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  Nisshin
IJN
Midget Sub Carrier

11,320 Tons
110 x 115 x 55
6 x 140mm main guns
18 x 25mm AA

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IJN February 19, 1942

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USN October 13, 1943

Ship History
Built at Kure and launched on November 30, 1939, but completion is delayed to convert the ship to be a Type A midget submarines carrier. The ship made its first trial run on February 19, 1942 assigned to Captain Komazawa wKatsumi.

Wartime History
During March 3, participates in a search with Yakaze for a lost midge sub No. 13 from Chitose.

On April 16th departs Hashirajima via Davao and arrives at Surabaya on April 26th. After the failure of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Nisshin instead returns to Hashirajima on May 8, 1942.

Participated in the Battle of Midway strike force's 'main body', carrying midget submarines, for the Japanese base expected to be establish there after it is occupied. When the Japanese are defeated, Nisshin returns to Hashirajima on June 19th.

On September 18th arrives at Shortland, departing on the 25th for Kavieng arriving the next day. Departs Kavieng on the 30th and returns to Shortland the next day.

Guadalcanal "Tokyo Express" Runs
After the American landings on Guadalcanal, the Nisshin made at least four runs from Rabaul as part of the "Tokyo Express" in October 1942 with personnel, supplies and equipment for the Japanese ground forces. Among the items she delivered were 150mm howitzers.

First Mission: On October 3, 1942 Nisshin is loaded with nine artillery pieces (including 150mm howitzers) and 330 men including General Maruyama Masao of the 2nd Division. Departs Shortland at 6:30am with Chitose escorted by destroyers Nowaki, Maikaze and Akitsuki. At 3:40 Nisshin was attacked by five B-17s, but not damaged. Afterwards arrives at Tassafaronga unloading began. At 10:00pm Nisshin is attacked at night and suffers a near miss by an aerial bomb, causing an engine room leak. She departs before fully unloading, leaving with 80 men still aboard and two artillery. The ship departs without further damage and Akizuki joins her escort.

Second Mission: On October 7th, departs Shortland on a second "Tokyo Express' run, but the mission is aborted halfway, as no air cover is available. On October 8, 1942 again departs Shortland with six anti-aircraft guns, two howitzers and 180 soldiers, escorted by Akizuki and four other destroyers loaded with other troops. After successfully unloading on Guadalcanal, the group is attacked on the return trip but suffers no damage.

#3: On October 11th, Nisshin and Chitose depart Shortland with more howitzers, guns, equipment and troops, escorted by six destroyers, while Cruiser Division 6 accompanies as a bombardment group. At 10:20pm arrives at for Tassafaronga and successfully unload as the Battle of Cape Esperence commences. Nisshin and Chitose withdraw.

#4 Departs Shortland and on October 14, unloads soldiers at Cape Esperence, and returns to Shortland on November 1st, then departs for Truk arriving on the 3rd, then departs on the 23rd, arriving at Yokosuka. Captain Ito Jotaro becomes new commander.

Departs Yokosuka on December 10th and arrives at Truk on the 15th, leaving two days later and arriving at Rabaul on the 19th. Departs on 21st and returns to Kure on the 27th.

Leaves Kure on January 4, 1943 thru Inalnd Sea and arrives at Truk on the 11th. Leaves Truk on February 15 with Bat. Div 3 for Kure arriving on the 20th.

Departs Kure April 9 and arrives Rabaul on May 15th, then returns to Kure on the 22nd, then to Yokosuka on the 26th, then returns to Kure on the 30th.

Bougainville Reinforcement
Departs Kure on July 10 escorted by Araski an Hagikaze aboard are 630 troops of the 4th South Seas Guard Unit, twenty-two Type 89 Chi-Ro tanks, artillery, supplies and fuel.

Arrives at Truk on July 14, then departs on the 19th for Rabaul with along with escorts: Hatsuzuki, Mogami, Oyodo and Agano. Arrives at Rabaul on the 21st, loads additional troops and departs for the Shortland that evening. At 11pm, enemy planes are sited but reinforcement continues. Allied ULTRA had deciphers the details of the convoy and an air attack is planned against the convoy

Sinking History
On July 22, 1943 Nisshin is attacked by 34 SBD Dauntless, TBF Avengers (armed with bombs), 12 B-24s and B-17s. The attack was reported as 60 miles east of Buin, (Another location is listed as 17 miles west of Cape Alexander). At 1:45, the first attack by B-17s is evaded, an Nisshin reaches 34 knots.

Next, attacked by SBD Dauntless at 1:53 at close range, and suffers three hits: one on the No. 2 turret, one on front aircraft deck and third inside the aircraft hanger, open for unloading. Electrical power is cut and the ship's speed drops and jams the rudder, but is reset to center.

At 1:59 a third strike scores two additional hits on the port side, causing the ship to list sharply and sink by the bow. A sixth bomb hits on the starboard side, yet anti-aircraft gunners continue to fire as the ship ship sinks. Although an abandon ship is ordered, there is not enough time of troops or crew to escape.

At 2:05, the Nisshin rolled to starboard and sinks bow first. Escorting destroyers search for survivors for two hours. Less than 200 survived the swift sinking.

Officially, the Nisshin is stricken from the register on September 10, 1943.

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Last Updated
May 24, 2014

 

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