KUSENTEI!

IJN Subchaser CH-16:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2013 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 7


22 April 1940:
Tsurumi. Laid down at Nippon Kokan K. K. Shipbuilding.

19 November 1940:
Launched and numbered CH-16.

5 April 1941:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District.

7 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
CH-16 is assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's (39) (former CO of AOBA) 2nd Base Force of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet Attached to the Philippines Seizure Force in Cdr Ota's SubChasDiv 21 with CH-4, CH-5, CH-6, CH-17 and CH-18. At 1630, departs Mako, Pescadores.

10 December 1941:
Luzon, Philippines. Six transports, carrying 2,000 men of the Kanno Detachment of the 48th Infantry Division, land troops near Vigan, but are bombed and strafed by five Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" and escorting Seversky P-35A "Guardsman" and Curtiss P-40B "Kittyhawk" fighters of the U. S. Army's Far East Air Force. During the action, a minesweeper is sunk and two transports are so damaged they have to be beached.

22 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines:
Three echelons of 76 transports carrying the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's Fourteenth Army land at Lingayen Gulf. CH-16 and SubChasDiv 21 escort Rear Admiral Hirose's third echelon of 22 transports from Keelung, Formosa.

23 January 1942:
CH-16 is attached to the Balikpapan, Borneo invasion force.

28 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
CH-16, CH-17 and CH-18 are in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35) (former CO of KONGO) Midway Invasion Force attached to Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Miyamoto Sadachika's (39)(former CO of YAEYAMA) 16th Minesweeper Unit consisting of auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 3, SHONAN MARUs No. 7 and No. 8 and provision storeship SOYA. Departs Saipan for Wake, enroute to Midway.

4 June 1942:
At 0843, a PBY "Catalina" flying boat discovers Captain Miyamoto's minesweeper group heading towards Midway.

5 June 1942:
At 0255, after receiving word that the occupation of Midway has been canceled, CH-16 and the minesweeper group retire north.

14 July 1942:
Rabaul. Reassigned to the Eighth Fleet’s 8th Base Force in SubChasDiv 21 with CH-4, CH-5, CH-6, CH-17 and CH-18.

11 August 1942:
Rabaul. Refueled by KAGU MARU. Destroyer OITE also refuels the same day.

20 August 1942:
At 2300 arrives at Rabaul.

21 August 1942:
At 0830 departs Rabaul for Shortland on an escort mission.

11 October 1942:
At 0700 arrives back at Rabaul.

12 October 1942:
At 0620 departs Rabaul on patrol of [Blanche] Bay.

30 October 1942:
Returns to Rabaul briefly then resumes patrolling later that day.

1 November 1942:
At 0830 arrives back at Rabaul.

6 November 1942:
At 1400, CH-16 departs Rabaul with minelayer SHIRATAKA, torpedo boat HIYODORI and minesweeper W-15 escorting an unnumbered convoy consisting of ARIZONA, TOYO, NAGARA, YAMAZUKI, TEIYO, YURI, TOYOKUNI, OIGAWA and SHINANOGAWA MARUs.

8 November 1942:
At 1020, the convoy arrives at the Shortland Islands, Bougainville.

9 November 1942:
Departs Shortland apparently escorting the tanker NISSHIN MARU.

11 November 1942:
At 0630 arrives back at Rabaul.

14 November 1942:
At 1600 departs Rabaul on an escort mission to Buka. (It is possible that this was of tanker NISSHIN MARU that departed Rabaul this day and arrived Truk on 20 November)

19 November 1942:
At 0800 arrives back at Rabaul.

21 November 1942:
At 1600 departs Rabaul on an escort mission with CH-18.

24 November 1942:
At 1500 both vessels arrive back at Rabaul.

27 November 1942:
At 0550 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

4 December 1942:
At 0400 arrives back at Rabaul.

7 December 1942:
At 1200 departs Rabaul on an escort mission, possibly with minesweeper W-21.

12 December 1942:
At 1020 arrives back at Rabaul.

15 December 1942:
At 1730 departs on an escort mission.

16 December 1942:
At 0845 returns to Rabaul.

17 December 1942:
At 0645 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

23 December 1942:
At 0200 CH-16, CH-17 and CH-18 all arrive back at Rabaul together.

24 December 1942:
At 0550 departs Rabaul on a short escort mission probably escorting TOYO MARU No. 2 part way to Truk.

25 December 1942:
At 1000 arrives back at Rabaul probably escorting KAIHEI MARU inbound from Truk.

27 December 1942:
At 0440 departs Rabaul on an escort mission possibly escorting part way the liner HAKUSAN MARU.

30 December 1942:
At 0708 arrives back at Rabaul.

2 January 1943:
At 0800 departs Rabaul escorting AKAGISAN MARU.

3 January 1943:
At 0500 arrives back at Rabaul.

4 January 1943:
At 0800, CH-16 and fleet oiler TSURUMI depart Rabaul escorting a convoy also consisting of small tanker KYOEI MARU and small cargo ships HOKKAI and GIYU MARUs.

