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  Kozui Maru

7,508 Tons

Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding at Yokohama as a 6,702-ton refrigerated cargo ship ship for Takachiho Shosen K. K. Laid down on November 7, 1936. Launched on February 27, 1937 and named Kozui Maru. Completed and registered as a 7,508 gross ton register.

Wartime History
On November 2, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). On November 10, 1941 attached to the Maizuru Naval District and under order no. 1391 converted at Maizuru Navy Base at Maizuru into an auxiliary transport (charter) completed January 6, 1942.

Assigned to "R Sakusen" (Operation R) and departs for Rabaul arriving on February 1, 1942 and is assigned to the landing at Gasmata (Tsurumi). On February 4, 1942 embarks troops of the No. 2 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). Although scheduled to depart the next day, is delayed and the troops are disembarked ashore. On February 7, 1942 they reboard.

On February 8, 1942 at 6:00am departs Rabaul with Kinryu Maru. bound for Gasmata. On February 9, 1942 arrives at Gasmata at 2:50am and at 3:35am her troops depart aboard Daihatsu landing craft and land on shore securing the area and Gasmata Airfield.

On February 11, 1942, this ship was at Gasmata Harbor, along with Kinryu Maru. Bombed by three RAAF bombers: Hudson A16-91, Hudson A16-103 and Hudson A16-126.

This ship suffered three direct hits that caused leaks in the hull, but it continued on its mission. Aboard, 1 member of airfield unit was KIA, 3 were WIA. Four of the ship's crew were WIA. Anti-aircraft gunners aboard claimed to shoot down one of the attackers (possibly damaging Hudson A16-91).

After the attack, both damaged ships undergo temporary repairs. Minelayer Tsugaru assists in patching a waterline hole on Kozui Maru by February 13, 1942 and embarks some SNLF troops and returns to Rabaul arriving on February 14, 1942.


Sinking History
On October 14, 1943, sunk by a torpedo fired by the USS Grayback (SS-208) at roughly Lat 27-35N Long 127-30E. , then eludes counterattacks by escorting Takasaki. Three crewmen, four gunners and 21 passengers are killed in the attack. at 4:45pm USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from Takasaki that reads: "Kozui Maru received enemy submarine torpedo attack. I am conducting hunter-killer operations.” At 4:59pm codebreakers decrypt another message from Takasaki that reads: “Kozui Maru sank.”

At 7:02pm, a decrypted message intercepted stated: “Of the crew of 107 [from the Kozui Maru], 77 embarked in Nichinan Maru, 30 are missing, 6 killed or wounded. At 1830, left.”

We Who are About to Die: The Story of John Lerew page 194 - 197
Combined Fleet - Kozui Maru Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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