IJN Subchaser CH-6:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2018 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 6

7 May 1938:
Tsurumi. Laid down at the Sakurajima Iron Works shipyard.

2 June 1939:
Launched and numbered CH-6.

20 May 1939:

7 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Invasion of the Northern Philippines:
Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's ((39) former CO of AOBA) 2nd Base Force of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet. Attached to the Philippines Seizure Force in Cdr Ota's SubChasDiv 21 with CH-4, CH-5, CH-16, CH-17 and CH-18. At 1630, departs Mako, Pescadores.

10 December 1941:
Participates in the landings at Vigan, Philippines.

22 December 1941: The Invasion of the Philippines:
Lingayen Gulf. Three echelons of 76 transports carrying the main part of LtGen Homma Masaharu's Fourteenth Army land at Lingayen. SubChasDiv 21 escorts Rear Admiral Hirose's third echelon of 22 transports from Keelung, Formosa.

January 1942:
Conducts patrols from Davao.

24 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
Participates in the landings at Bantam Bay, near Batavia (Jakarta), Java.

8-12 March 1942:
Participates in the capture of Surabaya, Java.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi's Southwest Area Fleet's newly formed Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet in Special Base Force 22 organized at Surabaya with CH-4 and CH-5. Escorts convoys to Balikpapan, Borneo.

8 November 1942:
At 1915 arrives at Kupang with submarine chaser CH-6 on an escort mission.

10 November 1942:
At 1300 AOTAKA and CH-6 depart Kupang.

11 November 1942:
At 0700 AOTAKA and CH-6 depart Waingapu on an escort mission.

14 November 1942:
At 1600 the ships arrive at Surabaya.

January 1943:
Escorts convoys to Ambon.

July 1943:
Based at Balikpapan, Borneo. Escorts tanker convoys as far west as Surabaya and as far east as Palau.

17 July 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

4 September 1943:
CH-6, destroyer ASAKAZE and auxiliary gunboat MANYO MARU depart Balikpapan escorting convoy No. 2607 consisting of KYOEI, NISSHO, PACIFIC, YAMAYURI and TAKAOKA MARUs, and fleet oiler NOTORO. (MANYO MARU is listed as carrying cargo in this convoy)

8 September 1943:
At 0900 an unidentified destroyer and an auxiliary vessel join the convoy.

10 September 1943:
An unidentified oiler (probably NOTORO) and auxiliary vessel are detached. At 1600 arrives at Palau.

9 October 1943:
At about 1100, LtCdr Marvin J. Jensen's (USNA ’31) USS PUFFER (SS-268) torpedoes and damages tanker KUMAGAWA MARU at 01-07N, 119-30E.

11 October 1943:
CH-6 escorts KUMAGAWA MARU while she is salvaged and towed to Balikpapan.

23 October 1943:
At 0750, CH-6 departs Balikpapan for Truk escorting tankers NICHIEI and KENYO MARUs as far as longitude 129.00E.

14 November 1943:
At 1017, Allied codebreakers intercept a Japanese message that says "CH-6 had 10 enlisted men killed during an air attack on Surabaya on November 12. This seriously handicaps escort duty efficiency of said vessel.”

18 November 1943:
At 0930, Allied codebreakers intercept a message from CH-6 that says "Repairs will be completed on 18th November. On 19 November after fueling will depart Surabaya for Jakarta arriving there 21 November at (garbled).”

30 November 1943:
At 0700, CH-6 departs Balikpapan with and one unidentified warship escorting tankers AZUMA, KOKUYO and KENYO MARUs en route to Truk via Palau.

3 December 1943:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Lawrence R. Daspit's (USNA ’27) USS TINOSA (SS-283) sights the convoy and makes an approach, but the convoy zigs and ruins the setup. Daspit fires three torpedoes "up the kilt" at AZUMA MARU loaded with 500 drums of aviation gasoline, 500 drums of normal gasoline and 6,000-tons of heavy oil. At 1947 (I), one hits and sets her afire. She slows, then settles lower in the water and drops out of the convoy. USS TINOSA moves in on the surface, but AZUMA MARU opens fire with her deck guns and machine-guns. Daspit crash dives and closes to point blank range. At 2121, he fires three more torpedoes that blow up and sink AZUMA MARU at 06-34N, 131-40E with the loss of 50 crewmen and 18 passengers. The remainder of the convoy continues towards Palau.

4 December 1943:
At 1200, arrives at Palau. CH-6 probably is detached.

13 December 1943:
At 0715, convoy No. 2515 departs Palau consisting of ammunition ship ARATAMA MARU and tanker SHINKOKU MARU bound for Balikpapan and tankers FUJISAN and HAKUBASAN MARUs, OGURA MARU No. 3, and small cargo ship SHOYU MARU bound for Tarakan, escorted by patrol boat PB-2 with auxiliary subchasers CHa-26 and CHa-27.

17 December 1943:
At 1700, CH-6 joins the escort. At midnight, CH-6 and the Tarakan-bound ships split away from the convoy.

19 December 1943:
At 1045, arrives at Balikpapan.

16 January 1944:
At 0830, CH-6 departs Palau for Balikpapan, Borneo with auxiliary subchaser Cha-32 escorting convoy No. 2517 consisting of tankers KYOEI and SHINSHU MARUs and IJN auxiliary store ship HARUNA MARU. At 2155, HARUNA and KYOEI MARUs collide. At 2211, HARUNA MARU sinks at 06-00N 133-25E, 160 km southwest of Palau, taking down two crewmen.

21 January 1944:
The convoy's destination is changed to Tarakan, Borneo.

22 January 1944:
At 1630, arrives at Tarakan. JAMBI MARU joins the convoy escorted by auxiliary subchasers Cha-41 and Cha-46.

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

26 January 1944:
At 1545, departs Tarakan presumably to meet JAMBI MARU.

28 January 1944:
At 0600 JAMBI MARU runs aground but soon after refloated with help from subchaser CH-6. At 1630, arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo and unloads the crude oil.

15 March 1944:
At 0730, CH-6 departs Balikpapan for Palau with destroyers HARUSAME and SHIRATSUYU, minesweeper W-36, and auxiliary subchaser CHa-52 escorting an unnumbered convoy consisting of three echelons. The first echelon consists of fleet oilers IRO and tankers NAGISAN MARU and HISHI MARU No. 2. The second echelon consists of fleet oiler TSURUMI, tanker KYOEI MARU and cargo ship RAIZAN MARU and the third echelon consists only of cargo ship HOKUTAI MARU.

16 March 1944:
At 1530, destroyer MICHISHIO joins the convoy and the other escorts depart.

25 March 1944:
At 1050 patrol boat PB-36 and subchaser CH-6 departs Palau to meet up with inbound Nishi Matsu Convoy No.2 consisting of MATSUE, CHUYO and HAMBURG MARUs escorted by destroyer WAKATAKE, patrol boat PB-31 and minelayer MAESHIMA.

26 March 1944:
At 0740, PB-36 and CH-6 join the convoy escort. In the afternoon, during a violent rain squall, LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles F. Brindupke's (USNA ’32) USS TULLIBEE (SS-284) attacks the convoy. The escorts attack without success, then sweep the seas with machine gun fire. To their surprise, a large explosion is heard. Later, a single survivor is rescued by WAKATAKE.[1]

27 March 1944:
At 1440 the ships arrive at Palau.

30-31 March 1944: American Operation “Desecrate One” :
Palau. The anchorage is attacked by F6F "Hellcats", SBD "Dauntless", TBF "Avenger" and SB2C "Helldiver" carrier aircraft of Task Group 58. 1's USS USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and USS COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 58. 2's USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17), HORNET (CV-12), USS MONTEREY (CV-26) and USS CABOT (CVL-28) and TG 58. 3's USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), USS PRINCETON (CVL-23) and USS LANGLEY (CVL-27). TF 58’s planes bomb and sink CH-6 and damage many other ships at 07-30N, 134-30E.

10 October 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:

[1] The Japanese claim a sinking, although USS TULLIBEE is now believed to have been sunk by one of its own torpedoes that made a circular run. Thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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