(KIMIKAWA MARU, Ominato, Dec '42- colorized by Irotooko Jr)

IJN Seaplane Tender KIMIKAWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Allan Alsleben.
Revision 8

2 November 1936:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Dockyard Co.

11 March 1937:
Launched and named KIMIKAWA MARU.

15 July 1937:
Kobe. Completed by Kawasaki as a cargo/refrigerator ship for the Kawasaki Kisen K. K. line.

July 1937:
Departs Kobe on her first cruise to New York. Later that year, completes four more cruises to New York.

KIMIKAWA MARU completes three cruises to New York.

Completes three more cruises to New York.

Completes three cruises to New York.

Completes the last cruise from Kobe to New York. Returns to Kure.

6 July 1941:
KIMIKAWA MARU is requisitioned by the IJN. Begins begins conversion to a seaplane tender at Kure Navy Yard.

25 July 1941:
The Fifth Fleet is reformed for the North Pacific under Vice Admiral Hosogaya Boshiro (former CO of MUTSU). after being disbanded in 1939.

August 1941:
Kure. Completes conversion and is registered (commissioned) in the IJN at the Sasebo Naval District. Her authorized aircraft allotment is six Type 0 Aichi E13A1 “Jake” three-seat reconnaissance floatplanes with two in reserve. Captain (Retired) Aoki Setsuji (38) is appointed Commanding Officer of KIMIKAWA MARU. She is assigned to the Third Fleet, 2nd Base Unit. Departs Kure.

1 September 1941:
KIMIKAWA MARU is assigned to the Fifth Fleet's CruDiv 21 with light cruisers TAMA and KISO. Her aircrafts' tail code is "X-xx."

5 September 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo, then proceeds to Maizuru and Saeki. Undergoes work-up and training.

1 October 1941:
Cdr Ushuku Shuichi is appointed CO.

15 October 1941:
Cdr Ushuku is promoted Captain.

November 1941:
Bonin Islands. Patrols off Chichi Jima.

11 November 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Drydocked.

30 November 1941:
Undocked. Departs Yokosuka for Ominato, Honshu.

2 December 1941:
Arrives at Ominato. Painted with gray/white splotch camouflage for Northern operations.

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Akkeshi, Hokkaido.

4 December 1941:
Departs Akkeshi.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at Matsuwa Island, Kuriles.

7 December 1941:
Departs Matsuwa Island for Paramushiro.

8 December 1941: Operation “Z” - The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Departs Paramushiro for Ominato, en route patrols off Akkeshi and the Kurile Islands.

12 December 1941:
Departs Ominato.

18 December 1941:
Arrives at Ominato.

24 December 1941:
Departs Ominato.

1 January 1942:
KIMIKAWA MARU is reassigned directly to the Fifth Fleet operating out of Ominato.

3 January 1942:
Departs Akkeshi Bay.

4 January 1942:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

6 January 1942:
Departs Muroran.

7 January 1942:
Arrives at Hachinohe.

8 January 1942:
Conducts anti-submarine patrols and Soviet shipping surveillance along the Kurile Islands chain to Kamchatka on the "H" scout line.

17 January 1942:
Terminates anti-submarine patrol and departs the "H" scout line

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi Bay.

21 January 1942:
Departs Akkeshi for Paramushiro.

27 January 1942:
Departs Paramushiro.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi Bay..

39 January 1942:
Departs Akkeshi Bay..

1 February 1942:
Assigned to the Northern Patrol Unit.

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

17 February 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

22 February 1942:
Departs Ominato.

23 February 1942:
Arrives at Hanamaki.

24 February 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi Bay..

26-27 February 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro. KIMIKAWA MARU’s E13A1"Jake" floatplanes conduct several photo-reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union’s Ust-Bolsheretsk harbor, Kamchatka Peninsula.

18 March 1942:
Returns to Ominato.

20 March 1942:
Departs Ominato for Akkeshi Bay.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi Bay.

11 April 1942:
Departs Akkeshi Bayfor Maizuru.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

1 May 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

3 May 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi Bay.

6 May 1942:
Departs Akkeshi Bay with light cruiser KISO for the Kiska and Adak areas of the Aleutians.

11 May 1942:
150 n. miles S of Kiska. KIMIKAWA MARU, accompanied by KISO, launches floatplanes for a photo-reconnaissance of Adak and Kiska. The Adak mission is carried out between 1225–1330 and is successful, but Kiska is obscured by weather.

18 May 1942:
Returns to Ominato.

20 May 1942:
Secret OpOrd No. 1 is published which establishes the Northern Force, Seaplane Force consisting of KIMIKAWA MARU and destroyer SHIOKAZE.

26 May 1942: Operation “MI” - The Battle of Midway:
Departs Ominato with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's Second Strike Force, Carrier Strike Force’s carriers RYUJO and JUNYO, cruisers MAYA, TAKAO and destroyers AKEBONO, USHIO, SAZANAMI and SHIOKAZE. Arrives at Mutsu Bay.

29 May 1942: Operation "AL" - The Seizure of Attu and Kiska:
KIMIKAWA MARU departs Mutsu Bay in Vice Admiral Hosogaya's Northern Force with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (former CO of ISE) Adak-Attu Invasion Force's DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA, DesDiv 21's HATSUHARU, HATSUSHIMO, WAKABA and NENOHI, transport KINUGASA MARU and minelayer MAGANE MARU.

Admiral Omori’s Adak-Attu Invasion Force accompanies Captain (later Rear Admiral) OnoTakeji's Kiska Invasion Force's CruDiv 21’s TAMA and KISO, destroyers HIBIKI, AKATSUKI and HOKAZE, auxiliary cruiser ASAKA MARU and transports HAKUSAN MARU and KUMAKAWA MARU.

CruDiv 21 is accompanied by the Main Body's CruDiv 5's NACHI, destroyers INAZUMA and IKAZUCHI, oilers FUJISAN and NISSAN MARUs, three cargo ships and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of NAGATO) Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 4's JUNYO and RYUJO, CruDiv 4/2's TAKAO and MAYA, DesDiv 3's SHIOKAZE and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, SAZANAMI and USHIO.

1 June 1942:
The Invasion Force arrives at Paramushiro. Departs the same day escorted by SHIOKAZE.

Enroute to the Aleutians, KIMIKAWA MARU exchanges recognition signals with Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kakuda Kakuji’s Second Task Force’s carriers JUNYO, ZUIHO and RYUJO, BatDiv 3/1’s KONGO and HIEI, cruisers TAKAO and MAYA and destroyers USHIO, OBORO and AKEBONO.

7 June 1942:
Vice Admiral Hosogaya's Fifth Fleet captures Attu and Kiska.

8 June 1942:
KIMIKAWA MARU steams into Kiska Harbor. She discharges her eight E13A1 reconnaissance planes, their fuel and other materials.

From this date until 17 June, the Northern seaplane force in concert with the Kiska base force, using all available aircraft carries out continuous searches and attacks on the Americans in the island chain W of Atka.

9 June 1942:
KAMIKAWA MARU and destroyer HOKAZE are detached to join the Northern seaplane force and continue operations under the command of the CO of KAMIKAWA MARU.

13 June 1942:
The CO, Northern Force orders KIMIKAWA MARU to reconnoiter and attack suspected American flying boat bases at Kanaga, Adak and Atka.

At 1445, KIMIKAWA MARA's Air Unit reports 11 flying boats and one gunboat at Nanzan Bay. At 1545, the CO, Northern Force orders a joint attack using all available aircraft of the seaplane force and the base force. At 1630, KIMIKAWA MARU advises the CO, Northern Force, that if the weather does not permit the attack, the Americans may withdraw to Dutch Harbor, and recommends that submarines be sent immediately to attack Nanzan Bay.

15 June 1942:
Kiska. KIMIKAWA MARU, light cruiser KISO, destroyers and auxiliaries are joined by her sister tender KAMIKAWA MARU. Also present at Kiska is a detachment of the Toko Air Group with six Type 97 Kawanishi H6K "Mavis"flying boats under Cdr (later Captain) Ito Sukemitsu.

