The Kiyozumi Maru was built in 1934 by the Kawasaki Dockyard as a freighter with luxurious passenger accommodations. The Japanese Navy took control of her in November 1941 and converted her to an armed merchant raider. Six inch guns, cannibalized from old cruisers, two twin torpedo launchers and anti-aircraft machine gun were added. Her success as a raider was uneventful, so in October of 1943 she was reclassified as a transport. Kiyozumi Maruís most noteworthy mission was as a troop carrier for invasion forces during the Battle of Midway.
During the war she was repeatedly damaged by aircraft bombs and was struck by three torpedoes from an American submarine in 1943. She was towed to Truk and was undergoing repairs at the time of the "Hailstone" attack. Although she had extensive damage from the submarine attack, it is believed that aerial bombs in her amidship superstructure and abeam Hold #2 finally sank her.
The Kiyozumi Maru still leaks diesel oil, whose odor can be noticed on the surface. She now lies in 100 fsw.
Kiyozumi Maru: Displacement: 6,983 tons; Length: 450 feet; Beam: 61 feet; Engine: 1 Sulzer diesel; Max Speed: 18.75 kts. Launched: 30 APR 1934. Crew: 50.
Courtesy-Capt. Lance Higgs S.S. Thorfinn