:
HI-79 arrives at Takao. KAGU MARU, MAMIYA and minesweeper W-21 are detached from the convoy that later proceeds to Singapore.

2 November 1944:
At 1130, departs Takao for Manila in fleet convoy TAMA-31A consisting of KAGU MARU and navy LST's T. 111, T. 139, T. 140 and T. 160 escorted by subchaser CH-20 and minesweeper W-21. The ships are part of an emergency transport run to Manila following the Battle for Leyte Island and are carrying 1,820 men including a naval construction unit from Kure, an anti-aircraft unit and a Special Naval Landing Force.

3 November 1944:
Near Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines. A temporary wolf pack is formed consisting of consisting of Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Wreford G. Chapple’s (USNA ’30) USS BREAM (SS-243), LtCdr William T. Kinsella’s (USNA ’34) USS RAY (SS-271), LtCdr Maurice W. Shea’s (USNA ’37) USS RATON (SS-270) and LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins’(USNA ’33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363).

Meanwhile, the convoy proceeds into the danger zone. While in the Bashi Channel, the convoy evades torpedoes probably fired by LtCdr Robert E. Ward's (USNA ’35) USS SAILFISH (SS-192), then shelters in Lapoc Bay, N of Vigan, arriving there at 1800.

4 November 1944:
At 0700, convoy TAMA-31A leaves Lapoc Bay and heads south for Manila. At 1627, LtCdr Shea's RATON attacks the convoy and fires six torpedoes at KAGU MARU, but they all miss. The convoy’s escorts and air cover counterattack, but without effect. At somepoint during the day, subchaser CH-5 and auxiliary subchaser KEISHU MARU join TAMA-31A's escort.

Later that day, Cdr Chapple’s BREAM puts one of four torpedoes he fires into KAGU MARU.

10.5 miles NW of Cape Bolinao, Lingayen Gulf. That evening, GUITARRO attacks KAGU MARU. At 1748 (JST), KAGU MARU’s lookouts spot six torpedoes approaching from astern. She attempts to evade, but more incoming torpedoes are sighted off her starboard bow. One of a spread of eight torpedoes hits her amidships. A fire starts in the engine room.

After GUITARRO's attack, RAY fires two torpedoes and blows off KAGU MARU’s bow. At 2010, KAGU MARU sinks at 15-54N, 119-45E. 22 passengers and 24 sailors are killed. Credit for the sinking is divided among the wolfpack’s submarines.

8 November 1944:
Survivors of the 218th Naval Construction Unit aboard KAGU MARU are landed at Manila. Later, they are employed on Corregidor.

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] The name and type of this ship are unclear. Possibly it also could be a captured Chinese vessel named TING HAI or a Japanese vessel named TEIKAI.

[2] Possibly the "Daicho anchorage" is the one in SW Korea.

Thanks go to the late John Whitman of VA, USA, Matthew Jones of USA and Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Allan Alsleben and Peter Cundall.

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