KUCHIKUKAN!

(WAKATAKE by Ueda Kihachiro)

IJN Second Class Destroyer ASAGAO:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 14


14 March 1922:
Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Shipbuilding as a second-class WAKATAKE-class destroyer named No. 10. KAKITSUBATA (water iris) was a tentative name proposed for No. 10, but rejected before she received a numeral designation.

4 November 1922:
Launched.

1 December 1922:
LtCdr (later RAdm) Yoshida Tsunemitsu (36)(former CO of KAYA) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer.

10 May 1923:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Yoshida Tsunemitsu is the Commanding Officer.

24 April 1924:
Designated destroyer No. 10.

1 December 1924:
LtCdr Sakano Minbu (38) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1925:
LtCdr (later Capt) Koga Shichisaburo (36) is appointed the CO.

1 November 1926:
LtCdr Nanba Hiroyuki (39) is appointed the CO.

1 August 1928:
Renamed ASAGAO. An unknown CO assumes command. -

10 December 1928:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Nakazawa Tasuku (43) assumes command.

30 November 1929:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsuto (45) assumes command.

1 April 1932:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Nakatsu Seiki (44) (former CO of HAYATE) assumes command.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr Nakatsu assumes command of FUYO “on paper” as an additional duty.

11 January 1934:
LtCdr Nakatsu also assumes command of KARUKAYA “on paper” as an additional duty.

1 February 1934:
LtCdr Nakatsu is relieved of “paper” command of KARUKAYA, but retains command ASAGAO and “paper” command of FUYO.

15 May 1934:
LtCdr Sei Tsuneo (48)(current CO of KARUKAYA) assumes command as an additional duty.

20 August 1934:
LtCdr (later RAdm, posthumously) Watanabe Yasumasa (49)(current CO of ASAKAZE) assumes command as an additional duty.

15 November 1935:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Yoshii Goro (50) is appointed the CO.

24 February 1936:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Aoki Kyuji (50) is appointed the CO.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The First "China") Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers at the bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. The Japanese discover a soldier missing and demand entry to Beijing to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

August 1937: The Evacuation of Japanese residents in South China:
Japanese residents in South China are under the protection of Rear Admiral Okuma Masakichi's DesRon 5 composed of flagship YUBARI, destroyer ASAGAO, DesDiv 16's MAWEI, DesDiv 13's SWATOW and SANAE at Canton. DesRon 5 is assigned to protect about 12,000 Japanese residents in Fuchow, Amoy, Swatow and Canton. With the outbreak of the North China Incident, DesDiv 16 is dispatched to the north. DesDiv 5 from Mako and DesDiv 29 from Japan are put under the command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Okuma Masakichi (37).

12 August 1937:
The situation in South China shows a drastic change for the worse. Residents in Swatow start evacuation that day. After the clash in Shanghai, residents in Canton begin evacuating on 15 August and those in Fuchow on 17 August. All of them reach Formosa safely. The evacuation of residents from Amoy, delayed for various reasons, is completed in late August.

15 November 1937:
Lt (Radm, posthumously) Nakamura Noboru (52) is appointed the CO.

10 May 1938:
DesDiv 16’s FUYO, ASAGAO and KARUKAYA participate in an amphibious assault on Amoy (Xiamen) with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Koichi Shiozawa’s (32)(former CO of FURUTAKA) 5th Fleet consisting of CruDiv 9's MYOKO (F) and light cruiser TAMA, CruDiv 10's light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, DesRon 5's light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 3’s NADAKAZE, SHIMAKAZE, SHIOKAZE, CarDiv 1's KAGA, DesDiv 29’s HAYATE and OITE, SORYU with DesDiv 30’s YAYOI and KISARAGI, auxiliary seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, collier MUROTO, CarDiv 3's seaplane tender KAMOI, auxiliaries SYURI, CHOJU, DELHI, EIKO, IKUTA, KAZAN, KURI, HAYA MARUs and DAIICHI MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 31, TAIKO, YODATI and auxiliary minelayers ENOSHIMA and ENTO (MAROSHIMA).

At dawn, the Fifth Fleet’s warships, including DesDiv 16, bombard Ho-tsu, Ni-chin, and Wu-tung and cover an amphibious assault landing by more than 2,000 troops of the Yokosuka, Kure and Sasebo Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF). At the same time, NE of Xiamen (Amoy), Japanese aircraft from tenders KAMOI and KAMIKAWA MARU bomb bridges, roads, ferries and ships. The poorly equipped Nationalist Chinese 75th Division defenders suffer heavy casualties, are overrun by the SNLFs and withdraw.

12 May 1938:
That night, Chinese forces abandon Amoy to the Japanese.

15 October 1940:
Lt Kimotsuki Masaaki (56) assumes command.

25 January 1941:
Placed in 4th reserve at Maizuru.

10 April 1941:
Lt (later Cdr) Sugihara Yoshiro (57) assumes command.

1941-1942:
Undergoes refit. The center 4.7 gun, between the funnels, is removed. The remaining two 4.7/45 cal, low angle guns are replaced with improved dual purpose 4.7/50 cal. mounts. Two triple 25mm mounts replace the center 4.7 mount. Mine sweeping gear is removed and the number of depth charges is increased by 36 with 4 throwers. One of ASAGAO's torpedo mounts is also removed.

8 December 1941:
ASAGAO is assigned to Rear Admiral Owada Yoshinosuke’s (35)(former CO of NACHI) Chinkai (Korea) Guard Force in Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Iwata’s (46)(former CO of KAGERO) DesDiv 32 with KARUKAYA and FUYO. Patrols the Tsushima Straits area.

21 January 1942:
DesDiv 32's ASAGAO, KARUKAYA and FUYO depart Mutsure with CruDiv 9's light cruiser OI escorting transports TATSUNO, FUSHIMI, SOMEDOMO, TAKETOYO, TOFUKU, BRAZIL, COLUMBIA, MAEBASHI, GENOA, HOEISAN, ATSUTA, DAINICHI, TOKIWA, SYDNEY, MOMOYAMA, PACIFIC, KIZAN, REIYO AND TSUYAMA MARUs. The transports are carrying the 2nd Infantry Division.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores. Later, the convoy departs for Camranh Bay to mobilize for the Invasion of Java.

17 February 1942:
At 0800 ASAGAO departs Mutsure with destroyer KARUKAYA and minelayer HIRASHIMA escorting No. 56 Army Division Convoy No. 1 Section consisting of NAGARA, NAKO, AOBASAN, HARUNA, KYUSHU and SAKITO MARUs.

20 February 1942:
At 1100 arrives at Mako.

21 February 1942:
At 1230 departs Mako heading south.

10 April 1942:
ASAGAO is assigned to Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Amaya Yoshishige’s (47) DesDiv 13 of Rear Admiral Inoue Yasuo’s (38) 1st Surface Escort Division organized this day as a unit of the Southwest Area Fleet.

21 April 1942:
Convoy No. 101 departs Mutsure. The convoy, the first of the Empire-Formosa convoys, consists of BUENOS AIRES MARU and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by torpedo boat SAGI. ASAGAO joins the convoy at an undetermined point or provides distant support.

25 April 1942:
LtCdr Onishi Yuji (57) is posted as CO.

26 April 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

30 April 1942:
ASAGAO departs Mako escorting convoy No. 302 consisting of one unidentified merchant ship.

5 May 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

10 December 1942:
DesDiv 13 is disbanded.

21 May 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 703 consisting of three unidentified merchant ships.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Manila.

27 May 1942:
Departs Manila escorting convoy No. 803 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

5 June 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 311 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

14 June 1942:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 412 consisting of 7 unidentified merchant ships.

20 June 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

25 June 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 316 consisting of COLUMBIA, GENKAI MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.

1 July 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

6 July 1942:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 511 consisting of KINKASAN MARU and three unidentified merchant ships.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 July 1942:
Departs Singapore escorting convoy No. 616 consisting of tanker OGURA MARU No. 2 and four unidentified merchant ships.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

18 July 1942:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 421 consisting of tanker ITSUKUSHIMA MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships.

23 July 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

30 July 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 324 consisting of four unidentified merchant ships.

5 August 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

7 August 1942:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 426 consisting of four unidentified merchant ships.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

27 August 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 331 consisting of TOYOOKA, OIGAWA, HAVRE MARUs, YOSHIDA MARU No.1 and one unidentified merchant ship.

2 September 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

7 September 1942:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 523 consisting of TOYOOKA and BRISBANE MARUs.

10 September 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 September 1942:
Departs Singapore escorting convoy No. 631 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

16 September 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

20 September 1942:
departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 437 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships .

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

30 September 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 269 consisting of PACIFIC, TAGA, MIE, TAKASAGO MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.

E 5 October 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

30 October 1942:
Departs Mutsure escorting convoy No. 180 consisting of TAITO, TAIRYU, YONEYAMA MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.

E 3 November 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

8 November 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 288 consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships.

17 November 1942:
Arrives at Moji. That same day, departs Mutsure escorting convoy No. 189 consisting of three unidentified merchant ships.

21 November 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

26 November 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 297 consisting of nine unidentified merchant ships.

2 December 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

7 December 1942:
Departs Mutsure escorting convoy No. 198 consisting of FUKUYAMA MARU.

11 December 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

18 December 1942:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 209 consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

29 December 1942:
Departs Mutsure escorting convoy No. 109 consisting of four unidentified merchant ships.

3 January 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

9 January 1943:
Departs Mako escorting convoy No. 361 consisting of three unidentified merchant ships.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

22 January 1943:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 467 consisting of four unidentified merchant ships.

28 January 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

8 February 1943:
Departs Takao escorting convoy No. 229 consisting of BOKO (ex British SAGRES), MANKO MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

13 February 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

3 April 1943:
Departs Moji escorting convoy E consisting of BOKO (ex British SAGRES), KOZUI, TAMON and NICHIRYO MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship. The convoy split into two parts shortly after departing port.

8 April 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

10 April 1943:
Reassigned directly to the 1st Surface Escort Division of the Southwest Area Fleet.

15 April 1943:
At 0900, ASAGAO departs Takao escorting convoy No. 745 consisting of FUSEI, AWAJI, KOZUI and FUSEI MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships at 8.5 knots

18 April 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

22 April 1943:
Departs Manila in convoy No. 3103 consisting of four unidentified ships.

29 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

1 May 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy No. 3206 consisting of BENGAL, ADEN, MIYADONO, TOYAMA, KIZAN and ASO MARUs.

6 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

17 May 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 750 consisting of KUNISHIMA and KINUGASA MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 May 1943:
Departs Manila in convoy No. 3106 consisting of EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and four unidentified ships.

29 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

1 June 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy No. 2503 consisting of YONEYAMA and SHINYU MARUs.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

12 June 1943:
Departs Balikpapan in convoy No. 2601 consisting of three unidentified merchant ships.

18 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

20 June 1943:
At 1600 departs Palau in convoy No. 3212 consisting of KAYO MARU and one unidentified merchant ship.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

28 June 1943:
Departs Manila in convoy "Y" consisting of two unidentified ships.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

3 July 1943:
Departs Takao in convoy "F" consisting of tanker FUJISAN MARU and one unidentified merchant ship.

7 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, departs Moji escorting convoy No. 175 consisting of DAINICHI, RAKUYO, FUSEI, WAKATSU, MACASSAR, TEIRITSU (ex-Vichy French LECONTE DE LISLE) and KASHU MARUs and tankers NITTASU, KOZUI and TATSUNO MARUs.

18 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao. ASAGAO is probably detached from convoy No. 175 and replaced by an unknown escort.

