FUSETSUKAN!

(IJN NASAMI prewar)

IJN Minelayer NATSUSHIMA:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2011 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 1


24 December 1931:
Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Zosensho.

1 August 1932:
Named NATSUSHIMA.

31 July 1933:
Completed.

26 June 1938: The Battle of Madang:
Yangtze River. NATSUSHIMA takes part in the battle with gunboat TOBA, minelayers TSUBAME and NASAMI. They sweep mines, lay buoys and bombard Chinese positions. Chinese troops return fire with only light arms, but cause many casualties among exposed crewmen. The Japanese land Special Naval Landing Force troops behind the fort and Madang falls.

8 December 1941: Outbreak of the Pacific War:
NATSUSHIMA is assigned to the Saeki Guard Unit. Conducts patrols in the Bungo Straits.

11 December 1941:
NATSUSHIMA and subchaser CH-19 assist mined and crippled tanker SAN DIEGO MARU back through the Bungo Straits.

13 December 1941:
NATSUSHIMA and minelayer NASAMI provide escort for light aircraft carrier HOSHO.

21 December 1941:
NATSUSHIMA and minelayers NASAMI, KUROKAMI and KATASHIMA depart Kashima Bay escorting armed merchant cruiser (AMC) BANGKOK MARU north.

21 February 1942:
NATSUSHIMA and minelayers NASAMI, KUROKAMI and KATASHIMA, auxiliary netlayer SANSUI MARU and tug EISEN MARU No. 13 depart Saeki escorting AMC BANGKOK MARU. Later that day, arrives at Motoura.

13 July 1942:
NATSUSHIMA escorts tanker KYOKUTO MARU as she transits the Bungo Straits.

21 October 1942:
Tanker SHOYO MARU departs Kure and is joined and escorted by NATSUSHIMA off Fukajima.

E 22 October 1942:
NATSUSHIMA detaches at 31N.

2 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA joins tanker HOYO MARU off Toi Misaki and escorts her to Fukajima.

6 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA and torpedo boat HATO join transport KAMAKURA MARU off Fukajima and escort her south through the Bungo Straits.

E 7 November 1942:
The escorts are detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

8 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA joins civilian cargo-passenger KAGI MARU off Fukajima and escorts her south.

E 9 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

11 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA departs Moji with minelayer NASAMI escorting the "A" (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of GENMEI and KOCHI MARUs.

19 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA joins tanker TOEI MARU off Fukajima and escorts her to 90 degrees off Toi Misaki. Probably, later that day NATSUSHIMA joins Navy fleet oiler NOTORO at 32-01N, 135-35E.

20 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA is detached off Fukajima.

21 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA joins tanker KORYO MARU off Okinoshima and escorts her north.

E 22 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA is detached off Fukajima

25 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

30 November 1942:
NATSUSHIMA and patrol boat PB-46 depart Saeki escorting the “D” Convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of KURAMASAN, KENKOKU MARUs.

E 1 December 1942:
The two escorts are detached at 29N.

31 December 1942:
NATSUSHIMA and NASAMI depart Saeki escorting the “R” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of Naval fleet oiler KAMOI, tanker TOHO MARU and TETSUZAN, NICHIUN, TASMANIA and FUKUYO MARUs

E 1 January 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

3 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA joins KIYOSUMI MARU off Fukajima and escorts her through the Bungo Straits.

4 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA is detached at longitude 133-45E. At 30-20N, 133-40E, she joins KAMIKAZE MARU and escorts her north.

E 5 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA detaches off Fukajima.

9 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and subchaser CH-39 depart Saeki escorting the " T Convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of SEKKO, TAIYU (DAITAKU), and FLORIDA MARUs.

E10 January 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

11 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA joins naval ships HIBARI and TOYU MARUs off Fukajima and escorts them south through the Bungo Straits (both were en route to Rabaul).

E 12 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA is detached at 29N.

13 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and auxiliary netlayers DAIKOKUTEN and SHOSEI MARUs escort tanker KIYO MARU through the Bungo Straits to Fukajima. From there, the tanker proceeds to Tokuyama, arriving later that day.

21 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and cable minelayer TSURUSHIMA depart Saeki escorting the “V” convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of DAKAR and KENYO MARUs.

E 22 January 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

26 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA joins Naval oiler/seaplane tender KAMOI off Fukajima and escorts her south through the Bungo Straits.

E 27 January 1943:
NATSUSHIMA is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

1 February 1943:
NATSUSHIMA departs Saeki escorting the "Z" Convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of RISSHUN, TENCHO and KORYO MARUs.

E 3 February 1943:
NATSUSHIMA is detached at 28N.

24 February 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and torpedo boat HATO join KINAI and NICHIYU MARUs off Mizunoko lighthouse and escort them south.

24 February 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and NUWAJIMA depart Ujina escorting escorting the "E2" Convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of KURAMASAN MARU.

3 March 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and NUWAJIMA depart Saeki escorting the "E2" Convoy (No. 8 Military Movement) consisting of DENMARK, YAMABUKI, GENMEI and KURAMASAN MARUs.

E 4 March 1943:
The escorts are detached at 29N.

7 March 1943:
NATSUSHIMA, CH-36, patrol boat PB-31, auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7 and cable-minelayer TSURUSHIMA escort damaged transport CLYDE MARU north from Ariake Bay (Shibushi Wan).

E 9 March 1943:
Arrives off Fukajima and is detached.

15 March 1943:
Departs Kure. NATSUSHIMA joins tanker ITSUKUSHIMA MARU off Fukajima.

E 16 March 1943:
NATSUSHIMA is detached at a point 96 degrees south of Tanega Shima.

20 March 1943:
NATSUSHIMA and NUWAJIMA, torpedo boat HATO and patrol boat PB-46 escort battleship HARUNA, aircraft carriers SHOKAKU and RYUHO and escorting destroyers to Okinoshima. Later that day, HARUNA arrives at the Inland Sea.

Late March 1943:
Arrives at Wake Island.

April 1943:
Patrols in the Port Arthur (Lushun), Manchuria area.

1 November 1943:
NATSUSHIMA departs Dairen escorting convoy TA-22 consisting of an unknown number of unidentified merchant ships for Genzan (Kunsan) or possibly Moji.

10 December 1943:
Departs Saeki for the South Pacific, most probably escorting an unidentified convoy.

4 February 1944:
NATSUSHIMA departs Yokosuka for Truk with destroyer FUJINAMI, kaibokan AMAKUSA and subchaser CH-31 escorting convoy No. 3206 consisting of GYOTEN (ex-British EMPIRE MOONBEAM), TATSUHA, ZUIKAI, RYUKO and SHINKYO MARUs. The convoy is carrying troops of the IJA’s 52nd Infantry Division.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Auxiliary minesweeper HAGOROMO MARU joins the escort.

185 miles NW of Truk. At 0228 (JST), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Richard H. O’Kane's USS TANG (SS-306) fires four torpedoes and gets two hits on GYOTEN MARU at 08-02N, 149-17E. At 0320, she splits in two and sinks a few minutes later. The escorts counter-attack unsuccessfully.

In the early morning of 17 February, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers launch air attacks on Truk. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. At about 1400, some of Mitscher’s planes attack convoy No. 3206. ZUIKAI MARU is hit by bombs and sinks at 1415. At 1420, TATSUHA MARU is also hit by bombs, explodes and sinks. Later, NATSUSHIMA, destroyer FUJINAMI and RYUKO MARU arrive at Truk.

18 February 1944:
The remnants of convoy No. 3206 arrive at Truk. Mitscher launches carrier strikes about every hour for two days. During the raids, TF 58 sinks 31 merchant transports and 10 naval vessels, destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major IJN fleet anchorage.

NATSUSHIMA escapes westward.

22 February 1944:
Off Tingwon, New Ireland, Bismarcks. At 1550, Cdr (later Admiral/CNO) Arleigh A. Burke’s DesRon 23’s ("Little Beavers"), USS CHARLES AUSBURNE (DD-570), DYSON (DD-572) and STANLY (DD-478) engage and sink NATSUSHIMA at 02-40S, 149-40E. 13 enlisted men passengers reach Kavieng.

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Author's Notes:

Photo credit goes to Matthew Jones.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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