YUSOSEN!

(SHIRIYA prewar)

IJN SHIRIYA:
Tabular Record of Movement



2007-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 7


4 July 1921:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shipyard.

11 December 1921:
Launched and named SHIRIYA.

8 February 1922:
Yokohama. Completed and registered in the IJN at the Yokosuka Naval District.

11 April 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takeda Isamu (43) assumes command.

11 January 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kinoshita Mitsuo (43) assumes command.

15 October 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sato Shiro (43)(former ComSubDiv 7) assumes command. Captain Kinoshita is reassigned to the staff of the Combined Fleet.

5 April 1940:
A new, but unknown, Captain assumes command. Captain Sato is reassigned as CO of the NOTORO.

1 July 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Imaizumi Yoshijiro (44) assumes command.

August 1940:
SHIRIYA arrives at Honolulu, Hawaii.

31 January 1941:
A new, but unknown, Captain assumes command. Captain Imaizumi is reassigned as ComSubDiv 2.

11 October 1940: Imperial Naval Review:
Yokohama. SHIRIYA and 97 warships are spread across Tokyo Bay. Admiral (Fleet Admiral posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (32) (former CO of AKAGI), the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, accompanies Emperor Hirohito (Showa) aboard battleship HIEI for the Emperor's annual review of the fleet. 527 aircraft also participate. HIEI, escorted by heavy cruisers TAKAO, KAKO and FURUTAKA, then passes among the fleet's ships.

15 October 1941:
SHIRIYA is assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

28 October 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Togo Minoru (40),(former CO of MUROTO), son of deceased Fleet Admiral, the Marquis, Togo Heihachiro, 1905 hero at Tsushima, assumes command.

14 November 1941:
SHIRIYA is assigned to Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) 1st Air Fleet's Support Force.

20 November 1941:
Yokosuka. Captain Togo advises the chiefs of staff of CarDivs 1, 2 and 5 and the Combined Fleet that SHIRIYA is undergoing overhaul and will complete loading fuel oil (aviation gasoline) and other miscellaneous equipment by the next day. He further advises that SHIRIYA's main generator and other minor repairs will be completed by 23 November. Togo notes that he expects to get underway on the 24th and join up with 1st Air Fleet units during the morning of 27 November.

21 November 1941:
Captain Togo advises Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Konishi Kaname's (44)(former XO of MIKUMA), ComDesDiv 7, that SHIRIYA expects to depart November 24 and arrive at sea on November 27. Togo requests that he be advised of the rendezvous point with DesDiv 7. [1]

28 November 1941: Operation "Z" - The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Departs Tateyama with Captain Kaname's Midway Bombardment Unit DesDiv 7's SAZANAMI and USHIO. [1]

7 December 1941:
USHIO and SAZANAMI bombard the airfield at Midway Atoll to create a diversion, then withdraw and are refueled by SHIRIYA. [2]

21 December 1941:
Arrives at Saeki.

22 December 1941:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

23 December 1941:
Hashirajima. Captain Togo reports aboard the Combined Fleet's flagship NAGATO to brief Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ugaki Matome (40)(former CO of HYUGA) concerning the results of his supply mission in accompanying the Midway Bombardment Unit. Togo notes that SHIRIYA could hardly make 8 knots and that it is absolutely necessary for supply ships to be able to make 20 knots in the future.

25 December 1941:
Transfers from Hashirajima to Kure.

29 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure Arsenal. Drydocked.

5 January 1942:
Undocked.

11 January 1942:
At 1300 departs Kure and at 1630 arrives at Kanogawa.

13 January 1942:
At 1730 departs Kanogawa.

16 January 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Yokosuka.

20 January 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Akkeshi, then Paramushiro, Ominato and Kushiro. Attached to the Northern Fleet to provide oil replenishment to covering forces.

23 January 1942:
At 0930 arrives at Akkeshi.

10 February 1942:
At 0900 departs Akkeshi.

14 February 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Paramushiro.

15 February 1942:
At 1150 departs Paramushiro.

20 February 1942:
At 0450 arrives at Akkeshi.

21 February 1942:
At 1030 departs Akkeshi.

23 February 1942:
At 0840 arrives at Ominato.

25 February 1942:
At 0645 departs Ominato.

26 February 1942:
At 0020 arrives at Muroran.

27 February 1942:
At 0630 departs Muroran.

28 February 1942:
At 0700 arrives at Kushiro.

5 March 1942:
Cdr Fujimaki Mitoku assumes command. Captain Togo is reassigned to the Sasebo Naval District.

9 March 1942:
At 0755 departs Kushiro and at 1230 arrives at Akkeshi.

12 March 1942:
At 0620 departs Akkeshi and at 1045 arrives back at Kushiro. Remains there for the rest of the month.

4 April 1942:
At 1100 departs Kushiro and at 1407 arrives at Akkeshi.

5 April 1942:
At 1440 departs Akkeshi and at 1805 arrives back at Kushiro.

10 April 1942:
At 1000 departs Kushiro and at 1400 arrives at Akkeshi.

11 April 1942:
At 1300 departs Akkeshi and at 1630 arrives back at Kushiro.

13 April 1942:
At 0950 departs Kushiro.

14 April 1942:
At 1206 arrives at Ominato.

19 April 1942:
At 1130 departs Ominato.

20 April 1942:
At 1600 arrives at Akkeshi, and departs at 1855.

23 April 1942:
At 2400 arrives back at Akkeshi.

25 April 1942:
At 1130 departs Akkeshi and at 1530 arrives at Kushiro.

30 April 1942:
At 0900 departs Kushiro and at 1217 arrives at Akkeshi.

2 May 1942:
At 0600 departs Akkeshi.

5 May 1942:
At 0600 arrives at Paramushiro.

8 May 1942:
At 1830 departs Paramushiro.

10 May 1942:
E of the Kuriles. SHIRIYA's steering gear breaks down and she becomes unnavigable at 45-38N, 151-40E. Cdr Fujimaki radios the Fifth Fleet for assistance. That same day, heavy cruiser NACHI and later, light cruiser TAMA, arrive and tow SHIRIYA.

12 May 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi, Hokkaido.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

26 May 1942:
Departs Ominato and soon after arrives at Kawauchi Wan.

29 May 1942:
Departs Kawauchi Wan.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

20 June 1942:
Departs Ominato but returns later that day.

21 June 1942:
Departs Ominato but returns to port later that day.

30 June 1942:
At 0450 departs Ominato and at 1558 arrives at Hakodate, Hokkaido. Drydocked. Undergoes repairs.

10 July 1942:
Undocked.

11 July 1942:
Departs Hakodate.

26 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 August 1942:
At 1000 departs Yokosuka escorted by auxiliary storeship KOA MARU until 29N.

8 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

13 September 1942:
Departs Truk.

24 September 1942:
Enters the Bungo Straits heading north.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 September 1942:
Departs Kure.

13 October 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 October 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Singapore.

28 November 1942:
Enters the Bungo Straits heading north.

7 December 1942:
Joined by subchaser CH-37 off Fukajima and escorted south through the Bungo Straits.

E 8 December 1942:
CH- 37 is detached 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

16 January 1943:
Departs Kure for Balikpapan and Surabaya on an oil transport run.

17 January 1943:
SHIRIYA is joined by auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 off Fukajima and escorted south through the Bungo Straits.

E 18 January 1943:
TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 is detached at a point 90 degrees off Toi Misaki.

28 May 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

5 June 1943:
At 1100 W-16 departs Balikpapan escorting the oiler SHIRIYA for Surabaya. At 2000 the escort ceased and W-16 returns to Balikpapan.

15 June 1943:
At Balikpapan.

17 July 1943:
Captain Nakao Hachiro (40) is posted as CO. Captain Fujimaki is reassigned to an unknown post.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama. Drydocked. Undergoes repairs.

9 August 1943:
Departs Yokohama for Singapore in a convoy via Osaka, Mutsure (near Moji/Shimonoseki), Mako and St. Jacques, Indochina.

15 August 1943:
Departs Moji in convoy No.187 also consisting of KIYO, ATAGO, RAIZAN, CHOJO, KOYU, KOFUKU, HONAN MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by the destroyer KARUKAYA.

20 August 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

2 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

5 September 1943:
Departs Singapore for Japan in convoy No.618 also consisting of KIYO, SHOYO, HOKUYO MARUs, OGURA MARU No.2 and one unidentified merchant ship without escort.

8 September 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

11 September 1943:
Departs St Jacques in convoy No.425 also consisting of GINYO, KIYO, SHOYO, TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), HOKUYO MARUs, OGURA MARU No.2 and seven unidentified merchant ships escorted by the destroyer ASAGAO.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

20 September 1943:
Departs Mako at 1800 for Moji in convoy RINJI-B (Special-B) also consisting of oilers SHOYO MARU and OGURA MARU No. 1, freighters ARGUN, MANTAI, KIYO, GYOKU and TAKETSU MARUs. SHIRIYA and frigate WAKAMIYA are the escorts.

21 September 1943:
East China Sea. NE of Keelung, Formosa. LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA 35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237) is patrolling submerged 30 miles N of the Hoka Sho light. Dornin sights a convoy of three oilers and three freighters protected by an aircraft. He begins a submerged approach at maximum sustained speed. As the sun sets, Dornin orders Battle Surface.

At about 2058, Dornin makes a visual surface attack from the starboard side of the convoy. The lead oiler bears 335, making seven knots. At 1500 yards, he fires three torpedoes at her and three at the second oiler. One hit is seen aft on the lead ship. She is carrying aviation gasoline and a sheet of white flame shoots up to 1,000 feet. The crew, dressed in whites, runs forward to escape the blaze. SHIRIYA explodes and sinks at 26-27N, 122-40E. Captain Nakao is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

The second ship, freighter ARGUN MARU is hit by a torpedo amidships, breaks in half and sinks immediately with the loss of two crewmen and 8,295-tons of rice. Dornin brings TRIGGER about and fires three stern tubes at the third oiler, OGURA MARU No. 1, but she swings toward the submarine and all three miss. Dornin fires another torpedo that hits the ship's starboard side, but she escapes.

LtCdr Dornin crash-dives to escape gun fire from the oiler, then comes to periscope depth. He fires two bow torpedoes at another oiler and scores two hits. SHOYO MARU goes down by the bow sinking at 26-33N,123-10E and taking down five crewmen. Dornin makes two more attacks on a freighter, but all of his Mark 14 torpedoes either miss or are duds. During the three and one-half hours of action, TRIGGER sinks oilers SHIRIYA, SHOYO MARU and freighter ARGUN MARU. GYOKU MARU is damaged in the attacks. TRIGGER returns safely to Midway Island for refit.

10 October 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.


[1] DesDiv7 was the escort of CarDiv1's AKAGI and KAGA.

[2] We have no data to confirm or refute a statement in Robert B. Stinnett's "Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor"(p. 216-217) that on 30 Nov '41 SHIRIYA sent an uncoded message informing Nagumo's striking fleet of its impending rendezvous and giving its 3 Dec '41 ETA at 30-00N, 154-20E (N of Midway); however, a 27 November 1941 message from Imperial Headquarters to the Striking Force contained the names of two Russian freighters, the UZBEKISTAN and AZERBAIDJAN in the Northern Pacific. These ships probably communicated with their owners in the Soviet Union.

[3] The Marine garrision at Midway Atoll received word of the attack on Pearl Harbor and were on the alert before DesDiv 7 arrived to bombard the atoll. The destroyers inflicted some damage, but shore batteries beat off the attack for the loss of four men KIA and 10 wounded.

Thanks to Gilbert Casse of France.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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