Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Kogyo Maru
The Kogyo Maru was built in 1938 by Uraga Dock Co Ltd, Uraga, Japan for Okada Gumi KK. The new ship was 6353 tons, 423 feet long and 59 feet wide. She was powered by two oil fuelled steam turbines (517Nhp) geared to a single shaft. The engines were built by Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co Ltd, Tokyo. Her home port was Osaka.
I have yet to find out any more about the early career of the Kogyo Maru or how it came to be in the Philippines in September 1944.
In late September 1944 with some Japanese ships, including a convoy of 12 Japanese ships, taking refuge in the Busuanga Island area of the Northern Palawan group of the Philippines. Eight of the ships were anchored in Coron Bay, the rest to the west and at least one on the northern side of Busuanga Island. The Kogyo Maru was anchored in the area between Tangat and Lusong Island with a number of other ships. She was apparently carrying aircraft spares.
Late on the afternoon of 23 September 1944, Fast Carrier Task Force (TF) 38 under the command of Vice Admiral "Bull" Halsey positioned itself for an attack on the ships in the Coron area. At 5.50 am on 24 September 1944, 180 Grumman F6F Hellcat and Grumman SB2C Helldiver planes lifted off the American and headed off on the 350 kilometre flight for the waters of Coron Bay. This was to be the longest carrier based (and return) attack ever carried out. At 9 am the planes reached Coron and located at least 18 large Japanese vessels and started their attack.
The planes attacked the ships in Coron Bay and the ships to the west first. After a frenzied 45 minute attack the planes left, leaving behind numerous sunken ships. It is reported that after the Olympia Maru was damaged, the Kogyo Maru was then attacked and sunk. She took 39 Japanese sailors to their death. Most of the ships anchored around Coron were also sunk. Today 14 of these wrecks have been located and most can be dived from Coron. See my Coron Page for more information.
I have not dived this wreck so I cannot comment on what it is like.
References:Lloyds Register 1939-40
Dive Right Coron Web Page