Kamikawa Maru-class seaplane tender

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Kamikawa Maru
Kamikawa Maru
Class overview
Name: Kamikawa Maru-class Cargo ship
Builders: Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation
Operators: Kawasaki Line
Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Kōbe Line
Built: 1936–1940
In commission: 1937–1969
Planned: 5
Completed: 5
Lost: 5
Retired: (1, Kiyokawa Maru)
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship/Seaplane tender
Displacement: Kamikawa Maru
6,853 long tons (6,963 t) gross
Kiyokawa Maru
6,862 long tons (6,972 t) gross
Kimikawa Maru and Kunikawa Maru
6,863 long tons (6,973 t) gross
Hirokawa Maru
6,872 long tons (6,982 t) gross
Length: 145.0 m (475 ft 9 in) Lpp
146.15 m (479 ft 6 in) waterline
Beam: 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in)
Draught: 8.23 m (27 ft 0 in)
Propulsion: Kamikawa Maru
1 × MAN-Kawasaki D7Z-70/120T diesel
single shaft, 9,137 bhp
Kiyokawa Maru
1 × MAN-Kawasaki D7Z-70/120T diesel
single shaft, 8,810 bhp
Kimikawa Maru
1 × MAN-Kawasaki D7Z-70/120T diesel
single shaft, 8,867 bhp
Kunikawa Maru
1 × MAN-Kawasaki D7Z-70/120T diesel
single shaft, 8,880 bhp
Hirokawa Maru
1 × MAN-Kawasaki D8Z-70/120T diesel, single shaft, 9,980 bhp
Speed: Kamikawa Maru and Kiyokawa Maru
19.5 knots (22.4 mph; 36.1 km/h)
Kimikawa Maru and Kunikawa Maru
19.4 knots (22.3 mph; 35.9 km/h)
Hirokawa Maru
19.2 knots (22.1 mph; 35.6 km/h)
Capacity: 650,000 cbft freight as cargo ship
Crew: 65 as cargo ship
Armament: Kamikawa Maru, 1937
• 2 × 120 mm (4.7 in) L/45 AA guns
• 2 × 7.7 mm machine guns
Kiyokawa Maru, Kimikawa Maru and Kunikawa Maru, 1941
• 2 × 150 mm (5.9 in) L/40 naval guns
• 2 × 76.2 mm (3.00 in) L/23.5 AA guns
• 4 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 2 × 7.7 mm machine guns
Hirokawa Maru, 1941
• 6 × Type 88 75 mm AA guns
• 4 × Type 98 20 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: Kamikawa Maru, Kiyokawa Maru, Kimikawa Maru and Kunikawa Maru
up to 12 float plane
Aviation facilities: Kamikawa Maru, Kiyokawa Maru, Kimikawa Maru and Kunikawa Maru
catapult and deck

The Kamikawa Maru-class cargo ship (神川丸型貨物船 Kamikawa Maru-gata Kamotsusen?) was a type of cargo ship of Japan, serving during the 1930s and World War II. Four of the five ships of the class were converted to seaplane tenders during the war.

Background[edit]

  • In 1930, the Ōsaka Mercantile Steamship Co.Ltd. (O.S.K. Lines) let Kinai Maru-class cargo ship[1] go into service to Japan-New York route.
  • Japanese steamship companies sent a lot of new cargo ships to North America route to oppose this.
  • In 1936, the Kawasaki Line was fully prepared and built four Kamikawa Maru-class ships. They overwhelmed other cargo ships at high cruising speed and the big capacity.
  • However, they were commandeered in sequence and did not survive to the end of the war.

Ships in class[edit]

Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Owner
Kamikawa Maru (神川丸?) Kawasaki, Kōbe Shipyard 5 August 1936 13 December 1936 15 March 1937 Kawasaki Line
Kiyokawa Maru (聖川丸?) Kawasaki, Kōbe Shipyard 21 October 1936 16 February 1937 15 May 1937 Kawasaki Line
Kōbe Line (and after 15 August 1963)
Kimikawa Maru (君川丸?) Kawasaki, Kōbe Shipyard 2 November 1936 11 March 1937 15 July 1937 Kawasaki Line
Kunikawa Maru (國川丸?) Kawasaki, Kōbe Shipyard 11 March 1937 12 June 1937 1 November 1937 Kawasaki Line
Hirokawa Maru (宏川丸?) Kawasaki, Kōbe Shipyard 6 April 1939 10 May 1940 12 October 1940 Kawasaki Line

Service[edit]

  • Kamikawa Maru
Career (extract), fate
Date Contents
18 September 1937 Enlisted by the Navy. On 19 September, classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender.
1 October 1937 Assigned to the 3rd Fleet.
1 December 1937 Assigned to the 3rd Carrier Division, 3rd Fleet.
1 February 1938 3rd Carrier Division was transferred to the 5th Fleet.
1 July 1938 Assigned to the 3rd Fleet.
15 December 1938 Classified to Auxiliary aircraft transport.
15 November 1939 Classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender, assigned to the China Area Fleet.
1 April 1940 Assigned to the 2nd China Expeditionary Fleet.
15 November 1940 Assigned to the 6th Carrier Division, Combined Fleet.
10 April 1941 Assigned to the 12th Carrier Division, 3rd Fleet.
7 December 1941 Sortie for the Battle of Malaya.
10 March 1942 Assigned to the 4th Fleet.
18 April 1942 Sortie for the Operation MO.
20 May 1942 Assigned to the 11th Carrier Division, Southeast Area Fleet.
28 May 1942 Sortie for the Operation MI.
15 June 1942 Sortie for the Operation AL.
14 July 1942 11th Carrier Division was moved to the 2nd Fleet.
23 August 1942 Sortie for the Guadalcanal Campaign.
1 April 1943 11th Carrier Division was moved to the Southeast Area Fleet.
15 April 1943 11th Carrier Division was disbanded.
29 May 1943 Sunk by USS Scamp at northwest of Kavieng 01°36′S 150°24′E / 1.600°S 150.400°E / -1.600; 150.400.
15 July 1943 Removed from naval ship list and discharged.
  • Kiyokawa Maru
Career (extract), fate
Date Contents
28 September 1941 Enlisted by the Navy.
5 October 1941 Classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender.
10 November 1941 Assigned to the 4th Fleet.
6 December 1941 Sortie for the Battle of Guam.
23 December 1941 Sortie for the Battle of Wake Island.
6 January 1942 Sortie for the Battle of Rabaul.
1 December 1942 Classified to Auxiliary transport, and assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.
1 April 1943 Classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender, and assigned to the 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet, Southwest Area Fleet.
1 July 1943 Assigned to the Southwest Area Fleet.
1 October 1943 Classified to Auxiliary transport.
1 June 1944 Assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.
14 July 1944 Entry to the Hi-68 Convoy.
20 August 1944 Entry to the TaMo-26 Convoy.
14 November 1944 Entry to the Hi-81 Convoy.
8 December 1944 Entry to the MaMo-25 Convoy.
29 January 1945 Entry to the Hi-93 Convoy.
11 February 1945 Entry to the Hi-88C Convoy.
25 February 1945 Entry to the TaMo-44 Convoy.
16 March 1945 Entry to the MoTa-43 Convoy.
1 April 1945 Entry to the TaMo-53 Convoy.
20 July 1945 Sunk by air raid at Kaminoseki.
30 November 1945 Discharged.
9 December 1947 Refloated.
20 October 1949 Repairs were completed.
15 August 1963 Sold to Kōbe Line.
14 December 1969 Scrapped.
  • Kimikawa Maru
Career (extract), fate
Date Contents
6 July 1941 Enlisted by the Navy.
