British BANGOR-class minesweeper

IJN Minesweeper W-101:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 4

12 July 1941:
Hong Kong. Laid down at Taikoo Shipbuilding and Engineering's Yard No. 101 as HMS PORTLAND.

September 1941:
Renamed HMS TAITAM while under construction.

8 December 1941:
At the beginning of hostilities, HMS TAITAM is about 60 percent complete.

26 December 1941:
Captured by the Japanese after the fall of Hong Kong, B.C.C.

20 February 1943:
Launched and numbered W-101.

10 April 1944:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN. LtCdr Yamashita Ginji is the Commanding Officer. Attached to Yokosuka Naval District.

16 April 1944:
At 1530, W-101 departs Hong Kong escorting HONG KONG MARU to Takao. About 1800, HONG KONG MARU suffers engine trouble and returns to Hong Kong arriving at 1920.

17 April 1944:
At 1700, the two ships again depart Hong Kong.

18 April 1944:
The two ships are attacked by a lone B-24 "Liberator" heavy bomber, but suffer no damage.

20 April 1944:
At 1110 arrives at Takao.

24 April 1944:
At 0600 W-101 departs Takao.

28 April 1944:
At 1035 arrives at Manila.

1 May 1944:
At 0400 departs Manila escorting a convoy consisting of KANAN, JUKO, JAMBI MARUs and UNKAI MARU No. 12.

7 May 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Tarakan.

9 May 1944:
At 1515 departs Tarakan escorting a convoy consisting of KANAN and JAMBI MARUs.

11 May 1944:
At 1730 arrives at Balikpapan.

13 May 1944:
At 0830 departs Balikpapan escorting a convoy consisting of TAIKO, KANAN, SEIAN and ENOSHIMA MARUs.

16 May 1944:
At 1716 arrives at Surabaya.

18 May 1944:
At 0930 departs Surabaya on an anti submarine sweep.

24 May 1944:
At 1230 arrives at Surabaya.

30 May 1944:
At 0700 departs Surabaya escorting SANUKI MARU.

31 May 1944:
At 1930 arrives at Jakarta.

1 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Jakarta and off Bangka Straits meets up with tankers RYOEI and ASANAGI MARUs.

5 June 1944:
At 0810 south of Laut Island the tanker are detached. At 2310 W-101 meets up with the tanker KYOKUHO MARU.

7 June 1944:
At 0800 south of Laut Island KYOKUHO MARU detaches.

8 June 1944:
At 1300 W-101 arrives at Surabaya.

16 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Surabaya escorting TENCHO MARU. At 2130 anchors off Panarucan, Java.

17 June 1944:
At 0700 departs Panarucan.

18 June 1944:
At 2030 arrives off Selat Sungian and anchors.

19 June 1944:
At 0700 departs Selat Sungian.

21 June 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Maumere, Flores.

22 June 1944:
At 1900 departs Maumere still escorting TENCHO MARU.

23 June 1944:
At 1930 arrives at Labuhanbajo, Flores.

24 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Labuhanbajo.

25 June 1944:
At 1800 temporarily anchors off Selat Sungian. At 2400 conducts an anti submarine sweep in the northern part of the Alas Strait.

26 June 1944:
At 0800 departs Selat Sungian escorting TENCHO MARU to Surabaya.

27 June 1944:
At 2030 temporarily anchors at Gendeng.

28 June 1944:
At 0700 departs Gendeng. At 1500 arrives at Surabaya. Enters drydock for repairs.

16 July 1944:
At 1430 undocked.

23 July 1944:
At 1100 again docked.

26 July 1944:
At 1400 undocked.

28 July 1944:
At 1500 departs Surabaya escorting ASAKA MARU.

30 July 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Macassar.

3 August 1944:
At 0700, W-101 departs Laut Island, SE Borneo, escorting a convoy consisting of DAI MARU (ex-Dutch DUYMAER VAN TWIST), SUITEN MARU (ex-Dutch SCHOUTEN), ENOSHIMA MARU, Communication Boat No. 104 (wooden hulled) and tanker HOSEI MARU (ex-Dutch POSEIDON).

6 August 1944:
At 1530, the convoy arrives at Surabaya.

16 August 1944:
At 1130 departs Surabaya escorting transport NANKAI MARU to the Bangka Straits.

18 August 1944:
At 1030 W-101 detaches from NANKAI MARU escort and returns to Surabaya.

20 August 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Surabaya.

27 August 1944:
At 1400, W-101 and auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 2 depart Surabaya escorting a convoy consisting of tankers YAEI MARU No. 2 and NANSHIN MARU No. 6.

29 August 1944:
At 1630, SHONAN MARU No. 2 detaches and heads for Macassar, Celebes.

30 August 1944:
At 1250, the convoy anchors in the Kotabaru Sea. At 2300 W-101 departs Kotabaru.

31 August 1944:
At 2020 arrives at Adang Bay.

1 September 1944:
At 1230 departs Adang Bay still escorting tankers YAEI MARU No. 2 and NANSHIN MARU No. 6 for Tarakan.

3 September 1944:
At 1030 arrives at Tarakan.

4 September 1944:
At 1700 departs Tarakan and at 1900 anchors outside port.

5 September 1944:
At 0530 departs from outside Tarakan Port with auxiliary patrol boat CHINZEI MARU escorting NICHIEI MARU (2446 gt) for Manila. At 1830 temporarily anchors in the Trusan Ligitan.

6 September 1944:
At 0530 departs Trusan Ligitan and at 1600 arrives at Bongao.

7 September 1944:
At 0530 departs Bongao and at 1900 arrives at Jolo.

8 September 1944:
At 0630 departs Jolo and at 1710 arrives at Zamboanga. At 2100 anchors on the west side of Basilan Island.

9 September 1944:
At 0110 a B-24 attacks the anchored ships. At 1540 relocates to the south side of Pilas Island. At 1800 moves to the north-east side of Pilas Island and meets up with Navy transport T-102. At 2000 the ships anchor off Pilas Island.

10 September 1944:
At 0700 W-101, CHINZEI MARU, T-102 and NICHIEI MARU then depart. At 1600 the ships anchor off Zamboanga and at 2231 returned to Pilas Island before departing for Manila. En route NICHIEI MARU detaches for Cebu.

12 September 1944:
Because of pending air raids the ships are ordered to Coron Bay and at 2102 arrives at Coron.

14 September 1944:
At 2230 departs Coron Bay.

16 September 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Manila.

20 September 1944:
At 0610, W-101, W-18, minelayer YURISHIMA, auxiliary subchasers KAIKO MARU and CHa-67 and gunboat UJI depart Bataan in Manila Bay for Cape St. Jacques escorting convoy MASA-11 consisting of MYOGI, MIKASA, FRANCE and UGO MARUs and convoy MAYU-08 bound Samah, Hainan Island consisting of BINGO and NICHIZUI MARUs.

22 September 1944:
At 0900, Convoy MASA-11 splits off from MAYU-08.

26 September 1944:
At 2100, W-101 and convoy MAYU-08 arrive at Sana.

27 September 1944:
At 0800 W-101 departs Sana and later arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island before returning to Sana at 1500.

3 October 1944:
At 1025, W-101 departs Yulin escorting a convoy consisting of SHINKO and UJINA MARUs. W-101 is towing damaged kaibokan CD-2, so the convoy proceeds slowly.

7 October 1944:
At 1900, arrives Hong Kong.

10 October 1944:
At 1645, W-101 departs Hong Kong escorting a convoy consisting of KISHU and NISSHIN MARUs.

12 October 1944:
At 1720, arrives at Yulin.

15 October 1944:
At 1555, W-101 and old destroyer ASAGAO depart Samah, Hainan Island for Yawata, Japan escorting iron-ore transport convoy YUTA-12 consisting of BINGO, MIYAJIMA and NICHIZUI MARUs and one small unidentified ship (possibly YULIN MARU).

19 October 1944:
S of Hong Kong. The convoy is attacked by skip-bombing North American B-25 "Mitchell medium bombers. NICHIZUI MARU is hit and later sinks. Four escort troops and 50 crewmen are KIA. At 2155, the convoy puts into Hong Kong. BINGO MARU remains there undergoing engine repairs.

21 October 1944:
Convoy YUTA-12 merges with convoy HOMO-1 consisting of KISHUN MARU and one unidentified merchant ship. At 1900, the combined convoy departs Hong Kong.

27 October 1944:
At 1317 anchors at Ssu Chiao Shan. The tankers OEI MARU and KAMOI join at this point.

28 October 1944:
At 0930 the destroyer ASAGAO rejoins the convoy and at 1445 the ships depart port.

1 November 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Moji. At 1800 departs Moji for Sasebo.

2 November 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Sasebo.

10 November 1944:
At 1600 departs Sasebo.

11 November 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Moji.

15 November 1944:
At 1600, W-101, kaibokan CD-134 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-156 and CHa-157 depart Moji for Miri, Borneo escorting convoy MI-27 consisting of AWAGAWA, EDOGAWA, SHOHO, MATSUURA, SEISHO, KYOKUUN, OSAKASAN, KOSHU, ENKEI and CHINKAI MARUs. The convoy detours along the Korean coast to avoid American submarines. Immediately after departing ENKEI MARU drops out with rudder problems.

16 November 1944:
Tanker KYOKUUN MARU suffers engine problems and drops out.

17 November 1944:
Yellow Sea. Off Cheju Island. The convoy encounters a three-submarine wolf pack. At 2205, LtCdr (later Cdr) Edward E. Shelby's (USNA ’33) USS SUNFISH (SS-281) torpedoes and damages EDOGAWA MARU. About 2207, USS SUNFISH torpedoes and damages SEISHO MARU. Minesweeper W-101 attempts to assist.

At about 2300, EDOGAWA MARU is abandoned. At 2340, LtCdr Robert H. Caldwell's (USNA’36) USS PETO (SS-265) torpedoes OSAKASAN MARU. The new ship explodes in a ball of flame, lists to starboard and sinks at 33-30N, 124-30E. Some passengers, 80 passengers and 62 of the crew are KIA.

18 November 1944:
At 0130, a gun battle erupts between a surfaced submarine and SEISHO MARU. At 0317, Selby's USS SUNFISH torpedoes and sinks damaged SEISHO MARU. 412 passengers and 36 of the crew are killed. At about the same time, Selby torpedoes EDOGAWA MARU again and she sinks. 1997 troops on board were killed together with 16 gunners and 70 crewmen, creating a death toll of 2113 out of 2298 passengers and crew or 92% of those onboard. The rest of the convoy heads towards Shanghai for shelter. After escorting convoy to Shanghai, CD-61 is detached to join convoy HI-81.

At 0220, convoy HI-81's CD-61 and convoy MI-27's W-101 are ordered to locate and assist convoy HI-81's escort carrier SHINYO, torpedoed nearby by USS SPADEFISH (SS-411). About 0430, Caldwell's USS PETO torpedoes MI-27's CHINKAI MARU carrying troops and ammunition. She sinks at 33-35N, 124-34E. 17 troops and 22 crewmen are killed.

At 1603, USN codebreakers at Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) intercept and decode a message from W-101 that reads "Have the following survivors on board: 14 from OSAKASAN MARU, 36 from CHINKAI MARU, 186 from EDOGAWA MARU, 70 from SEISHO MARU. Expect to arrive at Raffles Island (30-42N, 122-26E) at 1200 on 19th. Allied submarine responsible attacked with unknown results."

19 November 1944:
At 1430 the surviving ships arrive at Ssu Chiao Shan.

20 November 1944:
At 0900 CD-61 rejoins the convoy at anchor. W-101 and CD-134 leave the anchorage and at 1700 arrive at Shanghai to remunition and land survivors.

22 November 1944:
At 0830 CD-134 and W-101 depart Shanghai and at 1500 arrive back at Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 November 1944:
The convoy splits into two sections, one heads for Singapore via Mako and the other for Luzon via Takao. At 1620 the Takao section consisting only of ENKI and MATSUURA MARUs escorted by CD-134 and W-101 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

25 November 1944:
At 1330 MATSUURA MARU is detached for Kirun.

26 November 1944:
At 1300 the contingent arrives at Takao where the convoy is dissolved.

30 November 1944:
At 2104, W-101 departs Takao for Manila with kaibokan TSUSHIMA, DAITO, CD-14, CD-16, CD-134 and CD-46 escorting convoy TAMA-33 consisting of Army landing craft depot ships SHINSHU and KIBITSU MARUs.

1 December 1944:
As a result of air raids on Manila, convoy TAMA-33 is directed to puts its troops ashore at San Fernando, Luzon. At 2205, the convoy anchors at Pamocctan.

2 December 1944:
At 0630, the convoy departs Pamocctan for Manila where it arrives at 2240.

29 December 1944:
South China Sea. At 1725, W-101 joins the escort of convoy HI-85 then consisting of tankers ENKEI, YAMAZAWA, ENGEN, ENCHO, DAIGYO, OTUSUSAN, FUEI, OEI and SERIA MARUs and cargo ship SHINYU MARU escorted by light cruiser KASHII and kaibokan UKURU, DAITO, CD- 23, CD- 27 and CD- 51.

30-31 December 1944:
On both days, sporadic attacks by B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers are beaten off without loss.

1 January 1945:
At 1720, convoy arrives at Qui Nhon Bay,

2 January 1945:
Departs Qui Nhon Bay. That evening, the convoy anchors at Nha Trang Bay, Indochina.

3 January 1945:
At 0730, the convoy departs Nha Trang.

11 January 1945:
At 1100, W-101, kaibokan CD-35 and CD-43, patrol boat No. 103 and subchaser CH-31 depart Cape St Jacques escorting convoy SATA-05 consisting of KENSEI and TOYO MARUs, Landing Ship Transport T-149 and tankers AYAYUKI, KOSHIN and EIHO MARUs. In the evening, T-149 finds the heavy seas too dangerous. She is detached from the convoy and returns to St Jacques.

12 January 1945:
Off Cap Padaran, Indochina. Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA ’06) Task Force 38 operating in the South China Sea bombs shipping, airfields, and other installations in southeastern Indochina. TF 38's planes sink Lt Yamashita's W-101 at 11-10N, 108-55E and all the rest of convoy SATA-05's ships at nearby locations.

10 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for general assistance. Thanks to Mr. Matthew Jones of USA for help in identifying CO's.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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