KAIBOKAN!

(Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Escort Etorofu:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

Revision 13


23 March 1942:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen’s Sakurajima shipyard as kaibokan No. 310.

29 January 1943:
Launched and named ETOROFU.

15 May 1943:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District. Cdr (later Captain, posthumously) Maeda Sekai (50) is appointed Commanding Officer.

1 June 1943:
Assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (35)(former CO of IZUSU) Southwest Area Fleet's First Surface Escort Division.

7 June 1943:
At 0820 ETOROFU departs Moji escorting convoy No. 164 consisting of KIRISHIMA, KACHIDOKI, OMUROSAN MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.

10 June 1943:
At 1840 arrives at Takao.

15 June 1943:
At 1000 ETOROFU departs Takao escorting convoy No. 272 consisting of KOZUI, LIVERPOOL MARUs, and four unidentified merchant ships.

20 June 1943:
At 0830 arrives at Sasebo. The same day the convoy arrives at Moji.

2 July 1943:
At 1700 departs Sasebo escorting fleet convoy "G"consisting of transport KAGU MARU, armed merchant cruiser KIYOSUMI MARU and oiler KENYO MARU.

10 July 1943:
At 1500, arrives at Singapore.

17 July 1943:
At 1400 ETOROFU departs Singapore escorting the “L” convoy consisting of KIYOKAWA and OTOWASAN MARUs.

23 July 1943:
At 1240, arrives at Takao.

25 July 1943:
Convoy HI-03 consisting of NANKAI, AWA, ASAMA and tanker OMUROSAN MARU arrives at Takao. At Takao, the convoy is joined by cargo ship ARIMASAN MARU and ETOROFU.

26 July 1943:
At 1600, the convoy departs Takao.

29 July 1943:
At 1650, surfaced German U-511 inbound from France encounters Singapore-bound convoy HI-03. The sight of a strange-looking submarine causes confusion aboard OMUROSAN MARU and her gunners fire three shells at U-511, before the mistake is cleared up. The skipper of ETOROFU inspects U-511 and personally apologizes for the attack.

1 August 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Singapore.

5 August 1943:
At 1400, ETOROFU departs Singapore escorting convoy HI-04 consisting of oiler ITSUKUSHIMA MARU and four unidentified fast ships, probably including cargo ship NICHIRAN MARU.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

11 August 1943:
At 1700, departs Manila. At 2030, ETOROFU discovers a surfaced submarine 5,000 yards ahead and opens fire with her forward gun forcing the submarine to submerge. ETOROFU drops depth charges for no visible results. For the next two days, ETOROFU continues to hunt in the area without success while the convoy steams ahead unescorted. [1]

E 14 August 1943:
ETOROFU returns to Manila. The convoy arrives at Moji the next day.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

15 August 1943:
ETOROFU departs Manila in the "Rin S" convoy consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

19 August 1943:
Shelters at an unidentified location because of heavy weather

20 August 1943:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Oka Iwao (50) assumes command.

23 August 1943:
Departs and later that day arrives at Moji, then Tokuyama.

25 August 1943:
At 0900, departs Moji escorting convoy HI-07 consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, GOYO (ex cargo), NAMPO, OMUROSAN and NANEI MARUs and cargo-passenger ship USSURI MARU.

29 August 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

30 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako. ETOROFU is detached and replaced by kaibokan SADO.

2 September 1943:
At 1200 ETOROFU departs Mako escorting convoy Rinji A consisting of AKI, NANKAI and KYOKUTO MARUs.

3 September 1943:
At 0400 ceases escorting convoy and at 1805 arrives back at Mako.

4 September 1943:
Departs Mako on an anti submarine sweep.

5 September 1943:
At 1830 arrives back at Mako.

7 September 1943:
At 0700 departs Mako escorting convoy SA-12 then consisting of YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, ASHIZURI and SUNOSAKI.

9 September 1943:
At 0500 ETOROFU detaches from convoy.

12 September 1943:
At 1503 ETOROFU arrives at Sasebo where the ship is drydocked for repairs.

14 September 1943:
SA-12 arrives at Singapore. The escort of the convoy, if any, at this time is unknown.

23 September 1943:
At 1600 departs Sasebo.

24 September 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Moji.

25 September 1943:
At 1200, departs Moji escorting high speed convoy HI-11 consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA and KYUEI MARUs, ex-seaplane tender KAGU MARU and MANKO and AKI MARUs.

29 September 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Takao and departs that same day.

4 October 1943:
At 1835, arrives at Singapore.

10 October 1943:
At 1358, departs Singapore escorting convoy HI-12 consisting of MIIKE MARU and two unidentified merchants possibly including oiler ITSUKUSHIMA MARU.

16 October 1943:
At 1422, arrives at Takao.

17 October 1943:
At 1306, departs Takao.

20 October 1943:
At 0000 ETOROFU is detached from the convoy. Later that day at 0913 , arrives at Sasebo, to undergo routine maintenance.

