KAIBOKAN!

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

IJN Escort Manju:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 5


15 February 1943:
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding’s yard.

31 July 1943:
Launched and named MANJU.

30 November 1943:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Kanazawa Masanori is the Commanding Officer. [1]

8 December 1943:
Departs Kure.

10 December 1943:
Departs Kobe escorting convoy No. 8210 consisting of two unidentified merchant ships. The convoy sails at 10.5 knots.

12 December 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

19 December 1943:
At 0700, MANJU departs Yokosuka with auxiliary gunboat CHOAN MARU No. 2 escorting convoy No. 3219 consisting of DAITEN MARU.

29 December 1943:
At 1623, arrives at Truk.

1 January 1944:
MANJU, departs Truk for Yokosuka with destroyer ASAKAZE, cable layer HATSUSHIMA and Minesweeper No. 24 escorting convoy No. 4102 consisting of YAMABIKO, YAMAKUNI and KEIYO MARUs.

10 January 1944:
185 miles NW of Torishima, Ogasawara (Bonins). At about 0600, in typhoon weather conditions, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David L. Whelchel's (USNA ’30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280). torpedoes and damages repair ship YAMABIKO MARU in a night surface radar attack at 31-28N 137-44E. Four crewmen are KIA. YAMABIKO MARU is taken in tow by cargo ship YAMAKUNI MARU.

11 January 1944:
YAMABIKO MARU is towed to Hachijo Jima by YAMAKUNI MARU, escorted by ASAKAZE. Three days later, YAMAKUNI MARU, while still towing part of YAMABIKO MARU is torpedoed and sunk by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Karl G. Hensel's (USNA ’23) USS SWORDFISH (SS-193). 18 crewmen are KIA.

E 17 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 February 1944:
MANJU departs Truk for Yokosuka with kaibokan OKI and subchaser CH-31 escorting convoy No. 4212 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO, stores supply ship IRAKO and TATSUURA and HIBI MARUs.

27 February 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 March 1944:
Departs Yokohama with kaibokan OKI and auxiliary submarine chaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 escorting No. 3301A convoy consisting of TATSUHARU, BINGO and KEIYO MARUs

4 March 1944:
Arrives at Futami, Chichi-Jima.

5 March 1944:
At 0800, MANJU departs Chichijima with kaibokan OKI and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No.8 escorting the "Higashi Matsu" No. 1A convoy consisting of TATSUHARU, BINGO and KEIYO MARUs.

12 March 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Truk.

24 March 1944:
At 0700, MANJU departs Saipan with destroyers NOWAKI and ASAKAZE, subchasers CH-17, CH-31, CH-32 and minelayer KYOSAI escorting convoy HIGASHI MATSU No. 2 (return) consisting of storeship SOYA, TAKUNAN, NACHI, AWA (ex-WAWA), DAITEN, MIHO, BINGO, RYUKA, TAKAOKA, HIBI, TAMAHOKO, TATSUHARU and SHINFUKU MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship.

1 April 1944:
At 1000, the convoy arrives at Tokyo.

7 April 1944:
At 0330, MANJU departs Tateyama, Tokyo Bay for Saipan and Palau with destroyer SATSUKI and kaibokan KASADO and CD-4 escorting convoy "Higashi Matsu" No. 5 (outbound) consisting of SEIYO, ASOSAN, TOSAN, MIIKE and NOTORO MARUs.

24 April 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

26 April 1944:
At 1640, MANJU departs Palau for Tokyo with destroyer SATSUKI and kaibokan KASADO and CD-4 escorting convoy "Higashi Matsu" No. 5 (inbound) consisting of ASOSAN, TOSAN, MIIKE and NOTO MARUs.

27 April 1944:
At about 0100, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Frederick J. Harlfinger's (USNA ’37) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) torpedoes and hits and damages ASOSAN and MIIKE MARUs. At 0430, as ASOSAN MARU is being abandoned, Harlfinger torpedoes and blows the bow off kaibokan KASADO. Fuel flowing from MIIKE MARU catches fire and sets the ship abaze. Nine repatriates, seven Gunners and two crewmen are KIA. MANJU is able to rescue some survivors, but MIIKE MARU drifts away and probably sinks the next day. KASADO and ASOSAN, TOSAN and NOTO MARUs reverse couse back to Palau.

27 July 1944:
At 0558, MANJU departs Manila with DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI and UZUKI and SATSUKI escorting the "Nichiei Maru" convoy consisting of oilers NICHIEI, OKIGAWA and RYOEI MARUs.

29 July 1944:
At 1255, a fire breaks out in RYOEI MARU's engine room, but is successfully extinguished.

1 August 1944:
At 1539, arrives at Singapore.

10 August 1944:
At 0800, MANJU departs Singapore with DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI and UZUKI and SATSUKI escorting the "Nichiei Maru" convoy consisting of oilers NICHIEI, OKIGAWA and RYOEI MARUs.

11 August 1944:
At 1740, OKIGAWA MARU and SATSUKI are detached and return to Singapore.

17 August 1944:
At 1350, arrives at Mako and departs at 1750.

21 August 1944:
At 1716, arrives Kure still in convoy.

8 September 1944:
MANJU departs Moji for Singapore with kaibokan KANJU, MIYAKE and DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI, UZUKI and escort carrier SHINYO escorting convoy HI-75 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, RYOEI, YOHO, 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 torpedoed and sunk by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Rueben T. Whitaker's (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER (SS-249). Six crewmen are KIA.

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.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, MANJU departs Singapore for Moji with escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan KANJU, MIYAKE, KURAHASHI, DAITO, CD-9, CD-28 and possibly CD-16, and torpedo boat HIYODORI escorting convoy HI-76 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, NICHINAN, RYOEI, FUJISAN (1944 built), KUROSHIO, TARAKAN and TOHO MARUs (1944 built), 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 ordered to detach with RYOEI MARU and head for Mako.

30 October 1944:
Takao, Formosa. MANJU joins convoy HI-79 consisting of tankers TENEI, MATSUSHIMA, KUROSHIO and RYOEI MARUs (the latter two from Takao) escorted by light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan UKURU, NOMI, CD-17 and minelayer NIIZAKI.

2 November 1944:
At 1432, the convoy was attacked by a Consolidated B-24 Liberator without damage.

9 November 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Singapore.

17 November 1944:
MANJU departs Singapore with light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan NOMI, UKURU, KASADO, MIYAKE, CD-17, CD-23 and CD-51 and minelayer NIIZAKI escorting convoy HI-80 consisting of TENEI, MATSUSHIMA, RYOEI, MAUNAKATA, ARIMASAN, KUROSHIO, NICHINAN and KAIHO MARUs.

27 November 1944:
At 0930, RYOEI and ARIMASAN MARUs escorted by NIIZAKI are detached for Takao.

4 December 1944:
HI-80 arrives at Sasebo.

14 January 1945:
At 0700, MANJU departs Moji with kaibokan CD-31, CD-132, CD-144, destroyer SHIOKAZE and subchasers CH-19 and CH-57 escorting convoy MOTA-32 consisting of DAIKYO, TENSHO, SAMARANG, AIZAN, SHUNSHO, MASASHIMA and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and four unidentified merchants, possibly including TETSUYO and TATSUHARU MARUs. The convoy hugs the continental coast as it heads south.

21 January 1945:
Arrives at Sanmen Bay.

22 January 1945:
Early in the morning, convoy MOTA-32 departs Sanmen Bay, China. At 1600, arrives at Namkwan (now Namquan) Bay and joins convoy TAMO-38 sheltering there consisting of DAINAN, BINGO, TOYOKAWA, RASHIN, SHINNO and TATSUWA MARUs and NICHIYU No. 7. MOTA-38 anchors in five columns nearest the bay entrance.

23 January 1945:
At 0402, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Eugene B. Fluckey's (USNA ’35) USS BARB (SS-220) discovers the anchored ships and skillfully enters the bay. At 0402, Fluckey fires a full salvo of torpedoes. DAIKYO MARU carrying ammunition spectacularly explodes and sinks. 360 troops, 28 Gunners and 59 crewmen are KIA. Minor damage, probably from falling debris, is also inflicted on SAMARANG, AIZAN, DAISHUN and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16. [2]

At 0600, the remainder of the convoy departs the anchorage.

25 January 1945:
Arrives at Keelung.

31 January 1945:
At 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David B. Bell's (USNA ’37) USS PARGO (SS-264) torpedoes and damages MANJU's bow at 11-15N, 109-12E.

2 February 1945:
MANJU arrives at Saigon, probably towed by kaibokan CD-31.

27 March 1945:
Nha Trang Bay. Convoy HI-88I is absorbed into a new convoy called HI-88J. Additional escorts are added. HI-88J now consists of tankers HONAN, ASOKAWA, KAIKO MARUs and probably NANSHIN MARU No. 30 escorted by kaibokan MANJU, CD-18, CD-26, CD-84, CD-130, CD-134, CD-1, destroyer AMATSUKAZE (with a temporary bow fitted) and probably subchasers CH-9 and CH-20.

28 March 1945:
At 0800, departs Nha Trang Bay. At 1040, an air attack begins and ASOKAWA MARU is hit in the engine room and sinks. 92 passengers, eight gunners and 34 crewmen are KIA. MANJU and CD-84 rescue survivors. At 1220, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr's (USNA ’34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) torpedoes HONAN MARU. Her captain runs her aground and she is lost. Five Gunners and 44 crewmen are KIA. NANSHIN MARU No. 30 probably is detached.

29 March 1945:
At 0710, LtCdr Frank M. Smith's (USNA ’35) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364) torpedoes and sinks CD-84 at 14-40N, 109-16E. MANJU rescues some survivors. At 1130, another submarine attack coincides with an air attack and KAIKO MARU is bombed and sunk. 22 passengers, four Gunners and 19 crewmen are KIA. At 2230, a further air attack damages CD-134.

30 March 1945:
At 1000, the escorts, now without a convoy, arrive at Yulin. Air attacks persist and at 1045, CD-26 is damaged by a bomb hit. The destruction of this convoy marks the end of the Singapore-Empire convoys.

3 April 1945:
Hong Kong. USAAF Far East Air Force B-24 “Liberators” bomb the harbor and sink cargo ships HEIKAI MARU with the loss of one crewman and SHOZAN MARU with the loss of eight crewmen, and heavily damage MANJU. She partially sinks at 22-17N, 114-10E. LtCdr Kanazawa and 52 crewmen are KIA. LtCdr Kanazawa is promoted Cdr, posthumously.

11 May 1945:
MANJU is pumped out and refloated.

1946:
Scrapped.

5 March 1947:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
[1] According to "Kaibokan Senki" (Battle History of Kaibokan Escorts), compiled by the former personnel of IJN escorts, LtCdr Ota Yoshio may have been a a predecessor CO to LtCdr Kanazawa, but if so, the date is unknown. [2] Exactly why so few of USS BARB's torpedoes failed to hit such a perfect overlapping target remains a mystery. Perhaps the torpedoes were defective, a problem the U. S. Navy never got quite right during, and even after the war. Rumors of more ships sunk persist, but they are not supported by facts.

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

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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