YUSOSEN!

(SHIMANE MARU after 21 Mar '45 attack)
(Photo Credit: "Perfect Guide, The Aircraft Carriers of The Imperial Japanese Navy & Army")

IJN SHIMANE MARU:

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


8 June 1944:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Heavy Industriesí shipyard as construction number 740, a 10,215-ton Wartime Standard Type 1TL tanker for Ishihara Kisen, K. K. and allotted to the IJN.

19 December 1944:
Launched and named SHIMANE MARU.

29 February 1944:
Completed. Taken over by the IJN for conversion to an escort aircraft carrier. SHIMANE MARU is to be operated under Imperial Army control and carry 12 Yokosuka K5Y1 Type 93 "Willow" intermediate trainers. The plan is for her to provide anti-submarine air cover for convoys going from Southeast Asia to the homeland. She can also be used as a tanker.

SHIMANE MARU is fitted with a full length flight deck, small hangar and a single elevator forward, but no catapult. The boiler uptakes are rerouted to run aft to the stern and discharge to starboard via a downward-angled funnel. Her deck is camouflaged with netting and potted plants, the hull also receives camouflage painting.

28 February 1945:
Construction is abandoned when almost complete. Escort carrier SHIMANE MARU never becomes operational due to a lack of planes, pilots and fuel. [1]

19 March 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP (CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal. More than 240 aircraft (SB2C Helldivers, F4U "Corsairs" and F6F Hellcats) make the attack on the many ships in the area. Bombs severely damage SHIMANE MARU's stern, flight deck and the area in front of the elevator.

1945:
Plans are developed to convert damaged SHIMANE MARU to a coal burning freighter. She is probably towed to Shido Bay. There her flight deck is further camouflaged with trees.

24 July 1945:
Inland Sea. Attacked in Shido Bay by aircraft from British Task Force 37ís carrier HMS VICTORIOUS and heavily damaged by bombs and rockets. She breaks in two and sinks in shallow water at at 34-20N, 134-07E. Only her stern remains above water. Six crewmen are KIA.

1945:
A mine strikes SHIMANE MARUís hulk.

1948:
Osaka. Scrapped at Naniwa Dock Co. Ltd.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Sources conflict as to whether SHIMANE MARU was actually completed.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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