ZATSUYOSEN!

(KIKUKAWA MARU prewar)

IJN KIKUKAWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2014 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 2


22 August 1936:
Kobe. Laid down by Kawasaki K.K. Zosensho shipyard for Kawasaki Kisen K.K. as a 3,833-ton cargo ship.

16 December 1936:
Launched and named KIKUKAWA MARU.

10 April 1937:
Completed and registered in Kobe. Her Net Registered Tonnage (NRT) is 2,257-tons. [1]

April 1937:
Placed on Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Osaka Eastern route.

August 1937:
Requisitioned by the IJA as an Army transport with allotted number #188.

28-29 August 1937:
Departs Moji carrying the 3rd company, 5th tank battalion, and joins a convoy that departed Ujina, Hiroshima Prefecture carrying other elements of the 5th tank battalion consisting of IJA transports NOSHIRO (carrying most of the 2nd company), ZENYO (carrying part of the second company), SHINKO (loaded with the ammunition train) and SOYO (carrying the HQ and 1st companies) MARUs.

2-3 September 1937:
The convoy arrives at Wusong (Wusung, entrance of Shanghai).

12 November 1937:
Arrives at Wusong (entrance of Shanghai), China.

E December 1937:
Released by the IJA to her owners.

1938:
Her NRT is changed to 2,260-tons.

21 January 1938:
Arrives at Seito (Tsingtao) and proceeds to anchorage.

22 January 1938:
Shifts to another anchorage position.

11 November 1938:
Arrives at Chusan (now Zhoushan, China) anchorage. Departs later.

13 November 1938:
Arrives at Chusan anchorage.

1939:
Her NRT is changed to 2,258-tons.

27 March 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a general transport (Ippan Choyosen).

E April 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

5 May-15 May 1941:
Operates in Chosen (now Korea) waters.

E May 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo. Departs later.

E June 1941:
Departs Koniya, Amami-Oshima.

6 June-12 June 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

E 14 June 1941:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa (now Kaohsiung, Taiwan). Departs later.

16 June-8 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

E July 1941:
Arrives at Yawata, Fukuoka Prefecture. Departs later.

E July 1941:
Departs Furue, Hyuga-Nada.

19 July-5 August 1941:
Operates in Chosen waters.

E August 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo. Departs later.

10-18 August 1941:
Operates in Chosen waters.

E August 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo. Departs later.

30 August-6 September 1941:
Operates in Chosen waters.

E September 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo. Departs later.

E September 1941:
Departs Kirun, Formosa (now Keelung, Taiwan).

28 September-18 October 1941:
Operates in French Indochina waters.

E October 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores. Departs later.

15 October 1941:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Sasebo Naval District with Sasebo as homeport under internal order No. 1256. [2]

E October 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

29 October-10 November 1941:
Operates in Chosen waters.

E November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

28 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

1 December 1941:
Arrives at Amoy (now Xiamen), China.

2 December 1941:
Departs Amoy.

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako. Departs later in the day for Takao.

7 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

8 December 1941:
Arrives at Amoy.

11 December 1941:
Departs Amoy.

13 December 1941:
Arrives at Haikow (Haikou), Hainan Island.

17 December 1941:
Departs Haikow.

18 December 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island.

22 December 1941:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.

23 December 1941:
Departs Yulin.

26 December 1941:
Arrives at Takao.

28 December 1941:
Departs Takao.

3 January 1942:
At 1320, arrives at Yawata.

5 January 1942:
At 0910, departs Yawata.

6 January 1942:
At 1400, arrives at Sasebo.

9 January 1942:
Assigned to personnel and supplies transport mission under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 7.

E January 1942:
Embarks crew from auxiliary gunboat RAMON (later HITORA) MARU (ex-Panamanian RAMONA).

14 January 1942:
At 1005, departs Sasebo, calls at Ainoura, Nagasaki Prefecture, and departs later that same day at 1515, for Shanghai.

15 January 1942:
Re-rated as a graduated auxiliary transport under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 14.