27 October 1943:
At 1700 departs Sasebo.

28 October 1943:
At 0924 arrives at Moji. At 1607, departs Moji with kaibokan MATSUWA escorting convoy HI-17 consisting of passenger ships ASAMA, AKITSU, tankers OMUROSAN, TATEKAWA and ITSUKUSHIMA MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

1 November 1943:
At 1115, arrives at Takao. Passenger ship KACHIDOKI MARUs (ex-USS PRESIDENT HARRISON), tankers TAKASAKI and TARAKAN join the convoy.

2 November 1943:
At 1500 HI-17 departs Takao.

4 November 1943:
At 1900 arrives at Manila.

5 November 1943:
Departs Manila with destroyer FUYO having joined.

6 November 1943:
At 1830 ETOROFU is detached from the convoy and begins a submarine hunt.

8 November 1943:
At 0830 ceases the hunt and heads for Miri alone.

9 November 1943:
At 1355 arrives at Miri.

11 November 1943:
At 1100 ETOROFU departs Miri escorting the TOKU special convoy consisting of OGURA MARU No. 2 and three unidentified merchant ships.

15 November 1943:
At 1600 arrives at Manila.

19 November 1943:
At 1200 ETOROFU departs Manila escorting convoy No. 874 consisting of SHUNKO, MURORAN, ROKKO, HINODE, TACHIBANA (6521 gt), SHONAN MARUs, OGURA MARU No.2, SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and one unidentified merchant ship. The auxiliary minesweeper CHOUN MARU No. 21 escorts the convoy initially.

24 November 1943:
At 1520 arrives at Takao.

29 November 1943:
At 1000 ETOROFU departs Takao with auxiliary gunboat PEKING MARU escorting convoy No. 223 consisting of TOYO MARU No.3, YOSHU MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships.

6 December 1943:
At 1320 detaches from the convoy, and at 1845 arrives at Sasebo. Docked for repairs throughout December.

8 January 1944:
At 1405 departs Sasebo.

9 January 1944:
At 0924 arrives at Moji.

10 January 1944:
At 1600, departs Moji for Singapore escorting convoy HI-33 consisting of MANKO and AOBASAN MARUs and tankers YUHO, TARAKAN, ASASHIO and ASANAGI MARU and an unidentified ship. The Escort carrier KAIYO and minelayer YAEYAMA and sub-chaser CH-36 provides escort part of the way south.

14 January 1944:
At 1933 arrives at Takao. MANKO MARU is detached.

16 January 1944:
At 1400, departs Takao.

23 January 1944:
At 1030, the convoy arrives at Singapore.

27 January 1944:
At 1000, departs Singapore escorting convoy HI-34 consisting of tankers TARAKAN, EIHO and SARAWAK MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.

1 February 1944:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Ikeda Akira (50) is posted as Commanding Officer.

4 February 1944:
At 1035, arrives at Takao.

5 February 1944:
At 0620 ETOROFU departs Takao alone on a submarine sweep but returns at 2040.

6 February 1944:
At 1030, the convoy departs Takao.

10 February 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Moji. ETOROFU turns around and at 1400 arrives at Sasabo. Drydocked.

21 February 1944:
At 0700, ETOROFU and kaibokan SADO depart Moji for Singapore escorting convoy HI-47 consisting of oilers AMATSU, OMINESAN, OTOWASAN and KYOKUHO MARUs and NOSHIRO MARU.

26 February 1944:
At 0850, the convoy arrives at Takao.

27 February 1944:
At midnight, the convoy departs Takao, its number swelled by five unidentified merchants and kaibokan IKI.

4 March 1944:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles M. Henderson's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) torpedoes and sinks OMINESAN MARU at 05-29N, 108-46E.

5 March 1944:
At 1100, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Singapore.

11 March 1944:
At 0730, departs Singapore with kaibokans MIYAKE, SHIMUSHU and IKI escorting convoy HI-48 consisting of transport/cargo liners AWA, SANUKI, TEIA (ex-French ARAMIS) and HOKUROKU MARUs, tankers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, TATEKAWA, ITSUKUSHIMA, SEIYO, NICHIEI, ASASHIO and KUROSHIO MARUs and one unidentified merchant ship.

14 March 1944:
Gulf of Thailand. SANUKI MARU is damaged by a mine or torpedo. The damage causes her to drop out of the convoy on the coast. At 1700, ETOROFU arrives at Van Phong Bay, French Indochina.

15 March 1944:
At 1100, departs Van Phong Bay.

18 March 1944:
At 0114, HOKUROKU MARU is hit by three torpedoes fired by LtCdr (later Cdr) Lowell T. Stone's (USNA ’29) USS LAPON (SS-260). One hit causes an induced explosion. HOKUROIKU MARU sinks with 6,700-tons of bauxite and 600-tons of crude oil at 19-24N, 116-50E. Eight of 256 military passengers, 25 guards and 55 crewmen, including Captain Itokawa, are KIA. TEIA MARU (ex-French ARAMIS) sends off a report of the attack. Later that day, KASHII MARU joins the convoy.

19 March 1944:
At 0600, kaibokan SHIMUSHU runs aground, but later that day is refloated. At 1600, the convoy arrives at Takao.

20 March 1944:
At 1300, departs Takao.

25 March 1944:
At 0500, arrives at Moji.

1 April 1944:
Departs Moji with escort carrier KAIYO and kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, CD-8, CD-9 and torpedo boat SAGI escorting convoy HI-57 consisting of oilers ITSUKUSHIMA, OTOWASAN, RYOEI and OMUROSAN MARUs, troop transports SEIA and KINUGASA MARUs, landing craft depot ships SHINSHU and MAYASAN MARUs and one unidentified ship (likely either tanker ZUIHO MARU or SHINCHO MARU).

2 April 1944:
The convoy encounters extremely severe weather and returns to Moji.

3 April 1944:
At 0600, the unchanged convoy departs Moji.

7 April 1944:
At 1450, arrives at Takao.

8 April 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.

12 April 1944:
At 1930 arrives at Camranh Bay.

13 April 1944:
At 1200, departs Camranh Bay.

16 April 1944:
At 1240, arrives at Singapore.

21 April 1944:
At 0700, departs Singapore with escort carrier KAIYO and kaibokan IKI, SHIMUSHU, CD-8 and CD-9 escorting convoy HI-58 consisting of tankers ITSUKUSHIMA, RYOEI, OMUROSAN, (possibly) ZUIHO, and OTOWASAN MARUs, transport KACHIDOKI MARU (ex PRESIDENT HARRISON) and landing craft depot ship MAYASAN MARU.

24 April 1944:
E of Saigon. USS ROBALO (SS-273) under LtCdr Manning M. Kimmel (USNA ’35) (son of Admiral H. E. Kimmel, former CINCPACFLT at Pearl Harbor) attempts to attack the convoy but is sighted by a Nakajima B5N2 "Kate” of the 931st NAG detachment from KAIYO. The B5N2 drops one 250-kg depth-charge on the submerged submarine and causes medium damage.

3 May 1944:
At 0725 HI-58 arrives at Moji. ITSUKUSHIMA MARU and ETOROFU are detached to Sasebo at 0800 arriving later that day at 1230. OMUROSAN MARU is detached to Nagasaki. ETOROFU undergoes repairs at Sasebo.

5 May 1944:
Docked.

11 May 1944:
At 0730 departs Sasebo and at 1930 arrives at Moji.

13 May 1944:
At 1800 ETOROFU departs Moji with kaibokan CD-2 and CD-17 escorting convoy MOTA-19 consisting of SHIRAMINE, KONSAN, JUZAN, KENZUI, MEDAN, IKUTA, KANKYO, NISSHU, MIIKESAN, KOAN, RIKKO, YUKI, ATSUTA, GENKAI, TAMAHOKO and CHINZEI MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships.

19 May 1944:
KENZUI MARU is detached to Kirun.

20 May 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Takao.

22 May 1944:
At 1200 ETOROFU departs Takao with kaibokan CD-2 and CD-17 and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU escorting convoy TAMA-19 consisting of KONSAN, DAIRIN, SHIRAMINE, MATSUMOTO, TATSUYASU, MEDAN, IKUTA, KANKYO, NISSHU, MIIKESAN, KOAN, RIKKO, YUKI, ATSUTA, GENKAI, TAMAHOKO and CHINZEI MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships.

26 May 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Manila.

29 May 1944:
At 0700 ETOROFU departs Manila with kaibokan CD-17 escorting convoy MASHI-01 consisting of KONSAN, SHIRAMINE, TATSUYASU, MATSUMOTO, MEDAN, SIBERIA, RIKKO, IKUTA MARUs and NICHINAN MARU No.2.

6 June 1944:
At 2030 arrives at Singapore.

13 June 1944:
At 0730 ETOROFU departs Singapore with kaibokan CD-17 escorting convoy SHIMA-01 consisting of tankers SAN PEDRO, KONSAN and MEDAN MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships. [2]

22 June 1944:
At 1830 arrives at Manila.

24 June 1944:
At 0630, ETOROFU departs Manila with kaibokan CD-8 and CD-17 escorting convoy MATA-23 consisting of tankers SAN PEDRO, MEDAN, KONSAN and RIKKO MARUs and cargo ships KAMO, USSURI, NICHIZUI, TASMANIA, KAZAN, DAITEN and TOUN MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.

25 June 1944:
At 0430, SAN PEDRO MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr (later Captain) Arthur E. Krapf's (USNA ’34) USS JACK (SS-259) at 16-09N, 119-41E. Eight crewmen, two gunners and 25 passengers are KIA. NICHIZUI MARU rescues survivors. Convoy leader ETOROFU orders evasive manoevres.

27 June 1944:
At 0517, MEDAN MARU is torpedoed and sunk with no survivors by LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) at 21-10N, 120-31E. There are no survivors of her crew of 58 men. Later that day, at 1518, SEAHORSE again attacks. USSURI MARU is hit on the port bow and damaged. At 2245, a B-24 "Liberator" bombs USSURI MARU, but misses.

28 June 1944:
At 0315, straggler USSURI MARU is bombed and sunk at 23-45N, 119-57E. Two crewmen are KIA. Shortly after, at 0335, RIKKO MARU is slightly damaged by air attack.

29 June 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Keelung.

30 June 1944:
At 0600, ETOROFU departs Keelung with minesweeper NUWAJIMA and kaibokan CD-17 escorting convoy TAMO 20B consisting of KAMO, MANSHU, KONZAN, YAMAHAGI, SHIROTAE, TOUN and TASMANIA MARUs.

1 July 1944:
Cdr Ikeda is posted for reassignment. Cdr (Reserve) Sugimoto Naotaka is appointed CO.

3 July 1944:
At 2300, KAMO MARU with the loss of 74 crewmen, seven gunners, 415 troops and 3 other passengers and KONZAN MARU taking down 23 crewmen, are torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Donald F. Weiss' (USNA ’29) USS TINOSA (SS-283) at 32-25N, 128-.50E.

4 July 1944:
At 1930, arrives at Moji.

5 July 1944:
At 0430 departs Mutsure and at 1530 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

31 July 1944:
At 0700 departs Sasebo and at 2045 arrives at Moji.

4 August 1944:
At 1600 departs Moji for Takao with kaibokan HIBURI, CD-25, CD-32, CD-8 and CD-10, gunboat UJI and minelayer TAKASHIMA escorting convoy MOTA-22 consisting of KENJO, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), TERUKUNI, TACHIBANA, NANREI, GENKAI, TEIHOKU (ex French PERSEE), HIOKI, MANSHU, SHIRANESAN, SHONAN, RAKUTO and KOSHIN MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and five other unidentified merchant ships.

6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey’s (USNA ’34) USS PINTADO (SS-387) torpedoes and sinks SHONAN MARU at 30-53N, 129-45E. Five crewmen are KIA.

8 August 1944:
Convoy HI-71 departs Imari Bay for Singapore. HI-71 is comprised of oilers AZUSA, TEIYO, EIYO, ZUIHO, AMATSU, KYOKUTO and NIYO MARUs and HAKKO MARU No. 2, fleet oiler HAYASUI, food-supply ship IRAKO, transports TEIA (ex French ARAMIS), AWA, NOTO, HOKKAI, TAMATSU, NOSHIRO and MAYASAN MARUs and cargo ships KASHII, NISSHO and ORYOKU MARUs. The convoy's screen is provided by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) (former CO of KISO) 6th Escort Convoy with destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRATO, KURAHASHI, MIKURA, SHONAN and CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO.

9 August 1944:
At 1310, KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly explodes and the ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E. 28 crewmen are KIA.

10 August 1944:
At 1600 ETOROFU arrives at Keelung with MOTA-22. GASSAN, KENJO, HAKUSAN, TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA) and HIOKI MARUs are detached.

11 August 1944:
At 0330 departs Kirun in convoy and at 1430 ETOROFU arrives alone at Saei (Tsoying), Formosa. The rest of the convoy proceeds to Takao.

15 August 1944:
HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. HAKKO and ORYOKU MARUs and IRAKO are detached.

17 August 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO" (Victory) - The Defense of the Philippines:
At 0800, in typhoon weather, HI-71 sorties from Mako for Manila. Old destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan SADO, MATSUWA and HIBURI arrive from Takao and ETOROFU from Saei, on the orders of 1st Surface Escort Division to strengthen HI-71's escort forces.

Two hours after leaving NIYO MARU suffers engine problems and returns to Mako.

18 August 1944:
At 0524, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and damages EIYO MARU. ASAKAZE and YUNAGI are detached to escort her back to Takao.

Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 2210, LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA ’32) USS RASHER (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks oiler TEIYO MARU in a surface radar attack. 41 crewmen and 58 passengers are KIA. At 2222, Munson torpedoes and sinks carrier TAIYO at the rear of the convoy. Because of the fire and speed of sinking, most of her crew are lost and about 790 passengers perish; but by some miracle, Captain Sugino Shuichi (46) is among the just over 400 surviving crew and passengers. At 2310, USS RASHER, still on the surface, hits transport TEIA MARU (ex French ARAMIS) with three torpedoes using radar bearings. The ex-French liner is set afire and sinks. TEIA MARU was carrying 4,795 Army and 427 civilians. 2,316 troops, 275 passengers, six guards, four gunners, 10 special lookouts, and 54 crewmen are KIA.