6 January 1943:
At 1030, the convoy is attacked by two aircraft that are driven off without damage. At 1300, arrives at the Shortland Islands.

10 January 1943:
At 0400 arrives back at Rabaul.

11 January 1943:
At 0700 CH-16, CH-17 and CH-18 depart Rabaul on an anti submarine sweep.

12 January 1943:
At 2100 CH-16 and CH-17 arrive back at Rabaul (CH-18 had already arrived back earlier that day).

14 January 1943:
At 1310 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

16 January 1943:
At 0600, joins SENZAN MARU at 01-00S, 146-00E to escort to Rabaul.

18 January 1943:
Off Kavieng, New Ireland. A USAAF B-24 “Liberator” heavy bomber sinks transport SENZAN MARU at 03-29S, 149-02E. The ship is carrying gasoline that is ignited by the explosion and seven crewmen are KIA. CH-16 rescues survivors.

19 January 1943:
At 0430 arrives back at Rabaul.

24 January 1943:
At 1555 CH-16 and CH-17 depart Rabaul on a convoy escort mission likely escorting transport SEIA MARU to Shortland.

29 January 1943:
At 1100 both CH-16 and CH-17 arrive back at Rabaul.

1 February 1943:
At 1500 departs Rabaul on an escort mission to Palau possibly escorting AMERICA MARU.

18 February 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Rabaul possibly escorting NISSHU and OYAMA MARUs from Palau. At 2030 departs Rabaul with minesweeper W-20 to assist the aircraft transport KEIYO MARU that had been damaged by LtCdr John R Craig's USS GRAMPUS (SS-207) at 04-55S 152-26E.

19 February 1943:
At 0120 returns to Rabaul. At 1830 departs on an anti submarine sweep.

20 February 1943:
At 1300 returns to Rabaul.

22 February 1943:
At 1700 CH-16 and CH-17 depart Rabaul on an escort mission, possibly of Naval transport YAMAFUKU MARU part way to Palau.

27 February 1943:
At 0745 both CH-16 and CH-17 arrive back at Rabaul.

2 March 1943:
At 1150 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

9 March 1943:
At 0900 arrives back at Rabaul.

14 March 1943:
At 1500 departs Rabaul on an escort mission possibly escorting Naval transport KUNISHIMA MARU part way to Palau.

20 March 1943:
At 1500 returns to Rabaul likely escorting a convoy with minesweeper W-20 from Palau consisting of MIYAURA, HAKUSAN (2197 grt), TATEISHI, ROKKOSAN, ADEN, MILAN, SORACHI, KENKOKU and KANJO MARUs.

22 March 1943:
At 1530 departs Rabaul on an escort mission possibly escorting AKIBASAN MARU part way to Truk.

26 March 1943:
At 0640 arrives back at Rabaul.

28 March 1943:
At 1500 CH-16 departs Rabaul with CH-24 (that left later at 2000) escorting a convoy consisting of YAMATO, KUROHIME, DENMARK, TAIKO, NAGANO and MAYA MARUs.

30 March 1943:
At 0750, LtCdr (later Captain) Arnold H. Holtz' (USNA ’31) USS TUNA (SS-203) torpedoes and sinks KUROHIME MARU at 00-35N, 147-55E. 27 passengers and nine crewmen are killed.

5 April 1943:
At 0700 CH-16 arrives back at Rabaul. That same day the convoy arrives at Palau.

6 April 1943:
At 1220 CH-16 departs Rabaul escorting convoy "Wewak No.2" consisting of HOKO, SHINSEI and MYOKO MARUs. [1]

11 April 1943:
Arrives at Wewak and leaves either that same day or early the next day.

15 April 1943:
At 1007 arrives at Rabaul.

19 April 1943:
At 1700 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

23 April 1943:
At 1950 arrives back at Rabaul.

25 April 1943:
At 1440 CH-16 and CH-18 depart Rabaul to Palau escorting a convoy consisting of the tanker SAN CLEMENTE MARU and cargo ships MIYAURA, ROKKOSAN, RISSHUN, RAKUTO, TOUN and HOEI MARUs. Later the convoy is joined by CH-37 and CH-16 is detached.

30 April 1943:
At 0555 CH-16 arrives back at Rabaul.

1 May 1943:
At 0500 departs Rabaul with CH-22 to Palau escorting a convoy consisting of TOYU, TOYO, TEIKAI (ex German FULDA), TAIRIN and MILAN MARUs and possibly others. At some point CH-16 is detached and returns to Rabaul.

8 May 1943:
At 0620 arrives back at Rabaul. The convoy arrives at Palau the same day.

13 May 1943:
At 0637 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

16 May 1943:
At 0700 arrives back at Rabaul. At 1200 departs on an anti submarine sweep joining CH-39 that had departed earlier that day on the same mission.

21 May 1943:
At 0430 CH-16 and CH-39 arrive back at Rabaul.

26 May 1943:
At 1730 departs Rabaul on an anti submarine sweep with CH-22.

28 May 1943:
At 0110 CH-22 and CH-16 arrive back at Rabaul. At 1610 CH-16 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

1 June 1943:
Likely CH-10 alone departs Yokosuka escorting convoy No. 1101 consisting of KUNIKAWA MARU.

10 June 1943:
The convoy arrives at Truk and departs later that day presumably with CH-16 as replacement or additional escort.

13 June 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Rabaul.

16 June 1943:
At 1150 CH-16, CH-23 and CH-39 depart Rabaul escorting convoy 609 consisting of ADEN, TAIKO, HOFUKU, YAMAFUKU, SHINYUBARI and KURAMASAN MARUs and one other unidentified ship. CH-16 detaches en route and returns to Rabaul.

23 June 1943:
At 1107 arrives back at Rabaul.

27 June 1943:
At 0800 departs Rabaul probably with CH-33 in convoy No. 2272 escorting MIKAGE MARU No. 20 and NANKAI MARU No. 2 to Truk.

7 July 1943:
At 1530 arrives back at Rabaul. At 1900 departs again on a further escort mission probably escorting KINSEN MARU to Buin.

13 July 1943:
At 0515 arrives back at Rabaul, probably with KINSEN MARU.

15 July 1943:
At 1210 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

17 July 1943:
At 0500 arrives back at Rabaul.

21 July 1943:
At 0400 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

23 July 1943:
At 1115 arrives back at Rabaul.

25 July 1943:
At 1200 departs Rabaul with CH-17 in a convoy consisting of IJA Landing Craft Depot Ship NIGITSU MARU, and transports HOKKO, TOKO, KANAYAMASAN, RYOYO MARUs and one unidentified Navy transport. [2]

1 August 1943:
Arrives Palau.

5 August 1943:
CH-16 and CH-17 depart Palau escorting a convoy consisting of KINE, KAZUURA, NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN) MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship.

12 August 1943:
At 1400 CH-16 and CH-17 and the convoy arrive at Rabaul.

17 August 1943:
At 1530 CH-16 and CH-17 depart Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN), KAZUURA and EHIME MARUs.

22 August 1943:
At 1138, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Frank M. Parker's (USNA ’32) USS SWORDFISH (SS-193) torpedoes and sinks NISHIYAMA (SEIZAN) MARU at 02-55N 136-43E. Three passengers and four crewmen are killed. Later that day the remainder of the convoy arrives at Palau.

2 September 1943:
At 1330 arrives at Palau.

4 September 1943:
At 1800 CH-16 and CH-38 depart Palau for Rabaul escorting convoy So-404 consisting of KANSAI, AMAGISAN, KINUGASA and MAYASAN MARUs.

9 September 1943:
At 2040 the convoy arrives at Rabaul. AMAGISAN and KINUGASA MARUs are detached.

11 September 1943:
At 0540 departs Rabaul to hunt an enemy submarine, retuning at 2300.

12 September 1943:
At 2400 departs Rabaul on an anti submarine sweep.

14 September 1943:
At 2144 arrives back at Rabaul.

16 September 1943:
At 0600 CH-16 departs Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-602B consisting of two small unidenified merchant ships.

18 September 1943:
N of Manus, Admiralty Islands. At 1700, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's (USNA ’30) USS SCAMP (SS-277) attacks the convoy and sinks army cargo ship KANSAI MARU at 00-41N, 146-28E. The ship is carrying 1024 troops and the urns of 1200 officers and men. A total of 23 troops and passengers and one crewman – a combined total of 24 are killed. Although damaged by the escorts’ depth charges, USS SCAMP remains on patrol. CH-16 is diverted to assist.

