(KINAI MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 2

1 October 1929:
Nagasaki. Laid down by Mitsubishi Zosen K.K. Nagasaki Zosensho shipyard as the first of six diesel-driven high speed cargo ship, for Osaka Shosen K.K., Osaka.

1 April 1930:
Launched and named KINAI MARU.

15 June 1930:
Completed and registered at Osaka. Her gross and net registered tonnages are respectively 8,365-tons and 5,047-tons respectively.

E 1930:
KINAI MARU is placed on O.S.K.’s Far East ~ New York service.

29 June 1930:
Departs Hong Kong.

16 July 1930:
Arrives at Yokohama. Departs at an unknown date for San Francisco.

27 July 1930:
Arrives at San Francisco. Departs at an unknown date for the East Coast via Panama Canal.

11 August 1930:
Arrives at New York. KINAI MARU establishes a transit record on the Yokohama ~ New York portion of 25 days, 17.5 hours on her maiden voyage.

E 1933:
KINAI MARU 's gross registered tonnage (G.R.T) is changed to 8,360-tons. Her net registered tonnage remains unchanged at 5,047-tons. Later, it is changed to 5,040-tons.

3 September 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). [1]

5 September 1941:
Starts conversion to her military role in O.S.K. shipyard.

20 September 1941:
Registered in the IJN under internal order No. 1093 and attached to the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category. Her home port is Sasebo. Captain Matsubara Hiromi (39) (former CO of MANJU MARU) is posted Commanding Officer. [2]

11 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

28 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau.

9 January 1942: Operation "H" - The Invasion of Celebes, Netherlands East Indies:
The invasion convoy unit consists of eight IJN transports: KINAI, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, KATSURAGI, SHOKA, KOSHIN, CHOWA and AMAGISAN MARUs, carrying Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40) (former CO of SATA) Sasebo No. 1 and 2 Combined SNLF of about 2,500 men. The transports are accompanied by supply ships SHINKO (545 GRT) and OHA MARU (future IJN KURESAKI).

The convoy is escorted by MineSweepDiv 21's W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji's (38)'s 1st Base Force with light cruiser NAGARA, SubChasDiv 1's CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3 and patrol boats PB-1, PB-2, PB-34.

NE Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippines. The convoy is assembled in Magnaga Bay in two echelons:

At 0100, the first echelon departs consisting of SHOKA, KOSHIN and CHOWA MARUs accompanied by SHINKO and OHA MARUs at nine knots speed of advance.

At 1000, the second echelon departs consisting of KINAI, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, AMAGISAN and KATSURAGI MARUs at 12 knots speed of advance.

11 January 1942:
At 0110, the Menado occupation force of KINAI, NANKAI, SHOKA, KOSHIN, CHOWA and AMAGISAN MARUs arrives at No. 1 landing operation floating anchorage (Menado Roadstead) and prepares for landing troops N and S of Menado port. At 0315, the first landing forces depart transports and land at 0400.

NE coast of Minahasa Peninsula (SE of Menado). At 0130, the Kema occupation force consisting of HOKUROKU and KATSURAGI MARUs arrives at No. 1 landing operation floating anchorage (small port of Kema Roadstead) at 0130. At 0345, the first landing troops depart the transports and land at 0420. Later, 334 men of Cdr (later Captain) Horiuchi Toyoaki's (later XO of TAKAO) Yokosuka No. 1 SNLF (Air) are dropped successfully from Mitsubishi G3M1-L Nell converted transport aircraft in the Menado-Kema area. The paratroops seize Langoan airfield.

At 1540, AMAGISAN MARU receives slight damage by a near miss during an attack by three Dutch aircraft.

17 January 1942:
At 1120 patrol boat PB-1 arrives back at Menado escorting KATSURAGI, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, and KINAI MARUs.

27 January 1942:
At 1330 patrol boat PB-1 departs Kendari escorting AMAGISAN, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, and KINAI MARUs.

29 January 1942:
At 0445 the convoy arrives back at Banka.

2 February 1942:
Departs Bangka anchorage, Celebes (now Pulau Bangka, Sulawesi) for Staring Bay, Celebes.

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay.

6 February 1942: The Invasion of Macassar, Celebes:
The Macassar invasion convoy consists of IJN transports KINAI, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, MATSUE, MONTEVIDEO and YAMASHIMO MARUs. The transports are accompanied by auxiliary oiler SAN CLEMENTE MARU acting as a replenishment vessel.
The convoy is organized in two echelons:

The first echelon, with KINAI, NANKAI and HOKUROKU MARUs carries the Macassar Occupation Force under command of Captain Mori’s Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) (Rikusentai).

