(No photos or plans of KAIKA MARU have been found. Her identical sister, SEIGA MARU survived the war and was sold and renamed several times. This photo of her as OCEAN was taken at Hong Kong 9 Apr ‘70. It is highly likely that the ships appearance has been altered substantially from her wartime appearance. Photo Credit Wm. Schell)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall

E 1942:
Dairen, Manchuria, (now Dalian, northern China). Laid down by Dairen Senkyo Tekko K.K. shipyard for Dairen Kisen K.K. as a 2,087-tons cargo ship.

November 1942:
Launched and named KAIKA MARU. [1]

24 April 1943:
Completed and registered at Dairen.

13 July 1943:
Specified as 9th Naval ship.

July 1943:
Loads 2,494-tons of cargo.

14 July 1943:
Departs Dairen.

20 July 1943:
Arrives at Fushiki, Toyama Prefecture.

23 July 1943:
Departs Fushiki.

26 July 1943:
Arrives at Rumoi, Hokkaido.

July 1943:
Loads 1,640-tons of cargo.

27 July 1943:
Departs Rumoi.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

August 1943:
Loads 2,379-tons of cargo.

7 August 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu.

12 August 1943:
Departs Karatsu.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Dairen.

20 August 1943:
Departs Dairen and arrives at Nishinakajima, Osaka Prefecture later that day.

August 1943:
Loads 2,600-tons of cargo.

25 August 1943:
Departs Nishinakajima.

31 August 1943:
Arrives at Karatsu.

1 September 1943:
Departs Karatsu.

5 September 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo.

9 September 1943:
Departs Tokyo and arrives at Yokohama later that same day. Loads 2,284-tons of cargo.

10 September 1943:
At 0640, departs Yokohama in convoy No. 7910 also consisting of IJA transports RYUWA MARU and RYOYU MARU No. 22, IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KOKUYO MARU and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) SAWA MARU escorted by minesweeper W-27.

11 September 1943:
At 2040 arrives off Kobe and the convoy disperses.

13 September 1943:
Arrives at Karatsu.

14 September 1943:
Departs Karatsu.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Dairen.

September 1943:
Loads 2,700-tons of cargo.

22 September 1943:
Departs Dairen.

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Ogura, Fukuoka Prefecture.

1 October 1943:
Departs Ogura and arrives at Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture later in the day.

October 1943:
Loads 2,638-tons of cargo.

6 October 1943:
Departs Hakata.

9 October 1943:
Arrives at Dairen.

12 October 1943:
Departs Dairen and arrives at Shuang Tou Bay, Manchuria later that day.

October 1943:
Loads 2,590-tons of cargo.

16 October 1943:
Departs Shuang Tou Bay.

21 October 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 October 1943:
Departs Osaka.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

25 October 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general requisitioned transport attached to the Kure Naval District. Assigned directly to the Navy’s Department.

26 October 1943:
Departs Kure.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

28 October 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Chinnampo, Chosen (now North Korea).

6 November 1943:
Departs Chinnampo.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

16 November 1943:
Departs Kure.

17 November 1943:
Arrives at Saeki, Kyushu.

21 November 1943:
Departs Saeki in convoy O-107 also consisting of auxiliary transport SHOUN MARU, IJA transports MEXICO, CEYLON, TATSUGIKU and TATSUMATSU MARUs, and IJN requisitioned (B-AK) KAITO MARU escorted by torpedo boat SAGI, minesweeper W-22 and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAISEI MARU. The auxiliary minesweepers are detached at latitude 28N and W-22 at 20N.

28 November 1943:
At 1823, in position 13-20N 132-43E an enemy submarine is sighted and SAGI moves to attack driving the submarine off.

29 November 1943:
At 1028, in 11-25N 131-44E a further submarine attack is driven off.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

12 December 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy N-206 (SO-206?) also consisting of IJA transports ALASKA, CEYLON, PACIFIC and RYUA MARUs and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KAITO MARU escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38.

14 December 1943:
At 0550 in 02-52N 137-25E an enemy submarine is sighted and the convoy escorts attack driving the submarine off.

16 December 1943:
At 1721 in 01-24S 145.47E a further submarine is distantly sighted and the convoy takes evasive action and avoids attack.

19 December 1943:
At 1910, the convoy is attacked by PBY “Catalina” flying boat patrol planes, but they are driven off. At 2040, a second attack develops. KAITO MARU with 420 men of the 212th Naval Construction Unit and coal, is hit set afire and sinks the following day at 04-35N, 151-21E. 262 troops and 26 crewmen are KIA. KAIKA MARU sustains only light damage.

Off Kavieng, New Ireland. At 2132, in another attack, both ALASKA and PACIFIC MARUs are hit. PACIFIC MARU is damaged, but ALASKA MARU with 12,000-m3 of food rations, clothing, arms and general goods, has to be abandoned and sinks the following day at 03-45N, 151-30E. One crewman is KIA. The survivors are rescued by CH-37.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

21 December 1943:
Sustains an airstrike with no damage.

23 December 1943:
Sustains an airstrike with no damage.

24 December 1943:
Sustains an airstrike with no damage.

25 December 1943:
Sustains an airstrike with no damage.

26 December 1943:
Sustains an airstrike with no damage.

1 January 1944:
Registered in the Navy’s list as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category attached to the Kure Naval District with Kure as home port under instruction No. 16. Assigned to Vice Admiral Kusaka Jinichi’s (37) Southeast Area Fleet. [2]

January 1944:
Civilian Captain Kanbara Eiji is appointed CO.

11 January 1944:
At 2320, departs Rabaul for Truk, Central Carolines in convoy No. 2112 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) (ex-IJA transport No. 91) HAGURO MARU escorted by destroyers SATSUKI and OITE and auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

13 January 1944:
About 35 nautical miles WSW of New Hanover, Admiralties. The convoy is attacked and bombed by USAAF 5th Air Force Consolidated B-24 ‘Liberator’ aircraft. HAGURO MARU is hit and later sinks at 02-43S, 149-25E with the loss of 10 passengers and eight crewmen.

14 January 1944:
Destroyer SATSUKI is detached.

16 January 1944:
About 300 nautical miles N of Manus, Admiralties. In the afternoon, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) John F. Davidson’s (USNA ’29) USS Blackfish (SS-221) running submerged at periscope depth, sights the convoy. At 1600, Davidson fires a spread of six Mark XIV Type 3 torpedoes and scores three hits on KAIKA MARU. The transport carrying 102 passengers and with a cargo of empty drums, old engines and scrap metal, rolls over to starboard and sinks at 03-50N, 148-44E with the loss of 27 passengers and one crewman.

10 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under instruction No. 427.

Authors notes :
[1] Also known as KAIGA MARU.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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