(Minesweeper USS FINCH (AM-9) prewar - USNatlArchv)

IJN Patrol Boat No. 103:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2013 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

22 August 1917:
New York. Laid down at Standard Shipbuilding Co's shipyard as a Lapwing Class minesweeper.

30 March 1918:
Launched, named and numbered USS FINCH Minesweeper No. 9.

10 September 1918:
Commissioned in the USN.

9 August 1919:
Departs New York for Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland.

August-October 1919:
FINCH sweeps mines laid in the North Sea during World War I.

23 December 1918 -19 July 1919:
After World War I, USN minesweepers sweep one-mile wide channels into the principal ports serving troops returning from Europe. USS FINCH, in the approach to New York harbor, is one of seven Lapwing Class minesweepers temporarily stationed as Navy lightships at the five approaches to the ports of disembarkation. Each ship is equipped with illumination, fog signal, and submarine bell signal apparatus.

17 July 1920:
Redesignated AM-9.

29 November 1920:
Arrives at Charleston, SC.

3 January 1920:
Departs Charleston for San Pedro, CA.

1 March 1920-29 August 1920:
Arrives at San Pedro. Undergoes modernization.

29 August 1921:
Departs San Francisco for duty with the U. S. Asiatic Fleet. She serves in the Philippines in the winter months and at Chefoo, China in the summer months. Her duties include towing and salvage work, fleet exercises and patrols on the Yangtze River.

September 1921:
Manila Bay. USS FINCH arrives at Cavite Naval Base, Philippines.

December 1921:
Cavite. Assigned as tender to the newly arrived Submarine Division 18 comprised of S-boats USS S-2, USS S-14, USS S-15, USS S-16 and USS S-17.

23 April 1923:
FINCH and submarine tender USS RAINBOW (AS-7) steam with the Asiatic Fleet's submarine divisions to serve at Shanghai, Chefoo, Chinwangtao, Woosung and Amoy along the China Coast.

10 September 1923:
USS FINCH departs China with USS RAINBOW for Olongapo, Philippines, serving there and at Cavite.

24 June 1924:
USS FINCH departs Cavite with USS RAINBOW and the S-boats of Divisions 12 and 18 to serve at Tsingtao, Chefoo and Amoy.

20 September 1924:
FINCH departs China for Olongapo.

23 September 1924:
Arrives at Olongapo.

June 1937:
China. LtCdr (later Admiral) Hyman G. Rickover (USNA ’22) assumes command of USS FINCH, but is reassigned within three months.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops at the bridge fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers. Chinese troops fire back. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing. They demand entry to the Beijing suburb of Wanping to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

10 January 1939:
USS FINCH is at Tsingtao.

1 October 1939:
Tsingtao. USS FINCH tows submarine salvage ship USS PIGEON (ASR-6) free after she ran aground during a typhoon in September.

November 1941:
Cavite Naval Station, Manila. USS FINCH is flagship of Lt Thurlow W. Davison's Mine Div 8 with USS BITTERN (AM-36).

18 November 1941:
In response to deteriorating political conditions in China, Admiral (later Senator) Thomas C. Hart (USNA ’97), CINC, U. S. Asiatic Fleet orders Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) William A. Glassford, CO of the Yangtze River Patrol, to return to Manila with five of his larger gunboats.

29 November 1941:
River gunboats USS LUZON (PR-7), carrying Admiral Glassford, and USS OAHU (PR-6) depart Shanghai for Manila.

30 November -1 December 1941:
About midnight, USS FINCH and submarine rescue vessel USS PIGEON (ASR-6) rendezvous with USS LUZON and USS OAHU.

1 December 1941:
Formosa Straits. USS FINCH, USS PIGEON, USS LUZON and USS OAHU encounter a large Japanese convoy headed southward. A floatplane circles the Americans, followed by seven Japanese warships of various types.

