(TSUBAME by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Minelayer KAMOME:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

11 October 1928:
Osaka. Laid down at Sakurajima Iron Works as a netlayer.

27 April 1929:
Launched and named KAMOME.

30 June 1929:
Completed and registered in the IJN.

30 May 1931:
Designated a 2nd Class minelayer.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops at the bridge fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers. Chinese troops fire back. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing. They demand entry to the Peking (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

12 November 1937:
Shanghai is captured.

KAMONE is in the 12th Minelayer Squadron of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Oikawa Koshiro's (31) China Area Fleet's Third Fleet with sister TSUBAME.

13 June 1938: The Battle of Wuhan:
Yangtze River. The Japanese make a naval landing at Anking supported by 100 vessels, including more than 40 destroyers, minesweepers, naval and river gunboats and blockade boats. The landing force totals about 12,000 men and 80 to 90 guns. The Japanese begin the Battle of Wuhan to annihilate the Chinese Army and force them to surrender. The battle rages over four months and ends in a stalemate.

6 July 1938: Hukou (near Madang fortress). KAMOME is torpedoed by a Chinese motor torpedo boat, loses her stern and is beached to avoid sinking. Later, she is refloated and repaired at an unknown location, probably in Shanghai. [1]

8 December 1941: Opening of the Pacific War:
Takao, Formosa. KAMOME is with Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) Third Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Irifune Naosaburo’s (39)(former CO of MIKUMA) 32nd Special Base Force with sister TSUBAME.

December 1941:
Philippines. Supports the Third Fleet's invasion landings.

3 January 1942:
Philippines. The 32nd Special Base Force is reassigned to Vice Admiral Sugiyama Rokuzo's (38) Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet. 14 January 1942: At 1700 KAMOME and HIRASHIMA are due to depart Mutsure escorting a convoy consisting of ADEN, HAVRE, ASAKA MARUs and three others probably being FUKOKU, YAMAGIKU and KENZUI MARUs.

February 1942:
At Takao, Formosa. Escorts convoys to Surabaya, Java.

April 1942:
Escorts convoys and conducts patrols near Sasebo. Later, escorts convoys between Okinawa and Shanghai.

20 April 1942:
KAMOME and minelayer TSUBAME depart Surabaya.

24 April 1942:
TSUBAME and KAMOME arrive at Singapore.

25 April 1942:
TSUBAME and KAMOME depart Singapore escorting a convoy consisting of KINUGAWA, FUSO, KANSAI and OTOWASAN MARUs.

28 April 1942:
KAMOME and TSUBAME arrive at St Jacques escorting the convoy.

30 April 1942:
KAMOME departs Saigon, Vichy French Indochina for Mako, Pescadores with minelayer TSUBAME escorting a convoy consisting of SHINYO, NITTAI, KENZAN, KYOKO (372 gt) and KEIZAN MARUs.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

14 May 1942:
KAMOME departs Mako with torpedo boat HAYABUSA escorting convoy No. 209 consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships.

20 May 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure.

30 July 1942:
KAMOME departs Imari for Shanghai with minelayer TSUBAME and auxiliary minelayer KAHOKU MARU escorting a convoy consisting of MITO, SURABAYA, ROKKO, KANKYO and PACIFIC MARUs.

1 August 1942:
At 1745, arrives at Woosung. Soon thereafter, enters the Whangpo River to Shanghai.

5 October 1942:
ARGUN MARU is attacked by unknown submarine (possibly USS GROUPER) in 32.09N 128.43E. Sasebo Naval Base despatches minelayers KAMOME, HIRASHIMA and minesweeper W-1 to the position to find and attack the submarine.

KAMOME undergoes refit for operations as a convoy escort. Her minelaying rails are removed and she is fitted to carry 36 depth charges.

28 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul with subchaser CH-23 and torpedo boat HIYODORI escorting troop transport TOA MARU No.2 GO carrying 107 troops, two light tanks, a side-car motorcycle and a cargo of cement and ammunition to be landed at Vila, Kolambangara.

E 29 January 1943:
At some point probably off Bougainville Island KAMOME is detached.

30 January 1943:
About 5 nms S of Vella Lavella Island, Solomons. Between 1605-1620, TOA MARU No. 2 GO sustains an airstrike from Guadalcanal 12 VSMB 233 Douglas SBD “Dauntless” dive-bombers escorted by eight VMF-112 F4F “Wildcat” fighters led by 1st Lt (later Col) Jefferson J. De Blanc (later MOH). In the ensuing air battle, two F1M2, one Ki-43, two SBD-4 and two F4F-4 aircraft are shot down. The TOA MARU No.2 GO is hit by two bombs in No. 1 and No. 2 holds, is abandoned and finally sinks at 07.43S 156.51E. All troops on board are rescued and only one crewman and two soldiers are KIA.

10 April 1943:
At 0600 KAMOME departs Imari Wan, northern Kyushu escorting convoy SA-3 consisting of SHOJIN, KINREI, SUITEN (ex Dutch SCHOUTEN), DAIYA, WAKAMATSU, FRANCE and TAITO MARUs. KENWA, NICHIAN and TASUURA MARUs were also in this convoy but dropped out and joined SA-5.

12 April 1943:
At 1500 due to arrive at the Chusan Islands Group.

14 April 1943:
At 1400 KAMOME is due to depart Woosung escorting convoy SHI-3 consisting of UGA, HAKOZAKI, KENAN, MALAY, TOYOURA, WAZAN, TONEGAWA and MISAKI MARUs and MIKAGE MARU No. 8.

17 April 1943:
At 1200 due to arrive at Mutsure.

21 April 1943:
At 0600 departs Imari Wan escorting convoy SA-9 consisting of MIIKESAN, NARUO, CHUKA, KOZAN, MURORAN, FUKUEI, UJINA and RYOYO MARUs.

23 April 1943:
At 0530 arrives at Hua Niao Shan. Some of the merchant ships detached at this point. Others including MIIKESAN, RYOYO, KOZAN MARUs and KAMOME, steamed on to Woosung with an ETA of 1200.

24 April 1943:
At 0830 departs Woosung escorting convoy SHI-7 consisting of GINREI, YASUKUNI, SEISHO, TAIAN (5410 grt), TAIAN (5655 grt) and TOSEI MARU No. 2. At 1830 departs Hua Niao Shan.

26 April 1943:
At 1000 due to arrive off Tomie.

3 May 1943:
At 0600 departs Imari Wan, northern Kyushu escorting convoy SA-14 consisting of DOWA, HIDAKA, NANKA, YASUKUNI, JUNYO, TAMAHOKO, SHOKO (MATSUE) and UGA MARUs.

5 May 1943:
At 0600 scheduled to arrive at Hua Niao Shan.

7 May 1943:
At 0900 departs Woosung escorting convoy SHI-14 consisting of SHORI, DAIYA, KINREI MARUs and MIKAGE MARU No. 8.

9 May 1943:
At 1100 due to arrive off Tomie.

27 November 1943:
At 0700 departs Shanghai in convoy MO-707 consisting of DENMARK, ERIE MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships with KAMOME as solitary escort. Sails at 9 knots.

E 1 December 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

27 December 1943:
KAMOME departs Naha in convoy OKI-709 bound for Kagoshima consisting of KINREI MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships also escorted by auxiliary patrol boat HOKOKU MARU No. 3 GO.

9 February 1944:
At 0300 departs Sasebo.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Yamakawa.

17 February 1944:
Departs Yamakawa.

18 February 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Sasebo.

2 March 1944:
At 1100 departs Sasebo and at 1800 arrives at Tomie.

3 March 1944:
At 0800 departs Tomie.

15 March 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Sasebo.

16 March 1944:
At 1700 departs Sasebo.

25 March 1944:
Arrives early at Seso and departs at 2200 the same day.

29 March 1944:
At 0810 arrives at Sasebo.

12 April 1944:
KAMOME departs Naha for Kagoshima escorting convoy OKI-202 consisting of four unidentified merchant ships.

26 April 1944 :
KAMOME departs Naha, Okinawa for Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan with auxiliary minesweepers HAKATA MARU No. 6, DAITO MASRU and SHONAN MARU No. 16 escorting convoy OKI-509 consisting of RYUKYU, NISSHIN, GENBU, SHOTO, FUYO, KYUNO, HAKKA, EHIME and BANSHU MARUs.

About 70 miles N of Naha. At 0330, Cdr (later Admiral) Ignatius J. Galantin's (USNA ’33) USS HALIBUT (SS-232) attacks the convoy and torpedoes KAMOME. The minelayer stays afloat until about 0900, then sinks at 27-03N, 128-06E.

At 0455, USS HALIBUT attacks the convoy again. Galantin torpedoes and sinks GENBU MARU at 27-16N, 128-21E. The ship was loaded with 18 passengers, sugar, aluminum, and 2585 tons of general cargo. Two escort troops and one crewman are killed.

10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Author's Notes:
[1] Litle data were found detailing KAMOME's movements during Aug '42-Apr '44. Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or at j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

[1] Another source indicates KAMOME struck a mine.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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