Japanese Auxiliary Cruisers

TOKUSETSU JUNYOKAN!

KINRYU MARU in peace time

IJN KINRYU MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2011 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 3


18 November 1937:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding as a 9, 310-ton cargo ship for Kokusai Kisen K. K., Tokyo.

16 June 1938:
Launched and named KINRYU MARU.

31 August 1938:
Completed.

1 September 1938:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Assigned to the Kure Naval District. Captain (38)(Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kusugawa Atsushi (former CO of ODOMARI) is appointed Supervisor.

3 September 1938:
Rated a general transport.

23 November 1938:
Departs Sasebo for the central China coast.

27 November 1938:
Arrives at Kirun (Keelung), Formosa.

24 May 1939:
Departs Sasebo for the central China coast.

3 June 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 October 1939:
Arrives at Kure.

3 October 1939:
Departs Kure.

4 October 1939:
Arrives Yokosuka.

7 October 1939:
Departs Yokosuka.

8 October 1939:
Arrives Kobe.

9 October 1939:
Departs Kobe and later that day arrives at Kure.

11 October 1939:
Departs Kure.

12 October 1939:
Arrives at Maizuru.

14 October 1939:
Departs Maizuru.

15 October 1939:
Arrives at Saitozaki, and presumably loads coal.

17 October 1939:
Departs Saitozaki and later that day arrives at Sasebo.

19 October 1939:
Departs Sasebo and later that day arrives at Chinkai (Chinhae), Chosen.

22 October 1939:
Departs Chinkai.

23 October 1939:
Arrives Kure.

25 October 1939:
Departs Kure.

26 October 1939:
Arrives Saitozaki, probably to load coal.

28 October 1939:
Departs Saitozaki and later that day arrives at Nagasaki.

30 October 1939:
Departs Nagasaki and later that day arrives at Sasebo.

1 November 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

2 November 1939:
Arrives at Kure.

4 November 1939:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Harima.

5 November 1939:
Departs Harima.

6 November 1939:
Arrives Yokosuka.

9 November 1939:
Departs Yokosuka.

10 November 1939:
Arrives at Kure and departs later the same day.

11 November 1939:
Arrives at Kagoshima and departs later the same day.

12 November 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

14 November 1939:
Departs Sasebo and later that day arrives at Saitozaki.

16 November 1939:
Departs Saitozaki.

17 November 1939:
Arrives at Kure.

19 November 1939:
Departs Kure.

20 November 1939:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

24 November 1939:
Departs Yokosuka.

25 November 1939:
Arrives at Kure.

27 November 1939:
Departs Kure.

28 November 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

30 November 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

3 December 1939:
Departs Kure.

4 December 1939:
Arrives Maizuru.

6 December 1939:
Departs Maizuru.

7 December 1939:
Arrives at Nagasaki..

8 December 1939:
Departs Nagasaki and later that day arrives at Sasebo.

11 December 1939:
Departs Sasebo and later that day arrives at Saitozaki.

14 December 1939:
Departs Saitozaki.

15 December 1939:
Arrives Kure and departs later the same day.

16 December 1939:
Arrives Yokosuka.

20 December 1939:
Departs Yokosuka.

21 December 1939:
Arrives Osaka.

22 December 1939:
Departs Osaka and later that day arrives at Harima.

23 December 1939:
Departs Harima.

24 December 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 December 1939:
Departs Sasebo.

26 December 1939:
Arrives at Kure.

11 October 1940: Imperial Naval Review:
Yokohama. KINRYU MARU and 97 warships are spread across Tokyo Bay. Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku, Commander-in-Chief, Combined Fleet, accompanies Emperor Hirohito (Showa) aboard battleship HIEI for the Emperor's annual review of the fleet. 527 aircraft also participate.

10 December 1940:
Captain Nittai Toraji is appointed Supervisor.

15 June 1941:
Recalled Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Itagaki Koichi (38)(former CO of SHIRATAKA) is appointed Supervisor.

5 September 1941:
Kure Iron Works. Begins conversion to an armed merchant cruiser. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamada Seizo (37)(former CO of IWATE) assumes command.

20 October 1941:
The conversion is completed.

28 October 1941:
Departs Aioi.

20 November 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 November 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

30 November 1941:
Departs Truk.

December 1941:
Assigned to the Fourth Fleet (South Seas Force).

2 December 1941: Operation "Z":
KINRYU MARU receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).

3 December 1941:
At Roi. Auxiliary gunboat IKUTA MARU receives cargo and ammunition from KINRYU MARU.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi-Namur, Kwajalein.

