SOKAITEI!

(W-18 scanned from SOTW, V. 507)

IJN Minesweeper W-17:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2017 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 15


1935:
Osaka. Laid down at the Sakurajima Ironworks shipyard.

3 August 1935:
Launched and numbered W-17.

15 October 1935:
LtCdr (later Captain) Taguchi Shoichi (49) (former torpedo officer of NACHI) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

15 January 1936:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. LtCdr Taguchi is appointed the Commanding Officer.

20 June 1936:
LtCdr (later Captain) Oishi Shinichi (49) is appointed the Commanding Officer.

1 December 1939:
Lt (later Cdr, posthumously) Tachibana Hirota (56) (former navigating officer of MOCHIZUKI) is appointed Commanding Officer.

22 September 1940:
Vichy France cedes airfields and agrees to admission of Japanese troops into northern Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam). The United States responds by placing a ban on the export of steel, scrap metal and aviation fuel to Japan.

15 November 1940:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Yamazaki Nitaro (58) is appointed Commanding Officer.

14-16 January 1941: Operation "S" – Northern French Indochina Incursion.
Japanese troops enter French Indochina.

25 January 1941:
W-17 and coast defense vessel SHIMUSHU arrive at Haiphong harbor, Indochina, to observe French fleet units stationed there.

15 May 1941:
Reassigned to MineSweepDiv 30 with W-18.

22 May 1941:
W-17 is designated the flagship of MineSweepDiv 30.

10 June 1941:
Takao, Formosa. Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's (39) (former CO of AOBA) 2nd Base Force of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet.

5 September 1941:
An unknown officer is appointed Commanding Officer. Lt Yamazaki is appointed Commanding Officer of HIYODORI.

26 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

29 November 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

7 December 1941:
W-17 is with Rear Admiral Hirose's (48) 2nd Base Force in Cdr Kanaoka Kunizo's MineSweepDiv 30 based at Takao, Formosa. Departs Mako. Escorts a convoy that lands troops on Batan Island, Luzon.

17 December 1941:
Departs Takao. Escorts convoys and sweeps Lingayen Bay.

23 December 1941:
Off Davao, Philippines. USAAF Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bombers damage W-17.

31 December 1941:
Sweeps the Tarakan invasion area.

7 January 1942: The Invasion of Dutch Borneo:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's (39) (former CO of AOBA) No. 2 Base Force departs Davao escorting the Tarakan invasion convoy consisting of an oiler and 13 transports carrying MajGen Sakaguchi Shizuo’s 56th Mixed Infantry Group and Kure No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF). The No. 2 Base Force includes MineSweepDiv’s 30's W-17 and W-18, MineSweepDiv 11’s W-13, W-14, W-15 and W-16, patrol boats P-36, P-37 and P-38, SubChasDiv 31’s CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12 and other auxiliary ships.

Close cover is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji’s (39) DesRon 4’s light cruiser NAKA with DesDiv 2 and DesDiv 24. The 21st Air Flotilla’s tenders SANUKI and SANYO MARUs provide air cover.

11 January 1942:
Rear Admiral Hirose's Force invades Tarakan, Borneo.

21 January 1942: The Invasion of Balikpapan, Borneo.
W-17, W-15, W-16 and W-18 depart Tarakan with the No. 2 Base Force's subchasers CH-10, CH-11 and CH-12 and patrol boats P-36, P-37 and P-38 scorting the Balikpapan Invasion Convoy consisting of 16 transports carrying the Sakaguchi Brigade and the Kure No. 2 SNLF. DesRon 4 provides additional escort. Cover is provided by NAKA with DesDiv 2's YUDACHI, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MURASAME, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO and DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, YAMAKAZE and UMIKAZE. The 21st Air Flotilla again provides air cover.

Air reconnaissance by the ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) forces is hampered by poor weather, but ABDA Air finally locates the IJN invasion force. The ABDA deploys the submarines USS S-40, USS PORPOISE (SS-172), USS PICKEREL (SS-177), USS STURGEON (SS-187), USS SAURY (SS-189) and the USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) and Dutch submarines KNS K-XIV and KNS K-XVIII to intercept the IJN force.

Timor, Kupang Bay. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) William A. Glassford's Task Force 5's light cruisers USS MARBLEHEAD (CL-12), USS BOISE (CL-47) and Cdr Paul H. Talbot's DesDiv 59's old flush deck, four stack destroyers USS PARROTT (DD-218), USS POPE (DD-225), USS JOHN D. FORD (DD-228) and USS PAUL JONES (DD-230) are ordered by the Admiral (later Senator) Thomas C. Hart, ADBAFLOAT Commander, to intercept the convoy before it reaches Balikpapan. Glassford heads north to find the IJN invasion force but USS BOISE runs aground on an uncharted reef in the Sape Strait. She is forced to retire for repairs. Then USS MARBLEHEAD develops engine trouble and can make no more than 15 knots. DesDiv 59 is detached and increases speed to 27 knots so as to arrive at Balikpapan at midnight on January 23rd.

23 January 1942:
Storms protect the invasion force until it is almost to Balikpapan, Borneo. At 1525, nine Dutch Martin B-10 bombers from Samarinda attack and hit two of the transports, TATSUGAMI MARU and NANA MARU that has to be abandoned and later sinks without casualties. TATSUGAMI MARU continues on to Balikpapan. At 2130, the transports begin disembarking their troops.

24 January 1942:
Dutch Navy LtCdr C. A. J. van Well Groeneveld's (former CO of K-XIV) submarine K-XVIII, operating on the surface due to the weather, fires four bow torpedoes at NAKA, but they all miss. At 0045, Groeneveld attacks and sinks transport TSURUGA MARU at 00-10N, 118-0E. 38 troops and a single crewman are killed. Nishimura moves his covering force eastwards to carry out antisubmarine sweeps.Talbot's DesDiv 59 arrives from the south. Since Nishimura's covering forces are now to the east searching for submarines, the four destroyers are virtually unopposed.

At about 0245, USS PARROTT fires eight torpedoes at W-15 that she mistakes for a destroyer or cruiser. USS JOHN D. FORD also fires a torpedo at W-15 again. All miss or fail to explode. At 0316, they begin their first attack firing their 4-inch guns and launching ten torpedoes at the anchored transports, but all the torpedoes miss. Cdr Talbot orders another attack. At 0330, USS POPE hits and sinks transport SUMANOURA MARU. The ship explodes and 9 passengers, and the ship’s whole Navy crew are obliterated. At 0335, USS PARROTT and USS PAUL JONES sink already damaged transport TATSUGAMI MARU with torpedoes. Four crewmen are killed. At 0345, USS JOHN D. FORD sinks transport KURETAKE MARU with gunfire and torpedoes. The ship was carrying a total of 1500 infantry of the 56th Mixed Regimental Group (Sakaguchi Brigade) of whom 180 (including some shipping engineers) are killed. Two other transports suffer damage from gunfire and torpedoes but remain afloat. USS POPE and USS PARROTT sink the 2nd Base Force's patrol boat P-37 with torpedoes and gunfire. At 0350, their torpedoes gone, DesDiv 59 departs southward. At 0300, the Japanese begin landing troops at Balikpapan and, by dawn, they occupy the airfield. That same day, troops invade Kendari, Celebes.

8 February 1942:
Supports the capture of Makassar, Celebes. Sweeps the invasion area.

13 February 1942:
Supports the seizure of Surabaya, Java.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) Southwest Area Fleet's newly formed Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet in Special Base Force 31.

27 March 1942:
Conducts patrols from Subic Bay, Philippines.

2 April 1942:
Arrives at San Fernando and departs soon after and returns to patrols off Subic Bay.

6 April 1942:
At 0835 arrives at Davao.

7 April 1942:
At 0800 departs Davao and returns to patrols off Subic Bay.

13 April 1942:
At 1845 arrives at Olongapo.

14 April 1942:
At 1652 departs Olongapo and resumes Subic Bay patrols.

13 May 1942:
At 1500 arrives at Olongapo.

16 May 1942:
At 0050 departs Olongapo.

17 May 1942:
At 1700 arrives at Iloilo Port.

21 May 1942:
At 0430 departs Iloilo Port and at 1545 arrives at Cebu Port.

23 May 1942:
At 1045 departs Cebu on patrol.

1 June 1942:
Reassigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.

10 June 1942 :
Arrives at Yokosuka. Conducts anti-submarine patrols off Tokyo Bay.

16 June 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay for Hokkaido escorting a convoy consisting of TATSUTAGAWA, NICHINAN (2732 gt), MINAMI (ex Panamanian CAPELLA) and KAIFUKU MARUs. At some point off the southern Tohoku coast W-17 detaches.

18 June 1942:
Departs Tokyo Bay escorting a westbound convoy consisting of KIYOTADA (SEICHU), TAMA, SHOKO, ZUIYO and KASUGASAN MARUs.

28 June 1942:
SE of Tateyama, Honshu. At 1521 LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) William H. Brockman, Jr.'s (USNA ’27) USS NAUTILUS (SS-168) likely attacks seaplane tender CHIYODA, escorted by CH-13, CH-14 and minelayer UKISHIMA, but misses with three torpedoes (two wakes were sighted at 1525). UKISHIMA counterattacks with depth charges in position 34-34N, 140-13E.
W-17 and destroyer KAGERO arrive next and join the hunt. As a result of the damage received during these attacks USS NAUTILUS is forced to terminate her patrol and return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. [1]

26 July 1942:
At 1200 departs Futtsu in Tokyo Bay escorting a northbound convoy consisting of DAIFUKU, OTORI, NITTEI and KAIFUKU MARUs. The convoy sails at 9 knots bound for Hokkaido.

28 August 1942:
At 1300, W-17 departs Yokosuka escorting a convoy consisting of KENRYU MARU and oiler KYOKUYO MARU.

30 August 1942:
W-17 detaches from the convoy and returns to Japan. The two merchant ships proceed indepentently to Palau and then together to Rabaul.

15 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka. Escorts convoys between Yokosuka and Muroran.

4 December 1942:
At 1430 W-17 departs Futtsu, Tokyo Bay escorting North Convoy No.58 to Hokkaido consisting of TAIKAI MARU and tanker ZUIYO MARU. En route W-17 detaches.

7 December 1942:
W-17 arrives back at Tokyo Bay escorting South Convoy No. 64 consisting of KENEI and TEISEN (ex German URSULA RICKMERS) MARUs.

8 December 1942:
W-17 departs Tokyo Bay escorting West Convoy No. 61 consisting of KIZUGAWA, AIYO, ISSEI, SHINNO, KASUGASAN and TAIKAI MARUs, KARI GO and one unidentified merchant ship bound for the Inland Sea. At some point W-17 detaches.

11 December 1942:
W-17 departs Tokyo Bay escorting North Convoy No. 65 consisting of KYOEI, MASAJIMA, TEISHU, IBURI and HEIWA MARUs bound for Hokkaido. At some point W-17 detaches.

16 December 1942:
Off Shiriya Zaki GENZAN MARU in South Convoy No. 65 is torpedoed and damaged by USS HALIBUT. The ship subsequently strands and is lost. W-17 was at some point an escort to the convoy. SHINGO MARU in North Convoy No. 67 with KENEI MARU is sunk in the same attack which occurs as two convoy cross each other path. W-17 detaches from a southbound convoy (No.65?) to assist. BOKUYO MARU in South Convoy No.65 apparently collides with the drifting wreck of SHINGO MARU and returns to Hakodate.

17 December 1942:
W-17 arrives at Tokyo Bay with with West Convoy No. 76 consisting of KOZAN MARU (ex British LOONG WO) and BUYO MARU.

22 December 1942:
At 1150 W-17 departs Futtsu escorting West Convoy No. 80 consisting of ISSEI, HOKKO and LONDON MARUs. At some point W-17 detaches.

26 December 1942:
At 1700 W-17 departs from off Yura for Tokyo Bay escorting East Convoy No. 56 consisting of HINKO, KOSHU, WAKATAKE, RENZAN (ex British HATTERLOCK), KURETAKE and UNYO MARUs and KARI GO.

30 December 1942:
W-17 departs Tokyo Bay escorting North Convoy No. 82 consisting of HOKUJU, RENZAN (ex British HATTERLOCK), HANASAKI and KISHUN MARUs bound for Hokkaido.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay from Hokkaido escorting convoy No. 2106 consisting of BIYO, NIKKO and TSUSHIMA MARUs.

16 January 1943:
At 0730, W-17 and W-21 depart Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of BRAZIL, INDIA, CLYDE, DELAGOA, UCHIDE, CHIFUKU, FUKOKU and FUKUYO MARUs.

At 0900, LtCdr (later Cdr/MOH, posthumously) Howard W. Gilmore's (USNA ’26) USS GROWLER (SS-215) torpedoes and sinks CHIFUKU MARU at 04-03N, 151-55E. Only one crewman is KIA.

22 January 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

1 February 1943:
Departs Tokyo Bay in convoy 3201 consisting of MITAKESAN and KANSEISHI MARUs destined for the south seas.

9 February 1943:
W-17 departs Tokyo Bay for Hokkaido escorting convoy No. 1209A consisting of YOWA and TAKASHIMA MARUs.

14 February 1943:
Departs Otaru escorting convoy No. 2214 from Hokkaido consisting of TATEYAMA, SHINMEI, AMAHO, WOOSUNG and SHINNAN MARUs.

16 February 1943:
At 0600 departs Ofunato.

19 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Undergoes repairs.

1 April 1943 :
Repairs are completed. Reassigned to the Kure Guard Unit.

11 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka. Escorts convoys.

14 April 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

20 April 1943:
Enters drydock at Kure.

25 April 1943:
Departs Kure.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Saiki.

28 April 1943:
Departs Saiki.

2 May 1943:
Arrives back at Saiki.

4 May 1943:
Departs Saiki with minelayer NUWAJIMA escorting convoy K-504 consisting of TAISHO, KENZAN, YURI, KINE and CHOSEN MARUs.

E 5 May 1943:
NUWAJIMA detaches at 29N.

14 May 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

16 May 1943:
Departs Palau escorting convoy P-516 consisting of RAKUTO, KEISHO, SANSEI (3266 gt) and TAIFUKU MARUs and HINO MARU No. 5. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots that is later reduced to 7.5 knots.

25 May 1943:
At 30-30N 133-10E two small auxiliaries from 34th Minesweeper Division join the convoy. Later that day the convoy arrives at Saiki.

27 May 1943:
Departs Saiki and later that day arrives at Kure.

5 June 1943:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Saiki.

6 June 1943:
W-17 and W-18 depart Saiki on patrol.

7 June 1943:
Both arrive back at Saiki.

8 June 1943:
W-17 and W-18 depart Saiki on patrol.

9 June 1943:
At 0900, W-17 and W-18 depart Saiki escorting convoy O-905 consisting of DAKAR, TOHO, CHINZEI, BUNZAN and KINSEN MARUs.

E 11 June 1943:
W-18 detaches at latitude 29N and returns to Japan.

17 June 1943:
At 1500, the convoy arrives at Palau.

19 June 1943:
At 0545, W-17 and patrol boat No. 46 depart Palau escorting convoy To-906 consisting of DELAGOA, DAINICHI, KAZAN, MAKASSAR and SAN FRANCISCO MARUs and EIKO MARU No. 2.

E 20 June 1943:
W-17 detaches from the convoy at latitude 10N and returns to Palau.

21 June 1943:
Arrives back at Palau.

24 June 1943:
W-17 departs Palau escorting convoy FU-405 consisting of SEIZAN, MOJI, SHICHISEI, CHINZEI and KENRYU MARUs.

E 1 July 1943:
The escort is reinforced by auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8, minelayer NUWAJIMA, light cruiser YASOJIMA and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 6.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Saiki.

4 July 1943:
At 0700, W-17 and W-18 depart Saeki escorting convoy O-404 consisting of TAIKO, MEXICO, KAYO and HOZUGAWA MARUs carrying troops and equipment of the 51st Army Division.

E 6 July 1943:
W-18 is detached from convoy O-404.

11 July 1943:
At 0758, LtCdr Charles H. Andrews' (USNA ’30) USS GURNARD (SS-254) torpedoes and sinks TAIKO MARU at 12-45N, 131-50E. Two gunners and 10 crewmen are KIA.

13 July 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

17 July 1943:
Departs Palau. W-17 likely escorts the convoy a short leg of the journey to Rabaul before returning to Palau. The convoy arrived safely at Rabaul on the 24th.

20 July 1943:
At 1200, W-17 and patrol boat PB-46 depart Palau escorting convoy FU-006 consisting of ERIE, NISSHU, KINKASAN, KENZAN, KAMO and INARI MARUs.

E 21 July 1943:
PB-46 detaches from the convoy at latitude 10 N and returns to Palau.

E 28 July 1943:
Minelayer NUWAJIMA and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7 join the convoy at 30-00N 134.00E.

29 July 1943:
At 1500 arrives off Fukashima.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

4 August 1943:
Departs Kure presumably for Saiki.

6 August 1943:
Departs Saiki with auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 and TAMA MARU No. 7 escorting convoy O-608 consisting of TOTAI, TAGA, FUKKO, MITO and HINJU MARUs. The convoy sails at 8.5 knots.

E 7 August 1943:
At 29N TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 is detached.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

18 August 1943:
At 0700, W-17, minelayer YURISHIMA and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7 depart Palau escorting convoy FU-806 consisting of TAIFUKU, HOZUGAWA, MEXICO, TOYOKAWA, TOUN and KAYO MARUs.

22 August 1943:
In the late afternoon, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) old USS PIKE (SS-173) torpedoes and hit TOUN MARU with a dud torpedo at 21-50N, 137-52E.

23 August 1943:
At 1805, McGregor again attacks TOUN MARU, but she avoids USS PIKE's torpedoes.

26 August 1943:
At 0530, LtCdr (later Cdr) Albert C. Burrows' (USNA ’28) USS WHALE (SS-239) attacks the convoy. Burrows fires torpedoes at, but misses MEXICO MARU.

27 August 1943:
At 0258, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bafford E. Lewellen's (USNA ’31) old USS POLLACK (SS-180) makes a visual surface attack on convoy FU-806 en route from Palau to Ujina. Lewellen torpedoes IJA cargo ship TAIFUKU MARU. W-17 opens fire on USS POLLACK, but Lewellen evades and escapes. In the morning, TAIFUKU MARU sinks at 32-28N, 132-23E. 14 out of 160 passengers and 14 crewmen are KIA.

At 0730, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from W-17 that reads: "Discovered surfaced enemy submarine, 1 kilometer from scene of the sinking of TAIFUKU MARU fired on same (1 hit in vicinity of conning tower) depth charged, etc. 192 men of the 205 on board the stricken ship were picked up by this vessel.”

Late that day the convoy is in safe waters behind the mine barrages guarding the Bungo Suido and W-17 after searching for survivors arrives at Saiki.

28 August 1943:
At 0700 the convoy arrives at Ujina. W-17 departs Saiki on a sweep.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

22 September 1943:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Saiki.

25 September 1943:
At 0800 departs Saiki with auxiliary minesweepers TAMA, OI, AOI, YACHIYO MARUs and TAMA MARU No. 6 escorting convoy O-505 consisting of NICHIRYO, KAZAN, KIBI, KOSEI and HAVRE MARUs. The convoy sails at 8 knots.

E 26 September 1943:
At 30N TAMA, OI MARUs and TAMA MARU No. 6 are detached. Later at 29N AOI and YACHIYO MARUs are also detached.

1 October 1943:
Reserve Lt Isobe Teruyoshi is appointed Commanding Officer.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

7 October 1943:
Departs Palau escorting convoy FU-705 consisting of ADEN, BENGAL, YAMAGATA, YAMAYURI and TAIAN MARUs.

E 16 October 1943:
At 30N auxiliary minesweeper AOI, YACHIYO MARUs and TOKUHO MARU No. 10 meet up with the convoy.

