KAIBOKAN!

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

IJN Escort Kanju:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2012 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 2


8 April 1943:
Tokyo. Laid down at Uraga Dock Co.’s shipyard.

7 August 1943:
Launched and named KANJU.

30 October 1943:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Hijoka Torajiro is the Commanding Officer.

15 November 1943:
Assgned to the General Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division. That same day departs Moji escorting convoy No.114 consisting of SHOHEI, YASUKUNI (5794 GRT), BIZEN, SHINNO, TONAN, NORWAY, ZUIYO, SYDNEY MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships.

20 November 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

25 November 1943:
East China Sea. At 1230, KANJU arrives to take up the escort of convoy HI-21 that departed Moji on 20 November. HI-21 consists of oilers GOYO and ICHIYO MARUs and cargo-passenger ship NEKKA MARU. On 23 November, NEKKA MARU with 985 passengers and 410 military personnel and HI-21's sole escort kaibokan WAKAMIYA were sunk by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William S. Post’s (USNA ’30) USS GUDGEON (SS-212). 308 troops and passengers and 79 of NEKKA MARU's crew are KIA. Only four of WAKAMIYA’s 135 crewmen survive. Her loss left the convoy temporarily unescorted.

26 November 1943:
At 1230, arrives at Kirun (Keelung).

27 November 1943:
At 1430, departs Kirun still in convoy.

28 November 1943:
At 1421, arrives at Takao. At 1700, KANJU departs Takao with destroyer FUYO escorting convoy No. 780 consisting of cargo ships TOSEI, BIZEN, RYUYO, NIPPONKAI, NORWAY, NICHIWA, KINSHU, YAMAHAGI, CHIYO and RYUUN MARUs, tankers SAN DIEGO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1 and four unidentified ships.

3 December 1943:
At 1400, arrives at Manila.

7 December 1943:
KANJU departs Takao with destroyer NAMIKAZE escorting convoy HI-23 consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, ICHIU, ITSUKUSHIMA, TATEKAWA, RYUEI, BOKUEI MARUs, fleet oilers TAKASAKI, SUNOSAKI and OSE (ex Dutch GENOTA) and cargo passenger ships NOSHIRO and AKI MARUs.

10 December 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques, Indochina.

19 December 1943:
At 1200, KANJU departs Singapore for Moji escorting fleet convoy HI-24 consisting of passenger/cargo ship ASAHI MARU, cargo liners ASAHISAN and ARABIA MARUs and oilers GOYO, RYUEI, BOKUEI and ASASHIO MARUs.

28 December 1943:
Arrives at Takao. GOYO, RYUEI and ASAHISAN MARUs are detached.

29 December 1943:
Departs Takao.

E 30 December 1943:
Passenger/cargo ship TERUKUNI MARU joins the convoy from Kirun.

4 January 1944:
Near Moji, at 34-04N, 130-32E, BOKUEI MARU collides with TERUKUNI MARU and sinks. Later that day, the rest of the convoy, less ASAHI MARU that was detached for Sasebo, arrives at Moji. ASAHI MARU arrives at Sasebo later the same day.

20 January 1944:
At 1200, KANJU departs Moji with kaibokan MIYAKE escorting convoy HI-37 consiting of passenger cargo ships MIIKE, NOTO MARUs, IJA landing craft depot ships KIBITSU and MAYASAN MARUs and tankers OMINESAN and AMATSU MARUS and an unidentified ship.

29 January 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Singapore.

2 February 1944:
At 1300, KANJU departs Singapore with fleet oiler ASHIZURI escorting convoy HI-38 consisting of transports KAGU, KACHIDOKI (ex Ameerican PRESIDENT HARRISON), tankers AMATSU, OTOWASAN, OMINESAN, NICHINAN and OKIKAWA MARUs.

8 February 1944:
Arrives at Takao at 1700.

9 February 1944:
At 1000, departs Takao.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Moji at 1430.

11 March 1944:
At 1900, convoy HI-53 arrives at Takao from Moji. The convoy probably consists of tankers MIRI and GENYO MARUs and an unidentified ship. KANJU and destroyer AMAGIRI join the escort.

18 March 1944:
At 1730, arrives at Singapore.

20 March 1944:
Reassigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

17 April 1944:
KANJU departs Balikpapan with destroyers OKINAMI, TANIKAZE and URAKAZE escorting a convoy consisting of tankers GENYO and KOKUYO MARUs and fleet oiler SUNOSAKI.

26 April 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. [1]

8 September 1944:
KANJU departs Moji for Singapore with kaibokan MANJU, MIYAKE and DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI, UZUKI and escort carrier SHINYO escorting convoy HI-75 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, RYOEI, YUHO, TOHO (1944 built), SERIA, AMATO and MANEI MARUs and passenger liner ASAMA MARU, cargo-passenger SAIGON MARU and flying boat tender AKITSUSHIMA.

12 September 1944:
In the morning, SAIGON MARU, YUZUKI and KANJU are detached for the China coast. They later rejoin at Takao.

