© 2010-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
1 April 1944:
Laid down at Maizuru Navy Yard.
25 July 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-61.
20 August 1944:
Reserve Lt Kakehi Shiro is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.
15 September 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Reserve Lt Kakehi Shiro is the Commanding Officer.
15 November 1944:
At 1600, CD-61 departs Moji for Miri, Borneo with kaibokan CD-134, minesweeper W-101 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-156 and CHa-157 escorting convoy MI-27 consisting of AWAGAWA, EDOGAWA, SHOHO, MATSUURA, SEISHO, KYOKUUN, OSAKASAN, KOSHU, ENKEI and CHINKAI MARUs. The convoy detours along the Korean coast to avoid American submarines. Immediately after departing ENKEI MARU drops out with rudder problems.
16 November 1944:
Tanker KYOKUUN MARU suffers engine problems and drops out.
17 November 1944:
Yellow Sea. Off Cheju Island. The convoy encounters a three-submarine wolf pack. At 2205, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA ’33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes EDOGAWA MARU carrying 2,173 troops including the IJA 19th Sea Raiding Battalion and its base battalion, other units, 200 recent young graduates of the Army’s weapons, tank, signal, and artillery schools, 150 horses and 200 war dogs. Her cargo includes supplies, fuel, 60 vehicles, 16 landing craft, 50 depth charges and munitions. A torpedo explodes in her No. 2 hold and sets the ship afire. About 2207, USS SUNFISH torpedoes and damages SEISHO MARU. Minesweeper W-101 attempts to assist.
At about 2300, EDOGAWA MARU is abandoned. At 2340, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell's (USNA ’36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes OSAKASAN MARU. Hit by two torpedoes, the new ship steaming in ballast on her maiden voyage, explodes in a ball of flame, lists to starboard and sinks at 33-30N, 124-30E. 62 crewmen and 80 passengers are KIA.
18 November 1944:
At 0130, a gun battle erupts between a surfaced submarine and SEISHO MARU. At 0317, Selby's USS SUNFISH torpedoes and sinks damaged SEISHO MARU. 36 crewmen and 412 passengers are KIA. At about the same time, Selby torpedoes EDOGAWA MARU again and she sinks. 1,998 troops and 116 crewmen are KIA. The rest of the convoy heads towards Shanghai for shelter. CD-61 has a number of survivors from sunken MI-27 ships aboard and now engages in further rescue work until morning. CD-61 then goes to Shanghai to land survivors. After arrival at Shanghai, CD-61 is detached to join convoy HI-81.
At 0220, convoy MI-27's CD-61 and W-101 are ordered to locate and assist convoy HI-81's escort carrier SHINYO, torpedoed nearby by LtCdr (later Captain) (USNA '32) Gordon W. Underwood's USS SPADEFISH (SS-411). About 0430, Caldwell's USS PETO torpedoes MI-27's CHINKAI MARU carrying troops and ammunition. She sinks at 33-35N, 124-34E with the loss of 22 crewmen and 17 gunners.
20 November 1944:
At 0900 CD-61 rejoins convoy MI-27 at anchor. Soon after CD-61 is detached to temporarily join HI-81 convoy.
22 November 1944:
At 1900 CD-61 arrives and anchors in Nanji Straits where the ship joins HI-81 convoy now consisting of MIRI, ARITA, HASHIDATE, OTOWASAN, SHINSHU, KIYOKAWA, KIBITSU and TAIHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, KUME, TSUSHIMA, DAITO and SHONAN and destroyer KASHI. CD-9 from nearby convoy MOMA-07 joins at this time.
25 November 1944:
At 0730 the convoy departs Nanji Straits for Mako, Pescadores. At 1830 the convoy arrives at Mako.
27 November 1944:
At 1630 CD-61 departs Mako for Singapore with kaibokan CD-9, KUME, ETOROFU and escort destroyer KASHI escorting convoy HI-81 now consisting of ARITA, HASHIDATE, OTOWASAN and TAIHO MARUs.
4 December 1944:
HI-81 arrives at Singapore.
3 December 1944:
At 1515, CD-61 is detached and heads to join convoy MI-26 heading from Miri to St Jacques.
4 December 1944:
At 0713, joins convoy MI-26.
5 December 1944:
At 1252, 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 (Tsoying)
24 December 1944:
At 0151 departs Saei.
28 December 1944:
At 0921 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan. At 1815 departs.
1 January 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Futaoi Jima near Moji. At 2000 arrives at Moji.
2 January 1945:
At 1600 departs Moji.
3 January 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.
10 January 1945:
At 0900 departs Moji with CD-52 and CD-61 escorting MOTA-31. At 1800 arrives at Karatsu Wan.
11 January 1945:
At 0600 departs Karatsu Wan but soon after the convoy is stopped and at 1700 the three escorts arrive at Sasebo.
12 January 1945:
At 1300 CD-8 and CD-61 depart Sasebo escorting TATSUHARU MARU.
13 January 1945:
At 0800 arrives at Mutsure. Later both escorts depart separately for Saiki. At 1800 CD-8 arrives at Saiki.
14 January 1945:
At 0900 CD-61 arrives at Saiki. Undertakes training.
17 January 1945:
At 1800 departs Saiki.
18 January 1945:
At 0900 arrives at Moji.
19 January 1945:
20 January 1945:
At 1000 arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.
26 January 1945:
At 0700 CD-61, CD-63 and CD-207 depart Kure and at 1600 arrive at Moji.
29 January 1945:
At 0730, CD-61 departs Moji in fleet convoy HI-93 consisting of KIYOKAWA MARU and oilers TOA and TOHO MARUs escorted by kaibokan CD-63 and CD-207. The convoy hugs the continental coast stopping each night at a different anchorage.
1 February 1945:
At 0230 arrives at Kuroushi Bay. Departs at 0700.
2 February 1945:
Arrives at Taiseiyo Santo.
4 February 1945:
Kaibokan CD-53 joins HI-93 as an additional escort.
5 February 1945:
Hainan Sea. KIYOKAWA MARU is detached for Yulin with CD-61, CD-63 and CD-207. The escorts arrive at 1830 and depart at 1930.
6 February 1945:
At 2000, HI-93 arrives at Van Phong Bay, Indochina.
7 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Van Phong Bay. At 1050, LtCdr John M. Hyde’s (USNA ’34) USS BERGALL (SS-320) attacks the convoy’s starboard side. TOHO MARU is hit by two torpedoes, but manages to continue on. CH-53 is hit, breaks in two and sinks at 11-53N, 109-22E with unknown casualties.
For the next three hours and 30 minutes, the escorts counter-attack and drop 98 DCs, but USS BERGALL evades undamaged. During the counter-attack, HI-93’s ships depart the area at maximum speed. At 1615, they arrive at Camranh Bay.
8 February 1945:
At 1300, HI-93 departs Camranh Bay for Cape St. Jacques, near Saigon.
9 February 1945:
10 miles from Cape St. Jacques. At 0840, CD-61 strikes a mine and suffers moderate damage. At 0930, HI-93 arrives at Cape St.
Jacques. CD-61 and TOHO MARU are detached.
15 August 1945:
Japan accepts the Allies “Potsdam Declaration” (of unconditional surrender) and hostilities cease.
5 March 1947:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks go to Mr. Iwasaki Yutaka of Japan, Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia and Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall