2A Class, Japanese Cargo Ships

Photograph of 2A class cargo ship

U.S. Navy. Via


Tonnage 6600 gross register tons
11,200 deadweight tons
Dimensions 448'8" by 59'8" by 36'5""
136.75m by 18.19m by 11.10m
Maximum speed       13 knots
1-shaft turbine (3500 shp)
3 boilers
Range 4000 nautical miles (6400 km) at 9.5 knots

The 2As were standardized cargo vessels based loosely on the 1A class. The Japanese sometimes referred to it as the Modified A class. Designed in what Heal (2003) describes as "a near panic given the state of Japanese merchant shipping by 1943," they were designed for mass production rather than commercial economy, like the American Liberty Ships. The ships therefore had a reduced number of transverse frames and supporting beams (weakening their hulls) and no double bottom compartments. Engine failure was common. The machinery spaces were moved to the rear of these ships to reduce the lengths of shafts. As with their American equivalents, special yards were set up for their construction. Construction time was initially about 90 days, but steadily decreased to as little as 36 days.

These slow, fragile ships proved easy prey for submarine attack. Because of their poor reputation, most were employed in the private sector, while the Army and Navy requisitioned ships built to prewar designs.

Only those units completed through August 1945 are included in the table below. A sizable fraction of the ships laid down as 2As were converted on the ways to 2AT tankers, as the Japanese belatedly realized that American submarines had begun to concentrate on tanker traffic.

Units in the Pacific:

Enoshima Maru
Completed 1943-12-20

Eijyo Maru
Completed 1943-12-23     
Run aground 1945-3-1 near Tsingtao
Jinyo Maru
Completed 1943-12-27
Torpedoed 1944-4-6 by Trepang off Luzon
Eikyu Maru
Completed 1944-1-26
Sunk by aircraft 1944-9-21 at Manila
Azuchisan Maru
Completed 1944-2-5
Torpedoed 1944-10-2 by Aspro west of Luzon
Tenshinsan Maru
Completed 1944-2-15
Torpedoed 1944-5-6 by Gurnard 50 miles northwest of Menado
Yamateru Maru
Completed 1944-2-23
Torpedoed 1944-8-24 by Croaker 50 miles northwest of Mokpo, Korea
Dairin Maru
Completed 1944-2-27
Torpedoed 1944-7-3 by Sturgeon off Wonsan
Etajima Maru
Completed 1944-3-10
Torpedoed 1944-9-13 by Boarfish in East China Sea
Kakogawa Maru
Completed 1944-3-17
Sunk by aircraft 1944-11-13 off Manila
Surakaruta Maru
Completed 1944-3-24
Sunk by aircraft 1944-9-21 of west coast of Luzon
Daiju Maru
Completed 1944-3-25
Torpedoed 1944-4-23 off Japan
Katsukawa Maru
Completed 1944-3-25
Torpedoed 1944-6-4 by Shark 300 miles west of Guam
Yamazumi Maru
Completed 1944-3-27

Asukasan Maru
Completed 1944-3-30
Torpedoed 1944-7-4 by Tang off Korea
Daijo Maru
Completed 1944-3-30
Torpedoed 1945-4-2 by Sea Devil 120 miles off Korea
Daisho Maru
Completed 1944-3-30
Torpedoed 1944-10-26 by Drum north of Luzon
Enoura Maru
Completed 1944-3-30
Sunk by aircraft 1945-1-9 off Takao
Miyatama Maru
Completed 1944-3-30
Sunk by aircraft 1945-5-1 off Mokpo, Korea
Sagamigawa Maru
Completed 1944-4-15
Mined 1945-5-7 north of Karatsu, Japan
Ejiri Maru
Completed 1944-4-24
Torpedoed 1944-10-26 by Lapon off Luzon
Daihaku Maru
Completed 1944-4-28
Torpedoed 1944-10-26 by Drum north of Luzon
Araosan Maru
Completed 1944-4-30      
Torpedoed 1945-4-6 by Hardhead in Gulf of Siam
Daishin Maru
Completed 1944-4-30
Sunk in collision 1945-5-19 north of Tsushima
Esashi Maru
Completed 1944-5-7
Sunk by aircraft 1944-11-19 off Luzon
Tatsuhiro Maru
Completed 1944-5-18
Torpedoed 1944-10-5 by Cod in Mindoro Strait
Edogawa Maru
Completed 1944-5-20     
Torpedoed 1944-11-17 by Sunfish in East China Sea
Kizan Maru
Completed 1944-5-27

Nakagawa Maru
Completed 1944-5-28
Sunk by aircraft 1945-5-6 in Korea Straits
Daiiku Maru
Completed 1944-6-10

