SOKAITEI!

(W-7 class minesweeper scanned from SOTW, V. 507)

IJN Minesweeper W-7:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2013 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 7


27 October 1937:
Tamano shipyard. Laid down at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding's yard.

16 June 1938:
Launched and numbered W-7.

25 December 1938:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District.

1 June 1941:
W-7 is assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet's 1st Base Force in MineSweepDiv 21 with W-8, W-9, W-10, W-11 and W-12.

21 September 1941:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kitamura Masayuki (45) assumes command of MineSweepDiv 21.

27 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

4 December 1941:
Arrives at Peleliu, Palau.

8 December 1941:
At 0800, departs Peleliu in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji's (38) (former CO of SUZUYA) Fourth Surprise Attack Unit.

12 December 1941:
At 1200, arrives off Legaspi, Philippines. Participates in its capture.

17 December 1941: The Invasion of Miri, Borneo:
W-7 and W-8 provide cover for the invasion with cruisers KUMANO and SUZUYA, light cruisers YURA and KINU, seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, DesDiv 11's FUBUKI, DesDiv 12's SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO and SHINONOME and DesDiv 20's SAGIRI and a few subchasers. In the darkness, SHINONOME completes escorting W-7 and troop transport HIYOSHI MARU to the landing site.

Just after dawn, steaming alone off shore, SHINONOME is attacked by Dutch Dornier Do-24 K-1 flying-boat X-32 of Aircraft Group GVT-7 based at Tarakan, E Borneo. Of five 200-kg bombs she drops, X-32 scores two direct hits and a near-miss. An explosion severs SHINONOME's stern and she sinks quickly with all hands - the first FUBUKI-class destroyer sunk in WWII. The invasion force goes ashore almost unopposed at Miri, Seria and Lutong. The 2,500 men of MajGen Kawaguchi Kiyotake's "Kawaguchi Detachment" and the Yokosuka No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) quickly capture Miri's airfield and oil fields.

19 December 1941:
W-7 and W-8 escort a convoy to Lamon Bay, Philippines. Conducts minesweeping before amphibious operations.

24 December 1941:
At 2020 W-7 and W-8 arrive Lamon Bay.

26 December 1941:
At 1000 W-7 and W-8 depart Lamon Bay.

31 December 1941:
At 1400 W-7 and W-8 arrive at Davao.

7 January 1942:
At 0430 MineSweepDiv 21's W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 depart Davao and at 0900 arrive at nearby Magunaga Bay.

9 January 1942: Operation "H" - The Invasion of Celebes, Netherlands East Indies:
MineSweepDiv 21's W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 depart Magunaga Bay in Rear Admiral Kubo's 1st Base Force with light cruiser NAGARA, SubChasDiv 1's CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3 and patrol boats P-1, P-2, P-34 escorting eight transports of the Menado, Celebes Seizure convoy carrying Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's (40)(former CO of SATA) Sasebo No. 1 Combined SNLF.

11 January 1942: The Invasion of Menado, Celebes Dutch East Indies:
Rear Admiral Kuboís 1st Base Force with MineSweepDiv 21, NAGARA, patrol boats and SubChasDiv 1ís CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3 provides escort for the Menado invasion force of eight transports carrying Captain Mori's Sasebo No. 1 Combined SNLF.

At 0300, the SNLF lands on Kema, Celebes. At 0400, they land on Menado. Later, 334 men of Cdr (later Captain) Horiuchi Toyoaki's (50) (later XO of TAKAO) Yokosuka No. 1 SNLF (Air) are dropped successfully from Mitsubishi G3M1-L Nell converted transport aircraft in the Menado-Kema area. The paratroops seize Langoan airfield.

At 0700 W-7 and W-8, followed shortly after by the reest of MineSweepDiv 21's vessels arrive at Banka anchorage.

20 January 1942:
At 1800 MineSweepDiv 21 (less W-12) departs Banka.

21 January 1942:
Escorts the Kendari invasion convoy and conducts minesweeping.

23-24 January 1942: The Invasion of Kendari, Celebes:
MineSweepDiv 21ís W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12, DesRon 10ís light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 15ís HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16ís TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, and Subchaser Div 1ís CH-1 and CH-2 escort Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyujiís (38) Kendari Invasion Force under consisting of six troop transports carrying Captain Moriís Sasebo Combined SNLF. The 11th Seaplane Tender Divisionís CHITOSE and MIZUHO provide distant support.

