KUSENTEI!



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

IJN Subchaser CH-63:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 3


18 December 1943:
Niigata. Laid down at Niigata Engineering Co. Ltd’s factory as subchaser No. 5344.

25 January 1944:
Renumbered CH-61. Tentatively attached to Sasebo Naval District.

10 May 1944:
Launched.

30 June 1944:
Completed. Assigned to the Sasebo Guard Squadron. Undergoes training.

15 August 1944:
At 0600, CH-63 departs Moji for Takao with destroyer HATSUSHIMO, torpedo boat HIYODORI, kaibokan CD-10, CD-20 and minesweeper W-20 escorting convoy MOTA-23 consisting of FUKUREI, EDOGAWA, DAIJO, EIJI, MANSHU, ATSUTA, CHINA, ROZAN, EIMAN, TOYOOKA, KOGYO, AWAJI MARUs, YOSHIDA MARU No. 3, TOYO MARU No. 3 and an unidentified ship.

24 August 1944:
At about 0700, LtCdr Henry S. Monroe's (USNA ’33) USS RONQUIL (SS-396) torpedoes and hits and sinks YOSHIDA MARU No. 3 with 96 out of 99 troops, 10 Ship’s Gunners and all 70 of the crew being KIA. At about the same time, Monroe torpedoes and damages FUKUREI MARU with troops, coal and war supplies aboard. She floods and drifts ashore where she is abandoned about three months later. 210 of the 1445 troops on board and four of the crew are killed.

25 August 1944:
At 1400, the convoy arrives at Keelung.

5 September 1944:
At 1900, CH-63 departs Takao with destroyers HATSUHARU and HIBIKI, torpedo boat HIYODORI, kaibokan CD-1, CD-3, CD-7, CD-8, minesweeper W-20 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-67 escorting convoy TAMA-25 (formerly MOTA-23) consisting of KOGYO, EIJI, TOYOOKA, EIMAN, ATSUTA, ROZAN, MANSHU, EKKAI, TERUKUNI, NANREI and HOKUSEN MARUs.

6 September 1944:
At 0230, KOGYO MARU develops engine troubles and turns back. At 0423, EIJI MARU strikes mines twice at 22-19N 120-30E. HIBIKI comes alongside, but is damaged in the bow by another mine and forced to return to Takao. At 0800, as HIBIKI pulls away, EIJI MARU is rocked by a third mine explosion and quickly sinks. She was carrying 2,345 troops including the 1st and 2nd Battalions from the 31st Infantry Regiment, the division’s 1st Battalion, 8th Artillery, the 4th Company of the transportation regiment, and water purification troops; also sharing space aboard were men from of the 2nd Tank Division, elements of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Mobile Artillery, 1st Battalion, 2nd Mobile Infantry, and combat engineers, horses, weapons and ammunition. 611 men troops and six crewmen are KIA. The convoy withdraws to Tungchiang. EIMAN MARU suffers engine problems, is detached and returns to Takao, probably escorted by CH-63.

18 September 1944:
At 0630, CH-63 departs Takao for Manila with CH-41 and minesweepers W-17, W-20 escorting convoy TAMA-26 consisting of MIZUHO, SHIRANESAN, EIMAN, ARABIA, TOSHIKAWA, HOTEN, AWAJI, TSINGTAO and NICHINAN MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3.

21 September 1944:
At 0705, Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's (USNA ’27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks AWAJI MARU carrying 600 passengers and 500-tons of ammunition, at 18-43N, 120-53E. 284 passengers, 3 escort troops and 40 crewmen, a total of 327 people are killed. NICHINAN MARU rescues survivors.

At 0835, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks MIZUHO MARU at 18-37N, 120-41E. 1,313 passengers 81 crewmen and three gunners of the 2,150 troops and 3,029 civilian employees she was carrying are lost with her. W-17 counterattacks while the other vessels pick up survivors. CH-22 rescues 622 survivors, CH-63 rescues 150 men, W-20 rescues 370 men, TOYO MARU No. 3 rescues 980, tug/rescue vessel KEISHU MARU (ex British HENRY KESWICK) rescues 1630 men and motorized sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors. At 2215, the convoy arrives at Lapoc Bay.

26 September 1944:
At 1645, arrives at North San Fernando.

1 October 1944:
At 2056, arrives at Manila.

October 1944:
Reassigned to the 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet in the 15th Special Base Force. Escorts convoys to and from the Andaman archipelago.

4 October 1944:
CH-63 departs Manila with destroyer TAKE escorting convoy MAMI-11 consisting of TATSUSHIRO, ARAOSAN and ATSUTA MARUs and tanker NANSHIN MARU No. 7.

5 October 1944:
At about 1300, LtCdr James A. Adkins' (USNA ’26) USS COD (SS-224) torpedoes and damages ATSUTA MARU. Then at 1420, Adkins torpedoes and sinks TATSUSHIRO MARU at 13-02N 120-16E. Two crewmen and unknown number of the 500 troops she was carrying are KIA.

14 October 1944:
The convoy arrives at Miri.

19 October 1944:
Departs Miri with submarine chasers CH-3, CH-19 and auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and CHOUN MARU No. 7 escorting convoy MISHI-11 consisting of HIDA, HACHIJIN, ARAOSAN, KAZAN, NICHINAN MARUs and eleven unidentified merchant ships. That same day at 1600 Submarine chaser CH-1 departs Surabaya.

E 21 October 1944:
CH-1 joins the convoy.

23 October 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

26 October 1944:
Departs Singapore.

31 October 1944:
Arrives at Saigon.

8 November 1944:
Departs Saigon.

11 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

14 November 1944:
Departs Singapore.

19 November 1944:
Arrives at Port Blair.

20 November 1944:
Departs Port Blair.

21 November 1944:
Arrives back at Port Blair and departs later that day.

26 November 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

27 November 1944:
Departs Penang.

29 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

7 December 1944:
Departs Singapore.

10 December 1944:
Arrives at Sabang.

12 December 1944:
At 1150 departs Sabang with CH-7 escorting DAICHO MARU. 15 December 1944: At 1035 DAICHO MARU and CH-7 arrive at Singapore. It is possible CH-63 arrives with them and then immediately departs or meets a northbound oil convoy en route to Belawan.

19 December 1944:
Arrives at Belawan and departs later that day.

21 December 1944:
Arrives 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.

5 January 1945:
Arrives at Port Blair.

6 January 1945:
Departs Port Blair.

8 January 1945:
Arrives at Sabang.

9 January 1945:
Departs Sabang.

11 January 1945:
Arrives at Sabang.

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

15 January 1945:
At 1930 arrives at Singapore and remains there the rest of the month and early February.

9 February 1945:
At 0800, CH-63 departs Singapore with patrol boat PB-104 and kaibokan CD-132 escorting convoy HI-88E consisting of tanker ENKEI MARU and cargo ship SHINYU MARU.

E 14 February 1945:
Arrives at Cap St Jacques. CH-63 is detached prior to this.

15 February 1945:
Arrives at Singapore.

18 February 1945:
Departs Singapore.

23 February 1945:
Arrives at Singapore.

27 February 1945:
Departs Singapore.

23 March 1945:
CH-63 departs Penang with CH-34 escorting a convoy consisting of storeship TESHIO MARU and RISUI MARU (ex-British LIPIS) carrying food 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, but one B-24 is caught in the blast of its own bombs and crashes into the sea. 11 passengers and 11 of the crew are killed.

At 1150, the 26th Destroyer Flotilla renews its attack on the convoy and HMS VOLAGE sinks RISUI MARU at 10-38N, 94-42E. 21 of the crew are KIA. HMS SAUMAREZ rescues the downed B-24's crew. At 1230, HMS VIRAGO and HMS VIGILANT open fire at long range on CH-63 and CH-34. HMS VIGILANT closes and fires eight torpedoes at the subchasers, one of which hits and sinks CH-63.

10 May 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Author's Note:
See: http://www.stanhough.com/Vigilant.htm for more detailed info on CH-63's last engagement.

Thanks go to reader "SteveC" for this input and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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