YUSOSEN!

(SUNOSAKI in 1943)

IJN SUNOSAKI:

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2014 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

Revision 3


25 March 1942:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' dockyard as hull number 103, a 4,465-ton aviation gasoline tanker.

28 December 1942:
Launched and named SUNOSAKI.

1 February 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Niimi Kazutaka (40)(former CO of TOHO MARU) is posted as Chief Equipping Officer.

15 May 1943:
Yokohama. Completed and registered (commissioned) in the IJN as a Transport in the Yokosuka Naval District. Attached directly to the Combined Fleet. Captain Niimi is the Commanding Officer.

15 June 1943:
At 0900 departs Sasebo for Balikpapan. Together with ASHIZURI that has also left Sasebo, joins convoy TA-504 consisting of KUROSHIO and TIENTSIN (TENSHIN) MARUs escorted by minelayer HIRASHIMA. The convoy sails for Takao at 12 knots.

18 June 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Takao.

21 June 1943:
At 0900 due to depart Takao in Z Convoy also consisting of tanker KUROSHIO MARU and Naval oiler ASHIZURI escorted by the old destroyer WAKATAKE for St Jacques.

2 September 1943:
SUNOSAKI departs Moji in convoy SA-12 also consisting of tankers RYUEI MARU and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU.

4 September 1943:
East China Sea. LtCdr Ian C. Eddy’s (USNA ’30) USS PARGO (264) torpedoes and damages RYUEI MARU at 30-06N, 128-02E, but she is able to continue.

14 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama. Undergoes repairs.

4 November 1943:
Captain Shimazu Nobuo assumes command. Captain Niimi is reassigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.

12 November 1943:
Departs Yokosuka. Engages in local transport in the home islands.

15 November 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Togo Jiro (41) assumes command.

6 December 1943:
Departs Sasebo. Joins the second echelon of convoy HI-23 that departed Moji on 5 December. The second echelon consists of oilers TATEKAWA, ITSUKUSHIMA and BOKUEI MARUs, with SUNOSAKI and probably TAKASAKI, all escorted by OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA). Oiler RYUEI MARU and passenger cargo ships AKI and NOSHIRO MARUs are also in the convoy. [1]

17 December 1943:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

8 January 1944:
Departs Seletar transporting light oil.

16 January 1944:
Departs Singapore sailing at 14 knots in the special supplementary high speed "Sunosaki Convoy"convoy consisting of SUNOSAKI, cargo passenger ship TSUKUSHI MARU, transport KUNIKAWA MARU and another unidentified ship with an unknown escort.

28 January 1944:
Arrives at Mutsure.

31 January 1944:
Arrives at Osaka.

25 February 1944:
At Truk.

19 March 1944:
Departs Sasebo for Balikpapan, then loads and transports crude oil to Saipan and Tawi Tawi.

25 March 1944:
At 1200 departs Takao for Singapore with the Naval tanker SHIOYA.

26 April 1944:
Saipan. Transfers some aviation gasoline cargo to small auxiliary tanker KYOEI MARU.

28 April 1944:
Resumes transfer to KYOEI MARU.

15 May 1944:
Tawi Tawi. SUNOSAKI comes alongside battleship YAMATO.

18 July 1944:
SUNOSAKI is attached to the Southwest Area Fleet.

1 August 1944:
NE of Borneo. At about 1100, LtCdr Frank G. Selby’s (USNA ’33) USS PUFFER (SS-268) makes a submerged attack on SUNOSAKI north of the Sibutu Passage. Selby fires six torpedoes and claims two hits at 05-08N, 119-32E. USS PUFFER’s crew hears breaking up noises and Selby claims a sinking, but SUNOSAKI does not sink.

1 September 1944:
After a month long journey through the Philippines, SUNOSAKI arrives at Manila. She is placed in the Dewey Drydock for repairs. [2]

21 September 1944:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA ’10) (former CO of USS HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 38 begins air strikes on shipping in Manila and Subic Bays, Cavite Navy Yard and Clark and Nichols Air Fields near Manila.

Manila. Task Group 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3's planes sink over 20 ships at Manila and damage many more. At Cavite, SUNOSAKI, still in drydock, is hit by bombs that ignite her ammunition store room and cause a fire. The number of casualties is unknown, but Captain Togo survives the attack.

4 October 1944:
Undocked and towed to sea. The wrecked SUNOSAKI is abandoned in Manila Bay near a lighthouse.

10 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Part 1 of convoy HI-23 departed 1 Dec '43 and consisted of oilers OMUROSAN, ICHIU and ASASHIO MARUs and two other ships escorted by NAMIKAZE. Oiler RYUEI MARU and passenger cargo ships AKI and NOSHIRO MARUs were also in the convoy, but which part is unclear.

[2] Built in 1905 in Virginia for the U.S. Navy, the drydock was named after Admiral Dewey of Spanish-American war fame. She was an 18,500-ton floating-type drydock and could accommodate a 20,000-ton battleship. The Dewey Drydock served at Subic Bay for 35 years. In July 1941, she was towed to Mariveles harbor, Bataan. On April 8, 1942, she was scuttled to prevent her falling into Japanese hands. After the fall of the Philippines, the Japanese raised the drydock, but later it was sunk again by the Americans.

Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.


- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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