KUSENTEI!

IJN Subchaser CH-24:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 6


1941:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi's Sakurajima Ironworks shipyard.

1941:
Osaka. Launched and numbered CH-24.

20 December 1941:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District.

1942:
Conducts patrols in Tokyo, Izu and Ise Bays.

May 1942:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet and attached to SubChasDiv 23 with CH-22 and CH-23.

June 1942:
Arrives at Guadalcanal.

14 July 1942:
Reassigned to Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (38) 8th Fleet with the 7th Base Force's SubChasDiv 23 at Lae, New Guinea. Escorts convoys between Rabaul and the Solomon Islands.

17 August 1942:
CH-24 departs Rabaul for Basuba with light cruiser TENRYU, subchasers CH-22, CH-23 and minesweeper W-20 escorting a convoy consisting of KAZUURA, RYOYU and KANYO MARUs transporting the 25th Air Flotilla's base supplies.

18 August 1942:
At 1730, arrives at Basuba.

24 August 1942:
CH-24 and CH-22 depart Rabaul with CruDiv 18's TATSUTA and TENRYU and DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, URAKAZE and TANIKAZE escorting transports KINAI and NANKAI MARUs.

25 August 1942: Operation "RE" - The Capture of the Allied Airfield at Milne Bay:
After midnight, the transports land 1,200 troops of the Kure No. 5 Special Naval Landing Force at Milne Bay. In the morning the invasion force is bombed by Boeing B-17s and NANKAI MARU and URAKAZE are damaged.

5 September 1942:
The Japanese high command orders a withdrawal from Milne Bay.

7 September 1942:
The last Japanese troops remaining behind are annihilated. This is the first time in the Pacific campaign in which Allied troops decisively defeat Japanese land forces.

9 September 1942:
Refueled by auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU.

16 February 1943:
Palau. At 0600, a convoy consisting of KANO MARU and five other ships escorted by CH-24 arrives at the W Channel.

3 March 1943:
At 1600 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

8 March 1943:
At 0800 arrives back at Rabaul.

12 March 1943:
At 1515, departs Rabaul with the CH-23 to rendezvous with an incoming convoy.

15 March 1943:
NW of the Admiralty Islands. CH-24, CH-22 and destroyer SATSUKI attack and sink a submarine, probably LtCdr George K. MacKenzie's (USNA ’31) USS TRITON (SS-201) with all 74 hands. [1]

22 March 1943:
At 0550 CH-23 and CH-24 return to Rabaul.

28 March 1943:
At 2000 CH-24 and CH-16 depart Rabaul for Palau escorting a convoy consisting of YAMATO, KUROHIME, DENMARK, TAIKO, NAGANO and MAYA MARUs.

29 March 1943:
Late in the afternoon, LtCdr (later Captain) Arnold H. Holtz's (USNA ’31) USS TUNA (SS-203) sights the convoy, two escorts and two aircraft overhead. Holtz tracks the convoy into and through the night.

30 March 1943:
NE of Manus Island. At 0750, Holtz fires three torpedoes at the largest ship. Two hit and sink KUROHIME MARU at 00-35N, 147-55E. 27 passengers and nine crewmen are KIA.

5 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

9 April 1943:
CH-24 departs Palau escorting a convoy consisting of YAMAFUKU, TAIRIN and MADRAS MARUs.

14 April 1943:
Off Truk. MADRAS MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) old USS PIKE (SS-173) at 125N, 148-22E, but remains navigable.

16 April 1943:
At 1000 arrives at Rabaul.

20 April 1943:
At 1410 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of SHINNO, TOYAMA, BENGAL, TAMATSU and KENKOKU MARUs.

E 27 April 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

1 May 1943:
At 1500 departs Rabaul with CH-39 in a convoy consisting of HIBURI, GLASGOW, OSUMI, YUBAE, KANJO and THAMES MARUs with CH 39 and CH-24 as escorts.

9 May 1943:
At 1140 arrives back at Rabaul.

15 May 1943:
At 1510 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

25 May 1943:
Believed departs Palau escorting a convoy consisting of YAMAFUKU, KENZAN and PACIFIC MARUs and possibly others.

1 June 1943:
At 0525 arrives back at Rabaul.

7 June 1943:
At 0800 departs Rabaul in convoy in O-704 consisting of HEIMEI, MAKASSAR, KINKASAN and KONAN MARUs escorted by CH-24 and CH-37.

13 June 1943:
Convoy O-704 is intercepted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Edward S. Carmick's (USNA ’30) USS SARGO (SS-188) that begins tracking the convoy.

14 June 1943:
430 miles SE of Palau. That night, Carmick makes a submerged attack. He torpedoes and sinks passenger-cargo ship KONAN MARU at 06-05N, 138-25E. Four crewmen are KIA. The subchasers drop four DCs and cause some damage to USS SARGO, but later she arrives safely at Midway Island.