26 July 1943:
At 1100 departs Takao escorting convoy No. 286 consisting of tanker GOYO and SEINAN MARUs and eight unidentified merchant ships.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

4 August 1943:
Departs Moji escorting convoy No. 183 consisting of KOGYO MARU and tankers SHOYO MARU and OGURA MARU No.2 and MANSHU MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships. The convoy split into two parts shortly after departing port.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

13 August 1943:
Departs Takao escorting convoy No. 292 consisting of KUNISHIMA, HAKUBASAN and KOSHIN MARU’s and six unidentified merchant ships.

E 16 August 1943:
ASAGAO is detached and turns towards Takao.

17 August 1943:
Convoy No. 293 consisting of KOZUI, HEIWA, HAKKO, HOFUKU, ASAKA, ROKKOSAN and RYUOSAN MARUs and two unidentified merchants ships departs Takao. ASAGAO joins as an escort shortly after departure.

19 August 1943:
Convoy 292 arrives Moji. ASAGAO had detached from the convoy about half way to escort convoy No. 293.

23 August 1943:
Convoy No. 293 arrives at Moji. Upon arrival, ASAGAO departs Moji in convoy No. 189 consisting of KOKAI and KOSEI MARUs (2205 tons) and four unidentified merchant ships.

28 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

30 August 1943:
Departs Takao escorting convoy No. 319 consisting of AMAGI MARU and 10 unidentified merchant ships.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

11 September 1943:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 425 consisting of ARGUN, HOKUYO, GINYO, SHOYO MARUs and tankers KIYO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1 and six unidentified merchant ships.

13 September 1943:
TEIKA MARU (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) joins from Haikow.

18 September 1943:
At 0620, GINYO MARU reports a torpedo attack that missed the ship. Later that day the convoy arrives at Takao.

3 October 1943:
ASAGAO departs Moji with destroyers SHIOKAZE (that departs Sasebo) escorting convoy No. 103 consisting of tanker KIYO MARU and HAKKO, COLUMBIA, HOKUSHIN, HOKKI, MINRYO MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships. The convoy split into two parts shortly after departing port. It is unknown which destroyer escorted which part.

7 October 1943:
The first part arrives at Takao.

8 October 1943:
The second part arrives at Takao.

12 October 1943:
ASAGAO departs Takao with subchaser CH-9 and torpedo boat TOMOZURU escorting convoy No. 329 consisting of tanker KIYO MARU and MANKO MARU and 18 unidentified merchant ships.

15 October 1943:
MANKO MARU is detached.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

20 October 1943:
Lt Mori Sakae (63) assumes command.

25 October 1943:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 520 consisting of AMERICA MARU and seven unidentified merchant ships.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

1 November 1943:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command.

4 November 1943:
Departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 439 consisting of HAKKO, MITO, CHIYODA, BEIJU MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.

10 November 1943:
While escorting convoy No. 439, ASAGAO reports a torpedo attack at 21-38N, 116-45E.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

20 November 1943:
Departs Takao escorting convoy No. 220 consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships. Later, ASAGAO is detached.

24 November 1943:
Convoy RINMA consisting of one unidentified fast ship departs Takao. ASAGAO provides escort at least part of the way.

27 November 1943:
The RINMA convoy arrives at Moji.

28 November 1943:
Convoy 220 arrives at Moji.

29 December 1943:
At 1500, W-4 , W-5 and destroyer ASAGAO depart Moji for Takao, Formosa escorting convoy No. 125 consisting of KOSHIN, TEIHOKU (ex French PERSEE), YAMAMIYA, KANAN, KENZUI, KAZUURA, MISAKI, SEINAN and HOREI MARUs, SHINYO MARU No. 8 and tanker KYOEI MARU No. 5.

4 January 1944:
At 0932, arrives at Takao.

6 January 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy No. 351 consisting of TEIHOKU (ex French PERSEE), KENZUI, KANAN MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO.

