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  Kyūsyū Maru (Ruinin Wreck)

8,560 Tons

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USN November 15, 1942

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USMC c1944

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USN c1944

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Peter Flahavin 1998

Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shipyard & Machinery Works. Laid down August 10, 1937 as Yard No. 711 a 8,666 Ton passenger-cargo ship for Harada Kisen K. K. in Osaka. Launched December 18, 1938. Named Kyūsyū Maru. Also spelled Kyushu Maru in english. Completed May 31, 1938 and chartered to Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK), K.K.

On July 9, 1938 departed on her maiden voyage leaving Yokohama bound for New York. Afterwards, operated as a passenger and cargo vessel.

Wartime History
On July 8, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) but continued to operate with a civilian crew designated as an Ippan Choyosen (B-AK). On October 5, 1941 released from Navy service.

Afterwards, requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as No. 906 and converted to a troop transport with a single field gun added as armament.

On November 27, 1941 at noon arrives at Samah on Hainan Island off China at an assembly area to join the convoy transporting the 25th Army under the command of Lt. Gen Yamashita Tomoyuki. On December 4, 1941 departs with escorts bound for the Gulf of Thailand. Kyushu Maru is part of the "Singora Invasion Unit".

On December 7, 1941 at 11:40pm anchors off Singora (Songkhla) in southern Siam (Thailand) and begins unloading troops and equipment without strong opposition into December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War.

Afterwards, departs back to Samah arriving December 12, 1941.


On October 13, 1942 departed Shortland Harbor bound for Guadalcanal to deliver 2nd Division soliders then return. The convoy included Sado Maru, Azumasan Maru, Kyushu Maru, Nankai Maru, Sakito Maru and Sasako Maru, escorted by destroyers Shigure and Akizuki.

Kyūsyū Maru beached near the mouth of Ruinin Creek near Ruaniu at Bunani Point on the north coast of

Sinking History
On October 15, 1942 one of three transports sunk by SBD Dauntless dive bombers when a bomb hit ammunition in the rear hold, causing the ship to sink rapidly from the stern.
Also beached and sunk was Sasako Maru and Azumasan Maru.

The Kyūsyū Maru beached near the mouth of Ruinin Creek near Ruaniu at Bunani Point on the north coast of
Guadalcanal. After American forces liberated this area, this shipwreck with the bow sticking up in the air was often photographed by American personnel.

This shipwreck is known locally as "Ruinin Wreck". During the 1960s, the upper surfaces of the ship were cut off and salvaged for scrap metal. During earthquakes, the shipwreck settled into deeper water.

In the late 1990s, some planks of metal from the ship remain piled high on the beach and lying along the waters edge.
Heavily damaged by bombing and scrapping, the ship is twisted from bomb damage. Over the years, divers have reported artillery shells still in their original packing and more notably the carbonized remnants of biscuits with the baker's name still readable. Rice bowls and the remains of uniforms can be seen in the better-preserved deeper sections of the shipwreck.

Today, the shipwreck is located 65' / 20m from shore. The bow is at a depth of 16' / 5m with the stern at a depth of 151' / 46m.

Combined Fleet KYUSHU MARU: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
November 16, 2018


20m from shore
5m bow
46m stern

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