19 August 1944:
The convoy splits into two groups. Just past midnight, USS RASHER, still running on the surface, closes on an eastbound group of three large ships and one escort. At 0033, LtCdr Munson puts two radar-directed torpedoes into the port sides of AWA and NOSHIRO MARUs. Both ships beach themselves near Port Currimao. LtCdr (later Cdr) Charles M. Henderson's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) and LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood's (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) join in the attack on HI-71. At 0320, USS BLUEFISH hits and sinks HAYASUI. Captain Sugiura Keizaburo (49) is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously. The number of survivors is unknown. USS SPADEFISH hits TAMATSU MARU with two torpedoes and the big IJA landing craft depot ship rolls over and takes down 4,755 troops and 135 crewmen. HI-71 makes for San Fernando.

23 August 1944:
At 1500 ETOROFU arrives at Manila after assisting NOSHIRO MARU.

27 August 1944:
At 0900, ETOROFU departs Manila with kaikoban SHIMUSHU, SHONAN, CD-7, CD-22 and CD-28, subchaser CH-41 and patrol boat No. 102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224) escorting convoy MAMO-02 consisting of KASHI, MAYASAN, NISSHO and NOTO MARUs. At 1548, anchors in Subic Bay.

28 August 1944:
At 0600, departs Subic Bay.

30 August 1944:
At 1900 arrives at Takao. Destroyers WAKABA and HATSUSHIMO join the escort. Subchaser CH-41, patrol boat No. 102 and kaibokan CD-7 and CD-28 are detached.

31 August 1944:
At 1600 departs Takao. Later that day, ORYOKU MARU joins the convoy.

4 September 1944:
At 0730, ETOROFU, having detached with SHONAN and SHIMUSHU, arrives at Sasebo.

8 September 1944:
Departs Sasebo and at 1700 arrives at Moji.

9 September 1944:
At 1200, ETOROFU departs Moji with kaikoban SHONAN, CD-6 and CD-16, torpedo boat SAGI and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU escorting convoy MI-19 consisting of tankers CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, IWAKUNI, KENZUI and MITSU MARUs and cargo ships DAIBIN, ENOURA, MATSUURA, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), ARISAN, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE), TASMANIA, SHINSEI, DAIA, NIKKO and SHUNSHO MARUs.

10 September 1944:
At 1212, CHIHAYA MARU is torpedoed and sunk with 413 troops, 6 daihatsu barges and 2 armored cars from the 2nd Company, 10th Tank Regiment aboard by LtCdr's Edward E. Shelby's (USNA ’33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) at 33-49N, 127-41E. Nine crewmen and 76 troops are KIA. The convoy immediately retires to Chinto (Chin Hajo Island) arriving at 1500, where it regroups. The escorts launch a concerted, but unsuccessful attempt to find the submarine.

12 September 1944:
At 0600 convoy MI-19 departs Chinto. ETOROFU and SHONAN, by this time, are well ahead of the convoy.

16 September 1944:
At Yulin, ETOROFU joins convoy HI-72/MAMO-03 which after a series of devastating attacks in the South China Sea consists of ASAKA, KAGU, GOKOKU and KIBITSU MARUs. ETOROFU departs port with kaibokan MIKURA, CD-10, CD-18 and CD-26 as part of the escort.

17 September 1944:
MI-19 (without ETOROFU) splits. SHUNSHO, NIKKO, MATSUURA, ENOURA and KENZUI MARUs with kaibokan SHONAN head for Keelung where they arrive at 1200.

18 September 1944:
The rest of MI-19 convoy arrives at Takao. DAIBIN MARU is detached and steams ahead. SAN DIEGO MARU remains temporarily behind, catching up later. Cargo ship KENEI MARU joins the convoy. The escorts assigned are now ETOROFU (still away escorting HI-72), CD-18, CD-26 and subchaser CH-19. KENEI and HIROTA MARUs also joins the convoy, but CD-5, CD-16, SHONAN, SAGI and CHOHAKUSAN MARU are all detached at Takao.

20 September 1944:
At 0110, at 23-20N, 119-12E convoy HI-72 is attacked by B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers. GOKOKU MARU is damaged by a direct hit and ASAKA MARU suffers a near miss aft. Both are towed into nearby Mako Port for repairs. KAGU MARU and kaibokan MIKURA are damaged. KAGU MARU heads for Takao while MIKURA is towed by CD-18 to Mako with CD-26 as escort. ETOROFU and SHONAN escorts ASAKA MARU to Mako.

21 September 1944:
ETOROFU is detached from HI-72.

22 September 1942:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

25 September 1944:
At 0710 departs Takao damaged kaibokan MIKURA. Meets up with CD-26 at sea. At 1905 arrives at Mako.

30 September 1944:
At 1200 MI-19 then consisting of IWAKUNI, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), MITSU, DAIMEI, ARISAN, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE), TASMANIA, SHINSEI, EIHO and DAIA MARUs departs Takao with KENEI, SAN LUIS and KOKURYU MARUs having additionally joined the convoy for Manila. The escort consists of kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-18 and CD-26 and sub-chaser CH-19 and possibly the kaibokan SHONAN.

2 October 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Aparri. Later, at 2300, departs.

3 October 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Lapoc. ETOROFU and SHONAN detaches and returns to Takao. On the way they undertake lifesaving operations for TSUYAMA MARU (from TAMA-28).

5 October 1944:
Convoy HI-77 arrives at Takao consisting of transports SANTOS, MANJU and KINUGASA MARUs, oilers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, ARITA, ITSUKUSHIMA, AKANE, TAIHO and KAIHO MARUs, German supply ship QUITO and an unidentified vessel escorted by kaibokan CHIBURI and CD-19, CD-21 and CD-27.

Before departing later the same day at 1700, HI-77’s escort is bolstered by inclusion of kaibokan ETOROFU and SHONAN.

6 October 1944:
250 miles W of Manila. After patrolling the Luzon Strait, a wolfpack consisting of LtCdr (later Captain) Arnold H. Holtz’s (USNA ’31) USS BAYA (SS-318), LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s (USNA ’33) USS BECUNA (SS-319) and LtCdr Francis W. Scanland, Jr’s (USNA ’34) USS HAWKBILL (SS-366) heads through the South China Sea towards Fremantle, Australia.

About 1400, LtCdr James B. Grady's (USNA '33) USS WHALE (SS-239) torpedoes and sinks oiler AKANE MARU. 63 crewmen and 747 troops are KIA. The survivors are rescued by Kaibokan CD-21 but are all killed when that ship is sunk. At 1757, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles W. Wilkins' (USNA ’24) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks CD-21. 170 crewmen are KIA.

7 October 1944:
At about 2200, KINUGASA MARU is hit by three more torpedoes. Abandon Ship is ordered soon thereafter. At 2224, USS HAWKBILL, running on the surface, attacks the same large freighter. LtCdr Scanland fires four torpedoes and gets three hits followed by an ammo explosion. LtCdr Holtz’s USS BAYA also fires torpedoes at KINUGASA MARU. At 2227, KINUGASA MARU sinks. 10 soldiers of about 1,000 aboard and 33 crewmen are KIA.

12 October 1944:
At 1500, the remainder of HI-77 arrives at Singapore.

18 October 1944:
At 1300 departs Singapore with tankers YUHO and HAKKO MARUs also escorted by destroyers MICHISHIO and NOWAKI and minesweeper W-34. The ships are bound for Brunei.

19 October 1944:
After detaching ETOROFU arrives back at Singapore.

20 October 1944:
At 1800 departs Singapore for Moji with kaibokan SHONAN escorting convoy HI-78 consisting of tankers SERIA, OTOWASAN and ARITA MARUs.

2 November 1944:
At 0600 HI-78 arrives at Moji. At 1230 ETOROFU and SHONAN depart Mutsure for Sasebo where they arrive later that day. Undertakes repairs.

9 November 1944:
At 1400 departs Sasebo.

10 November 1944:
At 0835 arrives at Moji.

13 November 1944:
At 0945 departs Moji with KUME and TSUSHIMA. At 1700 arrives at Imari Wan.

14 November 1944:
At 0600 Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu's (40) (former CO of FUSO) Eighth Escort Convoy’s flagship ETOROFU departs Imari Bay (Moji) for Singapore with escort carrier SHINYO, destroyer KASHI and kaibokan TSUSHIMA, DAITO, 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 landing craft depot ship 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.

Later KUME, DAITO, ETOROFU and TSUSHIMA arrive at Komun Is (Kobun To).

16 November 1944:
At 1200 the escorts depart Komun Island. At 1600 convoy HI-81 anchors off Korea, near Chinto To (Strange Island).

17 November 1944:
At 0800, HI-81 departs Strange Island for Ssu Chaio Shan (in the Chusan (now Zhoushan) Islands near Shanghai). At 1815, LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks IJA landing craft depot ship 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” explosive motor boats (EMB) of IJA's 24th Sea Raiding Battalion also are lost.

At 2303, LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon Underwood's (USNA ’32) USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes and sinks SHINYO at 32-59N, 123-38E. Destroyer KASHI counter-attacks, but with uncertain results. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ishii Shizue (39) (former CO of JUNYO and CHUYO) skipper of SHINYO and more than 700 men are lost.

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 aboard ETOROFU orders TSUSHIMA to proceed to the scene and take aboard SHINYO’s survivors. 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. That evening at 1830, KUME and the Singapore contingent arrive at Mako. CD-25 join the convoy, though only for two days.

27 November 1944:
At 1600 HI-81’s second section departs Mako for Singapore screened by ETOROFU, KUME, CD-9, CD-61 and escort destroyer KASHI.

4 December 1944:
HI-81 arrives at Singapore.

12 December 1944:
At 1600, ETOROFU departs Singapore with kaibokan SHONAN, KUME, CD-9 and CD-19 escorting convoy HI-82 consisting of tankers OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN, ARITA, PALEMBANG and HASHIDATE MARUs.

17 December 1944:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

19 December 1944:
Departs Camranh Bay.

22 December 1944:
At 0550, OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN and ARITA MARUs are all torpedoed by LtCdr George W. Grider's (USNA '36) USS FLASHER (SS-249). All three burst into flames and sink at 15-02N, 109-08E. Two of the crew of OMUROSAN MARU and 57 of ARITA MARU crew are KIA.

24 December 1944:
At 0900, the surviving ships arrive at Takao. HASHIDATE MARU discharges her cargo of petrol and later returns to Singapore.

E 25 December 1944:
ETOROFU and escorts less CD-9 and CD-19 depart Takao with PALEMBANG MARU. The ship steams north hugging the Chinese continental coast in shallow waters.

That same day, ETOROFU, KASADO and SHIMUSHU are reassigned to Vice Admiral Goto Eiji 's (37)(former CO of MUTSU) 12th Air Fleet's Kuriles Area Base Fleet.

26 December 1944:
KUME, SHONAN, KASADO and ETOROFU depart Kirun presumably still escorting PALEMBANG MARU.

9 January 1945:
Arrives at Sasebo.

11 January 1945:
Drydocked.

24 January 1945:
Undocked.

7 February 1945:
Departs Sasebo to meet incoming HI-88A convoy consisting of SERIA MARU escorted by kaibokan OKINAWA and CD-41 and destroyers SUGI and KASHI. At 1630 the convoy arrives at Moji.

10 February 1945:
At 1200 ETOROFU departs Moji with kaibokan KASADO, OKINAWA and CD-39 escorting convoy MOTA-35 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships.

14 February 1945:
At 1400 arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan. ETOROFU and KASADO detach at this point.

15 February 1945:
ETOROFU and KASADO join convoy TAMO-42 consisting of Naval transports T-108 annd T-162.

16 February 1945:
At 2000 arrives at Liu Heng Tao.

17 February 1945:
Departs Liu Heng Tao.

20 February 1945:
At 0050 arrives at Seito (Tsingtao) and departs at 1000.

23 February 1945:
At 1700 the convoy arrives at Moji.

25 February 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

4 March 1945:
Departs Maizuru.

6 March 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 March 1945:
Departs Ominato escorting a convoy.

22 March 1945:
Arrives at Kataoka Wan.

28 March 1945:
Departs Kataoka Wan escorting a convoy.

4 April 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

10 April 1945:
Reassigned with kaibokan KASADO to the 104th Escort Squadron, Ominato Naval Guard District.

20 April 1945:
Departs Ominato and later that day arrives at Aomori.

21 April 1945:
Departs Aomori.

22 April 1945:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

24 April 1945:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

26 April 1945:
Arrives at Odomari.

28 April 1945:
Departs Odomari and later that day arrives at Wakkanai.

29 April 1945:
Departs Wakkanai.

30 April 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

4 May 1945:
Departs Ominato.

5 May 1945:
Arrives at Otaru.

7 May 1945:
At 1452, ETOROFU departs Otaru, Hokkaido for the Kuriles with kaibokan KASADO and FUKUE escorting convoy KI-704 consisting of KOKAI, SHOKA, KOJO and EIHO MARUs.

14 May 1945:
At 1815, arrives at Kataoka Wan, Paramushiro, Kuriles.

19 May 1945:
At 0130, ETOROFU departs Paramushiro with kaibokan KASADO and FUKUE escorting convoy O-904 consisting of KOKAI, SHOKA, KOJO MARUs and tanker EIHO MARU.

24 May 1945:
At 2145, arrives at Otaru.

30 May 1945:
Departs Otaru an anti submarine sweep.

5 June 1945:
Departs Otaru with kaibokan ETOROFU escorting Ta convoy consisting of TOYU and SHOKA MARUs.

18 June 1945:
The 104th Escort Squadron is reassigned to the 12th Air Fleet.

15 August 1945: Cessation of Hostilities:
At Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

5 October 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 December 1945:
Appointed a special cargo ship in the Allied Repatriation Service at Wakkanai, Hokkaido. Performs demobilization transport duties. [3]