16 January 1942:
At 1610, arrives at Shanghai.

19 January 1942:
At 0840, departs Shanghai.

20 January 1942:
At 0900, arrives at Taizhow (Taizhou) archipelago, China. Supplies water to auxiliary gunboat SHINKO MARU No. 1 GO and departs later in the day at 1125, for Mako.

21 January 1942:
At 1855, arrives at Mako.

23 January 1942:
At 1010, departs Mako for Takao, arriving at 1835.

28 January 1942:
At 1215, departs Takao.

31 January 1942:
At 1705 arrives at Tomie, Nagasaki Prefecture.

1 February 1942:
At 0500, departs Tomie and at 1325, arrives at Sasebo.

3 February 1942:
At 1315, departs Sasebo.

4 February 1942:
At 1105, arrives at Moji.

7 February 1942:
At 1615, departs Moji.

8 February 1942:
At 1405, arrives at Sasebo.

9 February 1942:
Assigned to personnel and supplies transport mission under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 80.

13 February 1942:
At 1400, departs Sasebo.

16 February 1942:
At 1925, arrives at Mako.

18 February 1942:
At 1225, departs Mako.

21 February 1942:
At 1645, arrives at Haikow.

24 February 1942:
At 1235, departs Haikow.

25 February 1942:
At 1310, arrives at Samah.

5 March 1942:
At 1530, departs Samah.

7 March 1942:
At 1350, arrives at Hong Kong.

9 March 1942:
Assigned to personnel and supplies transport mission under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 138.

10 March 1942:
At 1300, departs Hong Kong.

14 March 1942:
At 1800, arrives at Sasebo.

15 March 1942:
At 1350, departs Sasebo.

16 March 1942:
At 0800, arrives at Mutsure-Jima. Departs at 0840 for Yawata, arriving at 1045.

20 March 1942:
Assigned to personnel and supplies transport mission under Sasebo Naval District instruction No. 152.

21 March 1942:
At 0705, departs Yawata.

22 March 1942:
At 1330, arrives at Sasebo.

26 March 1942:
At 1115, departs Sasebo.

27 March 1942:
At 0640, arrives at Kagoshima, Kyushu.

30 March 1942:
At 1630, departs Kagoshima.

5 April 1942:
At 2045, arrives at Samah.

10 April 1942:
Attachment confirmed to Sasebo Naval District.

15 April 1942:
At 0945, departs Samah for Yulin, arriving at 1330.

19 April 1942:
At 1035, departs Yulin.

25 April 1942:
At 1300, arrives at Sasebo.

26 April 1942:
At 1230, departs Sasebo.

27 April 1942:
At 1510, arrives at Yawata.

29 April 1942:
At 1515, departs Yawata.

2 May 1942:
At 0830, arrives at Seito (Tsingtao).

3 May 1942:
At 0720, departs Seito.

7 May 1942:
At 0950, arrives at Osaka.

10 May 1942:
At 0500, departs Osaka for Kobe, arriving at 1015.

15 May 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with one Type 92 7.7mm MG and five Type 38 Arisaka rifles under Navy secret instruction No. 5990.

4 June 1942:
At 0940, departs Kobe.

6 June 1942:
At 0730, arrives at Yokohama.

11 June 1942:
At 0655, departs Yokohama in an unnumbered northbound convoy also consisting of IJA transports KATSURAGISAN, TAKUSAN, FUKOKU, OTORI (ex-Panamanian BOYACA), KOWA and SEIKAI MARUs and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) YUKIKAWA MARU escorted by hydrographic survey ship KOMAHASHI. Later that day, KOMAHASHI is detached and returns to Yokosuka.

12 June 1942:
Scheduled to be fitted with one 8cm/40 deck gun under Navy secret instruction No. 7246.

13 June 1942:
At 1835, arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido.

14 June 1942:
At 0100, departs Hakodate.

15 June 1942:
At 0645, arrives at Otaru, Hokkaido.

16 June 1942:
At 0710, departs Otaru.

17 June 1942:
At 0640, arrives at Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

25 June 1942:
At 1340, departs Wakkanai.

26 June 1942:
At 0740, arrives at Chinnai, Karafuto (now Krasnogorsk, Sakhalin).

29 June 1942:
At 1320, departs Chinnai.

30 June 1942:
At 1840, arrives at Otaru.

1 July 1942:
At 1340, departs Otaru.

4 July 1942:
At 1450, arrives at Tokyo.

7 July 1942:
At 0715, departs for Yokohama, arriving at 0900.

9 July 1942:
At 0905, departs Yokosuka, arriving at 1135. That same day, assigned to Aleutian convoy defense operations and embarks 250 men of a quartering party, and their related equipment and guns. Departs later in the day at 1625, for Kushiro, Hokkaido escorted by destroyer KAGERO.

12 July 1942:
At 0610, arrives at Kushiro.

13 July 1942:
At 1210, departs Kushiro still escorted by destroyer KAGERO.

19 July 1942:
At 1315, arrives at Kiska, Aleutians; disembarks troops and begins unloading operations.

31 July 1942:
Instructed by the 5th Guards Unit’s commander to tow the damaged auxiliary transport KANO MARU. At 1545, KIKUKAWA MARU comes nearby KANO MARU. At 1645, towing preparation is completed and a towline connected. At 1600, towing begins with minelayer ISHIZAKI providing escort. At 1735, most of KANO MARU’s remaining personnel board ISHIZAKI. At 1900, the towing cable breaks. Later, due to dense fog KIKUKAWA MARU’s Captain requests permission to suspend towing. The damaged KANO MARU drifts the entire night on the Bering Sea.

1 August 1942:
At 1100, towing preparation is made again with ISHIZAKI crew’s assistance. At 1206, KIKUKAWA MARU is lashed to KANO MARU’s starboard side to provide buoyancy and support. At 1430, towing is resumed.

2 August 1942:
At 0643, KIKUKAWA MARU towing KANO MARU, finally arrive in Kiska harbor.

6 August 1942:
At 0040, departs Kiska.

8 August 1942:
Attacked by an unidentified submarine and hit by a dud torpedo at 51-23N, 158-48E. No damage is sustained. [3]

9 August 1942:
At 0520, arrives at Kataoka Wan (Bay), Shimushu-To (now Zaliv Kozyrevskogo, Ostrov Shumushu), Kuriles.

11 August 1942:
At 1150, departs for Kakumabetsu Wan (now Bukhta Shelikhova), Paramushiro, Kuriles, arriving at 1530.

12 August 1942:
At 1300, departs for Kashiwabara (now Severo-Kurilsk), Paramushiro, Kuriles, arriving at 1923.

14 August 1942:
At 1400, departs Kashiwabara.

17 August 1942:
At 0355, arrives at Kataoka Wan (Bay), Shimushu-To (now Zaliv Kozyrevskogo, Ostrov Shumushu), Kuriles. Disembarks personnel of the IJA 32nd Independent Field Anti-aircraft Battery and unloads their equipment.

18 August 1942:
Departs Kataoka Wan.

24 August 1942:
At 2215, arrives at Otaru.

26 August 1942:
At 1235, departs Otaru.

28 August 1942:
At 1145, arrives at Asase, Karafuto.

1 September 1942:
At 1000, departs Asase.

4 September 1942:
At 0840, arrives at Hakodate.

5 September 1942:
At 0500, departs Hakodate.

7 September 1942:
At 1355, arrives at Yokohama.

E 8-28 September 1942:
Enters dock for maintenance and repairs.

29 September 1942:
Undocked. At 0830, departs for Yokosuka, arriving at 1025.

3 October 1942:
At 1210, departs Yokosuka.

11 October 1942:
At 1330, arrives at Truk, Central Carolines.

14 October 1942:
At 0700, departs Truk escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

16 October 1942:
CHOUN MARU is detached.

19 October 1942:
At 0940, arrives at Peleliu, Palaus.

22 October 1942:
At 1110, departs for Palau, Eastern Carolines, arriving at 1400.

23 October 1942:
At 1200, departs Palau with IJA transport TAIFUKU MARU and tanker OGURA MARU No. 3 escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE.

29 October 1942:
At 1330, arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

30 October-12 November 1942:
Unloads ammunition.

16 November 1942:
Loads ammunition.

17 November 1942:
Transfers ammunition to a torpedo-boat.

18-20 November 1942:
Loads ammunition.

21-23 November 1942:
Transfers ammunition to a destroyer and to a torpedo-boat.

27-28 November 1942:
Unloads ammunition.

29 November 1942:
Loads coal and replenishes fuel from auxiliary transport HOKUSHO MARU.

30 November 1942:
At 1600, departs Rabaul.

7 December 1942:
At 0820, arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

8 December 1942:
At 1000, departs Saipan.

15 December 1942:
At 0830, arrives at Yokosuka.

18 December 1942:
At 0800, departs for Shibaura, Tokyo, arriving at 1040.

22 December 1942:
At 0855, departs Shibaura with auxiliary transport (ex auxiliary seaplane-tender) KIYOKAWA MARU.

2 January 1943:
At 1840, arrives at Rabaul.

25 January 1943:
At 1400, departs Rabaul.

31 January 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Saipan.

2 February 1943:
At 0820, departs Saipan.

9 February 1943:
At 1735, arrives at Yokosuka.

12 February 1943:
At 1400, departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 7212 also consisting of civilian passenger/cargo (C-APK) ship GENBU MARU, IJA transport KISHUN MARU and auxiliary transport SEIZAN MARU No. 2 escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI.

13 February 1943:
At 1620, arrives at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

16 February 1943:
At 0800, departs Yokkaichi.

17 February 1943:
At 0920, arrives at Yokosuka.

19 February 1943:
At 0930, departs Yokosuka.

28 February 1943:
At 1350, arrives at Truk.

4 March 1943:
At 0730, departs Truk for Rabaul in an unnumbered convoy believed also consisting of IJA transport KENZUI MARU escorted by minesweeper W-15.

8 March 1943:
At 0730, arrives at Rabaul.

1 April 1943:
At 1300, departs Rabaul in a convoy also consisting of IJA transports ADEN MARU and KOSHU MARU No. 2, IJN requisitioned netlayer (B-AN) KYOSEI MARU and IJN requisitioned cargo (B-AK) ship HEIWA MARU escorted by minesweeper W-22.

3 April 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Shortlands, Solomons and departs later in the day for Buin, Bougainville. Unloads some damaged equipment.

5 April 1943:
Unloads some damaged equipment.

8 April 1943:
At 1500, departs Buin.

10 April 1943:
At 0610, arrives at Rabaul.

13 April 1943:
Sustains an air raid without damage.

15 April 1943:
Sustains another air raid without damage.

23 April 1943:
At 0950, departs Rabaul for Truk in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary transport AMAGISAN MARU and auxiliary storeship TENYO (later TENYO MARU No. 2 GO) MARU with unknown escort.

27 April 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Truk.

2 May 1943:
At 1400, departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4502 also consisting of auxiliary transport AMAGISAN MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

10 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

11 May 1943:
Departs for Shibaura, arriving at 1330.

12 May 1943:
At 0800, departs for Yokosuka, arriving at 1200.

19 May 1943:
At 0430, departs Yokosuka.

20 May 1943:
At 1840, arrives at Kobe.

E 20 May-19 June 1943:
Docks at shipyard for hull and engine repairs.

20 June 1943:
Undocked. At 0820, departs Kobe.

21 June 1943:
At 0545, arrives at Moji.

22 June 1943:
At 0815, departs Moji.

23 June 1943:
At 0850, arrives at Osaka.

24 June 1943:
At 1435, departs for Kobe, arriving at 1630.

25 June 1943:
At 1010, departs Kobe.

27 June 1943:
At 1435, arrives at Tokyo.

30 June 1943:
At 1205, departs for Yokosuka, arriving at 1545.

2 July 1943:
At 0905, departs Yokosuka in convoy with IJA transport MOMOKAWA MARU and possibly others with unknown escort.

