(KAMIKAZE MARU prewar)
Record of Movement
© 2010-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
31 July 1937:
Sakurajima. Laid down at Osaka Iron Works as a 4,916-ton cargo ship for Todai Kisen K. K., Osaka.
27 December 1937:
Launched and named KAMIKAZE MARU.
17 March 1938:
1 August 1940:
Ownership is transferred to Yamashita Kisen K. K., Kobe.
3 June 1941:
Requisitioned by the IJN.
29 July 1941:
Tokyo. Begins conversion at Uraga Dock Co.
15 August 1941:
Rated an auxiliary destroyer tender.
30 September 1941:
The conversion is completed. Reassigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Nobutake Kondo’s Second Fleet.
1 October 1941:
At Mako, Pescadores.
11 January 1942:
2 March 1942:
At Macassar takes on bunkers from tanker AKEBONO MARU.
14 April 1942:
Enters dry-dock at Kure.
22 April 1942:
27 April 1942:
28 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.
8 May 1942:
Departs Furue for Saipan and Ponape, then to Yokosuka.
5 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
14 July 1942:
Assigned to the 11th Seaplane Tender Division with seaplane carrier CHITOSE (F) and seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU.
16 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka on a supply mission to Kure.
22 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure on a replenishment mission.
28 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure.
1 August 1942:
10 August 1942:
Arrives at Kure.
18 August 1942:
6 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
19 January 1943:
22 January 1943:
9 February 1943:
KAMIKAZE MARU is re-rated a transport.
3 November 1943:
At 0430 departs Truk in convoy also consisting of HIE MARU and ammunition ship NICHII MARU escorted by destroyers NOWAKE, MAIKAZE and YAMAGUMO.
4 November 1943:
HIE MARU avoids a torpedo attack at 00-45N, 152-05E.
5 November 1943:
An air attack occurs at 01-05N, 151-15E. The ships are undamaged, but turn back to Truk.
7 November 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Truk.
30 December 1943:
At 1520, KAMIKAZE MARU departs Shanghai in convoy MO-006 consisting of NARUTO, WAZAN, NISSHO, MISHIMA and KORYU MARUs escorted by minesweeper W-15.
3 January 1944:
At 0855, arrives at Sasebo.
12 February 1944:
KAMIKAZE MARU departs Truk for Palau in convoy No. 7125 consisting of fleet oiler SATA, tanker HISHI MARU No. 2, ammunition ship NICHIRO MARU and stores ship KITAKAMI MARU escorted by destroyer HAMANAMI, subchaser CH-30 and auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 and SHONAN MARU No. 5.
17 February 1944:
150 miles NE of Palau. At about 2200, LtCdr Philip W. Garnett's USS SARGO (SS-188) intercepts convoy 7125. Garnett fires eight torpedoes at SATA and gets one hit, but it disables the oiler. At 2206, he fires two torpedoes that hit ammunition ship NICHIRO MARU. She explodes and sinks immediately.
At 2235, USN codebreakers at Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) intercept and decode a message from KAMIKAZE MARU that reads "At 2202 in 08-50N, 135-40E attacked by 2 enemy subrnarines. NICHIRO MARU hit and sunk. Convoy retiring to northwest whilst escorts are pressing home attack on submarines."
19 February 1944:
At 0905, arrives at Palau. That same day, she is rerated an auxliary transport ship for raw food supplement products.
11 March 1944:
Palau. KAMIKAZE MARU receives fresh provisions from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.
30 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One” :
Palau, Carolines. The anchorage is attacked by F6F "Hellcats", SBD "Dauntless", TBF "Avenger" and SB2C "Helldiver" carrier aircraft from Task Group 58. 1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and USS COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 58. 2's USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17), USS HORNET (CV-12), USS MONTEREY (CVL-26) and USS CABOT (CVL-28) and TG 58. 3's USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS PRINCETON (CVL-23) and USS LANGLEY (CVL-27).
Urukhapel Island, Malakai Harbor, Palaus. At 0945, six SB2Cs from USs BUNKER HILL bomb KAMIKAZE MARU with eight 1,000-lb and eight 500-lb. bombs. She is hit forward of the bridge and amidships and suffers three near-misses. Fires break out. Underway at three knots, KAMIKAZE MARU comes to a stop. Between 1414 and 1430, KAMIKAZE MARU is attacked by TBFs from BUNKER HILL and hit by rockets. Later, KAMIKAZE MARU sinks in about 115 feet of water at 07-30N, 134-30E.
31 March 1944:
Operation "Desecrate One" concludes. It accounts for 36 Japanese vessels sunk or damaged.
10 May 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts.
Thanks to Johm Whitman, Gilbert Casse of France and also Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
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