KUSENTEI!

IJN Subchaser CH-34:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 5


1941:
Laid down at the Harima shipyard.

20 December 1941:
Launched and numbered CH-34.

31 August 1942:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District.

September 1942:
Assigned to the Yokosuka Guard squadron. Patrols Tokyo Bay thereafter.

2 September 1942:
At 0930 arrives at Nagaura.

8 September 1942:
At 1240 departs Nagaura.

24 September 1942:
At 1750 arrives at Nagaura.

25 September 1942:
At 1255 departs Nagaura.

26 September 1942:
At 1200 departs off Futtsu escorting a north east bound convoy consisting of WAKATSU (ex Greek ANDREAS), HEIYO, SEKIHO and TOYU MARUs. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

End of December 1942:
Reassigned to the 2nd Base Force, 8th Fleet at Rabaul.

29 December 1942:
At 1400, CH-34 departs Yokosuka with CH-26 escorting a convoy consisting of SHINSEI MARU No. 18 and TERUSHIMA MARU.

4 January 1943:
CH-26 and CH-34 and the convoy arrive at Saipan.

6 January 1943:
CH-26 and CH-34 and the convoy depart Saipan.

10 January 1943:
At 1500 arrives at Kavieng. TERUSHIMA MARU remains there. SHINSEI MARU No. 18 steams to Rabaul arriving the following day. [1]

11 January 1943:
At 0530, arrives at Rabaul,

14 January 1943:
CH-34 and destroyer MAKINAMI departs Rabaul to Wewak escorting a convoy consisting of HAKUTETSU MARU No. 13 and one unidentified merchant ship.

18 January 1943:
Arrives at Wewak.

29 January 1943:
Departs Wewak and heads north presumably to rescue survivors of ships sunk by LtCdr Dudley W. Morton's USS WAHOO (SS-238) on 26th January or to hunt submarine.

31 January 1943:
Arrives back at Wewak.

6 April 1943:
At 1630, CH-34 departs Palau with destroyers TANIKAZE and AMATSUKAZE and CH-26 escorting convoy "Hansa No. 2B" consisting of TEIRYU (ex-German AUGSBURG), INDIA, TOHO, SYDNEY, TAISEI and TAIYU MARUs.

12 April 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Hansa Bay (near Madang), Eastern New Guinea. At 1530, twenty USAAF B-17s and B-24s of the USAAF 5th Air Force bomb the ships and sink IJA cargo ship SYDNEY MARU at 03-18S, 143-38E with the loss of three crewmen and seven gunners.

13 April 1943:
At 0900, departs Hansa Bay.

14 April 1943:
At 0700, TEIRYU and TOHO MARUs, escorted by AMATSUKAZE and CH-34, split from the convoy and head to Palau. The remaining ships sail on to Wewak where they arrive that evening. The following day, while leaving for Palau, INDIA MARU is bombed and sunk. [2]

18 April 1943:
TEIRYU and TOHO MARUs, AMATSUKAZE and CH-34 arrive at Palau. The remaining ships arrive on the 20th.

26 April 1943:
At 0830, CH-34 departs Palau with destroyers URAKAZE and AMATSUKAZE and CH-26 escorting convoy "Wewak No. 3" consisting of SHINSEI MARU No. 1, BUNZAN, HANKOW and HOFUKU MARUs, HAKUTETSU MARU No. 13 and SAN FRANCISCO MARU. The ships are carrying 6,000 soldiers of the 41st Infantry Division and ammunition, provisions, aircraft and supplies.

30 April 1943:
At 2205, SAN FRANCISCO MARU and CH-34 are detached and head for nearby Kairiru Island.

1 May 1943:
SAN FRANCISCO MARU and CH-34 depart Kairiru Island and join the ships returning from Wewak.

6 May 1943:
At 0630 arrives at Palau.

8 May 1943:
At 0700, convoy "Wewak No. 4" departs Palau consisting of TEIRYU, YOSHIDA MARU No. 3, TOHO and MAYA MARUs escorted by destroyers URAKAZE and AMATSUKAZE. The ships are carrying 4000 soldiers of the 41st Infantry Division together with shells, provisions, aircraft and supplies.

9 May 1943:
At 1620, CH-34 escorting ARATAMA MARU joins convoy "Wewak No. 4".

13 May 1943:
At 0530, arrives at Wewak. At 1150, CH-34 and ARATAMA MARU depart. The rest of the convoy follows later.

17 May 1943:
At 1430, arrives at Palau.

20 July 1943:
At 0800, CH-34 departs Palau with minelayer SHIRATAKA escorting convoy "Hansa No. 5" consisting of ADEN, YUBAE, HANKOW, DENMARK, NAGANO MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1.

25 July 1943:
Arrives at Hansa Bay, New Guinea at 0125. At 1750, SHIRATAKA departs with three of the ships.

27 July 1943:
The remaining three ships and CH-34 join up with the others.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau at 1151.

2 August 1943:
At 1300, CH-34 departs Palau with minelayer SHIRATAKA escorting convoy "Hansa No. 6" consisting of SHINSEI MARU No. 1, BENGAL, TAIFUKU and MAYA MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at Hansa Bay at 0800.

9 August 1943:
SHIRATAKA and three marus depart at 1300.

12 August 1943:
At 0625, the other two marus and CH-34 rejoin the convoy.

14 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau at 1400.

20 August 1943:
CH-34 and CH-26 depart Palau escorting convoy "Wewak No. 7" consisting of NAGATO, NAGANO, HANKOW, ADEN, SHINYU and YUBAE MARUs.

23 August 1943:
The convoy is ordered back to Palau because of increased Allied air activity over Wewak.

28 August 1943:
At 0945, convoy Wewak No. 7 again departs Palau, less YUBAE MARU.

2 September 1943:
At 0045, the convoy anchors at Wewak. Later that day, the convoy is attacked by about 30 B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers escorted by P-38 “Lightning” fighters. NAGATO MARU carrying 100 soldiers, pioneering farmers, 8,000 drums of aviation gasoline, 10 vehicles, 2,000 cases of general cargo, and 101,000 bags of rice is sunk with the loss of two crewmen and three gunners. HANKOW MARU carrying troops and war supplies is also hit and sunk taking down two crewmen and 23 soldiers. ADEN and NAGANO MARUs are damaged. That same day the convoy survivors less NAGANO MARU, that remains behind, depart Wewak.

7 September 1943:
Arrives back at Palau.

24 September 1943:
CH-34 departs Palau with minelayer SHIRATAKA escorting convoy "Wewak No. 10" consisting of MAYA, BENGAL and YAMAGATA MARUs.

27 September 1943:
CH-34 and SHIRATAKA rendezvous with convoy "Wewak No. 9" that is returning to Palau. The convoy consists of ADEN and YASUKUNI MARUs escorted by CH-26 and CH-32. CH-34 and SHIRATAKA escort the convoy back to Palau. CH-26 and CH-32 take over the escort of convoy Wewak No. 10.

29 September 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

3 October 1943:
Departs Palau escorting Hollandia No.1 convoy consisting of TONEGAWA, KAMOI and UCHIDE MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5.

6 October 1943:
Arrives at Hollandia.

7 October 1943:
Departs Hollandia with addition of NAGANO MARU from ill-fated Wewak No. 7 convoy.

10 October 1943:
Submarine chaser CH-35 joins the convoy.

11 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

22 October 1943:
Departs Palau escorting FU-201 convoy consisting only of KENSHO MARU.

29 October 1943:
Arrives at Saiki.

30 October 1943:
Departs Saiki.

31 October 1943:
Arrives at Kure and undergoes repairs.

18 October 1943:
Completes repairs.

15 November 1943:
Reassigned to the Ninth Fleet's 2nd Special Base Force with CH-26 and CH-35.

15 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau. At 0630, CH-34 departs Palau with CH 32, CH-35 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-10 escorting convoy Wewak No. 17 consisting of ASO, TAIEI, KIBI, CHINZEI MARUs.

19 January 1944:
Arrives at Wewak.

28 January 1944:
At 1600, CH-34 departs Palau with CH-16, 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 457 troops, 15 crewmen and seven gunners.

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 with the loss of 56 crewmen. LtCdr Cutter makes for Pearl Harbor.

E 4 February 1944:
CH-34 arrives at Rabaul.

9 February 1944:
CH-34 departs Palau escorting "Wewak Transportation Yoto No. 1" convoy consisting of KOFUKU and YAGUMO MARUs.

13 February 1944:
YAGUMO MARU splits from convoy and proceeds to Hollandia, New Guinea.

14 February 1944:
KOFUKU MARU and CH-34 arrive at Wewak.

15 February 1944:
Departs Wewak. On the way back to Palau, meets up with YAGUMO MARU again.

20 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

29 February 1944:
Departs Palau escorting convoy Wewak Yoto No.4 Convoy consisting of KAYO, KOFUKU MARUs,likely SHOEI (MATSUEI) MARU and an unidentified merchant ship.

4 March 1944:
75 miles WNW of Hollandia. LtCdr (later Captain) Paul Van Leunen Jr's (USNA ’34) USS PETO (SS-265) attacks convoy and sinks army cargo ship KAYO MARU carrying 825 personnel of the 51th Unit, Southern 6th Support Group at 01-28S, 138-40E. 46 passengers and 43 crewmen are KIA. CH-34 and other escorts depth-charge USS PETO unsuccessfully.

March 1944:
Reassigned to the 30th Base Force, Chubu Pacific Ocean fleet at Palau.

5 May 1944:
Reassigned to the Southwest Area Fleet's 4th Southern Expeditionary Fleet's 28th Special Base Force with CH-26 and CH-35. Escorts convoys to Davao and Cebu, Philippines.

21 July 1944:
At 1155 CH-34 and CH-35 depart Davao escorting an unidentified Navy transport.

24 July 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Kau.

26 July 1944:
At 0700, CH-34 departs Kau, Halmahera with subchasers CH-9, CH-35, CH-26 and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU MARU No. 17 escorting a convoy consisting of KANTO, TOSHO and KEMBU MARUs.

1 August 1944:
At 1850 arrives at Ambon with TATSUYASU MARU and CH-35 having detached from the main convoy en route.

4 August 1944:
At 1330, CH-34 departs Ambon with CH-26 and CH-35 and minesweeper W-12 escorting an unnamed convoy consisting of TATSUYASU, KANTO and KURAMASAN MARUs.

5 August 1944:
CH-26 is detached and returns to Ambon.

6 August 1944:
KANTO MARU is detached for Waha, Wangiwangi Island. At 1400, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes.

7 August 1944:
At 1600 CH-34 and CH-35 depart Staring Bay.

8 August 1944:
At 0435 both arrive at Ambon.

14 August 1944:
At 1500 CH-34 and CH-35 depart Ambon escorting SHOEI MARU.

18 August 1944:
At 1830 arrives at Macassar.

23 August 1944 :
At 1500, CH-34 departs Makassar with CH-35 escorting an unnamed convoy consisting of IKUTAGAWA MARU (ex Italian CALITEA II) and KEMBU (TATEBE) MARU.

26 August 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Surabaya. Undergoes repairs by 102 Construction and Repair Section throughout all of September.

1 October 1944:
Singapore. CH-34 and CH-35 are reassigned to the Southwest Area Fleet's 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet's 15th Special Base Force's in Subchaser Division 11. Escorts convoys in the Singapore area.

6 October 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Singapore.

10 October 1944:
At 1200 departs Singapore with CH-34 and torpedo boat KARI escorting transport EIFUKU MARU.

15 October 1944:
At 2100 arrives at Port Blair.

17 October 1944:
At 0600 CH-9 departs Port Blair with CH-34 and torpedo boat KARI escorting transport EIFUKU MARU.

21 October 1944:
At 1400 the convoy arrives at Penang.

26 October 1944:
At 1330 departs Penang.

1 November 1944:
At 2321 arrives at Ma-Ru-Zu Bay (Marudu Bay?)

2 November 1944:
At 0558 departs "Maruzu" Bay and at 2200 arrives outside Brunei Bay. Over the next few days patrols the Brunei Bay entrance area.

10 November 1944:
At 1300 departs Brunei Bay escorting KAZAN MARU.

11 November 1944:
At 2002 arrives at Kuching.

14 November 1944:
At 0253 departs Kuching escorting KAZAN MARU.

18 November 1944:
At 1028 arrives at Singapore.

20 November 1944:
At 0913 departs Singapore and undertakes an anti submarine sweep of the Malacca Straits.

23 November 1944:
At 2109 arrives at Singapore.

27 November 1944:
At 0205, CH-34 and CH-35 depart Singapore with kaibokan CD-27, minesweeper W-34 and auxiliary gunboat HUASHAN (KAZAN) MARU escorting convoy SHISA-30 consisting of EININ, TOHO, FUJISAN, HIKACHI (NISSHO), ENRYAKU, TATSUMIYA, YAMAKUNI and DAISHU MARUs.

30 November 1944:
At 1725 arrives at St Jacques. [3]

3 December 1944:
At 1114 departs St Jacques escorting SHISA-35 convoy.

7 December 1944:
At 0945 arrives at Singapore.

11 December 1944:
At 1200 CH-34 and CH-35 depart Singapore on an anti submarine patrol.

19 December 1944:
The escorts cease patrols.

20 December 1944:
At 1508 and 1504 respectively both CH-34 and CH-35 arrive back at Singapore.

24 December 1944:
At 1000 CH-34, CH-35 and CH-63 depart Singapore escorting UNRYU MARU (ex British WULIN).

29 December 1944:
At 1555 arrives at Port Blair.

31 December 1944:
At 0800 CH-34, CH-35 and CH-63 depart Port Blair escorting a convoy consisting of UNRYU and TESHIO MARUs.Three hours after leaving port UNRYU MARU is torpedoed and sunk by HMS SHAKESPEARE with only two watchman surviving. 149 passengers and the ship's crew are KIA. For the early part of January CH-34 undertakes an enemy submarine sweep.

6 January 1945:
At 0931 departs Port Blair WITH CH-7 and CH-9 escorting RISUI MARU.

7 January 1945:
At 1130 arrives at Car Nicobar where CH-34 is detached. CH-34 departs Car Nicobar at 2251.

8 January 1945:
At 1125 arrives at Sabang.

9 January 1945:
At 1500 departs Sabang on an anti submarine sweep.

10 January 1945:
At 1200 arrives back at Sabang.

12 January 1945:
At 2000 CH-34, CH-35 and CH-63 and minesweeper W-34 depart Sabang escorting EIFUKU MARU.

15 January 1945:
At 1930 arrives at Singapore.

20 January 1945:
At 0800 CH-34 departs Singapore with minesweeper W-34 escorting convoy SHISA-34 consisting of the tanker SERIA MARU.

23 January 1945:
At 2120 arrives at St Jacques.

25 January 1945:
At 0830 departs St Jacques on an anti submarine sweep.

31 January 1945:
At 0100 arrives back at St Jacques.

1 February 1945:
CH-34 and minesweeper W-34 depart St Jacques escorting convoy SASHI-41C consisting of tanker NANSHIN MARU No. 19 and six unidentified merchant ships.

2 February 1945:
At about 2300, LtCdr (later Cdr) Francis A. Greenup’s (USNA ’36) USS HARDHEAD (SS-365) torpedoes and sinks NANSHIN MARU No. 19 at 04-00N 102-36E. 10 crewmen are KIA.

7 February 1945:
Convoy SASHI-41C arrives at Singapore.

14 February 1945:
At 0800, CH-34, CH-20 and CH-35 depart Singapore with kaibokan CD-31 escorting convoy HI-88G consisting of small tankers YAEI MARU No. 1, TAKASAGO MARU No. 2 and NANSHIN MARU No. 30.

21 February 1945:
At 0900, arrives St Jacques, Indochina. NANSHIN MARU No. 30 is detached and probably CH-34.

23 March 1945:
CH-34 departs Penang with CH-63 escorting a convoy consisting of storeship TESHIO MARU and RISUI MARU (ex-LIPIS) carrying food and supplies for the Andaman and Nicobar garrisons. The convoy's initial destination is Port Blair then Car Nicobar.

25 March 1945:
E of Khota Andaman. At 1030, the convoy is intercepted by Captain (later Admiral Sir) Manley L. Power's 26th Destroyer Flotilla consisting of destroyers HMS SAUMAREZ, HMS VIRAGO, HMS VIGILANT and HMS VOLAGE. At 1059, the destroyers open fire on the convoy with gunfire and launch eight torpedoes, all of which miss.

The undamaged convoy makes for the southwest. At 1129, Captain Powers radios for air support. Two RAF Consolidated B-24 “Liberator”bombers soon arrive and in a low-level bombing attack sink TESHIO MARU taking down 11 crewmen, but one B-24 is caught in the blast of its own bombs and crashes into the sea.

At 1150, the 26th Destroyer Flotilla renews its attack on the convoy. HMS VOLAGE sinks RISUI MARU. HMS SAUMAREZ rescues the B-24's crew. At 1230, HMS VIRAGO and HMA VIGILANT open fire at long range on CH-34 and CH-63. HMS VIGILANT closes and fires eight torpedoes at the subchasers, one of which hits and sinks CH-63.

CH-34 fights back against HMS VIRAGO and HMS VIGILANT and manages to score a hit on HMS VIGILANT, but at 1630, CH-34 goes down under the guns of the British destroyers at 10-38N, 94-42E.

10 August 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Some sources show arrival at Kavieng as 17 January 1943 but this clashes with CH-34's JACAR records.

[2] Rumors persisted that INDIA MARU was carrying gold and other valuables despite no justification. It seems local natives spread the rumour in the hope that stories of gold would attract western divers and stimulate tourism.

[3] One Japanese source (Komamiya) lists the destination as Saei rather than St Jacques but this is certainly an error since it is unlikely the convoy could make Formosa in three days even sailing direct and another Japanese source confirms St Jacques with an exact time of arrival.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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