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Tadao Kuwahara

Given NameTadao


ww2dbaseTadao Kuwahara was the skipper of a large passenger ship that operated between Japan and San Francisco, United States before the war for Nippon Yusen Kaisha, also known as NYK. As the Pacific War began, he was naturally drafted into naval service. Between Aug 1942 and Feb 1943, he served aboard the escort carrier Chuyo, a converted NYK passenger ship capable of 22 to 24 knots, as the chief navigator; in this role he was responsible for delivering 50 to 60 various types of aircraft to the Japanese military forces in the South Pacific on each of the three trips he had made. Between Feb and Dec 1943, he was the chief navigator of the converted cruiser Asaku Maru; with this assignment, he participated in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands in Mar 1943 while carrying Colonel Yasuyo Yamazaki onboard, who was on his way to Attu to take over the garrison there as its commanding officer. Between Apr and Jul 1944, Kuwahara served as the commanding officer of Sub-chaser #33, operating between Japan and the Mariana Islands. Between Jul 1944 and Feb 1945, he served first as chief technician than as the commanding officer of the 1,000-ton escort vessel Ukuru of the 101st Flotilla of the First Escort Fleet. The final few months of the war he worked at the Office of Military Affairs Merchant Crew Recruiting in Tokyo, assisting in replenishing the 40% loss rate of merchant shipping crews during the war; the 40% loss rate included both personnel lost to Allied attacks as well as a significant number of men who fled service at various ports.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Kuwahara was interrogated by Captain J. S. Russell and Captain Steadman Teller, both of the United States Navy, in Tokyo on 1 Nov 1945. Russell commented that Kuwahara had a good memory, which was further aided by a detailed personal notebook that he maintained throughout the war. Distinctly, Kuwahara offered the frustrations the escort fleet encountered near the end of the war as Allied air superiority made shipping extremely difficult.

ww2dbaseSource: Interrogations of Japanese Officials.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2007

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Event(s) Participated:
» Aleutian Islands Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Chuyo

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Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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