(Subchaser No. 46 by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Subchaser CH-53:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 4

Osaka. Laid down at Naniwa Dockyard.

Launched and numbered CH-53.

20 March 1944:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District. Attached to the Yokosuka Guard Force.

7 April 1944:
Departs Kure.

8 April 1944:
Arrives at Saiki.

23 April 1944:
Departs Saiki and arrives at Kure.

25 April 1944:
Departs Kure.

27 April 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

May 1944:
Escorts convoys between Yokosuka and Manila.

1 June 1944:
At 0345, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “Subchaser No. 53 proceed immediately to present position NIPPONKAI MARU convoy which sustained a torpedo attack this morning at 0345 in position 18-04N, 141-18E, and engage in escort of this convoy--.”

At 1800 CH-53 departs Saipan and later joins the convoy consisting of TOYO, NIPPONKAI and KINSHU MARUs escorted by submarine chaser CH-48, kaibokan MIKURA.

6 June 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Palau.

23 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Palau.

26 June 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Kau Bay.

30 June 1944:
At 0300 departs Kau Bay escorting SHOEI MARU.

4 July 1944:
At 1630 arrives at Ambon.

7 July 1944:
At 0500 departs Ambon with auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18 escorting SEIKO MARU.

13 July 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Kau.

19 July 1944:
At 1200 departs Kau with auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18 escorting TATSUYASU MARU.

23 July 1944:
Minesweeper W-5 joins the escort.

24 July 1944:
At 1645 arrives at Ambon.

26 July 1944:
At 1400 departs Ambon escorting transports T-129 and T-151.

28 July 1944:
At 1700 anchors off Wowoni Island. Then meets up with SEIA MARU and departs.

31 July 1944:
Arrives off Ambon.

4 August 1944:
At 1430 arrives at Ambon.

7 August 1944:
At 1300 CH-53 departs Ambon escorting TOSHO MARU.

14 August 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Macassar.

19 August 1944:
At 0530 departs Macassar still escorting TOSHO MARU.

22 August 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Surabaya.

12 September 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Marshall H. Austin’s (USNA ’35) USS REDFIN (SS-272) fires three torpedoes at auxiliary transport (ex-auxiliary gunboat) TOSHO MARU at 05-27S, 120-28E, but they all run under her. CH-53 counterattacks, but Austin successfully evades and escapes.

15 September 1944:
Transferred to the 25th Special Base Unit at Ambon.

20 September 1944:
At 0410 arrives at Ambon with TOSHO MARU.

21 September 1944:
At 1530 departs Ambon.

25 September 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Staring Bay.

28 September 1944:
At 0700 departs Macassar.

29 September 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Surabaya and departs from there with CH-60 at 1500.

27 November 1944: Operation “TA No. 6” :
CH-53, CH-45 and patrol boat PB-105 (ex-Philippines Customs Cruiser ARAYAT) depart Manila for Ormoc Bay Leyte, Philippines escorting a convoy consisting of SHINSHO and SHINETSU MARU.

28 November 1944:
The convoy arrives off Ormoc and begins unloading. Destroyers USS WALLER (DD-466), USS SAUFLEY (DD-465), USS RENSHAW (DD-499) and USS PRINGLE (DD-477) attack the convoy and sink CH-53 by gunfire at 10-48N, 124-35E. [1]

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors’ Note:
[1] Some sources claim CH-53 and patrol boat PB-105 were torpedoed and sunk by American patrol torpedo boats USS PT-127 and USS PT-331.

Thanks go to John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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