KAIBOKAN!

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

IJN Escort CD-26:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 5


1 February 1944:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shipyard.

11 April 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-26.

31 May 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN.

27 June 1944:
At 0650 CD-26 and CD-28 depart Saiki.

28 June 1944:
Both arrive at Kure.

29 June 1944:
At 1800 CD-26 and CD-28 depart Kure.

30 June 1944:
At 0730 both arrive at Moji.

3 July 1944:
CD-26 departs Moji for Manila with with destroyer HARUKAZE and kaibokan CD-11, CD-20 and CD-28 and subchaser CH-28 escorting convoy MOMA-01 consisting of KASHII, TAMATSU, TOZAN, NISSHO, MAYASAN, MIZUHO, ARABIA, RAKUYO and NICHIRAN MARUs. The convoy is transporting the IJA's 5th Field Heavy Artillery and 58th Independent Mixed Brigade.

7 July 1944:
Formosa Straits. Convoy MOMA-01 is ordered to turn back to Keelung, Formosa.

9 July 1944:
Departs Keelung escorting MOMA-01. ARABIA MARU may have joined the convoy at this point.

12 July 1944:
Bashi Strait. At 0330, LtCdr (later Cdr) Walter P. Schoeni's (USNA ’31) USS APOGON (SS-308) fires a full bow spread of torpedoes MAYASAN MARU. Schoeni fails to damage her, but USS APOGON is rammed during the attack. At 0720, LtCdr Harold E. Rubles' (USNA ’33) USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks NICHIRAN MARU at 18-50N, 122-40E. KASHII MARU rescues survivors, but 1238 troops, one gunner and 15 crewmen are KIA. The convoy seeks shelter in Aparri Harbor, Philippines.

13 July 1944:
At 0800, departs Aparri.

15 July 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Manila.

28 July 1944:
At 1132, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “CD-26 and HARUKAZE [DD] - proceed immediately to 16-23 N., 119-40 E. HAKUBASAN MARU (of Convoy MI-10) was attacked at 1030 -----.”

3 August 1944:
At 1710 CD-26 and CD-28 arrive back at Manila having left to conduct lifesavings operations after convoy MI-11 has been attacked.

10 August 1944:
At 1600 CD-26, destroyer HARUKAZE and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU depart Manila escorting convoy MAYU-06 consisting of SHOKEI and YASUKUNI MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.

14 August 1944:
At 2130 arrives at Yulin.

18 August 1944:
At 1800, CD-26, destroyer HARUKAZE and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU depart Yulin, Hainan Island escorting convoy YUTA-10 consisting of YASUKUNI, MIYAJIMA MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships (ore carriers)

19 August 1944:
At 0047, an enemy sub is sighted at 18-03N, 116-16E. At 0107, a sub is sighted again.

20 August 1944:
At 2120, another sub is sighted at 20-37N, 113-17E.

22 August 1944:
HARUKAZE carries out an anti-submarine sweep in the vicinity of the convoy.

At 0931, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the captain of HARUKAZE that reads: "CD-26, when visibility was confined to ----- kilometers, at 0505 collided with YASUKUNI MARU-- (blanks) ---. There was no obstacle to (blank) ---- duties and the damage to YASUKUNI MARU was very slight."

23 August 1944:
At 0105, codebreakers decrypt a message from the captain of HARUKAZE that says "in position 21-14N, 116-53E, was attacked by enemy bomber aircraft. CD-26 (blank)--- damage to echo ranging gear (sound oscillating not operating) Otherwise, no damage."

At 1130, arrives at Takao, southern Formosa.

26 August 1944:
At 1000, CD-26, HARUKAZE and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU depart Takao escorting convoy TAMO-24 consisting of TEIKA (ex-Vichy French CAP VARELLA) and YASUKUNI MARUs and eight unidentified merchant ships.

1 September 1944:
At 1130, arrives at Moji. CD-26 and HARUKAZE departs there the same day.

2 September 1944:
At 0901 arrives at Sasebo.

11 September 1944:
At 1500, CD-26 departs Moji for Takao with destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-9 and subchaser CH-56 escorting convoy MOTA-26 consisting of GASSAN, SEIZAN, HAKUSAN, HOTEN, MURORAN, MANILA, MACASSAR, DAIKU, DAIKYO, NANKING, FUYUKAWA, PEKING, DAIZEN, HIDA, ROKKOSAN and JUNHO MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No.2, and tanker DAISHO MARU.

17 September 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. At 1340 departs Takao to meet up with kaibokan MIKURA, ETOROFU, CD-10, CD-11 and CD-18 escorting the 1st echelon of reorganized convoy HI-72 consisting of ASAMA, KIBITSU, GOKOKU and KAGU MARUs.

20 September 1944:
Off Formosa. At 0110, USAAF B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers attack the convoy’s first echelon (Moji-bound) at 23-20N, 119-12E. GOKOKU MARU is damaged by a direct hit and ASAMA MARU suffers a near miss aft. Both are towed into nearby Mako for repairs. The bombers also damage cargo vessels ASAKA and SHINCHO MARUs. KAGU MARU suffers hull damage by near-misses. She heads for Takao for repairs escorted by CD-10, CD-11 and CD-20. Kaibokan MIKURA is damaged and towed to Mako by CD-18.

21 September 1944:
CD-26 is sent to support damaged tanker SHINCHO MARU in the second echelon.

22 September 1944:
CD-26 arrives back at Takao.

23 September 1944:
CD-26 departs Takao and meets up with CD-18 towing damaged MIKURA.

25 September 1944:
At 2005 the ships arrive at Mako.

30 September 1944:
At 1200 departs Takao in reorganised convoy MI-19 consisting of IWAKUNI, DAIMEI, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), MITSU, DAIBIN, ARISAN, TEIFU (ex-French BOUGAINVILLE), TASMANIA, DAIA, and SHINSEI MARUs with KENEI, SAN LUIS and KOKURYU MARUs having additionally joined the convoy for Manila. The escort consists of kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-18, CD-26 and subchaser CH-19.

2 October 1944:
Arrives at Aparri. At 2300, departs.

3 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Lapoc. ETOROFU is probably detached for Takao.

4 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Lapoc. At 1700 arrives North San Fernando.

5 October 1944:
At 0600, departs North San Fernando. At 180 arrives at Santa Cruz.

6 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Santa Cruz.

7 October 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Manila.

8 October 1944:
At 0700, CD-26 departs Manila for Miri, Borneo with kaikoban CD-18, patrol boat PB-105, subchaser CH-19 and auxiliary subchaser Cha-56 escorting reorganized convoy MI-19 consisting of NITTETSU, SAN LUIS, DAIZEN, NITTA, SAN DIEGO, EIKYO, TOKUWA, SHUNTEN, TATSUBATO, DAISHU and YOSHU MARUs.

9 October 1944:
About 1700, LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s (USNA ’33) USS BECUNA (SS-319) torpedoes and damages SAN LUIS MARU, but she is able to continue. LtCdr Francis W. Scanland’s (USNA ’34) USS HAWKBILL (SS-366) also torpedoes SAN LUIS MARU about the same time. At 1804, Sturr’s USS BECUNA torpedoes and sinks TOKUWA MARU with the loss of ten crewmen.

10 October 1944:
SHUNTEN MARU and two of the escorts are detached with damaged SAN LUIS MARU and head for Sandakan, Borneo. At 2200 the rest of the convoy arrives at Pagdanan Bay.

11 October 1944:
At 0300 departs Pagdanan Bay.

12 October 1944:
Palawan Passage. LtCdr (later Captain) David H. McClintock’s (USNA ’35) USS DARTER (SS-227) fires four torpedoes at two ships in the convoy, but inflicts no damage. At 1341 arrives at Dalahuan Bay, Balabac Island.

13 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Dalahuan Bay.

14 October 1944:
At 0208, LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen D. Claggett’s (USNA ’35) USS DACE (SS-247) torpedoes and sinks NITTETSU MARU with 12 crewmen KIA and damages DAIZEN and EIKYO MARUs. At 0630 the convoy arrives at Kimanis and departs at 1130. Later that day arrives at Brunei Bay.

15 October 1944:
Departs Brunei Bay and at 1530 arrives at Labuan.

16 October 1944:
At 1300 departs Labuan and at 1900 arrives at Victoria.

17 October 1944:
At 0630 departs Victoria and at 1700 arrives at Miri.

18 October 1944:
At 1700 departs Miri with CD-26.

20 October 1944:
At 2030 arrives at Bacuit Bay.

21 October 1944:
At 1920 departs Bacuit Bay with CD-26.

23 October 1944:
At 1200 arrives back at Miri.

25 October 1944:
At 0630 CD-18 together with kaibokan CD-26 and patrol boat PB-105 depart Miri escorting a convoy consisting of MYOGI, HEIAN, TEIYU (ex Italian CARIGNANO) and MIKASA MARUs.

26 October 1944:
At 0630 departs Labuan and at 1800 arrives at Gaya Bay.

27 October 1944:
At 0620 departs Gaya Bay and at 1900 arrives at Balambangan.

28 October 1944:
At 0630 departs Balambangan and at 1900 anchors at 18-23N 117-10E.

29 October 1944:
At 0630 departs anchorage location.

30 October 1944:
At 1030 arrives at Bacuit Bay.

31 October 1944:
At 0400 departs Bacuit Bay and at 1600 arrives at Coron.

2 November 1944:
At 2000 arrives at Manila.

5 November 1944:
At 0935 CD-26, with kaibokan CD-18 and subchasers CH-18, CH-17, CH-23, CH-37 and CH-38, departs Manila escorting convoy MATA-31 consisting of TATSUHARU, DORYO MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships.

6 November 1944:
At 1055 in position 16.11N 119.06E a submarine is sighted. At 1650 DORYO MARU breaks down and is taken under tow.

7 November 1944:
At 1715 the convoy puts in to Santa Cruz for shelter

8 November 1944:
At 0730 CD-26 and CH-18 departs Santa Cruz. At 1600 CD-26 and CH-18 arrives at San Fernando. At 1930 departs San Fernando escorting the damaged cruiser AOBA.

11 November 1944:
At 2230 arrives at Takao.

13 November 1944:
At 0800 departs Takao.

14 November 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Hong Kong.

17 November 1944:
At 1500 departs Hong Kong escorting convoy HOTA-01 consisting of three unidentifdied merchant ships escorted by destroyer HASU.

E 19 November 1944:
CD-18 joins the escort.

21 November 1944:
At 1250 arrives at Takao.

23 November 1944:
At 1030 CD-18 and CD-26 depart Takao.

24 November 1944:
At 0730 arrives at Kirun.

26 November 1944:
CD-18 and kaibokan CD-26 and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU departs Kirun escorting convoy TAMO-30 consisting of BANSHU MARU No.32 and four unidentified merchant ships. At 2230 arrives and anchors in the Hsiao An channel, S of Wenchow.

27 November 1944:
At 1730 departs Hsiao An channel.

3 December 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

23 December 1944:
CD-26 departs Moji for Takao with kaibokan CD-60 and CD-205 escorting convoy MOTA-29 consisting of MELBOURNE and DAIKO MARUs. Enroute, CD-26 is detached and heads back to Sasebo. [1]

1 January 1945:
At 0715, CD-26 departs Moji for Takao with kaibokan CD-36 and CD-67 escorting convoy MOTA-30 consisting of ANYO, HISAGAWA, MEIHO, RASHIN, SANYO, HIKOSHIMA, DAIGA, TATSUYO and MANJU MARUs.

4 January 1945:
At 2000 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

7 January 1945:
At 0000 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

8 January 1945:
At 1830, Cdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA ’35) USS BARB (SS-220) torpedoes TATSUYO MARU. Loaded with munitions, she explodes and sinks instantly with the loss of all 63 crewmen. At 2020, LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks ANYO MARU with the loss of 138 crewmen and many troops. At 2120, Fluckey's USS BARB torpedoes and damages SANYO MARU. At 2230, while avoiding numerous torpedoes, HIKOSHIMA MARU runs aground in Tunghsiao Bay and is abandoned, apparently without casualties. At 2315, Cdr Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) torpedoes and damages MANJU MARU. At 2330, SANYO MARU runs aground. CD-39 is despatched from Kirun to aid the stricken convoy.

9 January 1945:
At 2040, MANJU MARU is deliberately run aground. 13 armed guards and 30 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are killed. At 0430, SANYO MARU breaks in two and sinks. 12 Armed Guards, two Instructors, three Watchmen and 29 out of 46 of the crew are killed during the attack. HISAGAWA MARU and two escorts head south. At about 0600, they join RASHIN MARU and another escort and head for Takao. MEIHO and DAIGA MARUs head for Keelung. At 0915, HISAGAWA and RASHIN MARUs are attacked by aircraft. HISAGAWA MARU is damaged severely and lags behind. The group heads for Mako, Pescadores, but at about 1255, HISAGAWA MARU sinks taking down 2117 men of the IJA's 19th Infantry Division's 3rd Transport Unit, 84 ships gunners and all 86 crewmen. [2]

10 January 1945:
CD-26 and CD-36 arrives at Mako with survivors.

11 January 1945:
At 0700 CD-26 departs Mako to rescue more survivors.

12 January 1945:
At 0530 departs the disaster area.

13 January 1945:
At 0900 arrives back at Mako. At 1100 departs Mako escorting RASHIN MARU. At 1730 arrives at Takao.

19 January 1945:
At 0600, CD-26 departs Takao for Moji with kaibokan IKUNA, CD-39 and CD-112 escorting convoy TAMO-38 consisting of DAINAN, BINGO, TOYOKAWA, RASHIN, SHINNO and TATSUWA MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No. 2.

20 January 1945:
At 1742 arrives at Nanji Tao.

21 January 1945:
At 0730 departs Nanji Tao. Later that day at 1930 arrives and anchors near Foochow.

22 January 1945:
At 0700 departs Foochow. At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay and merges with anchored convoy MOTA-32 consisting of DAIKYO, TENSHO, SAMARANG AIZAN, SHUNSHO and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and five unidentified merchants, possibly including TETSUYO and TATSUHARU MARUs, escorted by kaibokans CD-31, CD-132, CD-144, MANJU and destroyer SHIOKAZE and subchasers CH-19 and CH-57.

23 January 1945:
At 0402, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA ’35) USS BARB (SS-220) discovers the anchored ships and skillfully enters the bay. At 0402, Fluckey fires a full salvo of torpedoes. DAIKYO MARU carrying eight landing craft, stores and ammunition spectacularly explodes and sinks. 360 troops, 27 gunners and 58 crewmen are KIA, Minor damage, probably from falling debris, is also inflicted on SAMARANG, AIZAN, DAISHUN and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16. [3]

At 0600, the remainder of the convoy departs the anchorage.

28 January 1945:
At 2000 arrives at Moji. Undergoes repairs.

31 January 1945:
At 0630 CD-26 departs Moji kaibokan IKUNA and CD-67 escorting convoy MOTA-34 consisting of three unidentified merchant ships.

3 February 1945:
At 2100 arrives at Hsiao Changtu Shan, Chusan Island group.

4 February 1945:
At 0400 departs and at 1820 arrives at Wenchow.

5 February 1945:
At 1100 departs Wenchow and at 1730 anchors off Foochow.

6 February 1945:
At 0300 departs Foochow and at 1830 arrives at Kirun.

9 February 1945:
At 0700, CD-26 departs Kirin with kaibokan IKUNA, CD-76 and CD-67 escorting convoy TAMO-41 consisting of Army landing craft depot ships HYUGA and SETTSU MARUs. At 1900, anchors at Mazu Shan.

10 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Mazu Shan. Later that day arrives at Wenchow Bay.

11 February 1945:
Departs Wenchow Bay. At 1930, anchors in Chou Shan (Chusan) island Group.

12 February 1945:
At 0230, departs Chou Shan Islands.

14 February 1945:
At 1815, arrives at Mutsure.

15 February 1945:
At 1115 departs Mutsure and later that day arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

26 February 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

27 February 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

1 March 1945:
At 0800, CD-26 departs Mutsure for Keelung with kaibokan IKUNA, CD-41, minesweepers W-15 and W-17 and subchaser CH-19 escorting convoy MOTA-40 consisting of IKOMASAN, AIZAN, DAIKI, TOYOGAWA, KITAKATA, ANKO and DOSHI MARUs.

5 March 1945:
Off Akuke Jima, Ryukyu Islands. At 1042, LtCdr Walter F. Schlech's (USNA ’36) USS TILEFISH (SS-307) torpedoes and damages W-15's stern at 29-36N, 129-45E. W-15 is beached on Suwasi Island and later abandoned, a constructive total loss. [4]

9 March 1945:
At 2010, convoy MOTA-40 arrives at Keelung.

17 March 1945:
Departs Kirun.

19 March 1945:
At 0730 convoy HI-88J departs Seletar Naval Harbor, Singapore with destroyer AMATSUKAZE and kaibokan MANJU MARU, CD-18, CD-84, CD-130, CD-134 as escorts and convoy consisting of HONAN, KAIKO, ASOKAWA, SARAWAK, ARAOSAN, TENCHO MARUs and KITAKAMI MARU. At 1310, while leaving the Singapore straits, SARAWAK MARU is mined and badly damaged and eventually sinks on 27 March. There are no casualties.

20 March 1945:
At 2000 arrives at Yulin.

22 March 1945:
HI-88J arrives at Cape Camau.

23 March 1945:
At 0800 HI-88J departs Cape Camau. Off St Jacques. ARAOSAN, KITAKAMI and TENCHO MARUs are detached.

25 March 1945:
At 0700 CD-26 departs Yulin to join the convoy.

26 March 1945:
The convoy departs St Jacques. During the day CD-26 and submarine chaser CH-20 joins the convoy.

27 March 1945:
At 1000 arrives at Nha Trang Bay. Convoy HI-88I is absorbed into new convoy HI-88J. Additional escorts are added. HI-88J now consists of tankers HONAN, ASOKAWA, KAIKO MARUs and probably NANSHIN MARU No. 30 escorted by CD-26, destroyer AMATSUKAZE (with a temporary bow fitted) and kaibokan MANJU, CD-1, CD-18, CD-84, CD-130, CD-134, and probably subchasers CH-9 and CH-20.

28 March 1945:
At 0800, departs Nha Trang Bay. At 1040, an air attack begins and ASOKAWA MARU is hit in the engine room and sinks. 92 passengers, 8 gunners and 34 crewmen are killed. MANJU and CD-84 rescue survivors. At 1220, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) torpedoes HONAN MARU (ex British RFA WAR SIRDAR). Five Ship’s Gunners and 44 crewmen are killed. Her captain runs her aground. NANSHIN MARU No. 30 probably is detached.

Cdr William L. Kitch's USS BLACKFIN (SS-322) on her third war patrol witnesses the attack and then commences a submerged approach, targeting one of the freighters. CD-26 detects the attacking submarine with her sonar. At 1024 (H) she commences the first depth-charge attack. CD-26 drops a total of 79 depth charges until 1326, when she is receives the order to rejoin the convoy.

USS BLACKFIN is seriously damaged and forced to terminate her patrol.

29 March 1945:
At 0710, LtCdr Frank M. Smith's (USNA ’35) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364) torpedoes and sinks CD-84 at 14-40N, 109-16E. MANJU rescues some survivors. At 1130, another submarine attack coincides with an air attack by Fifth Air Force B-25s that sink CD-18, CD-130 and tanker KAIKO MARU loaded with fuel oil, at 15-10N, 109-26E. 12 passengers, four gunners and 19 crewmen from KAIKO MARU are killed.

S of Hainan. At 2230, Martin PBM “Mariner” float bombers attack the convoy and damage CD-134.

30 March 1945:
Off Yulin, Hainan Island. B-25s sink auxiliary subchaser SHINAN MARU with unknown casualties, and damage CD-26 at 18-09N, 109-42E. 8 sailors are killed in the attack. At 1000 CD-26 puts in to Samah.

At 1318, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from that reads: “At 1045 12 B-25 planes attacked Yulin concentrating on this convoy -----. Damage incurred: CD-26 is unable to navigate due to a near miss, and there is other slight damage to the hull----Desire to detach CD-26 from convoy.” A subsequent message states that CD-26 could not communicate because of bomb damage.

25 April 1945:
Reassigned to Escort Squadron 31 with AGUNI and others.

26 April 1945:
Coast of China. At 0755, CD-26 departs the Shusan Sea area, E of Shanghai, for Moji with destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan UKU, patrol boat P-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224), minesweeper W-29 and subchaser CH-20 escorting convoy SHIMO-03 consisting of KASHIMA, BANSHU, ABUKUMAGAWA, SHINTON and TAIKYU MARUs and NANRYU MARU No. 9.

27 April 1945:
Yellow Sea. Off S Korea. Convoy SHIMO-03 is attacked by aircraft and unidentified submarine(s). The planes make many attacks and bomb and strafe the convoy. UKU and patrol boat P-102 are damaged at 34-52N, 124-23E.

28 April 1945:
At 1200, convoy SHIMO-03 arrives at Moji.

1 May 1945:
At 1845, arrives with convoy SHIMO-03 at Yuya Bay. (SHIMO-03 apparently did not arrive 28 April, probably because of mining)

2 May 1945:
At 0555, departs Yuya Bay. At 1325, arrives at Moji.

3 May 1945:
At 0930, departs Moji.

4 May 1945:
At 1045, arrives at Maizuru. Docked in No. 3 Drydock.

21 June 1945:
At 1006, departs Maizuru for Nanao-Hoku Bay.

22 June 1945:
At 1006, arrives at Nanao Nanao-Hoku Bay.

23 June 1945:
SE of Rokugo Zaki, NE of Noto Peninsula. At 0310, departs Nanao-Hoku Bay. Early in the morning, a Maizuru-based Aichi E13A1 "Jake" reconnaissance floatplane of the 901st NAG fitted with a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) device detects a submerged submarine and attacks it with a 250-kg depth-charge. CD-26 and CD-22, enroute from Maizuru to Nanao Bay, are directed to the same area and attack the target at 0735. CD-22 drops 46 depth charges. [5]

24 June 1945:
At 1807, arrives at Nanao-Hoku Bay.

15 August 1945:
CD-26’s crew receives notice of the termination of the war.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 December 1945:
Assigned to minesweeping duties by the Allied Occupation Forces. [6]

6 September 1947:
Ceded to the United States as a war reparation.

7 September 1947:
Kure. Start of scrapping.

13 October 1947:
End of scrapping.


Authors’ Notes:
[1] Some sources indicate that CD-112 was in the escort not CD-26.

[2] MANJU MARU was sunk by aircraft in the same location on 20 Jan '45.

[3] Exactly why so few of USS BARB's torpedoes failed to hit such a perfect overlapping target remains a mystery. Perhaps the torpedoes were defective, a problem the U. S. Navy never got quite right during, and even after the war. Rumors of more ships sunk persist, but they are not supported by facts.

[4] Some sources indicate that W-15 was part of the escort of MOTA-40, but others do not.

[5] The target may have been the wreck of USS BONEFISH (SS-223) sunk in that area earlier.

[6] 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. 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, 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 go to Bill Somerville for info on CD-26's movements in late Aug '44 and to John Whitman for info on intercepted messages. Thanks also go to Gilbert Casse of France, and John Whitman for info on HAKUSHIKA MARU in Rev 3 and 4.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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