KOKANSEN



(NYK Liner CHICHIBU MARU, later KAMAKURA MARU)

KAMAKURA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Revision 2


6 February 1928:
Yokohama. Laid down at Yokohama Dock Co. as a 17,497 gross register ton passenger liner for the Nippon Yusen (NYK) Line.

8 May 1929:
Launched and named CHICHIBU MARU.

10 March 1930:
Completed.

April 1930:
Departs Yokohama for San Francisco on her maiden voyage.

15 October 1930:
Departs Kobe.

29 October 1930:
Arrives at San Francisco.

1930s:
CHICHIBU MARU is on NYKís premier express service, regularly sailing between Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kobe, Yokohama, Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco with occasional calls at Nagasaki, Hong Kong and Manila.

31 October 1930:
Arrives at San Francisco.

25 March 1931:
Arrives San Francisco

21 November 1932:
Arrives San Francisco

3 July 1935:
Departs San Francisco for Honolulu and Yokohama under NYKís Captain Arakita, Y.

9 March 1938:
Arrives at San Francisco.

18 January 1939:
Renamed KAMAKURA MARU. NYKís Captain Kurita Tatuya is the skipper.

20 April 1939:
Arrives at San Francisco.

April 1940:
After the Allies board TATUTA MARU in late March and remove 12 elderly Germans, the Japanese cancel the visas of 14 other elderly Germans who were to depart San Francisco on KAMAKURA MARU.

January 1941:
Departs Yokohama for San Francisco. Among her passengers is newly appointed Japanese ambassador to the United States, Admiral Nomura Kichisaburo. KAMAKURA MARU calls at Honolulu where Admiral Nomura is greeted by Admiral James O. Richardson, CINCUSFLT at Pearl Harbor. On 11 February, Nomura assumes his duties in Washington.

April 1941:
Arrives at San Francisco.

June 1941:
Departs San Francisco for Yokohama. Among KAMAKURA MARU's passengers is Shigemitsu Mamoru former Japanese Ambassador to Great Britain who is enroute home after having been recalled by Tokyo. [1]

17 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the Department of the Navy as a charter vessel and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

18 August 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 September 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

4 September 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

23 September 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 September 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

29 October 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

31 December 1941:
Departs Kure.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (Taiwan).

10 January 1942:
Departs Takao.

13 January 1942:
Arrives at Pusan, Korea.

14 January 1942:
Departs Pusan.

15 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 January 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

20 January 1942:
Arrives at Lingayen, Philippines.

24 January 1942:
Auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU comes alongside and loads fresh water.

25 January 1942:
Departs Lingayen.

28 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

February 1942:
The Swiss submit a proposal for the reciprocal exchange of Japanese and British subjects.

17 February 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

19 February 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

21 February 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

23 February 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 February 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

4 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 March 1942:
Departs Singapore.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina.

18 March 1942:
Departs Saigon.

20 March 1942:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

23 March 1942:
Departs Samah.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

27 March 1942:
Departs Takao.

30 March 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

2 April 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

21 April 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

23 April 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

24 April 1942:
Departs Moji.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 April 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Saipan and later that day departs.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk, Carolines.

8 May 1942:
Departs Truk.

11 May 1942:
Arrives at Emedji. Later departs and arrives at Jaluit the same day.

12 May 1942:
Departs Jaluit.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Tarawa, Gilbert Islands.

14 May 1942:
Departs Tarawa and arrives at Wotje.

15 May 1942:
Departs Wotje and arrives at Kwajalein. Loads phosphorus.

17 May 1942:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi. Departs later that day.

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Wake Island.

24 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

1 June 1942:
Departs Kobe.

2 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

3 June 1942:
Departs Kure.

6 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

12 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 June 1942:
Departs Kobe.

19 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and later that day at Yokohama.

25 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

29 June 1942:
KAMAKURA MARU departs Yokosuka for Makassar escorted by destroyer AKIZUKI.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.

10 July 1942:
Departs Makassar.

11 July 1942:
Loads ammonium nitrate.

18 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

23 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka and later arrives at Yokohama.

10 August 1942:
Departs Yokohama carrying British diplomats, businessmen and their families

11 August 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

12 August 1942:
Departs Kobe.

14 August 1942:
Arrives at Shanghai. KAMAKURA MARU is joined by exchange vessel TATUTA MARU. Picks 903 more British and foreign nationals.

15 August 1942:
KAMAKURA and TATUTA MARUs depart Shanghai.

E 16 August 1942:
Arrives at Saigon. Embarks few more repatriates.

17 August 1942:
Arrives at Singapore. Picks up three more British and foreign nationals.

18 August 1942:
Melbourne, Australia. Exchange vessel SS CITY OF CANTERBURY embarks the Japanese Minister (Ambassador) to Australia Kawai Tatsuo and 870 other Japanese officials and their families and a few Siamese nationals for repatriation. Minister Kawai takes aboard four white boxes containing the ashes of Japanese midget submariners killed in the 31 May 1942 attack on Sydney Harbor . [2]

6 September 1942:
Arrives at Delagoa Bay, Lourenco Marques, Portuguese East Africa. Japanese passengers are disembarked from CITY OF CANTERBURY and embarked on KAMAKURA MARU where Minister Kawai places the four white boxes ashes on a large altar in front of a Rising Sun flag. The ship loads 47,710 Red Cross parcels for POWs in the Far East.

The western nationals are disembarked from KAMAKURA MARU. 115 Australian, British and Allied nationals are embarked on CITY OF CANTERBURY for the return voyage to Australia. Other repatriates wait for transportation on other vessels.

11 September 1942:
KAMAKURA MARU arrives at Singapore. Disembarks 289 Japanese and delivers 14,770 parcels for POWs.

4 October 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong. Delivers 32,940 parcels for POWs.

8 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama. Minister Kawai hands over the boxes of ashes to relatives of the midget submariners. Radio Tokyo calls their return a chivalrous act by Australia that "greatly impresses" Japan.

15 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 October 1942:
Requisitioned by the Department of the Navy as a charter vessel and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

20 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

22 October 1942:
Arrives at Pusan, Korea and later departs.

23 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

24 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

25 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

25 October 1942:
Departs Kure.

26 October 1942:
Arrives at Pusan, Korea.

27 October 1942:
Departs Pusan.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Yokohama.

2 November 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

4 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure and later that day departs.

5 November 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama. Takes on fuel.

6 November 1942:
Departs Tokuyama.

10 November 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

11 November 1942:
Departs Manila.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.

20 November 1942:
Departs Makassar.

21 November 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo. Takes on fuel.

23 November 1942:
Departs Balikpapan.

26 November 1942:
Arrives at Singapore. Embarks 2,213 POW's including 543 Australian POWs.

29 November 1942:
Departs Singapore.

4 December 1942:
Arrives at Takao and departs later that day.

7 December 1942:
Arrives at Nagasaki. Of the 2,213 POW's aboard, 10 perish enroute.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

11 December 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

13 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

14 December 1942:
Yokohama. Enters dry-dock at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard.

25 January 1943:
Undocked.

29 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

30 January 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

2 February 1943:
Departs Osaka.

3 February 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

4 February 1943:
Departs Kure.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

7 February 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

9 February 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

11 February 1943:
Departs Takao.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

14 February 1943:
Departs Manila.

17 February 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo. Takes on fuel.

20 February 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

27 February 1943:
Departs Makassar with 10 POWs embarked.

2 March 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

5 March 1943:
Departs Singapore.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

11 March 1943:
Departs Mako.

14 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

17 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

17 March 1943:
Departs Kure.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

21 March 1943:
Departs Osaka.

22 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

12 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

13 April 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

16 April 1943:
Departs Kobe.

17 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

18 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

19 April 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

21 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

23 April 1943:
Departs Takao for Manila.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

27 April 1943:
At 0520, departs Manila for Balikpapan unescorted, carrying some 2,500 passengers, including IJN personnel, around 1,000 oil production specialists and 150 females, heavy vehicles and ammunition. [4]

At 2315, LtCdr William S. Postís GUDGEON (SS-212) sights a large ship zig-zagging on southerly course at 10-17-48N, 121-44E, later identified as KAMAKURA MARU.

28 April 1943:
Sulu Sea, 30 miles SW of Naso Point, Panay, Philippines. At 0104, LtCdr Post fires a spread of four torpedoes at the target making 18 knots 3,200 yards away. Two minutes later, two torpedoes hit KAMAKURA MARU starboard side in her No. 4 hold and auxiliary machinery compartment; a heavy fire breaks out at the stern. Twelve minutes later, she suddenly upends and goes down by the stern at 10-25N, 121-440E. At 0140, the surfaced GUDGEON passes through the area where the ship went down, and sights a dozen lifeboats, floating debris and a large number of survivors.

2 May 1943:
After the estimated time of arrival of KAMAKURA MARU passes, the IJN command in the Philippines issues orders to commence a search for her. Only 28 sailors (of 176) and 437 passengers are eventually rescued. [4]

31 May 1943:
Removed from the Navy list.


Authors' Notes:
[1] On 2 September 1945, Shigemitsu signed the surrender instruments for Japan on the deck of USS MISSOURI (BB-63) anchored in Tokyo Bay.

[2] See http://www.combinedfleet.com/Sydney.htm

[3] Later in 1943, KAMAKURA MARU was scheduled to be converted to an escort carrier capable of carrying 38 aircraft, but was sunk before work could begin.

[4] Accounts vary as to the number of passengers carried and casualties.

Special thanks go to Peter Cundall of Australia for info in Revision 1.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp


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