The Kachidoki Maru was built by New York Shipping Company in Camden, New Jersey and originally named ‘President Harrison’. The ship was 524 feet overall length with a displacement of 10,500 tons and was painted battle grey, flying the merchant marine flag, which was a red ball in the centre of a white field. It had no red cross markings.
The Japan party consisted of 2,250 prisoners, 1,500 were British the remainder Australian, the number who actually sailed with the convoy was 2,217. The Kachidoki Maru held 900 PoWs (all British) and The Rakuyo Maru a further 1317 (Australian and British).
On 4th September 1944, the two ships joined convoy HI-72 and sailed from Singapore.
On the 12th of September the convoy was attacked by US submarines and both the PoW hell ships were hit. The Kachidoki Maru was hit by a torpedo from the US submarine Pampanito.
Three torpedoes were fired at the Kachidoki Maru at 22.40, the target was 3,700 away, two hitting the ship, one at the stern and the other amidships. Both blew holes in the hull plates, flooding the entire aft end of the ship.
Most of those rescued from the Kachidoki Maru were picked up by Japanese trawlers and continued their journey to Japan on the Kibitsu Maru.