KAMIKAWA MARU off loads her fourteen Type 0 Mitsubishi F1M2 “Petes” and her four Type 95 Kawanishi E8N2 “Daves” to the beach where a seaplane base has been set up.

18 June 1942:
Frequent air raids on Kiska by the USAAF 11th Air Force cause KIMIKAWA MARU to take refuge and establish her base at Agattu Island, Aleutians. She then makes frequent night supply and refueling runs to Kiska and back.

June 1942:
Departs the Aleutians with destroyer SHIOKAZE for Ominato.

26 June 1942:
Agattu Island. Aircraft from KIMIKAWA MARU sight an American submarine in the area.

27 June 1942:
Arrives at Ominato. Refuels and replenishes, then departs and patrols with destroyer HOKAZE and the fleet SW of the Aleutians.

3 July 1942:
Agattu Island, Aleutians. A flight of seven USAAF B-24 "Liberators" bombs the anchorage harboring KIMIKAWA and KAMIKAWA MARUs, oiler FUJISAN MARU and six destroyers. A near-miss by a bomb kills several crewmen aboard KIMIKAWA MARU and causes minor damage to the ship.

7 July 1942:
Departs Agattu for Ominato, then to Yokosuka.

14 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka; then transfers to Yokohama for repair work.

4 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka carrying six Type O Nakajima A6M2-N “Rufe” fighter seaplanes for Kiska with destroyer HOKAZE.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

13 August 1942:
Arrives at Kiska.

14 August 1942:
Departs Kiska.

16 August 1942:
Departs Paramushiro for Yokosuka

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Captain-Retired Yashima Gentoku (39) is appointed CO.

24 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

31 August 1942:
Arrives at Kiska.

3 September 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

9 September 1942:
Departs Ominato for Yokosuka.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

12 September 1942:
Begins loading six A6M2-N fighter seaplanes and two E13A1 Jakes and construction materials for winter quarters.

17 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 September 1942:
Arrives at Ominato. Loads soldiers and departs the same day escorted by destroyer HOKAZE.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Kiska. Offloads her Rufes and Jakes.

26 September 1942:
Departs Kiska for Ominato with HOKAZE.

2 October 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

14 October 1942:
Departs Ominato for Yokosuka with destroyer USUGUMO.

15 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Begins loading 51st Base Force personnel and materiels for transport.

21 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Kiska carrying six A6M2-N and three E13A1 escorted by destroyer USUGUMO.

November 1942:
The code for KIMIKAWA MARU's aircraft is changed to "M-xx."

2 November 1942:
Arrives at Kiska. Offloads her Rufes and Jakes, then moves to Attu the same day.

13 November 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro with USUGUMO. Conducts anti-submarine patrols along the Kurile Islands chain.

24 November 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

8 December 1942:
Departs Ominato.

9 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Embarks five float fighters and eight reconnaisance seaplanes; probably Rufes and Jakes.

16 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 December 1942:
From the open sea at 52-50N, 166E, KIMIKAWA MARU launches four reconnaisance seaplanes bound for Kiska.

20 December 1942:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay, Shimushu Island.

23 December 1942:
Departs Kataoka Bay.

25 December 1942:
Arrives at Kiska with destroyer HATSUSHIMO. Debarks seven A6M2-Ns and departs same day.*

1 January 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

13 January 1943:
Departs Ominato. Arrives at Yokosuka that same day. Loads eight A6M2-Ns and one E13A1 for transport. Her cargo also includes four Daihatsu and two smaller barges.

19 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka with Convoy No. 10.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

31 January 1943:
Arrives at Attu. Offloads her Rufes.[1]

1 February 1943:
Arrives at Kiska with USUGUMO. Departs the same day. Offloads her Jake.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

9 February 1943:
Departs Ominato.

12 February 1943:
N Pacific. At 52-55N, 168E, KIMIKAWA MARU launches seven float fighters and five reconnaisance seaplanes from the open sea bound for Kiska.

