(OHA MARU about 1928, later IJN KURASAKI)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.
Revision 6

28 October 1927:
Harima. Laid down at Kobe Steel, Ltd as a 2371-ton cargo ship for North Sakhalin Oil Co..

27 January 1928:

27 March 1928:
Completed and named OHA MARU.

Chartered by the IJN.

9 January 1942: The Invasion of Menado, Northern Celebes (now Sulawesi):
NE Davao Gulf. An 8-ship occupation force convoy assembles at Magnaga Bay and is organized into two echelons.

At 0100, the 1st echelon departs consisting of supply ships OHA and SHINKO MARUs accompanying transports SHOKA, KOSHIN and CHOWA MARU. The 1st echelon’s speed of advance is 9 knots.

At 1000, the 2nd echelon departs consisting of transports NANKAI, KINAI, HOKUROKU, AMAGISAN and KATSURAGI MARUs. The 2nd echelon’s speed of advance is 12 knots.

11 January 1942:
At 0110, the Menado occupation force of NANKAI, KINAI, SHOKA, KOSHIN, CHOWA and AMAGISAN MARUs arrives at the No. 1 landing operation floating anchorage (Menado Roadstead). The occupation force prepares for landing troops north and south of Menado port. At 0315, the first landing forces depart the transports and land at 0400.

NE coast of Minahasa Peninsula, SE of Menado. At 0130, the Kema (small port) occupation force, made up of HOKUROKU and KATSURAGI MARUs arrive at the No. 1 landing operation floating anchorage (Kema Roadstead). At 0345, the first landing forces depart the transports and land at 0420.

At 1540, the Menado occupation force is attacked by three enemy planes. AMAGISAN MARU receives slight damage by a near miss.

10 May 1942:
Lt Kojima Takeo is posted Commanding Officer.

17 January 1943:
At 1000 departs from off Futtsu, Tokyo Bay in convoy No. 7117 also consisting of MIYO, HOKUTO, EIAN, MATSU and NIKKIN MARUs escorted by submarine chaser CH-32. OHA MARU is bound for Moji.

18 January 1943:
CH-32 detaches from the convoy.

31 March 1943:
Off SW Genkai Jima, Fukuoka Prefecture, OHA MARU collides with and sinks NANSHIN MARU. [1]

25 August 1943:
At 1500, OHA MARU departs Otaru in a convoy consisting of KOAN and TENRYO MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-3.

26 August 1943:
At 1030, W-3 is detached. Later, the convoy splits up and OHA MARU proceeds to the Sakhalin Islands. [1]

12 January 1944:
OHA MARU departs Muroran, Hokkaido for Shiogama in convoy No. 2213 with FUKI MARU bound for Shibaura.

10 May 1944:
Requisitioned by the IJN. Renamed KURASAKI and registered in the Maizuru Naval District. Captain Takeo Kojima is appointed CO.

20 August 1944:
Captain Nemoto Otomatsu assumes command. Lt Kojima is posted CO of W-33.

30 August 1944:
Conversion at Maizuru Navy Yard is complete. KURASAKI is armed with a single 3-in 3rd Year Type AA gun.

25 September 1944:
At 1400 departs Takao in convoy TAMA-27 consisting of DAIBIN, MANILA, DAIKYO and SAN DIEGO MARUs and very likely DAIIKU, SHUNSHO MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2 and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-6, CD-9, CD-16 and subchaser CH-56.

30 September 1944:
An enemy submarine contact is made.

3 October 1944:
Arrives at Masinloc.

4 October 1944:
At 0630, departs Masinloc. Shortly thereafter, DAIBIN and SAN DIEGO MARUs are detached. At 0855, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben Whitaker's (USNA ‘34) USS FLASHER (SS-249) torpedoes and sinks DAIBIN MARU at 15-25N, 119-50E. She was carrying the 2nd and 5th Companies, 10th Tank Regiment of the 2nd Tank Division; 5th Company of divisional engineers; elements of the division’s transportation regiment; and elements of the (non-divisional) 27th Signal Regiment. There were also 618 base construction personnel aboard. 76 passengers and 34 crewmen are KIA. Later that day, the remaining ships arrive at Manila.

20 October 1944:
At 2340, KURASAKI departs Manila for Takao in convoy MATA-30 consisting of KOKURYU, KIMIKAWA, KIKUSUI (ex Dutch IRIS), FUYUKAWA, TENSHIN, SHIKISAN, EIKO, ARISAN and RYOFU MARUs and DAITEN MARU and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 escorted by destroyers HARUKAZE, TAKE and KURETAKE and subchaser CH-20.

23 October 1944:
South China Sea, WNW of Cape Bojeador, Luzon, Philippines. About 1730 (JST), Cdr Alan B. Banister’s (USNA ‘28) USS SAWFISH (SS-276) attacks ex-seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU. She is hit by four of five torpedoes and sinks at 18-58N, 118-46E. KIMIKAWA MARU was carrying 300 passengers, crude oil, bauxite and aviation gasoline. 81 passengers and 24 crewmen are KIA.

24 October 1944:
The convoy comes under a combined wolfpack attack by five submarines. At 0050, SHINSEI MARU No. 1 is damaged by a dud torpedo at 19-32N, 118-37E. At 0100, KOKURYU MARU is torpedoed and sunk at 19-42N, 118-38E, likely by LtCdr George H. Browne's (USNA ‘34) USS SNOOK (SS-279) or LtCdr Richard W. Peterson's (USNA ‘31) USS ICEFISH (SS-367). KOKURYU MARU was carrying 1357 passengers. 324 passengers, 63 crewmen and five gunners are KIA.

At 0315, KIKUSUI MARU (ex Dutch IRIS) is torpedoed and sunk by USS SNOOK at 19-46N, 118-30E. 12 men are KIA.

At 0605 TENSHIN MARU is torpedoed twice and sunk by either USS SNOOK or LtCdr Edward N. Blakely's (USNA ‘34)(later KIA) USS SHARK (SS-314) or both, at 19-54N 119-00E. TENSHIN MARU was carrying 6,250-tons of bauxite. 47 crewmen and five gunners are KIA.

At 0758, SHIKISAN MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Maurice H. Rindskopf's (USNA ‘38) USS DRUM (SS-228) and sinks in 90 seconds at 20-27N, 118-31E. SHIKISAN MARU was carrying 3,300-tons of manganese, 3,000-tons of raw rubber and 1,500-tons of general cargo. 11 crewmen and four passengers are KIA.

Soon after, DAITEN MARU steaming in ballast, is also torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr James H. Ashley's (USNA ‘34) USS SEADRAGON (SS-194) at 20-12N, 119-01E. Five men are KIA

At 1225, straggling SHINSEI MARU No. 1 is torpedoed by USS SNOOK and sinks in three minutes at 20-31N, 118-42E. 10 crewmen and three gunners are KIA. EIKO MARU rescues about 100 survivors.

At 1405, EIKO MARU is torpedoed by USS SEADRAGON and sinks at 20-35N 118-32E. One crewman and three survivors of SHINSEI MARU No. 1 are KIA.

Finally, at 1730, ARISAN MARU is torpedoed and sunk, probably by USS SHARK (sunk soon after by HARUKAZE and TAKE) at 20-00N, 118-44E. ARISAN MARU was carrying 1,782 US POWs. 1,773 POW, 27 passengers, 2 crewmen and 13 gunners are KIA. Only nine US POWs survive the sinking.

29 October 1944:
Departs St Jacques in convoy SATA-01 consisting of FUKUJU MARU and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-20 and subchaser CH-43.

31 October 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Takao. The convoy is reorganized. Some ships from convoy MOTA-27 join MOMA-06. The reconstitued convoy consists of KURASAKI and HAMBURG, SHIMOTSU, ASOKAWA, TOTTORI, EIWA, ATLAS, DAITOKU, SHINSHO, KAKOGAWA, SEKIHO and SEIWA MARUs escorted by old destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-1, CD-3 and CD-7, mineweeper W-27, subchaser CH-41.

1 November 1944:
At 1800, the convoy departs Takao for Manila.

2 November 1944:
At 2305, LtCdr John B. Hess’s (USNA ‘37) USS POMFRET (SS-391) torpedoes and damages ATLAS MARU.

3 November 1944:
At 0300, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from No. 1 Maritime Transport Commander to MOMA-06 convoy that reads: “CD-11 will carry out screen of ---- and at the same time will execute anti-submarine sweep. W-20, KURASAKI and TOYO MARU No. 3 will arrive at the scene by 0630 and engage in salvage operations. KURETAKE will carry out screen of Sabtang South entrance and subchaser CH-41 will furnish screen at North entrance….Convoy will take refuge in Sabtang Channel and will delay departure.”

Arrives at Yulin. KURASAKI is detached.

12 November 1944:
At 1800, KURASAKI departs Manila for Takao in convoy MATA-32 that consists of NANKING MARU and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and kaibokan CD-1, CD-3 and CD-7.

14 November 1944:
Off Cape Bolinao, Philippines. At 2218, LtCdr William T. Kinsella’s (USNA ‘34) USS RAY (SS-271) torpedoes and sinks CD-7 at 17-46N, 117-57E. At 2225, LtCdr Maurice W. Shea’s (USNA ‘37) USS RATON (SS-270) torpedoes and sinks UNKAI MARU No. 5. 43 crewmen are KIA.

15 November 1944:
W of Luzon. At 0025, Shea’s USS RATON torpedoes and sinks KURASAKI at 17-27N, 117-43E.

16 November 1944:
On that day, FRUMEL provides the following information: "KURETAKE reported KURASAKI was torpedoed and sunk at 0025 on 15th. Captain and 91 others were rescued."

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] Japanese source show this ships' name as ONA MARU, but no ship of this name and size existed, so this ship is believed to be OHA MARU.

Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts. Similar thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Matthew Jones for CO information. Thanks also go to and Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for info in Rev 3 about the Jan '42 occupation of Menado and Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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