13 September 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Takao.

14 September 1944:
The convoy is increased by the addition of oilers FUJISAN MARU (1944), KUROSHIO and TAIHO MARUs, torpedo boat HIYODORI and kaibokan CD-28. At 1630, the convoy departs Takao. Soon thereafter, AMATO MARU, and at 1900, YUHO MARU develop engine problems and are detached.

16 September 1944:
At 2330, KANJU, suffering rudder problems, collides with SERIA MARU, but there is little damage.

17 September 1944:
At 1000, SAIGON MARU and AKITSUSHIMA with escorts YUZUKI and UZUKI are detached from HI-75 and head for Manila. Enroute, SAIGON MARU is sunk by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker's (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER (SS-249).

18 September 1944:
At 1040, kaibokan KURAHASHI joins the escort.

19 September 1944:
At 1500, AMATO MARU rejoins the convoy.

20 September 1944:
During the day, NICHIEI, KUROSHIO, TAIHO and FUJISAN MARUs and carrier SHINYO all suffer engine or rudder problems, but the convoy remains intact.

22 September 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Singapore.

October 1944:
LtCdr Kuwahara Tetsuo (62)(former CO of CHIDORI) is appointed CO.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, KANJU departs Singapore for Moji with escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan DAITO, MANJU, MIYAKE, KURAHASHI, CD-9, CD-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI escorting convoy HI-76 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, NICHINAN, RYOEI, FUJISAN, KUROSHIO, TARAKAN and TOHO MARUs, ex-seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU and cargo ship TEIHOKU MARU (ex French PERSEE).

8 October 1944:
South China Sea. At 0100, LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s (USNA ’33) USS BECUNA (SS-319) attacks the convoy at 14-12N, 115-53E. Sturr fires four torpedoes and claims two hits on KIMIKAWA MARU. She is detached from the convoy and heads for Manila escorted by HIYODORI and CD-28.

17 October 1944:
Early in the morning, MANJU and MIYAKE are detached with RYOEI MARU and head for Mako.

18 October 1944:
Off Samah. KANJU is joined by kaibokan CD-25 and CD-32. Tankers FUJISAN, NICHINAN and NICHIEI MARUs are detached and remain at Samah. Tanker TENEI MARU joins the convoy. KANJU is now flagship.

20 October 1944:
KURAHASHI and CD-25 are detached to escort NICHIEI MARU to Coron Bay.

22 October 1944:
At 1200, arrives Mako. KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and kaibokan CD-32 are detached and YASHIRO joins.

24 October 1944:
TENEI MARU has an engine breakdown and falls behind, but later rejoins.

26 October 1944:
At 1130, arrives Moji. SHINYO was detached to Kure prior to arrival.

30 November 1944:
At 0900, KANJU departs Moji with destroyer ASAGAO, kaibokan IKUNA, SHINNAN, CD-41, CD-66, subchaser CH-28 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-223 escorting convoy MI-29 consisting of CLYDE, BRAZIL, AKISHIMA, MEIRYU, HAWAII, ENOURA, DAII, SHINYU, AKIKAWA and KAZUURA MARUs, HOSHI MARU No. 11 (JUICHISEI MARU) and KONAN MARU No.1 and tankers ENGEN, ENCHO and ENKEI MARUs.

2 December 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain-Ret) Ralph C. Style's (USNA ’33) USS SEA DEVIL (SS-400) torpedoes and sinks HAWAII and AKIKAWA MARUs at 30-24N 128-17E. On HAWAII MARU at the time were 1843 troops of 23rd Army Division and all of these together with 60 others, 83 gunners, and 148 crew were killed. There were no survivors documented. The ship was carrying 60 small boats and 50 motor vehicles when sunk. From AKIKAWA MARU 249 troops, 7 gunners, 18 of the crew and one other man are KIA. KONAN MARU No.1 rescues survivors from AKIKAWA MARU. The convoy formation breaks up. BRAZIL MARU goes to Keelung, DAII MARU and three others go to Koniya, Amami-Oshima and CLYDE MARU, HOSHI MARU No.11 (JUICHISEI MARU) with IKUNA go to Takao. Later, the Koniya ships rejoin at Takao, but at this point the convoy is officially dissolved.

14 December 1944:
At 0500, KANJU, departs Takao with IKUNA and CD-41 escorting convoy TAMA-36 consisting of KENZUI and YUZAN MARUs and two unidentified ships.

22 December 1944:
KENZUI MARU suffers an engine breakdown. At 1130, after KENZUI MARU resumes her position, she is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Cdr) William H. Hazzard's USS BLENNY (SS-324) nine miles N of North San Fernando. Even though the seas are calm, KENZUI MARU sinks rapidly taking down 1,470 of the 2,643 men of the No. 13 Kurogane Infantry Regiment and No. 32 Shipping Construction Regiment that she was carrying, 32 crewmen, 29 gunners and three guards. Later that day, the rest of the convoy reaches North San Fernando where the convoy is dissolved.

