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

IJN Escort CD-102:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1

1 September 1943:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' shipyard.

4 December 1944
Launched and numbered CD-102.

20 January 1945:
Completed and registered in the IJN.

3 March 1945:
Assigned to the General Escort Fleet's First Escort Fleet. Later that day departs Saiki and arrives at Kure.

9 March 1945:
CD-102 and CD-106 depart Kure. At 1825 they arrive at Moji.

12 March 1945:
At 1745 both escorts depart Moji.

15 March 1945:
At 0900 both escorts arrive back at Moji.

16 March 1945:
At 0900, CD-102 departs Moji for Keelung with kaibokan CHIKUBU, CD-40, and CD-106 escorting convoy MOTA-43. The convoy consists of transports KIYOKAWA, HAKOZAKI, TATSUHARU and NIKKO MARUs.

17 March 1945:
At 1642 the convoy anchores off Hikin To (Pigum Do).

18 March 1945:
At 0554 departs Hikin To.

19 March 1945:
225 miles NNE of Shanghai. At 0258, at 33-07N, 122-05E, LtCdr Robert K. Worthington's (USNA ’38) USS BALAO (SS-285) attacks the convoy and torpedoes TATSUHARU and HAKOZAKI MARUs. Another torpedo just misses CD-40. HAKOZAKI MARU is torn apart by internal explosions as her cargo of gasoline, shells and torpedoes ignites and blows off her stern. She quickly sinks, but her forward section stays afloat blazing until finally sinking at 0320.

The combination of fire, explosions and 5 degree centigrade water means that almost all aboard perish. 928 passengers, 51 gunners and 139 crew, a total of 1,118 are KIA. The torpedo strike on TATSUHARU MARU kills 149 military personnel, but the ship remains afloat and later makes Shanghai. CD-102 and CHIKUBU launch an unsuccessful depth charge counter-attack on USS BALAO, then rescue 130 survivors. Meanwhile at 1933 CD-106 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan escorting NIKKO and KIYOKAWA MARUs.

21 March 1945:
At 0800 the other escorts arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

22 March 1945:
At 0300 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 March 1945:
At 1825 arrives at Mazu Shan and departs later that day.

24 March 1945:
At 1603 arrives at Fuyan Tao.

25 March 1945:
At 1600 departs Fuyan Tao.

26 March 1945:
At 1700 arrives at Kirun.

28 March 1945:
Off Keelung, Formosa. CD-102 and CD-106 are damaged by near-misses of bombs from USAAF B-24s.

1 April 1945:
At 0615, CD-102 departs Keelung for Moji with kaibokan CHIKUBU, CD-40, and CD-106 escorting convoy TAMO-53 consisting of the survivors of convoy MOTA-43, NIKKO and KIYOKAWA MARUs. Both merchant ships are loaded with sugar needed for conversion to aviation fuel and butane and evacuees from Formosa, mostly women and children.

9 April 1945:
Yellow Sea. LtCdr (later MOH/Captain) George L. Street III’s (USNA ’37) USS TIRANTE (SS-420), alerted by an “Ultra” signal based on code-breaker’s intelligence, stalks convoy TAMO-53 enroute from Shanghai to Japan. Street fires three Mark 18-2 electric torpedoes at each of two targets at 36-50N,123-55E. One spread misses, but the other hits NIKKO MARU in the bow and engine room. She sinks taking down 563 passengers, 14 gunners, 16 guard force soldiers, two signalers and 73 crewmen.

The convoy’s escorts counter-attack USS TIRANTE. Street fires a Mark-27 "Cutie"acoustic homing torpedo at CD-102. USS TIRANTE’s crew hears "breaking-up noises," but the kaibokan does not sink. CD-102 loses seven men blown off the fantail when the Cutie hits. CHIKUBU tows the damaged CD to safety and rescues some of the NIKKO MARU's survivors. The remainder of the convoy heads for Moji.

10 April 1945:
Reassigned to the Seventh Fleet.

12 April 1945:
CD-102 and CHIKUBU arrive at Pusan, S Korea. CD-102 probably undergoes repairs at this location until shortly before, or after, the end of the war.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 December 1945:
Assigned to mine sweeping duties by the Allied Occupation Forces. [1]

28 August 1947:
Nakhodka, Siberia. Ceded to the Soviet Union as a war reparation.

Authors' Notes:
[1] In 1945, the U. S. Army Air Force launched a five-phased campaign known as “Operation Starvation” to mine Japan’s home waters. The USAAF used 80 to 100 B-29 “Super Fortress” heavy bombers of the 21st Bomber Command based at Tinian in the Marianas. The B-29s could carry seven 2,000 lb. or twelve 1,000 lb. mines.

Beginning on 27 March 1945 and continuing until 5 August 1945, the B-29s flew 1,529 nighttime radar sorties and laid 4,900 magnetic, 3,500 acoustic, 2,900 pressure and 700 low-frequency mines for a total of more than 12,000 mines laid in Japanese waters. These mines sank 294 ships, damaged 137 beyond repair and damaged another 239 that could be repaired. The total was 1, 250,000 tons sunk or damaged or about 75 percent of Japanese shipping available in March 1945. Only 15 B-29s were lost during the mining campaign.

Postwar, removal of these mines posed a major challenge for the Allied Occupation Forces. They pressed 269 Japanese ships of various types into mine sweeping service to augment their own efforts.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

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