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

IJN Minesweeper W-30:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 5

Tokyo. Laid down at Ishikawajima Shipbuilding.

Launched and numbered W-30.

5 February 1944:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN. Lt Kubota Rikuzo (66) is the Commanding Officer.

1 March 1944:
At 1635, W-30 departs Moji for Takao, Formosa with destroyer AMAGIRI escorting convoy MOTA-07 consisting of TEIKA (ex French CAP VARELLA), YAMAHAGI, KONSAN, CHIYODA, SUGIYAMA, KENSEI, SARAWAK, HAKUROKU (HAKUSHIKA), RIKKO, ATAGO and NITTATSU MARUs.

4 March 1944:
MAESHIMA and destroyer ASAGAO join the escort of convoy MOTA-07 and probably LONDON MARU and two unidentified merchant ships (from MOTA-05).

7 March 1944:
HAKUROKU MARU falls behind with engine problems, but later catches up at 1620.

8 March 1944:
YAMAHAGI and TEIKA MARUs are detached for Kirun (Keelung), Formosa (Taiwan).

9 March 1944:
Arrives at Takao.

13 March 1944:
W-30 departs Takao escorting convoy TAMA-11 consisting of KONSAN, TOYOOKA, SUGIYAMA MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.

16 March 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

20 March 1944:
At 0630, W-30 departs Manila for Kau Bay, Halmahera Island, Moluccas with torpedo-boat HAYABUSA escorting convoy H-22 consisting of KUNIKAWA, SHINKYO, ATLAS, ANSHU, TOYOOKA, BENGAL, KURAMASAN and MITO MARUs.

23 March 1944:
Zamboanga Sea. At about 1530, auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 12 joins the escort and W-30 is detached.

1 May 1944:
At 1115 arrives at Balikpapan.

4 May 1944:
At 0740 departs Balikpapan.

6 May 1944:
At 1425 arrives at Davao.

9 May 1944:
At 0940 departs Davao.

10 May 1944:
At 1050 arrives at Zamboanga and departs there at 1600.

11 May 1944:
At 1340 arrives at Cebu.

14 May 1944:
At 0621 departs Cebu.

16 May 1944:
At 1635 arrives at Balikpapan.

23 May 1944:
At 0729 departs Balikpapan presumably escorting Naval tanker SHIOYA and tanker NASUSAN MARU.

24 May 1944:
At 0920, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from the CO of fleet oiler SHIOYA that reads: “From one hour commencing at 0713 we attacked an enemy submarine with the cooperation of planes in position 01-45N, 121-04E.” [1]

25 May 1944:
At 1445 arrives at Davao.

27 May 1944:
At 1954 departs Davao.

28 May 1944:
At 1654 returns to Davao.

28 June 1944:
W-30, submarine chaser CH-36 and Navy Landing Ship Transport T-127 arrive at Wasile.

1 July 1944:
At 0400 W-30, submarine chaser CH-36 and Navy Landing Ship Transport T-127 depart Kau for Davao.

25 July 1944:
At 0155, W-30 departs Davao for Zamboanga, Philippines with kaibokan CD-6, CD-16, subchasers CH-49, CH-58, auxiliary subchaser KYO MARU No. 12, auxiliary netlayer TOKACHI MARU, auxiliaries TOKO MARU and HIYODORI MARU No. 2 escorting convoy Z-258 consisting of AZUCHISAN, OYO, TATSUHARU, RYUKA and KITAGAMI MARUs and HISHI MARU No. 2, KYOEI MARU No. 2 and LST No. 127. The convoy is provided air cover.

27 July 1944:
At about 0100, LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen D. Claggett's (USNA ’35) USS DACE (SS-247) attacks the convoy and sinks tanker KYOEI MARU No. 2. Five crewmen are KIA. The escorts counterattack and drop 20 depth-charges, all unsuccessfully. At about 1400, the convoy is attacked by aircraft in the Pilas Channel, but suffers no damage. At 1830, the convoy arrives at Zamboanga.

5 August 1944:
At 0148, W-30 departs Davao for Zamboanga with auxiliary subchasers CHa-11 and KYO MARU No. 12 escorting the "TSURUMI convoy" consisting of Fleet oiler TSURUMI and cargo ships BINGO and OSEI MARUs.

S of Mindanao. At 1113, TSURUMI is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Edward F. Dissette’s (USNA ’34) USS CERO (SS-225) at 05-53N, 125-41E. In an underwater attack, Dissette fires six torpedoes and claims four hits. At 1130, TSURUMI capsizes and sinks in Davao Gulf. W-30 may also have suffered damage. The convoy reverses course back to Davao.

On 11 August FRUMEL provided the following information based from an intercepted message from W-30:
"Minesweeper No. 30 reported oiler TSURUMI torpedoed in 5-53N, 125-41E at 1113 on 5 August and in danger of sinking."

