KUSENTEI!



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

IJN Subchaser CH-55:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2012 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 2


28 April 1943:
Hokkaido. Laid down at Hakodate Dock Co.’s yard.

1 October 1943:
Numbered CH-55. Tentatively attached to Kure Naval District.

26 January 1944:
Launched and numbered CH-55.

31 May 1944:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. Atttached to the Kure Guard Force. Undergoes training at Saeki.

28 June 1944:
Reassigned to the the Southwest Area Fleet’s Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet’s 32nd Special Base Force at Davao, Philippines. Escorts convoys between Moji and Takao, Formosa and Manila. Later, escorts convoys between Cebu and Zamboanga, Philippines.

12 July 1944:
At 1500, CH-55 departs Moji with destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-28 and W-39 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU escorting convoy MI-11 consisting of EIKYU, YOSHINO, MIHO, ENOSHIMA, MANKO, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO, TEIRITSU (ex French LECONTE DE LISLE), BAIKAL, TOUN and FUKUJU MARUs, BANSHU MARU No. 16 and tankers KOEI, TAKETOYO, AYAYUKI, SHICHIYO, AYAGUMO and HARIMA MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1.

20 July 1944:
BAIKAL MARU is detached from the convoy and arrives at Kirun.

21 July 1944:
The convoy arrives at Takao. TOUN MARU is detached from the convoy.

29 July 1944:
At 0500, CH-55 departs Takao, Formosa for Miri, Borneo with destroyer SHIOKAZE, SHIMUSHU, minesweepers W-28, W-39 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU escorting reorganized convoy MI-11 now consisting of EIKYU, YOSHINO, KOEI, TAKETOYO, MIHO, MANKO, ENOSHIMA, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO, SHICHIYO, HARIMA, AYAYUKI, AYAKUMO, TEIRITSU (ex French LECONTE DE LISLE) and FUKUJU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1.

31 July 1944:
Luzon Strait. A wolfpack patrols the Strait under Captain (later Rear Admiral) Lewis S. Parks (USNA ’25). It consists of LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH/COMSUBLANT) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA ’31) USS PARCHE (SS-384)(F), LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) and LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA ’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364).

280 miles NNW of Cape Mayraira, Luzon. At 0332, LtCdr Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks KOEI MARU. 105 out of 150 troops on board and 9 crewmen are KIA. About the same time, oiler OGURA MARU No. 1 is hit by a torpedo, but does not sink. Five crewmen are KIA. At 0340, Ramage torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) YOSHINO MARU. She carries down 2,442 soldiers, 18 naval gunners and 35 sailors and a cargo of ammunition. At 0420, Whelchel's USS STEELHEAD torpedoes DAKAR MARU, but she does not sink. At 0455, Whelchel torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) FUSO MARU. She takes down 1,384 troops and crewmen and a cargo of 36 railway carriages and 1,120-tons of other military supplies. At 0514, Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks MANKO MARU. She carries down several hundred naval personnel, 17 crewmen and 20 gunners and a cargo of ammunition.

3 August 1944:
At 1730, the remainder of MI-11 arrives at Manila where it is reorganized. CH-55 is detached.

7 September 1944:
At 0200, CH-55 departs Zamboanga with auxiliary gunboat KISO MARU escorting convoy C-076 consisting of SHINYO, MIHO, KAMITSUand RYUKA MARUs and tanker EIYO MARU No. 2.

At 1659, LtCdr Byron H. Nowell's USS PADDLE (SS-263) torpedoes and sinks SHINYO MARU (ex-Greek PANANIS) at 08-12N, 122-37E. She was carrying 749 US and 1 British POWs, guards and other passengers. 15 crewmen, 47 guards and 667 POWs are KIA. EIYO MARU No. 2 is also damaged and is taken in tow by salvage ship MIHO MARU and heads for Cebu.

8 September 1944:
LtCdr Richard E. Nichols' (USNA ’35) USS BASHAW (SS-241) torpedoes and sinks RYUKA MARU at 08-19N, 121-30E. 328 troops, two escort troops and 16 crewmen are killed.

9 September 1944:
EIYO MARU No. 2, MIHO MARU and escorts arrive at Cebu. It is unclear whether KAMITSU MARU is with them or has proceeded on to Manila.

12 September 1944:
Cebu Bay. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 38’s planes attack CH-55, but inflict only minor damage,

13 September 1944:
Three miles NE of Cebu, Task Force 38’s planes again attack CH-55. This time, they sink her at 10-20N, 124-00E.

10 November 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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