© 2007-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
1 December 1943:
Laid down at Nihonkai Dock Co.’s shipyard.
31 March 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-21.
18 July 1944:
CD-21 is commissioned and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Hatakeyama Shigenori is the Commanding Officer.
25 August 1944:
CD-21 departs Moji for Singapore with escort carrier
UNYO, light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan CHIBURI, CD-1, CD-13, CD-19 and CD-27
escorting convoy HI-73 consisting of IJA landing craft depot ship KIBITSU MARU,
ex-armed merchant cruiser GOKOKU MARU, ex-seaplane tenders KAGU and SANUKI
MARUs, tankers TOHO, OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, TAIHO, FUJISAN, HAKKO, AMATO, TOA and
KUROSHIO MARUs and fleet storeship IRAKO. Later that day, the convoy is joined
briefly by transports MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs and tanker MANEI MARU
that all depart the following day.
26 August 1944:
At 0900, MIZUHO, ARABIA and KOKURYU MARUs are ordered
away because of excessive smoke. MANEI MARU remains at Kyushu because of
29 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa. Departs that same day and
arrives at Tsoying (near Takao).
1 September 1944:
Off Saei. The convoy splits. KIBITSU, GOKOKU and
KAGU MARUs (and probably IRAKO) head for Manila. The remaining ships head for
3 September 1944:
TOA MARU strikes a mine S of Saigon and is lightly
damaged, but able to continue.
5 September 1944:
At 0954, arrives at Seletar, Singapore.
11 September 1944:
CD-21 departs Seletar for Moji with Rear Admiral
Yoshitomi Setsuzo's (39) (former CO of KAGA and ComSubRon 7) 5th Guard Fleet's escort
carrier UNYO, light cruiser KASHII (F) and kaibokan CHIBURI, CD-13, CD-19 and
CD-27 escorting convoy HI-74 consisting of tankers AZUSA, OTOWASAN, HARIMA,
OMUROSAN and HAKKO MARUs.
16 September 1944:
At 2231, OMUROSAN MARU is hit by a torpedo fired by
Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393). KASHII
fires a red flare signalling a submarine attack, but at 2334, 11,177-ton oiler
AZUSA MARU is hit starboard side by two of a salvo of six bow torpedoes fired by
Cdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA ’35) USS BARB (SS-220) at the overlapping
targets. AZUSA MARU blows up and sinks with all hands (100 crewmen and passengers). UNYO is hit starboard
side by the other three torpedoes in Fluckey's salvo; one in the stern in the
steering compartment, the other in the engine room. UNYO settles aft.
17 September 1944:
By 0730, UNYO is listing heavily to starboard, and
the order is given to abandon ship. At 0755, UNYO sinks by the stern at 19-10N,
116-35E. More than 900 crewmen and passengers are lost as are 48 aircraft,
including a cargo of 36 Imperial Army planes UNYO was carrying back to Japan for
overhaul and repairs. CHIBURI and CD-27 rescue 55 officers and 706 men.
21 September 1944:
CD-21 is detached and goes to the assistance of
tanker SHINCHO MARU, of convoy HI-72, that had been bombed and damaged. CD-21
tows SHINCHO MARU into Takao, then rejoins convoy HI-74.
23 September 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Moji.
1 October 1944:
At 0800, CD-21 departs Moji with kaibokan CHIBURI,
CD-19 and CD-27 escorting convoy HI-77 consisting of transports MANJU
(ex-SANTOS), KINUGASA, ORYOKU MARUs, oilers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, ARITA,
ITSUKUSHIMA, AKANE, TAIHO and KAIHO MARUs, German U-boat supply ship QUITO and
two unidentified ships. Arrives at Arikawa Bay that same day.
2 October 1944:
Departs Arikawa Bay for Singapore.
5 October 1944:
ORYOKU MARU is detached for Kirun. The rest of HI-77
arrives at Takao. Before departing later that day, kaibokan ETOROFU and SHONAN
join the escort.
6 October 1944:
South China Sea. About 1410, LtCdr (later Captain)
James B. Grady's (USNA ’33) USS WHALE (SS-239) fires five torpedoes at AKANE MARU. They all
hit and the 10,000-ton oiler capsizes and sinks. 765 passengers and crew are
killed. CD-21 rescues her survivors and searches for the attacking submarine.
At 1547, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles W. Wilkins' (USNA ’24) USS SEAHORSE
(SS-304) dives and begins an approach on CD-21 from 16,900 yards. At 1757,
Wilkins, now at 700 yards, fires a full bow spread of six torpedoes. One hits
CD-21. She breaks in half and both parts quickly sink at 19-45N, 118-22E. As the
stern part sinks, the kaibokan's depth charges go off, killing any survivors in
the water. Her entire complement of 170 men is lost. LtCdr Hatakeyama is posthumously promoted Cdr.
10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks to Mr Matt Jones of Ohio, USA and especially Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall