(Ukuru Class Escort in 1944 - colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

IJN Escort Daito:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2017 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 7

23 February 1944:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachiís Sakurajima shipyard as kaibokan No. 333.

24 June 1944:
Launched and named DAITO.

5 July 1944:
Reserve LtCdr Uchizaki Tsuyoshi (former CEO of CD-23) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

7 August 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Reserve 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:
Convoy MI-21 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, having departed at 1700, the tanker RYUEI MARU and cargo ship EIKO MARU and DAITO join the convoy from Sasebo.

28 September 1944:
TEIKA MARU 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, NANKING, 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 1,600 men of the Mobile 18th Infantry Regiment. 73 crewmen and 1,211 soldiers on board are KIA.

3 October 1944:
At 2000 arrives at Musa.

4 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Musa and at 1930 arrives at Lapoc Bay.

5 October 1944:
At 0700 departs Lapoc Bay and at 1230 arrives at San Fernando.

6 October 1944:
At 0630 departs San Fernando. At 1915 arrives and shelters in Lapoc Bay. Meanwhile YASHIRO suffers generator problems and is detached to Aparri.

7 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Lapoc. Later 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.

15 October 1944:
At 1700 DAITO departs Manila.

18 October 1944:
At 1100 arrives at St Jacques.

22 October 1944:
At 0800 DAITO departs St Jacques escorting convoy HI-76A consisting of tankers TAIHO, TOA and AMATO MARUs escorted by kaibokans 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 thereafter DAITO is likely detached. CD-16 is also detached on this date and arrives at Mako.

29 October 1944:
DAITO arrives at Takao.

30 October 1944:
At 1600 DAITO departs Takao 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.

31 October 1944:
At 0600 departs Kirun.

5 November 1944:
At 2100 TAMO-27 arrives at Moji. DAITO departs soon after.

6 November 1944:
At 0915 arrives at Sasebo and undertakes repairs.

10 November 1944:
Departs Sasebo and later that day arrives at Moji.

14 November 1944:
At 0600 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:
At 0620 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 2,500 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 is also lost. That same day, DAITO is reassigned to the General Escort Command's 101st Escort Squadron.

16 November 1944:
At 1600 convoy HI-81 anchors off Korea, near Chinto To (Strange Island).

17 November 1944:
At 0800, HI-81 departs Chinto To (Strange Island) for Ssu Chiao Shan (in 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 3,187 of 4,387 men and 204 horses of IJA's 23rd Division are KIA. 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 Ssu Chiao Shan (Raffles Island) E of Shanghai and awaits the rescue escorts to rejoin.

21 November 1944:
At 0800 HI-81 departs Ssu Chiao Shan for Mako, Pescadores.

23 November 1944:
At 0030 the convoy temporarily anchors in the Nanji Straits. CD-9 and CD-61 join the convoy.

25 November 1944:
At 0700 departs Nanji Straits. The convoy splits into two sections, one heads for Singapore via Mako and the other for Luzon via Takao. CD-25 joins the convoy, though only for two days.

26 November 1944:
At 0730 TSUSHIMA and DAITO depart Mako and at 1230 arrive at Takao with the Luzon contingent of HI-81. Some ships proceed to Luzon the next day.

30 November 1944:
At 2104, DAITO departs Takao for Manila with kaibokan TSUSHIMA, CD-14, CD-16, CD-46, CD-134 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, and minesweepers W-39 and W-41 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 Fleet.

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 off 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:
Meanwhile convoy HI-86 departs Singapore for Moji, the convoy consisting of fleet tanker SAN LUIS MARU and TATSUBATO, OTSUSAN, SHOEI (2764 grt), KYOKUUN, EIMAN, TATEBE, YOSHU and YUSEI MARUs and BANSHU MARU No. 63, apparently unescorted to St Jacques.

1 January 1945:
At 1720 arrives at Qui Nhon.

2 January 1945:
Departs Qui Nhon and later that day arrives at Nha Trang.

3 January 1945:
At 0730 departs Nha Trang. While proceeding south, near the east entrance of Hainan Straits, the convoy is attacked by one PB4Y (B-24) which approaches from astern in a glide with its motor cut. One bomb hits TEIHOKU MARU (ex-French PERSEE), the last ship in the west column. TEIHOKU MARU and escort TSUSHIMA are detached to Yulin for repairs. While enroute to Yulin, they are bombed again and TSUSHIMA is damaged by a near miss.

4 January 1945:
At 1030 HI-85 arrives at Cape St. Jacques, near Saigon. 101st Escort Group's KASHII and kaibokan DAITO, UKURU, CD-23, CD-27 and CD-51 are detached and soon after join convoy HI-86.

