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

IJN Escort CD-39:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 4

10 June 1944:
Tsurumi, Yokohama. Laid down at Nippon Kokan K. K.'s shipyard.

13 August 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-39.

27 September 1944:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN. Attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to Yokosuka Guard Force.

18 October 1944:
At 0700, CD-39 departs Imari Bay near Sasebo via Cape St. Jacques, Indochina for Miri with kaibokan CD-14, CD-20, CD-34, CD-38, CD-46 and patrol boats P-102 and P-38 escorting convoy MI-23 consisting of EBARA, MUNAKATA, NISSHO, MATSUMOTO, KOSHIN, EIJIN, RITSUEI, YAMASONO, ENREKI, SHOEI (2854 gt), HIROTA, UNSEN, YOKAI and SHIROTAE MARUs and YUZAN MARU No. 2.

20 October 1944:
Anchors in Raro Wan, Chosen (Korea).

22 October 1944:
At 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 P-103 and P- 38.

25 October 1944:
Formosa Strait. At 0208, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Richard H. O’Kane’s (USNA ’34) USS TANG (SS-306), running on the surface, torpedoes and sinks EBARA MARU at 25-04N, 119-35E. Eleven crewmen are KIA. MATSUMOTO MARU, following behind EBARA MARU, alters course intent on ramming USS 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 later claims to have sunk USS TANG, but, in fact, the submarine was sunk by one of BuOrd's defective Mark-18 torpedoes, that happened to be USS TANG's very last torpedo. CD-34 is detached with the POWs for Takao, Formosa. At 2000, convoy MI-23 arrives at Chuanchow Bay where MATSUMOTO MARU is successfully grounded; however, she lists heavily. [1]

26 October 1944:
MATSUMOTO MARU capsizes and becomes a total loss. No casualties have been sustained in the preceding action. At 0600, the convoy anchors outside Amoy Harbor, and departs the same day at 1800.

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

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

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

9 November 1944:
At 0235, departs Cape St. Jacques.

12 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

16 November 1944:
At 0600, CD-39 departs Keelung for Moji with kaibokan CD-20 and subchaser CH-61 escorting convoy TAMO-29 consisting of SHUYO, FUKUJU, MIYAJIMA, MELBOURNE MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship.

23 November 1944:
At 0348, LtCdr (later Cdr) Evan T. Shepard’s (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks SHUYO MARU at 34-14N, 128-28E. 60 passengers and 25 crewmen are killed. At 0845, after tracking the convoy and making an "end-around", Shepard torpedoes and sinks FUKUJU MARU at 34-10N, 128-58E. 28 of the crew are killed. The escorts counter-attack and drop 23 depth charges on USS PICUDA, but she escapes undamaged.

24 November 1944:
At 1340 arrives at Moji. CD-39 immediately departs.

25 November 1944:
At 0400 arrives at Saiki.

14 December 1944:
CD-39 departs Miike with kaibokan MIYAKE, CD-20, CD-138 escorting convoy MOTA-28 consisting of MURORAN, TEIKAI MARUs and tankers DAINAN, SHINGI, OEI, DAIGYO, OESAN and YAMAZAWA MARUs. NOMI meets the convoy soon after departure.

22 December 1944:
At 2200 arrives at Takao.

1 January 1945:
At 0345, NOMI departs North San Fernando with kaibokan KANJU, IKUNA, MIYAKE, CD-112 and CD-39 escorting convoy MATA-40 consisting of IJA landing ship SHINSHU MARU and IJA landing craft carriers KIBITSU and HYUGA MARUs. At 1800 arrives at Musa.

2 January 1945:
At 0700 departs Musa.

3 January 1945:
At 0115 arrives off Takao. At 0800 NOMI departs. At 1105 (JST), 50 carrier aircraft attack the ships. SHINSHU MARU is hit by several bombs and explodes. 66 gunners, 33 crewmen and 283 soldiers are KIA. Later that night, SHINSHU MARU's burning wreck is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's (USNA ’30) USS ASPRO (SS-309). KIBITSU MARU is heavily damaged and HYUGA MARU suffers medium damage. MIYAKE and CD-112 both suffer light damage. The surviving ships put into Takao for repairs, with NOMI arriving at 2000.

4 January 1945:
At 0315 IKUNA, NOMI and KANJU (the latter from off Takao) depart Takao to meet convoy TAMO-35 [?? convoy did not leave Kirun until 12 January]. In the Formosa Strait IKUNA is also damaged by aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 38. At 1600 KANJU, NOMI and IKUNA arrive at Nanao Tao.

5 January 1944:
At 1300 KANJU, NOMI and IKUNA depart Nanao Tao. CD-39 remains behind with CD-112.

6 January 1945:
At 1000 CD-39 arrives at Takao. At 1800 CD-39 and CD-112 departs escorting convoy TAKI-05

7 January 1945:
At 1300 arrives at Kirun.

8 January 1945:
MOTA-30 consisting of ANYO, HISAGAWA, MEIHO, RASHIN, SANYO, HIKOSHIMA, DAIGA, TATSUYO and MANJU MARUs with kaibokan CD-26, CD-36 and CD-67 begin to enter the Formosa Straits. 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 Shepard's USS PICUDA 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 crew 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, together with 84 gunners and all 86 crewmen. [2]

At 1800 CD-39 arrives at Mako and departs at 1805.

