(Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki

IJN Escort Miyake:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler
Revision 5

12 February 1943:
Laid down at Nippon Kokan K.K. Tsurumi shipyard, Tsurumi, Yokohama.

30 August 1943:
Launched and named MIYAKE.

15 October 1943:
Reserve LtCdr Ota Naotsugu (former CO of converted gunboat CHOUN MARU) is appointed CEO.

30 November 1943:
Nippon Kokan K.K. Tsurumi shipyard. Official commissioning ceremony on aft deck with entire crew standing attention. At 0800, MIYAKE´s commanding officer LtCdr Ota orders initial hoisting of warship flag. Miyake is registered in the Kure Naval District and assigned to the General Escort Command´s 1st Sea Escort Group.

1 December 1943:
MIYAKE casts off from the fitting out quay and proceeds to Nagaura anchorage, Yokosuka Naval Harbor. Arrives later that day and starts loading arms, ammunition, explosives and provisions.

5 December 1943:
Departs Nagaura anchorage for Kure. Outside Tokyo Bay joins the Fuji Maru (9130gt)-convoy. On the way drops two threatening depth charges for training purpose.

7 December 1943:
Escorts Fuji Maru-convoy as far as He-Saki, near eastern entrance to Shimonoseki Strait. Temporarily anchors off He-Saki.

8 December 1943:
Departs He-Saki and later that day arrives at Kure.

9 December 1943:
Departs Kure for training cruise off Iwakuni and Tokuyama and in Suo Sea. Conducts all kinds of tests.

15 December1943:
Arrives back at Kure. Receives order from 1st Sea Escort Group HQ to prepare for sailing to south-western area of operations.

17 December 1943:
Departs Kure. Later that day arrives at Moji and is moored at No.7 Pier.

21 December 1943:
Casts off from No.7 Pier and moves to the convoy assembly area off Mutsure-Jima were convoy No. 123 is organized. MIYAKE is the sole escort. Each transport ship takes up its assigned position and convoy No. 123 departs for Takao.

23 December 1943:
At 0100, MIYAKE loses sight of convoy in a heavy rainstorm. MIYAKE desperately searches for the convoy, but in vain.

25 December 1943:
Due to poor weather lasting already for several days, no astronomical observations (neither sun nor stars) are possible and there is some doubt about the ship´s actual position. Finally, MIYAKE cautiously closes the western coastline of Taiwan and when coming across a fishing vessel, torpedo chief Kanai takes a megaphone and asks the skipper of the fishing boat on a precise position. Receiving the required data, MIYAKE is now able to plan a correct course. Later this day arrives at Takao only to find that the convoy has not yet arrived. MIYAKE immediately departs Takao and searches for the missing convoy to the northward.

26 December 1943:
MIYAKE receives a wireless stating that convoy No. 123 has safely arrived at Takao this day. MIYAKE alters course and proceeds back to Takao when she later receives another wireless stating that she is detached from escort duty and is to conduct immediately an anti-sub sweep to the south-west of Takao where tanker KYUEI MARU (10171gt) had been sunk by a submarine (FLYING FISH). On the way, MIYAKE meets DD MATSUKAZE and two other destroyers which arrive from Takao and together they proceed at maximum speed to the area of disaster. Both vessels encounter a heavy storm with mountainous seas. Breakers are so heavy that MIYAKE repeatedly disappears from her bows to bridge in a gigantic wall of water with her screws out of the water.

27 December 1943:
Weather conditions still worsen further. With DD MATSUKAZE in command, all ships desperately fight to keep up battle formation to encircle the enemy submarine.

28 December 1943:
On the afternoon, MIYAKE´s sonar finally catches an enemy sub. MIYAKE make up full speed and closes range. Depth charges are made ready, depth setting 60 meters. When range has closed to 300 meters several depth charges are fired on either side. Heavy explosions throw up high water columns. After a while upcoming oil is seen covering a wide range on the surface and it is assumed that MIYAKE has positively sunk an enemy submarine.

30 December 1943:
Arrives back at Takao.

1 January 1944:
Departs Takao for another anti-sub sweep in area south of Takao.

2 January 1944:
Arrives back at Takao.

3 January 1944:
On the early morning, MIYAKE departs Takao for Moji with kaibokan TSUSHIMA escorting 13-ship convoy No. 232 consisting of KENSEI (ex-British HINSANG), HASSHU (2655 GRT, completed June 1943), TAIKAI (3812 GRT), KENEI, DAIHO, YOZAN, DAIAKITA, KINE, GOZAN, SAN DIEGO, KASUGA, KOHO and AKAGISAN MARUs. (NB: this is correct sequence of ships in convoy) The ships are organized into two columns and sail at 8 knots. The convoy proceeds northward until reaching the Chinese coast, then close along the coastline as far as Chusan Islands and then crosses the East China Sea to a point south of Saishu-To (Quelpart Island), passes Saishu-To to the south and heads to Moji.

E 4 January 1944:
MIYAKE departs Takao with kaibokan TSUSHIMA escorting convoy No. 232 consisting of GOZAN, DAIHO, SAN DIEGO, HASSHU (ex MIJER), TAIKAI (3812 GRT), AKAGISAN, KOHO, YOZAN, KINE, KENSEI MARUs, and three unidentified merchant ships.

10 January 1944:
Convoy No. 232 safely arrives at Moji. MIYAKE and TSUSHIMA depart later that day for Kure.

11 January 1944:
MIYAKE and TSUSHIMA arrive at Kure. MIYAKE receives radar installation and embarks radar operators.

17 January 1944:
MIYAKE departs Kure.

18 January 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

20 January 1944:
MIYAKE departs Moji and arrives at convoy assembly area off Mutsure-Jima.At 1200, departs Moji Mutsure-Jima with kaibokan KANJU (F) escorting convoy HI-37 consisting of transports MIIKE and NOTO MARUs, and IJA landing craft depot ships KIBITSU and MAYASAN MARUs and tankers OMINESAN, AMATSU and OTOWASAN MARUs and an unidentified merchant ship. (NB: only 7 ships actually sailed). The convoy sails in a single column with KANJU leading and MIYAKE as tail ender, course 252 degrees, speed 16 knots, zig-zagging, zig-zag pattern is altered every five minutes by 5 degrees.

25 January 1944:
Convoy calls at Manila. MIYAKE is detached from HI-37 and receives order to join northbound convoy HI-32. Escorted by KANJU, convoy HI-37 continues to Singapore arriving at 1200, 29 January.

26 January 1944:
MIYAKE departs Manila and proceeds westward to join HI-32 consisting of OMUROSAN, TATEKAWA, HOKURIKU (NB: this is correct name!), GENYO, KUROSHIO and ITSUKUSHIMA MARUs, escorted by CVE CHITOSE and destroyer YUKIKAZE.

29 January 1944:
At 1200, arrives at Singapore.

1 February 1944:
A patrol plane from the CHITOSE spots a small drifting boat ahead of the convoy, about 60 nm east of Okinawa. MIYAKE is detached to investigate. When closing it becomes clear that the small boat is actually a landing barge with more than 100 survivors from the TARUSHIMA MARU 4865gt. MIYAKE takes over 54 survivors, followed by YUKIKAZE which takes over the remaining 57 survivors. (NB: TARUSHIMA MARU had departed Saeki for Palau on 13 January 1944 with convoy O-105. Ca. 0130 on 15 January, at 28-00N x 134-28E, attacked by USS SEAWOLF with gunfire, no damage. Ca. 2250 16 January, at 22-34N x 135-46E, attacked again by USS SEAWOLF and this time damaged by gunfire. SEAWOLF then chased the ship to USS WHALE which finished her off by torpedo at 0540 on 17 January, at 23-00N x 135-10E (ca. 160 nm ESE of Okino-Daito-Jima), 613 embarked troops and 20 crew are lost. TARUSHIMA MARU was towing midget submarine HA-51 which is also lost in this attack.)

3 February 1944:
CHITOSE is detached from HI-32 and proceeds to Sasebo.

4 February 1944:
HI-32 safely arrives off Mutsure-Jima. MIYAKE takes over the TARUSHIMA MARU-survivors from YUKIKAZE and continues to Kure.

5 February 1944:
MIYAKE arrives at Kure.

14 February 1944:
Departs Kure.

15 February 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

17 February 1944:
MIYAKE departs Moji and arrives at convoy assembly area off Mutsure-Jima. At 1200, departs Mutsure-Jima with destroyer SHIOKAZE (F) escorting 6-ship convoy HI-45 consisting of transport ARIMASAN MARU, and IJA landing craft depot ship TAMATSU MARU and tankers OMUROSAN, TATEKAWA, ITSUKUSHIMA and KUROSHIO MARUs, speed 15 knots.

19 February 1944:
On the morning, an own aircraft arrives and patrols ahead of the convoy. From time to time it circles about the convoy. In the evening, news arrive that north going convoy HI-40 is fiercely attacked by enemy submarine (USS JACK) SHIOKAZE is detached to assist HI-40´s sole escort SHIMUSHU. Convoy HI-45 receives order to take shelter at Takao.

21 February 1944:
HI-45 safely arrives at Takao, but MIYAKE remains 10 nm outside the harbour patrolling up and down. At the end of the day, MIYAKE temporarily anchors off Saei (Tsoying), 5 nm north of Takao harbor.

22 February 1944:
MIYAKE departs Saei and welcomes convoy HI-45 departing Takao harbour, torpedo boat HAYABUSA now joins as an additional escort. Immediately after leaving Takao, KUROSHIO MARU develop engine problems. The tanker has to be excluded from the convoy and returns to Takao. (NB: After finishing repairs, KUROSHIO MARU departs Takao 28 February and arrives Singapore on 5 March 1944). Later this morning, MIYAKE drops two threatening depth charges.

23 February 1944:
TAMATSU MARU and HAYABUSA are detached from the convoy and head for Manila. SHIOKAZE rejoins convoy HI-45 as an escort.

27 February 1944:
At 1700, arrives off Singapore. The tankers move to the oil terminal at Bukum, while MIYAKE and SHIOKAZE enter Johore Strait and arrive at Seletar Naval Base Harbor.

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

14 March 1944:
At 0250, when passing to the south off Ke Ga Point, French Indochina coast, SANUKI MARU is hit by a contact mine starboard side forward, at 10-31N, 108-04E. Explosion cause damage to turning mechanism of forward main gun and underwater sound detector, some flooding. Engines suffer no damage and SANUKI MARU is able to make 16 knots. The ship is detached from the convoy and proceeds to St. Jacques anchorage to investigate condition. (NB: arrives Tokuyama on 4 August 1944 and then proceeds to Harima shipyard for full-scale repairs, resumes operations in May 1944 when leaving Sasebo for Singapore in convoy HI-63 on 13 May 1944. In all probability, the mine was one of eleven Mk 12 mines laid by USS CREVALLE 14-15 January 1944 off Ke Ga Point, at 10-33N x 108-01E.)

At 1200, KUROSHIO MARU develops engine troubles and proceeds to St. Jacques anchorage (NB: after engine repair departs St. Jacques on 20 March 1944 and arrives at Manila on 24 March 1944). Having lost two ships by various causes it is decided that HI-48 will make an over-night stop at Cam Ranh Bay. At 1700, enters Camranh Bay.

15 March 1944:
At 1100, fearing ambushing enemy subs off the bay entrance, all four kaibokan sorties in parallel formation ahead the convoy. When coming out of Cam Ranh Bay, all kaibokan simultaneously drop four threatening depth charges. Unmolested the convoy follows the escorts. At 2340, AWA MARU is detached and proceeds ahead taking advantage of her maximum speed.

18 March 1944:
At 0114, HOKURIKU MARU is hit by three torpedoes fired from port quarter by LtCdr Lowell T. Stone's USS LAPON (SS-260) and sinks at 19-24N, 116-50E. The ship is carrying more than 800 persons (crew , soldiers, military employees and civilian passengers), 6700 tons bauxite and 600 tons fuel oil. 55 crewmen incl. Captain Itokawa, 25 gunners and many passengers are killed, only 248 souls are rescued. TEIA MARU sends off a report of the attack. Later that day, KASHII MARU joins the convoy southwest of Taiwan.

19 March 1944:
At 0600 0500, kaibokan SHIMUSHU runs aground, but later that day is refloated at 1240. During the day, IKI detects and depth charges an enemy submarine claiming a reliable kill. At 1600, the convoy arrives at Takao. SHIMUSHU follows at 1830.

20 March 1944:
At 1300, departs Takao.

24 March 1944:
At 1900, OTOWASAN MARU develops engine troubles.

25 March 1944:
At 0500, arrives at Moji.

27 March 1944:
MIYAKE departs Moji and arrives at Kure on the evening of that day.

31 March 1944:
Attached directly to the Combined Fleet.

6 April 1944:
Departs Kure for Yokosuka.

8 April 1944:
Arrives at Tanoura anchorage, Yokosuka Naval Harbor.

12 April 1944:
MIYAKE departs Tanoura anchorage, moves across Tokyo Bay and anchors off Kisarazu, where convoy “Higashi-Matsu No. 6” is assembled.

15 April 1944:
At 0800, MIYAKE departs Tokyo Kisarazu with destroyers HOKAZE (F) (convoy operation chief Rear-Admiral Matsuyama Mitsuji and staff embarked), YUNAGI, UZUKI, minelayers SARUSHIMA, KYOSAI and YURISHIMA, kaibokan CD-6, minesweepers W-20 and W-28 and subchasers CH-10 and CH-12 escorting convoy HIGASHI-MATSU No. 6" consisting of 18 ships: AWAJI, NITCHO (1,942gt) , KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, BATAVIA, AWA (4,523gt) and HOKUSHIN MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, DJOKJA (JOKUJA), BISAN MIYAMA and JINZAN MARUs bound for Palau, KAMISHIMA and SHOZAN MARUs bound for Woleai, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TATSUAKI and TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima. (NB: DJOKJA MARU is definitely correct romanization of Japanese syllabic katakana reading JOKUJA; a number of wartime standard ships were named after locations in south-eastern area, and DJOKJA was one of them; other examples are DJAMBI MARU, PALEMBANG MARU, MEDAN MARU, …)

On the way convoy receives air cover by 901st and 931st Air Groups.

16 April 1944:
While sailing near Miyake-Jima, her name sake island, an incident occurs on MIYAKE. Seaman 1st Class Onishi suffers severe abdominal pains, diagnosis: appendicitis! MIYAKE has no facilities to carry out surgical operations and next destination Saipan is too far away. This is an extreme difficult situation. On the one hand, MIYAKE is a battle-proofed escort for a very important convoy, on the other hand, there is a seaman´s life hanging on a very thin fathom. Nevertheless, MIYAKE´s CO Ota makes an early decision and asks for Rear-Admiral Matsuyama. Matsuyama gives permission for MIYAKE to turn back to Japan at maximum speed.

18 April 1944:
At 0000, MIYAKE arrives at Tateyama. Seaman 1st Class Onishi is transferred to an arriving motorboat. Immediately afterwards, MIYAKE departs Tateyama and chases after the convoy at maximum speed. The model 22-go radar performs excellent allowing MIYAKE to find the convoy in darkness.

During that day, TATSUAKI and TAMAHOKO MARUs together with KYOSAI and YURISHIMA are detached from the convoy and later that day arrive at Chichi-Jima.

20 April 1944:
MIYAKE takes up her assigned formation position. This great behaviour to save an ordinary seaman proves to be an invaluable morale booster to the entire crew!

21 April 1944:
South of Io-Jima. A aircraft patrolling ahead of the convoy discovers a surfaced enemy submarine and bombs it. Destroyers YUNAGI and UZUKI are detached to attack and sink the sub. Both destroyers dash to the scene and drop several depth charges, result unknown.

23 April 1944:
At 0300, TONEGAWA and INARI MARUs together with UZUKI, W-20 and SARUSHIMA are detached from the convoy and arrive at Guam, at 1735.

At 0600, the main convoy safely arrives at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan.

27 April 1944:
At 1140, MIYAKI (F) (Rear Admiral Matsuyama and staff transfer from HOKAZE to MIYAKE) departs Saipan with kaibokans AMAKUSA, MIKURA, CD-6, minelayer SARUSHIMA, minesweeper W-20 and supply ship KINESAKI and three unidentified vessels escorting 13-ship HIGASHI-MATSU No. 6 (return) convoy consisting of AWA, AZUCHISAN, AWAJI, SHOUN, TOAN, SHOZUI, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, TONEGAWA, TAKEBE MARU (4,519gt), HOKUSHIN and four two unidentified ships.(NB: TAKEBE MARU is correct name, TATEBE is alternative spelling)

2 May 1944:
When approaching Japanese coastal waters, news arrive that an enemy submarine has appeared at entrance to Tokyo Bay. Therefore convoy detours to the east of Izu Islands and after arriving off Boso Peninsula sails close along the coastline into Tokyo Bay.

4 May 1944:
Convoy safely arrives at Tokyo Bay. At 2200, MIYAKE arrives at Tanoura anchorage, Yokosuka.

15 May 1944:
MIYAKE departs Tanoura anchorage, Yokosuka and anchors off Kisarazu where convoy No. 3515 is assembled. At Yokosuka, MIYAKE had taken on board several Navy radar operators and a dozen Army officers and soldiers.

17 May 1944:
At 0616, MIYAKI departs Tateyama, Japan with destroyer HATAKAZE (F), kaibokan CD-16 and MIKURA, minesweeper W-20, subchaser CH-48 and minelayer SARUSHIMA and auxiliary netlayer KOA MARU escorting convoy No. 3515 consisting of HAKUSAN, NIPPONKAI, TOYO TOHO, KINSHU, HINKO, REIKAI, EIKO, NATSUKAWA, SEIGA, MEITO AKESHIMA and CHIYO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8. En route the ships have to battle a heavy gale for several days. It is only after convoy has passed Io-Jima when the storm calms down.