2 December 1941:
As Glassford's flat-bottomed river boats attempt to cross the Formosa Straits they encounter a Typhoon. Admiral Hart, concerned for the gunboats' safety, directs USS FINCH and USS PIGEON to tow them, or if necessary, take off their crews.

3 December 1941:
USS PIGEON's rudder is damaged by mountainous seas and she loses an anchor. USS FINCH loses both of her anchors, but manages to take the unnavigable USS PIGEON under tow. USS LUZON and USS OAHU are detached.

4-10 December 1941:
USS LUZON and USS OAHU reach Manila followed by USS FINCH and USS PIGEON. All the other gunboats arrive over the next few days.

8 December 1941:
At about 1220, nine hours after their attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese, delayed by bad weather, bomb LtGen Douglas MacArthur's air bases in the Philippines and destroy many bombers and fighters on the ground.

29 December 1941:
IJNAF land attack planes bomb Corregidor for the first time. Off shore, bombs set fire to Philippine freighter DON JOSE and the hulk of American freighter CAPILLO. USS FINCH puts out the fires on both ships.

9 April 1942:
3 miles off N shore of Corregidor. USS FINCH is anchored next to minesweeper USS QUAIL (AM-15 ) with many of the Asiatic Fleet's minesweepers, gunboats and tugs. At about 1600, Japanese shore batteries open fire on the gathering. All the ships up anchor and zigzag to the center of Manila Bay, but the shore batteries continue firing and sink two tugs. Finally, the other ships get out of range of the guns, only to be attacked by nine dive-bombers. USS FINCH and minesweeper USS TANAGER (AM-5) claim shooting down one dive-bomber.

During the action, USS FINCH is damaged by the near-miss of a bomb and fragments pierce her hull. Her seams open causing flooding and USS FINCH has to be abandoned, but her entire crew is safely landed. The Japanese continue bombing and strafing unit about 1700, but their aim is off and they score no hits, just near-misses. As darkness closes in, the planes withdraw.

10 April 1942:
Off Corregidor. USS FINCH is grounded in shallow water at 14-22N, 120-35E.

6 May 1942:
Corregidor falls.

8 May 1942:
The Japanese begin to salvage USS FINCH.

1 April 1943:
Registered in the IJN as patrol boat PB-103. Attached to the Maizuru Naval Base. Assigned to the South West Area Fleet's Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet at Manila while being repaired at the IJN's No. 103 Repair Facility at Cavite.

9 April 1943:
Lt (Reserve) Imazato Shichiro is appointed the CO.

1 to 17 May 1943:
Transferred to No. 103 Repair Facility for hull repairs and reinforcement.

17 May 1943:
Departs Cavite for engine trials, returns on that same day. Later, a 1-meter Barr & Stroud rangefinder is installed on the rebuilt bridge. The ship returns to Cavite.

19 May 1943:
Transferred to the IJN. The armament consists of one 3-in/40 Armstrong gun in the bow, two 0.5-in American machine guns abreast the mainmast, two Type 92 7.7-mm machine guns abreast the foremast and one Type 91 Mk. 1 depth-charge thrower. More trials are conducted and the ship returns to Cavite.

20 May 1943:
Departs Cavite and returns later that day.

21 May 1943:
Departs Cavite.

22 May 1943:
Returns to Cavite.

27 May 1943:
Hull repairs are completed. The ship departs Cavite and arrives at Manila.

28 May 1943:
Returns from manila to Cavite.

31 May 1943:
Departs Cavite and returns later that day.

2 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

4 June 1943:
Arrives back at Manila.

5 June 1943:
Departs Manila and arrives soon after at Cavite.

6 June 1943:
Departs Cavite and arrives back at Manila.

7 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

9 June 1943:
Arrives at "Ra-fu-I" (Rapu Rapu Island?) and departs later that day.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Tabaco.

11 June 1943:
Departs Tabaco.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

17 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

19-20 June 1943:
Arrives back at Manila. Undertakes weapons trials. A Japanese-style galley is fitted.

21 June 1943:
Departs Manila.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Cebu.

24 June 1943:
Departs Cebu.

27 June 1943:
Arrives back at Cebu.

28 June 1943:
Departs Cebu.

29 June 1943:
Arrives back at Cebu.

30 June 1943:
Departs Cebu.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

3 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

4 July 1943:
Arrives back at Manila.

5 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

7 July 1943:
Arrives back at Manila and soon after transfers to Cavite.

10 July 1943:
Departs Cavite.

12 July 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

16 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

18 July 1943:
Arrives back at Manila.

20 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Cebu.

24 July 1943:
Departs Cebu.

27 July 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

31 July 1943:
Departs Manila.

1 August 1943:
Arrives back at Manila.

10 August 1943:
At 1329 departs Manila.

11 August 1943:
At 1652 arrives back at Manila.

12 August 1943:
At 0125 departs Manila.

15 August 1943:
At 1431 arrives at Manila.

25 August 1943:
At 0828 departs Manila.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

3 September 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

4 September 1943:
Returns to Hong Kong.

7 September 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

10 September 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

20 September 1943:
Departs Manila.

22 September 1943:
Returns to Manila.

26 September 1943:
Departs Manila.

27 September 1943:
Returns to Manila.

28 September 1943:
Departs Manila.

30 September 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

1 October 1943:
Departs Takao.

4 October 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

7 October 1943:
Departs Manila and late that day arrives at Olongapo.

8 October 1943:
Departs Olongapo and later that day arrives at Manila.

12 October 1943:
At 1250, PB-103 departs Manila escorting convoy H-2 to Kau, Halmahera consisting of HAMBURG, SUEZ, KIBITSU and YUBAE MARUs.

14 October 1943:
At 1620, convoy H-2 arrives at Cebu and partially unloads. PB-103 is detached and replaced as escort by minelayer WAKATAKA. PB-103 returns to Manila.

17 October 1943:
Arrives back at Manila.

25 October 1943:
Departs Manila.

28 October 1943:
Ariives back at Manila.

31 October 1943:
At 1200, PB-103 departs Manila escorting convoy No. 1 consisting of TEIKAI (ex German FULDA), TOHO, NICHINAN, SHINSHU and SHIRANESAN MARUs.

2 November 1943:
While nearing Cebu Port, TEIKAI MARU (ex German FULDA) runs aground and NICHINAN MARU is detached to assist. At 2305, TEIKAI MARU is refloated and they arrived at Cebu the following day.

3 November 1943:
Arrives at Cebu.

6 November 1943:
At 0900, PB-103 departs Cebu escorting convoy H-3 consisting of TEIKAI (ex German FULDA), NICHINAN, TATSUHA, TOHO and TOYAMA MARUs.

10 November 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Kau.

11 November 1943:
At 0530, PB-103 departs Kau escorting a convoy consisting of MINRYO and HINODE MARUs and YOSHIDA MARU No. 3.

14 November 1943:
Arrives Zamboanga. CHOJO MARU joins the convoy.

15 November 1943:
At 1000, arrives at Cebu.

16 November 1943:
At 0800, departs Cebu.

18 November 1943:
At 0830, arrives at Manila.

22 November 1943:
At 1745, PB-103 departs Manila escorting convoy H-6 consisting of TATSUHARU, CHINKAI, RYUSEI, FUJIKAWA and NANREI MARUs.

E 24 November 1943:
Off Legaspi, NANREI MARU detaches from the convoy.

26 November 1943:
HAMBURG MARU joins the convoy.

29 November 1943:
At 0815, arrives at Kau.

1 December 1943:
At 0500, PB-103 departs Kau escorting convoy M-3 consisting of AKAGISAN MARU and FUKUEI MARU No. 8.

4 December 1943:
FUKUEI MARU No. 8 is detached from the convoy because of her slow speed.

5 December 1943:
Near Cebu. AKAGISAN MARU suffers rudder problems and stops for temporary repairs. PB-103 proceeds independently and both arrive at Cebu that day.

9 December 1943:
At 0850, PB-103 departs Cebu escorting convoy M-092 consisting of DAISOKU MARU No. 13 and SHINSEI MARU No. 17.

11 December 1943:
At 1300, arrives at Manila.

13 December 1943:
Departs Manila and transfers to Cavite.

27 December 1943:
Enters drydock.

January 1944:
An order is received to fit PB-103 with a larger depth-charge magazine.

6 January 1944:

7 January 1944:
Trials and then returned to Cavite.

13 January 1944:
Trials and then returned to Cavite.

15 January 1944:
Transfers from Cavite to Manila.

16 January 1944:
Departs Manila.

17 January 1944:
Returns to Manila.

20 January 1944:
At 0900, PB-103 and subchaser CH-46 depart Manila escorting convoy H-14 to Kau, Halmahera consisting of TONEGAWA, KUROGANE, MOJI, MITSUKI, ADEN, KENWA, UGO and RYOCHI MARUs.

22 January 1944:
At 1150, arrives at Cebu, Philippines.

23 January 1944:
At 0900, departs Cebu.

27 January 1944:
At 1456, arrives at Kau.

30 January 1944:
At 0800, PB-103 departs Kau for Manila with subchaser CH-46 and auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 13 escorting the "M" convoy (number unknown) consisting of KAZUURA, YAMAMIYA, TSUKIKAWA and ODATSUKI MARUs.

2 February 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

5 February 1944:
Departs Davao but later that day returns to Davao.

7 February 1944:
Departs Davao.

9 February 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga but departs the port later that day.

10 February 1944:
Arrives at Cebu

11 February 1944:
Departs Cebu.

E 12 February 1944:
Joins convoy MO-72 consiting of MINRYO and SEKINO MARUs that sailed unescorted from Palau on 7 February.

14 February 1944:
W of Batangas. At 0505, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker's (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER (SS-249) torpedoes and sinks MINRYO MARU at 13-44N, 120-37E. Four passengers and four of the crew are killed. The convoy arrives at Manila later that day.

17 February 1944:
Departs Manila.

20 February 1944:
Arrives back at Manila.

25 February 1944:
At 1500, PB-103 departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island escorting convoy H-19 consisting of NITTAI, YAMAGATA, SHOGEN, SHINYU and TENCHO MARUs.

28 February 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Cebu, Philippines. The convoy is joined by KANTO MARU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-24 and auxiliary minesweeper Wa-8.

29 February 1944:
Departs Cebu.

1 March 1944:
The escorts detect a submarine. CHa-24 drops depth charges, but without effect.

3 March 1944:
Celebes Sea, 290 miles NW of Wasili, Halmahera. At 2347, LtCdr Willard R. Laughon’s (USNA ’33) USS RASHER (SS-269) attacks convoy H-19. Laughon torpedoes and sinks army transport NITTAI MARU carrying 8655 tons of white rice at 03-8N, 123-56E. One crewman is killed. The escorts drop seven depth charges that slightly damage USS RASHER.

4 March 1944:
At 1825, the convoy's escort is joined by auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 17. At 2300, the escorts detect a surfaced submarine and attack, but without success.

5 March 1944:
At 0405, Laughon's RASHER fires torpedoes at the convoy at 02-49N, 126-40E. SHINYU MARU barely manages to evade a hit.

6 March 1944:
At 0237, arrives at Wasile, Halmahera, then departs for Kau.

7 March 1944:
Arrives at Kau.

8 March 1944:
Departs Kau and later arrives at Wasile Bay.

9 March 1944:
At 0600, PB-103 departs Wasile, Halmahera with auxiliary subchaser CHa-12 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 17 escorting convoy M-14 consisting of NORWAY, TATSUJU and CELEBES MARUs. PB-103 experiences some malfunctions and the convoy anchors off Kau.

11 March 1944:
At 0715, after repairs to PB-103, the convoy departs Kau for Wasile, Halmahera. The convoy's escort is joined by auxiliary netlayer TOKO MARU No. 1. Later that day the convoy arrives and departs Wasile.

14 March 1944:
Cebu Sea. TEIYU MARU joins the convoy.

15 March 1944:
At 1230, arrives at Zamboanga, Mindanao. Departs at 1850.

19 March 1944:
At 0400, off Cape Santiago, Luzon, the convoy is attacked by an unidentified submarine, but no damage is incurred. Later that day, arrives at Manila.

25 March 1944:
Departs Manila and returns later the same day.

31 March 1944:
At 0358, PB-103 departs Manila for Kau, Halmahera Island with PB-105 escorting convoy H-23 consisting of BUNZAN, TATSUJU, MIYAURA and TAIYU MARUs.

6 April 1944:
At 0733, departs Cebu. Enroute, the convoy is joined by KURAMASAN and MITO MARUs from Davao.

11 April 1944:
At 1753, arrives at Kau.

12 April 1944:
At 1500, PB-103 departs Kau for Manila with with PB-105, auxiliary subchasers YATSUSHIRO MARU and KYO MARU No. 2 escorting convoy M-27 consisting of YAMAGATA, SHOGEN and SHINYU MARUs and NIKKO MARU No. 1 and Army LST BANRYU (later SS-2).

15 April 1944:
At 2340, LtCdr (later Cdr) Marshall H. Austin's (USNA ’35) USS REDFIN (SS-272) torpedoes and damages SHINYU MARU, but she is able to continue.

16 April 1944:
At 0240, USS REDFIN torpedoes and damages YAMAGATA MARU transporting about 100 wounded soldiers and 25 other passengers, and later she sinks. 28 passengers and five crewmen are killed.

17 April 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga and departs at 2040 the same day.

21 April 1944:
JANBI and BUGEN MARUs join the convoy.

22 April 1944:
Arrives at Cebu. TAIKO and HOKUHI MARUs join the convoy. Departs the same day.

24 April 1944:
Convoy M-27 arrives at Manila.

26 May 1944:
At 1350, PB-103 departs Wasili, Halmahera Island for Manila escorting convoys M-20 and M-21 consisting of TSUSHIMA, MANSHU, YAMAHAGI, TATSUMA, SHIROTAE, FUKUYO, PEKING, FUYO, KENNICHI, TENSHO and KUROGANE MARUs.

30 May 1944:
At 0845, arrives at Zamboanga, Mindanao and departs later that day.

1 June 1944:
At 0740, arrives at Cebu and departs later that day.

3 June 1944:
At 2100, arrives at Manila.

12 June 1944:
At 0800, PB-105 departs Manila for Wasili, Halmahera Island with PB-103, submarine chaser CH-45 and kaibokan CD-10 escorting convoy H-29 consisting of MACASSAR, JUNPO, YAMAGIKU, FRANCE, KURAMASAN, HIBI and TAIYU MARUs.

17 June 1944:
HIBI MARU is detached for Zamboanga.

23 June 1944:
At 1710, convoy H-29 arrives at Halmahera.

25 June 1944:
At 0550, PB-105 and PB-103 depart Wasili for Manila with kaibokan CD-10 escorting convoy M-25 consisting of MACASSAR, JUNPO, YAMAGIKU, FRANCE and TAIYU MARUs.

28 June 1944:
Moro Gulf, 35 miles E of Zamboanga. At 0712, LtCdr Ian C. Eddy’s (USNA ’30) USS PARGO (SS-264) attacks the convoy. Eddy torpedoes and sinks YAMAGIKU MARU with the loss of three crewmen, and damages CD-10 at 06-50N, 121-30E.

29 June 1944:
At 1550, the convoy departs Zamboanga with KASAGISAN MARU as an additional member.

1 July 1944:
Cebu Sea. FRANCE and TAIYU MARUs are detached. That same day, Lt Kosaka Minezo is posted CO.

3 July 1944:
The remainder of convoy M-25 arrives at Manila.

6 September 1944:
At 0600, PB-103 departs Manila for Cebu with torpedo boat HAYABUSA, auxiliary subchaser MOGAMI MARU and auxiliary TERUKAZE MARU escorting convoy C-067 consisting of MIKASA, KEIAN, GENKAI, TOYO, RAKUTO, AYASONO and BANRYU (later SS-2) MARUs and FUKUEI MARU No. 17.

8 September 1944:
At 1335, arrives at Cebu.

10 September 1944:
At 1050, arrives at Loc Bay, Masbate Is.

12 September 1944:
At 1049, departs Loc Bay.

13 September 1944:
At 0430, arrives at Santa Cruz, Mindoro Island.

16 September 1944:
At 0947, departs Santa Cruz and at 1915 anchors at Batangas.

17 September 1944:
At 0555, departs Batangas and at 1600 arrives at Manila.

20 September 1944:
Departs Cavite for Kanakao. Later, docks at No. 103 Repair Facility for repairs. Type 93 sonar and a radar detector are also installed. Probably at that time, her Type 91 depth-charge thrower is replaced by a Type 94.

10 October 1944:
Completes repairs at No. 103 Repair Facility.

12 October 1944:
Undergoes hull inspection at Cavite No. 2 pier.

17 to 24 October 1944:
Docks at Kanakao for additional hull reinforcement.

November 1944:
A Type 96 twin 25-mm AA mount (abaft the mainmast) and four single mounts are fitted.

4 December 1944:
At 0800, PB-103 departs Singapore for Manila with kaibokan CD-43, subchasers CH-30 and CH-31 escorting convoy SHIMA consisting of SHOEI, KOSHIN and EIHO MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 3.

8 December 1944:
NNE of Kuchin, Borneo. At 0104, either LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA ’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364) or LtCdr Joseph P. FitzPatrick's (USNA ’38) USS PADDLE (SS-263) torpedoes and sinks SHOEI MARU with a cargo of 5,000-tons of gasoline at 04-02N, 111-12E. 42 crewmen are KIA.

12 December 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Kuching.

13 December 1944:
At 1200, departs Kuching.

16 December 1944:
KOSHIN MARU suffers engine trouble and has to be towed to Miri.

23 December 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain) Irvin S. Hartman's (USNA ’33) USS BARBERO (SS-317) torpedoes and sinks subchaser CH-30 at 02-42N, 111-05E.

24 December 1944:
The convoy anchors off Cape Paloh. The convoy's destination is changed to Cape St Jacques, Indochina.

25 December 1944:
At 1200, departs Cape Paloh.

1 January 1945:
At 1100, the convoy arrives at Cape St Jacques.

11 January 1945:
At 1100, PB-103 departs Cape St Jacques with kaibokan CD-35, CD-43, minesweeper W-101 and subchaser CH-31 escorting convoy SATA-05 consisting of KENSEI and TOYU MARUs, landing ship transport T. 149 and tankers AYAYUKI, KOSHIN and EIHO MARUs. In the evening, T. 149 finds the heavy seas too dangerous. She is detached from the convoy and returns to St Jacques.

12 January 1945: American Operation "Gratitude"- Task Force 38's Strikes on Indochina:
Off Cape Padaran, SE French Indochina. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain’s (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 attack convoy SATA-05. PB-103 is repeatedly strafed and most of her AA armament is disabled. The depth-charges on the afterdeck catch fire. At 1515, after several successive explosions the ship sinks in 28 feet of water. Her bridge remains partially visible. Twenty three officers and men are killed, 53 wounded.

TF 38’s planes also sink merchant tanker AYAYUKI MARU (with 4800 tons of oil products lost and 16 crewmen killed), kaibokan CD-35, CD-43, subchaser CH-31 and minesweeper W-101 at 11-10N, 108-55E.

10 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.

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