KUSENTEI!

IJN Subchaser CH-37:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2017 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 13


1941:
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui’s Engineering & Shipbuilding yard.

10 August 1942:
Launched and numbered CH-37.

31 October 1942:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District.

November 1942:
Attached to the Kure Guard Unit.

7 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Kure and arrive at Saiki.

11 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki and patrol the Bungo Suido, returning to Saiki later that day.

12 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saeki escorting the “B” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of LIMA and MIYAURA MARUs.

E 13 November 1942:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

15 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on an escort mission.

17 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

19 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on patrol.

20 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

21 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on patrol.

22 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

24 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on patrol.

25 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

26 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on patrol.

27 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

28 November 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 depart Saiki on patrol.

29 November 1942:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

4 December 1942:
CH 37 departs Saiki and escorts oiler NARUTO through the Bungo Straits heading north. CH-37 is detached off Fukajima.

5 December 1942:
Arrives back at Saiki.

7 December 1942:
Departs Saiki. Off Fukajima tanker SHIRIYA joins CH-37 and heads south through Bungo Suido.

E 8 December 1942:
CH-37 is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki and later arrives back at Saiki.

9 December 1942:
CH-37 and CH-39 and patrol boat PB-46 depart Saeki escorting the “G” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of MOMOYAMA, HOEISAN, KOSO, TAIMEI, TOKO, ANNAN and BUNZAN MARUs.

E 10 December 1942:
CH-39 is detached at 28N.

E 12 December 1942:
PB-46 and CH-37 are detached at 23N.

14 December 1942:
CH-37 and cable layer escort TSURUSHIMA departs Saeki escorting the “I” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of UCHIDE, CHINZEI, MEXICO, TSUKIKAWA, SHINSOKU MARUs and DAIGEN MARU No. 3.

E 15 December 1942:
The escorts are detached at 29N. Later that day CH-37 returns to Saiki.

17 December 1942:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

19 December 1942:
Returns to Saiki.

21 December 1942:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

23 December 1942:
Returns to Saiki.

25 December 1942:
Departs Saiki.

26 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

3 January 1943:
CH-37 departs Kure joins fleet oiler SHIRETOKO off Fukajima and escorts her south.

E 4 January 1943:
CH-37 is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki. Possibly later that day CH-37 joins armed merchant cruiser BANGKOK MARU at 29-30N, 133-38E.

6 January 1943:
CH-37 is detached off Fukajima.

7 January 1943:
CH-37 joins seaplane carrier CHIYODA off Okinoshima and escorts her to 135-45E.

10 January 1943:
Arrives at Saiki.

11 January 1943:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

13 January 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

14 January 1943:
CH-37 departs Saiki escorting the “Hinoe No. 3 Go” convoy consisting of RYUYO, ENGLAND, DAINICHI, SHONAN, NAGATO, ZUISHO, TOFUKU and BENGAL MARUs also escorted by torpedo boat HATO and minelayer YURIJIMA.

E 15 January 1943:
CH-37 and YURIJIMA are detached at 29N.

16 January 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

17 January 1943:
Departs Saiki.

19 January 1943:
CH-37 joins naval oiler KAMOI off Tosa, and escorts her through the Bungo Straits to Fukajima.

20 January 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

21 January 1943:
Departs Saiki, arrives at Aburatsu, departs Aburatsu and returns to Saiki.

22 January 1943:
Departs Saiki, arrives at Aburatsu, departs Aburatsu and returns to Saiki.

23 January 1943:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

24 January 1943:
Returns to Saiki.

26 January 1943:
Departs Saiki on patrol.

29 January 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki before departing later that day.

31 January 1943:
CH-37, CH-36 and minelayer YURIJIMA join transport MIIKE MARU at 34-45N, 132-05E and escort her north.

E 1 February 1943:
The escorts are detached off Fukajima. Arrives back at Saiki.

5 February 1943:
Depart Saiki. CH-37 and CH-39 briefly escort cruiser SUZUYA and destroyer AMATSUKAZE.

E 7 February 1943:
Minelayer YURIJIMA and subchaser CH-37 join tanker SAN DIEGO MARU that is heading north.

