© 2006-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
23 February 1944:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi’s Sakurajima shipyard.
24 June 1944:
Launched and named DAITO.
7 August 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Uchizaki Tsuyoshi is the Commanding Officer. Undergoes training and working up thereafter.
11 September 1944:
Assigned to the General Escort Command’s First Surface Escort Division.
23 September 1944:
At 1600, DAITO departs Moji with patrol boat PB-104 (ex-Dutch Hr.Ms. VALK), auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUSAHAN) MARU, subchaser CH-21, auxiliary subchasers CHa-87, CHa-92 escorting convoy MI-21 consisting of TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), TSUYAMA, EJIRI, FUSHIMI, KEISHIN, KEIZAN, CHOSAN, TATSUBATO, KENEI, TOYOKAWA and YOSHU MARUs and tankers SAN LUIS, SHUNTEN and EIKYO MARUs. Later that day the tanker RYUEI MARU and cargo ship EIKO MARU join the convoy from Sasebo.
28 September 1944:
TEIKA MARU (ex French CAP VARELLA) is detached and arrives at Kirun.
29 September 1944:
At 1700, arrives at Takao and the convoy is dissolved.
1 October 1944:
At 1700, DAITO departs Takao with kaibokan YASHIRO, patrol boat PB-104, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUSAHAN) MARU, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-87 and CHa-92 escorting convoy TAMA-28 consisting of TSUYAMA, CHOSAN, MURORAN, MACASSAR, FUYUKAWA, SHINSEI, FUSHIMI, KIZAN, MNANKING, EIKO and TAISEI MARUs.
2 October 1944:
Luzon Strait. During a storm, LtCdr Frank C. Acker's (USNA ’32) USS POMFRET (SS-391) torpedoes and sinks TSUYAMA MARU at 20-50N, 121-31E. The ship is carrying 1600 men of the Mobile 18th Infantry Regiment. 73 crewmen and 1,211 soldiers on board are KIA.
7 October 1944:
LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's (USNA ’30) USS ASPRO (SS-309) torpedoes and sinks MACASSAR MARU at 17-30N, 119-53E. Three crewmen, four gunners and one passenger are KIA.
8 October 1944:
At 1745, TAMA-28 arrives at North San Fernando. FUSHIMI, FUYUKAWA and SHINSEI MARUs are detached.
11 October 1944:
At 0600, the convoy departs North San Fernando. At 1748, arrives at Masinloc anchorage.
12 October 1944:
At 1320, TAMA-28 departs Masinloc.
13 October 1944:
At 0400, arrives Manila.
22 October 1944:
DAITO departs St Jacques escorting convoy HI-76A consisting of tankers TAIHO, TOA and AMATO MARUs escorted by kaibokan TSUSHIMA, CD-9, CD-16 and CD-28.
26 October 1944:
At 2016 an enemy submarine is sighted at 20.19N 114.26E.
27 October 1944:
At 1345 an enemy submarine is sighted at 20.42N 114.34E. Soon after DAITO is likely detached.
30 October 1944:
DAITO departs Keelung with destroyers HASU and TSUGA, kaibokan CD-25 and cable ship TSURUSHIMA escorting convoy TAMO-27 consisting of EIYO MARU (presumed), TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), DAIKO, UNZEN MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships.
5 November 1944:
TAMO-27 arrives at Moji.
14 November 1944:
DAITO departs Imari Bay for Singapore with escort carrier SHINYO, destroyer KASHI, Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu's (40) (former CO of FUSO) Eighth Escort Convoy’s flagship ETOROFU and kaibokan TSUSHIMA, KUME, SHONAN and CD-61 escorting convoy HI-81 consisting of SHINSHU, KIBITSU, AKITSU, MIRI, ARITA, HASHIDATE, KIMIKAWA, MAYASAN, OTOWASAN and TAIHO MARUs. HI-81 makes an overnight stop off Goto Island.
15 November 1944:
Departs Goto Island. At 1156, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) torpedoes and sinks AKITSU MARU at 33-17N, 32-00E. 67 crewmen, 140 gunners and 2,093 of 2500 men of the IJA's 64th Infantry Regiment are KIA. The load of IJA's 20th Sea Raiding Battalion 104 “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB) aboard are also lost. That same day, DAITO is reassigned to the General Escort Command’s 101st Escort Squadron.
16 November 1944:
Convoy HI-81 anchors off Korea, near Strange Island.
17 November 1944:
At 0800, HI-81 departs Strange Island for the Shushan Islands near Shanghai. At 1815, LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks MAYASAN MARU. 56 crewmen, 194 gunners and 3187 of 4,387 men and 204 horses of IJA’s 23rd Division are KIA. All “Maru-ni” EMBs of IJA's 24th Sea Raiding Battalion also are lost. At 2303, LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes and sinks SHINYO at 32-59N, 123-38E. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ishii Shizue (former CO of CHUYO) and more than 700 men are lost. Destroyer KASHI counter-attacks, but with uncertain results.
18 November 1944:
At 0220, CD-61 is ordered to locate and assist SHINYO. At 0315, TSUSHIMA drops 15 depth-charges on an enemy submarine, which on the basis of fuel oil and other debris, is claimed sunk in a report at 0426. At 0800, Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu (40) (former CO of battleship FUSO) aboard ETOROFU orders TSUSHIMA to proceed to the scene and take SHINYO’s survivors aboard. At 1600, HI-81 arrives off Raffles Island E of Shanghai and awaits the rescue escorts to rejoin.
21 November 1944:
HI-81 departs for Mako.
23 November 1944:
The convoy splits into two sections, one heads for Singapore via Mako and the other for Luzon via Takao. Kaibokan CD-61 rejoins the escort.
30 November 1944:
At 2104, DAITO departs Takao for Manila with kaibokan TSUSHIMA, CD-14, CD-16, CD-134, CD-46 and minesweeper W-101 escorting convoy TAMA-33 consisting of SHINSHU and KIBITSU MARUs.
1 December 1944:
As a result of air raids on Manila, convoy TAMA-33 is directed to puts its troops ashore at San Fernando, Luzon. At 2205, the convoy anchors at Pamocctan.
2 December 1944:
At 0630, the convoy departs Pamocctan for Manila where it arrives at 2240.
5 December 1944:
At 1157, DAITO departs Takao with kaibokan CD-1, CD-34 and CD-134 escorting convoy TAMA 35 consisting of NISSHO, ORYOKU, ARIMASAN and KAZUURA MARUs. Later that day anchors at Chechung.
6 December 1944:
At 0058 departs and at 1815 anchors at Port San Pio Quinto, Camiguin Island.
8 December 1944:
At 0502, departs Port San Pio Quinto. At 1411, anchors at Calayan Island.
9 December 1944:
At 0817, departs Calayan Island.
10 December 1944:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command’s First Escort
11 December 1944:
At 2000, arrives Manila.
19 December 1944:
At 1330, DAITO departs Moji for Takao with light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan UKURU, CD-23, CD-27, CD-51 and CD-112 escorting convoy HI-85 consisting of tankers SERIA and SHINYU MARUs and convoy MOTA-38 consisting of IJA landing craft depot ships HYUGA, KIBITSU, SHINSHU MARUs and IJA transport AOBASAN MARU. The convoy hugs the continental coast on the way south.
23 December 1944:
At midnight, arrives Takao.
25 December 1944:
At 1440, enters Takao port.
27 December 1944:
DAITO departs Takao for Singapore with light cruiser KASHII and kaibokans UKURU, TSUSHIMA, CD-23, CD-27 and CD-51 escorting convoy HI-85 then consisting of TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), DAINAN, ENKEI, YAMAZAWA, ENGEN, ENCHO, DAIGYO, OTSUSAN, FUEI, OEI, SERIA MARUs and cargo ship SHINYU MARU.
29 December 1944:
South China Sea. At 1725, minesweeper W-101 joins the escort of convoy HI-85.
30 December 1944:
DAITO departs Singapore for Moji with the 101st Escort Group's KASHII and kaibokan CD-23, CD 7 and CD-51 escorting convoy HI-86 consisting of fleet tanker SAN LUIS MARU and TATSUBATO, OTSUSAN, SHOEI, KYOKUUN, EIMAN, TATEBE, YOSHU and YUSEI MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 63.
4 January 1945:
Arrives at Cape St. Jacques, near Saigon.
9 January 1945:
The convoy departs Cape St. Jacques
10 January 1945:
Arrives at Van Fong Bay, Indochina.
11 January 1945:
Departs Van Fong. Arrives at Qui Nhon Bay.
12 January 1945:
Departs Qui Nhon. From 1100 to 1700, in the South China Sea, SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers and TBF "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick T. Sherman's (USNA ’10) Task Group 38.3's USS ESSEX (CV-9), TICONDEROGA (CV-14), LANGLEY (CVL-27) and the SAN JACINTO (CVL-30) attack convoy HI-86.
At 1408, KASHII is attacked by SB2Cs and TBFs. She is hit starboard amidships by a torpedo. Then two bombs aft set off her depth charge magazine. KASHII blows up and sinks stern first at 13-50N, 109-20E taking down 621 sailors. UKURU rescues 19 survivors from KASHII at 1430 hours.
TG 38.3's planes sink YOSHU with the loss of 45 crewmen and five passengers and EIMAN MARUs carrying bauxite and raw rubber. 19 crewmen and 13 gunners are KIA. The aircraft also damage fleet tanker SAN LUIS MARU, DAITO and kaibokans UKURU and CD-27. OTSUSAN, TATEBE, KYOKUUN, YUSEI and TATSUBATO MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 63 are so damaged by bombs and fires they have to be beached and become constructive total losses.
14 January 1945:
At 2200, DAITO, UKURU and CD-27 arrive at Samah, Hainan Island.
15 January 1945:
Off Yulin, Hainan Island. Between 1100 and 1240, Task Force 38's planes dive-bomb and sink empty tanker HARIMA MARU with eight airplanes on deck and also damage DAITO. The escorts are closely grouped for protection along the shore near the mountains and shoot down two F6F "Hellcat" fighters as they pull up from their strafing attacks.
16 January 1945:
About 30 or 40 SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers and F6F fighters make another attack, but it is directed at shore targets and no serious damage is done to the escorts or the freighters.
17 January 1945:
Three fighters attack, but do no serious damage.
21 January 1945:
At 0300, DAITO departs Yulin for Moji with kaibokan TSUSHIMA, UKURU and CD-27 escorting convoy YUTA-15 consisting of TEIHOKU and MEITO MARUs.
10 February 1945:
Arrives at Moji. Later, DAITO undergoes battle damage repairs.
10 March 1945:
DAITO departs Moji with kaibokan UKURU and CD-27 escorting convoy MOSHI-01 consisting of ABUKUMAGAWA MARU.
15 March 1945:
Arrives at Shanghai.
18 March 1945:
DAITO departs Shanghai with kaibokan UKURU and CD-27 escorting convoy SHIMO-01 consisting of YUKIKAWA MARU and three unidentified merchant ships.
22 March 1945:
DAITO steams ahead to arrive near Moji and meets the “Hosho Maru convoy” consisting of tanker HOSHO MARU escorted by kaibokan CD-8, CD-33, CD-55, UKURU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-27.
E 2 April 1945:
Arrives at Yulin.
20 April 1945:
Departs Shanghai for Maizuru with kaibokan OKINAWA, UKURU, CD-27 and CD-57 escorting the refloated KOTOBUKI MARU (ex-Italian passenger liner CONTE VERDE). 
22 April 1945:
KOTOBUKI MARU and her escorts are attacked by ten Consolidated B-24 "Liberators”, but they score no hits. One bomber is damaged and later forced to ditch. The convoy arrives at Tsingtao, China the same day .
25 April 1945:
Arrives at Chinkai (Chinhae) harbor, Korea. That same day, DAITO and UKURU are reassigned to Captain Abe Tokuma's 22nd Coast Defense Group of the General Escort Command.
LtCdr (Reserve) Nishibe Teizo assumes command of DAITO.
8 May 1945:
SW of Mokpo, SW coast of Korea. Enroute from Korea to Japan, KOTOBUKI MARU hits a mine laid by a USAAF 20th Air Force B-29 “Super Fortress” heavy bomber at 34-30N, 126-09E. 
KOTOBUKI MARU arrives at Maizuru under tow. The identity and number of her escorts are unclear.
DAITO is assigned to minesweeping duties by the Allied Occupation Forces.
16 November 1945:
Eastern Sound of Tsushima Straits. At about 1100, in rough seas, DAITO explodes a mine, breaks in two and sinks. LtCdr Nishibe and an unknown number of crewmen are KIA. LtCdr Nishibe is promoted Cdr posthumously.
20 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
 On 8 Sep ’43, after the surrender of Italy, CONTE VERDE was scuttled by her Italian crew in the Whangpoo River, Shanghai. From 1943-44, the Japanese carried out several salvage attempts. CONTE VERDE was intended for conversion to an escort aircraft carrier, but on 8 Aug ‘44, a B-24 bomber sank her in the Whangpoo River for a second time. In Dec ‘44, the hulk was refloated. She was later repaired enabling her to steam by own power. After hitting a mine enroute to Japan, she was towed to Maizuru where she was bombed on 25 Jul ’45 and beached in Nakata Bay, N of Higashi, Maizuru. On 13 Jun ‘49, the wreck was refloated and began scrapping.
 Sources vary as to the date and place where KOTOBUKI MARU hit a mine.
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to Mr. Aki of Japan and Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying kaibokan COs and to Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.