IJN Submarine Depot Ships

(Chogei by Ueda Kihachiro)

IJN CHOGEI: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
Revision 10

11 March 1922:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 5,160-ton submarine tender.

24 March 1924:
Launched and named CHOGEI ("Long Whale").

25 March 1924:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yuchi Shusei (30)(former Chief Gunnery Officer of KIRISHIMA) is posted as Chief Equipping Officer.

2 August 1924:
Nagasaki. Completed and registered in the IJN. Captain Yuchi is Commanding Officer.

1 December 1924:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Onomoto Satoru (31) is appointed CO.

1 December 1925:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mashiko Rokuya (30)(former CO of YAHAGI) is appointed CO.

1 December 1926:
Captain Nanbu Michijiro (31) is posted CO. Captain Mashiko is posted CO of HARUNA, with additional duty as CO of YAMASHIRO.

1 December 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kuragano Akira (33)(former CO of NARUTO) is posted CO.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Admiral) Nomura Naokuni (35) (former CO of SubDiv 16) is posted CO.

1 May 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Wada Senzo (34) (former CO of SENDAI) assumes command.

5 November 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shirane Teisuke (34) (former CO of SubDiv7) is posted CO.

15 November 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Owada Yoshinosuke (35)(former CO of SubDiv 18) is posted CO.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yokoyama Sugao (36) (former CO of SubDiv 8) is appointed CO.

15 November 1933:
Captain Kasuga Sueaki (37) is posted CO.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yoshitomi Setsuzo (39)(former CO of I-56) is appointed CO.

1 December 1936:
Captain Ryuzaki Tomekichi (40) is posted CO. Captain Yoshitomi is posted Chief Instructor of the Submarine School.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge ("China") Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers at the bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a suburb of Beijing to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

One month later, SubRon 2 is charged with the escort of the Army's 10th Division to the Chinese mainland. Originally, the escort is intended to include Kaidai-class sub's, but the idea is dropped.

28 July 1937:
After the start of the hostilities, the Japanese presume the Chinese Fleet will attempt a full-scale campaign, but it does not materialize.

Sasebo. CHOGEI is transfered to the 2nd Fleet. CHOGEI is used to transport troops to China directly because she has the necessary facilities to accommodate them. She and light cruiser TAMA embark some 1,000 soldiers of the 1st Special Naval Landing Force.

2 August 1937:
CHOGEI arrives at Port Arthur (Lushun) and disembarks the troops. Enroute, the CO of CHOGEI receives news that the Japanese bridgehead in Shanghai is under heavy attack. CHOGEI reembarks the same troops.

17 August 1937:
CHOGEI disembarks the troops at Shanghai.

22 August 1937:
CHOGEI returns to Port Arthur on another troop transport mission.

20 November 1937:
Captain Ryuzaki is assigned additional duty as Chief Equipping Officer (CEO) of TONE.

21 November 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Unoike Rokuzo (38) (former CO of HAGURO) assumes command. Captain Ryuzaki assumes full-time duty as CEO of TONE.

15 December 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hisamune Yonejiro (41) (former CO of DesDiv 24) is appointed CO. .

30 March 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tashiro Sohei (41)(former CO of KISO) is appointed CO.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Komazawa Katsumi (42)(former CO of MUROTO) assumes command.

11 October 1940: Imperial Naval Review:
Yokohama Bay. A Naval Review takes place to celebrate the 2,600th anniversary of Emperor Jimmu's enthronement. 98 IJN warships that total 596,060-tons are present. Emperor Hirohito (Showa) inspects the fleet from his flagship, battleship HIEI. The ceremony is supervised by the CINC,Combined Fleet, Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from his flagship, battleship NAGATO. Submarine tenders CHOGEI and JINGEI are present for the Review. [1]

15 November 1940:
CHOGEI is assigned to Vice Admiral Hirata Noboru's (former CO of NACHI) new Sixth Fleet as the tender for Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Yamazaki Shigeaki's SubRon 2's SubDivs 7 and 8.

15 February 1941:
CHOGEI is the tender for Rear Admiral Yamazaki's SubRon 2.

21 July 1941:
Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi (former CO of ISE) assumes command of the Sixth Fleet. Vice Admiral Hirata is reassigned as CINC, Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

15 October 1941:
Kure. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nagai Mitsuru (45)(former CO of I-1) assumes command of CHOGEI. Captain Komazawa is reassigned as the Chief Equipping Officer of the seaplane tender NISSHIN.

CHOGEI is assigned directly to the Combined Fleet as flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kono Chimaki's SubRon 6 and her SubDivs 9 (I-123, I-124) and 13 (I-121, I-122).

7 December 1941: Operation Z – The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
SubRon 6 is attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet.

31 December 1941:
CHOGEI arrives at Davao, Philippines. She is joined by SubRon 6's old minelaying submarines I-121, I-122, I-123 and I-124.

4 February 1942:
Davao. SubRon 6's mission is to protect the shipping route between Davao and Kendari, Celebes from American submarines. SubRon 6's operational area is in the Flores Sea and the Torres Strait N of Australia. Her subs lay minefields in the Torres Strait. CHOGEI services and repairs SubRon 6's submarines.

February 1942:
Departs Davao for Staring Bay off Kendari, Celebes.

9 March 1942:
CHOGEI departs Staring Bay for Japan.

16 March 1942:
Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa (former CO of CA NACHI) is appointed CinC, Sixth Fleet (Submarines).

21 March 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

5 April 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Oda Tamekiyo (43rd) (former ComSubDiv 4) is appointed CO.

10 April 1942:
SubRon 6 is deactivated.

6 May 1942:
Iyo Nada. CHOGEI is in a collision with Cdr Nakamura Shozo's submarine I-53 (later I-153). There are no fatalities.

May-June 1942:
Kure. Undergoes repairs.

14 July 1942:
Kure. CHOGEI is the tender for the Kure Naval District's SubDiv's 6, 18 and 19.

October 1942:
USAAF B-17 "Flying Fortresses" begin bombing Rabaul.

24 October 1942:
Bungo Straits. At about 1100, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy S. Benson’s (USNA ’29) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) fires a spread of four torpedoes and gets two hits in the engine room of NISSHO MARU at 32.06N-132.34E. Her screws stop and she begins emitting heavy white smoke aft, but soon gets underway down by aft. Benson fires his last torpedo as NISSHO MARU moves off, but misses.

25 October 1942:
CHOGEI takes NISSHO MARU in tow.

27 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure. NISSHO MARU begins battle-damage repairs.

7 November 1942:
Rabaul. CHOGEI replaces JINGEI as flagship of Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo's (39) SubRon 7, Eighth Fleet and tender for RO-34, RO-100, RO-101, RO-102, RO-103 and SubDiv 13's 1-121 and 1-122.

11 February 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul with destroyers HATSUYUKI and SHIKANAMI.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Designated flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Harada Kaku’s (41) SubRon 7, Southeast District Force.

19 May 1943:
Rabaul. CHOGEI receives provisions from submarine I-38, recently arrived from Japan via Truk. I-38 also disembarks all her torpedoes except four.

1 July 1943:
Rabaul. CHOGEI resupplies I-38.

17 September 1943:
Captain Kijima Moriji (44) is appointed CO of CHOGEI.

12 October 1943:
LtGen (later General) George C. Kenney's 5th Air Force hits Rabaul with the biggest raid up to then in the Pacific war. 349 aircraft, including 87 B-17 and B-24 bombers, 114 B-25 "Mitchell” medium bomber strafers, 12 RAAF "Beaufighters" and 125 P-38 "Lightnings" and others from New Guinea and Australia hit Rabaul's airfields and Simpson harbor, but CHOGEI is not damaged.

2 November 1943:
Rabaul. 75 B-25s of the 5th Air Force's 3rd, 38th and 345th Bomb Groups, escorted by 70 P-38s raid airfields and Simpson Harbour. They sink stores ship MANKO MARU and damage CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, destroyer SHIRATSUYU, repair ship YAMABIKO MARU, stores ship HAYASAKI and minesweeper W-26. CHOGEI is damaged lightly by strafing.

