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

IJN Minesweeper W-28:
Tabular Record of Movement

2005-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 6

Kure Navy Yard. Laid down.

Launched and numbered W-28.

28 June 1943:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN. Lt Umino Yasushi is the CO.

8 August 1943:
At 1200 departs Yokosuka alone.

10 August 1943:
At 0700 arrives at Chichijima.

11 August 1943:
At 0600 departs Chichijima alone.

13 August 1943:
At 1300 arrives at Saipan.

15 August 1943:
At 1200 departs Saipan alone.

17 August 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Truk.

18 August 1943:
At 1800 departs Truk alone.

21 August 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Rabaul.

23 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

25 August 1943:
At 0400 arrives at Shortland. At 1630 departs Shortland.

26 August 1943:
At 1615 arrives at Rabaul.

28 August 1943:
At 1100 W-28 and CH-24 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy consisting of CHOHO MARU and RYOYU MARU No.21. [1]

30 August 1943:
At 1400 W-28 is detached and goes to assist CH-10 that has been attacked and damaged by American aircraft. At 1900 rejoins the convoy.

31 August 1943:
At 0530 arrives at Shortland.

2 October 1943:
Kavieng Bay, New Ireland, Bismarcks. W-28 is damaged by a mine at 02-36S, 150-34E. Thereafter, undergoes repairs at undetermined locations. [2]

10 November 1943:
Near Dewate Island. W-28, supply ship HAYASAKI and auxiliary subchaser CHa-28 assist in refloating cargo ship NIKKEI MARU off a reef.

2 December 1943:
At 0600, W-28 departs Chichi-jima for Yokosuka with patrol boat PB-46 escorting a convoy consisting of SANKISAN and HINODE MARUs.

4 December 1943:
Tokyo Bay. Arrives at Tateyama.

5-6 December 1943:
At 2350, departs Tateyama. Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, W-28 and W-20 depart Tokyo with destroyers HOKAZE, YUNAGI, UZUKI, kaibokan MIYAKE and CD-6, minelayers SARUSHIMA, KYOSAI and YURISHIMA and subchasers CH-10 and CH-12 escorting convoy "Higashi-Matsu No. 6" consisting of AWAJI, HAKUBA, KATSUKAWA, TAKAOKA, BATAVIA, AWA and HOKUSHIN MARUs bound for Saipan, CHOAN MARU No. 2 and MIKAGE MARU No. 1 bound for Truk, JOKUJA, BISAN and JINSAN MARUs bound for Palau, KAMISHIMA and SHOZAN MARUs bound for Woleai, INARI and TONEGAWA MARUs bound for Guam and TATSUAKI and TAMAHOKO MARUs bound for Chichi-Jima.

23 April 1944:
At 0600, arrives at Saipan.

3 June 1944:
W-28, submarine chasers CH-41 and CH-46 and kaibokan CD-3 depart Manila escorting convoy H-28 consisting of GENKAI, ATSUTA, HINODE, TSUKUBASAN, KANKYO, YUKI and PACIFIC MARUs.

13 June 1944:
At 1200 arrives at Kau.

16 June 1944:
At 0600 minesweepers W-5 and W-28, submarine chasers CH-41 and CH-46 and kaibokan CD-3 depart Kau for Manila escorting joint convoy M-23 and M-24 consisting of GENKAI, ATSUTA, HINODE, TSUKUBASAN, BELGIUM, TEIYU (Ex Italian CARIGNANO), MURORAN, KANKYO, YUKI and PACIFIC MARUs.

17 June 1944:
Arrives at Menado where W-5 and the M-23 section of three ships (including YUKI MARU) are detached.

3 July 1944:
At 2000, convoy MOMA-01 consisting of KASHII, TAMATSU, TOSAN, NISSHO, MAYASAN, MIZUHO, and NICHIRAN MARU. departs Moji escorted by destroyer HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-11, CD-20, CD-26, CD-28 and subchaser CH-28.

7 July 1944:
Manila. Auxiliary cruiser GOKOKU MARU bunkers W-28.

9 July 1944:
MOMA-01 departs Keelung. W-28 and passenger-cargo ship ARABIA MARU may have joined the convoy at this point.

10 July 1944:
Davao. Auxiliary cruiser GOKOKU MARU bunkers W-28.

12 July 1944:
At 0720, LtCdr Harold E. Ruble's (USNA 33) USS PIRANHA (SS-389) torpedoes and sinks transport NICHIRAN MARU carrying elements of IJA's 5th Field Heavy Artillery and 58th Independent Mixed Brigade, at 18-50N 122-50E. 15 crewmen, one gunner and 1,238 troops are KIA. The convoy seeks shelter in Aparri port.

18 July 1944:
At 1800, the convoy arrives at Takao.

25 July 1944:
At 0400, W-28 and destroyers AKIKAZE, HATSUSHIMO and TSUGA depart Manila for Takao escorting convoy MAMO-01 that includes escort carrier KAIYO and transports GOKOKU and ASAMA MARUs.

