SOKURYOSEN

(TSUKUSHI prewar - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Hydrographic Survey Ship TSUKUSHI:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall
Revision 4


17 January 1940:
Yokohama. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 1,400 ton survey vessel.

29 November 1940:
Launched and named TSUKUSHI.

12 June 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamataka Matsujiro (44) (former CO of MUROTO) is posted Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

20 November 1941:
Captain Yamataka is appointed CO of the 1st Survey Unit.

17 December 1941:
Completed. Captain Yamataka is the CO and remains CO of the 1st Survey Unit. Attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to Third Fleet.

20 December 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for the Philippines, with the 1st Survey Unit embarked.

25 December 1941:
Arrives at Lamon Bay, Luzon.

Early 1942:
SW coast of Dutch New Guinea. TSUKUSHI makes hydrographic soundings and lands parties at various sites along the coast including landing a party of 30 men at Cape De Jong.

24 January 1942:
At 1500, arrives at Kendari.

30 January 1942:
At 1500, departs Kendari.

1 February 1942:
At 1255, arrives at Banka.

2 February 1942:
At 0747, departs Banka.

4 February 1942:
At 0637, arrives at Kendari.

6 February 1942:
At 2130, departs Kendari.

11-12 February 1942:
TSUKUSHI supports the invasion of Macassar, Celebes. Assists minelayer AOTAKA.

13 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay.

22 February 1942:
Conducts patrols of the Macassar Strait with minelayer AOTAKA.

23 February 1942:
At 1845, departs Macassar.

25 February 1942:
At 1500, arrives at Bali.

10 March 1942:
Reassigned to the 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

Late July 1942:
TSUKUSHI makes port at Davao, Philippines.

25 September 1942:
Reassigned to the Fourth Fleet, Combined Fleet.

19 January 1943:
Captain Ueda Yasuhiko (47) is appointed CO.

15 February 1943:
TSUKUSHI receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

12 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

27 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka; later transferred to Yokohama for repairs.

20 May 1943:
Reassigned to the Eighth Fleet, Southwest Area Fleet.

4 June 1943:
New Ireland. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Creed C. Burlingame's (USNA '27) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) lays a minefield off Kavieng.

12 October 1943: American Air Raid on Rabaul:
LtGen (later General) George C. Kenney's 5th Air Force hits Rabaul with the biggest raid made up to this time in the Pacific war. 349 aircraft, including 87 Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” and B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers, 114 North American B-25 “Mitchell” strafers, 12 RAAF Bristol "Beaufighters" and 125 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighters and others from New Guinea and Australia hit Rabaul's town, airfieldsand Simpson harbor.

Over 50 Japanese aircraft are destroyed. Transports KEISHO MARU, KOSEI MARU, seatrucks WAKAMATSU MARU No. 1 and KUROGANE MARU and guardboat MISHIMA MARU are sunk.

TSUKUSHI and destroyers MOCHIZUKI, MINAZUKI and TACHIKAZE are damaged as are smaller vessels.

13 October 1943:
At 2049, USN codebreakers intercept and decode a message regarding events on the 12th that reads: “Southeastern Force Action Summary. (October 12th Rabaul Air Action). ----. Attacked from 1004 to 1022 by: 54 (Heavy bombers in 9 waves of three to ten planes covered by about 16 P-38s attacked vessels and Rabaul airdrome vicinity. ------. Losses. (a) Vessels Tsukushi and Naruto hit: slight damage and holes in hull. Mochizuki, damaged by near misses and holes. Gun #3 inoperative. Miyatzuki, #2 ---- slight damage from near miss. Guns #1 and #2 out of commission. Tachikaze, ----- damage. I-180, as a result of a 60 kilo bomb hit unable to dive. I-177 and RO-105, holes from near misses.”

4 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul escorting cargo ship RYUOSAN MARU that was dispatched to recover a part of the cargo of KIYOSUMI MARU, crippled by the B-24s off Kavieng. At 2110 (JST), off Kavieng, New Ireland, TSUKUSHI strikes a mine laid by Burlingame's SILVERSIDES on 4 Jun ’43 and sinks at 02-40S, 150-40E. [1]

5 January 1944:
Removed from Navy List.


Author's Notes:
[1] USS SILVERSIDES' mines also sink RYUOSAN MARU and damage light cruiser ISUZU and destroyer ISOKAZE.

Thanks go to Matthew Jones of Mississippi and to Gilbert Casse of France.

Thanks also go to Johm Whitman of Virginia and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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