29 January 1942:
Departs Staring Bay (Kendari), Celebes. Escorts the Ambon, Moluccas Seizure convoy.

31 January 1942: The Invasion of Ambon Island, Moluccas, Netherlands East Indies:
MineSweepDiv 21ís W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 escort the convoy thatincludes ten transports carrying 820 men of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hatakeyama Koichiro's (39)(former CO of KINUGASA) Kure No. 1 SNLF, elements of the Sasebo SNLF and the 228th Infantry Regiment, The convoy is also escorted by Rear Admiral (USNA í35) Tanaka Raizo's (41) DesRon 2ís light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 8ís ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 15ís HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16ís TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE and SubChasDiv 1ís CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3. Seaplane carriers CHITOSE and MIZUHO arrive at Ceram and provide air cover for the invasion convoy.

3 February 1942:
At 2400 MineSweepDiv 21's W-7 and W-8 depart Ambon for Staring Bay.

5 February 1942:
At 0800 arrives at Kendari.

6 February 1942: The Invasion of Makassar, Celebes:
At 2100 MineSweepDiv 21's W-7 and W-8 depart Staring Bay escorting the Makassar Occupation Force consisting of six troop transports carrying Captain Moriís Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) also escorted by NAGARA, DesDiv 8ís ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 15ís HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 21ís WAKABA, HATSUSHIMO and NENOHI and SubChasDiv 2ís CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro's (38) (former CO of FUSO) CarDiv 11's CHITOSE, MIZUHO and SANUKI MARU provide distant support.

9 February 1942:
Makassar Strait. During the landing of the Sasebo Combined SNLF invasion force, DesDiv 15's NATSUSHIO is torpedoed and sunk by Lt (later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey's (USNA í31) old submarine USS S-37. NATSUSHIO is only loss suffered by the IJN in the action.

11 February 1942:
Escorts the Kupang, Timor Seizure convoy.

14 February 1942:
At 0600 W-7 and W-8 depart Makassar.

17 February 1942:
At 0800, nine transports carrying the 228th Infantry Regiment and men of the Yokosuka No. 3 SNLF depart Ambon for Kupang, Dutch Timor. Light cruiser JINTSU provides close escort with the No. 2 Escort Unit's DesDiv 7's USHIO and SAZANAMI, DesDivs 15, 16 and DesDiv 24's UMIKAZE.

18 February 1942:
MineSweepDiv 21's W-7 and W-8, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE and YAMAKAZE and a subchaser depart Ambon for Dili, Portugese Timor escorting a second convoy of five transports and fast transports (converted destroyers) P-1, P-2 and the P-34. CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, DesDiv 6's INAZUMA and IKAZUCHI and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO provide distant cover. Air cover is provided by seaplane carrier MIZUHO.

19 February 1942:
That night, both convoys arrive off Timor. Operating as part of the American-British-Dutch-Australian ABDA FLOAT, the U. S. Asiatic Fleet's USS PIKE (SS-173) under LtCdr William A. New (USNA í25), LtCdr L. Wallace's (USNA í25) USS TARPON (SS-175) and LtCdr Barton E. Bacon's (USNA í25) USS PICKEREL (SS-177) make contact with the invasion force.

20 February 1942:
Alor island. At 0243, USS PIKE attacks what LtCdr New misidentifies as two "light cruisers". The ships, in fact, are W-7 and W-8. LtCdr New fires two torpedoes from 4,000 yards, but they miss ahead. The minesweepers move out of range before he can set up for another attack.

25 February 1942:
W-7 and W-8 departs Kendari escorting a convoy to Surabaya.

March 1942:
Lt (later Cdr, posthumously) Yoshinaga Gen (61) assumes command from Lt (later LtCdr) Masumitsu Yukitaka (60).

3 March 1942:
W-7 and W-8 depart Kupang for Kendari escorting YAMAMURA, MIKKE, ZENYO, RYOYO and AFRICA MARUs.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at Kupang.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to the 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleetís Special Base Force 21.

26 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore. Escorts a convoy.

10 April 1942:
Reassigned to the 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleetís Special Base Force 10.

20 May 1942:
Departs Singapore. Escorts a convoy to Indochina.

7 June 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

8 June 1942:
Departs Saigon.

12 June 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

13 June 1942:
Departs Saigon and arrives at St Jacques later that day.

14 June 1942:
Departs St Jacques.

19 June 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

20 June 1942:
W-7 departs St Jacques escorting convoy No. 507 consisting of nine unidentified merchant ships.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

5 July 1942:
Departs Singapore.

7 July 1942:
Arrives at St Jacques.

8 July 1942:
Departs St Jacques.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay and departs later that day.

13 July 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay and departs later that day.

22 July 1942:
Arrives at Saigon.

23 July 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

26 July 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

2 August 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

7 August 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

11 August 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

16 August 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.

22 August 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

25 August 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay and departs very late that evening.

1 September 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

3 September 1942:
At 1400 departs Surabaya and escorts a convoy to Singapore.

6 September 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Singapore.

23 September 1942:
At 0800 departs Singapore.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 October 1942:
At 1930 departs Singapore on an anti submarine sweep to the Anambas Islands.