27 July 1944:
At 1400, arrives at Takao.

29 July 1944:
At 0500, W-28, W-39, destroyer SHIOKAZE, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, subchaser CH-55 and auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU depart Takao, Formosa for Miri, Borneo escorting convoy MI-11 consisting of EIKYU, YOSHINO, KOEI, TAKETOYO, MIHO, MANKO, ENOSHIMA, HACHIJIN, DAKAR, FUSO, SHICHIYO, HARIMA, AYAYUKI, AYAKUMO, TEIRITSU (ex-French liner LECONTE DE LISLE) and FUKUJU MARUs and OGURA MARU No. 1 [1]

31 July 1944:
Luzon Strait. A wolfpack patrols the Strait under Captain (later Rear Admiral) Lewis S. Parks (USNA 25). It consists of LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/MOH/COMSUBLANT) Lawson P. Ramage's (USNA 31) USS PARCHE (SS-384)(F), LtCdr (later Captain) David L. Whelchel's (USNA 30) USS STEELHEAD (SS-280) and LtCdr John C. Martin's (USNA 34) USS HAMMERHEAD (SS-364).

280 miles NNW of Cape Mayraira, Luzon. At 0332, LtCdr Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks KOEI MARU. About the same time, oiler OGURA MARU No. 1 is hit by a torpedo, but does not sink. At 0340, Ramage torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) YOSHINO MARU. She carries down 2,442 soldiers, 18 naval gunners and 35 sailors and a cargo of ammunition. At 0420, Whelchel's USS STEELHEAD torpedoes DAKAR MARU, but she does not sink. At 0455, Whelchel torpedoes and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) FUSO MARU. She takes down 1,384 troops and crewmen and a cargo of 36 railway carriages and 1,120-tons of other military supplies. At 0514, Ramage's USS PARCHE torpedoes and sinks MANKO MARU. She carries down several hundred naval personnel and crewmen and a cargo of ammunition. [3][4]

3 August 1944:
At 1730, the remainder of MI-11 arrives at Manila where it is reorganized.

7 August 1944:
At 1900, W-28, kaibokan SHIMUSHU, CD-26 and subchaser CH-55 depart Manila for Miri, Borneo escorting reconstituted convoy MI-11 that now consists of TAKETOYO, MIHO, ENOSHIMA, HACHIJIN, SHICHIYO, AYAYUKI, AYAKUMO and TEIRITSU MARUs joined by MISAKI MARU.

12 August 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

15 August 1944:
At 0550, W-28 and subchaser CH-46 depart Manila for Cebu, Philippines escorting convoy H-33 consisting of MEXICO, HAVRE, KOKUZAN, HACHIJIN, OLYMPIA, MISAKI, CHINZEI, TOYO and IGA MARUs.

17 August 1944:
Arrives at Cebu. OLYMPIA, MISAKI, CHINZEI, TOYO and IGA MARUs are detached.

18 August 1944:
W-28 and subchaser CH-46, joined by patrol boat PB-105 (ex-Philippines customs cruiser ARAYAT), depart Cebu for Zamboanga, Philippines escorting convoy H-33 now consisting of MEXICO, KOKUZAN, HACHIJIN and HAVRE MARUs.

21 August 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga. KOKUZAN and HACHIJIN MARUs are detached. At 0850, the remainder of the convoy departs for Jolo, Philippines joined by subchaser CH-31.

24 August 1944:
Arrives at Jolo.

27 August 1944:
W-28, subchasers CH-31, CH-46 and patrol boat PB- 105 depart Jolo for Menado, Celebes escorting convoy H-33 now consisting of MEXICO and HAVRE MARUs.

29 August 1944:
N of Celebes. At 0225, LtCdr Arthur E. Krapf's (USNA 34) USS JACK (SS-259) makes a radar-assisted surface attack on the convoy. Krapf torpedoes and sinks MEXICO MARU carrying 4,041 Communications Troops of the 26th Regiment and Reserve troops and loaded with 1,000-tons coal, 3,246-tons general goods and also 1,600-tons rice, 1,000 cans filled with heavy oil or concentrated sulphuric acid, 103 cans filled with gasoline, 200-tons charcoal, 8-tons yellow gunpowder, 1,000-tons clothing and 19 motor vehicles, at 02-15N, 122-29E. 826 of 4,020 troops and 22 crew are KIA.

At about 0400, Krapf makes another surface attack on the convoy. He fires nine torpedoes by radar bearings of which three hit and sink W-28 at 02-15N, 123-29E. No counterattacks are made and USS JACK safely departs the scene. All but three of W-28's crew are lost.

10 October 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] The inclusion of CH-24 in this convoy is not corroborated by that vessel's TROM. It could possibly be CH-22 shown on patrol at this time.

[2] The minefield was laid by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Creed C. Burlingame's (USNA 27) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) on 4 June 1943. W-28 was probably repaired at Rabaul and later in Japan.

[3] For his actions in the Luzon Strait that night, Ramage was awarded the Medal of Honor.

[4] Both USS PARCHE and USS STEELHEAD received 1/2 credit for sinking YOSHINO MARU.

Photo credit goes to Gakken via J. Ed Low. Thanks to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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