FUSETSUKAN!

(TSUBAME by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Minelayer SARUSHIMA:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008-2013 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
Revision 4


28 March 1933:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shibulding.

10 December 1933:
Named SARUSHIMA.

16 December 1933:
Launched.

20 July 1934:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District.

8 December 1941:
SARUSHIMA is assigned to the Yokosuka Guard Unit.

5 May 1942:
SARUSHIMA arrives at Tateyama escorting KENSHO MARU.

18 May 1942:
At 1030 KOMAHASHI and minelayer escort SARUSHIMA both depart from off Futtsu Zaki escorting an unnumbered northbound convoy consisting of TAISHO, CHOSEN, TAMA, TAIKAI, WOOSUNG, SHOGEN, TETSUZAN and KAIKO MARUs and possibly SHINSEI MARU No.1. Later that day off Katsuura KOMAHASHI is detached and returns to Yokosuka.

5 June 1942:
At 1000 SARUSHIMA departs Okada escorting a westbound convoy consisting of KIZUGAWA and WAKATAKE MARUs and TONAN MARU No. 3.

E. 6 June 1942:
Cable layer escort (Densenfusetsusen) HASHIMA arrives to take over escort and SARUSHIMA detaches.

3 February 1943:
At 0900 departs Nagaura and escorts a convoy from Tokyo Bay to Sagami Wan.

6 February 1943:
At 1551 arrives back at Nagaura.

7 February 1943:
At 1000 puts to sea briefly before returning to Nagaura at 1540.

9 February 1943:
At 0330 departs Nagaura but returns to port at 2320.

10 February 1943:
At 1451 departs Nagautra.

11 February 1943:
At 0700 returns to Tokyo Bay.

12 February 1943:
At 1530 arrives back at Nagaura.

14 February 1943:
At 1515 transfers from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay.

15 February 1943:
At 1720 transfers from Tokyo Bay to Nagaura.

18 February 1943:
At 1455 SARUSHIMA departs Nagaura escorting an unknown Army ship south.

19 February 1943:
At 0707 arrives back at Nagaura.

21 February 1943:
At 0800 transfers from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay. At 1300 returns to Nagaura.

22 February 1943:
At 0830 transfers from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay. At 1130 returns to Nagaura.

24 February 1943:
At 1057 departs Nagaura escorting a west bound convoy.

25 February 1943:
At 1050 arrives at Tobi.

27 February 1943:
At 0800 departs Tobi to Ise Wan. At 1643 arrives back at Tobi.

1 March 1943:
At 1000 transfers to Ise Wan. At 2105 returns to Tobi.

2 March 1943:
At 0900 departs Tobi.

3 March 1943:
At 0615 anchors outside Nagaura. At 0720 arrives at Nagaura.

5 March 1943:
At 0900 SARUSHIMA and UKISHIMA depart Nagaura escorting a convoy.

6 March 1943:
At 1230 both escorts arrive back at Nagaura.

7 March 1943:
At 1000 SARUSHIMA and UKISHIMA transfer from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay. At 1206 both depart Tokyo Bay.

8 March 1943:
At 0600 both depart and patrol the Sagami Nada. At 1530 both return to Nagaura.

9 March 1943:
At 0700 SARUSHIMA transfers from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay. At 1118 arrives at Tateyama.

10 March 1943:
At 0727 departs Tateyama on a training exercise and at 1445 arrives back at Nagaura.

12 March 1943:
At 0510 departs Nagaura for Sagami Wan. At 1250 arrives back at Nagaura.

17 March 1943:
At 1000 transfer from Nagaura to Tokyo Bay. At 1415 returns to Nagaura.

19 March 1943:
At 0500 departs Nagaura for Sagami Wan. At 1145 arrives at Uraga. At 1620 departs Uraga and joins up with UKISHIMA.

20 March 1943:
At 0100 both SARUSHIMA and UKISHIMA temporarily anchor off Inubo Zaki.

21 March 1943:
At 0100 both SARUSHIMA and UKISHIMA arrive at Tsateyama. At 0800 both depart and at 1530 both anchor off Inuwaka.

22 March 1943:
At 0600 both depart Inuwaka and anchor off Inubo Zaki. At 1200 both anchor off Choshi.

23 March 1943:
At 0500 both depart Choshi.

26 March 1943:
At 1635 SARUSHIMA arrives at Nagaura.

29 March 1943:
At 1145 departs Nagaura and later that day arrives at Katsuura.

30 March 1943:
At 2030 departs Katssura and later that day arrives at Nagaura.

Late January 1944:
SARUSHIMA and subchasers CH-50 and CH-52 depart Yokosuka escorting convoy 3125 OTSU (B) consisting of KASAGI MARU and possibly others to Chichi-Jima.

18 March 1944:
SARUSHIMA and minesweeper W-24 depart Chichijima escorting convoy 4318A consisting of KUMANOSAN MARU, UNKAI MARU No. 10 and motorised oil barge tanker No.3998.

21 March 1944:
Arrives at Hachijo Jima.

22 March 1944:
Departs Hachijo Jima.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, SARUSHIMA departs Tokyo with destroyers HOKAZE, YUNAGI, UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers KYOSAI and YURIJIMA, minesweepers W-20, W-28 and subchasers CH-10 and CH-12 escorting convoy "Higashi-Matsu No. 6". The convoy consists of AWAJI, HAKUBA, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, BATAVIA, AWA and HOKUSHIN MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, JOKUJA, BISAN and JINSAN 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.

23 April 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Saipan. INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs together with SARUSHIMA, destroyer UZUKI and minesweeper W-20 are detached for Guam.

27 April 1944:
At 1140, SARUSHIMA departs Saipan with destroyer HOKAZE (F), kaibokan AMAKUSA, MIYAKE, CD-6, CD-10 and an unidentified vessel escorting Rear Admiral Matsuyama Mitsuharu's (40)(former CO of KITAKAMI) 7th Convoy Escort Group's convoy “Higashi Matsu” No. 6 (return) consisting of AZUCHISAN, AWAJI, SHOUN, TOAN, SHOZUI, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, TONEGAWA, HOKUSHIN and TATEBE MARUs and four unidentified ships.

4 May 1944:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay.

17 May 1944:
At 0616, SARUSHIMA departs Tateyama with destroyer HATAKAZE, kaibokan CD-16, MIKURA and MIYAKE, subchaser CH-48, minesweeper W-20 and auxiliary netlayer KOA MARU No. 2 escorting convoy No. 3515 consisting of HAKUSAN, NIPPONKAI, TOYO, KINSHU, HINKO, REIKAI, EIKO, NATSUKAWA, SHOKAI, AKISHIMA, SEIGA and CHIYO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8.

23 May 1944:
At about 0900, W-20 is detached from the convoy.

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

29 May 1944:
At 0400, SARUSHIMA departs Guam with minesweeper W-20, minelayer and auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2 escorting a convoy consisting of NISSHO MARU No. 18 and TAKUNAN and BATAVIA MARUs. At 2030 that day, the convoy arrives safely at Saipan.

31 May 1944:
At 0600, SARUSHIMA departs Saipan for Yokosuka with destroyer HATAKAZE, kaibokan CD-12, minesweeper W-20, auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2 and auxiliary store ship TAKUNAN MARU escorting convoy No. 4530 consisting of HAKUSAN, JINZAN, EIKO, NATSUKAWA, SHUNSEN, KAIKO and CHIYO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8.

2 June 1944:
250 miles W of Uracas Island. At 2207, CHIYO MARU is attacked by LtCdr Edward N. Blakely’s (USNA ’34) USS SHARK (SS-314) and hit by two torpedoes port side under the rear of the bridge. About ten minutes later, CHIYO MARU sinks at 21-00N 140-30E. 97 out of 143 dignitaries, one guard trooper and four crewmen are killed. SARUSHIMA and the other escorts counter-attack and drop a total of 39 depth-charges, but fail to damage USS SHARK.

4 June 1944:
317 miles WSW of Iwo-Jima. At 0405, HAKUSAN MARU is attacked by LtCdr John D. Crowley’s (USNA ’34) USS FLIER (SS-250) and hit port side by two of three torpedoes torpedoes he fires. At 0415, HAKUSAN MARU’s stern rises vertically and she sinks at 22-37N 136-50E. At the time the ship was carrying Naval Marines, 71 Army employed civilians and 375 civilian evacuees, together with 27 tons dried snails and 265 tons coal and leftover food. 16 Army and Navy civilians, 277 civilians, nine guards and 23 crewmen are killed. SARUSHIMA and the other escorts counter-attack and drop 34 depth-charges, but without damage to USS FLIER. [1]

8 June 1944:
At 0800, the remainder of the convoy arrives at Yokosuka. The ship remains at Yokosuka until 28 June.

28 June 1944:
SARUSHIMA and subchasers CH-18 and CH-16, minesweeper W-25 and auxiliary minesweeper TOSHI MARU No. 5 depart Yokosuka for Chichi-Jima escorting convoy No. 3628 consisting of SHIMA, TATSUEI, SHOZUI, TAIKO and KAIKO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8.

2 July 1944:
Convoy No. 3628 arrives at Chichi-Jima and begins to unload.

4 July 1944:
Off Chichi-Jima, Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands. Carrier-based aircraft of Task Force 58 attack convoy No. 3628. The entire convoy is virtually destroyed. SARUSHIMA is sunk at 27-06N, 142-10E.

10 September 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Author's Notes:
[1] USS FLIER, while transiting the Balabac Strait, Philippines, on 13 August 1944 struck a mine and sank. Fourteen of 86 crewmen escaped, but only eight survived the long swim in the Sulu Sea to shore. After making their way by raft to Palawan, at the end of the month they were evacuated by USS REDFIN (SS-272). In the spring of 2009, a dive team from YAP Films located the wreckage of the submarine at a depth of 330 feet. On 1 February 2010, the USN confirmed that the submarine is USS FLIER.

No data were found for SARUSHIMA's movements during 1942 and 1943. Readers with access to any such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Thanks for assistance go to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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