Jintsugawa Maru
Completed 1944-6-10

Daiko Maru
Completed 1944-6-13
Sunk by aircraft 1945-8-10 at Rashin
Daitoku Maru
Completed 1944-6-18
Sunk by aircraft 1944-11-13 off Manila
Eiji Maru
Completed 1944-6-21
Mined 1944-9-6 off Takao
Hoei Maru
Completed 1944-6-21

Arisan Maru
Completed 1944-6-22     
Torpedoed 1944-10-24 by Snook 200 miles northwest of Luzon
Nichiyu Maru #2
Completed 1944-6-30
Sunk by aircraft 1945-1-21 off Takao
Eiman Maru
Completed 1944-7-2
Sunk by aircraft 1945-1-12 off French Indochina
Daibin Maru
Completed 1944-7-5
Torpedoed 1944-10-4 by Flasher off Iba
Hisakawa Maru
Completed 1945-1-9
Sunk by aircraft 1945-1-9 off Takao
Daiga Maru
Completed 1944-9-17     

Yuzan Maru #2
Completed 1944-9-29
Torpedoed 194-11-15 by Jack 40 miles southwest of Cana, French Indochina
Eiryaku Maru
Completed 1944-10-31
Sunk by aircraft 1945-7-14 off Muroran. Salvaged postwar (1947)
Eitoku Maru
Completed 1944-11-8

Meishu Maru
Completed 1944-11-14
Mined 1945-8-15 in Kanmon Strait, Japan
Eiso Maru
Completed 1944-12-11
Torpedoed 1945-6-16 off Muroran
Eiroko Maru
Completed 1944-12-13

Kozan Maru #2
Completed 1944-12-29
Sunk by aircraft 1945-5-6 off Mokpo, Korea
Daiman Maru #1
Completed 1944-12-30     
Torpedoed 1945-1-24 by Atule in Yellow Sea
Taikyu Maru
Completed 1945-1-5

Enpo Maru
Completed 1945-1-11
Sunk by aircraft 1945-8-9 at Najin, Korea
Meisei Maru
Completed 1945-1-18
Mined 1945-6-1 near Shimonoseki
Daiai Maru
Completed 1945-1-22
Torpedoed 1945-3-10 off Kamaishi
Abukumagawa Maru      
Completed 1945-2-5    
Mined 1945-6-1 off Tokushima
Edamitsu Maru
Completed 1945-2-6
Sunk by aircraft 1945-8-9 at Najin, Korea
Shinyo Maru
Completed 1945-2-6

Daizui Maru
Completed 1945-2-9

Hayahi Maru
Completed 1945-2-14
Mined 1945-7-13 near Shimonoseki
Shozan Maru
Completed 1945-2-20
Mined 1945-5-26 near Ube, Japan
Yamaji Maru
Completed 1945-2-20
Mined 1945-7-2 near Tokushima, Japan
Daikai Maru #1
Completed 1945-2-27     

Yamadono Maru
Completed 1945-3-5

Nichiyu Maru #1
Completed 1945-3-8
Mined 1945-6-29 near Shimonoseki
Kocho Maru
Completed 1945-3-18

Tatsuchiyo Maru
Completed 1945-3-20
Sunk by aircraft 1945-5-6 off Mokpo, Korea
Eikan Maru
Completed 1945-3-22
Mined 1945-6-26 off Kamaishi
Shirahi Maru
Completed 1945-3-28
Mined 1945-6-13 near Shimonoseki
Ehiko Maru
Completed 1945-3-30

Enshu Maru
Completed 1945-3-30

Tatsuhi Maru
Completed 1945-3-30

Kenkoku Maru
Completed 1945-4-22

Daitaku Maru #1
Completed 1945-5-3

Erimo Maru
Completed 1945-5-20
Sunk by aircraft 1945-8-9 at Najin, Korea
Mukahi Maru
Completed 1945-5-20

Nichigyoku Maru
Completed 1945-5-25

Daikai Maru #2
Completed 1945-5-26

Yamaoka Maru
Completed 1945-6-10
Torpedoed 1945-7-4 by Tang 100 miles north of Mokpo, Korea
Meiyu Maru
Completed 1945-6-17

Kinko Maru
Completed 1945-6-18

Enbun Maru
Completed 1945-6-25

Yoneyama Maru
Completed 1945-7-3

Esan Maru
Completed 1945-7-4

Daii Maru
Completed 1945-8-23
Mined 1945-8-23 near Shimonoseki


Heal (2003)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

ONI 208-J-S3 (1945-1; accessed 2011-12-19)

Parillo (1993)

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