Dai 1 Go-gata Yusokan

IJN No. 1 Class Fast Transport

(No. 1 Class Fast Transport T.5 by T. Yuki)

IJN Transport T.3:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2014-2015 Bob Hackett
Revision 2

1 February 1944:
Kure Navy Yard. Laid down as Ship No. 2903, a 1,500-ton No. 1 class landing ship.

15 March 1944:
Numbered T.3

20 March 1944:

10 May 1944:
Reserve LtCdr Hamamoto Wataru is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

29 June 1944:
Completed. LtCdr Hamamoto is the Commanding Officer. Attached to the Kure Guard Force.

E July 1944:
T.3 departs Kure.

4 August 1944:
At 0830, T.3 departs Takao, Formosa in reconstituted convoy MI-13 also consisting of cargo ships ATLAS, DURBAN, HIGANE, HIYORI, KIZAN, KOKUSEI, KUNIYAMA, URAL, RISSHUN and SHINKO MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 1 and tankers ATAGO, KYOEI, SHINCHO, SHIMPO, TEIKON, TOKUWA and ZUIYO MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 2 escorted by destroyer ASAKAZE and kaibokan KUSAGAKI, MATSUWA, YASHIRO and CD-14, patrol boat PB-38, minesweeper W-18 and auxiliary patrol boats EIFU, FUYO, KASUGA and NUNOBIKI MARUs.

7 August 1944:
At 2205, LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' (USNA '33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes and sinks kaibokan KUSAGAKI at 14-50N, 119-57E.

8 August 1944:
At 0900, the convoy arrives at Manila. T.3 is detached.

10 August 1944:
T.3 departs Manila, escorted by light cruiser NATORI. They are forced to alter course in the San Bernardino Strait because of reports of an American Task Force in the vicinity.

12 August 1944:
Arrives at Cebu, Philippines.

13 August 1944:
T.3 departs departs Cebu for Palau, Carolines, escorted by NATORI. Anchors off the western entrance to the San Bernardino Strait.

15 August 1944:
Departs Biliran Island. Arrives at Cebu. Refuels.

16 August 1944:
Departs Cebu.

(Central Philippinesi)

17 August 1944:
T. 3 and NATORI transit the San Bernardino Strait.

18 August 1944:
200 miles E of Samar, Philippines. T.3 is en route to Palau escorted by NATORI. Cdr (later Captain) Fitzhugh McMaster's USS HARDHEAD's (SS-365) radar picks up NATORI east of the San Bernardino Strait. McMaster identifies the target as a “battleship” and closes for a surface attack.

At 0240, one torpedo of McMaster's first salvo of five Mark-23 steam torpedoes fired at 2,800 yards hits NATORI portside in a boiler room. She stops dead in the water. At 0330, McMaster hits NATORI starboard amidships with one of a second salvo of four Mark-18 electric torpedoes fired from his stern tubes.

At 0330, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from NATORI to fleet HQ in Manila that reads: "At 0240, torpedoed by enemy submarine. One hit. LAT 12.05 N. LONG 129.26. Despite serious damage, no fear of sinking at present. Unable to maneuever."

At 0530, a second dispatch from NATORI is intercepted and decrypted that reads "Getting underway westward at six knots, under own power."

At 0704, NATORI sinks at 12-29N, 128-49E. Three hundred-thirty crewmen including her CO, Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kubota Toshi (46)(former ComDesDiv 24) go down with her. Destroyers URAKAZE, KIYOSHIMO and TAKE search for survivors unsuccessfully until 23 August, but pick up no one. T.3 escapes and continues on for Palau.

12 September 1944:
At 0300, T.3 and T.5 depart Cebu escorted by Gyoraitei (motor torpedo boats) Nos. 52, 62 and 67. At 1200, the escorts are detached at N Cape Blanca. [1]

(IJN Motor Torpedo Boat)

13 September 1944:
T.3 arrives at Davao, Mindanao.

14 September 1944:
Departs Davao for the Saragani Strait, Mindanao. T.3 runs aground and bends her propeller shaft. She is quickly refloated, but navigation is impossible. At 0400, her stern again runs aground. Her propeller and steering gear are damaged and become unserviceable. T.3 is beached.

15 September 1944:
Saragani Strait. At about 0730, lookouts aboard LtCdr Carl Teideman's (USNA '33) USS GUAVINA (SS-362) spot smoke on the horizon. At 0830, the target is observed to be one large vessel. At 0920, Teideman begins a submerged approach. By 1200, GUAVINA's crew misidentifies T.3 as a "KATORI" class light cruiser.

Teideman observes the target anchored stern to the beach and "swarming with men". He further observes that her gun stations are manned and sees "many men working over the sides". He also sees two ship's boats in water alongside. Between 1225 and 1759, GUAVINA fires 12 torpedoes and gets 8 hits that set T.3 afire and sink her at 05-35N, 125-20E. T.3's crew abandons the burning ship.

At 1805, GUAVINA surfaces nearby, but no Japanese are seen near the wreck. GUAVINA clears the area.

10 November 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Author's Note:
[1] IJN MTBs No. 52, 62 and 67 were all sunk by TF 38 aircraft on 12 September 1944. The picture shown is of a generic IJN MTB.

-Bob Hackett

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