9 January 1945:
At 1200 HI-86 convoy departs Cape St. Jacques.

10 January 1945:
Arrives at Van Fong Bay, Indochina.

11 January 1945:
At 0800 departs Van Fong. At 2120 arrives at Qui Nhon Bay.

12 January 1945:
At 0645 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), USS TICONDEROGA (CV-14), USS LANGLEY (CVL-27) and the USS 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 MARU with the loss of 45 crewmen and five passengers and EIMAN MARU 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.

13 January 1945:
At 1430, DAITO, UKURU and CD-27 arrive at Yulin, Hainan Island.

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. At 0500 anchors off Basuo until 2000.

22 January 1945:
At 0912 anchors off northeast Hainan Island.

23 January 1945:
At 0130, a night attack is made by a four-engine plane on TSUSHIMA, the leading escort at 25N, 119E. A near miss causes no damage. At 0930, the convoy is attacked at 0l-21N, 111E by a single B-24 with no damage. A message is intercepted from this B-24 reporting the exact position and composition of the convoy in plain language.

26 January 1945:
At 1350 temporarily anchors in Nanji Tao.

27 January 1945:
At 0630 departs Nanji Tao.

28 January 1945:
At 1935 AKISHIMA MARU with UKURU and CD-27 split from convoy and sail on ahead.

29 January 1945:
At 2315 AKISHIMA MARU and escorts anchor at Ssu Chiao Shan (Hsu Kung Tao).

30 January 1945:
At 1347 the rest of the convoy arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan. At 1535 the entire convoy departs.

1 February 1945:
At 1900 arrives at Tsingtao.

6 February 1945:
At 1950 departs Tsingtao for Moji.

7 February 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Daito Wan.

8 February 1945:
At 0600 departs Daito Wan. At 1800 arrives at Kogunsan Gunto.

9 February 1945:
At 0700 departs Kogunsan Gunto.

10 February 1945:
At 0200 arrives at Kyosai To (Koje Island) and departs at 0700. At 1600 arrives at Moji. Later, DAITO undergoes battle damage repairs.

11 February 1945:
At 1020 DAITO, UKURU and CD-27 depart Mutsure.

12 February 1945:
At 1150 the three escorts arrive at Sasebo. All undergo repairs.

8 March 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

9 March 1945:
At 0710 arrives at Moji.

10 March 1945:
At 0620 DAITO departs Moji with kaibokan UKURU escorting convoy MOSHI-01, consisting of ABUKUMAGAWA MARU.

11 March 1945:
At 1800 CD-27 departs Sasebo and catches up with the convoy.

15 March 1945:
At 0700 arrives at Bell Buoy and later at 1225 arrives at Shanghai.

18 March 1945:
At 0800 DAITO departs Shanghai with kaibokan UKURU and CD-27 escorting convoy SHIMO-01, consisting of YUKIKAWA MARU and three unidentified merchant ships.

23 March 1945:
At 0900 arrives at Katoku Suido.

24 March 1945:
At 1500 DAITO, UKURU and CD-27 depart Katoku Suido to arrive near Moji and meets the "Hosho Maru convoy", consisting of tanker HOSHO MARU, escorted by kaibokan UKURU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-27. The kaibokan relieve the previous escorts CD-8, CD-32 and CD-52.

25 March 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Kokusan Gunto, Chosen.

26 March 1945:
At 2200 departs Kokusan Gunto.

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). [1]

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.

8 May 1945:
SW of Mokpo, SW coast of Korea. En route from Korea to Japan, KOTOBUKI MARU hits a mine laid by a USAAF 20th Air Force B-29 "Superfortress" heavy bomber at 34-30N, 126-09E. [2]

May 1945:
KOTOBUKI MARU arrives at Maizuru under tow. The identity and number of her escorts are unclear.

20 May 1945:
Reserve LtCdr Nishibe Sadamitsu (former CO of CD-6) is appointed CO.

5 July 1945:
At 1710 part of the 22nd Coast Defence Group consisting of DAITO, CHIKUBU, CD-8 and CD-52 led by training cruiser KASHIMA arrive at Maizuru.

September 1945:
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 at 33-59N, 129-35E. Reserve LtCdr Nishibe and 25 crewmen are KIA.

20 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] On 8 Sep 1943, 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 1944, a B-24 bomber sank her in the Whangpoo River for a second time. In Dec 1944, 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 July 1945 and beached in Nakata Bay, N of Higashi, Maizuru. On 13 June 1949, the wreck was refloated and began scrapping.

[2] 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 for help in identifying kaibokan COs and to Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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