(Similar size & age ship, prewar)
IJA Transport KENNICHI MARU:
Tabular Record of
© 2018 Bob Hackett
Toyama. Laid down at Nipponkai Dock K .K., as a 1,938-ton cargo ship for Daido Kaiun K.K., Kobe.
Launched and named KENNICHI MARU.
30 November 1943:
Completed. Requisitioned soon afterwards by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). Allotted IJA No. 1173.
6 March 1944:
At 0800, KENNICHI MARU departs Palau for Takao in convoy PATA-04 also consisting of transports ASAHISAN, BRAZIL, CHINZEI, CLYDE, HINODE, TASMANIA and YOZAN MARUs escorted by destroyers SHIGURE and SHIRANUI, patrol boat PB-31, subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and auxiliary gunboat KENZAN MARU.
E March 1944:
Torpedo boat SAGI joins the escort at an unknown point.
13 March 1944:
At 1000, the convoy arrives at Takao.
21 April 1944:
KENNICHI MARU departs Moji for Takao in convoy MOTA-18 also consisting of BELGIUM, KUROGANE, NANREI, PEKING, SAN DIEGO, SHIROGANESAN, SHIROTAE, TAKEGAWA, TSUSHIMA, WALES and YAMHAGI MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE and minesweeper W-17.
27 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.
28 April 1944:
At 1300, KENNICHI MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-17 also consisting of BELGIUM, KUROGANE, NISSAN, NITTATSU, PEKING, SAN LUIS, SHIROGANESAN, SHIROTAE, TAKEGAWA, TSUSHIMA, WALES and YAMAHAGI MARUs escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU.
29 April 1944:
Destroyer ASAKAZE joins the escort. At 2155, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and sinks TAKEGAWA MARU at 19-20N, 118-50E. Seven crewmen are KIA. Also lost are 17 Daihatsu barges and two lighters.
30 April 1944:
At 0430, Gallaher torpedoes and sinks NITTATSU MARU carrying 250 tons of coal at 19-22N, 118-45E. Four crewmen are KIA.
2 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila.
3 June 1944:
At 1000, KENNICHI MARU departs Singapore for Moji in bauxite convoy HO-02 also consisting of HIOKI, HIYORI, HONAN (ex-WAR SIRDAR), NICHIWA, SHONAN, TAINAN, TAMAHOKO and TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1, and nine unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-1, CD-8, CD-15, CD-20 and minelayer AOTAKA.
6 June 1944:
S of Nishino-Torishima Island. 160 miles off Cape St. Jacques, Indochina. LtCdr (later Cdr) James W. Davis' (USNA ’30) USS RATON (SS-270) attacks the convoy. At 2225, Davis torpedoes and sinks CD-15 at 08-57N, 109-17E. 104 crewmen are KIA. CD-8 and CD-20 rescue 34 survivors. CD-1, CD-8 and CD-20 counterattack, dropping a total of 57 depth-charges. USS RATON is damaged, but remains on patrol.
11 June 1944:
Arrives at Manila. NASUSAN MARU joins the convoy.
14 June 1944:
KENNICHI MARU departs Manila in convoy HO-02 also consisting of HIOKI, MIYO, NASUSAN, NICHIWA SHONAN, TAINAN, TAMAHOKO and TEIHOKU MARUs and KONAN MARU No. 1 and ten unidentified ships escorted by minelayer AOTAKA and kaibokan CD-1 and CD-20.
15 June 1944:
The convoy encounters a typhoon that badly batters MIYO MARU.
18 June 1944:
Arrives at Takao. MIYO MARU's Allied POWs from camps at Batavia, Java, including 42 American POWs, are transferred to TAMAHOKO MARU.
20 June 1944:
KENNICHI MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy HO-02 consisting of NASUSAN, TAMAHOKO, TAINAN and TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) MARUs and seven other unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-1, an unidentified kaibokan, minelayer AOTAKA and an unidentified whaling ship. TAMAHOKO MARU is carrying about 500 IJA troops and 772 Allied POWs from camps at Batavia, Java, including 42 American POWs.
24 June 1944:
Koshiki Straits, 40 miles SW of Nagasaki, Kyushu. At 2350, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret/MOH) Richard H. O’Kane’s TANG (SS-306) attacks the convoy. At 2354, O’Kane torpedoes NASUSAN MARU. Hit in the engine room, she sinks at 32-24N, 129-38E. 11 crewmen are KIA.
At about the same time, TANG also torpedoes and sinks TAMAHOKO MARU at 32-24N, 129-38E. The whaling ship picks up some survivors, but 35 crewmen and 560 POWs are KIA including 15 American soldiers and sailors. CD-1 attempts to counterattack, but is not fast enough to pursue TANG.
East China Sea. TANG also torpedoes and sinks KENNICHI MARU at 32-24N, 129-38E. 36 crewmen are KIA.
At 2355, TANG hits TAINAN MARU in the stern with two torpedoes. She is carrying 454 repatriates from Formosa. She sinks at 32-24N, 129-38E. Two gunners, 34 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are KIA. The whaling ship picks up some survivors, but 560 POWs are lost including 15 American soldiers and sailors. CD-1 attempts to counterattack, but is not fast enough to pursue TANG.
26 June 1944:
At 1400, the remainder of convoy HO-02 arrives at Moji.
 Also known as TATEHI MARU an alternative reading of same kanji.
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
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