The second echelon, with MATSUE, MONTEVIDEO and YAMASHIMO MARUs carries the 5th and 6th Naval Construction Units (Setsueihan).

Both echelons depart successively Staring Bay with oiler SAN CLEMENTE MARU escorted by light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 8’s ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 21’s WAKABA, HATSUSHIMO and NENOHI and SubChasDiv 2’s CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro's (38)(former CO of FUSO) CarDiv 11's CHITOSE, MIZUHO and SANUKI MARU provide distant support.

9 February 1942:
Macassar Strait. During the landing of the Sasebo Combined SNLF invasion force, DesDiv 15's NATSUSHIO is torpedoed and sunk by Lt (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey (USNA ’31)'s old submarine USS S-37. NATSUSHIO is only loss suffered by the IJN in the action.

21 April 1942:
Departs Kendari, Celebes for Surabaya, Java.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

27 April 1942:
Departs Surabaya for Port Campha, Indochina (now Cam Pha, Vietnam).

3 May 1942:
Arrives at Port Campha.

5 May 1942:
Departs Port Campha for Osaka.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

15 May 1942:
Departs Osaka for Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, China).

19 May 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

23 May 1942:
Assigned to the Combined Fleet's Second Fleet under secret Navy instruction No. 554 to transport the 14th Naval Construction Unit for the campaign's third phase effective 5 Jun '42.

24 May 1942:
Departs Dairen for Osaka.

27 May 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

31 May 1942:
Departs Osaka and arrives at Sasebo at an unknown date.

E June 1942:
Due to IJN’s defeat at Midway, the campaign third phase is revised. KINAI MARU is assigned to transport the 14th Naval Construction Unit to the Solomon Islands area.

10 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Truk, Carolines.

18 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

26 June 1942:
Departs Truk for Lae, New Guinea in convoy with auxiliary transport KENYO MARU, carrying elements of Sasebo 5th Special Landing Naval Force (SNLF). KENYO MARU is later detached for Rabaul, New Britain.

30 June 1942:
Arrives at Lae.

1 July 1942:
Departs Lae for Truk.

3 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

12 July 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

13 July 1942:
Arrives at Basabua. Later returns to Rabaul.

6 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul, New Britain for Buna, New Guinea in a convoy also consisting of KENYO and NANKAI MARUs escorted by light cruiser TATSUTA, destroyers YUZUKI and UZUKI and subchasers CH-30 and CH-23 carrying 3,000 men of the 14th and 15th Naval Construction Units, their construction equipment, vehicles, and some army supplies.

7 August 1942:
Following American landings at Guadalcanal and Tulagi, the convoy is recalled by Vice Adm. Gunichi Mikawa (38), commander of the newly established 8th Fleet, when it is only part way to its destination.

9 August 1942:
Arrives back at Rabaul.

12 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul still in same convoy.

13 August 1942:
Arrives at Basabua. Troops disembark.

14 August 1942:
Departs Basabua for Rabaul.

15 August 1942:
Arrives back at Rabaul.

24 August 1942: Operation“RE” Rabbi (Rabi), the Occupation of Milne Bay, Papua, New Guinea:
Departs Rabaul for Rabi in convoy also consisting of NANKAI MARU carrying about 850 men of Cdr Hayashi Masajiro's No. 5 Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) and a company of the No. 5 SLNF led by Lt Fujikawa, the 10th Naval Construction Party and 2nd Air Advance Party totaling about 360 engineers and non-combat personnel. Rear Admiral Matsuyama Mitsaharu's (40)(former CO of TAKAO) escort consists of CruDiv 18’s TENRYU and TATSUTA and DesDiv 17’s TANIKAZE, URAKAZE and HAMAKAZE and subchasers CH-22 and CH-24.

25 August 1942:
Near Kitava Island, Trobriand Islands. In the afternoon, the convoy is spotted by an RAAF Lockheed "Hudson" bomber. Soon thereafter, 12 RAAF Curtiss P-40 "Kittyhawk" fighters and a Hudson bomber strafe the convoy and attempt to bomb the transports with 250-lb bombs near Rabi Island. Only limited damage is sustained and no ships are sunk.

At 2330, the convoy arrives at Milne Bay. Due to dense fog, landings take place considerably further E of Rabi, between Wahahuba and Ahioma. This gives the Australian garrison time to prepare their defense, and means their P-40s are unhindered in their operations.

26 August 1942:
In the morning, P-40s “Kittyhawks” escort a strike of B-17s “Flying Fortresses” that bombs the invasion force. NANKAI MARU and URAKAZE are damaged. This airstrike forces the convoy to retreat before unloading is completed. Only about 1,150 of the Japanese troops and two Type 95 Ha-Go tanks get ashore. The convoy departs Milne Bay for Rabaul.

28 August 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

E 3 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul with NANKAI MARU escorted by light cruisers TATSUTA, TENRYU and destroyer HAMAKAZE.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Milne Bay and undertakes evacuation of previously landed troops.

7 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Yokosuka.

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

28 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Kobe.

29 September 1942:
Arrives at Kobe. Probably undergoes maintenance and repairs.

23 October 1942:
Departs Kobe for Sasebo.

25 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

26 October 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Dairen.

28 October 1942:
Arrives at Dairen.

2 November 1942:
Departs Dairen for Osaka.

5 November 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

8 November 1942:
Departs Osaka for Yokohama.

9 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokohama.

15 November 1942:
Departs Yokohama and arrives that same day at Yokosuka.

20 November 1942:
Captain Ono Yoshitaka (39) is appointed CO.

21 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

23 November 1942:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

26 November 1942:
Departs Tokuyama for Truk. Steams alone without escort and passes through the Bungo Suido (Strait) later that day.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

9 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

13 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

19 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Palau.

25 January 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

29 January 1943:
Departs Palau for Yokosuka.

4 February 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 February 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Muroran.

10 February 1943:
Arrives at Muroran.

12 February 1943:
Departs Muroran for Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Amagasaki.

17 February 1943:
Departs Amagasaki for Kure.

18 February 1943:

23 February 1943:
Departs Kure for Guam (renamed Omiya-Jima after its capture), Marianas, in a convoy also consisting of NICHIYU MARU without initial escort.

24 February 1943:
Off Mizunoko lighthouse. Minelayer NATSUSHIMA and torpedo boat HATO join KINAI and NICHIYU MARUs and escort them south.

E 4 March 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

6 March 1943:
Arrives at Guam.

18 March 1943:
Departs Guam for Truk.

21 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

27 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

30 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

3 May 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk in convoy No. 2023 also consisting of troop landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU and possibly others with an unknown escort.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 May 1943:
At 0600, departs Truk for Yokosuka in convoy No. 4508 also consisting of troop landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU, ammunition ship TATSUTAKE MARU and transport KUNIKAWA MARU escorted by torpedo boat HIYODORI.

9 May 1943:
At 0211, KUNIKAWA MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Raymond H. Bass’ (USNA '31) USS PLUNGER (SS-179). Two dud torpedoes hit the port bow and port stern causing light damage. At 1600, another dud hits the ship. HIYODORI counterattacks with depth charges. The convoy resumes its course to Yokosuka.

10 May 1943:
About 243 nms E of Saipan. At dawn, Bass attacks again the convoy tracked since the day before. At 0400, USS PLUNGER torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU leaving her dead in the water. At 0705, TATSUTAKE MARU is ordered to take off about 400 passengers. At 0748, USS PLUNGER torpedoes TATSUTAKE MARU while she is taking off passengers from KINAI MARU. TATSUTAKE MARU dodges two torpedoes but the third one hits her No. 4 hold and causes a vast explosion. Many of the evacuees are KIA. TATSUTAKE MARU sinks by the stern at 14-33N, 149-23E. Four crewmen are KIA.

At 1253, USS PLUNGER again torpedoes and damages KINAI MARU. In addition, torpedo boat HIYODORI is damaged in collision with TATSUTAKE and KINAI MARUs, during the rescue of survivors.

11 May 1943:
In the morning, USS PLUNGER finds KINAI MARU still afloat. LtCdr Bass surfaces and finishes her off with gunfire. She sinks at 0827 in position 14-33N, 149-23E. Only one crewman is KIA. Later that day, HIYODORI arrives at Saipan carrying survivors of KINAI and TATSUTAKE MARUs.

15 July 1943:
Removed from the Navy List under internal order No. 1455.

Authors Notes:
[1] See Zatsuyosen home page for full explanation.
[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan, Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USA and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

-Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Back to IJN Transports Page