5 November 1943: Carrier Raid on Rabaul:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's Task Force 38 launches 125 bombers (SBD, TBF and SB2Cs and 127 F6F fighters attack Rabaul. Dive bombers from USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23) damage CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA and CruDiv 7's CHIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruisers AGANO and NOSHIRO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI. Fifth Air Force B-24's also bomb nearby Rabinjikku (Lakunai) Airfield. CHOGEI is not damaged.

11 November 1943:
After the air raids, CHOGEI is ordered withdrawn to the Empire. ComSubRon 7's staff and flag are transferred ashore.


13 November 1943:
Enroute to Truk, NOSHIRO is ordered to assist light cruiser AGANO torpedoed the day before by USS SCAMP (SS-277). CHOGEI and the remainder of her group continue towards Truk.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

18 November 1943:
Departs Truk escorted by light cruiser KASHIMA and destroyers WAKATSUKI and YAMAGUMO.

N of Truk. The same day, LtCdr Fred Connaway's USS SCULPIN (SS-191) is on patrol with her SubDiv CO, Captain John P. Cromwell embarked. That night, SCULPIN makes radar contact with the CHOGEI group. Connaway makes an "end run" on the surface to attack the next morning.

19 November 1943:
At 0640 (JST), YAMAGUMO's lookouts spot a submarine surfacing. SCULPIN crash-dives. YAMAGUMO drops a depth charge salvo that knocks out SCULPIN's depth gauge. YAMAGUMO drops more DCs. After several hours, SCULPIN's batteries are nearly depleted. Connaway battle surfaces to fight it out, but a shell hits the conning tower and kills him, the bridge watch and the gun crew. Lt George E. Brown, USNR, the Engineering Officer, orders Abandon Ship and SCULPIN scuttled.

Captain Cromwell, fearing might reveal secret intelligence information under torture, goes down with SCULPIN. He is awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously. YAMAGUMO rescues 41 of SCULPIN's crew and detaches for Truk. CHOGEI proceeds to Japan.

20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the Gilbert Islands:
Forces under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance (former CO of MISSISSIPPI, BB-41), Commander, Central Pacific, invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.

25 November 1943:
CHOGEI arrives at Kure.

28 December 1943:
Captain Teraoka Masao (46) (former CO of SubDiv 30) is appointed CO.

CHOGEI's two single-mount 76-mm (3-inch) AA are landed and replaced by 18 Type 96 25-mm guns.

1 January 1944:
Maizuru. CHOGEI is flagship of Rear Admiral Ishizaki Noboru's (former CO of SubRon 8) SubRon 11, Sixth Fleet, consisting of tender TSUKUSHI MARU and I-42, I-43, I-45, I-52, I-183, I-184, RO-40, RO-41, RO-43, RO-113, RO-114 and RO-115 .

27 March 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels.

29 March 1944:
Departs Tokuyama.

11 August 1944:
Embarks personnel of the Second Air Fleet and departs Kure on her first transport mission to Naha, Okinawa accompanied by sister JINGEI escorted by subchasers KAII (ex-IJN DD KASHI/ex-Manchukuo coast defense HAI WEI), CH-38 and two other subchasers.

After passing Kogo-Zaki, the convoy reaches open sea, increases speed to No. 2 battle speed ( max. speed of 18 knots) and starts zig-zagging. The sea is very rough and the escort vessels have difficulty maintaining No.2 battle speed..

12 August 1944:
CHOGEI and JINGEI arrive at Naha. As all piers and wharfs are occupied by other ships, unloading of troops and cargo has to be done by use of harbor lighters. At the harbor about 800 people (civilian evacuees (mainly women and children), patients and stranded soldiers and crew members of sunken ships) had awaited arrival of the two ships to be taken back to Kagoshima. The civilian evacuees are allowed one truck load of personnel baggage. Evacuees and baggage are taken on board JINGEI and CHOGEI as well as provisions including a cargo of sugar.

14 August 1944:
CHOGEI and JINGEI depart Naha.

16 August 1944:
CHOGEI and JINGEI arrive at Kagoshima in the evening and land evacuees and cargo.

17 August 1944:
At 0500, CHOGEI and JINGEI depart Kagoshima and that evening arrive at Sasebo.

22 August 1944:
CHOGEI and JINGEI depart Sasebo on the second transport mission to Okinawa transporting an unknown number of troops escorted by KAII, minelayer TAKASHIMA and subchasers CH-38 and CH-49.

23 August 1944:
CHOGEI arrived independently at Koniya, Amami-O-Shima.

24 August 1944:
JINGEI and all four escorts arrive at Naha. Unloads base materials.

26 August 1944:
CHOGEI embarks 30 evacuees from Koniya, Amami-Oshima and departs for Kagoshima. That same day, sister JINGEI departs Naha.

27 August 1944:
JINGEI and CHOGEI arrive at Kagoshima.

28 August 1944:
At 0500, both ships depart Kagoshima and in the evening arrive at Sasebo.

6 September 1944:
JINGEI and CHOGEI depart Sasebo on their third transport mission to Okinawa. [2]

25 August 1944:
CHOGEI departs Koniya.

1 September 1944:
Captain Mizohata Sadaichi (46)(former CO of TSUKUSHI MARU) is appointed CO.

7 September 1944:
CHOGEI again transports an unknown number of troops to Okinawa. JINGEI and escorts arrive at Naha. JINGEI lands 165 personnel.

8 September 1944:
CHOGEI arrives independently at Koniya.

9 September 1944:
JINGEI departs Naha and CHOGEI departs Koniya.

10 September 1944:
JINGEI arrives at Kagoshima.

11 September 1944:
CHOGEI arrives at Kagoshima.

12 September 1944:
At 0500, both ships depart Kagoshima and in the evening arrive at Sasebo.

18 September 1944:
JINGEI departs Sasebo for Naha, Okinawa escorted by subchaser CH-58. JINGEI tows a Type C midget submarine and carries the midget submarine's crew, Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops (rikusentai) and supply materials. The midget submarine is probably slated to be based at Unten Bay, N Okinawa.

CHOGEI departs Sasebo escorted by KAII.

19 September 1944:
In the early morning, CHOGEI and KAII arrive at Seso anchorage, Kakeroma-Jima, W of Koniya village, Amami-O-Shima. After safe arrival, KAII departs Seso and heads toward the location of JINGEI.

81 nautical miles and 323 degrees NW of Naha, Okinawa. Alerted by a code-breakers ULTRA message from COMSUBPAC, LtCdr Frederick A. Gunn's (USNA '34) USS SCABBARDFISH (SS-397) intercepts JINGEI. Gunn sets up and fires four torpedoes. At 0915, two torpedoes hit JINGEI starboardside in her bow at 27-35N, 127-07E. JINGEI engine room, No. 2 and No. 3 boiler rooms and generator room flood. She goes dead in the water, unnavigable, with her bow almost under water.

LtCdr Gunn fires a spread of torpedoes "down the throat" at counter-attacking CH-58, that he misidentifies as a CHIDORI-class escort, but misses. For the next three hours, SCABBARDFISH undergoes a depth charge attack, but suffers no damage.

At 1152, USN codebreakers intercept and decode a radio message that reads "proceed immediately to the scene of torpedoing of JINGEI.

Nearby, convoy KANA-402, en route from Kagoshima to Naha, consisting of HAGIKAWA MARU escorted by minelayer TSUBAME, auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No.1 comes to the aid of JINGEI at 27-25N, 127E. TAKUNAN MARU No.1 is detached to guard JINGEI.

At about 2100, KAII arrives at JINGEI's site and JINGEI, damaged severely forward of the bridge by the torpedoes, in tow at 5 knots towards nearby Sesoko-jima anchorage, TAKUNAN MARU No.1 provides escort. While towing JINGEI, a surfaced enemy submarine is encountered and repelled by AA gunfire from JINGEI.

20 September 1944:
They arrive at Sesoko anchorage. JINGEI anchors in shallow watert off the east coast of Sesoko-jima, an island NE of Naha, at 27-28N, 127-00E.

21 September 1944:
CHOGEI departs Koniya and arrives at Okinawa where she embarks 800 resident evacuees and departs for Kagoshima.

27 September 1944:
CHOGEI arrives at Kure.

1 January 1945:
Maizuru. Flagship of Rear Admiral Nishina Kozo's (44)(former CO of IRO) SubRon 11, Sixth Fleet, now consisting of I-372, RO-55, RO-56 and several smaller HA-class coastal submarines.

June 1945:
At Maizuru with submarines I-202 and I-373.

30 July 1945:
Ine, near Maizuru. Attacked by aircraft of British Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Sir Bernard J. Rawlings Task Force 37 and Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 38. A bomb hit wrecks CHOGEI's bridge, but Captain Mizohata survives the attack.

2 September 1945: The Surrender of Japan:
Thereafter, CHOGEI 's bridge is repaired.

5 October 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

15 October 1945:
Captain Sugitani Nagahide (51)(former ComDesDiv 52) is appointed CO.

1 December 1945:
Assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service to transport former Japanese troops and civilians back to the home islands.

11 January 1946:
Departs Maizuru on her first repatriation voyage.

12 January 1946:
Arrives at Pusan.

14 January 1946:
Departs Pusan.

15 January 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo.

17 January 1946:
Departs Sasebo on her second repatriation voyage.

20 January 1946:
Arrives at Keelung (ex-Kirun), Taiwan.

21 January 1946:
Departs Keelung.

24 January 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

26 January 1946:
Departs Kagoshima on her third repatriation trip.

29 January 1946:
Arrives at Keelung.

30 January 1946:
Departs Keelung.

2 February 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

5 February 1946:
Departs Kagoshima on her fourth repatriation trip.

7 February 1946:
Arrives at Nagoya. Departs the same day.

8 February 1946:
Arrives at Miyako Jima.

10 February 1946:
Departs Miyako Jima.

11 February 1946:
Arrives at Keelung.

12 February 1946:
Departs Keelung.

15 February 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

February 1946:
Arrives at Maizuru for running repairs until 7 March.

14 March 1946:
Departs Maizuru on her fifth repatriation trip.

16 March 1946:
Arrives at Pusan. Departs the same day.

18 March 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

24 March 1946:
Departs Kagoshima on her sixth repatriation trip.

3 April 1946:
Arrives at Guam.

9 April 1946:
Departs Guam.

16 April 1946:
Arrives at Rabaul.

18 April 1946:
Departs Rabaul.

23 April 1946:
Arrives at Guam.

28 April 1946:
Departs Guam.

5 May 1946:
Arrives at Otaka. Departs the same day.

6 May 1946:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes running repairs until 31 May.

5 June 1946:
Departs Kure on her seventh repatriation voyage.

10 June 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai.

12 June 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

19 June 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 July 1946:
Departs Sasebo on her eighth repatriation voyage.

5 July 1946:
Arrives at Korojima (loading point for Kwangtung Army).

6 July 1946:
Departs Korojima.

10 July 1946:
Arrives at Hakata.

13 July 1946:
Departs Hakata.

15 July 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes further repairs before being condemned.

15 August 1946:
Removed from service.

20 September 1946:
Mukaishima. Hitachi Zosen shipyard begins scrapping CHOGEI which is not completed until 1947.

Authors' Notes:
[1] This the last review of the Imperial Navy conducted by Emperor Hirohito.

[2] No official record exists of participating escorts, but it is considered that KAII was one of them.

(E) = Estimated date.

Special thanks go to Jean-Francois Masson of Canada and Steve Eckardt of Australia. Thanks also go to John Whitman and Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for info about CHOGEI's Aug-Sep '44 movements and to Matthew Jones for info on additional COs/CEOs.

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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