TOKUSETSU SUIJOKI-BOKAN!



(NOTORO by Takeshi Yuki)

IJN Seaplane Tender/Oiler KAMOI:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2013 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Allan Alsleben and Peter Cundall
. Revision 2


12 September 1921:
Camden, New Jersey. Laid down at New York Shipbuilding. Purchased by Japan.

1 December 1921:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Murase Teijiro (29) (former CO of TENRYU) is posted as the Chief Equipping Officer. Accompanied by several junior officers, Murase travels to the United States to perform his duties .

8 June 1922:
Launched and named KAMOI.

12 September 1922:
Camden. Completed as a fleet oil tanker. Captain Murase is Commanding Officer.

27 September 1922:
Departs Philadelphia for Japan.

15 December 1922:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 January 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral), Nakayama Tomonobu (30) assumes command.

20 October 1923:
A new, but unknown, captain assumes command.

1 May 1924:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral), Hirota Noboru (32) is acting CO.

25 October 1924:
A new, but unknown, captain assumes command.

1 May 1925:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously), Anno Kiyoshi (33) is posted as CO.

4 December 1928:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral), the Baron, Shibayama Masaki (35)(former XO of YAMASHIRO) is posted as CO.

7 December 1929:
A new, but unknown, captain assumes command.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mitsunami Teizo (37) (former XO of NOTORO) assumes command.

20 January 1932:
Shanghai. In protest over Japanese Kwantung Army's occupation of Manchuria, the Chinese boycott the import and sale of Japanese goods. The Japanese retaliate by burning factories and shops. The Japanese Consul-General demands that Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation and end anti-Japanese agitation.

28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
Although Mayor Wu gives in before the deadline, the IJN's Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops is dispatched to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai. That same day, the Japanese attack the forts of Wusong and Jabei on the Whangpoa (Huangpu) River. The next day, heavy fighting breaks out as the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) relieves the surrounded SNLF contingent. The IJN brings its heavy naval guns to bear on the Chinese. The fighting results in a heavy loss of civilian lives and property and causes the Chinese to unify. The Japanese are unable to capture Shanghai.

February-March 1932:
By the end of the month, IJA troops called in to assist the SNLF number 50,000 men under General Shirakawa. His troops encircle the Chinese 19th Route Army and force a Cease-Fire. The Japanese establish a puppet government and make the last Emperor of China, Henry Pu Yi, the Emperor of Manchukuo (former Manchuria).

1932:
After the Shanghai incident, a decision is made to convert KAMOI into a seaplane tender to support the already converted oiler/carrier NOTORO.

15 November 1932:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takeda Rokukichi (36) assumes command.

February 1933:
Tokyo. KAMOI begins conversion to a seaplane carrier/tender/tanker at the Uraga Dock Co.

July 1933:
Attached directly to the Combined Fleet.

20 October 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Terada Kokichi (36) assumes command. Captain Takeda is reassigned as the CO of HOSHO.

1 June 1934:
KAMOI completes conversion and is rerated a seaplane carrier. She carries twelve Type 90 No. 3 Kawanishi E5K1 three-seat reconnaissance floatplanes and can operate as an oiler while in the seaplane role. The tail code for her aircraft is ·-xx·

15 November 1934:
A new, but unknown, captain assumes command.

September 1935: The Combined Fleet's Great Maneuvers:
Hakodate. KAMOI is attached to the Fourth Fleet in the ?ed Fleet· Exercises are conducted in the NW Pacific between Japan and the Kuriles. KAMOI serves as an oiler with TSURUMI and SUNOSAKI.

25 September 1935: The "Fourth Fleet Incident·
The fleet departs Hakodate and steams into the NW Pacific where it encounters a major typhoon. The carriers HOSHO and RYUJO and several cruisers and destroyers are damaged by the storm and over 50 men are killed. The extent of damage to KAMOI, if any, is unknown.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Okuda Kikuji (42) (former Equipping Officer and DivCO of KAMOI) assumes command.

1936-1937: Reconstruction:
KAMOI? counter stern is modified and fitted with German (Hien-Mat) recovery gear and crane.

2 November 1936:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Kozaka Kanae (43) (former Chief Gunnery Officer of IZUMO) is posted as the Commanding Officer.

1 December 1936:
Cdr Kozaka is promoted Captain. That same day, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Miyata Giichi (36)(former CO of ATAGO) assumes command of the 12th Battle Squadron consisting of KAMOI, minelayer OKINOSHIMA and destroyers ASANAGI, YUNAGI, OITE and HAYATE.

28 January 1937:
Departs Yokosuka with OKINOSHIMA and destroyers ASANAGI and YUNAGI for the Carolines and Marianas to survey the islands and atolls as potential military sites. The group visits a total of 21 ports and also surveys 11 locations from the air to find sites that can be used as future airfields.

29 June-5 July 1937:
KAMOI, OKINOSHIMA, ASANAGI and YUNAGI and Yokohama Air Station participate in aircraft maneuvers.

2 July 1937:
Lae, New Guinea. World famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan take off in a twin-engine Lockheed 10E "Electra" on a 2,556 mile leg to Howland Island as part of their attempt to fly around-the-world, but their plane disappears.

Tokyo. Emperor Hirohito's (Showa) younger brother LtCdr (later Captain) Prince Nobuhito Takamatsu (52), a staff officer at the Naval General Staff, receives the news of Earhart? disappearance. He persuades the Chief of the NGS, Fleet Admiral, Prince, Hiroyasu Fushimi to order KAMOI to search for Earhart. [1]

Mandates. KAMOI receives the order, but it does not contain any information upon which Captain Kozaka can base his search. A few hours later, the order is canceled. No trace of Earhart's plane or crew is ever found.*

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The First "China") Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops are on night maneuvers at the bridge. They fire blank cartridges. 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. [2]

10 July 1937:
KAMOI arrives at Ise Bay, Japan.

11 July 1937:
The IJA and IJN agree to operational jurisdictions in the event of a full-scale war with China. The IJA takes responsibility for northern China and the IJN assumes assumes responsibility for central and southern China. The IJN's air power in-theater at this time consists of only about 80 planes carried by carriers KAGA, RYUJO and HOSHO on station in the East China Sea.

August 1937:
East China Sea. KAMOI is deployed NW of Formosa.

August 1937:
Shanghai. KAMOI is in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Miyata Giichi's (36) (former CO of ATAGO) 12th Squadron with minelayer OKINOSHIMA and DesDiv 28.

14 August 1937: "Bloody Saturday":
Shanghai. Flagship USS AUGUSTA (CA-31), carrying the CINC, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, Admiral Harry E. Yarnell (USNA ·7)(former CO of USS SARATOGA, CV-3), arrives after battling a typhoon enroute from Tsingtao. Enroute to her buoy in the Whangpoa River, she passes Japanese light cruisers, destroyers and other ships who render passing honors to USS AUGUSTA? embarked admiral.

That day, following a series of land battles, the Chinese Air Force (CAF) under their acting operational CO, retired Captain (later MajGen) Claire L. Chennault, launches aircraft to attack the IJN flagship IZUMO and the Japanese fleet. The CAF mistakenly bombs the British cruiser HMS CUMBERLAND, but their bombs fall wide. Two bombs also fall close alongside USS AUGUSTA, but no one is killed. The CAF accidentally drops bombs into Shanghai city, killing more than 1700 civilians and wounding 1800 others. A Type 90 scout floatplane from IZUMO attacks the CAF formations and shoots down a fighter.

20 August 1937:
Shanghai. KAMOI is on station with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Hasegawa Kiyoshi's (31) (former CO of NAGATO) Third Fleet. Northrop 2-E "Gamma" light bombers of the CAF's 14th Squadron flown by foreign mercenaries bomb Japanese positions in the International Settlement. The bombs fall short and cause extensive damage and heavy loss of life among neutrals in the settlement. One CAF plane drops two bombs that explode off the AUGUSTA's starboard side killing one seaman and wounding 17 others.

12 October 1937:
Shanghai. Two of KAMOI? Type 95 Kawanishi E8N2 two-seat float biplanes take off on a reconnaissance mission of the capital of Nanking. The Chinese air raid warning net reports their approach. A flight of Curtiss "Hawk III" biplanes intercept the IJN floatplanes over Chiang-yin. In the ensuing melee, a Hawk III collides with an IJN floatplane. The E8N2 crashes in flames, but the Hawk pilot survives a forced landing. The other E8N2 is shot up and lands on the Yangtze (now Changjiang) River. The Hawks strafe and sink it. Both E8N2 crews are KIA.

12 December 1937: The "China Incident."
Yangtze River. About 1327, LtCdr (later Cdr) James J. Hughes' (USNA ·5) river gunboat USS PANAY (PR-5) is attacked by IJN aircraft while escorting three Socony Vacuum Oil Company barges MEI PING, MEI SHIA and MEI AN. The attack continues until 1554 when PANAY sinks. Three men are killed and 43 sailors and five passengers are wounded. Two of the three oil barges are also bombed and destroyed.

Tokyo. American Ambassador Joseph C. Grew immediately lodges a formal protest. The Japanese government accepts responsibility, but claims the attack was unintentional.

Washington, DC. The militarily unprepared United States government is anxious to avoid war. The Roosevelt Administration accepts the "mistake" theory, together with an indemnity of $2.2 million paid in April 1938, and the incident is officially settled.

Early 1938:
KAMOI launches a flight of E8N2 floatplanes to attack Canton (Guangzhou). One E8N2 shoots down a Chinese scout plane over the city. The next day, four E8N2s encounter a lone, but powerful, Gloster ?ladiator?f the Chinese Air Force being flown by a British pilot. In a 10-minute dog fight, the Englishman holds off his attackers. He escapes after scoring many hits on the Daves.

22 March 1938:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Iwabuchi Sanji (43), an early IJN aviator, assumes command. Captain Kozaka later becomes CO of RYUJO.

May 1938:
Kulangsu (now Gulangyu) Island in Amoy Harbor. KAMOI and other IJN units support attempts by the 2nd Combined SNLF consisting of the 2nd Yokosuka, 3rd Kure and 7th Sasebo SNLFs and other units to take over the International Settlement that houses most foreign residents and some 10,000 displaced Chinese refugees. The United States Asiatic Fleet, British Royal Navy and French Navy respond by sending naval units and detachments from all three nations·ships to oppose IJN troops ashore. Eventually, the Japanese back down.

25 August 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuda Chiaki (44) (former XO of ABUKUMA) assumes command. Captain Iwabuchi is reassigned to the Naval General Staff.

KAMOI operates on the Yangtze River against the Chinese. The Yangtze is so deep and wide that ocean-going vessels and large cruisers can steam all the way up to Hankow.

12-25 October 1938: The Fall of Canton:
The Japanese launch a major offensive in southern China. KAMOI, seaplane tender NOTORO and carriers KAGA, SORYU and RYUJO participate. The Imperial Army seizes Canton on 21 October, virtually unopposed. The city was bombed for several months and most inhabitants fled. The fall of Canton cuts the strategically important Canton-Hankow Railway the Chinese use to transport foreign military imports to the interior.

15 December 1938:
KAMOI is joined by seaplane carrier CHIYODA that begins her tour in China.

14 January 1939:
Captain Matsuda is reassigned to the Naval General Staff. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mori Tomoichi (42), CO of minelayer ITSUKUSHIMA, assumes command of KAMOI as an additional duty.

20 July 1939:
Captain Mori is relieved by a new, but unknown, captain. Mori resumes full-time duty as CO of ITSUKUSHIMA.

October 1939:
KAMOI departs the China theatre.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hattori Katsuji (45) (former XO of ISUZU) assumes command.

Vice Admiral Katagiri Eikichi's (34) (former CO of HARUNA) Fourth Fleet is established at Truk. KAMOI and CHITOSE (F) are assigned to the 17th Sentai of the new fleet.

1940:
KAMOI, CHITOSE and tender KINUGASA MARU voyage to Truk carrying construction crews and technicians to build seaplane/flying boat ramps at Dublon Island, Truk, Malakal at Palau, Roi and Eyebe in Kwajalein and at Saipan. The tenders also make several trips to and from Japan to replenish construction supplies. Later, KAMOI and KINUGASA MARU travel from Arakabesan, Palau's to Jaluit to construct ramps at Emidj.

January 1940:
KAMOI is in the eastern Marshall Islands, principally Kwajalein, Roi, Wotje and Jaluit? Emidj. KAMOI's mission is to find suitable locations for future seaplane/flying boat operations in the event of war and to provide service for the Yokohama Kokutai on overflights in the Gilbert Islands and other areas.

1940:
Refitted as a flying boat tender.

Kwajalein. KAMOI services Dai Nippon Koku Kaisya (Greater Japan Air Lines) Type 97 Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" flying boats regular air service from Yokohama via Belau to Saipan begun on 4 April 1939.

15 November 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Furukawa Tamotsu (43) (former XO of RYUJO) assumes command. Captain Hattori is reassigned as CO of KAMIKAWA MARU. KAMOI is in the Fourth Fleet? 24th Air Flotilla. This same day, she is re-rated as a flying boat tender.

1 July 1941:
Captain Hasebe Yoshizo (40) assumes command. Captain Furukawa is reassigned. Later, he assumes command of seaplane carrier CHITOSE, and still later carrier HIYO.

2 December 1941:
Departs Emidji.

4 December 1941:
Arrives at Majuro.

8 December 1941: Operation ?··The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Truk area. KAMOI is in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Goto Eiji's (37)(former CO of MUTSU) 24th Naval Air Flotilla's Chitose Naval Air Group.

11 December 1941:
Departs Majuro.

13 December 1941:
Arrives at Wotje.

22 December 1941:
Departs Wotje.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Emidji.

28 December 1941:
Departs Emidji.

1 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

23 January 1942: The Seizure of Rabaul, New Britain:
Five thousand troops of the IJA 18th Army's South Seas Detachment overrun Rabaul's defense force of but one Australian infantry battalion. The town and its splendid harbor are quickly taken. KAMOI supports the occupation.

2 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

5 February 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

March 1942:
Stays at Rabaul the entire month.

1 April 1942:
KAMOI is reassigned to the 11th Seaplane Tender Division.

? April 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

10 April 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

13 April 1942:
Departs Taroa.

14 April 1942:
Arrives at Emidji.

27 April 1942:
Departs Emidji.

28 April 1942:
Arrives at Jabor.

29 April 1942:
Departs Jabor.

30 April 1942:
Arrives at Emidji.

17 May 1942:
Departs Emidji and later that day arrives at Jabor.

21 May 1942:
Departs Jabor and later that day arrives at Emidji.

26 May 1942:
Departs Emidji.

27 May 1942:
Arrives at Wotje.

7 August 1942:
Captain-Retired (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamazaki Sukeichi (39) (former CO of JINGEI) assumes command.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Mille.

18 October 1942:
Departs Mille.

19 October 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit.

3 May 1943:
A new, but unknown, captain assumes command. Captain Yamazaki is reassigned, but dies of a tropical disease in Aug ·3.

17 October 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya from Balikpapan, Borneo.

22 October 1943:
At 0900, departs Surabaya with ex-submarine tender RIO DE JANERIO MARU escorted by minesweeper W-8 as far as the Banka Straits.

25 October 1943:
At 1600, arrives off Horsburgh Light near Singapore.

29 October 1943:
Departs Singapore for Penang, Malaya.

3 November 1943:
At 1400, departs Penang escorted by subchaser CH-8.

5 November 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Port Blair, Andamans.

10 November 1943:
Departs Singapore for Penang.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Penang.

30 November 1943:
Departs Car Nicobar, Andamans.

3 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

23 January 1944:
At 1630, arrives at Kendari, Celebes.

26-28 January 1944:
Enroute to Makassar City, Celebes with three escorts and seaplane air cover.

28 January 1944:
Salajar Strait, Celebes. About 0550, LtCdr (later Cdr) Walter T. Griffith's (USNA '34) USS BOWFIN (SS-284) with COMSUBSOWESPAC Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ralph W. Christie (USNA '35) aboard for a "familiarization" war patrol, spots KAMOI and an escort. Griffith tracks KAMOI all day, but is forced to dive five times by her seaplane air cover. At about 2100, running on the surface, Griffith fires six bow torpedoes at KAMOI in a radar attack, but she zigs and they all miss. The escort's crew does not see BOWFIN, but starts dropping depth charges. Griffith moves off to reload.

At 2200, BOWFIN makes another surface attack with six torpedoes. Two torpedoes hit KAMOI below the bridge. Griffith closes the range on the surface, but suddenly KAMOI opens fire at BOWFIN with her two 4-inch deck guns and machine-guns. Griffith zigzags away at high speed, but remains on the surface. At 2245, he fires two stern torpedoes at KAMOI, but they both miss.

At 2329, Griffith fires two more stern torpedoes at KAMOI and both hit. KAMOI belches black smoke and is down by the bow, but still afloat at 04-08S, 117-50E. Griffith fires another stern torpedo, but misses. BOWFIN again closes the range on the surface, but KAMOI's crew sees the submarine and opens fire. Griffith outruns KAMOI's guns, then turns back. At 2348, he fires his last bow torpedo that hits KAMOI between the bow and the bridge. KAMOI is beached to keep her from sinking.

(E) 29 January 1944:
Towed from the Makassar Strait to Surabaya, Java for emergency repairs by the IJN's No. 102 Repair Unit.

1 February 1944:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore for major repairs by the No. 101 Repair Unit.

15 April 1944:
Singapore. Japan's need for tankers to transport oil from the East Indies to the homeland and her far-flung island conquests far exceed her need for seaplane tenders, so KAMOI's seaplane handling equipment is removed and she is rerated an oiler.

29 August 1944:
Singapore. Completes repairs and reconversion.

6 September 1944:
At 0748, departs Singapore in a convoy consisting of KAMOI and oilers KYOKUTO and OKIGAWA MARUs escorted by destroyer SATSUKI and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33.

8 September 1944:
At 1030, OKIGAWA MARU and CH-30 steam ahead for Miri, Borneo. At 1858, the rest of the convoy arrives at Miri.

15 September 1944:
At 1500, convoy MIMA-11 departs Miri for Manila, Philippines. The convoy consists of KAMOI and TACHIBANA, URAL, YAMAMIZU No. 2, KYOKUHO, SHIKISAN, HOKKI, ZUIYO, TATSUHARU, TENSHIN, SHINSEI No. 1, SHOEI, OMINE, KYOEI and IMAHARU MARUs (ex-Dutch De KLERK) and KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-25, CD-28 and CD-32. The convoy hugs the coast calling at various small anchorages.

21 September 1944:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA '10) (former CO of USS HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 38 begins strikes on shipping in Manila and Subic Bays, Cavite Navy Yard and Clark and Nichols Air Fields near Manila. Task Group 38.1, TG 38.2 and TG 38.3's planes sink over 20 ships at Manila and damage many more.

Manila. Vice-Admiral Mikawa Gunichi, (38) (former CO of KIRISHIMA), CINC, Southwest Area Fleet, advises the Supreme Commander of Japanese Forces in the Southern Area, Field Marshal Count Terauchi Hisaichi, CINC, Southern Army, to transfer all supply ships from Manila to the relative security of Coron Bay off Palawan Island, Philippines. Terauchi so orders.

22 September 1944:
KAMOI detaches from the convoy at Bacuit Bay, Palawan and steams to Coron Bay.

24 September 1944:
At 0550, 96 Grumman F6F "Hellcat" fighters and 24 Curtiss SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers of Vice Admiral Mitscher's Task Group 38. Air Group 18 from USS INTREPID (CV-11), AG-31 from USS CABOT (CVL-28) and AG-19 based on Mitscher's flagship USS LEXINGTON (CV-16) take off to attack the anchorage at Coron Bay, Busuanga Island, Palawan, 340 miles away.

Palawan. A convoy of 12 IJN auxiliary ships is dispersed in the coastal waters around Busuanga Island. KAMOI, other cargo ships and a destroyer are in the narrow sound between Tangat and Lusong islands to the east and west of Coron Bay. In the early morning, 22 Helldivers and 96 Hellcats arrive and attack shipping in the bay. KAMOI is badly damaged, but escapes to the open sea.

25 September 1944:
At 0845, convoy MIMA-11 departs Bacuit Bay for Manila. It now consists of TACHIBANA, URAL, YAMAMIZU No. 2, KYOKUHO, OMINE and ZUIYO MARUs and four escorts. KAMOI probably rejoins the convoy en route. Because of the air attacks on Manila, the convoy is redirected to Takao. Some ships return to Bacuit Bay.

27 September 1944:
240 miles SW of Manila. At 0500, KAMOI, steaming at dead slow speed, is attacked by LtCdr (later Cdr) Lawrence L. Edge's (USNA '35) USS BONEFISH (SS-223). She is hit by one of four torpedoes fired in a surface radar attack at 13-51N, 119-35E. KAMOI suffers medium damage.

(E) 29 September 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Probably undergoes emergency repairs at Cavite Navy Yard then departs for San Fernando, Philippines where she may have received additional temporary repairs.

27 September 1944- 1 October 1944:
Convoy MIMA-11, enroute from Bacuit Bay, suffers attacks by several American submarines that sink URAL (40 crewmen, five gunners and 144 passengers KIA), HOKKI (two crewmen KIA), ZUIYO (19 crewmen, two passengers and 45 survivors of URAL MARU KIA) and KYOKUHO with a load of crude oil and carrying 112 troops: 66 crewmen, nine gunners and 43 troops KIA) MARUs. The remainder of the convoy arrives at North San Fernando.

6 October 1944:
Convoy MIMA-11 now consisting of KAMOI, oilers TACHIBANA, YAMAMIZU No. 2 and OMINE MARUs becomes part of convoy MATA-28. At 0618, the convoy departs San Fernando for Takao escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-32 and CD-25, subchasers CH-28, CH-30, CH-33 and CH-41 and minesweeper W-20.

At about 0800, LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's (USNA '30) USS ASPRO (SS-309) attacks the convoy. Stevenson fires three torpedoes by periscope at a tanker and claims one hit, but actually achieves no results. At 1530, LtCdr William C. Thompson's (USNA '35) USS CABRILLA (SS-288) torpedoes HOKUREI MARU and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2. YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 sinks with the loss of 56 of her crew. Only two survivors were rescued. HOKUREI MARU (four crewmen and five passengers KIA) is badly damaged and beached off Vigan. [3]

At 1830, the convoy retires to Lapoc Bay, Philippines.

7 October 1944:
At 0030, after receiving a radio message warning of an American task force off the E coast of Formosa, the convoy splits in two with KAMOI, KOHOKU, BUNZAN, TACHIBANA, HOKUSEN, SHOEI and HISHIGATA MARUs heading for Yulin, China. SHINYO MARU No. 8, TERUKUNI and OMINE MARUs remain behind.

At about 0600, KAMOI and TACHIBANA MARU split away from the convoy. They are accompanied by CD-8 and a subchaser.

8 October 1944:
At 1630, the air raid warning for Takao is cancelled. At 1800, the convoy reverses course for Takao. At 2325, KOHOKU MARU carrying 518 Japanese being repatriated as well as 610-m3 of war supplies is torpedoed and sunk in a night surface radar attack by LtCdr Victor B. McCrae's (USNA '32) USS HOE (SS-258). 41 crewmen, 15 gunners and 361 civilians out of 518 are KIA. Earlier that night, in a similar attack, McCrae also torpedoes and heavily damages CD-8.

9 October 1944:
At 0142, Cdr Alan B. Banister's (USNA ·8) USS SAWFISH (SS-276) makes a night surface radar attack on TACHIBANA MARU loaded with 8,616-tons of oil. Banister fires 10 torpedoes and gets three hits that sink TACHIBANA MARU at 19-33N, 116-38E with the loss of 20 passengers. CD-8 rescues survivors. KAMOI is detached and proceeds to Hong Kong. At 1600, the rest of convoy MATA-28 is diverted from Takao to Hong Kong.

11 October 1944:
At 1013, convoy MATA-28 arrives at Hong Kong. KAMOI arrives at a later date. She is drydocked, probably at the Kowloon docks, and undergoes extensive repairs by the IJN's No. 2 Repair Unit.

27 October 1944:
The tankers OEI MARU and KAMOI join convoy HOMO-01 at this point and refuel and rewater the escorts. The convoy consists of KISHUN MARU and one unidentified ship escorted by the minesweeper W-101 and either subchaser CH-23 or CH-28. ASAGAO that had previously escorted the convoy had detached.

28 October 1944:
At 0930 destroyer ASAGAO rejoins the convoy and at 1445 the ships depart port. OEI MARU and KAMOI likely return to Hong Kong.

5 November 1944:
Hong Kong. KAMOI is damaged in an air attack.

November-December 1944:
Hong Kong. Undergoes additional repairs, then departs for Japan.

21 December 1944:
At 1600 departs Yokosuka en route to the Inland Sea.

31 December 1944:
At 0820, departs Moji in convoy HI-87 for Singapore via Takao, Formosa and Manila. The convoy consists of KAMOI, with the convoy commander aboard, and oilers TENEI, KAIHO, KUROSHIO, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA, MIRI, MUNAKATA and SARAWAK MARUs and passenger-cargoman TATSUWA MARU. Light carrier RYUHO provides air cover. The escorts are destroyers SHIGURE, HATAKAZE, DesDiv17's HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE and kaibokan MIKURA, KURAHASHI and CD-13.