9 February 1943:
The escorts are detached off Fukajima.

11 February 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

13 February 1943:
CH-37 and minelayer YURIJIMA depart Saiki escorting the “B2” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of transports IKOMA MARU and and 4,646 ton TAMATSU MARU and IJA landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU.

E 14 February 1943:
The escorts are detached at 28-30N.

16 February 1943:
CH-37 and minelayer YURIJIMA briefly join battleship MUTSU and destroyers YAMAGUMO, HATAKAZE and NOKAZE. Later that day arrives back at Saiki.

17 February 1943:
Departs Saiki and patrols the Bungo Suido.

22 February 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

25 February 1943:
Departs Saiki and patrols the Bungo Suido with PB-46.

28 February 1943:
PB-46 and CH-37 arrive back at Saiki.

March 1943:
Rabaul. Reassigned to the Eighth Fleet's 8th Base Force. Escorts convoys between Rabaul and Palau.

18 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo for Rabaul with CH-39.

30 March 1943:
At 0810 both ships arrive at Rabaul.

1 April 1943:
At 0730 CH-37, CH-38 and CH-39 depart Rabaul escorting a convoy. This was likely an Army ship convoy consisting of INDUS, SEKKO, HORAI, TOYO and KYODO MARUs bound for Palau.

E 4 April 1943:
CH-37 and CH-39 apparently detach and return to Rabaul.

6 April 1943:
At 0750 arrive back at Rabaul.

9 April 1943:
At 1400, CH-37 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of KOAN and HARUNA MARUs and tankers KYOEI MARU and HISHI MARU No. 2.

12 April 1943:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS PIKE (SS-173) attacks the convoy, but KOAN MARU successfully evades a torpedo attack at 05-30N, 150-42E.

14 April 1943:
At 1040, arrives a Truk.

23 April 1943:
S of Truk. At 0030 (K), USS PIKE (SS-173) sights a small anti-submarine vessel (CH-37) coming out of a rain squall, distance 5,000 yds, at 04-20N, 152-02E. As a result of radar failure and limited visibility the target is lost soon thereafter. At 0130, CH-37 illuminates the submarine with a searchlight, forcing it to dive. Until 0305 the subchaser conducts three depth-charge attacks. USS PIKE is later forced to terminate her patrol and return to Pearl Harbor.

25 April 1943:
At 1500, CH-37 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of ROKKOSAN, MIYAURA, RISSHUN, RAKUTO and HOEI MARUs and tanker SAN CLEMENTE MARU.

4 May 1943:
50 miles SE of Palau. At about 1725, LtCdr Harry B. Dodge’s (USNA ’30) USS SEAL (SS-183) attacks the convoy. In a submerged attack, Dodge fires three torpedoes and hits SAN CLEMENTE MARU. At about 2000, she sinks at 06-50N, 134-28E. Two crewmen are KIA.

16 May 1943:
At 0530 arrives at Truk.

22 May 1943:
CH-37 and CH-12 depart Truk for Rabaul escorting convoy No. 3415 now consisting only of KAMIKAWA MARU.

28 May 1943:
N of Kavieng, New Ireland. At about 1000 (JST) while enroute to Palau the convoy is attacked at 01-42N, 150-18E by a B-24, but it is driven off. At about noon, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's (USNA ’30) USS SCAMP (SS-277). At 1203 (JST), in the midst of a heavy squall, seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU is hit by three torpedoes, floods, loses power and settles by the stern.

29 May 1943:
About midnight, KAMIKAWA MARU is attacked again by USS SCAMP. At 0016, she takes another hit, thereafter rolls over to port and sinks at 01-36S, 150-24 E. Previously serving as an auxiliary seaplane tender, she had unloaded her floatplanes at Truk and was carrying only provisions, canteen goods and passengers. 39 crewmen and three passengers were KIA.

USS SCAMP survives counter-attacks by the escort. Later that day, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Rabaul. CH-37 apparently remains out on patrol.

2 June 1943:
At 0530 CH-37 arrives at Rabaul.

7 June 1943:
At 0800 CH-37 and CH-24 depart Rabaul escorting convoy in O-704 consisting of HEIMEI, MACASSAR, KINKASAN and KONAN MARUs.

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.

20 June 1943:
Probably departs Palau escorting a convoy consisting of KEIJIN MARU No. 8 and JUIICHI MARU No. 25. (UNCONFIRMED)

30 June 1943:
At 1310 arrives at Rabaul.

4 July 1943:
At 1015 departs Rabaul escorting convoy O-403 consisting of TAGA and MUKO MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship.

10 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

24 July 1943:
At 1450 CH-37, CH-38 and CH-39 arrives at Rabaul likely from Palau escorting convoy consisting of HAVRE, MEXICO, KAYO, HOZUGAWA MARUs and Army landing craft depot ship NIGITSU MARU.

28 July 1943:
Leaves Rabaul to carry out search trials. (Details not specified possibly ASW or radio direction finding based)

29 July 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

3 August 1943:
At 0700 departs Rabaul to carry out search trials. Returns at 1200.

5 August 1943:
At 0530 departs Rabaul to carry out search trials. Returns at 1800.

7 August 1943:
At 0700 departs Rabaul to carry out search trials. Returns at 1750.

10 August 1943:
At 1210 CH-18 and CH-37 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-005 consisting of Army repair ship MINRYO MARU, Army cargo ships KAZAN and KOZAN MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships to Palau.

18 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

20 August 1943:
CH-18 and CH-37 depart Palau escorting convoy So-003 consisting of TAGA, MITO and TOYAMA MARUs.

27 August 1943:
At 0550 the convoy arrives at Rabaul.

31 August 1943:
At 1200 CH-18 and CH-37 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-105 consisting of MITO, UME, SORACHI, TOYAMA and TAGA MARUs bound for Palau.

2 September 1943:
The convoy is attacked by enemy aircraft 70 Ri off Mussau Island and TOYAMA MARU is lightly damaged.

8 September 1943:
The convoy arrives at Palau. At some point prior to this CH-18 and CH-39 have detached and returned to Rabaul.

9 September 1943:
At 0940 CH-18 and CH-39 arrive at Rabaul probably escorting SO-404 convoy consisting of KANSAI, KINUGASA, AMAGISAN and MAYASAN MARUs escorted by CH-16 and CH-38.

11 September 1943:
At 1143 departs Rabaul with CH-18 to meet up with convoy So-105 consisting of MEXICO, TAITO, TAIAN, TOTAI and YAWATA MARUs.

18 September 1943:
At 0545 arrives back at Rabaul.

22 September 1943:
At 1400 CH-18 and CH-37 departs Rabaul escorting Convoy O-206 consisting of TOYU MARU and four unidentified merchant ships part way to Palau.

30 September 1943:
At 1200 both escorts arrive back at Rabaul.

15 October 1943:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Rabaul escorting convoy O-504 consisting of YAHIKO MARU and three unidentified merchant ships.

23 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

29 October 1943:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Palau escorting convoy So-904 consisting of TAISHO, NAPLES, KURAMASAN and MACASSAR MARUs.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

19 November 1943:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Palau for Rabaul escorting convoy SO-904 consisting of TASMANIA, HOZU, KENZAN MARUs and RYUKO MARU towing a midget supply submarine. During the voyage south the convoy is plagued by submarine attacks.

25 November 1943:
At 1025, KENZAN MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Oscar Hagberg's (USNA ’31) USS ALBACORE (SS-218) at 00-51N, 146-00E. Seven crewmen are KIA.

28 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

30 November 1943:
At 0300, CH-37 and CH-38 depart Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of WALES, SHINYU, NIKKI, SHOHO, AWA and HIMALAYA MARUs. At 2310, the convoy is attacked by Consolidated PBY "Catalina" seaplanes. HIMALAYA MARU is hit and sinks at 02-47S, 150-25E. 27 out of 1200 troops on board, and seven crewmen are killed.

8 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

12 December 1943:
At 1200, CH-37 and CH-38 depart Palau escorting convoy N-206 consisting of ALASKA, RYUA, CEYLON, PACIFIC, KAITO and KAIKA MARUs.

19 December 1943:
At 1910, the convoy is attacked by PBY Catalinas, but they are driven off. At 2040, a second attack develops. KAITO MARU is hit set on fire and later sinks at 04-35N. 151-21E the following day. 262 troops and 26 crewmen are KIA. At 2132, in another attack ALASKA and PACIFIC MARUs are both hit. PACIFIC MARU is damaged, but ALASKA MARU has to be abandoned. The survivors are rescued by CH-37. ALASKA MARU sinks the following day at 03-45N, 151-30E. At the time the ship was loaded with 12000 m3 of food rations, clothing, arms and general goods. One crewman is killed in the action.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

5 January 1944:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Palau for Rabaul escorting convoy SO-504 consisting of NICHIAI, LYONS, YAMAYURI and CHIBURI MARUs.

10 January 1944:
Off New Hanover, Bismarcks. At about 1500, a submarine is sighted on the surface and engaged with gunfire.

11 January 1944:
At 2109, a B-24 attacks the convoy unsucessfully.

12 January 1944:
At 0032, other aircraft attack the convoy and one plane is shot down. Later that day, the convoy arrives at Rabaul.

21 January 1944:
At 0945, CH-37 and CH-41 depart Balikpapan with patrol boat PB-36 escorting convoy O-103 consisting of oilers IRO, SATA and JAMBI MARU.

23 January 1944:
JAMBI MARU is detached from the convoy and steams to Tarakan.

28 January 1944:
At 1350, arrives at Palau.

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."

20 February 1944:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-003 consisting of gunboat KOWA MARU and transport KOKAI MARU and fleet tug NAGAURA evacuating 751st Naval Air Group (Mitsubishi G4M Betty bomber) maintenance personnel to Japan, escorted by subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-48.

21 February 1944:
N of New Hanover. At 1320, the convoy is attacked by 15 North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers of the 5th Air Force's 345th Bomb Group's 500th and 501st Bomb Squadrons that bomb, strafe and sink KOKAI (7 passengers and 19 of the crew dead) and KOWA MARUs (22 crewmen KIA) and CHa-48 and damage CH-38 heavily at 02-30S, 150-15E. NAGAURA effects repairs, then rescues some of the survivors and continues on her voyage north.

Eight of the B-25s are damaged by AA fire and one has to ditch off Finschafen, New Guinea. All five crewmembers escape. Some 19 hours later, they are picked up from their life rafts by Australian auxiliary patrol boat HMAS PALUMA.

22 February 1944:
160 miles NW of Kavieng, New Ireland. Captain (later Admiral/CNO) Arleigh A. Burke's (USNA ’23) DesRron 23's USS CHARLES AUSBURNE (DD-570)(F), DYSON (DD-572), STANLY (DD-478), CONWAY (DD-507) and SPENCE (DD-512) engage and sink tug NAGAURA at 00-54S, 148-38E. Convoy O-003 is the last convoy to leave Rabaul.

27 February 1944:
Truk. CH-37 and CH-38 complete battle-damage repairs.

6 March 1944:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Palau for Takao, Formosa with destroyers SHIGURE and SHIRANUHI escorting convoy PATA-04 consisting of TASMANIA, KENNICHI, BRAZIL, HIYAMA, ASAHISAN, KENZAN, YOZAN, CHINZEI and CLYDE MARUs.

13 March 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Takao.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, CH- 37 and CH-38 depart Takao with destroyers SHIGURE and NOKAZE and minesweeper W-17 escorting convoy TAMO-11 consisting of TAITO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU (ex British TALTHYBIUS), KENWA, KENZUI, BRAZIL, KENNICHI, SHINNO and KOAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, SAN DIEGO and SANKO (YAMAKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TOYO and TEIKA (Ex French CAP VARELLA) MARUs join the convoy from Kirun.

19 March 1944:
The minelayer TAKASHIMA joins the convoy as an additional escort.

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI, and TOYO MARUs are detached from the convoy. At 1200, the convoy arrives Nagasaki. TAKASHIMA is detached for Sasebo.

22 March 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

21 April 1944:
CH-37 and CH-38 depart Tungchiaoshan (Tangjiqiozshan) near Shanghai for New Guinea via Manila with destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-20, CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA, gunboats UJI, ATAKA, minesweeper W-22 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7 escorting the "Take" ("Bamboo") convoy consisting transports KAZUURA, MITSUKI, BRAZIL, TENSHINZAN (AMATSUSAN), ADEN, TAJIMA, YOZAN, MANSHU, FUKUYO, TEIKAI (ex German FULDA), KANAN, TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA) and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and an unidentified ship.

26 April 1944:
At about 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Thomas M. Dykers' (USNA ’27) USS JACK (SS-259) makes a radar-assisted surface attack on the convoy. Dykers torpedoes and sinks YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 at 18-06N, 119-40E. She takes down 2,586 out of 3,400 troops of the IJA's 210th Infantry Regiment and 63 crewmen.

1 May 1944:
Arrives at Manila. CH-37, KANAN, FUKUYO and MANSHU MARUs are detached.

11 May 1944:
CH-37 departs Manila in convoy MI-03 probably consisting by this time of ATAGO, CHIYODA, KOTOKU, SHUNTEN, ZUIYO MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 5 and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by kaibokan CD-13, destroyer SHIOKAZE and torpedo boat HATO.

19 May 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

10 June 1944:
At 1747 the minelayer ITSUKUSHIMA and submarine chasers CH-36 and CH-37 and the Navy Landing Ship Transport T-127 arrive at Kau.

12 June 1944:
At 0300 ITSUKUSHIMA departs Kau with CH-36, CH-37 and T-127.

29 June 1944:
CH-38 and CH-45 depart Halmahera for Manila escorting minelayer TSUGARU. In the early afternoon, off Morotai Island, near Biak, Cdr (later Captain) David H. McClintock’s (USNA ’35) USS DARTER (SS-227) sights a large minelayer under escort by two 300-ton subchasers and an aircraft. Using an out-dated reference, McClintock misidentifies TSUGARU as the similarly configured, but somewhat older, minelayer OKINOSHIMA.

At 1356, USS DARTER's crew readies all torpedo tubes. At 1425, McClintock fires a full bow spread of six torpedoes with a run of about 2,350 yards. Two torpedoes hit and TSUGARU goes dead in the water.

At 1432, the subchasers begin dropping a total of 24 depth charges, but USS DARTER goes deep and escapes undamaged. At 1449, TSUGARU sinks at 02-23N, 127-54E. Subchaser CH-37, apparently in the vicinity, picks up 191 survivors.

30 June 1944:
At 0000 CH-37 and CH-45 arrive at Kau.

2 July 1944:
At 0800 CH-37 and CH-45 depart Kau escorting a convoy to Sorong.

3 July 1944:
On that day FRUMEL decrypts a report from CH-37, confirming that the latter had picked up 191 survivors of TSUGARU.

11 August 1944:
CH-37 departs Takao escorting an unnumbered convoy consisting of minelayers SAIGON MARU and KOEI MARU.

15 August 1944:
Arrives at Arikawa Wan and later that day at Sasebo.

October 1944:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command's 1st Surface Escort Division.

10 October 1944:
At 0600, convoy MOMA-05 departs Moji for Imari Bay consisting of DAIHAKU, KOMEI, TENSHO, DAISHO, TATSUURA, TAIYO, ESAHI, DORYU, PACIFIC, AOKI, TAIZAN (ex British ST QUENTIN), SAIHO and SUGIYAMA MARUs. The escort, if any, on this leg is unclear. The convoy is carrying about 10,000 reinforcements for the Philippines.

