(Type A Standard Cargo Ship)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2017 Bob Hackett

E June 1942:
Koyagishima. Laid down at Kawaminami Kogyo K.K., as a 6,384-ton Type 1A Standard Cargo Ship for Nitto Kisen K.K., Tokyo.

E September 1942:
Launched and named KENWA MARU.

14 January 1943:
KENWA MARU departs Yokosuka in westbound convoy No. 7114 also consisting of KOSHIN, MITSU, TATSUTAGAWA, TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) MARUs escorted by survey ship KOMAHASHI. At an unknown point, KOMAHASHI is detached.

10 April 1943:
At 0600, KENWA MARU departs Imari Bay, Kyushu in convoy SA-3 also consisting of DAIYA, FRANCE, KINREI, NICHIAN, SHOJIN, SUITEN (ex Dutch SCHOUTEN) and TAITO MARUs TASUURA and WAKAMATSU MARUs escorted by minelayer KAMOME. KENWA, NICHIAN and TASUURA MARUs are detached at an unknown point and join south bound convoy SA-5.

2 July 1943:
In heavy rain and fog, KENWA MARU departs Mutsure in convoy No. 172 also consisting of ASAKA ATLANTIC, KASHIMA, KOKI, LIVERPOOL, TAIKOKU and TSUYAMA MARUs and tanker HAKUBASAN MARU escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA. Soon after leaving port, ASAKA, RYUKO and TSUYAMA MARUs become detached from the others and return to Moji. Later that day, MANKO MARU joins the convoy from Sasebo.

4 July 1943:
20 km NW of Naha, Okinawa. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles O. Triebel’s (USNA '29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) intercepts the convoy. At 0230, Triebel torpedoes and gets three hits on LIVERPOOL MARU. Triebel also torpedoes and KOKI MARU at 28-29N, 124-15E. One crewman is KIA.

At 0340, Triebel torpedoes and damages ATLANTIC MARU at 28-40N, 124-10E. TAIKOKU MARU takes the ship in tow and later arrives at Shanghai. The convoy scatters. At about 0600, LIVERPOOL MARU sinks by the stern at 28-29N, 124-15E. Three crewmen are KIA.

6 November 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJA as a troop transport. Allotted Army No. 1148.

23 November 1943:
KENWA MARU departs Woosung harbor, near Shanghai, in a convoy also consisting of BENGAL and MITSUKI MARUs and several unidentified ships with an unknown escort. The convoy carries the main strength of the IJA 36th Division.

27 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

29 November 1943:
Departs Takao.

4 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

21 December 1943:
At 0200, KENWA MARU departs Kau, Halmahera for Manokwari, New Guinea in convoy No. 2 also consisting of HIYORI and TONEGAWA MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKA. The convoy is carrying the second echelon of the IJA's 36th Division.

23 December 1943:
Arrives at Manokwari. Unloads troops and cargo.

24 December 1943:
The convoy departs Manokwari.

26 December 1943:
Arrives at Sarmi, New Guinea.

29 December 1943:
The convoy departs Sarmi.

2 January 1944:
Arrives at Kau, Halmahera, Moluccas.

6 January 1944:
KENWA MARU departs Wasile, Halmahera for Manila via Cebu in a convoy also consisting of BENGAL, MITSUKI, ODATSUKI, RYUSEI, TONEGAWA and TOUN MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by subchasers CH-36 and CH-45.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

20 January 1944:
At 0900, KENWA MARU departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera in convoy H-14 also consisting of ADEN, KUROGANE, MOJI, MITSUKI, , RYOCHI TONEGAWA and UGO MARUs escorted by patrol boat P-103 and subchaser CH-46

22 January 1944:
At 1150, arrives at Cebu, Philippines.

23 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Cebu.

27 January 1944:
At 1456, arrives at Kau.

30 January 1944:
At 0650, KENWA departs Kau in a convoy also consisting of MOJI and TONEGAWA MARUs escorted by minelayer WAKATAKA.