1 January 1945:
At 0345, KANJU departs North San Fernando with kaibokan NOMI, MIYAKE, CD-112 and two unidentified warships escorting convoy MATA-40 consisting of IJA landing ship SHINSHU MARU and IJA landing craft depot ships KIBITSU and HYUGA MARUs.

3 January 1945:
Off Takao. At 1105 (JST), 50 carrier aircraft attack the ships. SHINSHU MARU is hit by several bombs and explodes. 283 passengers, 66 ship’s gunners and 33 crewmen are KIA. Later that night, SHINSHU MARU's burning wreck is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's USS ASPRO (SS-309). KIBITSU MARU is heavily damaged and HYUGA MARU suffers medium damage. MIYAKE and CD-112 both suffer light damage. The surviving ships put into Takao for repairs.

10 January 1945:
At 1700, KANJU departs Takao for Mako, Pescadores with kaibokan YASHIRO, MIYAKE, KURAHASHI, NOMI, SHINNAN, CD-13, CD-60 and CD-205 escorting convoy HI-87 consisting of KAMOI, SARAWAK, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA and HASHIDATE MARUs. Destroyer SHIGURE rejoins the escort from Kirun. At 1830, MITSUSHIMA MARU suffers an engine breakdown and returns to Takao.

12 January 1945:
At 0600, TENEI MARU's steering breaks down. CD-60 escorts her to Hong Kong. Soon thereafter, the rest of the convoy is advised of a pending air raid on Mako and also heads for Hong Kong.

13 January 1945:
At 1100, enters the Port of Hong Kong.

15 January 1945:
At 0915, an air raid warning is sounded and soon after carrier aircraft begin attacks. Bomb and machine gun strafing attacks harry the ships all day, but they escape major damage.

16 January 1945:
Hong Kong. The air attacks continue from 0820. At 1124, KAMOI is near missed, but at 1240, KAMOI and TENEI MARU both suffer direct hits. At 1540, MATSUSHIMA MARU also suffers a direct hit and is set on fire. At 1644, NOMI suffers damage from a near miss.

17 January 1945:
At 1930, KANJU departs Hong Kong for Singapore with destroyer SHIGURE, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-13 escorting reconstituted convoy HI-87A consisting of tanker SARAWAK MARU.

24 January 1945:
Gulf of Siam, 160 miles E of Khota Bharu, Malaya. At 0709, LtCdr (later Cdr) William L. Kitch's (USNA ’38) USS BLACKFIN (SS-322) torpedoes SHIGURE at 06-N, 103-48 E with 37 sailors KIA and 17 injured. She sinks in 10 minutes. KANJU and MIYAKE rescue 270 survivors. Shortly thereafter, USS BLACKFIN launches a second attack and torpedoes and damages SARAWAK MARU at 05-59N, 103-48E. MIYAKE and CD-13 assist the damaged ship.

31 January 1945:
At 0800, KANJU departs Singapore with MIYAKE and minesweeper W-20 escorting convoy HI-88C consisting of transport OESAN MARU and tanker ENCHO MARU.

8 February 1945:
In the evening, the convoy arrives and anchors in Quinhon Bay, Indochina.

9 February 1945:
In the early morning, the convoy departs Quinhon Bay.

11 February 1945:
MIYAKE is damaged by aircraft at 19-08N, 108-15E.

12 February 1945:
At 1800, arrives at Zensui Bay, China.

13 February 1945:
At 0500, the convoy departs Zensui Bay.

16 February 1945:
The convoy arrives at Quemoy.

17 February 1945:
In the early morning, departs Quemoy. That evening, arrives at Nanhi Island.

18 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Nanhi Island.

21 February 1945:
The convoy arrives at the mouth of the Yangtse River. ENCHO MARU, MIYAKE and W-20 are detached and arrive at Shanghai later that day.

27 February 1945:
KANJU and OESAN MARU arrive at Moji.

25 April 1945:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command's 102nd Escort Squadon.

5 July 1945:
Reassigned to the 2nd Coast Defense Group.

1 August 1945:
Departs Maizuru for Korea.

15 August 1945:Cessation of Hostilities:
KANJU departs Wonsan, Korea with kaibokan HODAKA. Soon after leaving, KANJU strikes a mine, probably laid by a B-29 "Superfortress"heavy bomber. Three crewmen are KIA and 50 wounded by the blast. KANJU is taken in tow by HODAKA. The Japanese receive an erroneous report about two Soviet cruisers approaching Wonsan. KANJU's captain orders her battle flag lowered and then Abandon Ship. Her crew is transferred to HODAKA. KANJU is scuttled and sinks at 39-10N, 127-27E.

15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
[1] It is probable that KANJU was an escort in the return journey departing Saipan 29 April and arriving Balikpapan on 7 May 1944.

Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Gilbert Casse of France. Thanks for assistance in identifying kaibokan COs goes to Mr. Aki of Japan and Matthew Jones of Ohio.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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