SOKAITEI!

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

IJN Minesweeper W-23:
Tabular Record of Movement

2009-2015 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 7


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.

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.

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.

6 June 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

8 June 1944:
At 0900 W-23 departs Wakkanai escorting tanker KAMITSU MARU to Okha.

11 June 1944:
W-23 arrives at Odomari.

13 June 1944:
Departs Odomari escorting a convoy.

17 June 1944:
Returns to Odomari and departs later that day on patrol.

19 June 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

20 June 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

22 June 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

23 June 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

25 June 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

26 June 1944:
W-23 escorts KARAFUTO MARU in Sea of Okhotsk or southern Kuriles area.

28 June 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

29 June 1944:
Departs Wakkanai.

30 June 1944:
W-23 escorts tanker KAMITSU MARU to Odomari.

1 July 1944:
At 1800 arrives at Odomari.

2 July 1944:
At 1950 departs Wakkanai escorting convoy KI-203 consisting of KOKAI, MIHO and JUICHISEI (HOSHI MARU No. 11) MARUs escorted by kaibokan NOMI, minesweeper W-23 and auxiliary minesweeper FUKUEI MARU No. 7. The convoy is bound for Iwami Hama, Araito Jima.

5 July 1944:
W-23 arrives at Odomari.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

11 July 1944:
W-23 departs Otaru with destroyer NOKAZE and subchaser CH-15 escorting convoy RA-303 consisting of tankers MANJU, MITSU and HAKUEI MARUs.

13 July 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai, northern Hokkaido and at 2000 departs.

E 17 July 1944:
At latitude 50N, both W-23 and CH-15 are detached while the rest of the ships proceed to Okha.

18 July 1944:
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 0200 arrives at Toro.

24 July 1944:
Departs Toro escorting a convoy.

26 July 1944:
Arrives at Ominato.

1 August 1944:
Departs Ominato on patrol.

2 August 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

5 August 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

8 August 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

11 August 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

14 August 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

16 August 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

18 August 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

21 August 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

24 August 1944:
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 EISHIN and HAKUSHU MARUs and two unidentified Marus.

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

4 September 1944:
Arrives at Odomari.

7 September 1944:
Departs Odomari on patrol.

8 September 1944:
Arrives back at Odomari.

14 September 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

17 September 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

19 September 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

21 September 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

23 September 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

26 September 1944:
Departs Wakkanai on patrol.

29 September 1944:
Arrives at Wakkanai.

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

11 October 1944:
Both W-23 and W-24 depart Kashiwabara escorting a convoy then undertake (separate?) patrols.

13 October 1944:
At 0100 W-23 arrives at Shikuka.

15 October 1944:
At 1415 W-23 departs Wakkanai escorting KYODO MARU No. 13 to Shikuka, Karafuto.

18 October 1944:
Both W-23 and W-24 together escort a convoy, probably from Shikuka.

22 October 1944:
W-23, W-24 and the convoy arrive at Wakkanai.

4 November 1944:
W-23 and W-24 depart Odomari escorting a convoy.

6 November 1944:
The convoy arrives at Uruppu (Urup).

9 November 1944:
W-23 and W-24 depart Uruppu escorting a convoy.

11 November 1944:
The convoy arrives at Abashiri.

14 November 1944:
W-23 and W-24 depart Abashiri on patrol.

16 November 1944:
Both arrive at Wakkanai.

20 November 1944:
W-23 departs Wakkanai on patrol.

23 November 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

26 November 1944:
W-23 departs Wakkanai on patrol.

29 November 1944:
Arrives back at Wakkanai.

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 Muroran.

2 February 1945:
Departs Muroran on patrol.

4 February 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

5 February 1945:
Departs Muroran on patrol.

6 February 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

8 February 1945:
Departs Muroran on patrol.

11 February 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

12 February 1945:
Departs Muroran escorting a convoy.

13 February 1945:
Arrives back at Muroran.

14 February 1945:
Departs Muroran.

15 February 1945:
Arrives at Ominato.

26 February 1945:
Departs Ominato.

27 February 1945:
At 1200 departs Yokohama escorting newly completed rail ferry SEIKAN MARU No. 9 en route to Aomori. Late that evening after departing SEIKAN MARU No. 9 runs aground off Katsuura, Chiba Ken and is later declared a total loss.

28 February 1945:
W-23 arrives at Muroran.

3 March 1943:
Departs Muroran escorting a convoy.

4 March 1943:
Arrives back at Muroran.

6 March 1943:
Departs Muroran escorting a convoy.

10 March 1943:
Arrives back at Muroran.

18 March 1943:
Departs Muroran escorting training ship SOYA.

20 March 1943:
Arrives back at Muroran.

24 March 1943:
Departs Muroran escorting training ship SOYA.

28 March 1943:
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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