10 January 1945:
At 1330 meets up with DAIGA MARU at Chung-Kang, Formosa.

12 January 1945:
At 0300 departs anchorage and at 1600 arrives at Kirun.

14 January 1945:
Departs Kirun.

15 January 1945:
At 0830 arrives at Takao.

19 January 1945:
At 0600, CD-39 departs Takao for Moji with kaibokan IKUNA, CD-26, and CD-112 escorting convoy TAMO-38 consisting of DAINAN, BINGO, RASHIN, TOYOKAWA, SHINNO and TATSUWA MARUs and NICHIYU No. 7. [3]

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/MOH) 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 ammunition and 6 Daihatsu barges and 2 Shohatsu barges spectacularly explodes and sinks. 360 of 558 troops, 28 Gunners and 59 of the crewmen are killed. Minor damage, probably from falling debris, is also inflicted on SAMARANG, AIZAN, DAISHUN and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16. [4]

28 January 1945:
At 2000 arrives at Moji.

30 January 1945:
Departs Moji and at 0800 arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.

5 February 1945:
Reassigned to 1st Surface Escort Division.

8 February 1945:
Departs Kure.

9 February 1945:
At 0910 arrives at Moji.

10 February 1945:
At 1200 CD-39 together with kaibokan ETOROFU, KASADO and OKINAWA depart Moji escorting convoy MOTA-35 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

14 February 1945:
At 1400 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan. ETOROFU and KASADO detach at this point.

16 February 1945:
At 1600 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

19 February 1945:
At 0400 arrives at Keelung.

23 February 1945:
At 0100 OKINAWA departs Keelung with kaibokan CD-39 escorting convoy TAMO-45 consisting of TEIKA MARU (ex French CAP VARELLA) and two unidentified merchant ships. That evening anchors at Haitan Tao.

24 February 1945:
At 0600 departs Haitan Tao.

26 February 1945:
At 0630 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan and departs at 2300.

3 March 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Moji.

4 March 1945:
At 0720 CD-39 and kaibokan OKINAWA and AGUNI depart Moji in Kitsurin Maru Convoy consisting only of Cargo-passenger ship KITSURIN MARU.

6 March 1945:
At 1400 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan where CD-39 separates and eith submarine chaser CH-19, joins convoy HI-92 consisting of tanker TOJO MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-25 and possibly CD-82. Later that day the KITSURIN MARU arrives at Shanghai.

8 March 1945:
At 1430 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

10 March 1945:
At 1700 anchors off Pusan.

11 March 1945:
At 0600 the convoy departs Pusan. At 1630 arrives at Moji.

12 March 1945:
At 0625 CD-39 departs Mutsure and at 1600 arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.

14 April 1945:
W of Saishu (formerly Quelpart) Island. At 0407, in murky weather, Cdr (later Captain/MOH) George L. Street III’s (USNA ’37) USS TIRANTE (SS-420) closes the bay on the surface, noses into Saishu harbor and fires six torpedoes at the anchored convoy. He sinks JUZAN MARU with 19 crewmen KIA, NOMI and CD-31 at 33-25N, 126-15E. Kaibokan MIYAKE alerts the 12th Escort Unit. CD-39 and kaibokan AGUNI are dispatched to Saishu Island anchorage to rescue survivors and hunt for the attacking submarine.

15 April 1945:
At 0700 CD-39 departs Sasebo. At 2020 arrives at Kobun (Kyomun) To.

16 April 1945:
At 0700 departs Kobun To. From there carries outs a long patrol.

25 April 1945:
At 1016 MO-705 convoy Part 1 arrives at Hikin Do. CD-39 arrives at 1135. The convoy departs at 2330 with CD-39 escorting AMAZONO, AWA, TOYOKAWA, SHINYO and KEIZO (KEIJO?) MARUs.

27 April 1945:
At 1440 the convoy arrives at Chinkai.

30 April 1945:
At 1000 OKI, CD-39 and submarine chaser CH-21 depart Chinkai.

10 May 1945:
At 1800 off Tsutsu Wan, Tsushima meets up with SASSHU MARU, that had departed Reisui (Yosu) off Komun Island aand was escorted by KANJU and CD-55. KANJU and possibly CD-55 are detached.

12 June 1945:
CD-39 discovers a pericope . CD-13 heads towards the sighting location for an anti submarine attack. At 1915, stops hunting without finding the submarine. At 1957, arrives at Daito Wan.

12 July 1945:
At 0830, CD-39 departs Dairen, China for Pusan, Korea escorting convoy TAFU-07 consisting of DAII and RYUHEI MARUs and KINYU MARU No. 7, NANKI MARU No. 8 and NANKI MARU No. 9.

26 July 1945:
At 1730, arrives at Inchon, Korea.

1 August 1945:
At 1230, departs Inchon, but NANKI MARU No. 8 suffers engine problems and returns to port.

4 August 1945:
RYUHEI MARU is detached for Mokpo, Korea.

5 August 1945:
SE of Kokuzan To, Korea. DAII MARU runs aground and is left behind.

7 August 1945:
Sea of Japan, off Kyosai Island (now Geoje Island) near Pusan. Fifth Air Force B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers attack the convoy and sink CD-39 and NANKI MARU No. 9 with unknown casualties at 34-55N, 128-44E. 33 sailors on CD-39 are killed. KINYU MARU No. 7 is damaged.

15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] After almost three years into World War II, inexplicably, the Bureau of Ordnance, still had not developed operational test and evaluation procedures to detect, prevent and correct deficencies in the primary weapon of America's submarines. Such was the power of politically protected bureaucrats.

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

[3] Fluckey claims CD-26 was an escort, but Japanese sources list CD-112.

[4] Exactly why so few of BARB's Mark 18 torpedoes failed to hit such a perfect overlapping target remains a mystery (but see [1] above). Rumors of more ships sunk persist, but are not supported by facts.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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