(W-5 scanned from SOTW, v. 507)
IJN Minesweeper W-5:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2005-2017 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall
25 March 1928:
Tamano. Laid down at the Mitsui Co., Ltd. shipbuilding yard.
30 October 1928:
Launched and numbered W-5.
25 February 1929:
Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District.
1 November 1929:
Lt (Rear Admiral posthumously) Kitamura Masayuki (45) assumes command.
1 December 1930:
Lt Kitamura is promoted LtCdr.
12 October 1931:
An unknown officer assumes command.
1 December 1932:
Lt (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Isohisa Kenma (48) assumes command.
20 May 1933:
An unknown officer assumes command.
1 November 1933:
Lt (Rear Admiral posthumously) Shirahama Masashichi (49) assumes command.
15 November 1933:
Lt Shirahama is promoted LtCdr.
1 November 1934:
An unknown officer assumes command.
26 February 1937:
Lt (Rear Admiral posthumously) Kajiwara Masami (50) assumes command.
11 July 1938:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral posthumously) Tomita Sutezo (51) assumes command.
28 July 1938:
An unknown officer assumes command.
1 November 1941:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (37) South Expeditionary Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hiraoka Kumeichi's (39) (former CO of HIEI) 9th Base Force, both based at Camranh Bay, Indochina.
8 November 1941:
17 November 1941:
Arrives at Sana, Hainan Island.
1 December 1941:
At 1750 W-5 and W-6 depart Sana.
3 December 1941:
At 1430 both arrive at Camranh Bay, Indochina.
5 December 1941:
At 0630 depart Camranh Bay.
11 December 1941:
At 1129, W-5 and W-6 arrive off Singora, Siam (Thailand). Thereafter, supports the invasion.
1 January 1942:
At 2000 arrives at Singora.
5 January 1942:
At 0900 departs Singora.
7 January 1942:
At 1830 arrives at Kota Bharu.
11 January 1942:
At 1300 departs Kota Bharu.
12 January 1942:
At 1703 W-5 arrives at Pulo Condore Island, FIC.
26 January 1942:
At 0800 arrives at Endau.
27 January 1942: The Battle off Endau:
Singapore. LtCdr B. S. Davies' old WW1 destroyer HMS THANET and LtCdr W. T. A. Moran's HMAS VAMPIRE are dispatched to make a night attack on the troop tansports at Endau, about 80 miles N of Singapore. At 0237, approaching Endau, they engage a warship they take to be a destroyer, but actually is minesweeper W-1. HMAS VAMPIRE launches two torpedoes at W-1, but they miss. W-1 raises the alarm and the Allied destroyers continue towards Endau.
At 0318, HMAS VAMPIRE sights SHIRAYUKI to port and launches two torpedoes at her, but they miss. Then HMS THANET launches all four of her torpedoes, but also misses. Both Allied destroyers open fire with their 4-inch guns. SENDAI and SHIRAYUKI return fire. The Allied destroyers retire SE at maximum speed.
At about 0400, HMS THANET is hit in the engine and boiler rooms. Her speed falls off and an explosion wrecks the old destroyer. She goes dead in the water, lists heavily to starboard and begins to sink. HMAS VAMPIRE lays a smoke screen, but HMS THANET is attacked by FUBUKI, HATSUYUKI, ASAGIRI, AMAGIRI, YUGIRI and W-1. At 0415, HMS THANET sinks. HMAS VAMPIRE is undamaged and without casualties, but she has no chance to pick up survivors. She makes for Singapore arriving there at 1000.
Troop transports KANSAI MARU and CANBERRA MARU are damaged in the action. Later, SHIRAYUKI picks up 31 survivors from HMS THANET. They are never seen again.
28 January 1942:
At 0830 departs Endau with W-1 and at 1400 arrives at Kuantan.
Kaibokan SHIMUSHU receives a signal from Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (37) First Southern Expeditionary Fleet's flagship CHOKAI that orders the kaibokan to locate the wreck of British battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES sunk off Kuantan, Malaya by IJN aircraft on 10 December.
29 January 1942:
South China Sea, E of Malaya. SHIMUSHU, escorted by minesweepers W-1, W-2, W-3 and W-4, locates the wreck of British battlecruiser HMS REPULSE and marks it with a buoy.
30 January 1942:
At 0800 W-5 departs Kuantan to join above group.
1 February 1942:
SHIMUSHU reports locating the wreck of HMS PRINCE OF WALES at a depth of 60 meters. The site is marked with a buoy and the IJN ships are recalled.
12 February 1942: Operation "T" - The Invasions of Northern Sumatra and Sabang:
W-5 participates in the invasions of Banka and Palembang, Sumatra.
14 February 1942:
The ships arrive at Muntok.
15 February 1942:
The ships depart Muntok. W-4 and W-5 patrol off Muntok.
18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
W-4 is in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto's (39) (former CO of AOBA) 2nd Base Force's in Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Amano Shigetaka's (47)(former CO of KAGERO) MinesweepDiv 1 with W-5, W-1, W-2 and W-3 of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) Third Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East
21 February 1942:
Java. Conducts anti-submarine operations.
8 March 1942:
MinesweepDiv 1 and DesRon 3's DesDiv 10 and DesDiv 20 depart Singapore escorting four invasion transport ships to North Sumatra.
12 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Seizure of North Sumatra:
Sweeps for mines and covers troop landings at Kutaradja and Sabang.
13 March 1942:
W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 depart Sabang.
15 March 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Penang.
20 March 1942: Operation "D" - The Invasion of the Andaman Islands:
Conducts minesweeping prepatory to the invasion.
23 March 1942:
At 0200 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 arrive at Port Blair, Andamans.
27 March 1942:
At 0500 W-5 departs Port Blair.
31 March 1942:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.
10 April 1942:
At 1420 undocked at Seletar.
26 April 1942:
Conducts mine sweeping in the Singapore area.
20 May 1942:
Assigned to the Sasebo Naval District.
25 May 1942:
W-5 departs Singapore escorting convoy No. 603 consisting of nine unidentified merchant ships.
28 May 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.
7 June 1942:
At 1400 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 departs Mako escorting convoy No. 220 consisting of SHINYO MARU (4163 gt) and eleven unidentified merchant ships.
11 June 1942:
Arrives at Mutsure. W-3 and W-5 detach en route and both arrive at Sasebo at 1700.
23 June 1942:
At 0800 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all depart Sasebo on ASW patrol. At 1700 all four minesweepers arrive at Tamanoura, near Nagasaki.
27 June 1942:
At 0800 W-3 and W-5 both depart Tamanoura, returning there at 1230.
28 June 1942:
At 0800 W-3 and W-5 depart Tamanoura. At 1420 both arrive at Tomie.
29 June 1942:
At 0800 W-3 and W-5 depart Tomie. At 1420 both arrive at Sasebo.
1 July 1942:
At 1559 W-5, and a minute later W-3 depart Sasebo. Patrols the Okuma archipelago.
9 July 1942:
At 1224 W-5 alone arrives back at Sasebo.
11 July 1942:
At 0700 W-5 departs Sasebo alone. Later en route through the Inland Sea W-1 and W-3 join the vessel.
15 July 1942:
Assigned to the Osaka patrol unit. Conducts patrols in the Kii Straits area.
16 July 1942:
At 1555 W-1, W-3 and W-5 arrive at Yuranai.
8 August 1942:
At 0700 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all depart Yuranai.
10 August 1942:
At 1420 W-1 and W-3 arrive back at Yuranai. At 1450 W-4 and W-5 also arrive back at Yuranai.
27 August 1942:
At 0630 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 depart Yuranai, all arriving at Osaka between 1145 and 1203.
31 August 1942:
Reassigned to the Sasebo Naval District.
1 September 1942:
At 0800 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all depart Osaka together.
2 September 1942:
Between 1655 (W-5), 1713 (W-3), 1714 (W-4) and 1715 (W-1) all arrive back at Sasebo.
8 September 1942:
At 1537 W-5 alone departs Sasebo. Escorts a convoy.
15 September 1942:
At 1548 W-5 arrives back at Sasebo.
18 September 1942:
At 1800 W-3, W-4 and W-5 depart Sasebo. W-1 follows 5 minutes later.
20 September 1942:
Between 1236 and 1310 all four minesweepers arrive back at Sasebo.
21 September 1942:
At 0800 W-4 and W-5 both depart Sasebo.
27 September 1942:
At 0912 W-5 alone arrives at Sasebo.
28 September 1942:
At 0830 W-4 and W-5 both depart Sasebo.
29 September 1942:
At 1530 and 1532 respectively W-5 and W-4 arrive back at Sasebo.
5 October 1942:
At 1409 W-5, followed at 1425 by W-4, depart Sasebo. Patrols the Goto archipelago area.
13 October 1942:
Between 1515 and 1604 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all arrive back at Sasebo.
1 November 1942:
At 1206 W-5 departs Sasebo, followed three minutes later by W-4.
6 November 1942:
Between 1420 and 1452 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all arrive at Sasebo.
7 November 1942:
Between 1608 and 1613 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all depart Sasebo.
10 November 1942:
At 1510 W-5 arrives back at Sasebo alone.
11 November 1942:
At 0800 W-4 and W-5 depart Sasebo.
20 November 1942:
At 1505 and 1508 respectively W-5 and W-3 arrive back at Sasebo.
24 November 1942:
At 0800 W-3 and W-5 both depart Sasebo.
27 November 1942:
At 1612 W-5 departs Sasebo (W-1 and W-4 depart less than a hour later on what may have been a related mission).
30 November 1942:
Arrives back at Sasebo.
2 December 1942:
At 1508 departs Sasebo.
6 December 1942:
W-5 and W-3 meet up off Sasebo and begin escorting an unnumbered convoy consisting of KAGU and NANKAI MARUs bound for Rabaul.
7 December 1942:
At 1700, the minesweepers depart. KAGU and NANKAI MARUs proceed unescorted.
9 December 1942:
Between 1217 and 1335 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all arrive at Sasebo.
15 December 1942:
At 0857 W-5 departs Sasebo.
29 December 1942:
At 1448 arrives back at Sasebo.
7 January 1943:
At 0930 W-3 and W-5 depart Sasebo.
19 January 1943:
At 1424 W-4 arrives at Sasebo, followed at 1428 by W-5.
21 January 1943:
At 0625 W-5 departs Sasebo, followed at 0651 by W-4.
22 January 1943:
Between 1540 and 1645 W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all arrive at Sasebo.
27 January 1943:
At 0800 (except W-5 at 0758) W-1, W-3, W-4 and W-5 all depart Sasebo.
9 February 1943:
At 1845 arrives at Sasebo.
14 February 1943:
At 0800 W-1 and W-5 depart Sasebo.
23 February 1943:
At 1630 W-4 and W-5 both arrive back at Sasebo.
3 March 1943:
At 0900 W-5 departs Sasebo.
10 March 1943:
At 1630 W-1 and W-5 arrive at Sasebo.
15 March 1943:
At 0800 W-1 departs Sasebo, followed at 0829 by W-4 and at 0830 by W-5. Both W-1 and W-5 return to port at 1600.
21 March 1943:
At 1100 W-5 departs Sasebo.
1 April 1943:
Reassigned to the Yokosuka Guard Unit.
4 April 1943:
9 April 1943:
Departs Inland Sea in convoy No.8409 consisting of RYUA, KATSURAGISAN, TEISHO (ex German HAVENSTEIN), WAKATAKE, TAISHU, OYO MARUs, KYOEI MARU No. 5, SHINSEI MARU No. 18 and HAKUTETSU MARU No. 7 with W-5 as sole escort.
11 April 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
22 April 1943:
Departs Yokosuka. Escorts a convoy.
22 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Drydocked.
2 June 1943:
Lt Ichihashi Tsutomu assumes command.
1 December 1943:
Reassigned to Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Yamagata Seigo's (39)(former CO of ARIAKE) 4th Southern Expeditionary Fleet's Special Base Force 26.
21 December 1943:
At 1230 W-4 and W-5 depart Yokosuka.
23 December 1943:
At 0745 arrives at Kure.
25 December 1943:
At 0700 W-4 and W-5 depart Kure.
26 December 1943:
At 1030 both arrive at Moji.
29 December 1943:
At 1500, W-5, W-4 and destroyer ASAGAO depart Moji for Takao, Formosa escorting convoy No. 125 consisting of SEINAN, KOSHIN, TEIHOKU (ex French PERSEE), YAMAMIYA, KANAN, KENZUI, KAZUURA and KOKKO MARUs and three unidentified merchant ships.
4 January 1944:
At 0932, arrives at Takao.