19 September 1943:
At 0925, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from Subchaser Div 24 that reads: “As a result of torpedo attacks at 1909, 2130 and 2200, KANSAI MARU sank. 265 survivors including captain taken on board Subchaser No. 38 and No. 16. At 0830 Convoy (rejoined position) 01-03 N, 146-27 E.”

21 September 1943:
MAYASAN MARU arrives at Palau. 24 September 1943: At 0730 CH-16 and CH-38 arrive at Palau (presumably after an anti submarine sweep and escort of O-602B)

28 September 1943:
At 1200, CH-16 and CH-38 depart Palau for Rabaul escorting convoy N-805 consisting of MAEBASHI, NISSHU, KINKASAN, TOUN and TONEI MARUs.

30 September 1943:
373 miles ESE of Palau. At 0640, LtCdr George H. Wales' (USNA ’29) USS POGY (SS-266) torpedoes and sinks MAEBASHI MARU at 01-00N, 139-28E. The IJA transport is carrying 2,367 IJA troops and other passengers, ammunition, 10 heavy vehicles, 40 oil drums, hemp rope, pontoons, etc. She takes down 1,389 troops and 13 gunners and 48 crewmen. [3]

1 October 1943:
746 miles ESE of Palau. At about 1700, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William T. Nelson's (USNA ’30) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes and sinks KINKASAN MARU with the loss of three crewman and TONEI MARU with the loss of 10 crewmen, both at 04-00N, 143-50E.

6 October 1943:
The remainder of the convoy arrives at Rabaul.

9 October 1943:
At 1300, CH-16 and CH-39 depart Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-903 consisting of KYOEI, TAKAOKA and NANMAN MARUs.

16 October 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Palau.

20 October 1943:
CH-16 and CH-39 depart Palau escorting convoy SO-002 consisting of TAJIMA and SHINKO MARUs.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

31 October 1943:
CH-16 and CH-40 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-104 consisting of FUKKO, TOYOOKA, OSUMI and ASUKA MARUs.

7 November 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Palau.

23 November 1943:
CH-16 departs Rabaul with minesweeper W-26, auxiliary subchaser CHa-20 and an unidentified auxiliary subchaser escorting a convoy consisting of NIKKAI and WAYO MARUs.

26 November 1943:
At 1647, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Brooks J. Harral's (USNA ’32) USS RAY (SS-271) torpedoes and sinks NIKKAI MARU at 04-12N, 148-26E with unknown casualties.

28 November 1943:
At 0600, arrives at Truk.

1 December 1943:
CH-16, CH-20, CH-29 and CH-40 depart Truk for Rabaul escorting convoy No. 1013 consisting of aircraft transports KEIYO and NAGOYA MARUs, transport YAMAKUNI MARU (ex-YAMAKAZE MARU). KEIYO and NAGOYA MARUs are probably carrying A6M fighters and spare aircraft engines.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Probably delivers fighters, personnel and supplies for the 253rd Naval Air Group.

17 January 1944:
At 1345, CH-16 and CH-40 depart Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-604 consisting of TAIAN, FRANCE and SHOUN MARUs.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

28 January 1944:
At 1600, CH-16 departs Palau with CH-34, CH-35 and CH-40 and auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-47 and CHa-61 escorting convoy SO-805 consisting of TOEI and HOKKAI MARUs, tanker TAKATORI MARU No. 2, TAIEI and TOKO MARUs. In addition, the convoy is given air cover.

30 January 1944:
At 0150, IJA freighter TOKO MARU, carrying troops of the 2nd Battalion, 66th Infantry Regiment, 51st Division and the 4th Field Hospital to Manus Island in the Admiralties, is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) at 06-20N, 138-08E. TOKO MARU sinks by the stern taking down 15 crewmen, seven gunners and 457 troops.

1 February 1944:
IJN transport TOEI MARU, carrying drummed gasoline and ammunition, is sunk by USS SEAHORSE's last torpedoes at 04-24N, 143-15E. 56 crewmen are KIA. LtCdr Cutter makes for Pearl Harbor.

E 4 February 1944:
CH-16 arrives at Rabaul.

10 February 1944:
On that day FRUMEL decrypts the following order transmitted by Madang Transport Office: "Am closing down the Transport Office and sending Sub-Lieut Kawakami and 82 men today in Subchasers 16 and 37 and No. 16 BANSHI MARU."

19 February 1944:
At 1925, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from CH-16 that reads: “The No. 18 SHINSEI MARU received an attack of three torpedoes in position 03-34N, 136-36 E. No damage.”