W-30 herself was apparently not damaged.

7 August 1944:
SHINSEI MARU joins the convoy that is renamed the "BINGO MARU" convoy. At 0853, the convoy departs Davao.

9 August 1944:
Arrives at Malalag, Davao Gulf. Subchaser CH-33 joins the escort.

11 August 1944:
The convoy departs Malalag. SHINSEI MARU is detached at 1800.

13 August 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Zamboanga.

14 September 1944:
At 1149 W-30 departs Balikpapan with patrol boat PB-2 escorting Navy oiler SHIRETOKO and Navy transport T-131.

20 September 1944:
At 1849 arrives at Bongao, Tawi Tawi.

22 September 1944:
At 0620 departs Bongao with patrol boat PB-2 escorting Naval oiler SHIRETOKO.

24 September 1944:
At 0627 anchors off Puerto Princesa. The ships are held there because of a large air-raid on Manila, the intended destination.

27 September 1944:
At 1750 departs Puerto Princesa for Manila but the damger of air attack forces the ships to return.

28 September 1944:
At 1732 arrives back at Puerto Princesa.

30 September 1944:
At 0454 departs Puerto Princesa to Taytay Bay, NE Palawan.

3 October 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

6 October 1944:
At 0929 PB-2 and Minesweeper No.30 depart Manila escorting Shiretoko Convoy consisting of Naval Oiler SHIRETOKO and tanker KYOEI MARU.

7 October 1944:
NW of Manila. At 0334, LtCdr (later Cdr) James A. Adkins' (USNA ’26) USS COD (SS-224) attacks SHIRETOKO by SJ radar. He fires four torpedoes on radar bearings and range and gets two hits at 13-30N, 119-20E. Later that day at 1706, arrives at Busuanga anchorage and stays there carrying out urgent repairs for the next five days.

12 October 1944:
At 0450 departs Busuanga. Later that day at 1713, arrives at Taytay Bay.

13 October 1944:
At 0525 departs Taytay Bay. Later that day, arrives at Puerto Princesa, Palawan Islands.

16 October 1944:
Departs Puerto Princesa. Later that day, arrives at Brookes Point.

17 October 1944:
Departs Brookes Point. Later that day, arrives at Banggi Island.

18 October 1944:
CH-56 joins the convoy as escort. Later that day, tanker SHUNTEN MARU and minesweeper W-105 also join the convoy. At 0602 departs Banggi Island.

19 October 1944:
At 2117 arrives at Kudat.

20 October 1944:
At 0642 departs Kudat. Later that day at 1734, arrives at Turtle Island.

21 October 1944:
At 1252 departs Turtle Island.

22 October 1944:
At 1712 arrives at Tarakan.

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

28 October 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

9 November 1944:Operation "TA No. 3" - The Reinforcement of Leyte:
In the early dawn, reinforcement convoy TA No. 3 departs Manila consisting of CELEBES, TAIZAN (ex-British ST. QUENTIN), MIKASA, SAIHO and TENSHO MARUs escorted by destroyers SHIMAKAZE, HAMANAMI, HATSUHARU, TAKE, W-30 and subchaser CH-46. The convoy is carrying 4,000 men, 6,000-tons of munitions and heavy equipment of the IJA's 26th Division to Leyte.

10 November 1944:
Sibuyan Sea. CELEBES MARU runs hard aground on outlying reefs of Luzon's Bondoc Peninsula and is left behind. CH-46 is detached to guard her until the homeward-bound TA No. 4 could remove her troops and crew.

11 November 1944:
As the convoy enters Ormoc Bay, Leyte, it is attacked by a total of 347 aircraft from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's (USNA ’12) (former CO of USS RANGER, CV-4) TG 38.1, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman’s (USNA ’10) (former CO of USS LEXINGTON, CV-2) TG 38.3 and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ralph E. Davison's TG 38.4's.

The planes sink Lt Kubota's W-30, destroyers HAMANAMI(63 sailors KIA), NAGANAMI (156 sailors KIA), SHIMAKAZE (F) (losses are uncertain but Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio (44) is KIA) and WAKATSUKI (losses are uncertain but Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Suzuki Yasuatsu (49) is KIA) and cargo ships MIKASA (72 crewmen and 47 troops KIA), SEIHO (86 crewmen and 44 troops KIA), TENSHO (76 crewmen and many troops KIA) and TAIZAN (65 crewmen and many troops KIA) MARUs at 10-50N, 124-31E. Of the 4,000 troops carried on the four transports only about 500 survive. American planes strafe and kill the survivors wading ashore who otherwise would still be able fighting men.

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List

Authors' Notes: :
[1] According to CNO analysts, W-30 was in company with SHIOYA.

Thanks go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for general assistance. Thanks also to Mr. Matthew Jones of USA for help in identifying the CO's. Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts.

Photo credit goes to Gakken via J. Ed Low.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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