YUSOSEN/RIGUKUN KOKUBOKAN


(YAMASHIO MARU)

YAMASHIO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

2010-2014 Bob Hackett


19 July 1944:
Yokohama. Laid down at at Yokohama Dock of Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. as a 10,238-ton Type 2TL wartime Standard Merchant Tanker for Yamashita Kisen, K. K., Kobe.

14 November 1944:
Launched and named YAMASHIO MARU. Taken over by the Imperial Army (IJA) for conversion to an escort aircraft carrier. YAMASHIO MARU is to carry eight Kokusai Ki-76 ("Stella") high-wing monoplane aircraft to provide anti-submarine air cover for convoys going from Southeast Asia to the homeland. She can also be used as a tanker.

YAMASHIO MARU is fitted with a 351-foot flight deck. There is no catapult, the aircraft being stored on deck. Plans probably also call for YAMASHIO MARU's Ki-76s to be fitted with an arrestor hook, as done for Landing Craft Depot Ship AKITSU MARU's Ki-76s, and to carry two 60 kg (132 lb) depth charges. Her boiler uptakes are rerouted to run aft to the stern and discharge via a downward-angled funnel. Some oil cargo tanks are converted for aviation gasoline storage. YAMASHIO MARU is also fitted with an anti-submarine mortar installed on the forecastle. She was panted in a camouflage scheme.

(Ki-76)

27 January 1945:
Completed. Just after completion, YAMASHIO MARU is projected to be reconstructed as a coal burning cargo ship, but work is abandoned. She is moored and idle in Yokohama harbor. She never becomes operational.

17 February 1945:
Yohohama. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA '10)(former CO of USS HORNET) Task Force 58 attack the harbor. YAMASHIO MARU suffers direct hits by a 500-lb bomb and many rockets. Her stern is blown off and she sinks in the harbor.


(YAMASHIO MARU, post air attack)

1947:
Yokohama. Hulk scrapped in place.


Authors Note:
Post-air attack photo credit goes to Alex Kirkwood.

- Bob Hackett .