(Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Escort Shonan:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2015 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

23 February 1944:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen Co. Ltd’s Sakurajima shipyard.

19 May1944:
Launched and named SHONAN.

13 July 1944:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. Assigned to the Kure Guard Unit. LtCdr Izuka Tomokichi is the Commanding Officer.

4 August 1944:
At 2200 departs Saiki.

5 August 1944:
At 1645 arrives at Sasebo.

7 August 1944:
Reassigned to the General Escort Command's First Surface Escort Division.

8 August 1944:
At 0600 departs Sasebo and later arrives at Imari Wan.

10 August 1944:
At 0500 SHONAN departs Imari Wan (near Moji) for Singapore with Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (former CO of KISO) 6th Escort Convoy’s destroyers FUJINAMI and YUNAGI, kaibokan HIRADO, MIKURA, KURAHASHI and CD-11 and escort carrier TAIYO escorting convoy HI-71 comprised of oilers AZUSA, TEIYO, EIYO, ZUIHO, AMATSU, KYOKUTO and NIYO MARUs and HAKKO MARU No. 2, fleet oiler HAYASUI, food-supply ship IRAKO, transports TEIA, AWA, NOTO, HOKKAI, TAMATSU, NOSHIRO and MAYASAN MARUs and cargo ships KASHII, NISSHO and ORYOKU MARUs.

15 August 1944:
At 1830 HI-71 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. NIYO, HAKKO and ORYOKU MARUs and IRAKO are detached.

17 August 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO" (Victory) - The Defense of the Philippines:
At 0800, in typhoon weather, HI-71 sorties from Mako for Manila. To strengthen HI-71's escort forces, old destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan SADO, MATSUWA and HIBURI arrive from Takao and kaibokan ETOROFU arrives from Saei, on orders of 1st Surface Escort Division.

18 August 1944:
At 0524, LtCdr Louis D. McGregor's USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and damages EIYO MARU. ASAKAZE and YUNAGI are detached to escort her back to Takao.

Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. At 2210, LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's USS RASHER (SS-269) torpedoes and sinks oiler TEIYO MARU in a surface radar attack. At 2222, Munson torpedoes and sinks carrier TAIYO at the rear of the convoy. At 2310, USS RASHER torpedoes and sinks ex-French liner TEIA MARU.

19 August 1944:
The convoy splits into two groups. At 0033, LtCdr Munson puts two radar-directed torpedoes into the port sides of AWA and NOSHIRO MARUs. Both ships beach themselves near Port Currimao. LtCdr Charles M. Henderson's USS BLUEFISH (SS-222) and LtCdr (later Captain) Gordon W. Underwood's USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) join in the attack on HI-71. At 0320, USS BLUEFISH hits and sinks HAYASUI. USS SPADEFISH hits TAMATSU MARU with two torpedoes and the big landing craft depot ship rolls over and takes down 4,755 men. HI-71 makes for San Fernando.

21 August 1944:
At 1900 arrives at Manila.

22 August 1944:
Departs Manila to assist damaged transport NOSHIRO MARU.

25 August 1944:
At 1500 arrives at Manila.

27 August 1944:
At 0900, SHONAN departs Manila for Moji with kaikoban SHIMUSHU, ETOROFU, CD-7 and CD-28, subchaser CH-41 and patrol boat PB-102 (Ex-USS STEWART, DD-224) escorting convoy MAMO-02 consisting of KASHII, MAYASAN, NISSHO and NOTO MARUs. At 1548, anchors in Subic Bay.

28 August 1944:
At 0600, departs Subic Bay.

30 August 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Takao. Destroyers WAKABA and HATSUSHIMO join the escort. Subchaser CH-41, patrol boat PB-102 and kaibokan CD-7 and CD-28 are detached.

31 August 1944:
At 1600 departs Takao. Later that day, ORYOKU MARU joins the convoy.

4 September 1944:
At 0500, the convoy arrives at Moji. SHONAN has already detached with SHIMUSHU and ETOROFU and arrives at Sasebo at 0825.

8 September 1944:
Departs Sasebo and at 1200 arrives at Moji.

9 September 1944:
At 1200, SHONAN departs Moji for Miri, Borneo with kaikoban ETOROFU, CD-6 and CD-16, torpedo boat SAGI and auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU escorting convoy MI-19 consisting of tankers CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, IWAKUNI, DAIMEI, KENZUI and MITSU MARUs and cargo ships DAIBIN, ENOURAU, MATSUURA, YULIN, HAKUROKU, ARISAN, TEIFU, TASMANIA , SHINSEI, DAIA, NIKKO and SHUNSHO MARU.

10 September 1944:
At 1212, CHIHAYA MARU is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr's Edward E. Shelby's USS SUNFISH (SS-281) at 33-49N, 127-41E. The convoy immediately retires to Chinto (Chin Hajo Island) at 1500 where it regroups. The escorts launch a concerted, but unsuccessful, attempt to find the submarine.

12 September 1944:
At 0600 convoy MI-19 departs Chinto.

17 September 1944:
MI-19 splits. SHONAN and SHUNSHO, NIKKO, MATSUURA, ENOURA and KENZUI MARUs head for Keelung, arriving at 1200.

18 September 1944:
The rest of MI-19 convoy arrives at Takao. DAIBIN MARU is detached and steams ahead. SAN DIEGO MARU remains temporarily behind, catching up later. Cargo ship KENEI MARU joins the convoy. The escorts assigned are now ETOROFU (still away escorting HI-72), CD-18, CD-26 and subchaser CH-19. KENEI and HIROTA MARUs also joins the convoy, but CD-5, CD-16, SHONAN, SAGI and CHOHAKUSAN MARU are all detached at Takao.

20 September 1944:
At 0110, at 23-20N, 119-12E convoy HI-72 is attacked by B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers. GOKOKU MARU is damaged by a direct hit and ASAKA MARU suffers a near miss aft. Both are towed into nearby Mako Port for repairs. KAGU MARU and kaibokan MIKURA are damaged. KAGU MARU heads for Takao while MIKURA is towed by CD-18 to Mako with CD-26 as escort. ETOROFU and SHONAN escorts ASAKA MARU to Mako.

21 September 1944:
ETOROFU is detached from HI-72.

22 September 1942:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

23 September 1944:
At 0800 SHONAN departs Takao and meets up with KAGU MARU.

24 September 1944:
At 0720 arrives at Kirun.

26 September 1944:
At 0300 departs Kirun escorting KITA-02 convoy consisting of unidentified ships. At 2200 arrives at Saei.

27 September 1944:
Departs Saei and at 0830 arrives at Takao.

30 September 1944:
At 1200 MI-19 then consisting of IWAKUNI, YULIN, HAKUSHIKA (HAKUROKU), MITSU, DAIMEI, ARISAN, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE), TASMANIA, SHINSEI, EIHO and DAIA MARUs departs Takao with KENEI, SAN LUIS and KOKURYU MARUs having additionally joined the convoy for Manila. The escort consists of kaibokan ETOROFU, CD-18 and CD-26 and sub-chaser CH-19 and possibly the kaibokan SHONAN.

2 October 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Aparri. Later, at 2300, departs.

3 October 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Lapoc. ETOROFU and SHONAN detach and return to Takao. On the way they undertake lifesaving operations for TSUYAMA MARU (from TAMA-28).

5 October 1944:
Convoy HI-77 arrives at Takao consisting of transports SANTOS, MANJU and KINUGASA MARUs, oilers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, ARITA, ITSUKUSHIMA, AKANE, TAIHO and KAIHO MARUs, German U-boat supply ship QUITO and an unidentified vessel. SHONAN and kaibokan ETOROFU join the escort consisting of kaibokan CHIBURI, CD-19, CD-21 and CD-27. HI-77 departs that same day at 1700 for Singapore.

6 October 1944:
About 1410, LtCdr James B. Grady's USS WHALE (SS-239) torpedoes and sinks AKANE MARU. At 1757, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles W. Wilkins' USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks CD-21.

7 October 1944:
W of Manila. A wolf pack consisting of LtCdr (later Captain) Arnold H. Holtz’s USS BAYA (SS-318), LtCdr Henry D. Sturr’s USS BECUNA and LtCdr (later Captain) Francis W. Scanland, Jr’s USS HAWKBILL (SS-366) attacks convoy HI-77. At 2200, KINUGASA MARU is torpedoed and sunk by either USS BAYA or USS HAWKBILL. MANJU MARU drops depth charges to prevent further attack.

12 October 1944:
At 1500, the remainder of HI-77 arrives at Singapore.

20 October 1944:
At 1800 SHONAN and kaibokan ETOROFU departs Singapore for Moji escorting convoy HI-78 consisting of tankers SERIA, ARITA and OTOWASAN MARUs.

2 November 1944:
At 0500 HI-78 arrives at Moji. At 1330 SHONAN, with ETOROFU, departs for Sasebo and is drydocked for repairs.

13 November 1944:
At 1200 departs Sasebo and later that day arrives at Imari Wan.

14 November 1944:
At 0600 SHONAN departs Imari Bay for Singapore with escort carrier SHINYO, destroyer KASHI, Eighth Escort Convoy’s flagship ETOROFU and kaibokan TSUSHIMA, DAITO, KUME and CD- 61 escorting convoy HI-81 consisting of SHINSHU, KIBITSU, AKITSU, MIRI, ARITA, HASHIDATE, KIMIKAWA, MAYASAN, OTOWASAN and TAIHO MARUs. HI-81 makes an overnight stop off Goto Island.

15 November 1944:
At 0620 departs Goto Island. At 1156, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's USS QUEENFISH (SS-393) torpedoes and sinks AKITSU MARU at 33-17N, 32-00E with the loss of over 2,000 men aboard. SHONAN and DAITO rescue about 450 men and later transfer them to SHINSHU MARU.

16 November 1944:
Convoy HI-81 anchors off Korea, near Chinto To (Strange Island).

17 November 1944:
At 0800, HI-81 departs Chinto To for the Shushan Islands near Shanghai. At 1815, LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks MAYASAN MARU with the loss of over 3,000 men aboard. SHONAN counterattacks and brings fuel oil to surface but USS PICUDA escapes. At 2303, LtCdr Underwood's USS SPADEFISH (SS-411) torpedoes and sinks SHINYO at 32-59N, 123-38E. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ishii Shizue (former CO of CHUYO) and more than 700 men are lost. Destroyer KASHI counter-attacks, but with uncertain results. USS SPADEFISH damages SHINSHU MARU.

18 November 1944:
At 0220, CD-61 is ordered to locate and assist SHINYO. At 0315, TSUSHIMA drops 15 depth-charges on an enemy submarine, which on the basis of fuel oil and other debris, is claimed sunk in a report at 0426. At 0800, Rear Admiral Sato aboard ETOROFU orders TSUSHIMA to proceed to the scene and take SHINYO’s survivors aboard. At 1600, HI-81 arrives off Ssu Chiao Shan (Raffles Island) E of Shanghai and awaits the rescue escorts to rejoin.

21 November 1944:
At 0800 HI-81 departs Ssu Chiao Shan for Mako, Pescadores.

23 November 1944:
At 0030 the convoy temporarily anchors in the Nanji Straits.

25 November 1944:
At 0700 departs Nanji Straits. The convoy splits into two sections, one heads for Singapore via Mako and the other for Luzon via Takao. CD-9 and CD-25 both join the convoy, the latter only for two days. Kaibokan CD-61 rejoins the escort.

12 December 1944:
At 1600, SHONAN departs Singapore with kaibokan ETOROFU, KUME, CD-9 and CD-19 escorting convoy HI-82 consisting of tankers OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN, ARITA, PALEMBANG and HASHIDATE MARUs.

17 December 1944:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

19 December 1944:
Departs Camranh Bay.

22 December 1944:
At 0550, OTOWASAN, OMUROSAN and ARITA MARUs are all torpedoed by LtCdr (later Captain-Ret) George W. Grider's USS FLASHER (SS-249). All three burst into flames and sink at 15-02N, 109-08E.

24 December 1944:
At 0900, the surviving ships arrive at Takao. HASHIDATE MARU discharges her cargo of petrol and later returns to Singapore.

E 25 December 1944:
SHONAN, KUME, ETOROFU, CD-9 and CD-19 depart Takao with PALEMBANG MARU. The ship steams north hugging the Chinese continental coast in shallow waters.

26 December 1944:
Off Kirun the kaibokan KASADO apparently joins the convoy.

1 January 1945:
At 0900 departs Mazu Shan.

3 January 1945:
Arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

4 January 1945:
At 0830 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

6 January 1945:
Majuro, Marshall Islands. Cdr Underwood’s USS SPADEFISH departs on her third war patrol for the Yellow Sea area leading a wolfpack consisting of LtCdr (later Captain) Stephen H. Gimber's USS POMPON (SS-267), LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/ComSubPac) John H. Mauer’s USS ATULE (SS-403) and LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Joseph B. Icenhower’s USS JALLAO.

8 January 1945:
At 1804 arrives at Mutsure. Later that day departs Mutsure.

9 January 1945:
At 1500 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

24 Januuary 1945:
SHONAN and KUME depart Sasebo.

25 January 1945:
The ships arrive at Moji.

26 January 1945:
At 0800, SHONAN departs Moji for Singapore with destroyers NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE and kaibokan KUME, CD-25 and CD-53 escorting convoy HI-91 consisting of transport/cargo liners SANUKI and KITSURIN MARUs and tankers TOJO and EIYO MARUs.

28 January 1945:
Yellow Sea. NE of Shanghai, China, off Kokuzan To. USS SPADEFISH and USS POMPON make contact with a three-ship convoy with four escorts. USS POMPON makes two night submerged approaches, but the escorts drive her off each time. At about 0200, while two escorts pin down USS POMPON astern of the convoy, Underwood’s submerged USS SPADEFISH slips in on the disengaged side of convoy and attacks.

At 0313, Underwood fires three torpedoes at SANUKI MARU and all three hit. She sinks at 34-02N, 123-00E. Underwood also torpedoes and sinks KUME at 33-55N, 122-55E. Destroyers KAMIKAZE and NOKAZE, probably laden with survivors, are detached from the convoy to Mako, Pescadores.

1 February 1945:
Arrives at Langyeh Wan, Hainan Island.

2 February 1945:
At 1500, the convoy departs Hainan Island.

3 February 1945:
At 1915, arrives at Qui Sande, French Indo China.

4 February 1945:
CD-53 is detached. At 2100 departs Qui Sande.

8 February 1945:
At 0230 arrives at Singapore.

18 February 1945:
At 1800 SHONAN departs Singapore with kaibokan CD-25 escorting convoy HI-92 consisting of oilers TOJO MARU and TATEKAWA MARU No. 2.

21 February 1945:
At 2240, temporarily anchors in Camranh Bay.

22 February 1945:
At 1100, departs Camranh Bay. Off Cape Padaran, Indochina. TATEKAWA MARU No. 2 hits a mine and sinks. At 1505 the ships anchor off Padaran Bay.

23 February 1945:
At 1100 departs Padaran Bay.

25 February 1945:
S of Yulin, Hainan Island. At 0420, LtCdr Miles P. Refo’s USS HOE (SS-258) torpedoes and sinks SHONAN at 17-20N, 110-35E. She takes down 198 crewmen and passengers including her CO, LtCdr Izuka.

TOJO MARU makes for Yulin while CD-25 counterattacks, dropping 20 depth charges. USS HOE evades and escapes undamaged.

20 April 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to Mr. Aki of Japan and Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying kaibokan COs.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

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