© 2006-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
1 June 1943:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen Co., Ltd.s Sakurajima shipyard.
30 October 1943:
Launched and named AWAJI.
15 February 1944:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. Assigned to the Kure Guard Unit. Cdr (reserve) Niki Kozo (former CO of SHINKO MARU No. 1) is Commanding Officer.
25 February 1944:
26 February 1944:
Assigned to the General Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division. That same day AWAJI arrives and then departs Moji with fleet storeship MUROTO escorting convoy MOTA-06 consisting of SAN PEDRO, GOZAN, ISHIKARI, NICHIYO, NICHIAN, TOYOKUNI LONDON, DAISEI and SHIRAHAMA MARUs.
29 February 1944:
Anchors at Ssu Chiao Shan.
1 March 1944:
At 0900 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.
4 March 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Takao.
10 March 1944:
At 0900 departs Takao and later joins up with convoy SATA-07 consisting of MANKO and KENZUI MARUs and ten unidentified merchant ships.
12 March 1944:
At 0940 arrives at Takao.
13 March 1944:
At 1650 departs Takao on a submarine sweep.
14 March 1944:
At 1640 arrives back at Takao.
20 March 1944:
At 1800 AWAJI departs Takao to meet up with convoy MATA-13 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 2.
21 March 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.
24 March 1944:
At 1000 AWAJI departs Takao for Singapore with auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU escorting convoy TASA-13 consisting of NICHIAN, SHOEI, FUKUJU, CHINA, DURBAN, TASMANIA, SETSUZAN, TEIRITSU (ex French LECONTE DE LISLE), HIDA, KYOKUZAN, SHONAN MARUs and five other unidentified merchant ships.
29 March 1944:
HIDA MARU and KYOKUZAN MARU are both detached and HIDA MARU arrives at Yulin while KYOKUZAN MARU arrives at Sana the following day. During the day subchaser CH-19 that has departed Qui Nhon joins the convoy as an additional escort. Later that day, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Chester W. Nimitz, Jrs (USNA 36) USS HADDO (SS-255) torpedoes and lightly damages NICHIAN MARU at 17-42N 109-57E. The convoy seeks shelter in Baie de Kiquik, arriving at 1900.
30 March 1944:
At 0700 departs Baie de Kiquik.
1 April 1944:
At 0400 arrives at St Jacques.
4 April 1944:
At 2100 departs St Jacques alone.
7 April 1944:
At 1420 arrives at Singapore and undergoes repairs.
14 April 1944:
At 0800, AWAJI departs St Jacques for Takao, Formosa escorting convoy HI-56 (that had absorbed convoy HI-54) now consisting of NANKAI, ARIMASAN, KYOKUHO, ASANAGI and MIRI MARUs and ASANAGI, OTORISAN, SARAWAK MARUs, NICHINAN MARU No.2 and two unidentified merchant ships escorted by CH 7 and possibly KURETAKE.
19 April 1944:
Arrives at Takao.
27 April 1944:
At 1000 departs Singapore.
28 April 1944:
Meets up with convoy SHIMI-01 (details unknown).
30 April 1944:
At 0945 arrives at Miri.
4 May 1944:
At 1030, AWAJI departs Miri, Borneo for Moji with torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat No. 38 escorting convoy MI-02 consisting of TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, KENSEI, HAKUBASAN, SANKO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), TAIHEI, AKAGISAN, TENSHIN, MATSUMOTO, TAIYU, NISSHIN, SHINCHO and KURENAI MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2.
6 May 1944:
SW of Balabac Island. At 0801, LtCdr (later Captain) Francis D. Walker Jr's (USNA 35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) fires torpedoes at the largest ship in the convoy, NISSHIN MARU. Three hit aft and heavy flooding begins. At 0810, she sinks at 07-19N, 116-52E. 15 crewmen are KIA but the fate of her 291 passengers is unknown. The escorts counter-attack and drop 13 DCs, but without success.
10 May 1944:
At 1330, convoy MI-02 arrives at Manila. SEIYO MARU joins the convoy. KENSEI, AKAGISAN, TAIHEI, TENSHIN, TAIYU and KURENAI MARUs are detached. Auxiliary gunboats PEKING and CHOJUSAN MARUs join the escort.
13 May 1944:
At 0552, convoy MI-02 departs Manila for Takao.
16 May 1944:
At 1705, the convoy arrives at Takao. SEIYO, HAKUBASAN and MATSUMOTO MARUs and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU are detached.
17 May 1944:
At 1527, convoy MI-02 departs Takao.
18 May 1944:
At 1520, convoy MI-02 arrives at Keelung. KAMO, CHIKUZEN and CHOSAN MARUs join the convoy as does old destroyer HASU.
23 May 1944:
At 1700, convoy MI-02 arrives at Moji. AWAJI has detached and at 1800 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.
29 May 1944:
At 0600, AWAJI departs Moji with escort carrier SHINYO, light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan CHIBURI, CD-19 and CD-11 and subchaser CH-60 escorting convoy HI-65 consisting of oilers SHIRETOKO, ITSUKUSHIMA, OMUROSAN, ZUIHO and TOHO MARUs, cargo liners ARIMASAN, MANILA, KASHII and TATSUWA MARUs and IJA landing craft depot ship SHINSHU MARU.
E 30 May 1944:
Light minelayer TSUBAME joins the convoy's escort from Kagoshima.
2 June 1944:
Bashi Strait. At 0245 AWAJI is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Captain) Albert L. Raborn's (USNA 34) USS PICUDA (SS-382) and sinks near Yasho Island at 22-34N, 121-51E. Her CO, Cdr Niki Kozo, and 75 crewmen are KIA. CHIBURI and CD-19 rescue the remaining crewmen, but several die of their wounds.
10 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to Jeff Donahoo of Iowa, USA and Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USA for help in identifying kaibokan COs and to Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall