KAIBOKAN!

(Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Escort Awaji:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2013 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 4


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.

26 February 1944:
Assigned to the General Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division. That same day AWAJI 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:
Departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

4 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

18 March 1944:
AWAJI departs Manila with auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 2 escorting convoy MATA-13 consisting of six unidentified merchant ships.

21 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

24 March 1944:
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 AMRU 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, Jr’s (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.

30 March 1944:
Departs Baie de Kiquik.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

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.

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.

25 May 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo.

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. 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.


Authors' Note:
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to Jeff Donahoo of Iowa and Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying kaibokan COs and to Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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