12 July 1943:
At 1210, arrives at Truk.

15 July 1943:
At 0820, departs Truk in convoy No. 5152 also consisting of KENAN MARU escorted by submarine chaser CH-33.

20 July 1943:
At 1245, arrives at Kwajalein, Marshalls.

29 July 1943:
At 1200, departs Kwajalein.

1 August 1943:
Arrives at Makin, Gilberts.

9 August 1943:
Departs Makin.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Emiedj, Jaluit Atoll, Marshalls.

18 August 1943:
Departs Emiedj.

19 August 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

20 August 1943:
Departs Kwajalein for Truk in convoy No. 6202 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo (B-AK) ship BOKUYO (MUTSUYO) MARU escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

24 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

2 September 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4902 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship BOKUYO (MUTSUYO) MARU, auxiliary storeship HARUNA MARU, IJA transports KAIKO and TAIAN MARUs and auxiliary transport NANKAI MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer IKAZUCHI and kaibokan MUTSURE.

N of Truk. At 1356, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Merrill K. Clementson’s (USNA ’33) USS SNAPPER (SS-185) is making an approach on the convoy when MUTSURE detects the submarine on her sonar. MUTSURE increases speed to 16 knots and charges the submarine. At 1401, at 900 yards LtCdr Clementson fires three torpedoes “down the throat” at MUTSURE. One hits and blows the bow off the kaibokan and another hits the small escort in the engine room. At 1413, MUTSURE capsizes to port and sinks at 08-40N, 151-31E. As she sinks, her pre-set depth-charges explode killing some survivors in the water. IKAZUCHI foregoes a counter-attack and rescues other survivors including MUTSURE's CO, LtCdr Tomidokoro Kotaro, but 46 crewmen are KIA. USS SNAPPER escapes.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3921 also consisting of auxiliary repair ship HAKKAI MARU, auxiliary collier/oiler MIKAGE MARU No. 18, auxiliary transports NANKAI MARU No. 2 and HIYOSHI MARU, auxiliary storeship HARUNA MARU and IJA transport TAIAN MARU escorted by kaibokan OKI and FUKUE. The convoy calls at Tateyama later in the day.

22 September 1943:
The convoy departs Tateyama.

E September 1943:
At some point, NANKAI MARU No. 2 probably encounters some mechanical trouble and returns back to Japan.

27 September 1943:
Requisitioned (B-AK) YAMAKUNI MARU departs Saipan to join the convoy escorted by auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3.

28 September 1943:
At 0400, YAMAKUNI MARU and escorts join the convoy. At 0715, 18 km south-west of Anatahan Island TAIAN MARU is detached for Saipan escorted by auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 10 and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No. 3.

1 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

7 October 1943:
Eten Island, Truk Lagoon. KIKUKAWA MARU catches fire while at anchor in the 4th Fleet Anchorage. Salvage and repair tug OJIMA is dispatched to assist and ties up alongside. When the fire reaches KIKUKAWA MARU’s aft holds' cargo of fuel, a huge explosion occurs that sinks both ships. On KIKUKAWA MARU, five crewmen and 39 passengers are KIA. OJIMA is blown apart in two pieces and sinks with a great loss of life. She comes to rest on her starboard side in 120 feet of water.

1 December 1943:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 2564.

Postwar:
KIKUKAWA MARU’s wreck is first discovered in 1976 and again in 1980. It is rarely dived. The section forward of the bridge rests on an underwater hill. There are oil drums, a compressor and other equipment in the forward hold. Aircraft parts, including aircraft bodies, propellers, engines and wheels have spilled over onto the ocean floor. There is also a truck in the pile of debris.


Authors Notes:
[1] NRT is a ship's cargo volume capacity expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). It is calculated by reducing non-revenue-earning spaces i.e. spaces not available for carrying cargo, for example engine rooms, fuel tanks and crew quarters, from the ship's gross register tonnage (GRT). Net register tonnage (NRT) is not a measure of the weight of the ship or its cargo, and should not be confused with terms such as deadweight tonnage or displacement.

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

[3] There is no record of this attack in Allied files.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks goes also to John Whitman of Virginia for providing info on Aug '37 troops movements in China.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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