Stories of the IJN's Supply and Special Service Ships

(Cargo ship by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

MAMIYA was one of the IJN's two purpose-built refrigerated fleet supply ships. She carried provisions to support 18,000 men for three weeks and had stalls for 50 head of cattle below-decks. MAMIYA was fitted with enhanced radio equipment. During fleet maneuvers, she sometimes played the role of an American battleship. She was capable of transporting aircraft on her afterdeck.

IRAKO was the other of the IJN's purpose-built refrigerated fleet supply ships. Two other large fleet refrigerated supply ships were planned, but were cancelled after the Battle of Midway because of higher priorities in warship construction. IRAKO carried provisions for 25,000 men for two weeks.

KINEZAKI class stores ships were the first built for the IJN with refrigeration in all holds. Four ships of the class were built, of which three survived the war.

KURASAKI was requisitioned in May 1944 and torpedoed and sunk that same year. The IJN also requisitioned 36 other merchant ships for use as supply ships during the war.

NOZAKI was ordered in 1939. Equipped with a refrigerated hold, she was intended to supply Japan's far-flung holdings in the South Pacific.

The MUROTO class of two ships dated to World War I and were originally used as colliers (coaling ships). From 1941 on, they were used mainly as stores ships.

KITAKAMI MARU was a Kyukate-sen and tasked to transport perishable food stuffs. She was re-provisioned either by shore facilities or large fleet stores ships.

Vessel Dimensions Displacement Machinery Speed Armament Crew
MAMIYA 475' x 61' x
15,280-tons VTE steam engines, 8 Kampon boilers, 2 shafts, 10,00 bhp. 14 knots 2 x 140mm (5.51-in.)/50 cal LA, 2 x 80mm (3-in)/40 cal HA- 284
IRAKO 476' x 62'.4'' x 19'10'' 11,100-tons 2 sets of geared turbines, 6 Kampon boilers, 2 shafts. 17.5 knots 4 x 127mm (5-inch)/40 cal DP, 13 x 25mm, DCs 361
KINEZAKI 195' x 31' x 10' 920-tons 2 diesel engines, 2 shafts. 15 knots 1 x 80mm (3-inch)/40 cal AA, 3-13 x 25mm Unknown
KURASAKI 270' x 34' x 14' 2371-tons Reciprocating VTE, 1 shaft. 13 knots 1 x 80mm (3-inch)/40 cal AA Unknown
NOZAKI 172' x 27' x 10' 660-tons 1 diesel engine, 2 shafts, 1,200 bhp 13 knots 1 x 80mm (3-inch)/40 cal AA Unknown
MUROTO 345' x 50' x 24' 8,125-tons Reciprocating VTE, ? shafts. 12.5 knots 2 x 120mm (4.7-inch), 2 x 80mm (3-inch) Unknown
KITAKAMI MARU 322' x 50' x 8' 498-tons Reciprocating VTE, 1 shaft. E 13 knots 4 x 80mm (3-inch)/40 cal AA, 7 7.7mm LMG, 1 7.7mm HMG, 5 rifles Unknown