3 January 1945:
At 0900, the convoy anchors temporarily in the Chusan Islands group because of the threat of air attacks on Formosa.

5 January 1945:
At 0500, convoy HI-87 departs the Chusan Islands anchorage.

7 January 1945:
East China Sea. The convoy is sighted by a submarine wolf pack consisting of USS BARB (SS-220) and USS PICUDA (SS-382), later joined by USS QUEENFISH (SS-393).

At 0905, in very heavy seas, PICUDA heavily damages MUNAKATA MARU in the bow. She proceeds separately to Kirun (Keelung). The convoy anchors at the Shinchiku Roadstead, Formosa.

At 1300, the convoy is sighted by the wolfpack and tracked. RYUHO and SHIGURE detach from the convoy and proceed to Kirun.

At 1830, in dense fog, the convoy anchors temporarily on the W Formosan coast. The ships then split up and enter Takao? port at different times.

8 January 1945:
At 1200, KAMOI departs with KAIHO MARU and escorts MIKURA, YASHIRO and kaibokan CD-13. At 1330, KAIHO MARU experiences an engine breakdown. YASHIRO and kaibokan CD-13 remain behind with her. At 2313, KAMOI and the other ships anchor temporarily outside Takao's port.

9 January 1945:
Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA '06) (former CO of USS RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 38 aircraft attack shipping off Takao At 1200, 17 Grumman TBM "Avengers" and F6F "Hellcats" attack and sink KAIHO MARU carrying 680 soldiers of the 30th Shipping Engineer Regiment as well as boy airmen and soldiers. 14 crewmen and 324 troops are KIA, heavily damage KUROSHIO MARU and damage escorts YASHIRO, MIYAKE and kaibokan CD-13. KAMOI suffers light damage, probably from the near-miss of a bomb.

10 January 1945:
At 1700, the reformed convoy departs Takao for Mako, Pescadores. It now consists of KAMOI, SARAWAK, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA and HASHIDATE MARUs, kaibokan KANJU, KURAHASHI, NOMI, SHINNAN, YASHIRO, MIYAKE and CD-13, CD-60 and CD-205. Destroyer SHIGURE rejoins the escort from Kirun. RYUHO and DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE detach from HI-87 and depart for Japan.

12 January 1945:
The convoy receives a radio report that Kirun is under air attack and the ships are ordered to head for Hong Kong, not Mako.

13 January 1945:
At 1100, convoy HI-87 enters Hong Kong.

15 January 1945:
At 0915, there is an air attack on Hong Kong. Over the next two days, all of HI-87's merchants except SARAWAK MARU suffer varying degrees of battle damage.

16 January 1945:
Task Force 38's aircraft attack Hong Kong's docks and shipping. KAMOI is anchored roughly parallel to Kennedy Town facing east. At 1124, she suffers a near-miss by a bomb off her port side. At 1240, KAMOI takes a direct hit in the engine room that immobilizes the ship. Later, USAAF 14th Air Force's P-51 "Mustang" fighters strafe KAMOI and set her afire.

5 April 1945:
Hong Kong. USAAF's Far East Air Force's Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers attack shipping in the harbor. KAMOI is hit by bombs and damaged severely. CD-1, CD-52 and subchasers CH-9 and CH-20 are also damaged in the attack.

8 April 1945:
KAMOI founders as a result of progressive flooding.

13 April 1945:
The hulk of KAMOI is finally abandoned by her crew.

1946:
Hong Kong. Raised and scrapped by the British.

3 May 1947:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Prados, p. 93-94 (see Biblio). Other sources erroneously place KAMOI at Saipan on 3 July 1937.
[2] The soldier later returned to his unit. He absented himself to urinate.
[3] An excellent photo of the wreck of HOKUREI MARU under attack by A-20 attack bombers on 20 Jan '45 appears on p. 34 of John Lambert's Low Level Attack: The Pacific.
(E) = Estimated date.

Thanks go to Jean-Francois Masson of Canada, Luca Ruffato of Italy and Gilbert Casse of France.

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


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