© 2006-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
26 May 1944:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen’s Sakurajima shipyard.
15 August 1944:
Launched and named KUME.
25 September 1944:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. LtCdr Nihei Kou is the Commanding Officer. Assigned to the Kure Guard Unit. Begins training and workup.
2 November 1944:
3 November 1944:
At 1500 arrives at Sasebo.
4 November 1944:
Assigned to the Grand Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division.
7 November 1944:
At about 2300 departs Sasebo.
8 November 1944:
Arrives at Moji.
9 November 1944:
Departs Moji escorting escort carrier SHINYO. Later that day returns to Moji.
13 November 1944:
At 0945 departs Moji with ETOROFU and TSUSHIMA and at 1700 arrives at Imari Wan.
14 November 1944:
At 0600 KUME departs Imari Bay for Singapore with escort carrier SHINYO, destroyer KASHI, Eighth Escort Convoy’s flagship kaibokan ETOROFU and kaibokan TSUSHIMA, DAITO, and SHONAN and CD-61 escorting convoy HI-81 consisting of SHINSHU, KIBITSU, AKITSU, MIRI, ARITA, HASHIDATE, KIYOKAWA, MAYASAN, OTOWASAN and TAIHO MARUs. The convoy carries about 4,500 men of the IJA’s 23rd Infantry Division being deployed to the Philippines. HI-81 makes an overnight stop off Goto Island, Japan.
15 November 1944:
At 0620 departs Goto Island. At 1156, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) fires four stern torpedoes and get two hits on AKITSU MARU loaded with the 23rd Division’s artillery and men of Hq, 64th Infantry Regiment, 1st and 2nd Battalions, 64th Inf, 1st Company, 2nd Battalion 72nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Company, 23rd Engineers and about 500 horses. AKITSU MARU carries also non-divisional units and the IJA’s 20th Sea Raiding Battalion with 104 “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB). Her flight and hangar decks are fully loaded with aircraft also intended for the Philippines. One of the torpedoes sets off AKITSU MARU’s aft magazine holding depth charges to be carried by the “Maru-ni” EMB suicide boats aboard. Induced explosions shatter the aft portion of the ship. As the seas hit her boilers, they explode. In three minutes, she capsizes to port and sinks at 33-17N, 32-00E taking down 67 crewmen, 140 gunners and 2,093 men of the IJA's 64th Infantry Regiment, including the commander, and other units aboard. Over the next twenty-four hours, the escorts rescue 310 survivors.
KUME, DAITO, ETOROFU and TSUSHIMA arrive at Komun Is (Kobun To).
16 November 1944:
At 1200 the escorts departs Komun Is. 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 the 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 with the loss of 56 crewmen, 194 gunners and 3,187 troops of the 4,500 men and 204 horses of IJA’s 23rd Division she was carrying. All “Maru-ni” explosive motor boats (EMB) of the IJA's 24th Sea Raiding Battalion are also lost. The escorts rescue about 1,300 men.
At 2002, kaibokan ETOROFU asks for rescue of MAYASAN MARU at 33-17N 124-45E.
At 2040, kaibokan SHONAN claims sinking a sub at 33-10N 124-40E after detecting the sub 3 miles west of the 1815 MAYASAN MARU disaster at 33-17N, 124-45E. SHONAN reports searching with DAITO. 30 depth charges are expended.
At 2303, Cdr (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 (39) (former CO of CHUYO) and 1,130 officers and men are lost. Escort destroyer KASHI and kaibokan SHONAN counter-attack, 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 a submarine, At 0426, based on fuel oil and other debris, TSUSHIMA reports a sinking. At 0800, Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu (40), aboard ETOROFU, orders TSUSHIMA to proceed to the scene and take about 200 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 the convoy.
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 joins the convoy, though only for two days.
27 November 1944:
At 1600 HI-81’s second section departs Mako for Singapore screened by KUME, ETOROFU, CD-9, CD-61 and escort destroyer KASHI.
4 December 1944:
HI-81 arrives at Singapore.
12 December 1944:
At 1600, KUME departs Singapore with kaibokan ETOROFU, SHONAN, 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, Indochina.
19 December 1944:
Departs Camranh Bay.
22 December 1944:
At 0550, OTOWASAN carrying a cargo of gasoline, (Captain Murotsu Masaichi, 56 troops, one passenger and 62 seamen KIA), OMUROSAN (two crewmen KIA) and ARITA (57 crewmen KIA) MARUs are all torpedoed by LtCdr (later Captain) George W. Grider's (USNA ’36) USS FLASHER (SS-249). All three burst into flames and sink at 15-02N, 109-08E.
24 December 1944:
At 0900, the surviving ships arrive at Takao. HASHIDATE MARU discharges her cargo of petrol and later returns to Singapore. CD-9 and CD-19 are detached.
E 25 December 1944:
KUME, ETOROFU and SHONAN, depart Takao with PALEMBANG MARU. The ship steams north hugging the Chinese continental coast in shallow waters.
26 December 1944:
KUME, SHONAN, KASADO and ETOROFU depart Kirun presumably still escorting PALEMBANG MARU.
1 January 1945:
At 0900 departs Mazu Shan.
3 January 1945:
Arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.
4 January 1945:
At 0830 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.
6 January 1945:
Majuro, Marshall Islands. Cdr Underwood’s USS SPADEFISH departs on her third war patrol for the Yellow Sea area leading a wolfpack consisting of LtCdr (later Captain) Stephen H. Gimber's USS POMPON (SS-267), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/ComSubPac) John H. Mauer’s USS ATULE (SS-403) and LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Joseph B. Icenhower’s USS JALLAO.
8 January 1945:
At 1804 arrives at Mutsure. Later that day departs Mutsure.
9 January 1945:
At 1500 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.
24 Januuary 1945:
SHONAN and KUME depart Sasebo.
25 January 1945:
The ships arrive at Moji.
26 January 1945:
At 0800, KUME, departs Moji for Singapore with destroyers NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE and kaibokan SHONAN, CD-25 and CD-53 escorting convoy HI-91 consisting of transport/cargo liners SANUKI and KITSURIN MARUs and tankers TOJO and EIYO MARUs.
28 January 1945:
Yellow Sea. NE of Shanghai, China, off Kokuzan To. Cdr Gordon W. Underwood’s (USNA ’37) USS SPADEFISH and LtCdr (later Captain) Stephen H. Gimber's (USNA ’35) USS POMPON (SS-267) make contact with a three-ship convoy with four escorts. USS POMPON makes two night submerged approaches, but the escorts drive her off each time. At about 0200, while two escorts pin down USS POMPON astern of the convoy, Underwood’s submerged USS SPADEFISH slips in on the disengaged side of convoy and attacks.
At 0313, Underwood fires three torpedoes at SANUKI MARU carrying 52 Type 1 EMBs and 167 men of the 43rd Shinyo Squadron, as well as 26 Type 5 EMBs and 183 men of the 101st Shinyo Squadron, and all three hit. She sinks at 33-55N, 122-55E taking down her CO, Captain Kamioka Kohyo (48) promoted Rear Admiral posthumously, all 78 EMBs and all of the 43rd Shinyo Squadron's men and but 20 men of the 101st Shinyo Squadron. Underwood also torpedoes and sinks KUME at 33-54N, 122-55E. 89 crewmen are lost.
Destroyer KAMIKAZE rescues survivors from both ships, including KUME's CO LtCdr Nihei, and is detached to Chinkai to land them.
10 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks for assistance in identifying kaibokan COs goes to Mr. Aki of Japan and Matthew Jones of Ohio. Thanks go also for Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall