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  Nojima Maru

7,189 Tons (7,190 Tons)

Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd at Kobe. Laid down February 3, 1934. Launched October 24, 1934 as Nojima Maru (also known as "Nozama Maru". Completed February 13, 1935. Owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) in Tokyo.

Between 1935-1940, Nojima Maru operated on NYK's New York Line, leaving Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama then traveling via Asia to load cargos of silk, sugar manganese, palm oil and general cargo before proceeding to ports in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Kirun, Formosa, Shanghai and Tientsin. Crossing the Pacific Ocean then arriving at Los Angeles then via the Panama Canal to New York, Baltimore, Norfolk and Boston and returned with U. S. exports including steel, cotton and general cargo. In 1940, reclassified as 7,190 Tons.

Wartime History
On July 19, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a transport (Ippan Choyosen). Registered in the as an auxiliary transport under internal order No. 1093 and attached to the Kure Naval District as an auxiliary transport, (Ko) category based at Kure. Placed under the command of IJN Captain Koichi Itagaki.

On December 1, 1941 assigned as an auxiliary transport to the Combined Fleet, Southern Fleet, 9th Base Force. Two days later departs Samah on Hainan Island bound for Pulo Condor Island (Poulo Condor, Island) in Indochina (Vietnam) arriving on December 5.


On December 27, 1941 while in the South China Sea, 30 nms southwest of Hong Kong, USS Perch (SS-176) launches a torpedoe that hits the bow of Nojima and strands the vessel. The next day, Auxiliary gunboat Shosei Maru arrives to assist the ship that is stranded in Hunghai Bay and material is salvaged from the damaged cargo ship until arrivng in Hong Kong for repairs.


On February 13, 1943 Nojima Maru escorted by two destroyers was returning from a supply run to Kolombangara and during the morning was roughly 25 miles off Kahili (Buin) on southern Bougainville.


On March 3, 1943 Nojima is damaged both by aircraft and in a collision with destroyer Arashio.

Wartime History
On March 7, 1943 during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, sunk south of Dampier Strait roughly 50 miles southeast of Finschafen at approximately Lat 07-15S, Long 148-30E.

After the sinking, Japanese submarine RO-101 rescues Captain Matsumoto and 44 infantrymen in lifeboats.

Combined Fleet - IJN NOJIMA MARU: Tabular Record of Movement
"Operation KE" by Richard Dunn

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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