17 October 1943:
The convoy arrives at Ujina.

19 October 1943:
Departs Saiki and later that day arrives at Kure.

30 October 1943:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Saiki.

31 October 1943:
At 0600, W-17, W-18, auxiliary subchasers TAKUNAN MARU No. 8, CHIYO MARU No. 8 and auxiliary minesweepers TAKUNAN MARU No. 3, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and AOI MARU depart Saiki for Palau escorting convoy O-112 consisting of DELAGOA, EHIME, YAWATA, KANJO, UME, CHIHAYA, TENCHO, UMEKAWA, YAMAGATA, NICHIAI, MOJI and HOZUGAWA MARUs.

That night, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Robert E. Dornin's (USNA ’35) USS TRIGGER (SS-237). Dornin claims two sinkings, but, in fact, scores no hits. The escorts counterattack, but are also unsuccessful.

2 November 1943:
At 0048, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA ’35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) torpedoes and sinks YAWATA MARU at 28-20N, 135-20E. Four gunners and 64 of the crew are killed.

At 0220, Dornin's USS TRIGGER attacks the convoy again, this time sinking DELAGOA MARU. The ship was carrying men of the 248th Squadron some of whom together with 12 returned Army civilian employee assistants, seven gunners and 68 crewmen are confirmed killed. At 0321, Dornin torpedoes and sinks UME MARU at 28-40N, 135, 25E. 36 passengers, 25 gunners and 24 crewmen are killed.

At 0418, Cutter's USS SEAHORSE attacks again, This time Cutter sinks CHIHAYA MARU (ex-Dutch TJISAROEA) at 29-31N, 134, 50E. Six crewmen are KIA.

Finally, at 0845, Cdr (later Admiral) I. J. Galantin's (USNA ’33) USS HALIBUT (SS-232) torpedoes and sinks EHIME MARU at 28-20N, 134-48E. Five gunners and all 79 of the crew are killed.

5 November 1943:
Arrives at Saiki.

6 November 1943:
W-17 and auxiliary submarine chaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 8 depart Saiki escorting convoy O-607 consisting of HOKKO, RYUKO, KANKYO, HOZAN, KANTO, SORACHI and TASMANIA MARUs. Soon after departure the convoy is reinforced by auxiliary minesweepers YACHIYO MARU, TOKUHO MARU No. 10 and AOI MARU who remain until latitude 27N. RYUKO MARU is towing non propelled submergible barge transport No. 6.

7 November 1943:
An aircraft reports five submarines ahead. At 1253, the convoy reverses course. At 1605, the convoy resumes course again.

17 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

28 November 1943:
W-17 and W-18 depart Palau for Saiki escorting convoy FU-009 consisting of TAIJIMA, TOYOOKA, NISSHIN (1179 grt), KOSEI, TOSHO, TENCHO, RYUWA, SAN FRANCISCO and KIZUGAWA MARUs. Enroute, NISSHIN MARU detaches due to engine trouble and returns to Palau.

7 December 1943:
Arrives at Saiki. Later transfers to Kure.

11 December 1943:
Departs Kure briefly before returning to port.

12 December 1943:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Saiki.

13 December 1943:
At 0100, W-17 and auxiliary minesweepers TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7 depart Saiki escorting convoy O-302 consisting of MEISHO, TOTAI and SHOWA MARUs to Palau.

At 2311, LtCdr Robert E. Ward's (USNA ’35) USS SAILFISH (SS-192) torpedoes and sinks TOTAI MARU at 30-25N, 132-320E. The cargo of incendiary bombs catches fire and this spreads to the cargo of HE bombs, which explode and sink the ship. Three passengers, 12 gunners and 22 crewmen are killed.

E 14 December 1943:
At 29N TAMA MARU No. 6 and TAMA MARU No. 7 are detached.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

28 December 1943:
W-17, auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU and minelayer YURISHIMA depart Palau for Saiki escorting convoy FU-805 consisting of CLYDE, TASMANIA, UCHIDE and SAIHO MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1.

30 December 1943:
Tokyo Bay. At 1400, W-17 joins convoy HOKKO-82 consisting of HOKUJU, HANASAKI and KISHUN MARUs. The ships sail together with convoy HOKKO-80 consisting of UGO, YUZAN, UGA, SHOEI and KAIKO MARUs and SHINYO MARU No. 8 escorted by auxiliary gunboat DELHI MARU.

4 January 1944:
At 2315, both convoys, less certain ships that were detached prior, arrive at Muroran.

6 January 1944:
Arrives at Saiki, then the convoy less W-17 proceeds to Ujina.

8 January 1944:
W-17 departs Saiki.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

13 January 1944:
Departs Kure and later that day arrives at Saiki.

16 January 1944:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

19 January 1944:
Arrives at Saiki.

20 January 1944:
Departs Saiki on an anti submarine sweep.

21 January 1944:
Arrives at Saiki.

24 January 1944:
Departs Saiki and arrives at Moji later that day.

25 January 1944:
At 1800 departs Moji with auxiliary submarine chaser TAMA MARU No. 7 escorting convoy O-510 consisting of MITO, MACASSAR, YAKUMO, HINODE, KIBI, HASSHU (YASHIMA), TASMANIA, KIZUGAWA and SANKO MARUs and SHINTO MARU No. 1. KIZUGAWA MARU is towing midget sub HA-52.

E 27 January 1944:
At 28N TAMA MARU No. 7 is detached.

5 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

9 February 1944:
At 0700 W-17 departs Palau with destroyer HARUKAZE and auxiliary subchaser TAMA MARU No. 7 escorting convoy PATA-01 consisting of CEYLON MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships.

16 February 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Takao.

19 February 1944:
At 1850 departs Takao on an anti submarine sweep.

21 February 1944:
At 1300 returns to Takao.

22 February 1944:
At 0845 W-17 departs Takao in convoy TAMA-05 consisting of TAIKOKU, FUYO, HOZAN, CHINKAI, ZUIYO, FUJIKAWA, KACHOSAN, TEIYU (ex-Italian CARIGNANO) MARUs and NISSHO MARU No. 16 also escorted by auxiliary netlayer TOKACHI MARU, auxiliary TERUKUNI MARU and two unidentified auxiliary warships.

26 February 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Manila.

29 February 1944:
At 1500 W-17 departs Manila in convoy MAMI-03 consisting of ZUIYO MARU and one unidentified merchant ship escorted by destroyer KURETAKE and an unidentified auxiliary warship.

E 2 March 1944:
W-17 is detached and joins the escort of convoy MIMA-03 consisting of SAN DIEGO, TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU, YAMAKO (SANKO), NICHINAN (5175 gt) MARUs and five unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyer KARUKAYA.

4 March 1944:
At 1445 arrives at Manila.

7 March 1944:
At 1200 W-17 departs Manila with destroyer KARUKAYA escorting convoy MATA-10 consisting of tankers SAN DIEGO, SANKO (YAMAKO), TACHIBANA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU MARUs, OGURA MARU No. 1 and cargo ships TARUYASU (ex British TALTHYBIUS), TAITO, KENWA, SORACHI and KOHO MARUs.

12 March 1944:
At 1530 arrives at Takao.

15 March 1944:
At 1200, W-17, destroyers SHIGURE and NOKAZE and subchasers CH-37 and CH-38 depart Takao escorting convoy TAMO-11 consisting of TAITO, MUTSU, HINODE, MANILA, MANKO, ASAHI, BELGIUM, SORACHI, KOHO, TARUYASU, KENWA, KENZUI, BRAZIL, KOAN, SHINNO and KENNICHI MARUS and UNKAI MARU No. 12 and oilers TACHIBANA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1, SAN DIEGO and SANKO (YAMAKO) MARUs.

16 March 1944:
At 1600, TOYO and TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA) MARUs join the convoy.

19 March 1944:
The minelayer TAKASHIMA joins the convoy as an additional escort.

21 March 1944:
At 0430, MANKO, ASAHI, and TOYO MARUs are detached from the convoy. TAKASHIMA is detached for Sasebo.

23 March 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Moji.

24 March 1944:
At 0600 departs Moji and later that day at 1500 arrives at Kure.

30 March 1944:
Enters drydock at Kure.

10 April 1944:
Reassigned to the 1st Marine Escort Division.

18 April 1944:
At 0600 departs Kure.

19 April 1944:
At 1030 arrives at Moji.

21 April 1944:
At 0500 W-17 departs Moji with destroyer HARUKAZE escorting convoy MOTA-18 consisting of TAKEGAWA, SHIROGANESAN, WALES, PEKING, KUROGANE, SHIROTAE, TSUSHIMA, BELGIUM, NANREI, YAMHAGI, SAN DIEGO MARUs and KENNICHI MARUs.

27 April 1944:
At 1030 arrives at Takao.

28 April 1944:
At 1300, W-17, destroyer HARUKAZE and auxiliary gunboat CHOJUSAN MARU depart Takao for Manila escorting convoy TAMA-17 consisting of NITTATSU, TAKEGAWA, WALES, SAN LUIS, BELGIUM, PEKING, SHIROGANESAN, YAMAHAGI, KUROGANE, SHIROTAE, KENNICHI, TSUSHIMA and NISSAN MARUs. Convoy TAMA-17A consisting of NANSHIN MARU No. 6 and two unidentified merchant ships sailed close to convoy part of the way and were afforded escort protection.

29 April 1944:
Old destroyer ASAKAZE joins the escort. At 2155, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's (USNA ’33) USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and sinks TAKEGAWA MARU at 19-20N, 118-50E. Seven crewmen are KIA. Also lost are 17 Daihatsu barges and two lighters.

30 April 1944:
At 0430, Gallaher torpedoes and sinks NITTATSU MARU, carrying 250 tons coal at 19-22N, 118-45E. Four crewmen are killed.

2 May 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Manila.

4 May 1944:
At 0400 W-17 departs Manila with kaibokan KURAHASHI, KURI and CD-20 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy MATA-19 consisting of TETSUYO and NICHIZUI MARUs and seven unidentified merchant ships.

7 May 1944:
NICHIZUI MARU is detached to Kirun.

9 May 1944:
At 0600 arrives at Takao.

11 May 1944:
At 0800 W-17 departs Takao with destroyer KURI and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy TAMO-19 consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships.

20 May 1944:
At 1300 arrives at Moji. Later that day departs.

21 May 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.

27 May 1944:
Departs Kure and at 1800 arrives at Moji.

1 June 1944:
At 1919 departs Moji and at 2003 arrives at Mutsure.

2 June 1944:
At 0539 departs Mutsure and at 1714 arrives at Imari Wan (Bay).

3 June 1944:
At 0415 W-17, torpedo boat SAGI and patrol boat PB-38, Kaibokan CD-18, auxiliary submarine chaser CHa-22 and two other unidentified escorts depart Imari Bay for Miri, Borneo escorting convoy MI-05 consisting of KENEI, KENZUI, HINAGA, NIPPO, FUYUKAWA, IKOMASAN, SURAKARUTA, TATSUJU and SHOEI MARUs, TOYO MARU No. 3 and tankers TACHIBANA, NITTETSU, TOA, CERAM, SANKO (YAMAKO), AYAGIRI, AYANAMI, OEI, TOKUWA, TAKETSU (BUTSU), MARIFU, SAN DIEGO MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2 and fleet oiler NOTORO plus nine unidentified ships.

8 June 1944:
At 1623 W-17 arrives at Kirun.

9 June 1944:
At 1532 departs Kirun. Meanwhile TOYO MARU No.3 is detached. W-17 gets a submarine contact and undertakes a hunt.

10 June 1944:
At 1830 the convoy arrives at Takao. TOA and SHOEI MARUs are detached.

11 June 1944:
A detachment departs Takao including ARIMASAN, USSURI, MIIKESAN and MANILA MARUs, tankers SAN DIEGO, JINEI and BAIEI MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 8 and join the convoy en route to Manila escorted by minelayer MAESHIMA and auxiliary subchaser CHa-95.

13 June 1944:
At 1555, LtCdr John D. Crowley's (USNA’31) USS FLIER (SS-250) torpedoes and damages MARIFU MARU at 15-57N, 119-42E. The ship is taken in tow by MIIKESAN MARU with SAGI as escort and later reaches Manila. W-17 and CD-18 assists the vessel and then steams on ahead.

14 June 1944:
At 2305 W-17 and CD-18 arrives at Manila with some of the convoy.

15 June 1944:
At 1050 the main convoy arrives at Manila.

18 June 1944:
At 1307 W-17 departs Manila with kaibokan CD-14 and CD-18, torpedo boat SAGI, patrol boat PB-38, minelayer MAESHIMA, auxiliary subchasers CHa-22 and CHa-95 and two unidentified warships escorting convoy MI-05 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO, tankers TACHIBANA, SAN DIEGO, BAIEI, KENZUI, ATAGO, JINEI, AYANAMI, CERAM, OEI and TOKUWA MARUs, YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, and KYOEI MARU No. 8 and cargo/transports ARIMASAN, HINAGA, NIPPO (ex-Swedish NINGPO), TATSUJU, SURAKARUTA, TEIFU (ex-French BOUGAINVILLE), ROKKO, DAIZEN, MIIKESAN, NICHIYO, HIDA and SEIWA MARUs.

23 June 1944:
At 1257, arrives at Miri.

25 June 1944:
At 1915, W-17, torpedo boat SAGI, kaibokan CD-18, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary minesweepers CHOUN MARU No. 6 and TOSHI MARU No. 2 depart Miri for Singapore escorting convoy MISHI-03 consisting of fleet oiler NOTORO and SAN DIEGO, NICHIYO, HIDA, FUYUKAWA, AYANAMI, KYOEI No. 8, BAIEI, NIPPO (ex-Swedish NINGPO), DAIZEN, TEIFU (ex-French BOUGAINVILLE), SEIWA, SURAKARUTA, HINAGA, MANILA, ARIMASAN, ROKKO, TATSUTAMA (ex-American SS ADMIRAL Y. S. WILLIAMS), TOA, KENZUI and JINEI MARUs.

28 June 1944:
South China Sea. Off Singapore. At 2100, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Reuben T. Whitaker’s (USNA ’34) USS FLASHER's (SS-249) radar picks up a convoy consisting of 13 merchants and several escorts. Whitaker, operating in relatively shallow water (150 feet), decides to wait until after the moon sets to make a surface attack.

29 June 1944:
At 0117, two or three torpedoes hit NIPPO MARU and two or three torpedoes hit NOTORO. NIPPO MARU breaks in two and sinks by the bow. 87 of her 628 passengers are killed. NOTORO remains afloat, but goes dead in the water. The escorts begin blindly dropping depth charges. Whitaker, still on the surface, leaves the area on four engines.

30 June 1944:
At 1437, arrives at Singapore.

4 July 1944:
At 0900 W-17, kaibokan CD-18 and torpedo boat SAGI depart Singapore escorting convoy SHIMI-05 consisting of MEXICO, ASAKA, OLYMPIA, HOFUKU, RASHIN, HAKUROKU (HAKUSHIKA), TATSUBATO, KUROGANE MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO MARU and KYOEI MARU No. 6.

8 July 1944:
At 1842 arrives at Miri.

10 July 1944:
At 1550, W-17, kaibokan CD-18 and SAGI depart Miri for Moji escorting convoy MI-08 consisting of MEXICO, ASAKA, OLYMPIA, RASHIN, HAKUROKU, TATSUBATO, KUROGANE MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO, SAN LUIS, NITTETSU, OEI, TAKETSU (BUTSU), CHIHAYA, RYUSHO and SANKO (YAMAKO) MARUs and KYOEI MARU No. 6.

11 July 1944:
At 1830, the convoy anchors in Kimanis Bay, SW of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.

12 July 1944:
At 1300, the convoy departs Kimanis Bay. At 1015, TAKETSU MARU detaches and begins a return journey to Miri.

16 July 1944:
From 0820 until 1400, the convoy is accompanied by torpedo-boat HIYODORI and coast defense ship MIKURA. At 2035, the convoy arrives safely at Manila.

23 July 1944:
Manila. The convoy is reorganized. At 1545, W-17,torpedo-boat SAGI, subchaser CH-61, coast defense ships CD-1, CD-18, CD-28, and minelayer ENOSHIMA depart Manila for Moji escorting convoy MI-08 now consisting of MIZUHO, MANILA, ARABIA, TATSUBATO, HAKUROKU MARUs and tankers SAN DIEGO, SAN LUIS, NITTETSU, TAKETSU (BUTSU), CHIHAYA, MIRI, RYUSHO and SANKO (YAMAKO) MARUs. The convoy speed is 8 knots.

24 July 1944:
The convoy stops because of mine danger. Joined by CH-61 to sweep the route.

26 July 1944:
At 0625 aircraft from aircover bomb a submarine 10 km away. At 0900 executes an anti submarine sweep at the bombing site. At 0945 ends the anti submarine sweep and returns to the convoy. At 1700 second class destroyer KURETAKE joins the convoy and starts escorting.

27 July 1944:
At 0920, auxiliary subchaser CHa-74 and auxiliary transport OYO MARU joined the escort. At 1350 the escort ends. The escoers simply guide the convoy until 1425. At 1605, the convoy arrives at Takao and is again reorganized.

30 July 1944:
At 1800, The convoy departs Takao now now consisting of MIZUHO, CHIHAYA, SAN DIEGO, SAN LUIS, BOKO (ex British SAGRES), MANILA, SANKO, TSUYAMA, ARABIA, RYUSHO, MIRI, TATSUBATO, NITTETSU, YAGI, TOUN and EIHO MARUs escorted by W-17, torpedo-boat SAGI, CD-1, CD-18 and auxiliary netlayer KISHIN MARU. The convoy speed is 7 knots.

1 August 1944:
At 1400, the convoy arrives at Keelung after it is suspected that enemy submarines had gained contact.

4 August 1944:
At 1600, the convoy departs Keelung and heads up the Ryukyu Islands bound for the Kyushu.

9 August 1944:
N of Okinoshima. LtCdr (later Cdr) Robert A. Keating's (USNA ’33) USS BARBEL (SS-316) torpedoes and sinks IJA cargo ship YAGI MARU with casualties of 3 gunners and 31 crewmen KIA, and merchant cargo ship BOKO MARU (ex-British SAGRES) with unknown casualties, at 27-56N, 128-47E. W-17 and CD-1 carry out an antisubmarine sweep and drop 21 depth-charges that cause some damage to USS BARBEL. Afterwards, the convoy heads out of the area at full speed making evasive movements. At 1200. the convoy arrives at Koniya, Amami-O-Shima.

11 August 1944:
At 0400, the convoy departs Amami-O-Shima.

13 August 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

16 August 1944:
W-17 arrives at Sasebo.

23 August 1944:
At 1200 departs Sasebo and at 1800 arrives at Miike.

27 August 1944:
At 0800, W-17 departs Miike, and later joins destroyers SHIOKAZE and KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-18 and minelayer YURISHIMA that have departed Moji for Miri, Borneo escorting 15-ship convoy MI-17 consisting of tankers NITTETSU and SHIMOTSU MARUs and cargo ships BAIKAL, AMAHI, DAITEN, NORWAY, ARAOSAN, NICHIZUI, HOKUREI, SHUYO, SORACHI MARUs and SHINYO MARU No. 8 and likely YOZAN MARU and two unidentified ships.

1 September 1944:
At 1020 arrives at Mako, Pescadores. SORACHI and NITTETSU MARUs and one unidentified ship are detached. An unidentified ship joins the convoy. W-20 and W-41 join the escort.

4 September 1944:
At 1000 departs Mako still in convoy.

6 September 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Aparri, Luzon. At 2310 W-17, W-20 and W-41 are detached as well as NORWAY, AMAHI, HOKUREI, BAIKAL, DAITEN, ARAOSAN and likely YOZAN and SHUYO MARUs.

7 September 1944:
At 1100 commences a submarine sweep with W-17.

8 September 1944:
At 0200 CH-41 and W-17 meet up with convoy TAMA-25 with destroyers HATSUHARU and HIBIKI, kaibokan CD-1, CD-3, CD-5, CD-7, torpedo-boat HIYODORI, minesweeper W-20, subchaser CH-63 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-67 that have departed Takao for Manila with the convoy consisting of KOGYO, MANSHU, ATSUTA, EKKAI, NANREI, ROZAN, EIMAN, TOYOOKA and HOKUSEN MARUs. Previously known as MOTA-23, this convoy was enroute to Takao before being diverted to Keelung. The convoy is carrying reinforcements, equipment and ammunition for the defense of the Philippine Islands.

9 September 1944:
43 miles NW of Calayan Island. At about 0315, TOYOOKA MARU is torpedoed by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393). She sinks five minutes later at 19-45N, 120-55E. 1,036 soldiers and nine crewmen are killed. At 0319, MANSHU MARU is hit by a torpedo from USS QUEENFISH and sinks by the stern. She was carrying 1,492 men of the 42nd Infantry Regiment, plus her crew. 900 are killed. At 2120, the convoy seeks temporary shelter at Aparri. At 2250, the convoy departs hugging the coast.

10 September 1944:
At 1714 the convoy arrives at San Fernando.

11 September 1944:
At 0400 CH-41 and W-17 are detached on a submarine hunt.

12 September 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Takao.

14 September 1944:
At 1200 departs Takao with submarine chaser CH-41 on an escort mission to Basco, Batan Island. At 1800 arrives at Tuan Pi, southern Formosa.

15 September 1944:
At 0630 departs Tuan Pi and at 1600 arrives at Basco. Departs at 1820.

16 September 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Takao.

18 September 1944:
At 0630, W-17, W-20 and subchasers CH-20, CH-41 and CH-63 depart Takao, Formosa for Manila escorting convoy TAMA-26 consisting of MIZUHO, SHIRANESAN, EIMAN, ARABIA, TEMPEI, HOTEN, TSINGTAO, AWAJI and NICHINAN (1945 grt) MARUs and TOYO MARU No. 3. At 1745 arrives at Tapan Lieh, southern Formosa.

19 September 1944:
At 0900 departs Tapan Lieh. At 2130 arrives at Sabtang Channel and temporarily anchors.

20 September 1944:
At 0300 departs Sabtang Channel and at 2000 arrives at Musa, Fuga Island.

21 September 1944:
At 0300, the convoy departs Musa Bay. HOTEN MARU has engine trouble and remains at Musa Bay. At 0700, a Japanese aircraft flies to a position forward of the convoy from which it dive-bombs a submarine. At 0705, Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's (USNA ’27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks AWAJI MARU carrying 600 passengers and 500-tons of ammunition, at 18-43N, 120-53E. 284 passengers, 3 escort troops and 40 crewmen, a total of 327 people are killed. NICHINAN MARU rescues survivors.

At 0835, Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks MIZUHO MARU carrying 2,150 soldiers and 3,029 civilian employees, at 18-37N, 120-41E. 1,313 passengers 81 crewmen and three gunners are lost with her. W-17 counterattacks while the other vessels pick up survivors. Motorized sailboats BANGI and SAROMAGE rescue 268 survivors. At 2215, the convoy arrives at Lapoc Bay.

24 September 1944:
At 1030, W-17 and CH-41 arrive at Lapoc. Departs at 1858.

26 September 1944:
At 1645, arrives at North San Fernando.

28 September 1944:
At 0147, departs San Fernando.

30 September 1944:
At 2053, arrives at Santa Cruz.

1 October 1944:
At 2056, arrives at Manila.

2 October 1944:
Departs Manila.

7 October 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques.

16 October 1944:
At 1343 W-17 and W-18 depart St Jacques escorting convoy SAMA-13 consisting of MYOGI, HEIAN, MIKASA, TEIYU (ex-Italian CARIGNANO), UGO and OYO MARUs.

20 October 1944:
In the early morning, UGO MARU carrying 4500 tons rice, and OYO MARU carrying 6700 tons rice are both torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA ’34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364) at 04-45N 113-30E. 24 crewmen on UGO MARU and one passenger and three crewmen on OYO MARU are killed.

21 October 1944:
At 1900, the rest of the convoy arrives at Miri, Borneo.

24 October 1944:
At 0655 W-17, W-18 and W-30 depart Miri escorting tanker NICHINAN MARU No. 2.

26 October 1944:
At 1943 arrives at Bacuit Bay. Later that day auxiliary submarine chaser URUPPU MARU joins the convoy as an additional escort.

27 October 1944:
At 0654 departs Bacuit Bay.

28 October 1944:
At 0725 arrives at Manila.

29 October 1944:
At 1957, W-17, W-18 and torpedo boat SAGI depart Manila for Takao escorting convoy MAMO-04 consisting of troop ship (ex-passenger liner) ASAMA MARU.

30 October 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Masinloc.

31 October 1944:
At 0500 departs Masinloc.

1 November 1944:
At 0435, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/COMSUBPAC) John H. Maurer's (USNA ’35) USS ATULE (SS-403) torpedoes and sinks troop ship ASAMA MARU at 20-17N, 117-O8E. 474 men are lost consisting of 355 troops together with 21 other military men and 98 crewmen.

2 November 1944:
At 1635 arrives at Takao.

4 November 1944:
At 0630 departs Takao with SAGI and W-18 to rescue survivors of ATLAS and HAMBURG MARUs.

5 November 1944:
At 0840 arrives at Sabtang Island. Undertakes rescue operations for ATLAS MARU earlier damaged in convoy MOMA-06 and aground on Ibulhos Island.

6 November 1944:
At 0253 departs Sabtang Island with W-18 escorting remnants of MOMA-06 then consisting of SHIMOTSU, ASOKAWA, TOTTORI, EIWA, DAITOKU, SHINSHO, KAKOGAWA, SEKIHO and SEIWA MARUs escorted by old destroyer KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-1, CD-3 and CD-7, mineweeper W-27, subchaser CH-41 and fleet supply ship KURASAKI. Torpedo boat SAGI is also attached to the convoy but apparently remains behind conducting rescue operations.

8 November 1944:
Off Cape Bolinao, Luzon. LtCdr Guy E. O'Neil, Jr’s (USNA ’37) USS GUNNEL (SS-253) torpedoes and sinks torpedo boat SAGI that was part of the escort of convoy MOMA-06. At 1030, W-17 reports she has picked up 117 survivors of SAGI. At 1730 arrives at Santa Cruz.

9 November 1944:
At 0630 departs Santa Cruz and at 2145 arrives at Manila.

11 November 1944:
TOYO MARU No. 3 supplies 80 tons of coal to W-17, 75 tons to W-18 and 120 tons to W-20. At 1957, W-17, W-18 and W-20 depart Manila for Yulin, Hainan escorting convoy MAYU-10 consisting of MISAKI and SUGIYAMA MARUs.

(A FRUMEL update from 10 Nov suggests that this convoy was going to leave at 0001 on 12th and arrive at Yulin at 1800 on 16th, speed 8 kts.)

At 2315, LtCdr (later Cdr) Robert A. Keating's (USNA ’33) USS BARBEL (SS-316) torpedoes MISAKI MARU at 15-10N, 112-40E. She sinks about two hours later. Three crewmen and eight others are killed. W-18 and W-20 carry out counterattacks against USS BARBEL while W-17 remains with SUGIYAMA MARU.

12 November 1944:
E of Nha Thrang, Indochina. At 0110, LtCdr Keating's USS BARBEL torpedoes and sinks SUGIYAMA MARU at 15-15N, 112-10E. 15 of the crew and many of the troops being carried are killed. A total of 652 survivors from the two ships are rescued by the three warships and later landed at Yulin.

16 November 1944:
At 1430 arrives at St Jacques.

20 November 1944:
At 1205, W-17, W-18, W-20 and submarine chaser CH-41 departs St Jacques escorting convoy SATA-02 consisting of HIDA MARU.

21 November 1944:
At 2030, arrives at Camranh Bay.

22 November 1944:
At 0725, departs Camranh Bay. At 1820, arrives at Van Phong Bay.

23 November 1944:
At 0720, departs Van Phong Bay. At 1345, CH-41 detaches from the convoy. At 1945, arrives at Baia de Xuan Bay.

24 November 1944:
At 0746, departs Baia de Xuan Bay.

25 November 1944:
At 0800, W-20 detaches.

26 November 1944:
South China Sea, S of Hainan Island, China. At 0037, 14th Air Force B-24s, on a night reconnaissance flight, bomb and strafe HIDA MARU and damage W-17 and W-18 at 16-44N, 108-24E. HIDA MARU takes crippled W-18 in tow.

27 November 1944:
W-18 sinks. That same day, at 1000, the others arrive at Yulin.

10 December 1944:
Attached to the General Escort Command's First Escort Fleet. That same day, departs Yulin escorting an unidentified convoy to Formosa.

January 1945:
Reserve Lt Yoshimura Jun is appointed Commanding Officer.

3 January 1945:
At 0100, W-17, destroyer KIRI, kaibokan CD-9, CD-14, CD-16, CD-32, CD-46 and subchaser CH-37 depart Keelung, Formosa escorting convoy TAMO-34 consisting of OJIKASAN MARU, oilers YAMAMURA, DAITO, DAIRETSU and DAIEI MARUs and an unidentified ship.

4 January 1945:
OJIKASAN MARU is lightly damaged by strafing.

8 January 1945:
at 2250 arrives at Fukuoka Wan.

9 January 1945:
At 0700, departs Fukuoka Wan. At 1200 that same day, arrives at Moji.

10 January 1945:
Departs Moji.

11 January 1945:
At 0930 arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs for the remainder of January.

15 January 1945:
Reserve Lt Yoshimura Jun is appointed Commanding Officer. LtCdr Isobe is appointed Chief Equipping Officer of OJIKA.

February 1945:
Spends most of the month at Kure under repair.

27 February 1945:
At 0920 departs Kure for Moji.

28 February 1945:
At 0730 arrives at Moji. Takes on bunkers.

1 March 1945:
At 0800, W-17 and W-15, kaibokan IKUNA, CD-26, CD-41 and subchaser CH-19 depart Mutsure for Keelung escorting convoy MOTA-40 consisting of IKOMASAN, AIZAN, DAIKI, TOYOGAWA, KITAKATA, ANKO and DOSHI MARUs.

5 March 1945:
Off Akuseki Jima, Ryukyu Islands. At 1042, LtCdr (later Captain) Walter F. Schlech's (USNA ’36) USS TILEFISH (SS-307) torpedoes and damages W-15's stern at 29-36N, 129-45E. W-15 is beached on Suwasi Island and later abandoned, a constructive total loss.

9 March 1945:
At 2010 arrives at Keelung.

16 March 1945:
At 0100, W-17, kaibokan IKUNA and CD-41 depart Keelung escorting convoy TAMO-49 for Moji consisting of IKOMASAN, AIZAN, KITAKATA and NANKING MARUs. A USN PB4Y (B-24) attacks TAMO-49 and damages KITAKATA MARU at 29-09N, 122-07E.

17 March 1945:
Off Fuchow, China. Convoy TAMO-49 heads westward for the China coast in heavy weather. A fire breaks out aboard IKOMASAN MARU. She anchors off Matsu Island in the storm to effect repairs, but about 0100, she is torpedoed by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) William S. Post's (USNA ’30) USS SPOT (SS-413). Six crewmen, four guards and seven passengers are killed. 962 passengers are put ashore while the crew attempts repairs. Days later, IKOMASAN MARU is bombed by USAAF B-25 “Mitchells” and abandoned.

At 0335, in stormy weather, Cdr Post torpedoes and sinks NANKING MARU at 25-33N, 120-10E. She takes down over 500 passengers and crewmen. At the time the ship was carrying 411 passengers, 32 Ship’s Gunners and 60 crew, and only one survivor was rescued.

18 March 1945:
Off Mutsure Jima, Ryukyu Islands. At about 0600, Cdr Post engages W-17 with USS SPOT's 5-inch deck gun and damages her at 25-44N, 120-13E. W-17 received one shell hit to bow area. The damage was minor.

19 March 1945:
Departs Matsu Island.

20 March 1945:
At 1810 arrives at Chiu Shan Liehtao.

21 March 1945:
Departs Chiu Shan Liehtao.

22 March 1945:
Arrives at Ssu Chiao Shan.

23 March 1945:
At 1000 departs Ssu Chiao Shan.

26 March 1945:
IKOMASAN MARU is attacked and again damaged by USAAF aircraft.

29 March 1945:
At 0920 the convoy arrives and shelters at Yuya Wan.

30 March 1945:
At 0100 W-17 departs Yuya Wan and at 1430 arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes repairs.

31 March 1945:
At 1400, the rest of the convoy arrives at Moji.

24 April 1945:
With kaibokan CD-213 engages in a hunt for an enemy submarine in 34-29N 129-10E claiming the submarine as damaged.

2 August 1945:
S of Chinhae, Korea. W-17 is damaged at 36-06N, 128-40E by aerial mines dropped by 20th Air Force Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" heavy bombers based at Tinian, Marianas.

20 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 April 1948:
Sasebo. Scrapped.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Kimata identifies target as the tanker CHIYODA MARU but this ship was only completed in March 1943. LtCdr Brockman (USS NAUTILUS) claimed an attack on a 3 funnelled cruiser which is consistent with a misidentification of seaplane tender CHIYODA, the extra two funnels being the pillars supporting the vessel's crane machinery.

Thanks go to the late John Whitman of Virginia, USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages, to Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USA for information on Commanding Officers and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for general assistance.

Photo credit goes to Ships of the World (SOTW) via J. Ed Low.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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