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

IJN Minesweeper W-28:
Tabular Record of Movement

2005-2015 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 7

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 1435 departs Yokosuka alone.

10 August 1943:
At 0730 arrives at Chichijima.

11 August 1943:
At 0608 departs Chichijima alone.

13 August 1943:
At 1345 arrives at Saipan.

15 August 1943:
At 1200 departs Saipan alone.

17 August 1943:
At 1120 arrives at Truk.

19 August 1943:
At 0411 departs Truk alone.

21 August 1943:
At 1507 arrives at Rabaul. Coaled by ASAKAZE MARU.

23 August 1943:
At 1600 departs Rabaul carrying 127 passengers.

25 August 1943:
At 0935 arrives at Buin. At 1637 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]

29 August 1943:
At 1427 arrives at Buka.

30 August 1943:
At 0438 departs Buka. 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 0538 arrives at Shortland.

1 September 1943:
At 1958 departs Tonolei.

2 September 1943:
At 0704 arrives at Tonolei.

3 September 1943:
At 1700 departs Tonolei escorting NISSEN MARU No. 3.

4 September 1943:
At 1240 arrives at Buka. At 1640 departs Buka.

5 September 1943:
At 0130 a large enemy aircraft drops five bombs on the convoy causing only minor damage. At 1730 arrives at Rabaul.

7 September 1943:
At 1230 departs Rabaul escorting Army transport BUNZAN MARU and Naval transport HINO MARU No. 5.

9 September 1943:
At 0300 arrives at Tonolei.

10 September 1943:
At 1654 departs Tonolei escorting KYOSEI MARU.

11 September 1943:
At 0834 arrives at Buka. At 1930 attacked by a Boeing B-17 without damage.

12 September 1943:
At 0049 KAMI MARU joins the convoy and at 0105 departs Buka and at 2300 arrives at Rabaul.

17 September 1943:
At 0600 W-28 departs Rabaul on a training exercise but returns at 1500.

19 September 1943:
At 0300 W-26 and W-28 depart Rabaul. At 1630 arrive at Kavieng. Undertake minesweeping activities (after SEIKAI MARU was mined).

24 September 1943:
At 0429 W-26 and W-28 depart Kavieng and at 1615 arrive at Rabaul.

28 September 1943:
At 0400 W-26 and W-28 depart Rabaul and at 1600 arrive at Kavieng.

1 October 1943:
At 0704 departs Kavieng but at 1702 returns to port.

2 October 1943:
Edmago Strait, Kavieng Bay, New Ireland, Bismarcks. While awaiting arrival of YAMAFUKU MARU from Rabaul, at 1130 W-28 is damaged by a magnetic mine at 02-36S, 150-34E. At 1710 arrives back at Kavieng. Thereafter, undergoes repairs. [2]

15 October 1943:
At 0406 departs Kavieng. At 2105 arrives at Rabaul and anchors alongside repair ship YAMABIKO MARU for repairs.

27 October 1943:
At Rabaul still under repair. At 1234 coals from Navy oiler NARUTO.

28 October 1943:
At 1030 takes on coal and fresh water from NARUTO before returning to Rabaul port at 1402.

10 November 1943:
Near Dewate Island auxiliary gunboat NIKKEI MARU tuns aground on a reef.

11 November 1943:
At 1630 W-28 departs Rabaul and together with supply ship HAYASAKI and auxiliary subchaser CHa-28 are sent to assist.

17 November 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Truk.

18 November 1943:
At 1000 W-28 departs Truk escorting a convoy possibly containing SANKISAN and HINODE MARUs.

21 November 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Saipan.

22 November 1943:
At 0800 departs Saipan.

25 November 1943:
At 0930 arrives at Chichi-jima.

27 November 1943:
At 0800 departs Chichi-Jima.

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.

6 December 1943:
Departs Tateyama. At 0923 arrives at Yokosuka.

28 December 1943:
At 0900 drydocked at Yokohama.

January-March 1944:
Under repairs at Yokohama.

5 April 1944:

9 April 1944:
Transfers from Yokohama to Yokosuka.

13 April 1944:
Transfers from Yokosuka to Kisarazu.

15 April 1944:
At 0600, W-28 and W-20 depart Kisarazu, 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.

29 April 1944:
Departs Saipan escorting a convoy to Mereyon consisting of TONEGAWA MARU (and possibly INARI MARU).

1 May 1944:
Arrives at Guam.

2 May 1944:
At 2200 departs Guam.

4 May 1944:
At 0700 arrives at Mereyon.

5 May 1944:
At 0600 departs Mereyon.

9 May 1944:
At 1400 arrives back at Saipan.

10 May 1944:
Departs Saipan and patrols Tinian Strait.

11 May 1944:
At 1600 arrives back at Saipan.

25 May 1944:
At 0800 departs Saipan for Yap escorting a convoy.

28 May 1944:
At 1400 arrives at Yap and departs alone at 1600.

2 June 1944:
At 1100 arrives at Cebu.

3 June 1944:
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.

5 June 1944:
At 0900 off Cebu, W-28 meets up with the convoy.

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 which ultimately consists of GENKAI, ATSUTA, HINODE, TSUKUBASAN, BELGIUM, TEIYU (Ex Italian CARIGNANO), MURORAN, KANKYO, YUKI and PACIFIC MARUs. The identities of the ships that actually departed Wasile at this time are unclear.

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

21 June 1944:
At 0700 W-28 departs Manila escorting a convoy.

27 June 1944:
Arrives at Halmahera.

29 June 1944:
Departs Halmahera for Morotai Island.

2 July 1944:
At 2400 arrives at Halmahera.

4 July 1944:
At 0700 departs Halmahera escorting a convoy.

6 July 1944:
Arrives at Sangihe Islands and departs later that day. The convoy sails via Zamboanga.

7 July 1944:
Manila. Auxiliary cruiser GOKOKU MARU bunkers W-28.[NB conflict with TROM]

10 July 1944:
Davao. Auxiliary cruiser GOKOKU MARU bunkers W-28.[NB conflict with TROM]

11 July 1944:
At 0900 arrives at Manila.

12 July 1944:
Departs Manila escorting a convoy.

15 July 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

17 July 1944:
Departs Davao escorting a convoy.

19 July 1944:
Arrives at Cebu and departs later that day.

21 July 1944:
Arrives at Davao.

22 July 1944:
W-28 departs Davao escorting a convoy.

24 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

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. At some unknown point W-28 is detached.

10 August 1944:
W-28 arrives back at Manila.

12 August 1944:
Convoy MI-11 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 partially 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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