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  Kano Maru

6,940 Tons
453' 4" x 30' 8"

Click For Enlargement
circa Aug-Sept 1942

Click For Enlargement
August 7, 1946
Ship History
Built by Uraga Senkyo K.K. Kojo shipyard at Uraga. Laid down December 17, 1932. Launched September 16, 1933 as Kano Maru. Completed August 10, 1934 as a cargo vessel owned by Kokusai Kisen. Between 1935 until 1941 used as a cargo vessel between Japan to New York.

Wartime History
On September 12, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Ippan Choyosen (military transport) auxiliary transport attached to the Kure Naval District at Kure with supervisor Tomosaburo Miura.

On July 26, 1942 at 10:00am departed Kataoka Bay on Shumushu Island. On July 28, 1942 arrived Holtz Bay on Attu Island at 02:00 and unloading commenced. The vessel departed at 12:00 with only 5 passengers aboard bound for Kiska Island.

On July 30, 1942 at 8:00 while steaming at 15 knots roughly 36 kilometers north of Kiska Island, encountered a dense fog and slowed then drifted in the low visibility. Presumably, submarine USS Grunion SS-216 spotted Kano Maru and made at least four torpedo attacks. On July 31, 1942 at 5:47am, a torpedo hit the ship's starboard engine room and causing the loss of electric power and communications. At 5:57am, two more torpedoes passed under ship but failed to detonate. A third attack was made at 6:07am and a fourth attack on the port side of the ship scored a direct hit below the bridge, but the torpedo failed to explode. Kano Maru opened fire with her 8cm deck gun and is believed to have damaged or sunk the attacking submarine.

Kikukawa Maru towed the damaged ship to Kiska Bay arriving at midnight on August 1 and immediately, unloading began. A total of 1,000 cubic metres of general cargo, four Daihatsu landing barges, clothing and all coal was removed. During this period, the damaged vessel served as an artificial harbor and the shoreline nearby was used as harbor for Daihatsu / and Shohatsu barges.

Sinking History
On September 15, 1942 Kano Maru was attacked by aircraft. A near miss on the port side further damaged the hull and the vessel began sinking and ran aground. Strong winds and seas caused it to ground again near South Head on Kiska Island. Afterwards, the repair or salvage was impossible and the shipwreck was abandoned.

Other sources show gross tonnage as 8,572
Japanese Monograph 116 lists this ship as "Kashima Maru" [sic]
Combined Fleet - IJN Kano Maru: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
September 13, 2021


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