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Assigned to "R Sakusen" (Operation R) and departs for Rabaul arriving on February 1, 1942 and is assigned to the landing at Gasmata (Tsurumi). On February 4, 1942 embarks troops of the No. 2 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). Although scheduled to depart the next day, is delayed and the troops are disembarked ashore. On February 7, 1942 they reboard.
On February 8, 1942 at 6:00am departs Rabaul with Kinryu Maru. bound for Gasmata. On February 9, 1942 arrives at Gasmata at 2:50am and at 3:35am her troops depart aboard Daihatsu landing craft and land on shore securing the area and Gasmata Airfield.
This ship suffered three direct hits that caused leaks in the hull, but it continued on its mission. Aboard, 1 member of airfield unit was KIA, 3 were WIA. Four of the ship's crew were WIA. Anti-aircraft gunners aboard claimed to shoot down one of the attackers (possibly damaging Hudson A16-91).
After the attack, both damaged ships undergo temporary repairs. Minelayer Tsugaru assists in patching a waterline hole on Kozui Maru by February 13, 1942 and embarks some SNLF troops and returns to Rabaul arriving on February 14, 1942.
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