British BANGOR-class minesweeper
IJN Minesweeper W-101:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2007-2012 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
12 July 1941:
Hong Kong. Laid down at Taikoo Shipbuilding and Engineering's Yard No. 101 as HMS PORTLAND.
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.
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:
Arrives at Takao.
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.
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 Makassar, Celebes.
30 August 1944:
At 1250, the convoy anchors in the Kotabaru Sea. W-101 probably detaches at this point, or before, and heads for Cape St Jacques (near Saigon), Indochina.
2 September 1944:
At 2052, W-101, W-18 and subchasers CH-19 and CH-32 depart Cape St. Jacques for Manila escorting convoy SAMA-12 consisting of RISSHUN and YAMABUKI MARUs.
11 September 1944:
At 0900, arrives at Manila.
20 September 1944:
At 0610, W-101, W-18, minelayer YURISHIMA, auxiliary subchasers KAIKO MARU and CHa-67 and auxiliary transport UJINA MARU 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 0140, W-101 and convoy MASA-11 arrive at Cape St. Jacques.
W-101 departs Cape St. Jacques and later arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.
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 1600, W-101 and old destroyer ASAGAO depart Samah, Hainan Island for Yawata, Japan escorting iron-ore transport convoy YUTA-12 consisting of BINGO and NICHIZUI MARUs and two small unidentified ships.
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.
20 October 1944:
Convoy YUTA-12 merges with convoy HOMO-1 consisting of KISHUN MARU and three unidentified merchant ships. At 1900, the combined convoy departs Hong Kong.
1 November 1944:
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."
23 November 1944:
CD-61 joins the convoy. The convoy splits into two sections, one heads for Singapore via Mako and the other for Luzon via Takao.
26 November 1944:
The remaining ships arrive at Takao.
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.
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.