SOKAITEI!

W-21 (W-19 class) scanned from Gakken, V. 45

IJN Minesweeper W-23:
Tabular Record of Movement

2009-2018 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 9


5 May 1942:
Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Zosensho, K. K.

4 January 1943:
Reserve Lt Nishio Tadashi is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

13 January 1943:
Launched and numbered W-23.

27 March 1943:
At 1300 departs Tokyo and at 1530 arrives at Yokosuka.

31 March 1943:
Officially completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to Maizuru Naval District. Reserve Lt Nishio Tadashi is the Commanding Officer.

1 April 1943:
At 1100, arrives at Maizuru.

24 April 1943:
At 1350, departs Maizuru and at 1606 arrives at nearby Obama.

25 April 1943:
At 0322, departs Obama and at 1505 arrives at Maizuru.

1 May 1943:
At Ominato, assigned to MineSweepDiv 52 with W-24.

3 May 1943:
W-23, W-24, Submarine chaser CH-43 and the minelayer TOKIWA all anchor in Mutsu Wan.

5 May 1943:
All the ships return to Ominato.

7 May 1943:
W-23 and W-24 depart Ominato.

8 May 1943:
Both arrive at Otaru.

13 May 1943:
W-23 departs on an anti submarine sweep.

14 May 1943:
Both W-23 and W-24 arrive at Odomari.

15 May 1943:
W-23 departs on a submarine sweep.

16 May 1943:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

17 May 1943:
Departs Wakkanai on an anti submarine sweep and convoy escort.

19 May 1943:
Arrives off Akaiwa-Ura (now Ostrovskiy), Karafuto. Conducts anti submarine sweeps.

22 May 1943:
Departs Akaiwa-Ura escorting TAKASHIMA MARU via the Soya Straits.

24 May 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

25 May 1943:
Departs Otaru escorting a convoy to nearby Wakkanai.

26 May 1943:
Departs Wakkanai on an anti submarine sweep.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

31 May 1943:
Departs Otaru for Ominato.

24 June 1943:
At 1900, W-23 departs Otaru, Hokkaido for Matsuwa Island, Kuriles escorting a convoy consisting of SHINRYU MARU loaded with gasoline, ammunition and 188 troops.

26 June 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Matsuwa Island, but SHINRYU MARU runs aground while trying to anchor. In the next few days, her crew tries to break free of the grounding. But without success. The bad weather worsens. [1]

29 June 1943:
At 0003, an explosion aboard SHINRYU MARU starts fires and Abandon Ship is ordered. At about 0300, another explosion occurs and SHINRYU MARU sinks. 32 crewmen and 97 troops are KIA.

22 July 1943:
At 1300 departs Ominato.

29 August 1943:
At 1600, departs Niigata escorting KIBI MARU.

31 August 1943:
At 1900, arrives at Otaru.

1 September 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

2 September 1943:
Departs Ominato on patrol.

3 September 1943:
Returns to Ominato.

6 September 1943:
W-23 and W-24, submarine chasers CH-41 and CH-43 and minelayer TOKIWA transfer to Mutsu Wan and undertakes training exercises.

11 September 1943:
All ships return to Ominato.

14 September 1943:
Departs Ominato escorting a convoy to Odomari then carries out an anti submarine sweep.

19 September 1943:
Arrives at Odomari.

22 September 1943:
Departs Odomari on a further anti submarine sweep, then escorts a convoy.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Odomari.

28 September 1943:
Departs Odomari escorting a convoy to Wakkanai.

29 September 1943:
Returns to Odomari.

30 September 1943:
Departs Odomari on an anti submarine sweep and then convoy escort duties.

Early-Mid October 1943:
Remains based in the Wakkanai area undertaking anti submarine sweeps and convoy escort duties.

24 October 1943:
Begins a further anti submarine sweep.

25 October 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

26 October 1943:
W-23 and W-24 depart Otaru on an anti submarine sweep.

Early November 1943:
W-23 is docked for repairs at Maizuru.

24 November 1943:
Departs Maizuru on an anti submarine sweep.

25 November 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

1 December 1943:
The Minelayer TOKIWA, Submarine chasers CH-41 and CH-43 and and W-23 and W-24 undertake training exercises at sea.

4 December 1943:
All transfer to Mutsu Wan and undertake further training.

8 December 1943:
W-23 and W-24 arrive at Ominato.

9 December 1943:
W-23 and W-24 depart Ominato on an anti submarine sweep.

10 December 1943:
Both arrive at Otaru.

12 December 1943:
W-23 and W-24 depart Otaru on an anti submarine sweep.

13 December 1943:
Both arrive at Wakkanai.

18 December 1943:
W-23 and W-24 depart Wakkanai on an anti submarine sweep.

19 December 1943:
Both arrive at Ominato.

23 December 1943:
W-23 and W-24 both depart Ominato for Yokosuka.

16 January 1944:
After sinking of Q ship DELHI MARU by USS SWORDFISH in 34-12N 139-54E, subchaser CH-50 and W-23 engage in a hunt for the submarine.

17 January 1944:
W-23 departs Yokosuka escorting convoy No. 3017 consisting of HIRO and KUDAMATSU MARUs via Chichi-jima to Saipan.

24 January 1944:
Arrives at Chichi Jima.

27 January 1944:
Departs Chichi Jima.

31 January 1944:
At 2105 HIRO MARU is torpedoed and sunk by USS TULLIBEE in 15-21N 145-31E. Later that day the convoy arrives at Saipan.

28 February 1944:
W-23, submarine chaser CH-44 and auxiliary submarine chaser FUMI MARU depart Chichijima in a violent storm escorting KUMANOSAN MARU.

2 March 1944:
At 1900 arrive at Minami Torishima.

3 April 1944:
Departs Ominato escorting a convoy.

8 April 1944:
Arrives at Kushiro.

19 April 1944:
Departs Kushiro on patrol.

22 April 1944:
Arrives at Hakodate.

23 April 1944:
Departs Hakodate on patrol.

24 April 1944:
Arrives back at Hakodate.

25 April 1944:
W-23 and W-24 depart Hakodate on patrol.

1 May 1944:
A convoy consisting of NIPPO, KASUGASAN and EIHO MARUs departs Ominato en route to Tennei escorted by W-23.

4 May 1944:
Arrives at Tennei.

10 May 1944:
Departs Tennei escorting a convoy

12 May 1944:
Arrives at Kushiro.

15 May 1944:
Departs Kushiro on patrol. En route meets up with HAKUYO MARU.

17 May 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

19 May 1944:
Departs Ominato on an anti submarine sweep.

20 May 1944:
Arrives at Hakodate.

22 May 1944:
Departs Hakodate on patrol.

24 May 1944:
Arrives at Kushiro.

26 May 1944:
Departs Kushiro on patrol.

29 May 1944:
Arrives at Kushiro.

30 May 1944:
Departs Kushiro on patrol.

3 June 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

4 June 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol. Meets up with KANATSU MARU sailing from Otaru.

7 June 1944:
At 1025 arrives back at Wakkanai.

8 June 1944:
At 0850 W-23 departs Wakkanai escorting tanker KANATSU MARU to Okha. En route meets up with W-39 that takes over escort.

11 June 1944:
At 0900 W-23 arrives at Odomari.

12 June 1944:
At 1602 Departs Odomari and later sails to rescue survivors from TOTEN and CHIHAYA MARUs that have been torpedoed and sunk.

17 June 1944:
At 0550 returns to Odomari and departs later that day at 1319 on patrol.

19 June 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

20 June 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

21 June 1944:
At 1003 arrives back at Wakkanai.

23 June 1944:
At 0951 departs Wakkanai on patrol.

24 June 1944:
At 1415 arrives at Odomari.

26 June 1944:
At 0558 W-23 departs Odomari and escorts cannery ship KARAFUTO MARU.

27 June 1944:
At 1645 arrives off Wakkanai.

30 June 1944:
At 0814 W-23 departs Wakkanai escorts tanker KANATSU MARU to Odomari.

2 July 1944:
At 1159 arrives at Odomari.

5 July 1944:
At 1630 W-23 departs Odomari escorting SOYA and at 1623 arrives at Wakkanai.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

13 July 1944:
At 1907 departs Wakkanai and meets up with Ra-803 convoy consisting of tankers MANJU, MITSU and HAKUEI MARUs escorted by destroyer NOKAZE and subchaser CH-15.

16 July 1944:
At latitude 50N, both W-23 and CH-15 are detached while the rest of the ships proceed to Okha.

17 July 1944:
At 2230 arrives at Odomari.

19 July 1944:
At 1323 departs Odomari and at 1947 W-23 arrives back at Wakkanai.

20 July 1944:
At 2345 departs Wakkanai with kaibokan NOMI escorting a convoy KI-102 consisting of KOUN MARU No. 2 (bound for Tennei) and JUICHISEI MARU (HOSHI MARU No. 11) bound for Toro.

23 July 1944:
At 0047 arrives at Tennei with KOUN MARU No. 2.

24 July 1944:
At 0245 departs Tennei escorting KOUN MARU No. 2.

25 July 1945:
At 1847 arrives at Wakkanai and departs at 2350.

27 July 1944:
At 1002 arrives at Ominato. Briefly docked for repairs.

12 August 1944:
At 0707 departs Ominato.

13 August 1944:
At 1058 arrives back at Wakkanai.

16 August 1944:
At 2030 departs Wakkanai on patrol.

17 August 1944:
At 1130 arrives at Airo Wan to stand by damaged tanker HAKUEI MARU that is in process of being refloated. W-24 is also in attendance.

21 August 1944:
At 0124 departs Airo Wan escorting HAKUEI MARU with W-24 which is towed by salvage tugs MAGANE and NASU MARUs.

22 August 1944:
At 0635 the ship arrives at Wakkanai. At 1100 W-23 departs Wakkanai and arrives at Odomari at 1635.

25 August 1944:
At 0848 departs Odomari and at 1459 arrives back at Wakkanai.

27 August 1944:
At 0749, W-23 and subchaser CH-15 depart Wakkanai for the Kuriles escorting convoy KI-203 consisting of MISAKI MARU No. 2 and EIHO and HAKUSHU MARUs.

29 August 1944:
At 1440, the convoy arrives at Tennei, Kuriles.

30 August 1944:
At 0818 departs Tennei.

31 August 1944:
At 0930 arrives at Odomari.

3 September 1944:
At 1135 departs Odomari but returns at 1732.

4 September 1944:
At 0808 departs and at 1405 arrives back at Odomari.

11 September 1944:
At 0905 departs Odomari and at 1451 arrives at Wakkanai.

16 September 1944:
At 0853 departs Wakkanai escorting a convoy consisting of SHINANO MARU.

20 September 1944:
At 1831 arrives at Odomari.

23 September 1944:
At 0802 departs Odomari on patrol. Involved in search and rescue activities after sinking of RIZAN MARU two days earlier.

27 September 1944:
At 0956 arrives at Odomari.

October 1944:
Reserve Lt Sasaki Kiichi is appointed the CO.

12 October 1944:
At 0828 W-23 departs Wakkanai escorting KYODO MARU No. 13 to Shikuka, Karafuto.

13 October 1944:
At 0742 W-23 arrives at Shikuka. At 1544 W-23 departs Shikuka.

15 October 1944:
At 1818 arrives at Odomari.

17 October 1944:
At 0651 departs Odomari and at 1345 arrives at Wakkanai.

20 October 1944:
At 0801 departs Wakkanai.

22 October 1944:
At 1051 arrives at Honto (Nevelsk).

23 October 1944:
At 0801 departs Honto and at 1411 arrives at Odomari.

26 October 1944:
At 0801 departs Odomari and at 2112 arrive at Abashiri.

28 October 1944:
At 0184 departs Abashiri and at 1458 arrives at Odomari.

4 November 1944:
At 0100 W-23 and W-24 depart Odomari escorting TENRYO MARU in convoy Ki-301.

6 November 1944:
At 1544 the convoy arrives at Iwami Hama, Uruppu (Urup).

7 November 1944:
At 0042 W-23 departs Iwami Hama on patrol.

8 November 1944:
At 0635 returns to Uruppu.

9 November 1944:
At 1920 W-23 and W-24 depart Uruppu escorting TENRYO MARU.

10 November 1944:
At 1645 arrives at Mayoro Wan, Etorofu.

12 November 1944:
At 0455 departs Mayoro Wan.

13 November 1944:
At 1306 the convoy arrives at Abashiri. W-24 however proceeds to Wakkanai, arriving at 2136.

15 November 1944:
At 0817 W-23 and W-24 depart Abashiri still escorting TENRYO MARU.

16 November 1944:
At 0718 both arrive at Odomari.

22 November 1944:
At 1207 W-23 departs Odomari on patrol.

25 November 1944:
At 1449 arrives at Wakkanai.

27 November 1944:
At 2016 W-23 departs Wakkanai.

28 November 1944:
At 0747 arrives at Otaru.

30 November 1944:
At 0855 departs Otaru on patrol.

6 December 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

11 December 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

15 December 1944:
Departs Wakkanai escorting a convoy.

17 December 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

23 December 1944:
Departs Wakkanai.

24 December 1944:
Arrives at Otaru.

26 December 1944:
Departs Otaru.

27 December 1944:
Arrives at Ominato and docked for repairs and maintenance.

26 January 1945:
Undocked and departs Ominato on trials before returning later that day.

31 January 1945:
Departs Ominato on patrol.

1 February 1945:
Arrives at Hakodate.

2 February 1945:
At 0800 departs Hakodate and at 1353 arrives at Muroran.

10 February 1945:
At 2221 departs Muroran escorting a convoy consisting of CHOWA MARU en route to Shiogama.

13 February 1945:
At 0352 arrives back at Muroran.

14 February 1945:
At 0703 departs Muroran and at 1520 arrives at Ominato.

26 February 1945:
At 0800 departs Ominato and at 1310 arrives at Hakodate.

28 February 1945:
At 0730 W-23 departs Hakodate and at 1244 arrives at Muroran.

3 March 1943:
At 0800 departs Muroran escorting a convoy consisting of EISO MARU.

4 March 1943:
At 0635 arrives back at Muroran.

6 March 1943:
At 0615 departs Muroran escorting training ship SOYA for Hachinohe.

7 March 1945:
At 0609 arrives back at Muroran.

8 March 1945:
At 1715 departs Muroran.

9 March 1945:
At 2212 arrives at Muroran.

18 March 1943:
At 0915 departs Muroran escorting training ship SOYA. At 2217 arrives at Hachinohe.

20 March 1943:
At 0440 departs Hachinohe and at 1302 arrives back at Muroran.

24 March 1945:
At 0801 departs Muroran on a training mission and returns at 1726.

25 March 1945:
At 0550 departs Muroran on a ttraining mission and returns at 1310.

26 March 1943:
At 0455 departs Muroran and at 1551 arrives at Hachinohe.

27 March 1945:
At 1935 departs Hachinohe escorting training ship SOYA.

28 March 1943:
At 0913 arrives back at Muroran.

5 April 1945:
Departs Muroran on patrol.

6 April 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

11 April 1945:
Departs Ominato on patrol.

12 April 1945:
Arrives at Muroran.

14 April 1945:
Departs Muroran on an anti-submarine sweep.

19 April 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran and later that day departs port on a further anti-submarine sweep.

23 April 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

25 April 1945:
Departs Ominato.

27 April 1945:
Meets up and begins escorting a convoy.

28 April 1945:
Arrives at Muroran.

15 May 1945:
Departs Muroran escorting a convoy.

18 May 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

24 May 1945:
Departs Muroran on patrol and then escorts a convoy.

27 May 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

30 May 1945:
From Esan Misaki area meets up and escorts convoy No. 2530 southwest later handing over to sub-chaser CH-48.

15 August 1945:
War ends.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

3 October 1947:
Ceded to the USSR as a war reparation.

15 September 1947:
Tentatively assigned to the Fifth Fleet, Soviet Pacific Fleet.

5 July 1948:
Refurbished as target vessel and renamed TsL-28.

12 March 1955:
Refurbished as a repair vessel.

7 March 1986:
Stricken from the Soviet Navy list as the last vessel among the former Japanese war prizes, scrapped sometime after 10 June that year.


Authors' Note:
[1] It appears that W-23 departed the area before SHINRYU MARU ran into trouble.

Photo credit goes to Gakken via J. Ed Low. Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for general assistance. Thanks also to Mr. Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USa for assistance on identifying COs.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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