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

IJN Escort CD-33:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2017 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 7

26 April 1944:
Tsurumi, Yokohama. Laid down at Nippon Kokan K. K.'s shipyard.

22 July 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-33.

31 July 1944:
Reserve LtCdr Morimoto Masaharu (former navigating officer of ONDO) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

31 August 1944:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN.

4 October 1944:
CD-33 is assigned to the General Escort Command’s First Surface Escort Division. Reserve LtCdr Morimoto Masaharu is the Commanding Officer.

20 October 1944: Operation SHO-I-GO ("Victory") – The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
CD-33 departs Yashima anchorage with kaibokan CD-22, CD-29, CD-31, CD-43 and CD-132 escorting oilers TAKANE and JINEI MARUs of Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (37) (former CO of HARUNA) Northern "decoy" Mobile Force’s Second Supply Force. The Supply Force supports Ozawa's CarDiv 3's ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CHITOSE and CHIYODA and CarDiv 4's hybrid HYUGA and ISE.

21 October 1944:
CD-22 and two other kaibokan depart Tokuyama Fuel Depot for Koniya, Kakaroma-Jima, Ryukyus with TAKANE MARU.

22 October 1944:
Ozawa's force refuels at sea. Sound contact is made with a submarine. At 2010, ZUIKAKU and light cruiser TAMA spot torpedo tracks and make a sharp turn to port. Destroyer WAKATSUKI is detached to repel the submarine. Ozawa is forced to cancel the refueling after receiving only one third of the required amount.

24 October 1944:
Destroyer AKIKAZE departs Kure to lead the escort of the Second Supply Force.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Cape Engano:
Ozawa's force is attacked by planes from Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc Mitscher's (USNA ’10) Task Force 38’s USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS ESSEX (CV-9), USS INTREPID (CV-11), USS FRANKLIN (CV-13), LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24), USS LANGLEY (CVL-27), USS CABOT (CVL-28) and USS SAN JACINTO (CVL-30).

TF 38 launches 527 sorties in five strikes against Ozawa’s Northern Force. During the day's action, carriers ZUIKAKU (Captain [Vice Admiral posthumously] Kaizuka Takeo (46), forty-eight officers and 794 petty officers and men lost), ZUIHO (six officers and 208 sailors lost) and CHITOSE (Captain [Rear Admiral posthumously] Kishi Yoshiyuki (47) and 903 officers and men KIA) and destroyer AKIZUKI (183 sailors KIA) are sunk.

That same day, S of Yaku Jima, LtCdr Orme C. Robbins’ (USNA ’34) USS STERLET (SS-392) torpedoes and sinks oiler JINEI MARU at 30-15N, 129-45E. 69 crewmen are KIA. Destroyer AKIKAZE helps rescue JINEI MARU's survivors and takes them to Mako, Pescadore Islands.

28 October 1944:
Oiler TAKANE MARU is ordered to steam to Takao, but she has a faulty boiler that limits her speed to 12 knots and prevents her from complying.

29 October 1944:
TAKANE MARU receives new orders to proceed to Kure for repairs. At 1500, she departs with CD-33, CD-22 and CD-29 as a separate group.

30 October 1944:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Frederick J. Harlfinger’s USS TRIGGER (SS-237) picks up TAKANE MARU with her escorts and attacks. One torpedo broaches alerting the oiler that avoids the other torpedoes. At 1620, Harlfinger fires again and hits TAKANE MARU starboard aft in the engine room. One torpedo heads for CD-22, but she dodges it. CD-29 counter-attacks USS TRIGGER with depth charges. Later, Harlfinger surfaces and notifies his wolf pack mates.

130 nm SW of Toizaki, Kyushu. CD-33, CD-22 and CD-29 are guarding the immobilized TAKANE MARU. At about 2100 that night, LtCdr Harley K. Nauman’s (USNA ’34) USS SALMON (SS-182) fires four torpedoes for two hits. The escorts counter-attack. USS SALMON crash dives, but is damaged badly by a severe depth charging. Her pressure hull is dished in, an engine is knocked off its base plate, radio and radar equipment damaged and she is leaking heavily. USS SALMON sinks to 500 feet out of control. Her diving officer finally checks her descent, but cannot hold her. Nauman decides to battle surface and engage the escorts with USS SALMON’s deck guns.

USS SALMON surfaces in the midst of a heavy squall. Nauman’s crew quickly begins to correct a 15-degree list, puts two of USS SALMON’s diesel engines on line and stops some leaks. At about 2200, CD-29 sights a surfaced submarine off her starboard bow, 500 meters away. CD-29 switches on her searchlight and opens fire with her 120-mm bow gun, but loses the target after the first salvo.

At 2235, CD-33 and CD-22 arrive and attack USS SALMON from different directions. CD-22 charges the submarine intent on ramming. Nauman, in turn, charges the kaibokan. The two vessels pass each other just 50 yards apart. CD-22 opens fire on the submarine with her 25-mm AA gun. USS SALMON’s machine-guns, 20-mm AA and deck guns return fire and kill four of CD-22's sailors and wound another 14. CD-22 is also hit in the bow by a dud shell that causes a temporary leak. Her speed drops to 11 knots.

31 October 1944:
SW of Kyushu. At about 0100, LtCdr Robbins’ (USNA ’34) USS STERLET finds TAKANE MARU dead in the water and down by the stern. No escorts are in sight. Robbins fires six torpedoes by radar bearings and gets four hits that finish off the oiler. TAKANE MARU sinks at 30-09N, 132-45E with no survivors. CD-29 briefly chases USS STERLET but soon loses contact.

1 November 1944:
At 1215 arrives at Kure. At 2300 departs Kure.

2 November 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Moji.

3 November 1944:
At 1000, CD-33 departs Moji for Miri, Borneo with kaibokan CD-23, CD-51, CD-52 and CD-130 escorting convoy MI-25 consisting of KACHOSAN, ATAGO, NIKKO, DAIRETSU, DAIA, DAITO, RYUSHO, GYOSHIN, AKAGISAN, OTSUSAN, SHINKYO, NICHIYO, KENSEI, HINAGA, OJIKASAN, KINSEN, YAMAMURA, SHINKYU and SHOEI MARUs and YUZAN MARU No. 2 and an unidentified merchant ship.

8 November 1944:
KACHOSAN, KINSEN and NIKKO MARUs and the unidentified ship are detached for Kirun, AKAGISAN and NICHIYO MARUs are detached for Takao.

15 November 1944:
10 miles SW of Cape Paderan, Indochina. At about 0100, LtCdr Albert S. Fuhrman's (USNA ’37) USS JACK (SS-259) torpedoes and sinks HINAGA MARU at 1-16N, 108-54E. 34 troops on board and one crewman are killed. Fuhrman also torpedoes and damages YUZAN MARU No. 2.

That same day, the General Escort Command’s 102nd Escort Squadron is formed with CD-33, CD-2, CD-34, CD-35, MIKURA and YASHIRO.

16 November 1944:
At 0800 arrives at Cap St. Jacques. ATAGO and GYOSHIN MARUs and CD-33, CD-52 and CD-130 are detached. The rest of the convoy proceeds to Singapore.

17 November 1944:
At noon, YUZAN MARU No. 2 breaks in two and sinks. Seven crewmen are KIA.

21 November 1944:
At 1700 CD-33, CD-130 and CD-52 depart St Jacques but return at 2330.

22 November 1944:
At 1700, ATAGO and GYOSHIN MARUs escorted by CD-33, CD-130 and CD-52 depart St. Jacques.

26 November 1944:
At 1330, convoy MI-25 arrives at Miri. Later that day at 1827 CD-33 and CD-52 depart Miri to assist in lifesaving operations for tanker YUHO MARU sinking.

27 November 1944:
At 0735 the ships arrive back at Miri.

29 November 1944:
At 1900 CD-33 departs Miri with CD-52 and CD-130 escorting MI-26 convoy consisting of GYOSHIN MARU and two other tankers.

E 4 December 1944:
Arrives at St, Jacques. GYOSHIN MARU is detached.

8 December 1944:
Departs St Jacques in convoy MI-26 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships escorted by kaibokan CD-33, CD-8, CD-52 and CD-61 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU.

9 December 1944:
At 1922 arrives at Camranh Bay.

10 December 1944:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command’s First Escort Fleet.

11 December 1944:
At 0803 departs Camranh Bay and at 1754 arrives at Ban Lon.

12 December 1944:
At 0605 departs Ban Long and at 1820 arrives at Qui Sande Bay.

13 December 1944:
At 0830 departs Qui Sande Bay.

15 December 1944:
At 2332 arrives at Yulin.

18 December 1944:
At 1737 departs Yulin.

23 December 1944:
At 1708 arrives at Saei, Formosa.

24 December 1944:
At 0151 departs Saei.

28 December 1944:
At 0921 arrives Ssu Chiao Shan and departs from there at 1815.

1 January 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Futaoi Jima near Moji. Reassigned to the First Escort Fleet's 102nd Escort Squadron. The Squadron includes CD-33, light cruiser KASHIMA (F), kaibokan CD-2, CD-34, CD-35 and MIKURA.

2 January 1945:
Departs Futaoi Jima.

3 January 1945:
At 1020 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

10 January 1945:
At 0900 departs Sasebo.

11 January 1945:
At 1000 arrives at Kure and undergoes further repairs.

21 January 1945:
At 1600 departs Kure.

22 January 1945:
At 0800 arrives at Moji.

26 January 1945:
CD-33 departs Moji with Kaibokan MIKURA, CD-2 and CD-34 escorting convoy MOSU-01 consisting of MAOKA and GINZAN MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships. The convoy proceeds along the southern and western coasts of Korea. From Moppo (Mokpo), it crosses the Yellow Sea toward Shanghai. Enroute, it zig-zags and also reverses course. Twice, CD-34 detects a submarine and drops depth charges with unknown effect. South of the Yangtze river, China, off Funayama (Shuzan) Island probably in the Shushan (Chusan) Archipelago, the convoy changes course toward Hong Kong.

28 January 1945:
At 1530 arrives at Maro-Hae, S of Mokpo, Chosen.

29 January 1945:
At 0600 departs Maro-Hae.

3 February 1945:
Arrives at Haitan Tao.

4 February 1945:
At 0600 departs Haitan Tao except for CD-34 which is detached.

5 February 1945:
At 1530 arrives at Swatow.

9 February 1945:
CD-33 with kaibokan MIKURA, CD-2 and CD-34 departs Swatow in convoy SUSHI-01 consisting of MAOKA MARU and three unidentified merchant ships.

10 February 1945:
Formosa Straits. CD-33 is damaged in a collision with kaibokan MIKURA at 23-51N, 117-25E. The convoy splits with MIKURA and CD-33 escorting MAOKA MARU and the unidentified maru, CD-2 escorting YOJO MARU and CD-34 escorting TAMON MARU No. 12.

16 February 1945:
At 1400 MIKURA arrives at Shanghai. CD-33 and MAOKA MARU and the unidentified ship follow two hours later. The other ships arrive two days later.

18 February 1945:
At 1400 the rest of the convoy arrives at Shanghai.

20 February 1945:
Alongside light cruiser KASHIMA and loads 40t heavy oil. At 1030 MIKURA, CD-2, CD-33, CD-34 and light cruiser KASHIMA depart Shanghai.

21 February 1945:
At 1200 the ships all arrive at Tinghai. Later that day the ships depart on the AS-1 Sakusen anti-submarine sweep.

3 March 1945:
MIKURA, CD-2 and CD-33 arrive at Ssu Chiao Shan.

4 March 1945:
MIKURA, CD-2 and CD-33 depart Ssu Chiao Shan.

8 March 1945:
At 0900 CD-33 together with kaibokan MIKURA, CD-36, CD-69 and sub-chaser CH-21 depart Yulin in convoy YUMO-01 consisting only of TATSUMIYA MARU. At 1959 in 19-02N, 111-56E the convoy is attacked by USAAF B-24's of 13th AF and CD-69 is badly damaged by bombs. Taken in tow the kaibokan sinks near Hong Kong on 16th March.

At 1050 the convoy arrives and anchors at Ta Sha Tao (Island) (Pratas Reef).

11 March 1945:
At 2200 the convoy departs Ta Sha Tao.

13 March 1945:
At 1035 the convoy arrives at Mirs Bay (Tai Pang Wan) and departs there at 1120 arriving at Hong Kong at 1300. CD-33 is detached from convoy.

18 March 1945:
At 0000 CD-33 departs Hong Kong with kaibokan MIKURA escorting Mitsushima Maru Convoy consisting only of tanker MITSUSHIMA MARU.

19 March 1945:
At 0620 arrives at Amoy and departs at 1900.

22 March 1945:
At 0100 arrives in Amoy Sea and joined by AKISHIMA MARU and kaibokan UKU and SHINNAN. At 1030 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 March 1945:
At 1000 departs Ssu Chiao Shan, Shushan anchorage.

27 March 1945:
At 0600 arrives at Moji. Soon after the arrival she departs for Bungo Suido Channel in company of MIKURA to join the anti-submarine sweep with the Saeki-based MOKUTO, OJIKA, CD-59, and CD-65, preceding the planned sortie of super-battleship YAMATO and her escorts.

28 March 1945:
SW of Shikoku. At 1027, one of the ASW planes detects a contact and directs the 3rd Sweeping Unit to that area. After 1300, MIKURA, CD-33 and CD-59 and possibly others conduct several attacks on a submarine with Type 3 streamlined depth-charges. After two hours, a large amount of oil and debris is sighted in the area of 32-16N, 132-05E. [1]

On that day, FRUMEL decrypts the following message from a concealed originator, timed 271905:
"OYAKE (sic) and Coast Defence Ship Nr. 33 will depart Moji as soon as possible and will co-operate with Kure and Sasebo Defence Forces in carrying out anti-submarine sweeps along the route to be taken by 1st Diversion Attack Force."

Hyuga Nada, off Kyushu. At 1645, CD-33, now proceeding independently at 31-45N, 131-45E, reports the sighting of 70 airplanes, heading NE.

At 1700, CD-3 reports the sighting of numerous survivors in the water and requests immediate support.

Around 1715 CD-33 is attacked and sunk by Task Force 58’s aircraft. All 171 hands are lost.

25 May 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] It is possible the submarine was Cdr David R. Connole’s (USNA ’36) USS TRIGGER (SS-237), lost with all 89 hands; however, no official report has ever been released with details of the date, place and cause of USS TRIGGER's loss.

Thanks for assistance go to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France. Special thanks also go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for research based on wartime FRUMEL intercepts.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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