25 July 1941 Classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender.
1 September 1941 Assigned to the 5th Fleet.
10 December 1941 Assigned to the 21st Division, 5th Fleet.
1 September 1941 Removed from 21st Division.
8 June 1942 Sortie for the Operation AL.
1 October 1943 Classified to Auxiliary transport and assigned to the Northeast Area Fleet.
20 November 1943 Assigned to the Combined Fleet.
13 July 1944 Entry to the Hi-69 Convoy.
2 October 1944 Entry to the Hi-76 Convoy.
21 October 1944 Entry to the Mata-30 Convoy.
23 October 1944 Sunk by USS Sawfish at WNW of Cape Bojeador 18°58′S 118°40′E / 18.967°S 118.667°E / -18.967; 118.667.
10 December 1944 Removed from naval ship list and discharged.
  • Kunikawa Maru
Career (extract), fate
Date Contents
31 October 1941 Enlisted by the Navy.
10 November 1941 Classified to Auxiliary transport.
10 December 1941 Assigned to the Combined Fleet.
14 July 1942 Classified to Auxiliary seaplane tender, and assigned to the 4th Fleet.
24 August 1942 Sortie for the Solomon Islands campaign.
1 April 1943 Assigned to the 11th Carrier Division, Southeast Area Fleet.
15 April 1943 Removed from 11th Carrier Division.
3 May 1943 Entry to the No. 2023 Convoy.
8 May 1943 Entry to the No. 4508 Convoy.
1 June 1943 Entry to the No. 3601A Convoy.
5 August 1943 Entry to the No. 4805 Convoy.
15 September 1943 Entry to the No. 3914 Convoy.
28 September 1943 Entry to the No. 1292 Convoy.
1 October 1943 Classified to Auxiliary transport, and assigned to the Kure Naval District.
16 October 1943 Entry to the O-602B Convoy.
1 November 1943 Entry to the No. 7101 Convoy.
21 December 1943 Entry to the Hi-27 Convoy.
20 March 1944 Entry to the H-22 Convoy.
29 March 1944 Struck a naval mine at Balikpapan.
8 May 1944 Temporary repairs were completed, however struck a naval mine once again. Later sank in shallow water.
26 September 1944 Refloated and temporary repairs were completed.
21 May 1945 Sunk by air raid.
30 November 1945 Discharged.
3 May 1947 Removed from naval ship list.
  • Hirokawa Maru
Career (extract), fate
Date Contents
8 February 1941 Enlisted by the Army. Classified to Nucleus Anti-Aircraft vessel.
8 December 1941 Sortie for the Battle of Malaya. She landing the Andō Detachment, 5th Infantry Division at Pattani.
20 February 1942 Sortie for the Dutch East Indies campaign. She landing the 16th Army at Palembang.
23 March 1942 Sortie for the Invasion of the Andaman Islands. She landing the one battalion of the 18th Division at Ross Island.
14 October 1942 Sortie for the Guadalcanal Campaign.
15 October 1942 She landing the one battalion of the 38th Division at Guadalcanal. Sunk by U.S. aircraft, artillery bombardment from U.S. Forces and USS Meade at Tassafaronga Point.

Photos[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 8300 tons, 18.5 kt. Kinai Maru (畿内丸?), Hokuriku Maru (北陸丸?), Tōkai Maru (東海丸?), San'yō Maru (山陽丸?), Nankai Maru (南海丸?), Hokkai Maru (北海丸?), Kantō Maru (関東丸?), and Kansai Maru (関西丸?).

Bibliography[edit]

  • Tashirō Iwashige, The visual guide of Japanese wartime merchant marine, "Dainippon Kaiga".  (Japan), May 2009
  • Shinshichirō Komamiya, The Wartime Convoy Histories, "Shuppan Kyōdōsha".  (Japan), October 1987
  • Monthly Ships of the World, "Kaijinsha".  (Japan)
    • No. 481, Special issue Vol. 40, History of Japanese aircraft carriers, May 1994
    • No. 525, June 1997
    • No. 600, September 2002
  • Science of the Ships No. 403, Ministry of Transport, May 1982
  • The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No. 25, Japanese seaplane tenders w/ auxiliary seaplane tenders, "Ushio Shobō".  (Japan), March 1979