ZATSUYOSEN!

(KIZUGAWA MARU, prewar)

IJN KIZUGAWA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2012-2015 Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


12 October 1940:
Koyagijima. Laid down by Kawaminami Kogyo K.K. Zosensho shipyard for Toyo Kaiun K.K. as a 1,915-tons cargo ship, part of the Peacetime Standard Ship (D) Type Program.

11 May 1941:
Launched and named KIZUGAWA MARU.

3 July 1941:
Completed and registered in Tokyo.

30 May 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE.

5 June 1942:
Departs Okada in unnumbered westbound convoy also consisting of IJA transport WAKATAKE MARU and auxiliary oiler TONAN MARU No. 3 escorted by minelayer SARUSHIMA.

E. 6 June 1942:
Cable layer escort (Densenfusetsusen) HASHIMA arrives to take over escort and SARUSHIMA detaches.

20 June 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in westbound convoy also consisting of IJA transports KISHUN and GOSEI MARUs escorted by auxiliary gunboat HIYOSHI MARU No. 2 GO. KIZUGAWA MARU is bound for Yawata.

8 December 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in West Convoy No. 61 also consisting of IJA transports AIYO, SHINNO and TAIKAI MARUs, IJN requisitioned passenger/cargo (B-APK) ISSEI MARU, civilian cargo ship (C-AK) KASUGASAN MARU, government cargo ship KARI GO (ex-Chinese KIA LEE) and one unidentified merchant ship bound for the Inland Sea escorted by minesweeper W-17. At some point W-17 detaches.

21 December 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay in West Convoy No.79 also consisting of civilian cargo ship (C-AK) KONRI GO (ex Chinese KWEN LEE) escorted by auxiliary gunboat KASAGI MARU.

22 December 1942:
At 2000 arrives off Yura.

28 December 1942:
At 1500, departs off Futtsu in West convoy No. 86 also consisting of auxiliary transport KIZUGAWA MARU, IJA transports BENGAL and NANKA MARUs, IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KOJUN MARU and IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) KYOEI MARU No. 6 escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE. DAICHO MARU is bound for Osaka.

24 January 1943:
Departs Tokyo Bay in convoy No. 7124 also consisting of IJA transports YAMAZURU, ANYO and KINKA MARUs escorted by torpedo boat MANAZURU.

23 February 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay in convoy No. 8223 also consisting of IJN requisitioned cargo ship (B-AK) KENAN MARU, IJA transports WAKATSU, NICHIWA and TENSHIN MARUs, civilian ore carrier (C-AC) TOYOKUNI (HOKOKU) MARU, civilian cargo ships (C-AK) TOYO MARU No. 1 and KONRI GO (ex Chinese KWEN LEE) and an unidentified ship called KOJIN MARU escorted by torpedo boat CHIDORI.

23 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 7423 also consisting of auxiliary transports TATSUTAGAWA and RYUKO MARUs and civilian cargo ship (C-AK) KIYOTADA (SEICHU) MARU escorted by minesweeper W-4.

25 April 1943:
Arrives at Aioi. Transfers to Osaka later in the day.

23 June 1943:
In convoy No. 8623 also consisting of unidentified ships. KIZUGAWA MARU is hit by a dud torpedo at 34-00N, 136-40E. No damage is sustained. [1]

29 September 1943:
Requisitioned by the IJN as a “general requisitioned ship” (Ippan Choyosen) attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as home port. Tactically assigned to the Navy Department.

30 September 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

6 October 1943:
Departs Muroran.

9 October 1943:
Arrives at Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.

11 October 1943:
Transfers to Yokosuka.

15 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

17 October 1943:
Arrives at Osaka. Departs later in the day for Saeki, Kyushu.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Saeki.

20 October 1943:
At 0500, departs Saeki in convoy O-010 also consisting of auxiliary oiler HISHI MARU No. 2, IJA transports NIKKI, CHOSEN, SHICHISEI, TESHIO, RYUWA, SHINYU, and GOSEI MARUs, and IJA transport SHINSEI MARU No. 5 escorted by torpedo boat SAGI and auxiliary minesweepers AOI MARU, YACHIYO MARU and TOKUHO MARU No. 10.

E 22 October 1943:
All the escorts, except SAGI, are detached at 30N.

29 October 1943:
At 1800, arrives at Palau, Western Carolines.

1 November 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy “Hollandia No. 2” also consisting of IJA transports ASO, RYUWA and FUKOKU MARUs and IJA transport SHINSEI MARU No. 5 escorted by minelayer SHIRETAKA and subchasers CH-26 and CH-35.

E 3 November 1943:
SHIRATAKA detaches from convoy and returns alone to Palau. That same day FUKOKU MARU develops engine trouble and returns to Palau escorted by CH-35.

5 November 1943:
Arrives at Hollandia (now Jayapura), New Guinea.

6 November 1943:
Departs Hollandia for Palau in convoy “Hollandia No. 2” (return leg) also consisting of IJA transport ASO MARU escorted by subchaser CH-26.

7 November 1943:
Subchaser CH-32 joins the convoy.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

28 November 1943:
Departs Palau for Saeki in convoy FU-009 also consisting of IJA transports TAJIMA, TOYOOKA, NISSHIN, KOSEI, TOSHO, TENCHO, RYUWA and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs escorted by minesweepers W-17 and W-18 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8. Enroute, NISSHIN MARU is detached due to engine trouble and returns to Palau.

E 29 November 1943:
Auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 is detached.

6 December 1943:
At 28N W-18 is joined by minelayers NUWAJIMA and YURIJIMA. Later that day at 29N, auxiliary minesweepers OI MARU and TAMA MARU No. 6. join the convoy.

7 December 1943:
Arrives at Saeki. Transfers later in the day to Wakamatsu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

8 December 1943:
Departs Wakamatsu.

9 December 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

10 December 1943:
Departs Kure.

12 December 1943:
Arrives at Sakito.

13 December 1943:
Departs Sakito.

16 December 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

17 December 1943:
Departs Osaka.

22 December 1943:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, China).

25 December 1943:
Departs Dairen.

30 December 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

1 January 1944:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport, (Otsu) category and attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as homeport under internal order No. 16. [2].

2 January 1944:
Departs Kobe.

3 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

4 January 1944:
Departs Kure.

5 January 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 January 1944:
Transfers to Saeki.

17 January 1944:
Departs Saeki.

18 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

25 January 1944:
At 1800, departs Moji in convoy O-510 also consisting of auxiliary oiler/collier SANKO MARU, IJA transports MITO, MACASSAR, YAKUMO, HINODE, KIBI, HASSHU, TASMANIA MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, minesweeper W-17 and auxiliary submarine chaser TAMA MARU No. 7.

07 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

29 March 1944:
Departs Palau in a convoy also consisting of auxiliary oiler KYOEI MARU, auxiliary ammunition ship ARATAMA MARU, IJA transport MATSUE MARU and an unidentified ship escorted by destroyers MINAZUKI and YUZUKI, auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 7 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 and subchaser CH-30.

5 April 1944:
Off Tanapag, Saipan, Marianas. In the afternoon, the mast tops of the inbound convoy are spotted by lookouts aboard LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter’s (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304). Cutter attempts to gain a firing position on the convoy, but fails, so he decides to lay off Saipan and wait for the convoy to depart.

7 April 1944:
Departs Saipan for Woleai, Carolines in unnumbered convoy also consisting of auxiliary ammunition ship ARATAMA MARU and IJA transport MATSUE MARU escorted by destroyers MINAZUKI, YUZUKI and ASAKAZE, auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 7 and TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 and subchaser CH-30.

8 April 1944:
Marianas, seven miles E of Guam. Cutter’s USS SEAHORSE intercepts the convoy. At 0127, Cutter fires three torpedoes at overlapping targets. One hits ARATAMA MARU in the bow and another amidships ignites a cargo of gasoline. Flames burst high in the air. Four crewmen are KIA. The explosion also damages destroyer ASAKAZE. Shortly thereafter, USS SEAHORSE’s second spread of torpedoes damages KIZUGAWA MARU at 13-16N, 145-11E. 37 crewmen are KIA.

YUZUKI and CH-30 counterattack and drop 28 depth charges. They are unsuccessful, but drive USS SEAHORSE from the vicinity. MINAZUKI tows KIZUGAWA MARU to Guam for repairs. Abandoned by her crew as a total loss, burning ARATAMA MARU drifts for three days before settling on a shallow reef shelf in Talafofo Bay, Guam. [3]

Late that day arrives under tow at Guam, Marianas (renamed Omiya Island after its capture).

11 April 1944:
Receives further damage from an air raid.

11 June 1944:
Receives further damage from an air raid. Ship is beyond repair and abandoned.

27 June 1944:
Receives further damage from an air raid. Scuttled by gunfire.

18 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy’s list under internal order No. 880.


Authors Notes:
[1] Probably fired by Cdr (MOH, posthumously) Samuel D. Dealey’s (USNA ’30) USS HARDER (SS-257) on patrol in that zone.

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

[3] ARATAMA MARU rested on the reef for over a decade, part of her hull and superstructure above the water. Eventually, she was completely submerged by typhoons to a depth of over 50 feet.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

Gilbert Casse, Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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