8 December 1941: The Invasion of Wake Island:
KINRYU MARU departs Roi-Namur with Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (former CO of KISO) Wake Island Attack Force consisting of DesRon 6’s light cruiser YUBARI (F), CruDiv 18’s light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, DesDiv 29's destroyers ASANAGI, OITE and HAYATE, DesDiv 30's KISARAGI, MUTSUKI, YAYOI, patrol boats (ex-destroyers) PB-32 and PB-33, submarine depot ship JINGEI and transport KONGO MARUs. KINRYU and KONGO MARUs carry 450 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops.

11 December 1941:
Two miles SW of Wake Island. HAYATE, OITE and ASANAGI close to bombard Wilkes Island, but HAYATE takes three direct hits from salvos of Marine 2nd Lt John A. McAlister's Battery "L" 5-inch guns. At 0652, HAYATE blows up and sinks with her entire 168-man crew at 19-16 N, 166-37 E. Battery "L" also scores a near-miss that damages OITE.

Captain Henry T. Elrod, USMC, hits KISARAGI with a 100-lb. bomb that probably detonates her depth charges. At 0731, she blows up and sinks with her entire crew of 150 at 18-55 N, 166-17 E.

KONGO MARU is bombed and set afire. That morning, a dejected Rear Admiral Kajioka orders his Attack Force to return to Kwajalein.

9 December 1941:
Departs Roi.

13 December 1941:
Arrives back at Roi.

21 December 1941: The Second Invasion of Wake Island:
The Attack Force is reinforced by CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE and TANIKAZE.

The Attack Force is also joined by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA, CruDiv 18's seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU and DesDiv 29's ASANAGI and YUNAGI. KINRYU MARU departs Roi with the rest of Attack Force.

23 December 1941:
After a magnificent, but hopeless stand, Wake's grossly outnumbered American garrison is overwhelmed and forced to surrender.

26 December 1941:
Departs Wake Island.

30 December 1941:
Arrives at Saipan.

3 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

20 January 1942: Operation "O"- The Invasions of Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland:
KINRYU MARU departs Truk with troop transports GOYO and AZUMASAN MARUs escorted by CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA and DesDiv 23's KIKUZUKI, UZUKI and YUZUKI. CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA and CarDiv 11's seaplane carrier CHITOSE provide close cover. Distant cover is provided by CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/2's HIEI and KIRISHIMA and CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA.

23 January 1942:
New Ireland. About midnight, the transports land three companies of the No. 2 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). By 0335, they capture Kavieng's airfield.

1 February 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 February 1942:
Rabaul. Embarks elements of the No. 2 Maizuru SNLF and naval construction troops. Scheduled to depart Rabaul this day for landings at Gasmata (a.k.a. Surumi (Tsurumi-jp.), New Britain, but the operation is delayed for unknown reasons.

8 February 1942:
At 0600, KINRYU MARU and auxiliary transport KOZUI MARU finally depart Rabaul.

9 February 1942: – The Invasion of Gasmata, New Britain:
At 0250, arrives at Gasmata. At 0335, elements the task force depart KOZUI MARU to Gasmata by Daihatsu landing craft. At 0345, the main units of the SNLF depart KINRYU MARU to Gasmata by Daihatsu. The airfield is secured and a relay base is established.

11 February 1942:
Gasmata. KINRYU MARU is bombed by Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bombers, suffers minor damage and departs that night at 1950.

12 February 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 February 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Truk.

25 February 1942: Operation “SR” – The Invasion of Lae and Salamuana, New Guinea:
Arrives at Rabaul. Loads troops for landings at Salamaua, New Guinea. The convoy consists of YOKOHAMA and CHINA MARUs for Salamaua and auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU and transports KONGO and KOKAI MARUs to Lae. KINRYU MARU is part of the escort providing support.

5 March 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

8 March 1942:
Arrives at Lae-Salamaua. The invasion force unloads troops and cargo.

25 April 1942:
Assigned to the Gilberts Islands' Ocean-Nauru Island invasion force.

4 May 1942:
Purvis Bay, Florida Island, Solomons. USS YORKTOWN's (CV-5) planes damage minelayer OKINOSHIMA by near misses. Later, KINRYU MARU tows OKINOSHIMA to Rabaul where she undergoes repairs.

10 May 1942:
OKINOSHIMA departs Rabaul leading the Ocean-Nauru Occupation Force including KINRYU MARU escorted by destroyers UZUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YUZUKI.

12 May 1942:
Off New Ireland. At 0452, LtCdr Oliver G. Kirk's USS S-42 (SS-153) torpedoes OKINOSHIMA and gets two or three hits. At 0640, while being towed by KINRYU MARU to Queen Carola Harbor, Buka Island, Bougainville escorted by MOCHIZUKI, the minelayer capsizes and sinks in St. George's Channel, Bismarck Sea. KINRYU MARU heads back to Rabaul.

