IJN Subchaser CH-52:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

25 February 1943:
Osaka. Laid down at Naniwa dockyard.

31 July 1943:
Numbered CH-52. Tentatively attached to Yokosuka Naval District.

13 September 1943:
Launched and numbered CH-52.

30 November 1943:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District. Attached to the Yokosuka Guard Force. Thereafter, escorts convoys between Yokosuka and Chichi-Jima, Bonin Islands.

4 December 1943:
Departs Inland Sea escorting tanker MITSU MARU east via Kii Suido.

January 1944:
CH-52 departs Yokosuka with CH-50 and minelayer SARUSHIMA escorting convoy 3125 B (Otsu) consisting of KASAGI MARU and possibly others to Chichi-Jima.

25 January 1944:
At 0700, CH-52 departs Yokosuka for Truk with kaibokan ISHIGAKI escorting convoy 3125A consisting of REIYO, TAMASHIMA and HANAGAWA MARUs.

30 January 1944:
At 1000, LtCdr (later Cdr) Joseph W. Williams' (USNA ’33) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) torpedoes TAMASHIMA MARU. The ship is carrying 136 bags of mail, 1310 tons of materials and 910 passengers. At 2205, Williams again torpedoes TAMASHIMA MARU, apparently after the passengers have been evacuated. In this second attack, she sinks instantly at 21-12N, 149-18E. Four crewmen only are KIA. HIRADO drops 46 depth-charges, but USS SPEARFISH escapes undamaged. In response to the attack at 2350 auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 8 departs from Saipan to asist the convoy.

31 January 1944:
KYO MARU No. 8 is detached and arrives back at Saipan at 1615.

7 February 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

16 February 1944:
At 1650 joins convoy 4127 also escorted by CH-50, minesweeper W-22, and auxiliary subchasers KYO MARU No. 10 and SHONAN MARU No. 8 consisting of MATSUE MARU, auxiliary storeship SHINYO MARU and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3. and takes up a position at the rear of the convoy.

19 February 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

21 February 1944:
CH-52 is damaged by a mine.

22 February 1944:
Cable Layer HARUSHIMA MARU steams out of Uraga and escorts damaged CH-52. Later that day both arrive at Tateyama.

26 February 1944:
Yokosuka, Drydocked for repairs to hull damage below the waterline.

March 1944:
Yokosuka. Continues undergoing hull repairs

25 March 1945:
CH-52 departs Shimoda with kaibokan CD-47 and auxiliary submarine chaser FUMI MARU escorting convoy No. 3325 consisting of HAKUTETSU MARU No. 3, NIKKO MARU No. 2 and TOKO MARU and later that day arrives at Hachijo Jima.

4 May 1944:
At 1400, CH-52, CH-31 and CH-32 depart Tateyama with destroyers ASANAGI, MINATSUKI, torpedo boat OTORI, kaibokan OKI, CD-24 and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 8 escorting convoy 3503 consisting of KEIYO, HAKOZAKI, NICHIWA, ENOSHIMA, MINO, OSAKA, TAIKOKU, FUKKO, TATSUTAGAWA, SHINFUKU, FUKOKU, KOHO, KOJUN and SHUNSEN MARUs.

9 May 1944:
CH-52 is detached from the convoy near Chichi-Jima. At 0540 arrives at Chichi-Jima.

10 May 1944:
At 0430, auxiliary net layer SHINTO MARU No. 2 and NISSHO MARU No. 3 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-4 departs Chichi-Jima escorting convoy No. 4510 consisting of KUMANO, SEIRYU, YAGI and YUSHU MARUs and BANEI MARU No. 6 and ASAHI MARU No. 2.

11 May 1944:
At 0330, LtCdr Charleton L. Murphy's (USNA ’32) USS STURGEON (SS-187) torpedoes and sinks SEIRYU MARU at 29-50N, 141-50E. The ship was carrying an important party of Construction Troops of whom 131 together with seven gunners and nine of the crew are killed. At 1930 CH-52 departs Chichi-Jima to reinforce the convoy.

13 May 1944:
At 0820, the convoy arrives at arrives Yokosuka. CH-52 has detached presumably on patrol.

14 May 1944:
At 0300 CH-52 finally arrives at Yokosuka.

15 May 1944:
At 1200 CH-52 and auxiliary netlayer KOGI MARU depart Yokosuka escorting convoy No. 3516 consisting of SEIGA and TOHO MARUs.

20 May 1944:
At 0700 the convoy arrives at Chichi-Jima. At 1545 CH-52 with auxiliary minesweepers TOSHI MARU No. 8, TAMA MARU No. 6 and auxiliary patrol boat YUTAKA MARU No. 7 depart Chichi-Jima escorting TATSUEI MARU.

21 May 1944:
At 1630 arrives at Iwo Jima.

24 May 1944:
At 0300 CH-52 departs Iwo Jima on an anti submarine sweep.

27 May 1944:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima.

29 May 1944:
At 1935 CH-52 and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6 depart Chichi-Jima on an anti submarine sweep.

31 May 1944:
At 0745 both arrive back at Chichi-Jima.

1 June 1944:
At 1545 CH-52 departs Chichi-Jima escorting a convoy consisting only of KUMANOSAN MARU also escorted by auxiliary submarine chaser FUMI MARU and auxiliary minesweepers TOSHI MARU No. 8 and TAMA MARU No. 6.

6 June 1944:
At 0330 arrives at Minami Torishima. While KUMANOSAN MARU discharges her cargo the escorts patrol around the island.

12 June 1944:
At 0000 the ships all depart Minami Torishima.

18 June 1944:
At 1430 arrives back at Chichi-Jima.

20 June 1944:
At 1402, CH-52 departs Chichi-Jima with auxiliary minesweepers SEKI MARU No. 3, TOSHI MARU No. 8 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-20 and an unidentified warship escorting convoy No. 4620B consisting of SURUGA, KASHIMA, YAYOI, KANESHIGE (KINJO), HASSHO, KUMANOSAN MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.7 and TOKAI MARU No. 4.

24 June 1944:
At 0030, LtCdr Frederick H. Wahlig's (USNA ’33) USS GROUPER (SS-214) torpedoes and sinks KUMANOSAN MARU at 34-45N, 139-30E. Seven of 109 passengers onboard and a single crewman are killed. At 1430, the convoy arrives at Yokosuka.

28 June 1944:
At 0600 departs Yokosuka.

6 July 1944:
At 0645, CH-52 departs Hachijo-Jima, Bonin Islands for Chichi-Jima with kaibokan YASOJIMA, OKI, auxiliary subchaser SEKI MARU No. 2 escorting convoy No. 3706 consisting of SHIBAZONO, and YAEI MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 7 and oil tanker No. 3995.

7 July 1944:
At 0700, arrives at Chichi-Jima.

18 July 1944:
At 1700, CH-52 departs Yokohama with destroyers HATAKAZE and MATSU, torpedo boat CHIDORI, auxiliary minesweepers KEINAN MARU and TAMA MARU No. 6 and fast Navy transports/landing ships T-4, T-104 and T-152 escorting convoy No. 3718B consisting of RYUKO, KYUSHU, YAYOI and SURUGA MARUs.

22 July 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Chichi-Jima.

23 July 1944:
At 1200, CH-52, destroyer HATAKAZE, torpedo boat CHIDORI, auxiliary submarine chaser FUMI MARU and auxiliary patrol boat YUTAKA MARU No. 7 depart Chichi-Jima escorting convoy No. 4723 consisting of KYUSHU and KATSURAGAWA MARUs.

26 July 1944:
Arrives at Tateyama.

27 July 1944:
At 0400, arrives at Nagaura, Tokyo Bay.

29 July 1944:
CH-52 and CH-51 depart Tateyama for Chichi-jima with destroyer escort MATSU, flagship of the 2nd Convoy Escort Group's Commander Rear Admiral Takahashi Ichimatsu (40)(former CO of TSUGARU), destroyer HATAKAZE, kaibokan CD-4 and CD-12, and Navy transports T-2 and T-4 escorting convoy No. 3729 consisting of SHOGEN, TONEGAWA, ENJU, KYUSHU and HOKKAI MARUs and UNKAI MARU No.7.