1 February 1944:
At 1235, arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

14 February 1944:
At 1400, KENWA MARU departs Wasile for Manila via Cebu in convoy M-12 also consisting of FUSO, KUROGANE, MIZUHO, MITSUKI, TONEGAWA and WALES MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-105 and minesweeper W-4.

16 February 1944:
At 0145, KENWA MARU is attacked by a submarine unsuccessfully, probably LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA '32) USS CREVALLE (SS-291).

19 February 1944:
Arrives at Cebu.

21 February 1944:
Departs Cebu.

22 February 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

7 March 1944:
KENWA MARU departs Manila in MATA-10 convoy also consisting of KOHO, TACHIBANA, TARUYASU (ex-British TALTHYBIUS) and SORACHI MARUs and tankers NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO and TAKETSU (BUTSU), MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and two unidentified merchants escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA and minesweeper W-17.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, KENWA MARU departs Takao for Moji in convoy TAMO-11 also consisting of ASAHI, ASAHISAN, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, HINODE, KANO, KENNICHI, KENZUI, KOAN, KOHO, TAITO, MANILA, MANKO, MUTSU, SORACHI, TAKETSU (BUTSU) and TARUYASU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and tankers NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO, SANKO and TACHIBANA MARUs escorted by destroyers NOKAZE, SHIGURE and SHIRANUI, minesweeper W-17 and subchasers CH-37 and CH-38.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) and TOYO MARUs join the convoy from Kirun (Keelung).

21 March 1944:
At 0430, ASAHI, MANKO and TOYO MARUs are detached. At 1200, the convoy arrives at Nagasaki.

22 March 1944:
ASAHISAN and KOAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.12 are detached.

22 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

1 May 1944:
KENWA MARU departs Moji for Manila in convoy MI-03 also consisting of ATAGO, CHIYODA, DAIJUN, DAIRIN, DAITEN, ETAJIMA, KOTOKU, NIKKO, RYUKA, SHINNO, SHUNTEN, SHOHEI, TAISEI, TOUN and ZUIYO MARUs and EIYO MARU No. 2, OGURA MARU No. 2, SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by destroyers KARUKAYA and SHIOKAZE, torpedo boat HATO, kaibokan CD-1, CD-13, subchaser CH-37 and auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

May 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao.

7 May 1944:
Departs Takao.

10 May 1944:
Entrance to Manila Bay. At about 0600, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey's (USNA ’31) USS COD (SS-224) torpedoes and sinks destroyer KARUKAYA. 73 crewmen are KIA. Dempsey also torpedoes and sinks SHOHEI MARU at 15-38N, 119-32E. 12 passengers and eight crewmen are KIA. Later that day, the rest of the convoy arrives at Manila.

15 May 1944:
KENWA MARU departs Manila for Halmahera Island in convoy H-26 also consisting of AKAGISAN, DAIJUN, ETAJIMA, SHIRAHAMA, TAIYU, TEMPEI and TOUN MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by minelayer YAEYAMA, minesweeper W-48 and subchaser CH-45 and CH-47.

22 May 1944:
Off Davao. At about 0100, LtCdr Brooks J. Harral's USS RAY (SS-271) makes a series of surface radar-assisted night attacks and torpedoes and sinks TEMPEI MARU at 05-16S, 127-42E.

23 May 1944:
At about 0500, RAY makes a radar-assisted surface attack and torpedoes DAIJUN MARU. She sinks at 02-42N, 128-08E.

Off Halmahera Island. At about 0500, LtCdr Edward F. Dissette’s (USNA ’34) USS CERO (SS-225) torpedoes KENWA MARU at 02-42N, 128-08E. The torpedo probably is a dud, but causes minor damage. Late that day, the remainder of convoy H-26 arrives at Kau Bay, Halmahera where KENWA MARU is inspected and undergoes repair.

5 June 1944:
Repairs are completed.

E 23 September 1944:
KENWA MARU departs Ormoc Bay, Luzon for Guimaras Island, Philippines in a convoy with army cargo ship CHUKA MARU.

24 September 1944:
Visayan Sea. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA '10) Task Force 38 bomb and sink KENWA MARU and CHUKA MARU in Guimaras Strait at 11-13N, 123-11E.

Author's Note:
Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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