© 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.
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. 
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.
30-31 October 1944:
Aircraft attack the convoy, but no damage is
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.
Most of this TROM was originally written in May 1981 by former
IJN Chief Sailor Uenishi Takao.
 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