(NB: CD-16 is no part of this convoy, she departs on 19 May 1944 from Yokosuka as an escort for convoy No. 3519. Auxiliary netlayer KOA MARU [No.2 Go] is neither part of this convoy, she departs on 17 May 1944 from Yokosuka for Chichi-Jima as an escort for convoy No. 3516)

20 May 1944:
News arrives that Minami-Tori-Shima, lying 500 nm to the east of the convoy´s actual position, had been under fierce attack by about 90 carrier-based aircraft. All ships strengthened lookouts and continue with strict precaution. During that day, MIYAKE is informed that she is attached to the Supply Unit of the 1st Mobile Fleet and to participate in Operation “A-GO” (The Battle of the Philippine Seas).

25 May 1944:
At 0708, convoy arrives safely at Tanapag Harbor, Saipan.

28 May 1944:
MIYAKI departs Saipan for Yap with kaibokan KANJU escorting TAKASAKI-convoy consisting of gasoline tankers ASHIZURI (#1 ship) and TAKASAKI (#2 ship). Both tankers are carrying a remaining quantity of aviation gasoline (the larger part had been discharged at Saipan), and, by order of the 31st Army, the 3rd Battalion of the 10th Infantry Regiment as future part of the 1st Yap Garrison Detachment. MIYAKE has also embarked about 60 soldiers.

29 May 1944:
While heading south-westward, the ships pass through an area covered with very much floating debris and countless drifting corpses of army soldiers. These were the gruesome remnants of former convoy No. 3503 consisting of NICHIWA, FUKKO, TAIKOKU and OSAKA MARUs escorted by destroyer MINAZUKI and sub-chasers CH-31 and CH-32. This convoy had departed Tateyama on 14 May 1944 and after stopping at Saipan had departed from here to Yap, carrying soldiers for the 9th Yap Garrison Detachment. On 17 May 1944, the convoy lost TAIKOKU, NICHIWA and FUKKO MARUs to USS SAND LANCE (SS-381) and USS TUNNY (SS-282). The only surviving ship OSAKA MARU turned back to Saipan on 19 May 1944 after having rescued about 2,000 survivors.

30 May 1944:
TAKASAKI-convoy arrives at Yap and lands troops and avgas.

1 June 1944:
TAKASAKI-convoy departs Yap for Balikpapan via Surigao Strait.

5 June 1944: Sulu Sea. In the morning, the convoy arrives near the northern entrance to Pangutaran Passage. MIYAKE recognizes oiler OKIKAWA MARU and her escort, destroyer SATSUKI, which are just entering the passage. OKIKAWA MARU is assigned to the 3rd Replenishment Unit of the 1st Mobile Fleet for Operation A-GO and is to supply ships in Palau area. At 1045, LtCdr Frank G. Selby’s (USNA ’33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) attacks the convoy at 06-32-12N, 120-40E. At 1050, suddenly a big explosion occurs and a huge water column is seen ascending from #2 ship TAKASAKI. MIYAKE immediately goes to battle stations. Shortly afterwards, another water columns also ascends from #1 ship ASHIZURI. At the same time, one of MIYAKE´s lookouts discovers a torpedo starboard side 10 degrees heading straight toward MIYAKE. On MIYAKE´s bridge signalman WO Kasakura shouts [helm a´ port at once!]. On board all eyes are staring at the torpedo which can be clearly seen. Soon, MIYAKE answers her rudder and swing around. With great relief the torpedo is seen passing very close off the port side bow, a very narrow escape! Thereafter, MIYAKE restores rudder and makes up No. 1 battle speed preparing for depth charge attack. Her sonar catch sub screw noises 20 degrees to starboard. Captain orders fire of depth charges and about a dozen depth charges are fired from port and starboard sides. Heavy explosion erupt the sea and soon afterwards a large amount of oil bubbles up while sonar room reports unspecified noises, probably racking of sub hull. Nearby, the KANJU also drops depth charges while SATSUKI and OKIKAWA MARU escapes into the passage at high speed. At 1310, TAKASAKI sinks stern first taking with her 14 crewmen, while ASHIZURI has completely rolled over exposing her crimson painted belly. All around survivors of both ships are drifting in the water. KANJU orders MIYAKE to pick up survivors. KANJU then follows SATSUKI and OKIKAWA MARU. MIYAKE lowers her cutter and all life boats. During daytime rescue work makes good progress and after a while all survivors incl. both captains are picked up. Seeing the belly of his ship, ASHIZURI´s captain makes his decision to scuttle the wreck by gunfire. MIYAKE´s skipper orders #1 gun ready. Then gunnery chief Amamiya orders [fire two rounds!] and WO Yamamoto Yorimitsu pulls the trigger. Two shots later ASHIZURI goes down to the bottom of the Sulu Sea. Later, MIYAKE moves through the passage at low speed heading for Tawi Tawi.

6 June 1944:
In the evening, MIYAKE arrives Tawi Tawi fleet anchorage. What a gigantic and unique sight for MIYAKE´s crew. The whole of Japan´s fleet power is assembled at this huge anchorage to participate in Operation “A-Go”: battleships YAMATO, MUSASHI, NAGATO, KONGO, HARUNA, ISE, HYUGA, carriers TAIHO, ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU, JUNYO, HIYO, RYUHO, ZUIHO, CHITOSE, CHIYODA, heavy cruisers ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA, CHOKAI, MYOKO, HAGURO, KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE, CHIKUMA, light cruisers NOSHIRO and YAHAGI and many destroyers. MIYAKE shifts anchor to inside of reef because LtCdr Ota is ordered to go on land to attend Fleet Headquarters.

7 June 1944:
In the early morning, MIYAKE weighs anchor and departs Tawi Tawi for Tarakan. When passing the various fleet units MIYAKES´s crew prays for a good fight. At night of that day arrives at Tarakan. Until now MIYAKE has still on board the survivors from ASHIZURI and TAKASAKI but at Tarakan transfer them to tankers YUHO and MANEI MARUs.

10 June 1944:
MIYAKE departs Tarakan for Balikpapan with kaibokan KANJU (F) escorting tankers YUHO and MANEI MARUs (both assigned to 3rd Replenishing Unit of 1st Mobile Fleet). On the evening of that day convoy anchors northeast of Karang Besar.

11 June 1944:
Departs Karang Besar.

12 June 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan. YUHO and MANEI MARUs go alongside the oil wharf and take on board a full load of oil for the Mobile Fleet.

17 June 1944:
MIYAKE departs Balikpapan with kaibokan KANJU (F) escorting transport KAGU MARU and tankers YUHO, MANEI and EIHO MARUs.

18 June 1944:
Convoy anchors southeast off Beraoe River estuary.

19 June 1944:
Departs anchorage southeast off Beraoe River estuary. Later that day convoy arrives at Tarakan. KAGU MARU is detached.

20 June 1944:
Convoy departs Tarakan. Later that day anchors off Gusungan Island, at the western entrance of Trusan Ligitan Channel.

21 June 1944:
Convoy departs anchorage in Trusan Ligitan Channel and enters the Sulu Sea via the Alice Channel.

24 June 1944:
Convoy arrives at the southwest coast of Guimaras Island (between Negros and Panay).

26 June 1944:
MIYAKE departs Guimaras Island with kaibokan KANJU, old destroyer TSUGA and sub-chasers CH-38, CH-49 and CH-58 escorting tankers YUHO, MANEI and EIHO MARUs.

27 June 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga, Mindanao.

29 June 1944:
Departs Zamboanga.

30 June 1944:
Convoy arrives at Tawi Tawi.

1 July 1944:
Convoy departs Tawi Tawi. On the evening of that day anchors off Gusungan Island, at western entrance to Trusan Ligitan Channel. Fleet oiler TSURUMI joins the convoy.

2 July 1944:
Departs Gusungan Island anchorage. Later that day arrives off Tarakan.

3 July 1944:
Departs Tarakan. TSUGA receives order to reverse course to join as an additional escort for battleship FUSO which is on the way to Tarakan. During that day, TETSUYO MARU joins the convoy. On the evening of that day, the convoy anchors off Tandjoeng Peroepoe, southeast off Beraoe River estuary. TETSUYO MARU runs aground and is detached (NB: next day is refloated by own power and returns to Tarakan).

4 July 1944:
Convoy departs anchorage off Tandjoeng Peroepoe.

5 July 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan. MIYAKE goes alongside No.4 Wharf and is supplied with fuel, water and provisions.

10 July 1944:
MIYAKE departs Tarakan with kaibokan KANJU (F), sub-chasers CH-38, CH-49 and CH-58 escorting TSURUMI-convoy consisting of fleet oiler TSURUMI, tankers YUHO, MANEI and EIHO MARUs.

11 July 1944:
Convoy anchors off Tandjoeng Peroepoe. Transports ANKO MARU and TATSUMATSU MARU and tanker HISHI MARU No.2 join the convoy.

12 July 1944:
Convoy departs anchorage off Tandjoeng Peroepoe. On the evening of that day anchors off Tarakan.

13 July 1944:
Departs Tarakan. On the evening of that day anchors off Gusungan Island, at the western entrance of Trusan Ligitan Channel.