16 March 1944:
"On that day FRUMEL decrypts the following order transmitted by 2nd Surface Escort Force: HOKOKU MARU for Palau and No. 5 NISSHO MARU for Guam left Saipan escorted by Subchaser 16 at 1600 on 16th."

26 March 1944:
At 0700, CH-16 departs Palau with destroyer AKIKAZE and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 15 escorting fleet oiler TSURUMI.

31 March 1944:
At 1100, arrives at Saipan.

April 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Drydocked. Undergoes maintenance and repairs.

28 April 1944:
At 0600, CH-16 and CH-18 depart Tokyo Bay with kaibokan NOMI, CD-12, CD-18 and CD-22 escorting "Higashi Matsu" Convoy No.7 (outbound) consisting of TATSUHARU, MITAKESAN, ASAHISAN, OKINAWA, YAMATAMA, BINGO, MEIRYU, MOJI and MIHO MARUs bound for Saipan; ASAKA MARU and landing ships T.128 and T.150 for Palau; KOSHIN and BOKUYO MARUs for Yap and TAITO MARU for Chichi-jima.

6 June 1944:
CH-16 and CH-18 depart Yokosuka for Saipan with kaibokan AMAKUSA, NOMI, OKI, and destroyer MATSUKAZE, torpedo boat CHIDORI (part way only), and auxiliary minesweepers SHOWA MARU No. 7 and SHOWA MARU No. 8 escorting convoy No. 3606 consisting of SUGIYAMA, SHINROKU, KANSEISHI, KAIKO, AWAJI, YAMATAMA, DAITEN, RYUKO, TOYOKAWA, TOKO, SHOZUI, MIHO and HAKUYO MARUs. Soon after leaving SUGIYAMA MARU is attacked and damaged by LtCdr (later Captain) James B. Grady's (USNA ’33) USS WHALE (SS-239) at 31-06N, 142-24E, but the ship is taken in tow.

9 June 1944:
NE of Chichi-Jima. LtCdr Edmund K. Montross' (USNA ’35) USS SWORDFISH (SS-193) torpedoes and sinks MATSUKAZE at 26-59N, 143-13E. AMAKUSA rescues nine survivors. The escorts depth charge USS SWORDFISH unsuccessfully. The convoy steams to Chichi-Jima arriving later that day. It is decided to unload the ships there, rather than to proceed to Truk as originally planned.

14 June 1944:
CH-16 and CH-18 depart Chichi-Jima with auxiliary netlayer KOGI MARU and auxiliary minesweeper TOSHI MARU No. 5. escorting the "Yaei Maru" convoy consisting of YAEI, TATSUEI and KYUSHU MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.10.

15 June 1944:
At 0800, torpedo boat CHIDORI and minesweeper W-25 join the escort.

16 June 1944:
In a raging storm, CH-16, TATSUEI MARU, UNKAI MARU No. 10 and KOGI MARU are separated from the convoy and steam together.

18 June 1944:
Arrives at Nagaura and Yokosuka, Tokyo Bay.

28 June 1944:
At 0600, CH-16 departs Yokosuka for Chichi-Jima with CH-18, minesweeper W-25, auxiliary minesweeper TOSHI MARU No. 5 and minelayer SARUSHIMA escorting convoy No. 3628 consisting of SHIMA, TATSUEI, SHOZUI, TAIKO and KAIKO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8.

2 July 1944:
Convoy No. 3628 arrives at Chichi-Jima and begins to unload.

4 July 1944:
Bonin Islands. Carrier-based aircraft of Rear Admiral (later Admiral-Ret) Joseph J. Clark’s (USNA ’17) Task Group 38.1 and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ralph E. Davison’s Task Group 38.4 attack Iwo Jima, Chichi-Jima and Haha Jima.

Chichi Jima. TF 38’s planes attack convoy No. 3628. They sink CH-16 and the entire convoy except KAIKO MARU.[4]

10 September 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
[1] After USS TUNA's attack on 30 March 1943, CH-16 probably hunted the submarine, then returned to Rabaul.

[2] Some sources give departure date as 1400 on 26th July 1943. It is possible NIGITSU MARU sailed separately to the other ships.

[3] MAEBASHI MARU carried 3,200 passengers and crew, data from a captured diary.

Thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages.

[4] In April 2008, recreational divers found the wreck of a subchaser off Ogasawara-gunto (Bonin Islands). The wreck sits upright on the bottom within 100 meters of shore at a depth of about 45 meters. There is some confusion as to whether the wreck is that of CH-16 or CH-50 also sunk in the same area.

Thanks for general assistance go to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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