13 May 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

18 May 1942:
Departs Rabaul with the Ocean-Nauru Occupation Force, but the operation is cancelled due to detection of an American carrier force in the area. Returns to Rabaul.

8 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo in a convoy for Truk containing auxiliary cruiser KINRYU MARU and auxiliary ammunition ship KOTOKU MARU.

14 June 1942:
At 1800, KINRYU MARU is detached.

17 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

25 June 1942:
Departs Truk.

1 July 1942:
Lands troops at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal.

14 July 1942:
Rerated an auxiliary transport. Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

20 July 1942: Operation "RI" - The Invasion of Buna, New Guinea:
At 2000, KINRYU MARU departs Rabaul for Buna with troop transports AYATOSAN, and RYOYO MARUs escorted by CruDiv 18's light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, minelayer TSUGARU and destroyers ASANAGI, YUZUKI and UZUKI and subchasers CH-28, CH-29 and CH-30.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Buna. Lands troops.

22 July 1942:
Departs Buna and proceeds to Truk via Rabaul.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomons:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (former CO of ASTORIA, CA-34), Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (MOH/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands MajGen (later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to retake the islands.

13 August 1942:
Departs Guam.

16 August 1942:
KINRYU MARU arrives at Truk that morning.

At 0500, DesDiv 4's ARASHI and HAGIKAZE, DesDiv 15's KAGERO and DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, TANIKAZE and URAKAZE depart Truk for Guadalcanal as the first echelon of a reinforcement convoy carrying 917 men of LtCol Ichiki Kiyonao's 28th Infantry Regiment.

The second echelon of the reinforcement convoy departs Truk consisting of BOSTON and DAIFUKU MARUs carrying 1,100 men of Ichiki's Regiment escorted by light cruiser JINTSU and patrol boats PB-35 and PB-34. Rear Admiral Tanaka in JINTSU is in command of the convoy.

KINRYU MARU departs Truk carrying about 800 troops of the No. 5 Yokosuka SNLF in the third echelon escorted by patrol boats PB-1 and PB-2.

18 August 1942:
About noon, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE and UMIKAZE join the second and third echelons still enroute to Guadalcanal.

19 August 1942:
Cape Taivu, E of Lunga Point, Guadalcanal. At 0100, the first echelon lands LtCol Ikchi's troops.

20 August 1942:
At midnight, Ichiki's troops storm Guadalcanal's "Henderson Field" to retake the airfield, but almost all of
Ichiki's men are cut down by U. S. Marines. Ichiki commits suicide.

21 August 1942:
That evening, Tanaka receives a signal from Headquarters, Eighth Fleet indicating Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's Second Fleet and Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Third Fleet will support Tanaka's reinforcement convoy consisting of the second and third echelons.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
At 1230, Tanaka's force sights light carrier RYUJO, covered by CruDiv 8's TONE and DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE. Later, RYUJO launches two strikes against Henderson Field. At 1357, RYUJO is attacked by aircraft from Fletcher's TF 61's USS SARATOGA (CV-3). RYUJO is hit by four bombs and a torpedo hit that floods her starboard engine room. At 1800, RYUJO capsizes and sinks.

CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find and damage ENTERPRISE (CV-6). That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage seaplane carrier CHITOSE. The same night, DesDiv 15's KAGERO, DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE and DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI and YAYOI shell Henderson Field, then race northward to join Tanaka's convoy.

25 August 1942:
150 miles N of Guadalcanal. At 0600, six USMC Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers attack the convoy. KINRYU MARU is hit by a 1,000-lb bomb amidships and begins to sink. Her embarked troops are evacuated by DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI and YAYOI and patrol boats PB-1 and PB-2.

BOSTON MARU is damaged by an SBD near-miss bomb. A bomb hits JINTSU's forecastle and starts fires that cause her forward magazines to be flooded. Rear Admiral Tanaka is injured and shifts his flag to KAGERO.

40 miles NE of Santa Isabel Island. Destroyer MUTSUKI is still evacuating troops from sinking KINRYU MARU when USAAF B-17 bombers arrive and score a direct hit on the destroyer. As she is being abandoned and sinking, MUTSUKI scuttles blazing KINRYU MARU with a torpedo at 07-47S, 160-13E and cancels the landing on Guadalcanal. Destroyer YAYOI rescues the survivors including Captain Yamada.

1 October 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors’ Notes:

Thanks go to Toda Gengoro of Japan for information in Revision 1. Thanks again go to Mr. Toda and to Luke Ruffato of Italy for info in Revision 3.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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