KAIBOKAN!

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

IJN Escort CD-21:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2010 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


1 December 1943:
Laid down at Nihonkai Dock Co.ís shipyard.

31 March 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-21.

18 July 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN.

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 transport/cargo liner 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 engine problems.

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 Singapore.

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 (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) Charles E. Loughlin's 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) Eugene B. Fluckey's BARB (SS-220) at the overlapping targets. AZUSA MARU blows up and sinks with all hands. 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 MARUu 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 detaches for Kirun. The rest of HI-77 arrives at Takao. Before departing later that day, kaibokans ETOROFU and SHONAN join the escort.

6 October 1944:
South China Sea. About 1410, LtCdr (later Captain) James B. Grady's 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' 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.

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall


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