11 January 1944:
At 0830, convoy HI-31 departs Moji for Singapore consisting of oilers GENYO, OMUROSAN, TATEKAWA and ITSUKUSHIMA MARUS and cargo liner HOKUROKU MARU escorted by carrier CHITOSE and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE.

12 January 1944:
Convoy No. 351 arrives at St Jacques.

16 January 1944:
N of the Spratly Islands. AMATSUKAZE is torpedoed by Cdr Robert D. King's (USNA ’31) USS REDFIN (SS-272) at 14-40N, 113-50E. The destroyer loses her bow and is presumed sunk by the convoy that proceeds onward. 80 sailors including ComDesDiv 16’s Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Furukawa Bunji (49), are KIA. AMATSUKAZE is left adrift for six days until discovered by a Japanese patrol plane. ASAGAO arrives from Indochina and tows AMATSUKAZE to to Cape St. Jacques. Later, AMATSUKAZE makes it to Saigon for emergency repairs.

6 February 1944:
Departs St Jacques in convoy SATA-02 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO and auxiliary subchaser CHa-21.

8 February 1944:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

12 February 1944:
Departs Camranh Bay.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Tourane.

15 February 1944:
Departs Tourane.

17 February 1944:
Arrives at Yulin.

18 February 1944:
Departs Yulin.

24 February 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

29 February 1944:
ASAGAO departs Kirun with destroyers HARUKAZE and NAMIKAZE, auxiliary submarine chaser CHa-74 and minesweeper W-18 escorting convoy TAMO-07 consisting of oilers MATSUMOTO, ASANAGI MARU, cargo ships SHOUN, SHOZUI, BATAVIA, BIZEN, HAVRE MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3 and 15 unidentified merchant ships.

E 3 March 1944:
ASAGAO is detached.

4 March 1944:
ASAGAO and minelayer MAESHIMA join convoy MOTA-07 consisting of TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), YAMAHAGI, RONSAN, KONSAN, CHIYODA, SUGIYAMA, KENSEI, SARAWAK, HAKUROKO, RIKKO, ATAGO and NITTATSU MARUs and NISSHIN MARU an unidentified merchant ship (both from MOTA-05) escorted by destroyer AMAGIRI and minesweeper W-30.

7 March 1944:
ASAGAO departs Takao for Palau with destroyer HAMANAMI and torpedo boat SAGI escorting convoy Nishi-Matsu No. 1-TAPA-04 consisting of GOZAN, TAISEI, SHIRAHAMA, TETSUYO, TAKEGAWA and ATSUTA MARUs and four unidentified marus.

14 March 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

17 March 1944:
At 0900 ASAGAO departs Palau with torpedo boat SAGI and auxiliary subchaser CHa-22 escorting convoy PATA-05 consisting of OSAKA, PEKING, HOKKAI, NANREI and TAKEGAWA MARUs.

E 21 March 1944:
At 180 nm from Palau, ASAGAO is detached and returns to Palau.

24 March 1944:
Departs Palau with auxiliary subchaser SHOWA MARU No. 5 escorting convoy PATA-06 consisting of HAVRE (5467 gt) and SHIRAHAMA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

E 27 March 1944:
SHOWA MARU No. 5 is detached and returns to Palau.

31 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

3 April 1944:
Departs Takao escorting convoy TASA-16 consisting of PACIFIC, RYUKO, YULIN, NIKKIN (or HIGANE), CHIHAYA, SHINEI, ANKO and SHOKEI MARUs.

7 April 1944:
Submarine Chaser CH-41 departs Camranh Bay and later (possibly later that day) joins the convoy.

9 April 1944:
Near St Jacques, ASAGAO and CH-41 are detached and join convoy SATA-17 that departs St Jacques that day consisting of three unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-8, torpedo boat HATSUKARI and one unidentified maru auxiliary.

10 April 1944:
Arrives at Camranh Bay and merges with SATA-14 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchaser CH-19.

11 April 1944:
Departs Camranh Bay.

13 April 1944:
CH-41 returns to Camranh Bay.

18 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

20 April 1944:
Departs Kirun with old destroyer HASU, subchaser CH-8 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy TAMO-17 consisting of KENEI, SUGIYAMA, HIDA, TOTTORI, KYOKUZAN, TOKUSHIMA, HIROTA, IWATO MARUs and sixteen unidentified merchant ships.

27 April 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

1 May 1944:
ASAGAO departs Moji with kaibokan CD-1, CD-8, CD-20 and auxiliary netlayer KAINAN MARU escorting convoy TE-05 consisting of YAMADORI, HIYORI, HIOKI, KOKUSEI, HIKACHI, NICHIWA, SHONAN MARUs, and KYOEI MARU No.2. TE-05 sails as far as Kirun with MI-03 (that proceeds directly to off Saei, near Takao) consisting of cargo ships RYUKA, HIYORI, DAITEN, HIOKI, DAIRIN, SHOHEI, NIKKO, ETAJIMA, DAIJUN, SHINNO, TOUN, KENWA and DAISEI MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No. 1, tankers ZUIYO, ATAGO, CHIYODA, KOTOKU, SHUNTEN MARUs, EIYO MARU No. 2 and OGURA MARU No. 2 and UNKAI MARU No. 5 escorted by old destroyer KARUKAYA, destroyer SHIOKAZE and kaibokan KURAHASHI (part way only), CD-1, CD-13, torpedo boat HATO, auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU and other unidentified warships.

6 May 1944:
At 1600 the convoys arrive at Kirun. ASAGAO apparently detaches and joins escort carrier TAIYO, destroyers HIBIKI and INAZUMA, kaibokan KURAHASHI, SADO, CD-5, CD-7, CD-13, escorting convoy HI-61 consisting of tankers AKANE, TATEKAWA, NICHIEI, AZUSA, JINEI, EIYO, OTORISAN, SARAWAK and ASANAGI MARUs, transport MIZUHO MARU and fleet oiler HAYASUI.

7 May 1944:
JINEI MARU develops engine troubles and is detached for Takao.

8 May 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Victor B. McCrea's (USNA ’32) USS HOE (SS-258) attacks convoy HI-61. AKANE MARU suffers minor damage and is detached and returns to Chechung, Formosa.

9 May 1944:
At 2055, HI-61 arrives at Manila. TATEKAWA, NICHIEI and AZUSA MARUs are detached.

12 May 1944:
ASAGAO is detached from HI-61.

13 May 1944:
YAMADORI MARU is detached to Hong Kong from convoy TE-05.

16 May 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy TAMO-19A consisting only of ASAMA MARU. The ships sail at 17.5 knots.

19 May 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

11 June 1944:
At 1530, ASAGAO departs Moji with destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan YASHIRO, CD-2 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy MI-07 consisting of MATSUURA, KAMO, SHINKOKU, NISHI, MINO, TAIKAI, KAKOGAWA, MYOGI, OYO MARUs and tankers KOEI, TAIEI, CHIHAYA, RYUSHO and SAN LUIS MARUs and 12 unidentified merchant ships. Immediately after leaving port, KOEI MARU develops engine problems and is forced to return to port.

15 June 1944:
At 1040, anchors at Oshima Strait, Amami Oshima.

16 June 1944:
Departs Oshima Strait.

17 June 1944:
MATSUURA and KAMO MARUs are detached with ASAGAO and head for Kirun (Keelung).

18 June 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. Later, ASAGAO rejoins convoy. At 1955, the convoy departs Takao.

21 June 1944:
Departs Takao escorting convoy TAMA-21A consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

23 June 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Manila. ASAGAO and CD-2 are detached.

26 June 1944:
ASAGAO departs Manila with kaibokan CD-2, CD-8, auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy MATA-24 consisting of AKANE, AOBASAN, GENKAI, FUKUYO, MIIKESAN and ATSUTA MARUs.

