(Type 1K ore carrier underway)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett

Tsurumi, Yokohama Laid down at Nippon Kokan K.K as a 5,300-ton Type 1K Standard Merchant cargo ship (ore carrier) for Osaka Shosen K.K. (OSK), Osaka

Launched and named KOKKA MARU. [1]

December 1943:

24 December 1943:
At 1730, KOKKA MARU departs Sasebo for Shanghai, China in convoy SHI-403 consisting of YUZAN, MIIKESAN, SHOKEI, and HOKUJU MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 32 escorted by minesweeper W-15.

24 December 1943:
At 1315, the convoy arrives at Shanghai.

6 July 1944:
At 1245, KOKKA MARU departs Miike, Kyushu for Takao, Formosa in convoy MOMA-02 consisting of SEATTLE, SHOZAN, JINZAN, TOKUSHIMA, HIZAN (HIYAMA), YASUKUNI and RYOFU MARUs escorted by destroyer HATSUSHIMO, kaibokan CD-1 and CD-22 and minesweeper W-34.

12 July 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

14 July 1944:
At 1900, KOKKA MARU departs Takao for Manila in convoy TAMA-21C consisting of MANTAI, MITSUKI, JINSAN, SEATTLE, TENSHIN, YAMATAMA, SAINEI, HIZAN (HIYAMA), KOKKA, SHOZAN, YASUKUNI and SHOEI MARUs and tankers SHONAN, MITSU, AYAGIRI and AYAZONO MARUs escorted by kaibokan KUSAGAKI, CD-1 and CD-22, minelayers MAESHIMA and ENTO and minesweeper W-34.

16 July 1944: At 0946, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's (USNA Ď33) USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks SEATTLE MARU carrying 4,285 IJNAF personnel at 19-17N, 120-15E. HIYAMA and SHOZAN MARUs rescue all but 286 airmen.

Over the next six hours, Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret) William V. O'Reganís wolf pack consisting of Cdr Duncan C. MacMillian's (USNA Ď26) USS THRESHER (SS-200), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Novell G. Ward's (USNA Ď35) GUARDFISH (SS-217) and Ruble's PIRANHA close in and decimate the convoy.

At 2300, THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SAINEI MARU at 18-53N, 119-32E. At 2350, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks JINZAN MARU. Two minutes later, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks MANTAI MARU.

17 July 1944:
The attacks continue. At 0034, GUARDFISH torpedoes and sinks HIYAMA MARU. W-34 and CD-1 rescue survivors. At 0345, THRESHER torpedoes and sinks SHOZAN MARU at 18-50N, 119-43E. W-34 and CD-1 rescue the survivors.

19 July 1944:
At 1920, convoy TAMA-21C arrives at Manila.

28 August 1944:
At 0400, KOKKA MARU departs Yulin, Hainan Island for Takao in convoy YUTA-11 consisting of MITSUKI, SAIHO, ATLAS and HOKOKU MARUs escorted by patrol boat PB-104 and subchaser CH-21. The convoy is loaded with iron ore for the steel mills at Yawata.

2 September 1944:
The convoy is diverted from Takao and arrives safely at Keelung.

5 September 1944:
KOKKA MARU departs Keelung in convoy TAMO-25 consisting of SAIHO, MITSUKI, ATLAS, HENGSHAN, MEIRYU, TATSUHO and TATSUTAMA MARU escorted by patrol boats P-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224), PB-104 and subchaser CH-21. KOKKA MARU runs aground shortly after leaving Keelung. Later, she is refloated and returns to Keelung.

5 or 7 September 1944:
Keelung Harbor. Strikes a mine and sinks at 25-12N, 121-45E. [1]

Authorís Note:
[1] It is unclear which date is correct. 5th per Mono 116, 7th per Janac and Mining List; (SSS - mined 12 Oct 1944 near Yewo Peninsula, Taiwan) (Hayashi - stranded 5 Sep at Keelung and mined 12 Oct near Yewo Peninsula)

Photo credit and thanks go to Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett

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