RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(KIRIHA MARU, prewar)

KIRIHA MARU:Tabular Record of Movement

2014-2017 Bob Hackett


E 1918:
West Hartlepool (Sunderland), England. Laid down at Irvine's Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd. as Yard No. H599, a 3,057-ton Standard Type C cargo ship for The Shipping Controller (WWI), London.

April 1919:
Launched and named WAR BREEZE.

1919:
Completed and managed by C. Nielsen & Sons.

1919:
Sold to the Times Shipping Co. Ltd., Newport, United Kingdom. Renamed WITHINGTON.

April 1922:
WITHINGTON departs Baltimore, MD for the United Kingdom.

1927:
Sold to Barry Shipping Co, Newport, U. K.

1928:
Sold to Tatsuuma Kisen K.K. Nishinomiya. Renamed KIRIHA MARU.

9 October 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJA. Allotted Army No. 683.

19 June 1942:
KIRIHA MARU departs Mako, Pescadores for Osaka in convoy No. 224 also consisting of transports OKITSU, REKIZAN, SHIROGANE and TOYOOKA MARUs and nine unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU.

24 June 1942:
SHIROGANE MARU is detached for Sasebo. Later that day the rest of the convoy arrives at Moji.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

17 January 1943:
KIRIHA MARU departs Saeki in convoy "U " also consisting of INDUS, MEIKAI, MOMOHA, NAGANO and YAMATO MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-31 and subchaser CH-36.

E 19 January 1943:
At 29N, the two escorts are detached from the convoy.

18 February 1943:
Destroyer YUZUKI departs Yokosuka for the Central Pacific.

2 March 1943:
At 1800, KIRIHA MARU departs Rabaul for Palau in convoy F2 also consisting of MITO, NAGANO and RYUZAN MARUs escorted by destroyer YUZUKI.

6 March 1943:
Off Papua New Guinea. 150 nms W of Manus, Admiralties. At about 1200, LtCdr George K. MacKenzie, Jrs (USNA 31) USS TRITON (SS-201) attacks the convoy. She torpedoes and hits KIRIHA MARU in the stern. She sinks by the stern at 00-37N 145-30E. Four crewmen are KIA. YUZUKI rescues the survivors.

TRITON also slightly damages MITO MARUs bow, probably with a dud Mark 14 torpedo. TRITON is later lost on this war patrol.


Author's Note:
Thanks to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

Bob Hackett


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