16 February 1943:
KIMIKAWA MARU is refueled by oiler TEIYO MARU.

21 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

27 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy I-21. KIMIKAWA MARU carries six float fighters and three reconnaisance seaplanes.

7 March 1943:
Departs Paramushiro in fleet convoy 21 consisting of AWATA, KIMIKAWA and KASADO MARUs escorted by light cruisers TAMA and KISO. Heavy cruisers NACHI and MAYA provide distant cover.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Kiska at 1800. Disembarks 185 military personnel. Begins unloading ammunition and airfield materials, but at 2100 the convoy is forced to depart because of the threat of air raids. The ships depart with much cargo on board.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Attu. Offloads six A6M2-N Rufes. Departs same day.[1]

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Undergoes repairs. Camouflage painting is deleted.

1 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

4 May 1943:
Sea of Okhotsk. Near Etorofu Island, Kuriles. At 0600, LtCdr Dudley Morton’s USS WAHOO (SS-238) attacks KIMIKAWA MARU. Morton fires three unreliable Mark-14 steam torpedoes from 1,350 yards. KIMIKAWA MARU is hit amidships by the first torpedo. The second torpedo is a dud and the third misses. The extent of damage is unknown, but subsequent events indicate the first torpedo also was a dud.

5 May 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay.

11 May 1943: American Operation "LANDCRAB" - The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell's (former CO of THATCHER (DD-162) Task Force 51, lands elements of the Army's 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions under MajGen Eugene M. Landrum at Holtz Bay and Massacre Bay who later capture the island.

That same day, KIMIKAWA MARU departs Paramushiro in Vice Admiral Kawase Shiro's Attu Task Force Escorted by cruisers MAYA and KISO, DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO and WAKABA. She is transporting eight F1M2 Petes and two A6M2-N Rufes of the No. 452 Naval Air Group.

The plan calls for KIMIKAWA MARU to launch its floatplanes from a point 250 miles SW of Attu to fly to Kiska, but after the American landings on Attu, she and her escorts are ordered to return to Paramushiro.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay, Shimushu Island.

18 May 1943:
Departs Kataoka Bay. Arrives Kashiwabara Bay the same day.

25 May 1943:
Departs Kashiwabara Bay.

26 May 1943:
Arrives at Ominato. Resumes patrols along the Kurile Islands chain.

31 May 1943:
Departs Ominato.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay with six Type 95 Kawanishi E8N2 Daves.

14 June 1943:
Departs on patrol.

17 June 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

20 June 1943:
Departs Ominato.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay.

30 June 1943:
Departs Kataoka Bay.

3 July 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

7 July 1943:
Departs Ominato.

10 July 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay.

17 July 1943:

19 July 1943:
Departs Kataoka Bay.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

28 July 1943:
Departs Ominato ferrying aircraft.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay.

10 August 1943:
Departs Kataoka Bay on patrol.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo. Drydocked. Repairs. Her No. 1 search light is removed. A Type 21 air-search radar is fitted and several 13.2-mm AA twin machine guns are added.

20 August 1943:
Captain (Retired) Kohashi Yoshiaki (37) is appointed CO.

25 September 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

27 September 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

1 October 1943:
KIMIKAWA MARU is re-rated a converted transport (Miscellaneous). Assigned to the Sasebo Naval District. Captain (Retired) Kohashi is reassigned to an unknown post.

Departs Ominato and arrives at Otaru. Then departs on a fishing boat protection patrol.

4 October 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

10 October 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

17 October 1943:
Departs Ominato. Arrives at Hakodate that same day.

21 October 1943:
Departs Hakodate.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

7 November 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

10 November 1943:
Departs Musashi Wan for Ominato with destroyer KASUMI as escort .

13 November 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 November 1943:
Departs Ominato.

18 November 1943:
Arrives at the Sasebo Navy Yard. Begins equipment modifications. Her 76-mm AA guns are replaced with 120-mm AA guns and her third mast is restored

20 November 1943:
Reassigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

22 November 1943:
Completes equipment modifications. KIMIKAWA MARU's third mast is restored. The elevation of her 80-mm and 120-mm guns is increased.

23 December 1943:
Departs Sasebo for Moji, carrying 1,000 tons of cement, escorted by destroyer HIBIKI and minesweeper W-13.

26 December 1943:
Arrives at Yura.

27 December 1943:
Departs Yura. About noon that day, KIMIKAWA MARU is off Shionomisaki, Honshu. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William B. Sieglaff’s USS TAUTOG (SS-199) makes a submerged attack on her at 33-25N, 135-33E. Sieglaff claims two hits of three torpedoes fired. KIMIKAWA MARU's No. 6 hold floods, and her rudder steering gear and a propeller shaft are damaged. She is towed to Port Fukuro, off Kushimoto.

At 1540, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the CO of KIMIKAWA MARU that reads: “While proceeding eastward escorted by HIBIKI and No. 13 Minesweeper in position (near 255) degrees 25 miles from Kii Channel observed 7 torpedoes tracks [sic] crossing. Six passed clear but one hit in #6 hold and destroyed steering machinery and flooded #5, #6 and #7. -----.” [2] 3 January 1944:
Towed to Kobe for temporary repairs at Kawasaki Heavy Industies, Ltd.

At 0700, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the CO that reads: “Towing completed. Arrived Kobe. Estimators started figuring our extent and duration of repairs necessary.” 3 February 1944:
Transfers to Osaka. Undergoes permanent repairs at Hitachi Zosen's shipyard.

24 June 1944:
Osaka. Completes repairs, then returns to service. Begins loading 1,100 military personnel and materiel for transport.

13 July 1944:
At 1600, KIMIKAWA MARU departs Moji for Singapore via Manila in convoy HI-69 under Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu (former ComSubRon 1) of the Eighth Escort Convoy. The 16-ship convoy consists of KOEI, AKI, ASAMA, SAIGON, HAKKO MARU, OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN, KUROSHIO, HARIMA, SERIA, KACHIDOKI (ex-PRESIDENT HARRISON), MANKO and TENEI MARUs with escort carriers TAIYO and KAIYO loaded with aircraft for Luzon. The escort is provided by light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan CHIBURI, SADO and CD-7 and CD-17. SHINYO conducts air patrols.

18 July 1944:
Near Takao, Formosa. About 0600, LtCdr John J. Flachsenhar's USS ROCK (SS-274) fires four torpedoes at HARIMA MARU, but misses. Cdr Alan Banister's USS SAWFISH (USS 276) then fires nine torpedoes at the convoy. HARIMA MARU is hit by a single torpedo in the bow causing her to settle, but she remains able to steam. At 1055, LtCdr Roger M. Keithy's USS TILEFISH (SS-307) torpedoes and heavily damages the kaibokan CD-17.

The convoy continues to Manila without stopping at Takao as originally planned (less MANKO MARU that was detached the day before and damaged HARIMA MARU and CD-17 that put into Takao).

20 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila at 2100. TAIYO and KAIYO begin unloading aircraft.

25 July 1944:
At 0530, the Singapore-bound section of the HI-69 departs Manila escorted by the same escorts plus kaibokan CD -9 and CD-13. SHINYO continues to escort the convoy section, but TAIYO and KAIYO remain behind and later depart separately for Formosa.

31 July 1944:
At 1745, arrives at Singapore.

6 August 1944:
Departs Singapore for Surabaya, Java transporting military personnel.

10 August 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo. Loads heavy oil and aircraft fuel.

14 August 1944:
At 1000, steams in convoy from Surabaya with IKUTAGAWA MARU (ex Italian CALITEA II) and German supply ship BOGOTA (used to supply German submarines) to Makassar escorted by minesweeper No. 11. Later that day, KIMIKAWA MARU and BOGOTA are detached from IKUTAGAWA MARU and sail independently.

16 August 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

28 August 1944:
Arrives at Bintan Island, Java; loads 6,000-tons of bauxite ore.

30 August 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

6 September 1944:
KIMIKAWA MARU departs Singapore bound for Japan in convoy HI-72, but suffers a machinery breakdown and returns to Singapore for repairs.

