(Freighter by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings
of Japanese Warships")
IJN KANTO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2007 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.
11 October 1929:
Laid down at Yokohama Dock Co.’s shipyard.
28 April 1930:
Launched and named KANTO MARU.
25 August 1930:
Sea trials. KANTO MARU develops 18.34 knots.
16 September 1930:
Completed for Kishimoto Kisen K. K. Later that year, placed on a long-term lease to Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line (Kishimoto's owners).
11 October 1930:
Departs Kobe on her maiden voyage to New York under OSK 's house flag and colors.
Serves on OSK's fast New York liner service with ports of call at Philippines, Hong Kong, Keelung, Shanghai, Taku, Kobe, Ise Bay, Yokohama, Los Angeles, Christobal, Puerto Colombia, New York, Hampton Roads, Savannah, Christobal, Los Angeles, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, Dairen, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Philippines and repeat.
KANTO MARU's ownership shifts to Settsu Shosen K. K., another OSK subsidary.
Sold to Harada Kisen K. K. The long-term lease to OSK remains unchanged.
19 June 1938:
Departs Kobe for South Africa and then South America.
12 November 1938:
Departs Kobe for Bombay, India.
31 March 1939:
Departs Kobe for South Africa.
11 November 1939:
Departs Kobe for New York.
22 January 1940:
Departs Kobe for South Africa.
9 August 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Begins conversion to an armed auxiliary aircraft transport. 120-mm (4.7-inch) guns are installed at the bow and the stern. Registered in the Kure Naval District.
10 December 1941:
The conversion is completed.
Nagoya. Probably loads Mitsubishi Type 96 A5M Claude and A6M "Zeke" fighter aircraft and/or spare aircraft engines from Mitsubishi's Nagoya plant for transport.
17 December 1941:
Arrives at Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands. Probably delivers fighter aircraft to elements of the Chitose Fighter Group.
1 February 1942:
Jabor Island, Jaluit. Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 17 raids Jaluit. An SBD “Dauntless” dive-bomber of VB-5 from USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) breaks through heavily overcast weather and bombs and strafes KANTO MARU from low altitude. She flees the anchorage with only light damage.
20 July 1942:
Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takenaka Ryuzo’s (39)(former CO of HIRYU) 23rd Air Flotilla of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) Southwest Area Fleet. Attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.
11 September 1942:
Banda Sea. 30 miles NW of Kendari, Celebes (now Sulawesi). While running surfaced at night, LtCdr Leonard S. Mewhinney's USS SAURY (SS-189) lookouts spot a large target. At 2058, Mewhinney fires three torpedoes. At 2100, KANTO MARU is wracked by an explosion. Flames envelop the ship's center, superstructure and deck cargo. At 2118, KANTO MARU blows up and sinks NW of Cape Manda at 03-15S, 118-27E. 26 sailors and 13 passengers are killed.
20 October 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Some Japanese sources refer to KANTO MARU as KWANTO MARU, a Japanese rendering of the Chinese Kwan-Tung, the Manchurian Territory that included Port Arthur.
- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.
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