ZATSUYOSEN!

(KIMISHIMA MARU prewar)

IJN KIMISHIMA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2016 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 2


29 June 1937:
Laid down at Tsurumi Seitetsu Zosen K. K. as a 5,193-ton cargo ship for Koguma Shoten, Hakodate, Hokkaido.

1 May 1938:
Launched and named KIMISHIMA MARU.

June 1938:
Sold to Iino Kisen K.K., Kobe.

10 July 1938:
Completed.

E 1938:
Placed on Iino Kisenís Kobe~Formosa commercial service.

1 August 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJA.

4 September 1940:
Released by the IJA.

4 October 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

15 October 1940:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 716 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District.

16 December 1940:
Tsurumi. Begins conversion to her military role at Nippon Steel Industries Co. shipyard.

26 December 1940:
KIMISHIMA MARU is attached to the Yokosuka Naval District under internal instruction No. 979.

31 January 1941:
The conversion is completed.

13 March 1941:
KIMISHIMA MARUís ownerís name is changed to Iino Kaiun Sangyo K. K. and her registry port to Higashi Maizuru.

22 March 1941:
Departs, operates in the Chusi area around Shanghai, and proceeds to Karatsu, Kyushu.

4 April 1941:
Arrives at Karatsu.

10 April 1941:
Assigned to Third Fleet, First Base Force. Departs Karatsu at an unknown date for Sasebo.

E June 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

10 June 1941:
Operates in southern China coastal waters.

17 July 1941:
Departs southern China area for Mako. Arrives there at an unknown date and proceeds to Takao.

E July 1941:
Departs Takao.

24 July 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

16 August 1941:
Departs southern China area for Mako. Arrival date is unknown.

E August 1941:
Departs Mako.

20 August 1941:
Operates in southern China waters.

7 September 1941:
Departs southern China area for Sasebo. Arrival date is unknown.

17 December 1941: The Invasion of Lamon Bay, Southern Luzon, Philippines:
Imperial General Headquarters launches the combined IJA and IJN Lamon Bay Operation. The Army force consists of Gen (later Field Marshal) Count Terauchi Hisachiís Southern Expeditionary Army. Its 14th Army, under LtGen Homma Masaharu, fields MajGen Morioka Susumu's Invasion Unit of about 7,000 troops consisting of elements of the 16th Infantry division: 20th Infantry, 22nd Field Artillery, HQ and II Battalion, 16 HQ Coy, 16th Eng Battalion, 16th Recon Battalion, 3/45 AA Coy, 16th Transport, 16th Signal Coy, 16th Med Unit and 16th Vet Unit. Two AA and one Signals Regiment are stationed on IJA transports (Yusosen).

The invasion units are embarked on 20 IJA transports: BENGAL, DAINICHI, DURBAN, KAIMEI, KAYO, KITANO, KOFUKU, LISBON, NAGATO, NICHIREN, RYOKA, RYUYO, SHINSEI, SHINSHU (4182 GRT), TAIAN, TATSUNO, TOFUKU, TOYAMA and TOYOHASHI MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 5.

The naval force consists of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Southern Force, Philippines Invasion Group that includes Vice Admiral Takahashi Iboís (35)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyujiís (38) (former CO of KAGA) Invasion Unit consists of his 1st Base Force HQ, in light cruiser NAGARA, 1st Naval Guard Unit aboard KIMISHIMA MARU, 1st Quartermaster Ports and Docks Unit and 1st Naval Signal Unit, aboard HAKUSAN MARU, 1st Naval Survey Unit in SENKO MARU and Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40)(former CO of SATA) Sasebo No. 1 and 2 Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard MYOKO MARU.

The convoyís escort consists of light cruiser NAGARA (F), heavy cruiser ASHIGARA, destroyers TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, KAWAKAZE, UMIKAZE, YAMAKAZE, minelayer AOTAKA, minesweepers W-7 and W-8, auxiliary gunboat/minelayer IKUSHIMA MARU, auxiliary gunboats BUSHO, KEIKO, KANKO and MYOKEN MARUs, auxiliary subchasers SHONAN MARU No. 17 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 5 and auxiliary netlayer FUKUEI MARU No. 15.

The Invasion Force departs Koniya, Amami Oshima for Lamon Bay, Quezon, Philippines.

24 December 1941:
The Invasion Force arrives at Lamon Bay and landings are proceeded without strong opposition.

30 December 1941:
KIMISHIMA MARU departs Lamon Bay for Davao, Philippines.

2 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

7 January 1942:
Departs Davao and arrives the same day at Malalag (a former USN station), Davao Gulf, Philippines.

10 January 1942:
Departs Malalag for Bangka anchorage, Celebes.

12 January 1942:
Arrives at Bangka.

16 February 1942:
Departs Bangka for Staring Bay, Celebes.

18 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to IJN Second Southern Fleet Command as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category [1] and attached to Sasebo Naval District.

18 March 1942:
Assigned to transport elements of IJA divisions for invasion of Christmas Island, a small British Straits Settlement 300 miles SW of Java.

21 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay for Bangka Island, Celebes (now Sulawesi), Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia).

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Bangka Island and departs the same day for Bantam Bay. Arrival date is unknown.

25 March 1942:
Transport KUMAGAWA MARU, escorted by destroyer AMATSUKAZE depart Macassar. Later met KIMISHIMA MARU en route (see entry below).

26 March 1942:
At 1700 KIMISHIMA MARU arrives at Macassar and departs at 1900 the same day escorted by patrol boat PB-36.

29 March 1942: Operation "X" - The Invasion of Christmas Island:
ComDesRon 4 Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (39)(former CO of HARUNA) Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet's Occupation Force departs Bantam Bay, Java. The Occupation Force consists of transports KIMISHIMA and KUMAGAWA MARUs carrying about 850 men of the 21st, 24th Special Base Forces and the 102nd Construction Unit, and fleet oiler AKEBONO MARU. The escort consists of light cruisers NAKA (F), CruDiv 16's NAGARA and NATORI, DesDiv 9's MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE, DesDiv 22's SATSUKI, MINAZUKI, FUMITSUKI and NAGATSUKI and patrol boats PB-34 and PB-36.

31 March 1942:
Prior to the arrival of the Japanese at Christmas Island (now an Australian territory), the 27-man Indian garrison of the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery Detachment revolts. They murder their sole British officer and his four British NCOs and imprison all Europeans on the island. At 0945, Nishimura lands his Occupation Force and seizes the island. The Indians immediately surrender. The phosphate-rich island is too small on which to build a port or an airstrip. The Japanese load phosphate rock on the two transports.

1 April 1942:
Departs Christmas Island for Bantam Bay, Java escorted by patrol boat PB-34.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Bantam Bay and departs the same day for Surabaya.

6 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

10 April 1942:
Released from IJN Second Southern Fleet Command.

17 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya for Macassar, Celebes.

19 April 1942:
Arrives at Macassar.

26 April 1942:
Departs Makassar for Takao.

5 May 1942:
Arrives at Takao.

9 May 1942:
Departs Takao and arrives the same day at Mako.

10 May 1942:
Departs Mako for Yokohama in convoy No. 207 also consisting of auxiliary transports SHIROGANE and HIYOSHI MARUs and four unidentified ships escorted by destroyer FUYO.

15 May 1942:
The convoy arrives at Moji.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama. Probably undergoes a period of maintenance and repairs.

25 June 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives the same day at Tokyo.

1 July 1942:
Departs Tokyo and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

3 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Yokohama.

6 July 1942:
Departs Yokohama for Rabaul, New Britain.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

24 July 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Angaur (near Peleliu), Palaus.

29 July 1942:
Arrives at Angaur. Departs and arrives the same day at Palau, Western Carolines.

5 August 1942:
Departs Palau and arrives the same day at Angaur.

7 August 1942:
Departs Angaur for Osaka, Japan.

12 August 1942:
KIMISHIMA MARU is hit by two torpedoes from an unidentified submarine at 28-28N, 132-56E, but both are duds. She proceeds to Osaka [2].

14 August 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

23 August 1942:
Departs Osaka for Tokyo.

24 August 1942:
Arrives at Tokyo.

28 August 1942:
KIMISHIMA MARU shifts category from Zatsuyosen (Ko) to Zatsuyosen (Otsu). [1]

1 September 1942:
Departs Tokyo for Kwajalein, Marshalls.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

13 September 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Wotje Atoll, Marshalls.

14 September 1942:
Arrives at Wotje.

17 September 1942:
Departs Wotje for Kwajalein.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

2 October 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Mille (Mili) Atoll, Marshalls.

3 October 1942:
Arrives at Mille.

7 October 1942:
Departs Mille for Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture.

19 October 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama.

20 October 1942:
Departs Tateyama and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

27 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Hakodate, Hokkaido.

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Hakodate.