16 October 1944:
At 1820, convoy MOMA-05 departs Imari Bay escorted by CH-28, CH-17, CH-18, CH-23 and kaibokan KASADO.

21 October 1944:
At 1600, arrives at Takao, Formosa. KASADO is detached.

23 October 1944:
At 0900, departs Takao and shelters in a bay on S Formosa, sailing at 2300.

24 October 1944:
At 1830, arrives at Sabtang Island anchorage.

25 October 1944:
At 0400, departs Sabtang Island. At 1800 arrives at Musa.

26 October 1944:
At 0403, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Maurice Rindskopf's (USNA ’38) USS DRUM (SS-228) at 19-30N, 120-44E. Rindskopf fires three torpedoes by radar bearings at DAISHO MARU and gets two hits that sink her. She takes down 1557 men, most of whom belonged to the 57th Independent Brigade and 10th Maritime Advance Battalion and 45 of her crew.

At 0655, Rindskopf torpedoes and damages DAIHAKU MARU carrying 3150 troops of 75th Mixed Brigade, 150 horses, 35 boats and 60 military dogs at 19-07N, 120-42E. The forepart sinks, although the aft part remains afloat. She is successfully beached in Lapoc Bay and later abandoned. 1557 soldiers and three crewmen are KIA. USS DRUM also attacks TATSUURA and TAIYO MARUs with uncertain results.

W of Dalupiri Island. At about 0710, LtCdr Richard W. Peterson's (USNA ’31) USS ICEFISH (SS-367) torpedoes TAIYO MARU. A cargo of gasoline she is carrying for "kaiten" human-torpedoes ignites and sends flames hundreds of feet into the air. At 0730, TAIYO MARU sinks. About 2200 troops on board together with 17 gunners and 13 crewmen are killed, and 22 landing craft, 26 horses and 21 motor vehicles lost.

28 October 1944:
At 1230, anchors in Lapoc Bay.

29 October 1944:
At 0700, departs Lapoc Bay. At 1600, arrives at N San Fernando.

30 October 1944:
At 0700, departs N San Fernando. At 1600 arrives at Santa Cruz.

31 October 1944:
At 0500, departs Santa Cruz. At 0950, KOMEI MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' (USNA ’33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363) at 15-18N, 119-50E. The ship was loaded with 3500 M3 of goods and 775 troops and 346 troops; three armed escort and 10 of the crew are killed. A few minutes later, at 1010, PACIFIC MARU is also torpedoed and sunk by USS GUITARRO at 15-15N, 119-56E. At the time the ship is carrying 300 Naval landing troops and war supplies. 24 soldiers, 27 gunners and 23 crewmen are killed.

1 November 1944:
At 0400, arrives at Manila. At 1330 CH-37 and CH-17 depart Manila on an anti submarine sweep.

5 November 1944:
At 0500 CH-38 departs Manila with kaibokan CD-18 and CD-26 and subchasers CH-18, CH-17, CH-23 and CH-37 escorting convoy MATA-31 consisting of TATSUHARU and DORYO MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships.

6 November 1944:
At 1055, an enemy submarine is sighted at 16-11N, 109-06E. At 1650 DORYO MARU breaks down and is taken under tow.

7 November 1944:
At 1715 the convoy puts in to Santa Cruz for shelter.

8 November 1944:
At 0730 CD-26 and CH-18 detach from the convoy and depart Santa Cruz.

9 November 1944:
At 0130 departs Santa Cruz DORYO MARU still under tow and later that day at 1600 arrives at North San Fernando. DORYO MARU is detached.

11 November 1944:
At 2100 arrives at Lapoc Bay.

12 November 1944:
At 0600 departs Lapoc Bay. Later that day arrives Musa.

13 November 1944:
At 0700 departs Musa and at 2100 arrives at Sabtang.

14 November 1944:
CH-18 rejoins the convoy at 0530. Later that day the convoy departs Sabtang.

15 November 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Takao.

19 November 1944:
At 2038 CH-17, CH-18, CH-37 and CH-38 depart Takao to sweep in advance of convoy TAMA-31B departing Currimao.

20 November 1944:
At 1530 arrive back at Takao.

23 November 1944:
At 1530, CH-37 departs Takao with kaibokan CD-1, CD-3, CD-8, CD-28, CD-54, old destroyer KURETAKE and subchasers CH-17, CH-18 and CH-38 escorting convoy TAMA-32A consisting of AKAGISAN, HAGIKAWA, SORACHI, JINYO, NICHIYO, SHOEI, WAYO, MINO, SHIROUMA (HAKUBA) and SHONAN MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 63 and KIDOTEI SS No. 6. Soon after leaving, anchors along the coast.

24 November 1944:
At 0400, departs Formosan coast.

25 November 1944:
At 2200, arrives at Musa Bay, Fuga Island.

27 November 1944:
At 0400, departs Musa Bay. At 1645, arrives at Lapoc Bay.

28 November 1944:
At 0600, departs Lapoc Bay. At 1800, arrives at N San Fernando.

29 November 1944:
At 0600, departs N San Fernando.

30 November 1944:
At 0500, arrives at Manila.

9 December 1944: Operation "TA No. 9" – The Reinforcement of Leyte, Philippines:
Captain Miyashita Makoto’s SubChasDiv 21’s CH-37 and CH-17 with DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI, UZUKI and KIRI depart for Ormoc escorting an unnamed convoy consisting of MINO, SORACHI and TASMANIA MARUs carrying 4,000 soldiers of the Takahashi Detachment (5th Infantry Regiment) plus food and ammunition. The convoy is accompanied by landing ships T. 140 and T. 159 with 400 amphibious tank-equipped marines of the Ito Naval Landing Force.

11 December 1944:
30 miles off Leyte. The convoy is attacked twice by about 40 USMC F4U "Corsair" fighter-bombers of VMFs 211, 218 and 313. In the second low level attack, TASMANIA and MINO MARUs are hit and later sink at 11-20N, 124-10E. TASMANIA MARU was carrying of the 8th Division, of the 68th Brigade and of the 5th Infantry Regiment, totaling 2,204 soldiers plus supplies and ammunition. 1,053 soldiers, 96 shipboard gunners and 48 of her crew are KIA. MINO MARU carried ammunition, foodstuffs, stores and troops. 43 crewmen and one soldier are KIA. SORACHI MARU is ordered to head to Palompon, while the escorts rescue survivors. UZUKI is detached to pick up another group of survivors. Shortly before midnight, YUZUKI, KIRI, T. 140, T. 159 and the Naval Landing Force are sent ashore at Ormoc in their amphibious tanks. They are engaged by the U. S. Army and USS COGHLAN (DD-606). T. 159 is hit and abandoned, but T. 140 escapes with heavy damage.

12 December 1944:
Palompon. SORACHI MARU, CH-37 and CH-17 complete their landings and depart for Manila.

13 December 1944:
CH-37, CH-17 and SORACHI MARU arrive at Manila.

2 January 1945:
At 0100, CH-37 departs Keelung for Moji with destroyer KIRI, kaibokan CD-9, CD-14, CD-32, CD-46, torpedo boat KIRI and minesweeper W-17 escorting convoy TAMO-34 consisting of YAMAMURA, DAITO, OJIKASAN, DAIRETSU and DAIEI MARUs and an unidentified ship.

4 January 1945:
Off San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines. USAAF planes strafe the convoy, but only OJIKASAN MARU suffers some minor damage and a number of casualties.

10 January 1945:
Departs Takao with subchasers CH-23 and CH-38 escorting convoy TAMO-36 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

19 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

21 May 1945:
USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: "CH-37, CH-58 and Transport T. 173 are scheduled to depart Sasebo at 1800." The message also gives the scheduled positions for 1800, 22 May as 30-40N, 129-45E and 1800, 23 May as 29-25 N, 129-15 E.

22 May 1945:
Near Amami Oshima, Ryukyus. Aircraft from carriers USS BENNINGTON (CV-20) and HORNET (CV-12) sink CH-37, CH-58 and landing ship T. 173 at 29-45N, 129-10E.

1 July 1945:
A FRUMEL decrypt identifies CH-37 as the sole escort of No. 5 ’Otsu’ landing barge convoy, leaving Probolinggo at 0900 on 2 July and arriving at Bima at 0700 on 11 July.

10 August 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
Thanks also go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages. Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for additional info about convoy SO-904 and to Mr. Gilbert Casse for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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