15 June 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

18 June 1943:
CH-38 and CH-24 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of HIBI and TAGA MARUs and SHINTO MARU No.1. HIBI MARU is carrying 3000 Indian POWs on board.

25 June 1943:
At 1120 arrives at Rabaul.

29 June 1943:
At 0440 CH-22 and CH-24 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-908 consisting of Army transports CLYDE, MADRAS, YAMAGATA, NITTAI, PACIFIC MARUs, tug HOZU MARU and two unidentified Naval requisitioned vessels.

E 6 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

9 July 1943:
SubChasDiv 23’s CH-22, CH-23 and CH-24 depart Palau escorting convoy N-905 consisting of HOKKO, TOKO, RYOYO, SHOHO and HOKKAI MARUs.

12 July 1943:
In separate actions, LtCdr Oscar E. Hagberg's (USNA ’31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) and LtCdr Ralph C. Lynch's (USNA ’29) USS MINGO (SS-261) attack the convoy unsuccessfully.

13 July 1943:
USS ALBACORE and LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Rob R. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS GROUPER (SS-214) make further unsuccessful attacks on the convoy.

16 July 1943:
At 2200 CH-22 and CH-24 both arrive at Rabaul.

23 July 1943:
At 1235 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

29 July 1943:
At 0510 arrives at Rabaul.

30 July 1943:
At 1145 departs Rabaul on patrol.

2 August 1943:
At 0800 arrives back at Rabaul.

3 August 1943:
At 0700 departs Rabaul on patrol.

5 August 1943:
At 0800 arrives back at Rabaul.

7 August 1943:
At 1100, departs Rabaul in a convoy consisting of NICHIYO and SUMIYOSHI MARUs and HINO MARU No. 5, and Naval stores ship ARASAKI escorted by CH-24 and CH-10.

9 August 1943:
Arrives at Shortland.

11 August 1943:
At 1500 arrives back at Rabaul.

15 August 1943:
At 1000 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

18 August 1943:
At 1300 arrives back at Rabaul.

22 August 1943:
At 1200 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

27 August 1943:
At 0800 arrives back at Rabaul.

1 September 1943:
At 0500 departs Rabaul on an escort mission, possibly escorting CHORYU MARU to Buin.

6 September 1943:
At 0930 arrives back at Rabaul, possibly escorting CHORYU MARU from Buin.

7 September 1943:
At 1610 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

9 September 1943:
At 1450 arrives back at Rabaul.

11 September 1943:
At 1010 departs Rabaul on patrol and arrives back at 2300 the same day.

13 September 1943:
At 0355 departs Rabaul on patrol.

14 September 1943:
At 0455 returns to Rabaul.

16 September 1943:
At 1500 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

18 September 1943:
At 2200 arrives back at Rabaul.

20 September 1943:
At 1700 departs Rabaul on an escort mission.

22 September 1943:
At 1600 arrives back at Rabaul.

28 September 1943:
At 1200 CH-22 and CH-24 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-803 consisting of SHOUN and CHIYO MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship bound for Palau.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

8 October 1943:
CH-23 and CH-24 depart Palau escorting convoy SO-806 consisting of KANAYAMASAN, HOZUGAWA, NITTAI, KAZAN, KIBI and KOSEI MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1.

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

20 October 1943:
At 1445, CH-24 and CH-22 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-006 consisting of fleet oiler TENNAN MARU, IJA cargo ships JOHORE and KAZAN MARUs and HOZUKAWA, BUNZAN and KOSEI MARUs.

22 October 1943:
At 2253, CH 22 opens fire on a enemy submarine discovered on the surface.

23 October 1943:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) John S. Coye's (USNA ’33) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) attacks fleet convoy 0-006 At 2245, Coye sinks TENNAN MARU. 42 crewmen and five passengers are KIA. USS SILVERSIDES also damages JOHORE and KAZAN MARUs at 02-30N, 144-44E.

24 October 1943:
KAZAN MARU sinks as the result of her damage. Three crewmen and four guards are KIA. CH-24 attempts to scuttle immobilized JOHORE MARU, but fails. Later, USS SILVERSIDES finishes off JOHORE MARU. 77 passengers and seven crewmen are KIA.

13 November 1943:
At 1200, departs Rabaul in convoy O-305 consisting of HOKKAI, TAISHO, MAKASSAR and LYONS MARUs and HOSHI MARU No. 5 escorted by CH-24 and CH-39. The convoy is shadowed that evening by a USAAF B-24 "Liberator" bomber. [2]

14 November 1943:
At 0003, the B-24 launches a slow low level attack and hits TAISHO MARU amidships in hold No. 3. TAISHO MARU is damaged, but able to return to Rabaul, arriving the following day.

20 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

25 November 1943:
Departs Palau in convoy SO-505 consisting of HOKKO, UCHIDE, YURI, COLUMBIA and CLYDE MARUs, escorted by CH-24 and CH-39.

28 November 1943:
LtCdr (later Cdr) James W. Davis' (USNA ’30) USS RATON (SS-270) attacks the convoy. At 1010, YURI MARU is hit by three torpedoes. She blows up and sinks at 01-45N, 141-52E. 38 troops of the 2nd Landing Unit and 13 crewmen are KIA.

Davis also hits HOKKO MARU aft and she sinks at the same location. Only one of 640 IJA troops and three crewmen are KIA. That evening, Davis attacks the convoy again, but is unsuccessful.

29 November 1943:
LtCdr Robert J. Foley's (USNA ’27) USS GATO (SS-212) attacks the convoy unsuccessfully.

30 November 1943:
GATO launches a second attack. LtCdr Foley torpedoes and sinks IJA transport COLUMBIA MARU at 01-56N, 147-21E. Only one crewman is KIA. CH-24 counterattacks unsuccessfully.

USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from CH-24 that reads: “At 1624 received torpedo attack in 01-54N, 14-20E. COLUMBIA MARU is receiving attack. We are carrying out attack.”

1 December 1943:
At 0600, codebreakers decrypt another message from CH-24 that reads: "Have picked up survivors of COLUMBIA MARU which sank. My 0600 position 01-26N, 148-20E course 154 degrees.”

3 January 1944:
CH-24, CH-33 and CH-39 depart Palau escorting convoy 8031 consisting of oiler OGURA MARU No. 3.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

11 January 1944:
CH-24 departs Truk with destroyer SHIRATSUYU and kaibokan HIRADO escorting convoy 4111 consisting of unidentified ships. CH-24 escorts the convoy part way, then returns to Truk.

E 13 January 1944:
CH-24 departs Truk for Rabaul escorting convoy O-905 consisting of SHUNKO, HOZUGAWA, MEISHO and KOSEI MARUs.

16 January 1944:
45 miles NW of New Hanover. At about 0230, nine PBY "Catalina" flying boats attack convoy O-905 with bombs and torpedoes. They sink SHUNKO MARU (20 crewmen and 30 passengers KIA) at 02-30S, 149-42E and sink HOZUGAWA (three crewmen KIA) and MEISHO (12 crewmen KIA) MARUs at 02-20S, 149-42E. CH-24 and KOSEI MARU escape undamaged.

15 February 1944:
CH-24 departs Truk to rendezvous 150 miles N of Truk with fleet convoy No. 3206 composed of IJA transports GYOTEN, SHINKYO and TATSUHA MARUs and IJN cargo ships RYUKO and ZUIKAI MARUs and escorts inbound from Japan, but the convoy does not show.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
At 0531 (I), subchaser CH-29 is also ordered to rendezvous at sea with convoy 3206.

Beginning at dawn, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. The strikes are launched about every hour.

40 miles NW of Truk. At about 1300, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Robert C. Giffen's (USNA ’07)(former CO of USS SAVANNAH, CL-42), Task Group 50. 9's USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62), IOWA (BB-61), USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36), USS NEW ORLEANS (CA-32), BRADFORD (DD-545) and USS BURNS (DD-588) are conducting an anti-shipping sweep around Truk to destroy enemy naval vessels escaping to the north. They sink light cruiser KATORI (lost with all hands), destroyer MAIKAZE (lost with all hands) and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 15 (probably lost with all hands) with gunfire, but destroyer NOWAKI escapes after evading long- range 16-inch gun salvos from the battleships.

W of Truk. One of Task Group 50. 9 lookouts sights another small warship. Destroyer USS BURNS is detached to attack the vessel. USS BURNS overtakes CH-24. The subchaser opens fire and an uneven gunfire duel ensues. USS BURNS gets hits with her fast-firing 5-inch DP and 40-mm AA guns, but CH-24's sole 3-inch gun fails to score. At 1655, CH-24 sinks by the stern at 07-24N, 150-30E. From 50 to 75 survivors of CH-24's crew are seen in the water. Most refuse rescue, but USS BURNS rescues six who identify the subchaser.

In two days of raids, Task Force 58 sinks 31 transports and 10 naval vessels (two cruisers, four destroyers and four auxiliary vessels), destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN.

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] According to historian/author Kimata Jiro, CH-24 and CH-22 made several depth charge attacks, one of which may have been against TRITON. At about that time, FLORIDA MARU was torpedoed and taken in tow by TONEI MARU. If FLORIDA MARU's attacker was, indeed, TRITON, the submarine probably was CH-24 and CH-22's victim. Nevertheless, the identity of the subchasers' target has not been firmly established and TRITON's loss remains a mystery.

[2] Available records list HOSHI MARU No.7 as part of the convoy, but since she was not completed until 2 November in Japan, her inclusion seems unlikely. HOSHI MARU No. 5, however, was completed on 30 September, (later renamed KOMANDORI MARU) and was known to be in the area.

Thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages. Thanks also go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for additional info about convoy O-006. Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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