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143 / ? / ?
November 15, 1942
George Lee Peters 1944
Robert Porter 1944
July 19, 1957
Jeff Johnson 1998
Justin Taylan 2003
During early November 1942, part of a convoy of eleven transports (Arizona Maru, Kumagawa Maru, Sado Maru, Nagara Maru, Nako Maru, Canberra Maru, Brisbane Maru, Kinugawa Maru, Hirokawa Maru, Yamaura Maru, and Yamatsuki Maru) escorted by twelve destroyers.
On November 12, 1942 during the afternoon departed Shortland then proceeded southeast down "The Slot" bound for Guadalcanal with reinforcements. The convoy was scheduled to arrive during the night of November 13, 1942 but was recalled to Shortland due to the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal underway in Iron Bottom Sound.
Trying again, the convoy departed November 13, 1942 departed Shortland in the afternoon bound for Guadalcanal. During the morning of November 14, 1942 spotted by U. S. aircraft abd attacked overwhelmed the escorting Japanese aircraft. Six transports were sunk and one damaged that turned back and later sank.
Only four transports escorted by four destroyers remained continued onward. Arriving after nightfall, they stopped to the west of Guadalcanal as the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was underway in Iron Bottom Sound during the night of November 14-15.
Kinugawa Maru beached near Bonegi. Starting at 5:55am, U S. aircraft from Henderson Field and field artillery began bombarding the beached transports. Later USS Meade (DD-602) approached and opened fire for an hour hitting the ships with 5" shells, leaving them "blazing with many internal explosions".
These attacks set the transports afire and destroyed most equipment not unloaded before dawn. Approximately 2,000 troops with 260 cases of ammunition and 1,500 bags of rice made ashore. Most of the ammunition and food supplies aboard were lost.
Fates of the Crew
Postwar, the shipwreck was heavily scrapped, but remained largely intact until the late 1950s. Afterwards, storms and an earthquake in 1977 collapsed the entire bridge area and further damaged the vessel.
Today, this ship is a favorite for SCUBA divers because it is easily accessible from shore. The bow is exposed above the surface and the stern is at a depth of 88.6' / 27m.
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