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

IJN Escort CD-39:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 2

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, 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 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, MELBOURNE MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

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:
Arrives at Moji.

1 January 1945:
At 0715, CD-39 departs Moji for Takao with kaibokan CD-26, CD-36 and CD-67 escorting convoy MOTA-30 consisting of ANYO, HISAGAWA, MEIHO, RASHIN, SANYO, HIKOSHIMA, DAIGA, TATSUYO and MANJU MARUs.

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 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.

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]

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]

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:
Arrives at Moji.

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

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

E 14 February 1945:
CD-39 is detached and returns to Moji.

16 February 1945:
CD-39 and destroyer TSUBAKI and kaibokan CD-55 and CD-82 depart Moji in convoy MOTA-38 consisting of SEISHU MARU and four unidentified merchant ships.

20 February 1945:
Arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

21 February 1945:
Departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 February 1945:
The convoy arrives at Takao. Prior to this CD-39 has apparently detached as later that day together with kaibokan OKINAWA the escort departs Kirun in convoy TAMO-45 consisting of TEIKA MARU (ex French CAP VARELLA) and two unidentified merchant ships.

3 March 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

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

6 March 1945:
Arrives at Shanghai.

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.

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 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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