This vessel is possibly Auxiliary Minesweeper #5 or Hosho Maru.
Sunk in Kapingamarangi Lagoon, possibly in November 1943.
Rest on the starboard side on a sandy bottom.
Ken DaVico adds:
"I went to Kapingamarangi on a second expedition in 1970. Stayed there about 14 days. On that trip I located a sunken Japanese ship, a small supply ship or gunboat within Kapingy lagoon. It is or was unknown except by a couple locals. Went by sailboat from Ponape for this trip. Stayed 9 days on Nukoro in 70 as well."
Hugh Reilly / MV Westward adds:
"Located about two miles south of Kapingamirangi village, in the SE corner of the atoll, but you'd need a local guide to locate it. The story given was that the vessel was bombed as it entered the pass but was able to travel a few miles to where in sank (in about 50' water). I did not think to check if either anchor was deployed (though one was definitely still in the hawse-pipe). I've spent a lifetime in/around the commercial fishing; based on that experience, I believe the vessel (which has a small caliber, two barrel gun mounted over the anchor windlass) to have been built originally as a pole-fishing vessel for Tuna. I'd guess the vessel tuna vessel conversion, lightly armed & used by the Japanese forces to supply remote islands. This assessment is based upon:
- The hull shape (quite similar to the Asian long-line hulls),
- Small cargo hatches/holds (suitable for smaller, high value cargo)
- The exterior (fishing) platform which surrounds from stem to stern."
Thanks to Hugh Reilly for additional information
Thanks to Minoru Kamada for ship history
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February 4, 2018