The Japanese Merchant Fleet is a group of naval vessels appearing during the Call of Duty: World at War mission Black Cats.


During the mission Black Cats Locke and the other crew members of PBY Catalinas Hammerhead and Mantaray are tasked with taking out three Japanese merchant ships transporting ammunition to the defenders on Okinawa. At first they are reported as "unmarked", but as the planes draw closer the ships can be seen flying Japanese Naval insignia. The Black Cats open fire, and the crews of the merchant vessels respond with bursts of flak from anti-aircraft guns that have been mounted at various locations aboard the ships. Japanese Army troops on deck also attempt to shoot down the planes with their rifles, and spotlights are directed from the fore and aft of the three ships to try and illuminate the two planes. Escorting PT Boats will also direct fire onto the player, but are ultimately unsuccessful in shooting him down as huge explosions from destroyed fuel tanks and ammunition caches end up sinking the three ships.


  • Shooting at the fuel tanks is an easy way to eliminate large numbers of infantry in a short space of time.
  • The escorting PT Boats pose a greater threat to the player's health, and should be taken out first before the actual merchant ships.


  • The three vessels are not actually part of the Japanese Navy, but are instead civilian cargo ships that have been commandeered by the military for use in the Pacific War.
  • The actual sailors aboard the three ships never appear on deck. The player will only see Japanese Army troops manning the anti-aircraft guns and attempting to shoot down the plane with bolt action rifles.
  • If the player fails to sink all three ships, they will still be able to complete the mission.
  • There is an achievement/trophy called "Lights Out!" where the player has to destroy all of the search lights on the vessels.
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