W-21 (W-19 class) scanned from Gakken, V. 45
IJN Minesweeper W-41:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2008-2017 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
Osaka. Laid down at Fujinagata Shipbuilding & Engineering K. K.
Launched and numbered W-41.
17 July 1944:
Completed and registered in the IJN. At 1628 departs Osaka.
18 July 1944:
At 1215 arrives at Kure.
23 July 1944:
At 1120 departs Kure and at 1820 arrives at Saiki. Remains there beyond the end of the month.
18 August 1944:
Davao, Philippines. W-41 is assigned to the 32nd Special Base Force of the Southwest Area Fleet's Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet.
1 September 1944:
Mako, Pescadores. W-41 and W-20 and minelayer AOTAKA join the escort of convoy MI-17 that left Moji on 27 August consisting of tankers NITTETSU and SHIMOTSU MARUs, cargo ships BAIKAL, AMAHI, DAITEN, NORWAY, ARAOSAN, NICHIZUI, HOKUREI MARU, SHINYO MARU No. 8 and three unidentified ships escorted by destroyers SHIOKAZE and KURETAKE, kaibokan CD-18, minelayer YURISHIMA and W-17.
4 September 1944:
At 1000, the convoy departs Mako for Manila.
6 September 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Aparri, Luzon. W-17, W-20 and W-41 are detached as well as NORWAY, AMAHI, HOKUREI, BAIKAL, DAITEN, ARAOSAN and likely YOZAN MARUs.
21 September 1944:
At Manila during major USN aircraft air attack.
1 October 1944:
Reassigned to the 21st Minesweeper Division.
3 October 1944:
At 1830, W-41 departs Manila with minesweepers W-20, kaibokan CD-8 and subchaser CH-41 escorting convoy MATA-28 consisting of TACHIBANA, KOHOKU, HOKUREI, BUNZAN, SHOEI, HOKUSEN, TERUKUNI, HISHIGATA MARUs and SHINYO MARU No. 8 and fleet oiler KAMOI. At 0600, TACHIBANA MARU and KAMOI accompanied by kaibokan CD-8 are detached.
4 October 1944:
At 1908, arrives at Santa Cruz.
5 October 1944:
At 0630, departs Santa Cruz and at 1800, arrives at North San Fernando. W-41 is detached.
17 October 1944:
At 1700 W-41 departs Manila with kaibokan CD-6 and CD-16 escorting the Taihi (Refugee) convoy consisting of TOYOKAWA and SHUNSHO MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.
21 October 1944:
At 1530 arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.
24 October 1944:
At 1200 W-41 and kaibokan CD-6 depart Sana, Hainan Island escorting convoy YUTA-13 consisting of TOYOKAWA and SHUNSHO MARUs and four unidentified merchant ships.
26 October 1944:
At 1625, an enemy submarine is sighted at 18-00N, 113-24E.
27 October 1944:
At 1346, an enemy submarine is sighted at 21-00N, 114-04E.
29 October 1944:
At 1900 arrives at Takao.
3 November 1944:
10 November 1944:
Arrives at Takao.
15 November 1944:
Departs Takao with W-39 en route to Kirun.
19 November 1944:
W-39 and W-41 arrive back at Takao.
21 November 1944:
Departs Takao with auxiliary submarine chasers CHa-151, CHa-192, CHa-83, CHa-163, SHOWA MARU No. 2, and auxiliary patrol boats OYO MARU and KOCHI MARU.
22 November 1944:
The patrol vessels except for SHOWA MARU No. 2 and KOCHI MARU all arrive back at Takao. At 1200 W-41 arrives at nearby Saei.
25 November 1944:
Departs Takao with auxiliary patrol boat KOCHI MARU.
2 December 1944:
Arrives at Takao.
3 December 1944:
4 December 1944:
Arrives back at Takao.
5 December 1944:
W-39 and W-41 depart Takao to escort TAMA-35 convoy consisting of NISSHO, ORYOKU, ARIMASAN and KAZUURA MARUs escorted by kaibokan DAITO, CD-1, CD-34 and CD-134. Later that day anchors at Chechung.
6 December 1944:
At 0058 departs and at 1815 anchors at Port San Pio Quinto, Camiguin Island.
8 December 1944:
At 0502, departs Port San Pio Quinto. At 1411, anchors at Calayan Island.
9 December 1944:
At 0817, departs Calayan Island.
11 December 1944:
At 2000, arrives at Manila.
12 December 1944:
W-39 and W-41 arrive back at Takao, having probably detached prior to convoy's arrival at Manila.
13 December 1944:
W-39 and W-41 depart Takao.
18 December 1944:
Both escorts arrive back at Takao.
22 December 1944:
At 0718, W-41 departs Saei (Tsoying) Formosa with auxiliary AIKAWA MARU, auxiliary subchasers SHOWA MARU No. 2 and WAKATAKE MARU and auxiliary subchaser CHa-191 escorting convoy TAMA-36B consisting of TORAI, SONJO and HAKKA MARUs and small tanker NIPPO MARU No. 11. At 1709, the convoy anchors at Nanwan.
23 December 1944:
At 0648, departs Nanwan.
31 December 1944:
On that day, FRUMEL provides the following information:
"A group of 6 A/S craft under the orders of Minesweeper No. 41 was ordered on 30 Dec. to proceed to 21-00N. 121 __ E and destroy the Allied submarine which sank the destroyer KURETAKE and to pick up survivors."
24 December 1944:
At 0909, arrives at Basco Island, Batan Islands group. TORAI MARU and NIPPO MARU No. 11 are detached. At 1302, the remaining ships depart Basco. At 1405, they arrive at Camiguin Island and SONJO MARU and possibly the escorts are detached. HAKKA MARU departs at 1759 and is sunk by air attack on 1 January 1945 at San Fernando with the loss of 24 of her crew.
4 January 1945:
Kaiko, Kainan Island, Formosa. Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain’s (USNA ’06) Task Force 38’s planes attack and damage W-41. Later, she is beached near Takao.
21 January 1945:
At Kirun with other warships including torpedo boat TOMOZURU, Navy transports T-144 and T-115, Army transport SB-105 and auxiliary minesweeper SHONAN MARU No. 16 as well as auxiliary KIBI MARU when the port comes under attack from US Carrier aircraft. W-41 is berthed at Quay 15 with SB-105 and TOMOZURU but escapes damage.
14 February 1945:
W-41 departs Keelung with auxiliary subchaser MIYAKO MARU and possibly naval tug SHOHO MARU escorting convoy TAMO-43 consisting of NIKKO MARU and one unidentified merchant ship.
17 February 1945:
Arrives at Shanghai.
24 April 1945:
W-41 and W-39 depart Keelung, Formosa for Moji.
25 April 1945:
N of Keelung. At about 0100, LtCdr James A. Adkins' (USNA ’26) USS COD (SS-224) torpedoes and sinks W-41 at 26-10N, 121-30E. USS COD surfaces and picks up one POW.
According to USS COD’s own report, W-41 was hit at 0056 and went down around 0105. The badly injured survivor was one PO1C Arima, who provided the name of his vessel during the interrogation. USS COD’s report gives the location as 26-02N, 121-11.7E, measured less than an hour after the attack.
27 April 1945:
At 1430, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from W-39 that reads: “Reply to your serial 270826 [a request for information on W-41]: 1. Position of disaster 26-10N, 121-30E. 2. Survivors ----, Ensign --- and 76 enlisted men. Other details unknown.”
15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks go to John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France and Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for general assistance. 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.