(Etorofu Class Escort FUKUE in 1940- colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

IJN Escort Manju:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
Revision 10

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. Departs Tamano and later this day anchors off Tadotsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku.[1]

1 December 1943:
Departs Tadotsu and later this day arrives at Kure where MANJU is provisioned and ammunitioned.

8 December 1943:
Departs Kure and later this day anchors off Sakate, SE coast of Shodo-shima, Kagawa Prefecture.

9 December 1943:
Departs Sakate and later this day arrives at Kobe.

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

11 December 1943:
The convoy arrives at Yokosuka.

12 December 1943:
Yokosuka. MANJU receives further provisions and ammunition.

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

25 December 1943:
MANJU discovers an enemy submarine, fires 14 shells and drops 14 depth charges, cracking noises are heard but sinking confirmation is impossible because of the dark night.

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. Ater YAMABIKO MARU is hit by STEELHEAD, MANJU counter-attacks with 8 depth charges but with unknown results due to stormy weather.

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. While guarding YAMABIKO MARU, MANJU makes contact with the enemy submarine and drops depth charges unsuccessfully.

12 January 1944:
MANJU takes on board survivors from YAMABIKO MARU.

13 January 1944:
MANJU sails independently to Yokosuka and later this day anchors off Tateyama.

14 January 1944:
MANJU arrives at Yokosuka and lands survivors from YAMABIKO MARU. Thereafter acts as anchorage guard and undergoes maintenance and replenishing.

20 January 1944:
Kaibokan OKI departs Yokosuka for Truk escorting convoy No. 3120 consisting of HOKI, KOWA and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 6. The convoy stops at Tateyama, probably for refueling.

21 January 1944:
MANJU departs Yokosuka, arrives the same day at Tateyama and joins the escort of convoy No. 3120. The convoy departs the same day for Truk.

22 January 1944:
MANJU discovers enemy submarine and drops 20 depth charges, results unknown.

23 January 1944:
MANJU performs several anti-sub threatening attacks.

27 January 1944:
Convoy is still tracked by persistent enemy sub. Therefore decision to shelter at Saipan.

29 January 1944:
Convoy arrives and shelters at Saipan. MANJU guards anchorage.

31 January 1944:
Departs Saipan for Truk.

1 February 1944:
MANJU discovers and attacks enemy sub with gunfire and depth charges, results unknown.

3 February 1944:
MANJU drops threatening depth charges.

4 February 1944:
Convoy arrives at Truk. MANJU is replenished and stays in readiness.

13 February 1944:
MANJU departs Truk for Yokosuka with kaibokan OKI and subchaser CH-31 escorting convoy No. 4213 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO, stores supply ship IRAKO and TATSUURA and HIBI MARUs.

20 February 1944:
MANJU discovers and shells an enemy submarine.

24 February 1944:
MANJU drops threatening depth charges.

26 February 1944:
Arrives at Tateyama.

27 February 1944:
Departs Tateyama and later this day arrives at Yokohama. MANJU is replenished.

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:
An IJN patrol plane from Truk discovers an enemy submarine. MANJU separates from the convoy and heads to the reported spot and drops depth charges unsuccessfully. At 1200, the convoy, less MANJU, arrives at Truk.

13 March 1944:
MANJU arrives at Truk.

16 March 1944:
Air-raid alarm, MANJU engages in an AA-battle.

17 March 1944:
MANJU departs Truk guiding a convoy to Saipan.

22 March 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

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, TAJIMA and SHINFUKU MARUs.

30 March 1944:
MANJU is assigned to Combined Fleet.

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

6 April 1944:
MANJU performs combat training off Tateyama.

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 tanker SEIYO MARU, and transports ASOSAN, TOSAN, MIIKE and NOTO MARUs.

10 April 1944:
At 1030, arrives at Chichijima.

12 April 1944:
At 1700, MANJU departs Chichijima on patrol. At 1930 the kaibokan detects an enemy submarine. At 2005 SATSUKI, KASADO and kaibokan CD-4 all depart Chichijima to join the hunt for the enemy submarine.

13 April 1944:
At 0630, arrives back at Chichijima with KASADO.

14 April 1944:
At 1730, departs Chichijima on patrol.

15 April 1944:
At 0720, arrives back at Chichijima.

17 April 1944:
At 1615, departs Chichijima on patrol.

18 April 1944:
At 0500, arrives back at Chichijima. At 1617, the convoy departs Chichijima. (KASADO, CD-4 and MANJU have already departed between 1350 and 1410).

24 April 1944:
At 1115, arrives at Palau.

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.

28 April 1944:
MANJU also arrives back at Palau totally crammed with 822 survivors from MIIKE MARU.

30 April 1944:
MANJU departs Palau for Balikpapan escorting the "Seiyo Maru" convoy consisting of tanker SEIYO MARU, cargo ships SHINROKU and SHINSEI MARUs and possibly others.

2 May 1944:
The convoy is attacked by an enemy submarine. MANJU counter-attacks and claims a certain kill.

4 May 1944:
The SEIYO MARU convoy arrives at Balikpapan.

12 May 1944:
MANJU departs Balikpapan escorting the "Takasaki" convoy consisting of gasoline tankers ASHIZURI and TAKASAKI. Both tankers are carrying a full load of aviation gasoline. Later the convoy calls at Zamboanga. At Zamboanga MANJU separates from the convoy and proceeds to Balikpapan.

17 May 1944:
At 1030, departs Balikpapan for Tawi Tawi with destroyers ASASHIMO, SAMIDARE, HAMAKAZE and HIBIKI escorting oilers AZUSA, TATEKAWA and NICHIEI MARUs. Shortly after departure, a magnetic mine explodes close to the NICHIEI MARU and the tanker receives some damage, but is able to continue.

19 May 1944:
The convoy is attacked by an enemy submarine, NICHIEI MARU drops depth charges. Later this day, at 1250, convoy arrives at Tawi Tawi.

20 May 1944:
MANJU departs Tawi Tawi with destroyers AKIZUKI and URANAMI escorting the "Tsurumi" convoy consisting of tanker TSURUMI and tankers YUHO, MANEI and EIHO MARUs.

21 May 1944:
AKIZUKI terminates escort duty and returns to Tawi Tawi. Later this day, the convoy arrives at Tarakan.

24 May 1944:
MANJU departs Tarakan escorting the "Tsurumi" convoy consisting only of tanker TSURUMI.

25 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi

31 May 1944:
MANJU departs Tawi Tawi together with destroyer AKIZUKI escorting oiler TSURUMI.

2 June 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

7 June 1944:
MANJU departs Balikpapan together with auxiliary subchaser CHa-37 escorting oiler TSURUMI.

10 June 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.

11 June 1944:
MANJU is attached to the 3rd Supply Unit of the 1st Mobile Fleet and to participate in Operation “A-GO” (The Battle of the Philippine Seas). The same day departs Tawi Tawi escorting "Kyokuho Maru"-convoy. Later this day the convoy is attacked by an enemy submarine. MANJU counter-attacks and claims a certain kill.

12 June 1944:
The convoy arrives at Balikpapan.

14 June 1944:
MANJU departs Balikpapan escorting the "Kyokuho Maru" convoy consisting of KYOKUHO, OKIKAWA (NB: OKIKAWA is correct reading) and RYOEI MARUs.

18 June 1944:
Arrives off Masapilit Point, Buad Island (off W coast of Samar).

21 June 1944:
Departs Masapilit.

22 June 1944:
KYOKUHO MARU breaks down. OKIKAWA MARU begins towing preparations, but discontinues them because of possible enemy attack. At 1400, arrives at Cabugao Bay, on the S coast of Catanduanes Island, Philippines.

23 June 1944:
At 0600, convoy departs Cabugao Bay. At 0840, enters Albay Gulf. Later that day, arrives at Legaspi, Philippines.

24 June 1944:
MANJU departs Legaspi escorting tanker convoy consisting of OKIKAWA and RYOEI MARUs.

25 June 1944:
Arrives off Bacolod, Negros.

26 June 1944:
At 0225, MANJU departs Bacolod together with destroyers HATSUSHIMO, YUKIKAZE and UZUKI and kaibokan CD-22 escorting tankers NICHIEI, RYOEI, OKIKAWA and AZUSA MARUs.

1 July 1944:
At 2105, arrives at Mutsure.

2 July 1944:
Departs Mutsure. Later this day NICHIEI MARU separates and proceeds straight to Urume-jima to fuel battleship YAMATO. After arrival at Kure, MANJU is dry-docked.

17 July 1944:
At 0755, MANJU departs Kure in the escort of a convoy consisting of NICHIEI, RYOEI, AZUSA and OKIGAWA MARUs also escorted by destroyers SATSUKI, YUZUKI and UZUKI and subchasers CH-30 and CH-33. En route the convoy calls at Takao.

20 July 1944:
At an unknown location, NICHIEI MARU refuels subchaser CH-33.

23 July 1944:
At 0847, arrives at Manila. Some ships arrived later.

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, OKIKAWA MARU and SATSUKI are detached and return to Singapore arriving on 13 August 1944.

17 August 1944:
At 1350, arrives at Takao. YUZUKI is refuelled from the NICHIEI MARU. Departs at 1750.

20 August 1944:
MANJU is attached to 31st Squadron of the Combined Fleet.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji. Later this day, at 1716, arrives at fleet anchorage off Hashira-jima. MANJU continues to Kure where she enters dry-dock and receives additional armament.

6 September 1944:
MANJU departs Kure to conduct all day long squadron training and anti-sub exercises with her squadron mates KANJU, MIYAKE, KASADO and CD-22 in Western Inland Sea together with DesDiv 30 (UZUKI, YUZUKI, AKIKAZE, SATSUKI and YUNAGI) and DesDiv 43 (TAKE, UME, MATSU and MOMO). At night, the 31st Squadron anchors off Murozumi (southeast of Hikari), Yamaguchi Prefecture.

7 September 1944:
MANJU, KANJU and MIYAKE depart Murozumi and later that day arrive at Moji.

8 September 1944:
MANJU departs Mutsure-jima for Singapore with kaibokan KANJU (F), MIYAKE and DesDiv 30’s YUZUKI, UZUKI and escort carrier SHINYO (with 14 Nakajima B5N2 Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bombers of the 931st Air Group) The planes are equipped with Jijitanchiki magnetic airborne submarine detection devices (MAD)) escorting convoy HI-75 consisting of flying boat tender AKITSUSHIMA, transports ASAMA MARU and SAIGON MARU, oilers YUHO, RYOEI, NICHIEI, MANEI, AMATO, TOHO (1944 built) and SERIA MARUs. Later this day arrives at Imari Bay (NB: several of these ships join the convoy at Imari Bay).

9 September 1944:
Departs Imari Bay.

11 September 1944:
Central part of East China Sea. Ca. 0900, a plane from SHINYO, patrolling sea lane ahead of convoy, detects an enemy submarine. YUZUKI is detached to attack sub. In co-operation with the aircraft, YUZUKI drops a total of 40 depth charge and claims sinking of sub. At dusk, the last patrol plane for the day approaches flight deck of SHINYO. While landing on the deck the brakes fail and the plane has to start through but regains not enough speed. The plane shoots over the end of the flight deck and makes an emergency landing into the sea. MIYAKE is immediately detached to rescue the plane crew. When arriving on the spot, MIYAKE lowers her port side cutter with a rescue crew. Rescue operation proves to be very difficult because of the rough sea but, finally, succeeds in picking up safely the entire plane crew.

12 September 1944:
In the morning, SAIGON MARU, YUZUKI and KANJU are detached for the China coast. They later rejoin at Takao. At 1730, ASAMA MARU is detached and later that day arrives at Kirun (Keelung). During that day the "Mizuho Maru"-convoy, consisting of IJA hospital ship MIZUHO MARU and two others, had departed Kirun for a scheduled rendezvous with HI-75 off Hakusha (Peisha) Point, north coast of Taiwan. However, the rendezvous fails because MIZUHO MARU-convoy is delayed and the three ships have to return to Kirun.

13 September 1944:
At 1400, HI-75 arrives at Takao. Off northern breakwater lighthouse, MIYAKE goes alongside NICHIEI MARU to be replenished.

14 September 1944:
The convoy is increased by the addition of oilers DAIHO (1944 built), FUJISAN (1944 built) and KUROSHIO MARUs, torpedo boat HIYODORI and kaibokan CD-28. At 1630, the convoy departs Takao. At time of departure, AMATO MARU develops engine troubles and has to be detached (NB: after repair departs Takao and finally catches up with the convoy on 19 September).At 1900, YUHO MARU develops engine problems and straggles. She soon recovers and rejoins the convoy.

16 September 1944:
At 1400, weather deteriorates with heavy rain and poor visibility. Off Paracel Islands. At 2330, in dark night and heavy rain, KANJU suffers rudder problems and collides with SERIA MARU. KANJU sustains light damages to her bridge and some other parts, but one crewman is killed. SERIA MARU sustains only superficial 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) Rueben T. Whitaker's (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER (SS-249). Six crewmen are KIA. The other ships arrive at Manila at 1810, on 19 September.

18 September 1944:
At 1040, kaibokan KURAHASHI joins as escort. At 2015, SERIA MARU develops trouble with her steering gear and collides with FUJISAN MARU. Both oilers sustain only slight damage. SERIA MARU recovers the problem by switching to manual steering but has to regroup herself at the end of the convoy.

19 September 1944:
At 1500, AMATO MARU rejoins the convoy. 19-20 September 1944: The convoy is continuously hampered by mechanical problems. During these two day, in succession KUROSHIO, DAIHO, NICHIEI and FUJISAN MARUs and carrier SHINYO all suffer engine or rudder problems. It is extremely difficult to maintain formation, but the convoy remains intact.

20 September 1944:
At 1700, kaibokan CD-18 joins as escort. In the evening the weather deteriorates again, but the convoy continues without serious problems.

22 September 1944:
At 1300, convoy passes Horsburgh Lighthouse, eastern approaches to Singapore. At 1600, arrives at Singapore.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, MANJU departs Singapore for Moji with escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan KANJU, MIYAKE, KURAHASHI, CD-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI escorting convoy HI-76 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, NICHINAN (5,175t), RYOEI, FUJISAN, KUROSHIO, TARAKAN (fitted with a temporary bow) and TOHO MARUs, ex-seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU and cargo ship TEIHOKU MARU (ex-French PERSEE). (NB: When convoy HI-76 is assembled in Singapore Strait, tanker AMATO MARU develops engine troubles while tanker DAIHO MARU suffers problems with her steering gear. Both tankers have to be excluded from the convoy.

8 October 1944:
During that day, one of SHINYO´s planes is considerably damaged in a crash-landing on deck of the carrier and has to be written off, the plane crew escapes with some bruises. South China Sea. 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. At 0211, KIMIKAWA MARU, which is sailing at the end of the convoy, is hit by two torpedoes starboard side in #4 and #5 holds, at position 14-12N, 115-53E, explosions cause two big huge holes, 48 embarked soldiers are killed in #5 hold, engines and rudder are handled by emergency measures, able to make 12 knots. MIYAKE is ordered to counter-attack sub but fails to make a contact in the pitch black night and breaks off the search and follows the convoy. KIMIKAWA MARU is detached from the convoy and heads for Manila escorted by HIYODORI and CD-28. At 2030, 9 October 1944, arrives at Manila for emergency repairs. Following this disaster, the convoy temporarily alters course to the southward, then detours Paracel Islands to the west.

10 October 1944:
After receiving reports of an American task force striking Okinawa, convoy HI-76 diverts to Samah, Hainan Island.

11 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Samah. Convoy is ordered to stay in readiness at Samah to wait for improvement of situation.

15 October 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Samah.

16 October 1944:
At 0425, the convoy departs Samah. Strong seasonal winds and a rough sea cause the ships to roll and pitch heavily. At ca. 1300, TARAKAN MARU is found to be considerably leaking at her temporary bow. TARAKAN MARU is detached and turns back to Samah.

17 October 1944: Operation “SHO-I-GO” – The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
At 0420, news arrive of an American task force striking Philippines. Convoy HI-76 is ordered to turn back to Samah, arriving later that day. By order of CO 1st Control Force at Lingga Anchorage, Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo, RYOEI and NICHIEI MARUs, MIYAKE, MANJU and KURAHASHI are detached from convoy HI-76 and attached to the 1st Control Force (2nd Fleet). RYOEI MARU is to replenish Vice Admiral Shima Kiyohide's (39) (former CO of OI) 2nd Control Force (5th Fleet) at Mako. RYOEI MARU turns around once again and proceed to Mako, escorted by MIYAKE and MANJU. At 2343, chief-of-staff 2nd Fleet radio message orders NICHIEI MARU and KURAHASHI to stay ready at Samah to await special orders.

18 October 1944:
At 0800, CD-25 and CD-32 are attached to HI-76 off Samah. At 1133, C-in-C Combined Fleet radio message orders NICHIEI MARU to depart Samah for Coron, Busuanga Island, Philippines to replenish 1st Control Force, escorted by KURAHASHI and CD-25.At 1554, chief-of-staff General Sea Escort Force radio message orders NICHINAN and FUJISAN MARUs to detach from convoy HI-76 and to stay in readiness at Samah. At 1705, CO 1st Sea Escort Force radio message instructs NICHIEI MARU to sail to Ulugan Bay (10-03N, 118-46E), west coast of Palawan, because Coron had recently been under severe attack. At 1730, convoy HI-76, now consisting of TEIHOKU, TOHO and KUROSHIO MARUs depart Samah for Mako, escorted by SHINYO, KANJU (F) and CD-32. (NB: tankers TOHO and KUROSHIO MARUs are excluded from fleet replenishing operation because they have no equipment for refuelling warships). SHINYO has continuously several planes flying anti-sub and CAP patrols. At 1830, NICHIEI MARU, escorted KURAHASHI and CD-25, departs Samah for Ulugan Bay, Palawan. In the late afternoon, RYOEI MARU, MIYAKE and MANJU arrive at Takao.

19 October 1944:
In the morning, CD-25, escorting NICHIEI MARU together with KURAHASHI, develops trouble with her port side engine fuel pump and is unable to keep up pace. CD-25 is detached from escort duty and ordered back to Samah. CD-32 is ordered to detach from HI-76 to relieve CD-25 and to join NICHIEI MARU as fast as possible. In the meantime, NICHIEI MARU and KURAHASHI are ordered to stay in readiness in the vicinity of Samah to await arrival of CD-32. At 1226, CO 1st Sea Escort Force radio message orders kaibokan CD-8 and CD-130 to join HI-76 as escorts as fast as possible. In the afternoon, one of SHINYO´s planes fails to return and is missing. After sunset, RYOEI MARU, MIYAKE and MANJU depart Takao for Mako.

20 October 1944:
At 0835, Captain CD-25 radios that port side fuel pump is restored and ship is recovering now to original speed. CD-25 is ordered to chase after convoy HI-75 and to schedule a rendez-vous time. At 0830, Vice Admiral Shima´s 2nd Control Force (5th Fleet) arrives at Mako from Satsukawa Bay, Amami-O-Shima. The 2nd Control Force consists of CruDiv 21’s NACHI and ASHIGARA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi's (41) (former CO of SUZUYA) DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, KASUMI and USHIO, DesDiv 18's SHIRANUI and Des21's WAKABA, HATSUSHIMO and HATSUHARU. At 0930, after a difficult journey, RYOEI MARU, escorted by MIYAKE and MANJU, arrives at Mako, impatiently awaited by Shima. RYOEI MARU immediately starts to refuel Shima´s fleet. Later that day, KASADO, MANJU and MIYAKE are attached to 21st Sea Defence Force. At night, KANJU (F) receives message that KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs are scheduled to be detached from HI-76 and attached to control of Combined Fleet. Both tankers are to discharge their oil cargo at Mako Harbor.

21 October 1944:
At 1600, Shima’s Fifth Fleet departs Mako. RYOEI MARU remains at Mako until early morning of 31 October, then departs for Takao together with KUROSHIO MARU. In the afternoon of 31 October, both tankers join Singapore-bound convoy HI-79 off Takao. Also at 1600, convoy HI-76 comes in contact with a single B-24 at southern entrance to Taiwan Strait. Thereafter, SHINYO is detached for Kure unescorted as there is no longer a complete convoy to protect (NB: SHINYO arrives at Saeki on 24 October where she lands the 11 remaining aircraft of the 931st Air Group. The same day departs Saeki and arrives at Kure).

22 October 1944:
In the morning, CD-25 is detached from convoy HI-76 and proceeds to Takao (NB: CD-25 departs Takao, 24 October, for Port San Pio Quinto, Camiguin Island, Luzon Strait with emergency food and clothing for the about 150 survivors of the sunken TERUKUNI MARU 3588gt). At 1200, convoy HI-76, now consisting of TEIHOKU, KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and escorted by KANJU, CD-8 and CD-130 arrive off Mako. KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs are detached from convoy HI-76. Both tankers are now guarded by kaibokan KASADO arriving from Takao after being detached from convoy MOMA-05 (NB: KASADO had arrived Takao with convoy MOMA-05, at 1600 on 21 October). Later that day, TEIHOKU MARU, now the final remaining ship from original convoy HI-76, continues to Moji, escorted by KANJU, CD-8, CD-130 and YASHIRO, the latter joining off Mako that day. (NB: On 24 October, TEIHOKU MARU develops engine troubles. She is drifting for a while but finally recovers and continues to Moji. At 1030, 25 October, convoy arrives off Sasebo. YASHIRO is detached and proceeds to Sasebo. Finally, at 1130, 26 October, TEIHOKU MARU, KANJU, CD-8 and CD-130 arrive off Mutsure-jima).

23 October 1944:
KUROSHIO and TOHO MARUs and KASADO enter Mako harbour. Both tankers discharge their oil cargo. During that day, MANJU, MIYAKE and KASADO depart Mako for anti-sub sweeping operation in Taiwan Strait in response to fierce enemy sub attack against convoy U-03.

26 October 1944:
At 0600, convoy MI-23 arrives off Amoy (MI-23 departed Sasebo, at 0700 on 18 October). In the morning, MANJU, MIYAKE and KASADO arrive off Amoy and receive order to join convoy MI-23 from Amoy to Mako. At 1800, convoy MI-23 departs Amoy.

27 October 1944:
At 0800, MI-23 arrives at Mako. Special repair ship HAKUSA (ex-Chinese FU Hsing) is detached from MI-23 (NB: HAKUSA is classified as special repair ship on 1 May 1944). MIYAKE and KASADO receive order to escort HAKUSA to Singapore. YUZAN MARU No.2 is also detached and later joins convoy MI-25. An unknown vessel newly joins MI-23. MANJU is also detached and proceeds to Takao arriving later this day.

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.

31 October 1944:
MANJU departs Takao with light cruiser KASHII, kaibokan UKURU, NOMI, CD-17 and minelayer NIIZAKI escorting convoy HI-79 consisting of tankers TENEI and MATSUSHIMA MARUs. In the afternoon, KUROSHIO and RYOEI MARUs join Singapore-bound convoy HI-79 off Takao.

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:
At 1710, MANJU departs Singapore with light cruiser KASHII (F) (with Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo (39), CINC, 5th Escort Group embarked), kaibokan MIYAKE, UKURU, KASADO, NOMI, CD-17, CD-23 and CD-51 and minelayer NIIZAKI escorting convoy HI-80 consisting of TENEI, MATSUSHIMA, RYOEI, MUNAKATA, ARIMASAN, KUROSHIO, NICHINAN and KAIHO MARUs. The ships are organized into two columns. 20 November 1944:
At 1240, CD-17 is detached for Saigon, rebunkers.

21 November 1944:
At 0235, weather deteriorates and visibility becomes poor causing disorder of convoy formation. At 1155, convoy formation is restored.

24 November 1944:
At 1300, NICHINAN MARU, MANJU and CD-51 having detached arrive at Baie de Van Fong (Van Phong Bay). CD-51 later rejoins the main convoy.

28 November 1944:
At 0600, MANJU departs Baie de Van Fong escorting NICHINAN MARU for Mako.

2 December 1944:
Arrives at Mako.

3 December 1944:
Departs Mako as temporary escort for HARUKAZE-convoy.

6 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

8 December 1944:
At 0721, MANJU departs Takao with kaibokan TSUSHIMA and DAITO escorting convoy MAMO-05 consisting now of KIYOKAWA, TEIRITSU (ex French LECONTE DE LISLE), KIBITSU AND SHINSHO MARUs and other unknown ships. KIYOKAWA MARU carries 6,030 tons of sugar, 175 boxes of other cargo and heavy oil. At 1530, the convoy anchors off Mako.

10 December 1944:
At 0726 departs Mako.

12 December 1944:
At 0236 arrives at Sanmen Bay and departs at 0741 that day.

14 December 1944:
At 2110 arrives at Imari Bay.

15 December 1944:
At 0800 departs Imari Bay when convoy reports a submarine attack. Several ships including KIYOKAWA MARU drop depth charges, but there is no US submarine in this area. Later that day, at 1810 the convoy arrives at Mutsure.

16 December 1944:
At 0858 departs Mutsure and shortly afterwards at 1042 arrives at Moji. MANJU continues to Kure.

17 December 1944:
MANJU arrives at Kure. Receives maintenance and increased armament.

13 January 1945:
Departs Kure. Later this day arrives at Moji.

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, TATSUHARU, MASASHIMA, AIZAN, SHUNSHO and DAISHUN MARUs, TAMON MARU No. 16 and three unidentified merchants, possibly including TETSUYO MARU. The convoy hugs the continental coast as it heads south.

20 January 1945:
Arrives at eastern entrance to Niu-Pi-Shan Channel, Chekiang Province.

21 January 1945:
At 0700, departs eastern entrance to Niu-Pi-Shan Channel and in the evening arrives at Sanmen Bay, Chekiang Province.

22 January 1945:
At dawn, MOTA-32 departs Sanmen Bay. In late afternoon, arrives at Namkwan (Namquan) Bay. At 1600, convoy TAMO-38 consisting of DAINAN, BINGO, TOYOKAWA, RASHIN, SHINNO, TATSUWA MARUs and NICHIYU MARU No.7 escorted by kaibokan CD-26, CD-39, CD-112 and IKUNA heading north arrives and the two convoys merged at anchor. MOTA-32 anchors in five columns nearest to 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. CD-31 rescues about a dozen army soldiers incl. some officers. Minor damage, probably from falling debris, is also inflicted on SAMARANG, AIZAN, DAISHUN and SHUNSHO MARUs and TAMON MARU No. 16. Several escorts hunt the enemy sub without result. At 0600, the remainder of the convoy departs the anchorage. Later that day arrives at Niu-Shan Tao (Turnabout Island), Fukien Province.

24 January 1945:
At 0400, departs Niu-Shan Tao.

25 January 1945:
At 1200, arrives at Kirun where the convoy is dissolved.

26 January 1945:
At 0600, MANJU departs Kirun. Together with CD-31, CD-132 and CD-144 meets up with KIBITSU MARU and escorts the ship towards Lam Yit Tao (Nan-Jih Tao), Fukien Province where KIBITSU MARU is to join Moji-bound convoy YUTA-15 consisting of TEIHOKU (ex-Vichy French PERSEE) and AKESHIMA MARUs (NB: AKESHIMA MARU is correct name!) escorted by kaibokan UKURU, TSUSHIMA, DAITO and CD-27. YUTA-15 arrives at Lam Yit Tao this day at 1305 and departs next day at 0630.

27 January 1945:
At 0600, MANJU, CD-31, CD-132 and CD-144 arrive at Mako.

28 January 1945:
At 1700, MANJU departs Mako for Singapore with CD-31, CD-132 and CD-144.

31 January 1945:
At 0600, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David B. Bell's (USNA ’37) USS PARGO (SS-264) torpedoes and considerably damages MANJU's bow at 11-15N, 109-12E, ca. 35 nm SSE of Cap Padaran. Lookouts on board the MANJU discover 3 further torpedo wakes missing the ship closely. 6 crew are KIA and 2 are wounded. The upper deck plating forward from FR 4 is blown backward to #1 gun disabling the gun. The hull from forecastle FR 16 diagonal downward to keel at FR 9 is cracked. Outer plating on both sides from bow to FR 19 are waved. Entire bow section is bent to port side. MANJU is later taken in tow by a French tug for Saigon. CD-31, CD-132 and CD-144 continue to Singapore. 2 February 1945:

0200, a lookout on board CD-144 discovers a torpedo wake. Immediately afterwards, Cdr Thomas L. Wogan’s (USNA '30) USS BESUGO (SS-321) hits CD-144 with one torpedo starboard in engine room. CD-144 is heavily afire and settles down by stern. Shortly afterwards, she sinks at 04-34N, 104-10-30E, ca. 40 nm E of Tanjung Batu Lata, Malay Peninsula. 89 hands are KIA. CD-31 counter-attacks with depth charges and claims a certain kill. CD-132 rescues survivors from CD-144 incl. LtCdr Mori Yoshitaka who has sustained a severe head wound. After arrival at Singapore, the survivors are taken to the naval hospital but two crewmen die later due to their serious wounds. Later this day, MANJU arrives at Saigon, towed by a French tug. Undergoes temporary repairs.

5 February 1945:
At 2100, departs Saigon.

8 February 1945:
At 1834, MANJU arrives at Singapore where she is dry-docked for full-scale repairs.

19 March 1945:
At 0730, MANJU departs Seletar Naval Harbor, Singapore with destroyer AMATSUKAZE (with a temporary bow fitted) and kaibokan CD-18, CD-26 (NB: according to battle reports of other participating kaibokan, CD-26 sails with HI-88J from Singapore), CD-84, CD-130, CD-134 (F) (with CO 11th Sea Defence Force (kaibotei), Cdr Hirano Taiji, embarked) to join as escorts for convoy HI-88J consisting of ASOKAWA (convoy ship #1), HONAN (#2), SARAWAK (#3), KAIKO (#4), ARAOSAN (#5), TENCHO (#6) and KITAKAMI (#7) MARUs. At 0900, convoy HI-88J departs convoy assembly area. Convoy speed is only 7 knots. At 1316, SARAWAK MARU hits a magnetic mine ca. 10 nm NE of Horsburgh Lighthouse, 01-28N, 104-36E, eastern part of Singapore Strait. Explosion shock causes damage to several seawater valves in the engine room, heavy flooding, settling down by stern and great danger of sinking. Shortly after 1400, SARAWAK MARU is taken in tow by the ARAOSAN MARU. At 1810, towage has reached a point 2.4 nm NE of Tanjong Berakit light structure (north-eastern extremity of Bintan Island) when SARAWAK MARU´s stern hit the bottom. Towage has to be abandoned.

20 March 1945:
Convoy passes Pulau Tioman.

21 March 1945:
Finally, at 1130, SARAWAK MARU rolls over on her port side beams and sinks at 01-28N, 104-38E with a cargo of 4.338 tons of heavy oil, 690 tons of raw rubber and 116 tons of tin. In the evening, the convoy passes off Kota Bharu

22 March 1945:
Starts crossing Gulf of Siam.

23 March 1945:
At 1500, convoy anchors at Iles de Poulo Dama Anchorage, 09-42N, 104-22E, just to the west of the southern tip of French Indochina, Pointe de Camau.

24 March 1945:
At 0800, departs Iles de Poulo Dama Anchorage.

26 March 1945:
Arrives at Cap St. Jacques anchorage. ARAOSAN, TENCHO and KITAKAMI MARUs are detached for Saigon. Submarine chaser CH-20 joins the convoy at St. Jacques. Convoy departs Cap St. Jacques later this day.

27 March 1945:
At 2000, arrives at Nha Trang Bay. Subchaser CH-20 is detached. Kaibokan CD-1 and subchaser CH-9 (a surviving escort from convoy HI-88I with numerous m/g holes received in strafing attack on 21 March 1945) are added to convoy HI-88J now consisting of ASOKAWA (#1), HONAN (#2), KAIKO (#3) MARUs escorted by kaibokan MANJU, CD-1, CD-18, CD-26, CD-84, CD-130, CD-134 (F), destroyer AMATSUKAZE and subchaser CH-9. (NB: NANSHIN MARU No.30 is not part of HI-88J).

28 March 1945:
At 0730, departs Nha Trang Bay under air cover from 8 fighter planes. Alerted by Allied Intelligence, 28 strafers from the 345th Bomb Group (“Air Apache”) set out after it, but the lead plane makes a navigation error and the planes make landfall too far south, sweeping empty coastline northward from Phan Thiet to Phan Rang. One B-25 of the 501st Bomb Squadron flying cover for the mission with some fighters fights off a pass by a Nakajima Ki-43 “Oscar”, one the planes flying cover for the convoy, north of Nha Trang and is shot down at when it discovers the convoy steaming northwards Cap Varella. At 0959, LtCdr William L. Kitch´s (USNA ´38) USS BLACKFIN (SS-322) discovers the convoy near Han Trau Nam Islets (Les Trois Rois) (12-34N, 109-28E). At 1023, 2 miles N of Hon Trau Nam Islets, 12-37N, 109-28E, USS BLACKFIN, while in a depth of only 100 feet, starts to turn in on a freighter target for attack but is detected by nearby kaibokan CD-26. At 1024, CD-26 drops seven depth charges which explode very close to the submarine. USS BLACKFIN sustains serious damage to her diving rudders, torpedo tubes, wireless antenna, compass and several other parts and is forced to terminate patrol two days later after conducting emergency repairs. CD-26 claims a certain kill. At 1025, the convoy is attacked by B-24s from the 43rd Bomb Group. At 1035, ASOKAWA MARU is attacked and suffers a direct hit in the engine room. The explosion shock blows about half the number of the shipboard gunners into the sea. All function inside the ship is lost, heavy flooding. At 1042, ASOKAWA MARU sinks at 12-31N, 109-22E, north side of Baie de Van Fong (Van Phong Bay). 92 passengers, 8 gunners and 34 crew are KIA. At 1219, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr´s (USNA ´34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) hits HONAN MARU in stern with 2 torpedoes, at 12-40N, 109-27.5E, near Hon Doi Islet. Explosions cause 15 meters of HONAN MARU´s stern to break off, heavy flooding of engine room, unnavigable. As there is no expectations of being able to tow her, her captain orders abandon ship. Five gunners and 44 crewmen are KIA. MANJU rescues 6 crewmen while CD-84 picks up about 15 crewmen. Later this day, the wreck with her cargo of 7.700 kilolitres of unrefined coconut oil drifts ashore on nearby Hon Doi Islet. From 1800 to 2000, the convoy shelters at Xuan Dai Bay (13-25N, 109-15E).

29 March 1945:
At 0536, USS BLUEGILL executes a second attack against the now beached HONAN MARU. Two torpedoes hit the target and flames are observed reaching several hundred feet into the air followed by a large fire throughout the ship. Later close observation showed the target to be a fire jutted wreck with after part of main deck well above water. At 0710, LtCdr Frank M. Smith´s (USNA ´35) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364) torpedoes and sinks CD-84 which is sailing as tail-end charly. CD-84 sinks instantly at 14-40N, 109-16E, ca. 20 nm NNE of Pointe An Yo. 191 crewmen incl. LtCdr Ikeda Tokiyoshi and probably several survivors from HONAN MARU are KIA. CD-18 and CD-130 drop behind to rescues survivors. Nearby, the rest of the convoy is disappearing into the mist and rain about 60 miles off An Thanh. CD-18 and CD-130, are located by a B-25 flown by Cpt Jack Jones, the CO of the 501st Bomb Squadron. Jones is leading a first wave of 15 “Air Apache” B-25s from the 498th and 501st Bomb Squadrons which has set out early this day to track down the convoy missed the previous day. 16 B-25s from the 498th and 500th Bomb Squadrons form the second wave following 30 minutes later.

Capain Jones lines up on the southernmost warship, actually the CD-18, for a bombing and strafing run and hit the stern of the escort with a 500-pound bomb as he charges over it. His wingman, 2/Lt Heath C. Steele, misses with his two bombs. CD-18 begins dropping depth charges in its wake, apparently hoping that one of the B-25s would fly into the explosions. Following behind, Lt Hardeman is forced to pull up sharply to miss the waterspout thrown up by the charges, but his wingman, 2/Lt Rico F. Pallotta, slips below him and skip a bomb into the starboard bow where it explodes. The next two planes score no hits. The 498th Squadron has, meanwhile, circled to the west. Coming out of a right turn, Cpt Cranford lead his three-plane flight directly at the ship from almost head on. His right wingman, Lt James Manners, bring his nose guns to bear and begin raking his bullets across the starboard side. Every bullet seems to hit home and two rectangular steel plates, the largest about a dozen feet long, suddenly twists from the side of the kaibokan and sails 40 or 50 feet before splashing into the sea. Cranford´s bomb hit just ahead of the ship and seconds later explodes beneath it, sending water splashing up along both sides. Following behind him, Maj Jack C. McClure, Jr., skip another bomb into the vessel, sealing its fate. By this time black smoke was billowing from a fire amidships and the kaibokan has begun to settle by its bow. Thirty minutes later survivors are seen abandoning ship. Burning fiercely, CD-18 sinks by its bow, at position 14-44N, 109-16E, ca. 35 nm SE of Cap Batangan. 184 crew incl. Cdr Shimokata Hiromaro are KIA.

While the other planes are sinking CD-18, 1/Lt Ollie E. Hatcher and 2/Lt Ralph E. Blount make a pass on the second kaibokan further north, actually the CD-130, which has begun a turn to port. Neither of them score a hit with their four bombs. Maj MacClure follow this attack with one of his own, but also miss. CD-130 is beginning to show the signs of repeated heavy strafing, however. The rest of the 501st Squadron, completing its attack on CD-18, now pounces also on the second kaibokan. Cpt Jones score a direct hit on the port bow. Lt Hardeman come in next, straddling it with four more bombs. His wingman, 2/Lt Pallotta, sore another direct hit. The 498th´s Cpt Truett C. Gowan score with two more which cause a large explosion. The vessel is dead in the water and listing sharply to starboard with fierce fires raging aboard as Lts Hatcher and Blount drop four more bombs on it. With a huge hole opened in its side, CD-130 quickly rolls over on her starboard beam ends and sinks. 187 crew incl. LtCdr Suzuki Yasukichi are KIA. LtCdr Suzuki is promoted Cdr, posthumously.With the rear guard disposed of, Captain Jones order the other planes from the 501st back to base. He has one bomb remaining so he heads for an oil tanker, actually the KAIKO MARU, which is steaming for the cover of a rain squall. Calling his wingman, Lt Steele, on the radio, he tells him not to follow since he has no more bombs. Jones then makes his run, expending his last bomb against the KAIKO MARU. Clearing this vessel, his plane immediately enters the storm. Before the ship disappears from sight, his tail gunner reported seeing a fire burning on the deck just in front of the bridge.

Lt Steele´s aircraft is right behind, reeling from heavy damage caused by flak from the escorting warships. He has disregarded Jone´s order and proceeds to cover his commander´s attack with a strafing run. His plane is one of three from the 501st that is seriously damaged during the mission. One other plane from the Black Panthers and four from the Falcons are also holed, but all return safely to base. Guided by smoke from the burning ships, the second attack wave, summoned by Col Coltharp, is now arriving on the scene. The two squadrons turn north, pursuing the main body of the convoy into the weather. As the strafers dodge in and out of rain squalls, the attack become quite confused. Numerous passes are conducted on various ships, but the pilots are often flying on instruments and there is great danger of a mid-air collision as planes become separated and fly their own courses. Several pilots find and attack targets inside the storm cells and several ships are claimed damaged or sunk. However, there is only one more certain kill. A 500th Squadron pilot, Lt John Loisel, spots an oil tanker, actually the KAIKO MARU, and attacks it through intense AA fire. He scores a direct hit and the ship erupts in a fiery explosion. He then turns away and attacks a frigate which has been shooting at him, hitting it with two bombs. The tail gunner reports that the warship is burning and listing as the plane departs. KAIKO MARU, carrying ca. 1,200 tons of crude oil, sinks at 15-14N, 109-26E, ca. 30 nm E of Cap Batangan. 12 passengers, 4 gunners and 19 crew are KIA.

During this fierce melee, at ca. 1100, MANJU is heavily strafed by two enemy planes. MANJU claims shot down one aircraft and heavily damaging the other plane which escapes burning into a squall. Three crewmen are KIA while another crewman succumbs to his wounds on 1 April 1945. At about the same time, CD-26 is heavily strafed by and 2 crew are KIA. At 1120, subchaser CH-9 is damaged by strafing at 15-10N, 109-26E. At 1130, ca. 20 nm ESE of Cu Lao Re Island (15-23N, 109-07E), CD-134 is heavily strafed. Several crew members are killed or seriously wounded and another 30 are lightly wounded. From 2320 to 2325, at 17-17N, 109-47E, ca. 50 nm S of Hainan, CD-134 is attacked by a USN Martin PBM-5 “Mariner” maritime patrol flying boat which conducts two bombing runs against the kaibokan. CD-134 engages the plane and shoot it down but due to near misses, the after magazine is completely flooded. Flooding causes a 5 degree list to port side but CD-134 is able to make 10 knots.

30 March 1945:
25 North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bomber/strafers of the 345th Bomb Group ("Air Apaches") are sent out on a search mission to the south-eastern tip of Hainan – Cape Gaalong and Yulin Bay – where Intelligence hopes they will find the remnants of the enemy convoy which had escaped into the rain squalls off the Indochina coast the previous day. By 1000, destroyer AMATSUKAZE, CD-1 and CD-26, now without a convoy, arrive inside Yulin Bay, Hainan. CD-134 arrives also at Yulin Bay later this day and lands several wounded crewmen who are taken to Hainan Naval Hospital. MANJU has arrived before noon but drops anchor off Samah. At 1045, 12 B-25s spot and attack destroyer AMATSUKAZE, CD-1 and CD-26 at Yulin Bay. Despite a tremendous AA-barrage CD-26 suffers medium damage due to heavy strafing and near misses. CD-26 claims 3 enemy planes shot down but sustains slight damage to her hull and her communication breaks down. Later CD-26 develops a slight list due to leakages. 7 crew are KIA and another dies of wounds later this day. CD-26 is detached and conducts emergency repairs. CD-26 departs Yulin only on 15 April 1945.

31 March 1945:
At 1500, MANJU, CD-1, CD-134 and destroyer AMATSUKAZE depart Yulin for Hong Kong.

1 April 1945:
At 2100, the warships temporarily anchor at Pumice Stone Bay, SW coast of Ta-Wan-Shan Island (Great Ladrone Island), SW of Hong Kong.

2 April 1945:
At 0230, the ships depart Pumice Stone Bay for Hong Kong. At 0930, arrives at Hong Kong.

3 April 1945:
Hong Kong. MANJU is undergoing some maintenance. Together with destroyer AMATSUKAZE, CD-1, CD-134, CH-9 and CH-20, MANJU makes preparations to join as an escort for convoy HOMO-03. At 1150, 43 USAAF Far East Air Force B-24 “Liberators” bomb the harbor and sink cargos ships HEIKAI MARU with the loss of one crewman 4 nm SE of Lamma Island, 22-10N, 114-10E, and YOKAI MARU with the loss of 2 crewmen and SHOZAN MARU with the loss of 8 crewmen inside Hong Kong harbor. When the air-alarm is sounded, MANJU weighs anchor and leaves the confined area of the inner harbor to the westward for sufficient manoeuvring space. At 1254, 1 nm NE of Green Island, MANJU is heavily damaged during the 3rd wave´s attack by two direct hits in her forecastle and just in front of the bridge. 53 crew incl. LtCdr Kamizawa Masanori (NB: surname is read Kamizawa, or maybe even Kanzawa, but not Kanazawa) and one passenger, a naval surgeon, are KIA (total 54). More than 50 of the crew are wounded, ca. 30 of them seriously. About half number of the wounded later reach Japan on board the hospital ship HIKAWA MARU. Six of the seriously wounded die later in Hong Kong hospitals, the last one on 15 January 1946! MANJU drifts north-eastward towards Stonecutters Island. Due to the heavy damage received in the foreship, MANJU´s bow settles down and finally is resting on the bottom near Stonecutters Island while her stern is afloat.

7 April 1945:
Salvage operation on MANJU starts off Stonecutters Island.

11 May 1945:
MANJU is finally refloated and taken to Kowloon where she is dry-docked for full-scale repairs.

1 June 1945:
MANJU is attached to the 2nd China Expeditionary Fleet Escort Force.

15 August 1945:
At wars end still dry-docked at Kowloon with repairs 90 percent complete.


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. Many thanks go to Erich Muehthaler of Germany for the almost complete rewrite of the TROM in Revs 8 and 9.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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