14 July 1944:
Departs Gusungan Island anchorage. On the evening of that day arrives at Tawi Tawi.

15 July 1944:
Departs Tawi Tawi. At 1100, MIYAKE discovers an enemy sub periscope. Two of the sub-chasers are sent ahead with the convoy while the other escorts prepare for depth charge attack. During the next hour the vessels drop 80 depth charges. On the evening of that day arrives at Jolo.

16 July 1944:
Departs Jolo. Later that day arrives at Zamboanga. The convoy is re-organized: TSURUMI, ANKO MARU, TATSUMATSU MARU and HISHI MARU No.2 are detached.

18 July 1944:
MIYAKE departs Zamboanga with kaibokan KANJU, old destroyer TSUGA and sub-chaser CH-38 escorting tankers YUHO, MANEI and EIHO MARUs. YUHO and MANEI MARUs have still on board the survivors from ASHIZURI and TAKASAKI bound for Japan.

19 July 1944:
Convoy anchors off Calabazas Island, east coast of Panay.

20 July 1944:
Departs Calabazas Island. Later that day anchors at Sapian Bay, north coast of Panay.

21 July 1944:
Departs Sapian Bay. Later that day anchors at Pola Bay, northeast coast of Mindoro.

22 July 1944:
Departs Pola Bay and later that day safely arrives at Manila. EIHO Maru is detached.

26 July 1944:
MIYAKE departs Manila with kaibokan KANJU (F) escorting tankers YUHO and MANEI MARUs. Convoy sails northward along west coast of Luzon.

28 July 1944:
Crosses the dangerous Bashi Channel. Thereafter proceeds northward off east coast of Taiwan and then enters the East China Sea.

31 July 1944:
Upon arrival off Okinawa encounters a typhoon and takes shelter at Zamami-Shima, Kerama Archipelago.

2 August 1944:
Departs Zamami-Shima. NICHINAN MARU, which had also taken shelter at Zamami-shima, joins the convoy.

4 August 1944:
Convoy safely arrives off Mutsure-Jima. MIYAKE, KANJU, YUHO and MANEI MARUs continue straight for Kure.

5 August 1944:
Safely arrives at Kure. YUHO and MANEI MARUs land survivors from ASHIZURI and TAKASAKI. Thereafter, MIYAKE undergoes great maintenance. AA-armament is increased by a dozen single barrel 13mm MGs, three twin-barrel 13mm MGs and three triple-barrel 25mm MGs, also receives a type 13 radar set. Anti-submarine armament is increased by installing an 8cm mortar on her forecastle.

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

6 September 1944:
MIYAKE departs Kure to conduct all day long squadron training and anti-sub exercises with her squadron mates KANJU, MANJU, 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:
MIYAKE, KANJU and MANJU depart Murozumi and later that day arrive at Moji.

8 September 1944:
MIYAKE departs Mutsure-jima for Singapore with kaibokan KANJU (F), MANJU 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, cargo-passenger SAIGON MARU, passenger liner ASAMA MARU, oilers YUHO, RYOEI, NICHIEI, MANEI, AMATO, TOHO (1944 built) and SERIA MARUs. (NB: several of these ships joins the convoy off 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 MARU (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 the 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 the day these two day, in succession NICHIEI, KUROSHIO, TAIHO 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 1300 1600, arrives at Singapore.

2 October 1944:
At 1700, MIYAKE departs Singapore for Moji with escort carrier SHINYO and kaibokan KANJU, MANJU, KURAHASHI, CD-28 and torpedo boat HIYODORI escorting convoy HI-76 consisting of oilers NICHIEI, NICHINAN, 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.

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 (yugeki-butai = 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: both tankers 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, MIYAKE and MANJU are attached to 21st 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).

21 October 1944:
Departs Mihara; convoy heads for homeland.

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, MIYAKE, MANJU and KASADO depart Mako for anti-sub sweeping operation in Taiwan Strait. (NB: KASADO has been also attached to 21st Defence Force on 20 October).

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

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.

29 October 1944:
MIYAKE and KASADO depart Mako escorting special repair ship HAKUSA to Singapore.

4 November 1944:
MIYAKE, KASADO and HAKUSA arrive at St. Jacques, French Indochina.

9 November 1944:
MIYAKE, KASADO and HAKUSA depart St. Jacques.

11 November 1944:
Arrives Arrive at Singapore.

17 November 1944:
At 1710, MIYAKE departs Singapore with light cruiser KASHII (F) (with Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo (39), CINC, 5th Escort Group embarked), kaibokan MANJU, 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 1315, a lonely B-24 is encountered in position 16-34N, 108-21E (ca. 22 nm E of Da Nang). The aircraft is driven away by heavy AA-fire.

27 November 1944:
At 0930, RYOEI and ARIMASASN MARUs escorted by NIIZAKI are detached for Takao, arriving on 28 November.

4 December 1944:
At 1025, HI-80 arrives at Sasebo. MIYAKE moves to the naval harbor and undergoes maintenance and repairs.

12 December 1944:
MIYAKE departs Sasebo naval harbor for Miike, Ariake Sea.

13 December 1944:
MIYAKE arrives at Miike.

14 December 1944:
MIYAKE departs Miike with kaibokan NOMI, CD-20, CD-39 and CD-138 escorting convoy MOTA-28 consisting of MURORAN, TEIKAI MARUs and tankers DAINAN, SHINGI, OEI and YAMAZAWA MARUs.

22 December 1944:
In the afternoon, convoy MOTA-28 safely arrives at Takao.

26 December 1944:
At 0900, MIYAKE departs Takao with kaibokan NOMI, CD-20, CD-39, CD-112 (25 December, detached at Takao from convoy HI-85) and CD-138 escorting convoy TAMA-38 consisting of HYUGA, KIBITSU, AOBASAN and SHINSHU MARUs. Convoy is carrying main strength of the 19th Army Division (Tora Division) and base personnel of the 2nd Glider Regiment. In the evening, the convoy anchors off Kaiko (Haikow), southwest coast of Taiwan.

27 December 1944:
At 0300, departs Kaiko. While crossing dangerous Bashi Channel, MAD-equipped planes of the 901st Air Group are flying patrol ahead of the convoy. In the afternoon anchors off Batan Island, Luzon Strait.

28 December 1944:
At pre-dawn, departs Batan Island. In the evening arrives north coast of Luzon. While proceeding southward, the convoy is shadowed by a B-24.

29 December 1944:
At 1900 1700, arrives North San Fernando. Discharging of soldiers and material starts immediately. At night, enemy planes drop parachute flares and then come in for a horizontal bombing attack. At 2205, CD-20 is in combat with a B-24 while patrolling 3 nm north of North San Fernando. At 2355, CD-20 is attacked again. This time she receives a direct bomb hit amidships and is flooding. Afterwards CD-39 arrives for assistance and tows CD-20 southward towards Lingayen Gulf. However, next morning, at 0706, CD-20 rolls over and sinks at 16-30N, 120,18E. 49 crew (not 52!) incl. CDR Kuwabara Maru (NB: yes, Maru is given name) are KIA, 145 crew are rescued.

30 December 1944:
At ca. 0700, USAAF Fifth Air Force B-25s, A-20s and P-38s attack the port and convoy. AOBASAN MARU has already landed almost all soldiers when attacked. She receives one direct bomb hit and goes up in flames. Fire rapidly expands. Crew is desperately trying to distinguish the fire, but in vain as all firefighting equipment is destroyed. Captain Nakajima Ryosaku orders all hands abandon ship. Afterwards, the flames reach and ignite the loaded shells resulting in a gigantic explosion. Loaded mountain guns and war horses are blown high into the air and then raining back on the ship and into the sea. Followed by further explosions AOBASAN MARU breaks in two and sinks. 21 troops, 1 shipboard gunner and 3 crew are KIA. (NB: AOBASAN MARU had arrived at San Fernando with ca. 4.000 soldiers of the 25th Mountain Artillery Regiment incl. its guns, 200 war horses and 20.000 shells and other elements of the 19th Army Division as well as soldiers of the 2nd Glider Regiment and a great quantity of supplies). Kaibokan NOMI is bombed and suffers 3 crew KIA, while kaibokan MIYAKE is straddled by several bombs but suffers no damage or personnel losses. The other escort vessels also escape unscathed. After withdrawal of enemy of the enemy planes, KIBITSU, HUYGA and SHINSHU MARUs immediately continue discharging soldiers and material.

31 December 1944:
In the evening, unloading work is terminated. About 20 percent of the loaded material and war supplies has to remain on board the transports. Due to lack of all kind of transport vehicles all unloaded material has to be piled on the beach. During the next days almost all material is destroyed by air attacks and warship artillery while still piled on the beach.

CD-138 is detached to join convoy MATA-38A which has arrived at North San Fernando that day at 1600.

1 January 1945:
At 0345, MIYAKE departs North San Fernando with kaibokan KANJU, NOMI, IKUNA, CD-39 and CD-112 escorting convoy MATA-40 consisting of IJA landing ship SHINSHU MARU and IJA landing craft depot ships KIBITSU and HYUGA MARUs. While sailing northward along the west coast of Luzon, the convoy is soon shadowed by high flying B-24s.

2 January 1945:
In the afternoon, when crossing Bashi Channel, MAD-equipped aircraft of the 901st Air Group patrol sea lane ahead of convoy. Bashi Channel is successfully crossed during the night.

3 January 1945:
At 0843, MIYAKE sights and engages enemy planes, no damage. At ca. 1100, all of a sudden, a burning aircraft is seen crashing into the sea ahead of the convoy. The plane is a MAD-equipped Nakajima B5N2 Navy Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber of the 901st Air Group which has patrolled sea area ahead of convoy. At 1102, suddenly, ca. 54 carrier aircraft of Task Force 38 attack the ships. MIYAKE gives her position as 23-07N, 119-21E. Convoy makes up #1 battle speed. Despite tremendous AA-barrage fire from all ships the planes come in to attack. At 1105, at 22-40N, 119-35E (ca. 40 nm west of Takao), SHINSHU MARU is hit by several bombs, goes up in flames and emits heavy black smoke columns. The ship is flooding and becomes unnavigable. Later that night, SHINSHU MARU's abandoned and burning wreck is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr Henry C. Stevenson's USS ASPRO (SS-309), at 21-57N, 119-44E (50 nm SSW of Takao). 283 passengers, 66 gunners and 33 crewmen are KIA. At 1130, at 22-42N, 119-35E, KIBITSU MARU is repeatedly hit by bombs in her fore ship and hailed all over with MG-fire. Her entire forecastle is heavily afire. The huge bow AA-gun platform is totally crushed by a devastating direct hit, 69 gunners and 2 passengers are KIA. The heavily damaged ship is drifting for the next four days. KIBITSU MARU is brought into Takao harbour for emergency repairs only on 7 January 1945. HYUGA MARU receives ten near misses but sustains only slight damage to the hull. With some personnel losses HYUGA MARU arrives at Takao later that day. MIYAKE is fiercely strafed. Her port side oil bunker is peppered with bullet holes and heavy oil leaks into the sea. Six of MIYAKE´s crew are KIA (PO1c Hosokawa Toshiaki, PO1c Sueda Yukio, PO1c Tanaka Yoshinori, Chief Seaman Saito Yoshio, Chief Seaman Aga and Chief Seaman Aoki) and 13 men are wounded. Kaibokan NOMI is fiercely strafed and six of her crew are KIA. Kaibokan IKUNA is also damaged by strafing but stays to guard KIBITSU MARU (NB: IKUNA enters Takao on January, 6). CD-112 is also fiercely strafed. Her hull is peppered with countless bullet holes and two crewmen are KIA. Kaibokan KANJU and CD-39 escape unscathed. The ships claim to have shot down 11 enemy planes. The surviving ships put into Takao for repairs.

4 January 1945:
In anticipation of further air attacks, MIYAKE weighs anchor in the early morning and cruises all day off Takao. After sunset returns to Takao.

5 January 1945:v In the early morning, departs Takao. Cruises all day off Takao. After sunset return to Takao.

6 January 1945:
In the early morning, departs Takao. Cruises all day off Takao. After sunset return to Takao.

7 January 1945:
In the early morning, departs Takao. Cruises all day off Takao. After sunset return to Takao.

8 January 1945:
In the early morning, departs Takao. Cruises all day off Takao. After sunset return to Takao. In the evening, an enemy radio message is intercepted about an impending air attack on Takao.

9 January 1945:
Takao, Formosa. Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 38 aircraft attack shipping off Takao. At dawn, MIYAKE departs Takao and makes up maximum speed course northwest. Just after 0800, her type 13-go radar catches a large enemy aircraft formation 110 degrees port side, distance 65 nm. Captain orders battle stations. Range closes steadily. Then about 60 carrier planes are seen on port side. The enemy formation splits up. Main force is seen heading for Takao while several planes come in to attack MIYAKE. The escort puts up a tremendous AA-fire which drives away the attackers. MIYAKE sustains no damage. At 1200, 17 Grumman TBM "Avengers" and F6F "Hellcats" damage MIYAKE and kaibokan YASHIRO and CD-13. YASHIRO is heavily damaged when an incendiary bomb hits the rear part of the bridge. The explosion totally destroys the bridge and kills everybody inside, 13 crew incl. Cdr Yamashita Sadayoshi are KIA, 8 crewmen are seriously wounded. (NB: YASHIRO sails to Saei (Tsoying) (north of Takao) for emergency repairs, repairs finished 13 January. Departs Saei for Sasebo on 14 January, new CO is LtCdr Yamataka Takachika). CD-13 is fiercely strafed, 4 crewmen are KIA and 13 are wounded. (NB: CD-13 also moves to Saei for emergency repairs, lands dead and wounded crewmen. One wounded crew dies at Takao Navy Hospital on 12 January. Departs the following day to continue with reformed convoy HI-87).

10 January 1945:
At 1700, MIYAKE departs Takao Saei for Mako, Pescadores with kaibokan KANJU (F) (convoy escort CO Rear Admiral Komazawa Katsumi embarked), KURAHASHI, NOMI, SHINNAN, CD-13, CD-41, CD-60 and CD-205 and destroyer SHIGURE that rejoins from Kirun, escorting the reformed convoy HI-87 now consisting of KAMOI, SARAWAK, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA, HASHIDATE and TENEI MARUs. RYUHO and DesDiv 17’s HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE are detached from HI-87 and depart for Japan.

At 1830, MITSUSHIMA MARU suffers an engine breakdown and has to return to Takao.

12 January 1945:
At 0600, TENEI MARU's steering gear breaks down and she falls behind. TENEI MARU is detached directly to Hong Kong is escorted by CD-13 and CD-60, arriving that day at 1600. At about noon, the convoy receives a radio report that Kirun is under air attack and of devastating air attacks against shipping off French Indochina cost. The ships are ordered to head for Hong Kong, not Mako.

13 January 1945:
At 1100, convoy HI-87 enters Hong Kong port. The tankers are secured to buoys in channel between Kowloon and Hong Kong.

14 January 1945:
At 1600, TENEI MARU´s steering gear is repaired.

15 January 1945:
At 0300, an air-raid warning is issued for Hong Kong area. MATSUSHIMA MARU shifts anchor to Buoy No. A11 while TENEI MARU shifts anchor to Buoy No. A5. At 0910, Task Force 38's carrier aircraft begin attacks that harry the ships all day, but they escape major damage. MATSUSHIMA MARU receives light damage from near misses, 1 armed guard is killed and 22 crew and guards are wounded. TENEI MARU also receives only light damage.At 1358, kaibokan KURAHASHI is strafed by enemy planes. No.5 MG-mount is hailed by bullets killing 3 and wounding another 3 of the MG-crew. Aerial antenna is damaged and the hull is riddled with bullet holes.

16 January 1945:
Hong Kong. The air attacks by Task Force 38´s aircraft continue from 0820. The fierce attack makes havoc of the shipping in the harbor.

KAMOI is moored to Buoy No. A9, roughly parallel to Kennedy Town facing east. At 1124, KAMOI is near missed.At 1243, a bomb explodes very close to starboard engine room, afire, main engine inoperable, starboard sickroom is demolished.At 1515, receives two direct bomb hits, burning.

Summary of damages:
# flooding from bow to FR (frame) 15 # port side FR 4-12, hole 18 x 9 meters # starboard side FR 47-49, hole 5 x 3.5 meters above waterline # from top-deck to middle deck FR 4-11, hole 17 x 10 meters # from boat deck to upper stairs of engine room between FR 47-51, hole 9 x 3 meters

# 43 crew and gunners killed, 33 wounded

The big tanker suffers 13 direct bomb hits and 51 near misses. The explosions cause more than 10 big holes in the hull and upper deck while poop is heavily afire. No. 1 fuel tank is damaged. Bulkhead between No. 3 and No. 4 oil tanks is destroyed and both oil tanks and engine room are flooded. The upper deck between stern and bridge is bulged. Oil cargo pump room, catwalk and vicinity of derrick are seriously damaged. Poop and adjoining area is totally gutted by fire. Firefighting pumps are also damaged and useless. Captain urgently requests harbor office to send fire-fighting boats. Finally, at 2330, with the assistance of an arriving fire-fighting boat, crew finally succeeds in extinguishing all fires. 5 crew and 8 passengers are KIA and 22 wounded. On the following day, because of imminent danger of sinking, MATSUSHIMA MARU is towed to a nearby island and beached. No hope to repair damages and finally abandoned. MATSUSHIMA MARU has carried 295 tons of army cargo incl. explosives and some passengers.

Ca. 1100, receives 2 direct bomb hits in after living spaces and officers mess room, burning, engine room is flooding. At 1230, fire is extinguished but sea water starts flooding the engine room. A damage control party finally succeeds in draining the engine room using several drainage pumps. At 1300, the vessel shifts anchor. At 1415, 4 near misses explode port side quarter close to engine room, explosions rupture steam pipes emitting hot steam into the air, engine rooms again starts flooding and all lights go out. Ca. 1530, No. 2 and No. 3 oil tanks are hit by 4 direct bomb hits, holds are starting flooding, ship develops list to port side, aft ship settles down. At 1540, all passengers are ordered abandon ship. At approx. the same time, another near miss explodes on starboard side increasing flooding of No. 3 tank. TENEI MARU has already loaded 3.000 tons of ballast water in No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 tanks. Heavy flooding of tanks makes it impossible to maintain balance and listing of vessel increases steadily. At 2025, crew ordered abandon ship. By 2200, TENEI MARU has taken on a 35 degree list to port side. At 0550, 17 January 1945, TENEI MARU rolls over and sinks. She has been carrying 159 passengers & troops and a quantity of arms. 1 passenger, 2 armed guards and 3 crewmen are KIA, 17 are wounded.

HASHIDATE MARU sustains only light damage by strafing and splinters.

SARAWAK MARU, loaded with 443 army troops and 7 Daihatsu landing barges, sustains only light damage by strafing, 1 armed guard wounded.

KANJU sustains many bullet holes rom strafing planes, 4 crew KIA and 20 wounded.

At 0945, attacked by 10 planes from directly above, straddled by 7 bombs. At 1020, strafed on starboard side by 2 planes. At 1054, attacked by 6 planes directly from ahead. At 1105, attacked by 5 planes directly from ahead, No.2 gun seriously damaged, No.2 gun crew suffers 2 KIA, 4 seriously wounded and 10 lightly wounded. At 1245, attacked by several planes. At 1445, attacked by large enemy formation on their way to attack KAMOI, receives 5 near misses, claims 3 planes shot down. At 1604, attacked from 122 degrees port side, receives 2 near misses. At 1637, concentrated attack by 4 waves of 5 planes each, At 1640, claims 3 planes shot down. At 1718, attacked by 7 planes from 150 degrees port side and by 4 planes from 90 degrees starboard side. At 1740, ceases fire. Hull is damaged by bullets and splinters, searchlight position and range finder are damaged.

MIYAKE has unbelievable luck and escapes unscathed.

At 1644, suffers damage to her aft gun platform from a near miss, sustains numerous holes in outer plating, 7 crew are KIA.

SHINNAN is slightly damaged by strafing, 2 crew are KIA and 16 wounded.

CD-13 is damaged by strafing, 2 crew are wounded.

CD-41 is damaged by strafing, 1 crew is KIA.

CD-60 is damaged by strafing, sustains numerous small holes in outer plating of heavy oil tank, 2 crew are KIA.

At 1830, the battle ends. The Japanese claim 22 aircraft shot down.

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

19 January 1945:
At 2000, arrives at Yulin Port. Samah, Hainan. MIYAKE is replenished with provisions, fuel, ammunition, especially 25mm MG rounds.

20 January 1945:
At 1856, convoy HI-87A departs Yulin Samah.

24 January 1945:
Gulf of Siam, 160 miles E of Khota Bharu, Malaya. At 0705, SHIGURE is sailing far behind of the convoy when she suddenly discovers a stalking enemy submarine. At 0709, LtCdr (later Cdr) William L. Kitch's (USNA ’38) USS BLACKFIN (SS-322) torpedoes SHIGURE at 06-N, 103-48 E. She sinks in 10 minutes with 37 sailors KIA. Hearing the explosion, KANJU and MIYAKE immediately reverse course and look for SHIGURE. During the search both kaibokan suddenly discover many drifting sailors. It soon becomes clear they are survivors from the missing SHIGURE. KANJU and MIYAKE rescue 270 survivors including CO, Ltcdr Hagiwara Manubu (63). Survivors later report that SHIGURE was just attacking a stalking enemy submarine when torpedoed and sunk by a second unseen submarine. (NB: the second sub must have been USS BESUGO)

At 0817, USS BLACKFIN launches a second attack and torpedoes and damages SARAWAK MARU at 05-59N, 103-48E. SARAWAK MARU is hit by one torpedo port side in No.1 oil tank. Explosion cause heavy damage to bow section. CD-13 counter-attacks with depth charges. SARAWAK MARU is able to continue by own power.

At 1910, MIYAKE and KANJU catch up with SARAWAK MARU and CD-13.

26 January 1945:
At 0950, arrives at Singapore Strait. The escort vessels proceed to Seletar Naval Base Harbor where SHIGURE´s survivors are landed. Later that day, while approaching Singapore Merchant Harbor, SARAWAK MARU is seriously damaged when she runs onto a magnetic mine. The explosion tear open a huge hole in starboard side No.2 hold. SARAWAK MARU is finally brought in on 31 January.

31 January 1945:
At 0800, MIYAKE departs Singapore with kaibokan KANJU (F) and minesweeper W-20 escorting convoy HI-88C consisting of standard 2AT tankers OESAN MARU and tanker ENCHO MARU and cargo ship IIDA MARU (ex-Norwegian HAI PING). The convoy sails slowly northward along the coast of the Malayan Peninsula with both tankers deep in the water fully loaded with heavy oil and other valuable cargo. Even the escort vessels are loaded with valuable cargo. Aisles and decks of MIYAKE are crammed with raw rubber bales, tin ingots and other items.

4 February 1945:
Convoy is crossing Gulf of Siam when MIYAKE intercepts enemy radio traffic between aircrafts and submarines. It appears that the enemy is about to encircle the convoy. It is therefore decided to search a sheltered place and stay for the night. In the evening, the convoy anchors at Iles de Poulo Dama Anchorage, 09-42N, 104-22E, just to the west of the southern tip of French Indochina.

5 February 1945:
In the early morning, departs Iles de Poulo Dama Anchorage.

6 February 1945:
Arrives at St. Jacques, French Indochina. IIDA MARU is detached to Saigon while the convoy continues northward. (NB: After having unloaded part of her cargo at Saigon, IIDA MARU departs Saigon and arrives at St. Jacques. There the ship is staying in readiness awaiting order to depart. At 1505 on 16 February, a single B-24 arrives and heavily strafes IIDA MARU. Loaded gasoline ignites and blows up causing instantly a flaming hell. There is no hope to fight the fire and all hands abandon ship. Subsequently, a direct bomb hit explodes at No.2 hold. At ca. 1518, IIDA MARU disappears below the waves. 10 gunners, 2 special lookouts and 10 crew are KIA. At that time, IIDA MARU was carrying 5.100 drums filled with gasoline, 150 drums filled with aviation mineral oil and 600 tin ingots)

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

9 February 1945:
In the early morning, the convoy departs Quinhon Bay. Initially, the convoy is to sail to Samah, Hainan, but because of imminent danger of ambushing submarines it is decided to continue along the coastline of Indochina, then cross the Gulf of Tonkin to west coast of Hainan, sail northward along west coast of Hainan and pass through shallow Hainan Strait. On the other hand, this course means increasing danger of attacks by land-based aircraft.

11 12 February 1945:
After midnight, while in position 19-08N, 118-15E (ca. 20 nm WNW of Pyramid Point (Yü-lin-chou), west coast of Hainan, MIYAKE is suddenly shaken by a violent explosion. All lights go out and the vessel bends to one side. After the explosion roar has vanished it is recognized that the ship is subjected to a radar-guided bomb attack from a very high flying enemy aircraft, presumed to be a B-24. The bomb has exploded close to the stern. When the ship recovers from her list all hands hurry to battle stations but there is considerable damage. The generator has broken down as well as the oil pump and water cooling pump. Rotation speed of main engine has to be reduced. Engine rooms is shipping water due to several loosened rivets in the outer plating but leakage can be stopped soon. Technical personnel is desperately working to restore the generator and main engine functions. The enemy plane is then seen abaft. AA-fire is immediately opened but the aircraft is out of range.

12 February 1945:
At 1800, arrives at Zensui Houshui Bay, China north coast of Hainan. MIYAKE completes emergency repairs.

13 February 1945:
At 0500, the convoy departs Zensui Houshui Bay. At 1100, while passing through Hainan Strait a tracking B-24 is observed. AA-battle stations but aircraft stays out of range. The B-24 makes a high-altitude (ca. 10.000 meters) and drops one bomb which is evaded. Just after noon, helmsman PO Utsunomiya is relieved for meal by PO Kawai. Kawai has just taken over the wheel when lookouts recognized another high-altitude bomb attack. LtCdr Ota immediately shouts [starboard the helm] and the bomb explodes close to starboard. While still turning the wheel, PO Kawai is hit by a splinter. The splinter hits the right side of his body and emerges at his left shoulder. PO Kawai falls into the wheel and dies instantly. It is with some difficulties that the dead body can be disentangled from the wheel. After passing Hainan Strait the convoy sails northward along the Chinese coast.

16 February 1945:
The convoy arrives at Amoy (Quemoy) Quemoy Bay (Chin-Men Chiang), just east of Amoy.

17 February 1945:
In the early morning, departs Quemoy Bay. That evening, arrives at Nanhi Island Lam Yit Island (Nan-Jih Tao), Fukien Province.

18 February 1945:
At 0700, departs Lam Yit Island (Nan-Jih Tao). That evening arrives at Ma-Tsu Island, Fukien Province.

19 February 1945:
In the early morning, departs Ma-Tsu Island. At this time of the year South China´s coastline is frequently shrouded in dense fogs. At night, while sailing in very thick fog with zero visibility, MIYAKE´s crew suddenly feel a collision shock coming from the direction of the bow. Faint screams are heard but in the dense fog it is impossible to see anything. Initially, it is thought that MIYAKE has hit a small anchored merchant ship. Only next morning it becomes clear that MIYAKE must have rammed a wooden sailing junk when crewmen discovers wooden debris of a junk entangled at MIYAKE´s lower bow.

21 February 1945:
The convoy arrives at the mouth of the Yangtse River. The convoy splits up. OESAN MARU and KANJU continue straight toward Moji, arriving on 27 February. ENCHO MARU, MIYAKE and W-20 detach and arrive at Shanghai later that day sail upriver to Woosung and then enter Whangpoo River. At this time, there is dense fog with poor visibility of about 50 meters. It is very difficult to avoid the many small smacks and junks on the river. At 1945, the ships are secured to buoys in the river. During the next days, ENCHO MARU discharges 3.500 tons of heavy oil which is half of her total loaded oil cargo.

25 February 1945:
At 1000, MIYAKE, W-20 and ENCHO MARU depart Shanghai. The convoy sails northward along the Chines coast as far as Tsingtao and cross the Yellow Sea and pass through Saishu (Quelpart) Strait.

2 March 1945:
At 1300, the convoy arrives at Moji. Afterwards ENCHO MARU discharges her cargo of 3.500 tons heavy oil, tin ingots and raw rubber. That same day, MIYAKE is reassigned to the General Escort Command's First Escort Fleet.

4 March 1945:
At dawn, MIYAKE departs Moji for Kure. It has been since September 1944 that MIYAKE had left her home port. Now, about half a year later, she is about to meet her home port again. Instead of souvenirs from the long journey LtCdr Ota proposes to bring back an abundant catch of fish. Near Suo-Oshima, Western Inland Sea, Ota orders one depth charge dropped. Shortly after the explosion, the ultramarine color of the sea turns into red. In the vicinity of the explosion the crew see countless sea breams (porgy) drifting. MIYAKE stops to lower her cutter. The great catch lasts for a full hour. All fish is then taken to the refrigerator storage room. Thereafter MIYAKE continues to Kure, arriving later that day. Later, MIYAKE enters No.4 Dock and undergoes war damage repairs and great maintenance. The crew is divided into three groups. Each group is granted a five day leave.

5 March 1945:
Assigned to 1st Escort Fleet.

19 March 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP (CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal. More than 240 carrier aircraft attack the IJN ships in the harbor area. MIYAKE is moored at the dockyard, she remains unscathed.

25 March 1945:
Reserve LtCdr Noma Tatsuo (former CO of CH-4) is appointed CO.

1 Apr 1945:
LtCdr Noma assumes command.

9 April 1945:
MIYAKE departs Kure. Later that day arrives at Moji.

11 April 1945:
At 0700 0600, MIYAKE, kaibokan NOMI, CD-31 and CD-213 depart Moji for Shanghai, China escorting convoy MOSHI-02 consisting of JUZAN MARU which is carrying ca. 400 army nurses & soldiers, spare torpedoes, depth charges and other war supplies.

12 April 1945:
In the evening, anchors at Tonai-Kai (Port Hamilton), Kyobun-To (Komun-Do), off south coast of Korea.

13 April 1945:
At dawn, departs Tonai-Kai. CD-213 is detached with orders to patrol approaches to Tsushima Strait. At 1400, convoy enters the eastern anchorage of Hiyo-To (Piyan-Do) (NB: the eastern anchorage is about midway between the coast of Hiyo-To and the coast of the mainland of Saishu-To (Quelpart Island) eastward), 33-25N, 126-15E. In the evening, the three escorts are ordered to patrol alternately off the bay entrance. It is decided that NOMI is to take over the first patrol, followed by CD-31 and then MIYAKE.

14 April 1945:
From 0100 to 0300, CD-31 takes over the second watch. At 0300, MIYAKE takes over and begins to steam up and down three nautical miles from the anchorage. At 0407, in murky weather, Cdr (later Captain/MOH) George L. Street III’s (USNA ’37) USS TIRANTE (SS-420) closes the bay on the surface, noses into Hiyo-To Eastern Anchorage and fires six torpedoes at the anchored convoy. MIYAKE´s crew is totally surprised by tremendous explosions coming from direction of the anchorage. Crimson colored clouds are seen ascending from the anchorage. MIYAKE immediately turns back only to find JUZAN MARU heavily afire while only the masts of NOMI and part of CD-31 are sticking out of the water. Many soldiers are seen swimming in the water. Because of the shallow water around the bay, it is initially thought that the ships have fallen victim to an air attack. NOMI is hit in the powder magazine below the bridge. Ca. 0430, settles down to the bottom with 2 meters of her forward mast sticking out of the water. 139 crew are KIA, including CO, LtCdr Hera Genzaburo and Captain Ikeda Akira’s (former CO of ETOROFU), First Surface Escort Division CO.CD-31 is hit by one torpedo in her stern. Torpedo is a dud but ignites the depth charge magazine, stern section is destroyed by ignited depth charge explosions. CD-31 settles down to the bottom with 3 meters of her forward mast and 50 centimetres of her main sticking out of the water. 39 crewmen are KIA. JUZAN MARU is totally gutted by fire and settles to the bottom, 49 crew, 5 gunners and more than 300 army nurses and soldiers are lost. MIYAKE alerts the 12th Escort Unit. In the morning kaibokan AGUNI and CD-39 arrive at Hiyo-To Anchorage to rescue survivors and hunt for the attacking submarine. Between them they rescue 87 survivors from NOMI, 166 from CD-31 and 164 from JUZAN MARU.

17 April 1945:
MIYAKE departs Hiyo-To Anchorage.

18 April 1945:
A dispirited MIYAKE arrives at Moji and is moored at No.3 Pier.

20 April 1945:
MIYAKE departs Moji with kaibokan AGUNI and CD-65 escorting cargo-passenger ship KITSURIN MARU to convoy assembly area at Yuya Bay, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Northwest of Mutsure-Jima the vessels form a single column and enter the narrow No.1 mine-swept channel. MIYAKE is leading AGUNI and CD-65. KITSURIN MARU follows 3 nm to the rear of CD-65. At 1637, while sailing close inside of the mine-swept channel, KITSURIN MARU suddenly strikes a mine ca. 1 nm north of point “C”, 34-03N, 130-49E (NB: point “C” is located ca. 2 nm northeast of Aino-Shima, Fukuoka Prefecture; Aino-Shima is located to the northwest of Mutsure-Jima). Mine explodes at stern of KITSURIN MARU, engine room is flooding, unnavigable, medium damage, requests towage. AGUNI stands by assisting the damage ship. Thereafter, by orders of the 1st Sea Escort Force HQ, all three kaibokan are detached from escort duty and assigned to the 2nd Patrol Force and are to move to Tonai Kai (Port Hamilton).

23 April 1945:
MIYAKE enters Shoan Harbor (Crichton Harbor), to the northwest of Tona Kai (Port Hamilton) (NB: Shoan Harbor is the narrow channel which runs in a north and south direction between Shoan-To (Soan-Do), on the eastern side, and Hokitsu-To (Pogil-To) and Roka-To (Nohwa-Do) on the western side.

24 April 1945 – 7 May 1945:
MIYAKE is temporarily based at Shoan Harbor. 2nd Patrol Force assigns to MIYAKE patrol area between Saishu-To (Quelpart Island) and Tsushima. During this period, MIYAKE sights several enemy aircraft but does not encounter any enemy submarines.

25 April 1945:
Assigned to the General Escort Command's First Escort Fleet's 103rd Escort Squadron.

8 May 1945:
MIYAKE departs Shoan Harbor for Tsingtao together with kaibokan CD-213.

9 May 1945:
While heading northward along the western coast of Korea, both kaibokan are assigned to the Tsingtao Base Force Escort Unit with order to escort ships on the North China sea route between Tsingtao and Daito (Taedong) Bay, west coast of Korea. From a point south of Daito Bay both vessels crosses the Yellow Sea westward toward the eastern tip of Shantung Peninsula, the continue southward along the coastline. On her way to Tsingtao the ships had encountered enemy B-24 on two different occasions but the planes did not attack.

10 May 1945:
MIYAKE and CD-213 arrive at Tsingtao where they meet kaibokan AGUNI and CD-63.

11 May 1945:
An athletic contest between the crews of MIYAKE, AGUNI and CD-63 is held at the Tsingtao Elementary School yard.

17 May 1945:
MIYAKE departs Tsingtao for Shihtao (Shitau) Bay, east tip of Shantung Peninsula.

18 May 1945:
Arrives at Shihtao Bay which is good harbor. There is a small IJN base at Shihtao Bay.

19 May 1945:
MIYAKE departs Shihtao Bay for Daito Bay with kaibokan CD-213 and sub-chasers CH-49 and CH-52 escorting Daiboshi Maru-convoy consisting of KONRI MARU (ex-Chinese KWENLEE) 3106gt, DAIBOSHI MARU 2388gt and WAKAMIYASAN MARU 2211gt.

20 May 1945:
In the afternoon, safely arrives at Daito Bay.

22 May 1945:
MIYAKE departs Daito Bay for Shihtao Bay escorting HENG YANG (KOYO) MARU (ex-HENG SHAN (KOZAN) MARU, ex-Chinese CHUNG HSING) 2748gt.

23 May 1945
: Arrives at Shihtao Bay. Shortly after 2000, a duty watch arrives with news on a combat with enemy land troops in the hills behind the harbor. Afterwards, red sparks are seen flashing on and off and the sounds of gunshot are heard. It appears that the IJN Base Force barracks is coming under fire. Soon, light signals are recognized from the barracks [we are under attack by 8th Route Army, request support]. LtCdr Noma orders No.1 gun action stations and instructs the gun crew that No.1 gun will give support fire in assistance of own land troops. After six shots have been fired into the hills behind the barracks a signal from land arrives that enemy gunfire has ceased and 8th Route Army is retreating.

24 May 1945:
At dawn, MIYAKE departs Shihtao Bay for Daito Bay escorting TATSUMIYA and HENG YANG (KOYO) MARUs.

25 May 1945:
Arrives off Daito Bay. After HENG YANG (KOYO) MARU has safely arrived inside the bay, MIYAKE and TATSUMIYA MARU continue bound for Moji. About one hour later, suddenly the emergency buzzer resounds [Action stations!] [Prepare for AA-battle!]. Far abaft at a height of ca. 10.000 meters, a lone B-24 is seen tracking MIYAKE. Thereafter, lookouts observe that the aircraft drops a small object which appears to glide towards MIYAKE. The object looks somehow strange, like a torpedo with small wings or a tiny aircraft. LtCdr Noma has already heard from hearsay of so called rocket bombs and instantly orders [Port the helm!]. MIYAKE soon responses to her helm and inclines to starboard side. Shortly afterwards, the object explodes off port side beam sending upward a water column. Ship and crew remain unscathed. Because of the great height and distance of the aircraft, there had been no chance to fire the AA-guns.

Later that day, ca. 1500(jst), LtCdr R. H. Bowers’ (USS SEA CAT (SS-399) attacks MIYAKE at 37-29N, 124-01E. Bowers fires one Mark 18-1 and two Mark 18-2 torpedoes, but all miss. At this time, a lookout spots a torpedo between the wave tops of a rough sea. MIYAKE immediately makes an emergency turn to starboard and almost at the same time a black-colored torpedo is seen passing close on her port side.

31 May 1945:
MIYAKE and TATSUMIYA MARU arrive at Moji. Afterwards, MIYAKE is repeatedly patrolling in Korea Strait.

20 June 1945:
Arrives at Sasebo. Enters No.4 Dock for great overhaul of main machinery, comprehensive maintenance incl. painting of hull. Works take much time and MIYAKE remains at Sasebo until to the end of July.

29 June 1945:
MIYAKE is still in No.4 Dock when Sasebo City is fiercely attacked by low-flying B-29s which drop large amount of incendiary bombs. Harbor area and installations are not hit while the urban district is largely destroyed by fire. This night, several crewmen are on leave in the city but no one is hurt and all return safely to the ship.

10 July 1945:
Assigned to the Seventh Fleet.

1 August 1945:
MIYAKE departs Sasebo Naval Harbor and heads northward along the Matsuura Peninsula and then passes through Hirado Channel. During this journey she performs extensive machinery trials. In the evening, enters Yobuko fishing port, Saga Prefecture and anchors close to Kabe-Shima. The vessel is encircled with fishing nets and heavily camouflaged.

5 August 1945:
MIYAKE is ordered to proceed to Seishin and Rashin, north east coast of Korea. Camouflage and nets are removed and MIYAKE departs Yabuko later that day.

6 August 1945:
After crossing Korea Strait at night, MIYAKE arrives at Fusan for a refuelling stop. Departs later that day and sails northward along the east coast of the Korean Peninsula.

7 August 1945:
Arrives at Genzan (Wonsan) and stands ready awaiting next orders. Crew is allowed to take a bath on land.

8 – 9 August 1945:
Air-raid alarms are issued on both nights. MIYAKE´s radar picks up several aircraft reflections. As no planes fly directly over the town or the harbor, it is presumed that these aircraft are dropping mines outside the harbor and bay to interrupt communication with north-eastern ports of Korea. Late at night on 9 August, news arrives that Russia has started hostilities against the Japanese Empire. Continuation of MIYAKE´s journey to Seishin and Rashin is now cancelled. She receives order to proceed southward to Hoko (Pohang) Harbor, Geijitsu (Yongil, Yon Iru) Bay on the southeast coast of Korea.

10 August 1945:
As soon as the last crew members have returned, MIYAKE weighs anchor and departs Genzan leading three other ships through the swept channel towards the harbor entrance. After passing the harbor entrance, all three ships abaft MIYAKE are mined in quick succession. Because of extreme mine danger and close distance to harbor breakwater, MIYAKE leaves rescue work to land forces and continues.

11 August 1945:
Arrives at Hoko Harbor, Geijitsu Bay and drops anchor.

14 August 1945:
Two twin-engined Russian aircraft arrive over Hoko Harbor. MIYAKE immediately goes to battle stations but the planes are on a reconnaissance mission and do not attack.

15 August 1945:
At Sasebo Still at Hoko Harbor when notice of the termination of the war is received.

20 August 1945:
MIYAKE receives order from the Kure Naval Station to return to her home port Kure no later than 22 August.

21 August 1945:
At dawn, MIYAKE departs Hoko Harbor having embarked dozens of naval air force personnel from the Hoko air station. Makes up maximum speed and sails straight to Mutsure-Jima. Arrives in the afternoon of that day. When MIYAKE approaches the mine-infested waters off Mutsure-Jima she slows down and continues with strict caution. Lookouts are positioned everywhere. Just at this time, destroyer FUYUZUKI overtakes MIYAKE in the narrow mine-swept channel. Shortly afterwards, FUYUZUKI strikes a mine and suffers heavy damage to her stern section. At the same time, a huge explosion tear apart an auxiliary motor-sailing vessel 300 meters ahead of MIYAKE. Then it is MIYAKE´s turn. The vessel is heavily shaken by a violent explosion and a huge water column ascends from her port quarter. Explosion cause ship to incline to port side and several air force troops on upper decks are blown into the water. Other air force personnel jump into the water concluding sinking of ship. Crew remains calm awaiting orders from the bridge. Soon, MIYAKE recovers from her list and all engines are stopped. All crewmen rush to their posts investigating damages. Floatable material is thrown into the water allowing the drifting air force personnel to cling on. Gradually, damage situation reports arrive at the bridge. The ship has escaped a direct mine but explosion has been very close to port quarter. Outer plating of port side engine room are ripped open and sea water floods into the engine room. The fixing bolts of the generator are sheared off making further use of generator impossible. Main engine is damaged and drainage pumps are not working properly. Sinking appears to be only a matter of time. The only chance is to seal off the damaged plates from outside. In the meantime, the cutter has been watered and the drifting air force personnel is picked up and transferred to arriving rescue boats from the Shimonoseki Defense Unit. Now it becomes dark and MIYAKE is still without electrical power. But now help arrives. Several nearby passing auxiliary motor-sailing vessels have observed the disaster and finally four motor-sailing vessels come alongside on both sides. The vessels supply MIYAKE with electrical cables and transmission of electricity. Lights are going on again and repair work inside the ship can be continued. The crew finally succeeds in repairing the drainage pumps and further flooding can now be stopped. Soon, a rescue tug arrives from the Shimonoseki Defense Unit and tows MIYAKE into Moji Harbor where she is moored alongside a pier. Emergency repair works continue throughout the night.

22 August 1945:
At dawn, emergency repairs are finally finished. MIYAKE departs Moji for Kure by own power but on the way develops constant engine troubles forcing her to stop for several times. Finally, at 2200, MIYAKE arrives at Kure and drops anchor.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 December 1945:
Kure. Assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service and appointed a Special Cargo Ship. [1]

28 January 1946:
Undergoes repair at Tamano, Okayama Prefecture.

5 March 1946:
Repairs are completed.

12 April 1946:
Departs Hakata on her first repatriation voyage.

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

19 April 1946:
Departs Shanghai. 21 April 1946:
Arrives at Hakata. Disembarks troops and passengers.

28 April 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Tamano.

12 August 1946:
Repairs cease. MIYAKE is condemned as unseaworthy

. 10 December 1946:
Classified as a derelict vessel.

2 July 1948:
Scrapped at Sasebo.

Authors' Notes:
[1] 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 Aki-san of Japan and Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying kaibokan COs. Thanks also go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler

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