31 October 1942:
Departs Hakodate and arrives the same day at Ominato, Aomori Prefecture.

5 November 1942:
Departs Ominato and drops anchor outside the harbor.

6 November 1942:
Weighs anchor and departs for Tateyama.

8 November 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama.

9 November 1942:
Departs Tateyama in convoy with Naval oiler SHIRETOKO for Truk, Central Carolines.

13 November 1942:
At 24-00N 145-30E auxiliary cruiser UKISHIMA MARU meets up with convoy and escorts it to Truk.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy Kita (North) No. 81 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) SHIGANOURA MARU and auxiliary transport SHINYO MARU No. 8 escorted by subchaser CH-33 for Muroran, Hokkaido. Enroute SHINYO MARU No. 8 is detached at Shiogama.

2 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Fais (Fuhaesu) Island, Eastern Carolines in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary water tanker ASAYAMA (CHOZAN) MARU, auxiliary transports TATSUHARU, , auxiliary storeships HOKO MARU (1504 grt) and YAMAGIRI MARUs, TENYO MARU No. 2 GO and IJA transport MIKAGE MARU No. 20 escorted by destroyer YUNAGI and auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

5 March 1943:
KIMISHIMA MARU and YUNAGI are detached at 11-18N 142-38E. Later arrives at Fais.

11 March 1943:
Departs Fais for Yokohama.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

24 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama for Muroran.

25 March 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

29 March 1943:
Departs Muroran for Yokohama.

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

4 April 1943:
Departs Yokohama in convoy No. 3404 also consisting of IJA transports SAN FRANCISCO and TAIAN MARUs escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI and arrives the same day at Tateyama.

5 April 1943:
Departs Tateyama for Palau.

15 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

30 April 1943:
Departs Palau and arrives the same day at Garasumao, Babelthuap (Babeldaob) Island, Palau.

7 May 1943:
Departs Garasumao and arrives the same day at Palau.

9 May 1943:
Departs Palau for Kobe in convoy P-509 also consisting of auxiliary transport MEITEN MARU, IJA transports TOKO, EHIME, TOUN, BUNZAN, TAIYU and CHIHAYA MARUs, and IJA shared transport (A/C-AK) SHUNSHO MARU escorted by minelayer YURIJIMA.

E 16 May 1943:
Minesweeper W-18 joins the convoy at 26-56N, 133-26E.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

22 May 1943:
Departs Kobe in convoy No. 8522 also consisting of IJA transport NORWAY MARU and five unidentified ships escorted by torpedo-boat MANAZURU.

23 May 1943:
17 nms from Oyama. At 1300, KIMISHIMA MARU strikes a mine and sustains engine problems. She is towed south of Oyama by NORWAY MARU.

24 May 1943:
Arrives at Nagoya. Probably undergoes emergency repairs then undergoes temporary hull and engine repairs.

11 June 1943:
Departs Nagoya for Yokohama.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

13 June 1943:
Departs Yokohama and arrives the same day at Yokosuka.

2 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives the same day at Tokyo. Goes to Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipyard for maintenance and permanent hull and engine repairs.

26 August 1943:
Repairs are completed. KIMISHIMA MARU is undocked. Departs Tokyo, arriving later in the day at Yokosuka.

28 August 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Yawata.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Yawata.

2 September 1943:
Departs Yawata for Sasebo.

3 September 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

8 September 1943:
Departs Sasebo for Kobe.

10 September 1943:
Arrives at Kobe and departs the same day for Yokosuka.

12 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Embarks 709 men of No. 221 Construction Unit as advance party.

14 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka and joins convoy No. 3914 bound for Truk, also consisting of auxiliary seaplane tender KUNIKAWA MARU, auxiliary transport KEISHO MARU and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) HEIWA MARU, escorted by destroyer ASANAGI and IKAZUCHI. The convoy sails at 10 knots and makes a call at Tateyama.

15 September 1943:
Departs Tateyama.

25 September 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

29 September 1943:
Departs Truk for Satawan Atoll, Mortlock Islands, Carolines.

30 September 1943:
Arrives at Satawan Atoll. Probably disembarks elements of No. 221 Construction Unit.

9 October 1943:
Departs Satawan escorted by auxiliary gunboat CHOUN MARU.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

14 October 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4014B also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ships (B-AK) HEIWA and TATSUURA MARUs and auxiliary transports KINSEN and YAMAFUKU MARUs, escorted by auxiliary gunboats CHOKO MARU No. 2 Go and CHOUN MARU. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots.

24 October 1943:
The convoy arrives safely at Yokosuka.

26 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

29 October 1943:
Departs Kure for Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

30 October 1943:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

31 October 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu for Tokuyama.

1 November 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

7 November 1943:
Departs Tokuyama for Yokosuka.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3113 also consisting of auxiliary transports KENSHO, SHOEI MARUs, and SHINSEI MARU No. 18, IJN requisitioned cargo ships (B-AK) YAMAKUNI and TSUNESHIMA MARUs escorted by destroyer IKAZUCHI and kaibokan HIRADO.

24 November 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper KINJO MARU and auxiliary gunboat FUKUYAMA MARU join the convoy. Later that day the convoy arrives safely at Truk.

10 December 1943:
At 1230, departs Truk for Rabaul in convoy No. 1103 also consisting of IJN requisitioned ore carrier (B-AC) HIDAKA (NIKKO) MARU and auxiliary transport SHINSEI MARU No. 18 escorted by minesweepers W-19 and W-22 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-48. HIDAKA MARU is towing an unidentified midget submarine and KIMISHIMA MARU is towing a tokugata unkato midget supply submarine. [3][4]

15 December 1943:
At 0810, SHINSEI MARU No. 18, that suffered navigational troubles a few days earlier, leaves the convoy with W-22 and CHa-48 and heads for Kavieng, New Ireland. At 1210, the same day, the rest of the convoy is attacked by American aircraft, but incurs no damage.

16 December 1943:
At 1336, the remainder of convoy No. 1103, including the midget submarine and the midget supply submarine, arrive at Rabaul.

25 December 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy 2252 also consisting of IJA transport HOKUYO MARU with submarine chaser CH-28 as escort.

30 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

11 January 1944:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 7125 also consisting of auxiliary transports HAKUSAN, HAKOZAKI and MITAKESAN MARUs escorted by destroyer SHIRATSUYU, kaibokan HIRADO and subchaser CH-29.

20 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

24 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Owase Bay, Mie Prefecture.

25 January 1944:
Arrives at Owase Bay.

26 January 1944:
Departs Owase Bay for Yawata, Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu.

28 January 1944:
Arrives at Yawata and departs the same day for Wakamatsu.

29 January 1944:
Arrives at Wakamatsu.

1 February 1944:
Departs Wakamatsu and arrives the same day at Tokuyama.

5 February 1944:
Departs Tokuyama for Kobe.

6 February 1944:
Arrives at Kobe.

7 February 1944:
Departs Kobe for Yokohama.

8 February 1944:
Arrives at Yokohama.

E February 1944:
Loads weapons, ammunition, depth-charges, aviation gasoline cans and other military supplies.

21 February 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Saipan in convoy No. 4220 consisting also of IJA transport KOYO MARU, and IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KUMANOSAN (KUMANOYAMA) MARU and two unidentified ships, escorted by kaibokan FUKAE and minesweepers W-24 and W-25.

23 February 1944:
At 1226, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Raymond H. Bassí (USNA '31) USS PLUNGER (SS-179) torpedoes KIMISHIMA MARU. Hit by one torpedo in her No. 3 hold, her aviation gasoline ignites. At 1445, she sinks about 32 nms NE of Torishima, Izu Islands at 30-11N, 140-49E. Four crewmen and 10 troops are KIA. The escorts counter-attack and drop 45 DCs, but USS PLUNGER suffers only slight damage. At 2240, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles O. Triebelís (USNA '29) USS SNOOK (SS-279) torpedoes KOYO MARU. Hit by two torpedoes, she sinks in four minutes at 28-49N, 141-13E taking down 1,046 troops and 34 crewmen.

31 March 1944:
KIMISHIMA MARU is removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 508.


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

[2] The submarine was probably LtCdr Arthur H. Taylorís (USNA '27) USS HADDOCK (SS-231).

[3] HA-53, the last Type A midget submarine, was completed as the Type B prototype. Later, HA-49 through HA-52 were rebuilt as B Types. All five were sent to Rabaul, towed by merchants, but HA-49 and others were lost in transit. The 46-ton midgets were towed because they were too heavy to be handled by the ships' derricks.

[4] A Tokugata Unkato, also called a "pipe", was a partially completed Type A midget submarine converted into an underwater special cargo carrier. Two sections of a Type A were used together with a torpedo engine and a nose cap. It is doubtful whether any completed Type A's were used for this purpose.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan for information on Convoy No. 8522 and 4014B, and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for additional info on the Lamon Bay invasion convoy.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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