© 2007-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard.
5 September 1944:
Launched and numbered CD-66.
21 October 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Tomita Ichiroku is the CO. Attached to Sasebo Naval District. Assigned to Kure Guard Force.
Transferred to Saeki for training.
30 November 1944:
At 0900, CD-66 departs Moji with destroyer ASAGAO,
kaibokan KANJU, IKUNA, SHINNAN and CD-41, subchaser CH-28 and auxiliary
subchaser CHa-223 escorting convoy MI-29 consisting of CLYDE, BRAZIL, AKISHIMA,
MEIRYU, HAWAII, ENOURA, DAII, SHINYU, AKIKAWA and KAZUURA MARUs, HOSHI MARU No.
11 (JUICHISEI MARU) and KONAN MARU No.1 and tankers ENGEN, ENCHO and ENKEI MARUs.
2 December 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain-Ret) Ralph C. Style's (USNA ’33) USS SEA DEVIL (SS-400) torpedoes and sinks HAWAII and AKIKAWA MARUs at 30-24N 128-17E. HAWAII MARU is carrying 60small boats, 50 motor vehicles and 1843 troops of 23rd Army Division and all 1843 troops together with 60 others, 83 gunners, and 148 crewmen are killed. There are no survivors documented. KONAN MARU No.1 rescues survivors from AKIKAWA MARU. 249 troops, 7 Armed Escort and 18 crewmen are however MIA. The convoy formation breaks up. BRAZIL MARU
goes to Keelung, DAII MARU and three others go to Koniya, Amami-Oshima and CLYDE
MARU, HOSHI MARU No. 11 with IKUNA go to Takao. Later, the Koniya ships rejoin
at Takao, but at this point the convoy is officially dissolved.
29 December 1944:
At 2400, CD-66 departs Manila probably with CD-138 escorting convoy MATA-38A consisting of MEIRYU and HISHIGATA MARU(ex Philippine (US)-BISAYAS).
31 December 1944:
At 1600, convoy MATA-38A arrives at North San Fernando, Luzon.
2 January 1945:
San Fernando, Philippines. At 1530, about thirty-five USAAF Fifth Air Force Douglas A-20 "Havoc" light bombers and Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighter-bombers strafe and start fires on HISHIGATA MARU. At 1600, she is hit by a bomb and sinks instantly at at 16-37N, 120-19E. One crewman and 56 passengers are KIA and her cargo of war supplies, two cars, one aircraft, and foodstuffs is lost. About the same time, transport MEIRYU MARU is is hit by two bombs and also sinks. Approximately 400 passengers and 60 crew are killed. The planes also sink kaibokan CD-138 and badly damage CD-66.
12 January 1945:
Departs Takao in convoy TAMO-35 consisting of ARIMASAN MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by kaibokan MIKURA, SHIMUSHU, CD-2, CD-66, CD-67 and one unidentified warship.
17 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.
31 January 1945:
CD-66 departs Moji for Singapore with kaibokan INAGI and CD-83 escorting convoy HI-95 consisting of Type 2TL tankers AMATO and FUJISAN MARUs.
1 February 1945:
At 0100, arrives at Reisui (Yosu) Harbor, South Korea. Departs at 0700 that day.
6 February 1945:
Anchors at Lao Man Shan. Departs later that day.
7 February 1945:
At 0800, arrives and anchors at Yalang Bay, Hainan
8 February 1945:
At 1700, departs Yalang Bay.
9 February 1945:
At 1700, arrives at Quinhon Bay, Indochina.
10 February 1945:
At 0730, departs Quinhon Bay.
14 February 1945:
Arrives at Singapore.
22 February 1945:
CD-66 departs Singapore for Moji with kaibokan
INAGI and CD-81 escorting convoy HI-96 consisting of AMATO, MITSUSHIMA and
27 February 1945:
Off Camranh Bay, Indochina. At 0035, LtCdr (later Cdr) William
H. Hazzard’s (USNA ’35) USS BLENNY (SS-324) torpedoes and sinks tanker AMATO MARU at
11-56N, 109-18E. The 76 passengers and 73 crewmen onboard are killed.
28 February 1945:
Near Hainan Island. At 2025, a B-29 is spotted and
air raid preparations are made by the convoy.
1 March 1945:
Hainan Strait. At 1430, an air attack by B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers begins. On the third attack, at 1540, MITSUSHIMA MARU is damaged by two B-24s, receives a bomb hit to bow area and is forced to jettison 2,500 tons of crude oil. She is detached for repairs at Hong Kong escorted by CD-66.
7 March 1945:
MITSUSHIMA MARU escorted by CD-66 arrives at Hong Kong.
13 March 1945:
South China Sea, E of Swatow, China. USAAF 5th Air Force B-24s attack and sink transport MASASHIMA MARU at 23-30N, 117-10E. At the time MASASHIMA MARU is loaded with 337 passengers, mines and depth charges. Eight passengers, 19 guards and 15 crewmen are killed.
Then CD-66 is sunk during a separate attack by B-25s from the 341st Bomb Group (14th AF). Six bombers approach at low level and hit the escort with four bombs. She jack-knifes and sinks at 1235 (JST). Only 12 petty officers and sailors were rescued; 175 are lost, including Cdr Tomita, who was likely promoted Captain posthumously.
15 March 1945:
At 1524, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “At about 1200 on the 13th CD-66 and the SEITO (TADA SHI/SHIMA) MARU while underway for Hong Kong, were attacked and sunk by about six B-24s in position off the ---- tip of Namoa coast line -----.”
16 March 1945:
At 1759, codebreakers decrypt a message that reads: “Will send No. 18 NITTO MARU the 17th to Nano-shima to salvage CD-66 and MASASHIMA MARU.”
10 May 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France. Further thanks to Mr. Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying COs.
-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall