(KUMANO MARU at Singapore in 1947)

IJA Landing Craft Depot Ship KUMANO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Revision 3

15 August 1944:
Innoshima. Laid down at Hitachi Shipbuilding as a Standard Type M cargo ship. Requisitioned by the Army during construction, redesigned as a landing craft transport and designated a Type B landing ship.

28 January 1945:
Launched and named KUMANO MARU. Her funnel is sited horizontally on the starboard side.

19 March 1945:
27 carrier-based aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral ) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA '10) Task Force 58 attack Hitachi Shipbuilding where KUMANO MARU is fitting out. 13 Grumman F6F "Hellcat" and 14 F4U "Corsair" fighter-bombers bomb and rocket KUMANO MARU and the Innoshima factory causing casualties among shipyard workers.

(KUMANO MARU under attack and leaking oil on 19 March 1945)

31 March 1945:
Completed.Assigned IJA No.1370. Fitted with a flying-off deck for her planned complement of aircraft. Landing craft were to be launched in the same manner as other IJA landing craft depot ships. [1]

15 August 1945: End of Hostilities with the Allied Powers:
NW coast of Kanawa-Jima (Kano-Jima), E of Ujina. KUMANO MARU is surrended.

(KUMANO MARU at Kanawa-Jima at war's end.)

Postwar, in preparation for repatriation voyages, KUMANO MARU is converted including receiving a vertical stack.

September 1945-1947:
Used as repatriation ship to transport former Imperial troops to Japan.

December 1945:
Officially assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service.

(KUMANO MARU at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore in 1947 with light carrier H.M.S. GLORY astern)

Sold to Kawasaki Kisen K. K. Line and converted to a conventional merchant ship.

Scrapped. [2]

Removed from the Army Ships List.

Authors’ Notes:
[1] The number of aircraft to be carried varied from 8 to 37 based on the type of aircraft and the number of landing craft stored in the hold.

[2] According to one source, KUMANO MARU's hulk was allocated for use as a breakwater at Hachijo Jima, but it is unclear if this happened.

Photos No. 1 and 4 credit goes to J-air reader Steve C. Photo No. 2 credit goes to "Aircraft Carriers of the Japanese Army" by Go Okumoto via Erich Muehlthaler of Germany. Thanks also go to the late Bill Somerville, Ed Low and to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall