Denran Fusetsutei!

(HASHIMA-class cable-layer ODATE)

IJN Cable-Layer ODATE:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

22 April 1940:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Shipbuilding as a 1564-ton (standard) HASHIMA-class cable-layer

11 December 1940:
Launched and named ODATE.

31 July 1941:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District Attached to the Sasebo Guard Unit.

16 April 1943:
Conducts patrols in the Sasebo area.

April 1943:
Assigned to escort convoys.

18 May 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

3 May 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

31 May 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

2-4 June 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

7-11 July 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

16 July 1943:
Calls at Fusan (Pusan), Korea; later, lays cable outside that port in four locations.

28 July-22 August 1943:
Undergoes repairs at Kainan island, Honshu. Later, arrives at Sasebo and departs; then engages in cable laying work in the vicinity of Mako, Pescadores.

At an unknown date and place, ODATE is converted to a minelayer. Two Type 2 depth charge throwers are fitted and her mine storage capacity is increased from 12 to 120 Type 93 mines. Her armament is increased by the addition of six Type 96 25-mm AA guns.

Lays mines off Java, Sumatra, Singapore, the Philippines and Okinawa.

11-13 September 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

6 January 1944:
Departs Nagasaki. Engages in cable laying and escorts convoys between Mako and Takao.

January 1945:
Arrives at Darien, Manchuria.

22 January 1945:
Returns to Sasebo.

January-10 February 1945:
Departs Sasebo. Calls at Kagoshima. Escorts a convoy to the Ryukyus. At an unclear date, the convoy is attacked by carrier-based aircraft of Vice Admiral John S. McCain’s Task Force 38.

25 March 1945:
Departs Sasebo.

27 March 1945:
East China Sea. 200 miles SW of Kyushu. Cdr David R. Connole’s (later KIA) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) torpedoes and sinks ODATE at 30-40N, 127-50E. She takes down her captain and over 100 men. [1]

At 0807, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from Sasebo to that reads: Special Subchaser CHa -207: “1. Odate departed Oshima at 2100 on the 26th. At noon on the 27th, position 30-43 N, 127-53E ----.”

At 1437, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: “Ibusuki patrol plane discovered survivors (presumed to be from ODATE) drifting in position bearing 226 degrees, distant 142 miles from Ibusuki. SAISHU and NUWAJIMA are to proceed rapidly to the same position and are to make contact after rescue.”

10 July 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Cable Layers National Memorial Monument
Sasebo Navy Cemetery, Nagasaki Prefecture

Authors' Note:
[1] According to the United States Submarine Losses in World War II, on 26-28 March 1945 TRIGGER was probably lost near 31N, 132E.

On 28 March 1945, at 1027, SW of Shikoku, a Japanese ASW aircraft detects a contact and directs the 3rd Sweeping Unit to the area. After 1300, kaibokan MIKURA, CD-33 and CD-59 and possibly others conduct several attacks on a submarine with Type 3 streamlined depth-charges. After two hours, a large amount of oil and debris is sighted in the area of 32-16N, 132-05E. It is possible the submarine was TRIGGER lost with all 89 hands; however, no official report has ever been released with details of the date, place and cause of TRIGGER's loss.

Ship photo credit goes to Fukui’s Japanese Naval Vessels 1860-1945. Fukui Shizuo Collection via J. Ed Low.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Back to Cable-Layers Page