KAIBOKAN!

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

IJN Escort CD-38:
Tabular Record of Movement

2007-2010 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


2 April 1944:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding.

15 June 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-38.

10 August 1944:
Kobe. Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. Assigned to the Kure Guard Unit. LtCdr Hayashi Chiichi is the CO.

10 September 1944:
Kure Navy Base. CD-38 loads food and ammunition.

September 1944:
Arrives at Saeki. Participates in anti-submarine and anti-air training with CD-46 for about a month.

6 October 1944:
CD-38 is assigned to the General Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division.

18 October 1944:
At 0700, CD-38 departs Imari Bay near Sasebo via Cape St. Jacques, Indo-China for Miri with kaibokan CD-14, CD-20, CD-34, CD-39, CD-46 and patrol boats P-38 and P-102 escorting convoy MI-23 consisting of EBARA, MUNEKATA, HIKACHI (NISSHO), MATSUMOTO, KOSHIN, EININ, RITSUEI, YAMASONO, ENRYAKU (ENREKI), SHOEI, HIROTA, UNSEN, YOKAI and SHIROTAE MARUs and YUZAN MARU No. 2 and survey ship HAKUSA.

19 October 1944:
Off Sasebo. At 1600, escort CD-34 detects an unknown submarine 45 degrees to starboard at 3280 yards (3000 m). CD-38 attacks and drops about 30 depth charges. A friendly aircraft collaborates with the kaibokan. The kill is confirmed by a heavy-oil slick and many interior ship fittings found floating on the sea. CD-38's crew paints a submarine "kill" mark on side wall of the bridge.

20 October 1944:
Anchors in Raro Wan, Chosen (Korea). That same day, CD-38 is reassigned to the 12th Coast Defense Group.

22 October 1944:
At the Shushan anchorage, E of Shanghai.

24 October 1944:
75 miles ENE of Foochow, China. At 1000, HIROTA, UNSEN and YOKAI MARUs are detached for Takao escorted by PB-103 and PB-38.

25 October 1944:
Formosa Strait. At 0208, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Richard H. O'Kane's USS TANG (SS-306), running on the surface, torpedoes and sinks EBARA MARU at 25-04N, 119-35E. MATSUMOTO MARU, following behind EBARA MARU, alters course intent on ramming TANG, but one of the torpedoes fired at EBARA MARU strikes onrushing MATSUMOTO MARU's No. 1 hold. Her bow plunges under and she comes to a halt. Two machine guns on her bridge open fire and drive the submarine under where the water depth is a mere 131 feet. [1]

The convoy speeds onward. CD-34 drops a few depth-charges. Nine American submariners are found drifting on the surface including Captain O'Kane. CD-34 rescues the survivors and delivers them to the Takao Guard Unit, Formosa. At 2000, the ships arrive at Chuanchow Bay where MATSUMOTO MARU is successfully grounded. However, she lists heavily.

26 October 1944:
MATSUMOTO MARU capsizes and becomes a constructive total loss. At 0600, the convoy anchors outside Amoy Harbor and departs the same day at 1800.

27 October 1944:
Arrives at Mako, Formosa.

29 October 1944:
At 0700, the convoy departs Mako for Cape St. Jacques, Indochina.

30-31 October 1944:
Aircraft attack the convoy, but no damage is sustained.

4 November 1944:
At 1803, arrives at Cape St. Jacques.

5 November 1944:
Arrives at Saigon, Indochina. Engages in anti-air combat against Boeing B-29 "Super Fortress" heavy bombers.

12 November 1944:
Departs Saigon escorting an unknown convoy consisting of unidentified transports, then arrives at Singapore.

16 November 1944:
Departs Singapore for Saigon via St. Jacques. Enroute, CD-38 engages in ASW operations.

18 November 1944:
Arrives at Saigon.

20 November 1944:
CD-38 departs Saigon for Manila with three or four unidentified warships escorting convoy SAMA-14A consisting of Navy supply ship MAMIYA with a full load of ammunition.

25 November 1944:
Off Corregidor, Manila Bay. About 2120, MAMIYA launches a blue signal flare. Just after the signal, CD-38 suffers an attack by LtCdr Francis A. Greenup's USS HARDHEAD (SS-365). In a night periscopic attack, Greenup fires a spread of four torpedoes and gets one hit just below CD-38's bridge. The forward part of the kaibokan sinks immediately at 14-22N, 119-57E. 85 crewmen are KIA including CO LtCdr Hayashi. 93 survivors from the aft part abandon ship and later are rescued by CD-46 and other ships and are taken to Manila.

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
Most of this TROM was originally written in May 1981 by former IJN Chief Sailor Uenishi Takao.

[1] CD-34 claimed to have sunk TANG, but, in fact, the submarine was sunk in shallow water by one of her own defective Mark-18 torpedoes. In Nov '44, an expedition was sent to explore the submarine under Secret Secretariat Order No 021619. The expedition consisted of destroyer KURI and salvage ships KASUGA and NABARI MARUs. On 15 Nov '44, KURI located the wreck at 25-02-06N, 119-15 E. On 28 Nov '44, TANG's bow was marked with a buoy. Divers examined the outside of the wreck, but did not enter it. Bad weather and American aircraft activity forced the operation to be called off.

Special thanks go to Iwasaki Yutaka of Japan for help with this TROM. Thanks also go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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