6 January 1944:
At 0900, W-5, W-4 depart Takao to Manila and Halmahera Island, Moluccas escorting Rinji (Special) convoy "S" consisting of SEINAN, KOSHIN, YAMAMIYA and KAZUURA MARUs.
9 January 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Manila. SEINAN, KOSHIN and KAZUURA MARUs leave the convoy.
12 January 1944:
At 0952 W-5 and W-4 depart Manila for Halmahera escorting convoy H-13 consisting of YAMAMIYA and KAZUURA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5.
17 January 1944:
At 0704, arrives at Davao. SHINSEI MARU No. 5 leaves the convoy.
19 January 1944:
At 0900 departs Davao.
21 January 1944:
At 1230 arrives at Wasile, Halmahera.
25 January 1944:
At 1300 W-4 and W-5 departs Wasile escorting RAIZAN MARU.
27 January 1944:
At 1600 arrives at Ambon.
30 January 1944:
At 1915 W-4 and W-5 depart Ambon.
31 January 1944:
At 1600 W-4 and W-5 arrive back at Ambon.
1 February 1944:
At 0148 departs Ambon and heads towards Selat Boana (Boana Strait) and meets up with a convoy consisting of TACOMA, NANKA, TAISOKU MARUs, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and SHINSEI MARU No. 17. The convoy arrives back at Ambon later that day, apparently without W-5.
2 February 1944:
At 1033 arrives back at Ambon and departs from there at 2200 with minelayer WAKATAKA and auxiliary netlayer HINOKI MARU escorting ASAKA, CHUKA and CELEBES MARUs.
5 February 1944:
At 1623 arrives at Kau.
12 February 1944:
At 0700 departs Kau escorting ASAKA and CELEBES MARUs.
14 February 1944:
At 1600 arrives at Manokwari.
18 February 1944:
At 1750 departs Manokwari still escorting ASAKA and CELEBES MARUs.
19 February 1944:
At 1210 arrives at Bosnek, south-east Biak Island.
23 February 1944:
At 1553 departs Bosnek still escorting ASAKA and CELEBES MARUs.
25 February 1944:
At 1425 arrives at Sarmi.
28 February 1944:
At 1400 departs Sarmi still escorting ASAKA and CELEBES MARUs.
1 March 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Manokwari.
2 March 1944:
At 0600 departs Manokwari
4 March 1944:
At 1530 arrives at Wasile.
14 March 1944:
At 1730 departs Kau.
15 March 1944:
At 1000 arrives at Beo.
16 March 1944:
At 0930 arrives at Riung.
17 March 1944:
Transfers back to Beo.
19 March 1944:
At 0000 departs Beo and at 1800 arrives at Kau.
23 March 1944:
At 1400 departs Kau.
24 March 1944:
At 0830 arrives at Beo.
26 March 1944:
Presumed departs Beo and at the same day arrives back at Wasile.
28 March 1944:
At 0030 departs Wasile.
31 March 1944:
At 1030 arrives at Davao.
1 April 1944:
At 0045 W-5 departs Davao with W-30 and torpedo boat HAYABUSA (and foor a brief period submarine chaser CH-46) escorting part of convoy H-22 consisting of three ships of MITO, ATLAS, ANSHU, TOYOOKA, KURAMASAN MARUs.
3 April 1944:
At 1730 arrives at Kau, Halmahera.
6 April 1944:
At 0100 departs Kau.
9 April 1944:
At 1900 returns to Kau.
13 April 1944:
Departs Kau. Arrives at Wasile, Halmahera. At 2000 W-5, auxiliary minesweepers Wa-105 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 17 depart Wasili for Ambon, Moluccas escorting a convoy consisting of MITO, TENCHO and TATSUJU MARUs and HINO MARU No. 1.
16 April 1944:
At 0153, LtCdr Byron H. Nowell's (USNA ’35) USS PADDLE (SS-263) torpedoes and sinks HINO MARU No. 1. The ship is loaded with 45 air defence troops, a search light base and 2 AA guns. 19 of the troops and 19 crewmen are killed. At 0156, USS PADDLE torpedoes MITO MARU that sinks shortly thereafter. This time 280 troops, nine gunners and 29 crewmen are KIA. The escorts counterattack USS PADDLE, but without effect. Later that day the rest of the convoy arrives at Ambon.
22 April 1944:
27 April 1944:
Arrives at Wasile.
1 June 1944:
At 0900 departs Sorong escorting RYOCHI MARU.
2 June 1944:
At 2100 arrives at Wasile.
6 June 1944:
At 0400 departs Wasile escorting KANTO MARU.
8 June 1944:
At 0700 arrives at Sorong.
11 June 1944:
At 0600 departs Sorong with auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18 escorting a convoy consisting of KANTO, TOSHO, OYASHIMA and TATSUMATSU MARUs.
13 June 1944:
At 1845 arrives at Wasile.
16 June 1944:
At 0600 minesweeper W-5, 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.
19 June 1944:
Departs Wasile escorting BELGIUM, KANKYO, YUKI and MURORAN MARUs. This section later joins with the combined M-23 and M-24 convoy. Later returns to Wasile at 1000.
23 June 1944:
At 0750 departs Wasile escorting SHINTEN and YAMAMIYA MARUs with auxiliaries TONAN MARU and KAIO MARU No. 3 and two others unidentified.
25 June 1944:
At 0225 in position 03.27N 127.12E YAMAMIYA MARU was torpedoed and damaged by USS BASHAW. The ship is taken under tow by SHINTEN MARU.
29 June 1944:
At 1330 SHINTEN MARU and YAMAMIYA MARU arrive at Talaud Islands where the latter is run aground. At 2100 W-5 arrives at Davao.
3 July 1944:
At 0500 W-5 and submarine chaser CH-60, auxiliary submarine chaser KYO MARU No. 13 and auxiliary minesweeper YACHIYO MARU depart Davao in a convoy consisting of TATEBE (KEMBU) and TATSUYASU MARUs. The latter two auxiliaries are detached at an unknown place and time.
8 July 1944:
At 2000 arrives at Kau.
11 July 1944:
At 0900, W-5 and subchaser CH-60 depart Kau, Halmahera Island escorting M-26 convoy consisting of HAMBURG, NARUO (ex Panamanian ESTERO), CLYDE, CHINKAI MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5.
13 July 1944:
At 1830, the convoy arrives Bitung NE Celebes.
16 July 1944:
At 0730, W-5, W-8 and CH-60 depart Bitung escorting a convoy consisting of CELEBES, TAIAN, TAIKAI and TOYO MARUs. At some point, W-5 is detached for Halmahera Island.
19 July 1944:
At noon, coast defense vessel CD-53 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18 depart Kau, Halmahera escorting a convoy consisting of TATSUYASU MARU.
20 July 1944:
At 1600 W-5 and convoy from Bitung arrive at Ambon.
21 July 1944:
W-5 departs Ambon and meets up with incoming Kau convoy.
24 July 1944:
At 1645, the convoy arrives at Ambon.
27 July 1944:
At 0830 departs Ambon escorting SHOEI MARU (1986 gt).
1 August 1944:
At 0200 arrives at Kau.
6 August 1944:
At 1500, W-5, auxiliary minesweepers Wa-3 and Wa-104 and auxiliary NITTO MARU No. 18. depart Kau, Halmahera escorting a convoy consisting of SHOEI (1986 gt) and TOSHO MARUs (1289 gt).
11 August 1944:
At 1500, the convoy arrives at Ambon.
15 August 1944:
At 1500 departs Ambon.
18 August 1944:
At 0450 arrives at Ambon.
24 August 1944:
At 1430 departs Ambon.
27 August 1944:
At 1630 arrives at Staring Bay.
28 August 1944:
At 0700 departs Staring Bay.
30 August 1944:
At 1700 arrives at Macassar.
7 September 1944:
Arrives at Surabaya.
19 September 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.
1 October 1944:
Reassigned to Vice Admiral Tayui Minoru's (39)(former CO of HYUGA) 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet's 10th Base Force.
3 October 1944:
11 October 1944:
29 October 1944:
Departs Singapore on transport duty.
1 November 1944:
Arrives at Pangkalan Susu from Belawan.
4 November 1944:
At 0500 departs Pangkalan Susu. Malacca Strait. Lt. R.H.H. Brunner's Royal Navy submarine HMS TERRAPIN torpedoes and sinks W-5 at 03-44N, 99-50E.
10 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Photo credit goes to Ships of the World (SOTW) via J. Ed Low. Thanks for general assistance go to Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia and Mr. Gilbert Casse of France.
-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.