Japanese survey ship Katsuriki

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Japanese minelayer Katsuriki.jpg
Katsuriki Maru in the Taisho era
Naval Ensign of Japan.svgJapan
Name: Katsuriki
Ordered: fiscal 1915
Builder: Kure Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 15 May 1916
Launched: 5 October 1916
Completed: 15 January 1917
Decommissioned: struck 10 November 1944
  • Katsuriki Maru as built
  • Katsuriki on 1 April 1920
  • Miscellaneous service ship as built
  • Minelayer on 1 April 1920
  • Survey ship on 20 July 1942
Fate: sunk by USN submarine on 21 September 1944
General characteristics
Type: Minelayer/Survey ship
Displacement: 1,540 long tons (1,565 t) standard
Length: 73.15 m (240.0 ft) waterline
Beam: 11.91 m (39 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in)
Speed: 13 knots (15 mph; 24 km/h)
Endurance: Fuel: 449 tons coal
Complement: 138

Katsuriki (勝力) was a minelayer (later converted to survey ship) of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) serving during World War I and World War II, the only ship of her class.[1] She was the first purpose-built ocean-minelayer in the Japanese Navy.


In 1914, with the start of World War I, the Empire of Japan joined the Allies as part of its obligations under the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. However, the Imperial Japanese Navy did not possess an ocean minelayer to protect its harbors from the threat of the Imperial German Navy, only a number of small boats which had been remodeled to carry naval mines. In 1915, a rush order was placed for a purpose-built ocean-minelayer, with the costs to be covered under the Eight-six Fleet program as part of the Muroto-class colliers. As there was not much time for the Imperial Japanese Navy Technical Department to develop the design, the basic configuration of Katsuriki was based on that of a standard merchant ship, which was even reflected in her original name of Katsuriki Maru (勝力丸).

Katsuriki was laid down at Kure Naval Arsenal on 15 May 1916, launched on 5 October 1916 and completed 15 January 1917.[2]

Service history[edit]

World War I and Interwar period[edit]

Katsuriki Maru was completed in time for the final stages of World War I, when the threat of German attack on Japanese harbors was negligible. She was retained around the Japanese home islands for the duration of the war.

On 1 April 1920, she was classified to a utility vessel and renamed Katsuriki. She served on occasion as a guard ship around various islands in Japan's recent acquired South Pacific Mandate in the 1920s, and also functioned during the period on maritime surveying duties.

On 1 July 1935, the remaining minelaying equipment was removed, and surveying devices from the retired survey ship Manshū were installed, and she was officially reclassified as a survey vessel. During the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937, she undertook many survey missions along the coast of China. In 1938, she is known to have surveyed the Spratly Islands, at the time claimed by French Indochina .[3] She also was part of the IJN 5th Fleet during the invasion of Hainan from 9–11 February 1939 .[3] From October 1941, she was deployed to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, and surveyed the vicinity of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.[3]

Pacific War[edit]

With the start of World War II, Katsuriki was re-designated as a “secret military vessel” on 20 July 1942, although her mission remained that of maritime surveying. She was sent to map the coasts of the Strait of Malacca, Indian Ocean, Burma, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies and north coast of New Guinea in support of Japanese troop landings and combat operations .[3]

On 21 September 1944, she was hit by two torpedoes fired by USS Haddo 80 nautical miles (150 km) southwest of Manila 13°35′N 119°06′E / 13.583°N 119.100°E / 13.583; 119.100 and sank. Lookouts on the USS Haddo spotted about 40 survivors in the water, and attempted to rescue, but the Japanese drowned themselves.[3] On 10 November 1944, Katsuriki was removed from the Navy List .[2]


  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X.
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8.
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Roscoe, Theodore (1949). United States Submarine Operations in World War II. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-731-3.
  • Ships of the World special issue Vol.47 Auxiliary Vessels of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Kaijinsha, (Japan), March 1997
  • The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No.34, Japanese auxiliary vessels, Ushio Shobō (Japan), December 1979
  • The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No.42, Japanese minelayers, Ushio Shobō (Japan), August 1980
  • Senshi Sōsho Vol.31, Naval armaments and war preparation (1), "Until November 1941", Asagumo Simbun (Japan), November 1969

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. page 198
  2. ^ a b Nishida, Hiroshi (2002). "Katsuragi minelayer". Imperial Japanese Navy.
  3. ^ a b c d e Parshall, Jon; Bob Hackett; Sander Kingsepp; Allyn Nevitt. "Katsuriki Tabular Record of Movement".