28 June 1944:
At 2320, a submarine is sighted at 18-40N, 119-40E. It is probable that ASAGAO and CD-2 were detached to hunt the submarine.

E 29 June 1944:
ASAGAO and CD-2 join convoy HI-67 that left Moji on 20 June consisting of transports MANJU, NANKAI, KINUGASA, ASAKA, ASAHISAN and HAKOZAKI MARUs, ex AMC GOKOKU MARU and oilers OTORISAN, MIRI, SARAWAK and SHINEI MARUs and NICHINAN MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan HIRADO, KURAHASHI, CD-5, CD-13 and subchaser CH-61.

At about 1510, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) attacks convoy HI-67 at 17-13N, 118-18E. Gallaher fires a spread of five torpedoes. Tankers MIRI and SARAWAK MARUs are each hit in the bow by a torpedo and damaged, but both are able to proceed to Manila. CD-5 also suffers unspecified damage during the action.

E 1 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Manila. CD-5 and ASAHISAN MARU leave the convoy.

3 July 1944:
ASAGAO departs Manila for Yulin with destroyer KURETAKE and kaibokan CD-2 escorting convoy MAYU-04 consisting of HOKUSHIN MARU and five unidentified merchant ships.

7 July 1944:
Arrives at Yulin.

9 July 1944:
Near Belier Island, Hainan. ASAGAO and CD-2 are moored at the anchorage just NE of Belier Island (18-11N, 109-34E) when, just after midnight, a typhoon hits the area with full force. Wind velocity is reported to exceed 30 meters. Otherwise a good anchorage, it is exposed to the wind and swell during the SW Monsoon period. ASAGAO’s foreship is driven aground on an underwater reef and all forward bottom tanks spring leaks. ASAGAO is stuck firm to the reef and initially all refloating attempts fail. As a result, cable ship SONJO MARU (ex-Chinese CHUEN TIAO) is ordered to assist and refloat the destroyer.

29 July 1944:
ASAGAO is still stranded on the reef despite the best efforts of her crew. At about 1700 (jst), the Samah area is attacked by 25 North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers, 6 Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers and 10 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighter-bombers. Great damage is done to Hainan Guard Station installations and to ammunition and storage depots. NICHIAN MARU (6,197 grt) (C-AK), moored at No. 9 buoy inside Yulin Harbor is slighty damaged by strafing, but her Captain is KIA while directing AA-fire on the bridge. SANA MARU (531grt), operating then as a B-Tug, is also inside Yulin Harbor and is struck by one bomb. She is also hit by three dud bombs which do not explode! But the one exploding bomb is enough to sink her. No other ships are damaged or sunk during this attack.

13 September 1944:
Refloating work on ASAGAO by SONJO MARU begins.

25 September 1944:
Finally, SONJO MARU successfully refloats ASAGAO and tows her into Yulin Harbor where she undergoes emergency repairs.

15 October 1944:
At 1600, ASAGAO and minesweeper W-101 depart Samah for Yawata, Japan escorting iron-ore transport convoy YUTA-12 consisting of BINGO and NICHIZUI MARUs and two small unidentified ships.

19 October 1944:
S of Hong Kong. The convoy is attacked by skip-bombing North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers. NICHIZUI MARU carrying iron ore, is hit and later sinks. Four escort troops and 50 crewmen are killed. At 2155, the convoy puts into Hong Kong.

20 October 1944:
Convoy YUTA-12 merges with convoy HOMO-01 consisting of KISHUN MARU and three unidentified ships escorted by subchaser CH-21. At 1900, the combined convoy departs Hong Kong.

1 November 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

November 1944:
Undergoes repairs at an undetermined location.

30 November 1944:
At 0900, ASAGAO departs Moji with kaibokan IKUNA, KANJU, SHINNAN, CD-41, CD-66, subchaser CH-28 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-223 escorting convoy MI-29 consisting of CLYDE, BRAZIL, AKISHIMA, MEIRYU, HAWAII, ENOURA, DAII, SHINYU, AKIKAWA and KAZUURA MARUs, HOSHI MARU No. 11 (JUICHISEI MARU) and KONAN MARU No.1 and tankers ENGEN, ENCHO and ENKEI MARUs.

2 December 1944:
LtCdr Ralph C. Style's (USNA ’33) USS SEA DEVIL (SS-400) torpedoes and sinks HAWAII and AKIKAWA MARUs at 30-24N 128-17E. HAWAII MARU is carrying 60 Explosive Motor Boats, 50 motor vehicles and 1843 troops of 23rd Army Division and all 1843 troops together with 60 others, 83 gunners, and 148 crewmen are killed. There are no survivors documented. KONAN MARU No.1 rescues survivors from AKIKAWA MARU. 244 troops, 7 Armed Escort and 18 crewmen are however MIA. The convoy formation breaks up. BRAZIL MARU goes to Keelung, DAII MARU and three others go to Koniya, Amami-Oshima and CLYDE MARU, HOSHI MARU No. 11 with IKUNA go to Takao. Later, the Koniya ships rejoin at Takao, but at this point the convoy is officially dissolved.

14 January 1945:
ASAGAO departs Takao with kaibokan YASHIRO, CD-1, CD-130, CD-134 and CD-56 and minesweeper W-21escorting convoy TAMO-37 consisting of seven unidentified merchant ships.

23 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

7 March 1945:
On that day, FRUMEL decrypts the following message from CinC, First Escort Fleet, timed 021027:
"ASAGAO will be in charge of HI-99 convoy, and is to proceed to Moji by am 4th."

12 March 1945:
On that day, FRUMEL provides the following information:
"HI-99 Convoy, consisting of 2 ships escorted by destroyer ASAGAO and 3 other escorts, leaves Shimonoseki at 0700 on 12 March for Singapore. ETA 1100 on 27th. Carrying – passengers and military stores.
Speed 14 knots.

ASAGAO, KEYAKI and NARA arrive Buka (sic) at 1800 on 16th and sail at 0700 on 17th." [1]

26 April 1945:
Coast of China. At 0755, ASAGAO departs the Shusan Sea area for Moji with kaibokan UKU and CD-26, patrol boat PB-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224), minesweeper W-29 and subchaser CH-20 escorting convoy SHIMO-03 consisting of KASHIMA, BANSHU, ABUKUMAGAWA, SHINTON and TAIKYU MARUs and NANRYU MARU No. 9.

27 April 1945:
Convoy SHIMO-03 is attacked by aircraft and unidentified submarine(s). The planes make many attacks and bomb and strafe the convoy. UKU and patrol boat PB-102 are damaged at 34-52N, 124-23E.

28 April 1945:
At 1200, arrives at Moji.

April 1945:
Inland Sea. Serves as a mother ship for patrol craft and minesweepers.

20 May 1945:
Lt Ishibushi Nobutoshi (68)(former torpedo officer of YAHAGI) assumes command as the CO.

28 July 1945:
Inland Sea, W of Bisan-Seto. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 damage ASAGAO.

22 August 1945:
Kanmon Strait off Mutsure Lighthouse. At 1635, ASAGAO while en route from Kure to Maizuru, hits a mine most probably laid by a 20th Air Force B-29 “Super Fortress” in "Operation Starvation". ASAGAO is abandoned there where she is surrendered to the Allies in a heavily damaged condition.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

September 1947:
Yoshimi. Begins scrapping and salvage.

10 June 1948:
Scrapping is completed.


Notes:
[1] The severing of the trade route by Allied forces meant this convoy apparently never sailed.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for his detailed review of this TROM. Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts, to Mr. Matt Jones of Mississippi, USA for help in identifying CO's and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for a detailed account of ASAGAO's 1944 grounding on an underwater reef and subsequent refloating.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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