(Sister of KENZAN MARU)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013-2016 Bob Hackett

E 1918:
Shooter´s Island, New York. Laid down at Standard Shipbuilding Corp. as a 4,705-ton cargo ship for the United States Government Shipping Board.

Launched and named SHOOTER’s ISLAND.

May 1919:

21 February 1921:
Arrives at Ellis Island, New York from Leghorn, Italy.

In cargo service between Cork, Ireland and New York.

Sold to Kokusai Kisen (International Steamship Co. Ltd.), K. K., Kobe. Renamed KENZAN MARU.

16 November 1941:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) and converted to a troop transport. Allotted Army No. 956.

18 December 1941: The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
At 1200, KENZAN MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Lingayen Gulf, Philippines in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Rear Admiral Nishimura Shoji's (39)(former CO of HARUNA) 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit with 27 other IJA transports carrying the 7th Tank Regiment and an infantry regiment of the 48th Infantry Division escorted by DesRon 2's light cruiser NAKA, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO, minesweepers W-9, W-10, W-11, W-12, W-17 and W-18 and subchasers CH-4, CH-5, CH-6, CH-10, CH-11, CH-12, CH-16 , CH-17 and CH-18.

The Japanese main invasion at Lingayen Gulf consists of three transport echelons. The first is composed of 27 transports from Takao under Rear Admiral Hara Kensaburo, the second of 28 transports under Rear Admiral Nishimura and the third of 21 transports from Keelung under Rear Admiral Hirose Sueto. This force of 76 transports carries the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's 80,000-man 14th Army.

24 December 1941:
KENZAN MARU and Rear Admiral Nishimura's 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit arrive at Caba, Lingayen Gulf between 0110 and 0430. At 0530, LtGen Dobashi's 2nd Lingayen Invasion Unit begins landing troops.

30 April 1942:
KENZAN MARU departs Saigon, Vichy French Indochina for Mako, Pescadores in a convoy also consisting of KEIZAN, KINJO (KINSEI), NITTAI and SHINYO MARUs escorted by minelayers KAMOME and TSUBAME.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

28 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako. At 1200, departs Mako for Ujina in convoy No. 216 also consisting of SAIHO, PENANG, MIYADONO, SUEZ, KENZAN, IIDA, HOKUSHIN and SANFUKU MARUs and FUKUEI MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer SANAE and minelayer TAKASHIMA.

31 May 1942:
NW of Amami-O-Shima. The convoy detects an enemy submarine. Minelayer TSUBAME arrives on the scene and she and TAKASHIMA drop depth charges. No submarine attacks develop.

3 June 1942:
Arrives at Ujina (Hiroshima).

19 July 1942: At 1900, KENZAN MARU departs Mako in convoy No. 236 also consisting of ARABIA, CHICAGO, GENOA, HIBARI, IKOMA, IKUSHIMA, ISUZU, KAISHO, KIYO, MADRAS. MANKO, MANSHU, NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN) and UMEKAWA,MARUs and BANEI MARU No. 7 and DAIGEN MARU No. 3 and tanker TAKASAGO MARU escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

7 December 1942:
KENZAN MARU departs Saeki in Military Movement No. 8’s convoy "F" also consisting of AKAGISAN, FUKOKU and SHIRAHA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 17 escorted by YURIJIMA and patrol boat PB-31.

E 9 December 1942:
The escorts are detached at 27N.

13 January 1943:
KENZAN MARU departs Palau in a convoy also consisting of HOEISAN, GENOA SHIRAH, and MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-20 and auxiliary subchasers SHOWA MARU and GANJITSU MARU No. 1.

14 January 1943:
At 1150, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Hiram Cassedy's (USNA ’31) USS SEARAVEN (SS-196 ) torpedoes and sinks SHIRAHA MARU carrying 137 passengers at 09-32N, 130-42E. 16 passengers, three gunners and eight crewmen are KIA. SEARAVEN also torpedoes and sinks auxiliary subchaser GANJITSU MARU No. 1

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

4 May 1943:
NUWAJIMA departs Saeki with minesweeper W-17 escorting convoy K-508 consisting of TAISHO, KENZAN, YURI, KINE and CHOSEN MARUs.

E 5 May 1943:
NUWAJIMA is detached at 29N.

25 May 1943:
KENZAN MARU departs Palau in unnumbered convoy also consisting of IJA transport PACIFIC and YAMAFUKU MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship escorted by subchaser CH-24.

1 June 1943:
At 0525, arrives at Rabaul.

20 July 1943:
At 1200, KENZAN MARU departs Palau in convoy FU-006 also consisting of ERIE, INARI, KAMO, KINKASAN and NISSHU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-46 and minesweeper W-17.

E 21 July 1943:
At 10N, PB-46 and W-17 are detached.

E 29 July 1943:
The escort of convoy FU-006 is joined by minelayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7 at 30N, 134E. At 1500, the convoy arrives at Fukajima.

13 September 1943:
KENZAN MARU arrives at Singapore. [1]

21 September 1943:
In port at Singapore.

4 October 1943:
At Batavia, Java (Jakarta, Indonesia) awaiting escort.

18 October 1943:
At 1000, departs Balikpapan for Palau in convoy No. 2609 also consisting of fleet oiler TSURUMI and KENZAN, DAI (ex-Dutch DUYMAER VAN TWIST) MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 (unconfirmed) and three other unidentified ships.

20 October 1943:
At 0800, DAI MARU breaks down and is assisted by auxiliary subchaser CHa-41.

21 October 1943:
At 1000, KENZAN and DAI MARUs and CHa-41 are detached for Menado.

4 November 1943:
At 1830, oiler SEIAN MARU departs Balikpapan in convoy 2610 also consisting of fleet oiler SATA and tankers SHOYU and KYOEI MARUs escorted by destroyer SANAE and auxiliary subchaser CHa-37.

6 November 1943: Auxiliary subchaser CHa-37 is detached.

7 November 1943:
KENZAN MARU joins the convoy.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

19 November 1943:
KENZAN departs Palau in convoy SO-904 also consisting of HOZUGAWA, RYUKO and TASMANIA MARUs escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38. RYUKO MARU is towing a midget supply submarine. During the voyage south the convoy is plagued by submarine attacks.

25 November 1943:
At 1025, LtCdr Oscar Hagberg's (USNA ’31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) torpedoes and sinks KENZAN MARU at 00-51N, 146-00E. Seven crewmen are KIA.

Author’s Notes:
[1] On 27 Sep ‘43, in Operation "Jaywick", the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Special Operations Executive organized a limpet mine attack on Japanese shipping at Singapore. The RAN used former Japanese fishing boat KOFUKU MARU, renamed KRAIT. On 2 Sep, a small group of Allied servicemen sailed from Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia through the Java Sea. On 18 Sep, three two-man canoes launched a night attack at Singapore. KENZAN MARU, although probably present, was not damaged in the attack. For more on this see Operation "Jaywick"

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

- Bob Hackett

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