9 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

26 October 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

5 November 1945:
Arrives at Manila. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

6 November 1945:
Departs Manila.

11 November 1945:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

4 December 1945:
Departs Kure.

5 December 1945:
Arrives at Saeki.

10 December 1945:
Arrives at Manila. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

15 December 1945:
Departs Manila.

20 December 1945:
Arrives Pusan. Later that day departs and anchors in islands nearby.

22 December 1945:
Re-arrives at Pusan. Enters dockyard.

4 February 1946:
Departs Hakata.

5 February 1946:
Arrives at Pusan and departs later that day.

7 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

10 February 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers

13 February 1946:
Departs Hakata.

14 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

16 February 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers

19 February 1946:
Departs Hakata. Later that same day arrives and then departs from Pusan.

21 February 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo.

24 February 1946:
Departs Sasebo.

26 February 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

1 March 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

4 March 1946:
Departs Hakata.

5 March 1946:
Arrives and departs Pusan and late that day arrives back at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

6 March 1946:
Departs Hakata.

7 March 1946:
Arrives at Pusan. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

8 March 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

30 March 1946:
Departs Hakata.

2 April 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai and departs later that day.

5 April 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

6 April 1946:
Departs Hakata.

8 April 1946:
Arrives at Shanghai. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

9 April 1946:
Departs Shanghai.

10 April 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers. Undergoes repairs.

18 May 1946:
Departs Hakata.

21 May 1946:
Arrives at Korojima, China near Tientsin. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

26 May 1946:
Departs Korojima.

29 May 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

3 June 1946 :
Departs Hakata.

4 June 1946:
Arrives ats Korojima. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

7 June 1946:
Departs Korojima.

10 June 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

15 June 1946:
Departs Hakata.

18 June 1946:
Arrives at Korojima and departs later that day.

21 June 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

24 June 1946:
Departs Hakata.

27 June 1946:
Arrives at Korojima. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

28 June 1946:
Departs Korojima.

1 July 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

8 July 1946:
Departs Hakata.

13 July 1946:
Arrives at Korojima. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

16 July 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Undergoes repairs at Sasebo.

15 August 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

16 August 1946:
Arrives at Naze port on Amami-O-Shima Island. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated. Departs later that day.

18 August 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

22 August 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

23 August 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

24 August 1946:
Departs Naze.

25 August 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

30 August 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

31 August 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

1 September 1946:
Arrives at Koniya and departs later that day.

2 September 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

11 September 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

12 September 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

13 September 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

15 September 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

16 September 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day and arrives at Kure.

20 September 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

21 September 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated. Departs later that day and arrives at Koniya.

22 September 1946:
Departs Koniya and later that day arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

26 September 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

28 September 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

29 September 1946:
Departs Naze.

30 September 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

3 October 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

4 October 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

5 October 1946:
Departs Naze.

6 October 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

10 October 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

11 October 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

12 October 1946:
Departs Naze.

13 October 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers.

17 October 1946:
Departs Kagoshima.

18 October 1946:
Arrives at Naze. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

21 October 1946:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Disembarks troops and passengers and undergoes repairs.

20 November 1946:
Departs Ujina.

23 November 1946:
Arrives at Okinawa. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later that day.

27 November 1946:
Arrives at Kure. Disembarks troops and passengers.

12 December 1946:
Departs Kure.

15 December 1946:
Arrives at Okinawa. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

16 December 1946:
Departs Okinawa.

19 December 1946:
Arrives at Kure. Disembarks troops and passengers.

29 December 1946:
Relieved of repatriation duties. Ceded to the United States as a war reparation.

5 August 1947:
Handed over to the USN at Kure.

7 September 1947- 13 October 1947:
Kure. Scrapped.


Authors' Notes:
[1] The submarine probably was USS KINGFISH (SS-234).

[2] Some ships of MATA-23 (24 Jun '44) probably make up some of the five unidentified ships of convoy SHIMA-01.

[3] Allied occupation forces were responsible for the return of six million Japanese military personnel and civilians from Japan's defunct far-flung Empire. In addition, there were over a million Korean and about 40,000 Chinese prisoners and conscript laborers and approximately 7,000 Formosans and 15,000 Ryukyu Islanders to be repatriated.

Some Allied and many former IJN warships, from aircraft carriers to kaibokan, were used to facilitate the enormous repatriation effort. Japanese vessels and crews were used to the fullest extent possible to conserve Allied manpower and accelerate demobilization. Each ex-IJN ship first had to be demilitarized; guns removed or, in the case of large warships, barrels severed, ammunition landed, and radar and catapults removed, if fitted. Repatriation of the Chinese on Japanese ships began early in October from Hakata, but U.S. guard detachments had to be placed on many ships to prevent disorder because the Japanese crews could not control the returnees.

Japanese-run repatriation centers were established at Kagoshima, Hario near Sasebo, and Hakata near Fukuoka. Other reception centers were established and operated at Maizuru, Shimonoseki, Sasebo, Senzaki, Kure, Uraga, Yokohama, Moji and Hakodate. Allied line and medical personnel supervised the centers. Incoming Japanese were sprayed with DDT, examined and inoculated for typhus and smallpox, provided with food, and transported to his final destination in Japan.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and to Gilbert Casse of France. Also thanks to Mr. Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying COs.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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