ZATSUYOSEN!

(KENSHO MARU, prewar) )

IJN KENSHO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2015 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 4
28 February 1938:
Tama. Laid down by Tama Zosensho K.K. shipyard for Inui Kisen K.K. as a 4,861-tons cargo ship.

30 June 1938:
Launched and named KENSHO MARU.

30 August 1938:
Completed and registered in Kobe.

14 September 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN as general requisitioned transport (Ippan Choyosen) and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District.

20 August 1941:
Departs Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

E August-September 1941:
Operates in the South Seas area (Japanese mandate islands).

27 September 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 1256. [1]

16 October 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

2 December 1941:
Arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

3 December 1941:
Departs Truk.

8 December 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

12 December 1941:
Transfers to Roi-Namur, Marshalls.

17 December 1941:
Departs Roi-Namur.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

22 January 1942:
Transfers to Roi-Namur.

23 January 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

28 January 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

12 February 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

15 February 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

20 February 1942:
Departs Truk.

22 February 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

26 February 1942:
Transfers to Tinian, Marianas.

27 February 1942:
Transfers back to Saipan.

28 February 1942:
Departs Saipan for Japan.

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Transfers later that day to Yokohama.

7 March 1942:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

13 March 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 March 1942:
Arrives at Marcus Island (Minami Torishima), Ogasawara Gunto. Departs later in the day for Wake (renamed Otori Island after its capture).

21 March 1942:
Arrives at Wake.

22 March 1942:
Departs Wake.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

28 March 1942:
Transfers to Roi-Namur.

1 April 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

2 April 1942:
Arrives at Wotje Atoll, Marshalls.

9 April 1942:
Transfers to Taroa Island, Marshalls.

15 April 1942:
Departs Taroa.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Imieji (Imiedj) anchorage, Marshalls.

18 April 1942:
Departs Imieji.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs later that day for Marcus.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Marcus. Departs later in the day for Japan.

5 May 1942:
Met by minelayer SARUSHIMA as escort.

6 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 May 1942:
Transfers to Yokohama.

10 May 1942:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

13 May 1942:
Transfers to Shibaura, Tokyo.

16 May 1942:
Departs Shibaura and then at 1430 from off Futtsu in a convoy also consisting of requisitioned (B-AK) CHIYO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO.

21 May 1942:
Arrives at Saipan. Departs later that day for Truk.

26 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

27 May 1942:
Departs Truk.

31 May 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit Atoll, Marshalls. Departs later for Rabaul.

E 4 June 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

8 June 1942:
Departs Rabaul in convoy with auxiliary tanker KYOKUYO MARU and possibly others.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

13 June 1942:
Departs Truk.

16 June 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

17 June 1942:
Departs Saipan.

22 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 June 1942:
Transfers to Yokohama.

25 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama.

27 June 1942:
Arrives at Tamano, Okayama Prefecture.

29 June 1942:
Docks at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding K.K. shipyard for maintenance and repairs.

26 July 1942:
Repairs are completed. Undocked.

27 July 1942:
Departs Tamano.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

30 July 1942:
Departs Yawata.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Osaka, Hyogo Prefecture.

2 August 1942:
Departs Osaka.

4 August 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

7 August 1942:
Transfers to Yokosuka.

16 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 August 1942:
Arrives at Wake. Departs later for Kwajalein.

27 August 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

5 September 1942:
At 0330 transfers to Roi-Namur.

6 September 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at Wotje.

10 September 1942:
Transfers to Taroa.

12 September 1942:
Departs Taroa.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Mili Atoll, Marshalls.

14 September 1942:
Transfers to Imieji (Imiedj).

15 September 1942:
Departs Imieji (Imiedj).

16 September 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

17 September 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Japan.

24 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

27 September 1942:
Transfers to Yokohama.

29 September 1942:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

5 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 October 1942:
Arrives at Mili.

24 October 1942:
Transfers to Jaluit.

25 October 1942:
Transfers to Kwajalein.

27 October 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

28 October 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

31 October 1942:
Transfers to Wotje.

2 November 1942:
Departs Wotje.

3 November 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

8 November 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Japan.

16 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

9 December 1942:
Transfers to Roi-Namur.

11 December 1942:
Departs Roi-Namur.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

13 December 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

15 December 1942:
Arrives at Taroa.

17 December 1942:
Departs Taroa.

18 December 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit.

19 December 1942:
Transfers to Imieji (Imiedj).

20 December 1942:
Departs Imieji (Imiedj).

21 December 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

22 December 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

26 December 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

30 December 1942:
Departs Saipan for Japan.

4 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

7 January 1943:
Transfers to Yokohama.

9 January 1943:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

16 January 1943:
At 0800 departs Yokosuka.

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

26 January 1943:
Transfers to Roi-Namur.

29 January 1943:
Transfers back to Kwajalein.

2 February 1943:
Departs Kwajalein.

3 February 1943:
Arrives at Wotje.

6 February 1943:
Transfers to Taroa.

12 February 1943:
Departs Taroa.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

15 February 1943:
At 0800, departs Kwajalein with auxiliary subchaser TAMA MARU No. 5, that escorted the ship to 08-30N 163-00E.

20 February 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Saipan.

24 February 1943:
At 1300 due to depart Saipan.

1 March 1943:
Stranded off Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture. CH-14 and auxiliary netlayer KASHI MARU are detailed to assist.

2 March 1943:
Refloated. Arrives later that day at Yokosuka.

4 March 1943:
Transfers to Yokohama.

7 March 1943:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

12 March 1943:
Transfers again to Yokohama for extensive repairs.

30 April 1943:
Repairs are completed.

2 May 1943:
Transfers to Yokosuka.

6 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3508 also consisting of unidentified ships and escort.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

16 May 1943:
Departs Truk.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

27 May 1943:
Departs Kwajalein.

28 May 1943:
Arrives at Wotje.

29 May 1943:
In position 09-47N 160-58E meets up with convoy No. 5283 consisting of auxiliary collier/oiler SOYO MARU and auxiliary transport FUKUYAMA MARU escorted by subchaser CH-32 and destroyer IKAZUCHI. Auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 11 joins the convoy at some point.

2 June 1943:
At 1315 arrives at Kwajalein.

4 June 1943:
Arrives at Roi-Namur.

5 June 1943:
Transfers to Kwajalein.

11 June 1943:
At 1200 departs Kwajalein in convoy with SHUNZAN MARU No. 2 escorted by auxiliaty submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 6.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Wotje.

18 June 1943:
Transfers to Taroa escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 6.

25 June 1943:
Departs Taroa escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 6.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Jaluit.

29 June 1943:
Departs Jaluit escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 6.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Mili.

2 July 1943:
Departs Mili.

3 July 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

4 July 1943:
At 1110 departs Kwajalein in convoy with requisitioned (B-AK) YAMAKUNI MARU escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

8 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

13 July 1943:
Departs Truk in convoy with IJA transport YAMASHIRO MARU and auxiliary transport AKIBASAN MARU with auxiliary patrol boat MISAGO MARU as escort part way.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Saipan with 34 men of 253rd Air Force (Naval Air Group) and 73 men for 5th Special Base Force.

27 July 1943:
At 0415 due to depart Saipan.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Transfers later in the day to Yokohama.

3 August 1943:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

7 August 1943:
Transfers to Yokohama again.

26 August 1943:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

2 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka escorted by auxiliary subchasers CHa-9, CHa-16, CHa-17, CHa-31 and CHa-32.

5 September 1943:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima.

6 September 1943:
Departs Chichi-Jima still with the same escorts.

10 September 1943:
Arrives at Saipan.

13 September 1943:
Departs Saipan still with the same escorts.

17 September 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 October 1943:
At 0600, departs Truk for Palau, Western Carolines, in convoy No. 7081 also consisting of requisitioned (B-AO) oiler SHINSHU MARU escorted by subchaser CH-33.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

22 October 1943:
Departs Palau for Japan in convoy FU-201 consisting only of KENSHO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-34.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

30 October 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

31 October 1943:
Departs Kobe.

2 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Transfers later in the day to Yokohama.

6 November 1943:
Transfers back to Yokosuka.

13 November 1943:
At 1100, departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 3113 also consisting of auxiliary transports KIMISHIMA and SHOEI MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 18, requisitioned transports (B-AK) YAMAKUNI and TSUNESHIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer IKAZUCHI and kaibokan HIRADO. Arrives at Tokuyama later in the day.

14 November 1943:
The convoy departs Tokuyama for Truk.

23 November 1943:
At 0900, arrives at Truk. SHINSEI MARU No.18 had straggled slightly and was met by auxiliary minelayer KINJO MARU.

14 December 1943:
At 1220, departs Truk for Kwajalein in convoy No. 5142 also consisting of auxiliary transport SHOEI MARU escorted by subchaser CH-29.

19 December 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Kwajalein. At 2244, SHOEI MARU is hit and heavily damaged in a major air attack on the Atoll.

20 December 1943:
SHOEI MARU sinks. Later that day, in another airstrike by 16 Consolidated B-24 “Liberators”, KENSHO MARU is hit by bombs and heavily damaged and unnavigable.

3 January 1944:
Departs Kwajalein towed by auxiliary transport YOSHIDA MARU, and arrives later that day at Roi-Namur.

29 January 1944:
Departs Roi-Namur for Truk, towed by requisitioned transport (B-APK) MOMOKAWA MARU.

4 February 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

E 4-17 February 1944:
Undergoes repairs in Truk’s Repair Anchorage located W of Dublon and N of Fefan Islands.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. The strikes are launched about every hour for two days. Still under repairs, KENSHO MARU is hit by torpedoes and bombs and sinks at 07-23N, 151-51E taking down six of her crew.

17-18 February 1944:
Task Force 58 sinks 31 transports and 10 naval vessels (two cruisers, four destroyers and four auxiliary vessels), destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN.

10 November 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 1258.

Postwar:
KENSHO MARU’s wreck is lying upright with a 20 degree port list and is in relatively good shape. A deck gun (Type uncertain) can be observed at the bow.


Authors Notes:
[1] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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