japanese Nippon Yusen Kaisha - NYK MV Kamakura Maru (+1943)
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nationality japanese
purpose transport
type ocean liner
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1930
is nickname no
weight (tons) 17526  grt
dimensions 170.7 x 22.6 x 13 m
material steel
engine 4 x 8 cyl. Sulzer diesels (1000 hp per cyl.), 4 x 675 hp auxiliary engines quadruple screws
power 4000  n.h.p.
speed 19  knots
yard no. 170
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 28/04/1943  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.2035rank: 30
about people
Yokohama Dock Co.
last owner
[1]Nippon Yusen Kaisha - NYK, Tokyo
MV Kamakura Maru (+1943)
period 1939 ~ 1943
prev. owners
[2]Nippon Yusen Kaisha - NYK, Tokyo
MV Chichibu Maru
period 1930 ~ 1939
no. of passengers 2500
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
entered by Chipchase Nick
entered 05/01/2010
last update Chipchase Nick
last update 24/12/2010
Lettens Jan05/01/2010
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ref. used
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII
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Lettens Jan25/09/2010On April 28th, 1943, U.S. submarine Gudgeon (SS-212) sinks the Japanese transport/hospital ship Kamakura Maru, 30 miles southwest of Naso Point, Panay, P.I., 10°18´N, 121°44´E.

The Gudgeon claimed three torpedo hits fired. The Kamakura Maru was unescorted at the time, probably relying on her speed to keep clear of submarines.

The torpedoes were fired at 01.00 hrs and according to the submarine report, she sank in twelve minutes. Kamakura Maru was the largest Japanese troopship sunk in WWII.
ref. used: 
 Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII
Lettens Jan22/05/201227 April 1943

At 0520, Kamakura Maru departs Manila for Balikpapan unescorted, carrying some 2,500 passengers, including IJN personnel, around 1,000 oil production specialists and 150 females, heavy vehicles and ammunition.

At 2315, LtCdr William S. Post’s GUDGEON (SS-212) sights a large ship zig-zagging on southerly course at 10-17-48N, 121-44E, later identified as KAMAKURA MARU.

28 April 1943

Sulu Sea, 30 miles SW of Naso Point, Panay, Philippines. At 0104, LtCdr Post fires a spread of four torpedoes at the target making 18 knots 3,200 yards away. Two minutes later, two torpedoes hit KAMAKURA MARU starboard side in her No. 4 hold and auxiliary machinery compartment; a heavy fire breaks out at the stern. Twelve minutes later, she suddenly upends and goes down by the stern.

At 0140, the surfaced GUDGEON passes through the area where the ship went down, and sights a dozen lifeboats, floating debris and a large number of survivors.

2 May 1943

After the estimated time of arrival of KAMAKURA MARU passes, the IJN command in the Philippines issues orders to commence a search for her. Only 28 sailors (of 176) and 437 passengers are eventually rescued.
ref. used: 
Chipchase Nick05/01/2010Previous name is Chichibu Maru where she was used on the Orient to California service
ref. used: 
 Shipping Wonders Of The World
Chipchase Nick05/01/2010The liner Kamakura Maru was taken over as a transport during WW2. She was torpedoed off Palawan Island in the Sulu Sea by the US submarine Gudgeon.
ref. used: 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam

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