10 September 1944:
KIMIKAWA MARU departs Singapore bound for Japan in convoy HI-74, but again suffers a machinery breakdown and returns to Singapore for repairs.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, the KIMIKAWA MARU departs Singapore for Moji in convoy HI-76. The 9-ship convoy includes cargo ship TEIHOKU MARU, tankers NICHINAN, RYOEI, NICHIEI FUJISAN, KUROSHIO, TARAKAN and TOHO MARUs. The escort is provided by SHINYO and kaibokans KANJU, MANJU, MIYAKE, KURAHASHI, CD-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

8 October 1944:
South China Sea. At 0100, LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s USS BECUNA (SS-319) attacks KIMIKAWA MARU at 14-12N, 115-53E. Sturr fires four torpedoes at her and claims two hits. KIMIKAWA MARU is hit on the port side in hold No. 4 and flooding occurs in this hold and hold No. 5, but the ship remains navigable. KIMIKAWA MARU is detached from the convoy and heads for Manila escorted by HIYODORI and CD-28.

9 October 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Undergoes temporary repairs.

18-19 October 1944:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (former CO of RANGER (CV-4) Task Group 38.1 and Rear Admiral Ralph E. Davison's TG 38.4's aircraft attack airfields near Manila and shipping in the harbor, sinking many ships.

20 October 1944:
KIMIKAWA MARU is still not fully repaired, but the carrier strikes on Manila convince the IJN authorities to send the ship to the relative safety of Takao, Formosa. KIMIKAWA MARU is assigned to slow convoy MATA-30 with an officially designated speed of 8 knots.

At 2340, KIMIKAWA MARU departs Manila for Takao with MATA-30. The convoy includes KOKURYU, KIKUSUI , FUYUKAWA, TENSHIN, SHIGISAN, DAITEN, EIKO, ARISAN and RYOFU MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyers HARUKAZE, TAKE and KURETAKE, minelayer KURASAKI and subchaser CH-20.

23 October 1944:
South China Sea, WNW of Cape Bojeador, Luzon, Philippines. About 1730 (JST), Cdr Banister’s SAWFISH attacks the last ship in the convoy - KIMIKAWA MARU. She is hit portside aft in hold No.7. by four of five torpedoes fired. Loaded with bauxite, fuel oil, aviation gasoline and other cargo, KIMIKAWA MARU sinks in 2.5 minutes at 18-58N, 118-46E. 24 sailors and 81 passengers go down with her.

24 October 1944:
The convoy is attacked by two American wolf packs. The submarines’ attacks scatter the convoy. Each Maru is attacked repeatedly, from both sides. During the wolfpacks’ attacks on the convoy, LtCdr George H. Brown’s SNOOK (SS-279) sinks ARISAN MARU. Sadly, she is carrying 1,781 American POWs who are lost along with 204 members of the ships’ crew and 125 other Japanese passengers. Only nine POWs survive.

Cdr Edward N. Blakely’s USS SHARK (SS-314) is lost during these attacks; probably by depth charges in one of two attacks made by HARUKAZE.

10 December 1944:
Removed from Navy List.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] Details of Rufe deliveries in the Aleutians from Allied Intelligence Records (Arrival date/ Serial No.):
25 Dec '42 - Nos. 550, 552, 462, 467, 284, 287, & 198.
30 Jan '43 - Nos. 9114, 9118, 9119, 8122, 8125, 8128, 8129, & 7132.
10 Mar '43 - Nos. 7133, 7134, 7138, 6145, 6146, & 5156.

[2] Another report gives the location of the torpedo attack as 33-26 N., 135-46 E. CNO analysts say KIMIKAWA MARU dropped from traffic after the 4 Jan dispatch until 25 July when she showed up in a convoy bound for Singapore [HI-69].

Thanks go to Mssrs. Peter Cundall of Australia and Andrew Obluski of Poland.

Special thanks for providing details on Rufe deliveries and Aleutian Operations in Rev 1 go to Jim Lansdale of Florida. Thanks also go to the late John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages. Further thanks go to Mucho of Denmark.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Allan Alsleben.

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