That same day, light carrier ZUIHO, escorted by destroyer FUYUTSUKI, sorties from Yokosuka to provide air and anti-submarine cover for the convoy.

1 August 1944:
At 1330 arrives at Futami Harbor, Chichi-jima.

6 August 1944:
At 1150 departs Chichi-Jima on patrol.

9 August 1944:
At 0900 returns to Chichi-Jima.

10 August 1944:
At 0750 departs Chichi-Jima with auxiliary submarine chaser SEKI MARU No. 2 escorting KYUSHU MARU.

11 August 1944:
At 0700 arrives at Iwo Jima.

12 August 1944:
At 1530 departs Iwo Jima with auxiliary submarine chaser SEKI MARU No. 2 escorting KYUSHU MARU.

13 August 1944:
At 1330 the convoy arrives at Chihi-Jima. CH-52 arrives at 1500

14 August 1944:
At 0805 departs Chichi-Jima and patrols [Futami Port] bay entrance.

15 August 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Chichi-Jima.

17 August 1944:
At 0725 departs Chichi-Jima but returns at 1700.

23 August 1944:
At 1350 departs Chichi-Jima escorting KINJO (KANESHIGE) MARU.

24 August 1944:
Arrives at Iwo Jima.

25 August 1944:
Departs Iwo Jima.

26 August 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Chichi-Jima.

30 September 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

14 October 1944:
CH-52 joins convoy No.3013 also escorted by CH-44 and auxiliary minesweeper SEKI MARU No.3 (the latter part way only) consisting of SEIKAI MARU NO. 2 and SHOTO MARU bound for Chichi-Jima.

18 October 1944:
CH-52 and CH-44 depart Chichi-Jima escorting Convoy No. 4017 consisting of SEIKAI MARU No. 2 only bound for Yokohama.

4 November 1944:
CH-52, CH-51 and CH-44, kaibokan CD-4 and auxiliary submarine chaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 depart Tateyama escorting convoy No. 3103 consisting of KAIKO, SHIBAZONO, SHOTO MARUs and OIL TANKER No. 3998.

8 November 1944:
Arrives at Chichi-Jima. Late that day CD-4 with submarine chasers CH-44, CH-51, CH-52 and auxiliary submarine chaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 2 departs Chichijima escorting convoy No. 4108 consisting of KAIKO, SHIBAZONO, SHOTO MARUs and OIL TANKER No. 3998.

11 November 1944:
N of Hachijo Island. A patrol bomber from the 901st NAG spots a submarine in that area, attacks it with depth charges and then conducts CD-4 to the scene of attack. An oil slick is sighted and soon a sonar contact is made from a distance of 3,300 yds. LtCdr John G. Hollingsworth's (USNA ’31) USS SCAMP (SS-277) attempts to attack the approaching escort, firing a divergent spread of three torpedoes from a distance of 1,100 yds. LtCdr Mizutani evades all of them and conducts three depth charge attacks. After a total of 70 depth charges have been expended, several giant air bubbles and large quantities of oil are sighted on the surface. USS SCAMP is lost with all 83 hands at 33-38N, 141-00E.

12 November 1944:
Arrives at Tateyama.

13 November 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 December 1944:
CH-51 and CH-52 transfer from Yokosuka to Yokohama.

4 December 1944:
CH-51 and CH-51 depart Yokohama and arrive at Tateyama.

5 December 1944:
CH-52, CH-44 and CH-51 depart Yokosuka for Hachijo Jima with destroyer HATAKAZE and auxiliary submarine chasers SHONAN MARU No. 8 and KYO MARU No. 7 escorting convoy No. 3203 consisting of DAISHO, AITOKU MARUs and SEIKAI MARU No. 2. Enroute, CH-52 collides with CH-51 and CH-52's bow is damaged. CH-51 is forced to return to Yokosuka for repairs escorted by CH-52.

8 December 1944:
At 1300 CH-51 returns to Yokosuka escorted by CH-52. Thereafter, undergoes repairs.

15 December 1944:
Drydocked at Yokosuka.

22 December 1944:
Departs Yokosuka and later arrives at Tateyama.

23 December 1944:
At 0600 CH-52 departs Tateyama with kaibokan CD-6, submarine chaser CH-44, auxiliary minesweeper SHOWA MARU No. 7 and auxiliary submarine chaser SHONAN MARU No. 8 escorting convoy No.3222 consisting of DAISHO, NAGATSU, KYUSHU MARUs and SEIKAI MARU No. 2.

27 December 1944:
At 0530 arrives at Chichi-Jima.

28 December 1944:
At 0200, CH-52 departs Chichi-Jima for Yokohama with kaibokan CD-6, subchaser CH-44 and auxiliary subchaser SHONAN MARU No. 8 escorting convoy No. 4228 consisting of DAISHO, NAGATSU and KYUSHU MARUs.

1 January 1945:
At 0400, arrives at Tateyama.Later that day arrives at Yokosuka.

5 January 1945:
Departs Yokosuka and later that day arrives at Tateyama.

8 January 1945:
CH-52 departs Tateyama with kaibokan CD-6 and CD-47, and auxiliary patrol boats KINJO MARU and YUTAKA MARU No. 7 escorting convoy No. 3107 consisting of DAISHO and NAGATSU MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima and KYUSHU MARU bound for Haha Jima.

11 January 1945:
Arrives at Chichi Jima

12 January 1945:
CH-52 departs Chichi Jima and meets up with with kaibokan CD-6 and and auxiliary patrol boat KINJO MARU escorting convoy No. 4112 consisting of DAISHO and NAGATSU MARUs from Chichi-Jima and meets KYUSHU MARU and kaibokan CD-47 from Haha Jima bound for Tateyama.

15 January 1945:
Under stormy weather, KYUSHU MARU straggles behind the convoy escorted by CH-52 and auxiliary patrol boat KINJO MARU.

16 January 1945:
At 1920, CH-52 detaches from the escort and engages in ASW sweep at position 34-15N, 140-05E.

17 January 1945:
At 1720 arrives at Yokosuka alone.

26 January 1945:
At 0900, CH-52 departs Yokosuka for Chichi-Jima with kaibokan CD-47, subchaser CH-51 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 escorting convoy No. 3126 consisting of AITOKU, DAISHO, KYUSHU and RYUJIN MARUs. Anchors overnight at Tateyama.

29 January 1945:
At 0600, departs Tateyama. At 2108, three North American B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers attack the convoy. They hit auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 with five rockets that leave her flooding and unnavigable. Two crewmen are KIA. CD-47 is also damaged by the planes at 27-45N, 142-00E.

At about 0200, CH-52 takes TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 under tow, but the tow line parts and the auxiliary subchaser sinks.

30 January 1945:
The convoy arrives at Chichi-Jima and unloads. At 2230, all ships depart except RYUJIN MARU forming convoy No. 4130.

3 February 1945:
Arrives at Tateyama.

1 March 1945:
At 0830 departs Yokosuka escorting TATEYAMA MARU bound for Hachijo Jima. At 1930 the convoy is attacked at 34-10N 139-38E and TATEYAMA MARU is torpedoed and sunk by USS STERLET. The high waves, cloudy weather and dark night meant only 9 survivors are rescued and 611 troops of 12th Airfield Construction Party and 43 crewmen are killed.

4 March 1945:
Arrives at Uraga.

5 March 1945:
Transfers from Uraga to Yokosuka.

10 March 1945:
Departs Yokosuka.

March 1945:
Reassigned to the Sasebo Naval District.

21 March 1945:
Departs Yokosuka escorting convoy No. 3321 consisting of NANKO MARU to Hachijo Jima.

May 1945:
Escorts convoys between Qingdao (Tsingtao), China and Sasebo and later between Pusan, Korea and Sasebo.

14 August 1945:
Near Sasebo. Damaged by unknown causes. [1]

15 August 1945: Cessation of Hostilities:
Sasebo. CH-52’s crew is notified of war’s end.


Authors' Note:
[1] Sources differ as to the agent of damage. One source claims it was USN carrier based aircraft, but this cannot be substantiated. Most likely the damage was caused by a mine.

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

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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