14 October 1942:
At 1830 arrives at Singapore.

16 October 1942:
At 0730 departs Singapore.

17 October 1942:
At 1430 arrives off the Bangka Straits.

18 October 1942:
At 0800 departs the Bangka Straits area.

20 October 1942:
At 1740 arrives at Singapore.

26 October 1942:
At 1230 departs Singapore.

28 October 1942:
At 0130 arrives Singapore and departs at 1600.

1 November 1942:
At 1800 arrives at Singapore commercial port.

2 November 1942:
At 0700 departs the commercial port and transfers to Seletar arriving at 1050.

8 November 1942:
At 0800 departs Singapore and undertakes minesweeping around Lingga.

11 November 1942:
At 1200 arrives at Singapore.

14 November 1942:
At 1200 departs Singapore.

15 November 1942:
At 1300 arrives at Muntok.

18 November 1942:
At 0900 departs Muntok and undertakes minesweeping in the Bangka Straits area arriving there at 2210.

26 November 1942:
At 0700 ceases minesweeping and returns to Muntok arriving at 2100.

27 November 1942:
At 1500 departs Muntok.

29 November 1942:
At 1535 arrives at Singapore.

2 December 1942:
At 1600 departs Singapore escorting the light cruiser KASHII.

5 December 1942:
At 1840 returns to Singapore.

7 December 1942:
At 1200 departs Commercial Port and at 1630 arrives at Seletar.

8 December 1942:
At 1130 enters drydock and under repairs for the rest of the month.

16 December 1942:
At 1200 undocked.

19 December 1942:
At 0850 departs Seletar and 1200 arrives at Singapore Commercial Port.

31 December 1942:
At 1200 departs Singapore.

1 January 1943:
At 2000 arrives at Saigon.

3 January 1943:
At 1200 departs Saigon.

4 January 1943:
At 0850 arrives at Poulo Condore and departs there at 1657.

5 January 1943:
At 0843 arrives at Poulo Cecil de Mer.

8 January 1943:
At 1555 departs Poulo Cecil de Mer and at 1944 arrives at Poulo Obi.

11 January 1943:
At 1025 departs Poulo Obi.

12 January 1943:
At 0900 arrives at St Jacques and departs at 1430.

15 January 1943:
At 1430 arrives at Miri.

17 January 1943:
At 0830 departs Miri and at 1912 arrives at Labuan.

18 January 1943:
At 0700 departs Labuan and at 1508 arrives at Miri.

19 January 1943:
At 1738 departs Miri.

21 January 1943:
At 1450 arrives at Miri.

22 January 1943:
At 1500 departs Miri.

23 January 1943:
At 0300 arrives at Labuan.

24 January 1943:
At 0953 departs Labuan and at 1930 arrives at Miri.

12 February 1943:
At 1100 departs Miri and at 2200 arrives at Labuan.

14 February 1943:
At 0730 departs Labuan and at 1800 arrives at Miri.

18 February 1943:
Departs Miri.

19 February 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

20 February 1943:
At 1500 departs Miri escorting tanker NISSHIN MARU.

23 February 1943:
At 1620 arrives at Singapore.

28 February 1943:
At 0600 departs Singapore on an escort mission.

3 March 1943:
At 1718 arrives at Singapore.

14 March 1943:
At 1500 departs Singapore.

15 March 1943:
At 1530 returns to Singapore.

16 March 1943:
At 0730 departs Singapore.

18 March 1943:
At 1150 arrives at Miri and departs there at 2100.

20 March 1943:
At 0845 arrives at Labuan and departs there at 1447 on an escort mission.

22 March 1943:
At 1137 arrives at Singapore.

23 March 1943:
At 2145 TEIKO MARU (15105 grt), while sailing unescorted, sights an enemy submarine at 02-01N 105-37E and SHIMUSHU, minesweeper W-7 and others are despatched to search and destroy it.

24 March 1943:
At 0900 departs Singapore on the planned anti submarine sweep.

28 March 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Saigon.

30 March 1943:
At 1000 departs Saigon.

2 April 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Miri.

8 April 1943:
At 0000 departs Miri and at 0940 arrives at Labuan. At 1900 departs Labuan.

9 April 1943:
At 0930 arrives at Miri and at 2130 departs Miri. 11 April 1943: Meets up with tankers NITTETSU and TERUKAWA MARUs.

12 April 1943:
At 1400 arrives at Miri.

14 April 1943:
At 1030 departs Miri escorting tankers NITTETSU and TERUKAWA MARUs bound for St Jacques.

15 April 1943: Detaches from escort and meets up with incoming tanker TAKETSU (BUTSU) MARU arrriving from St Jacques. 16 April 1943:
At 2000 arrives at Miri.

18 April 1943:
At 1800 departs Miri.

19 April 1943:
At 1430 arrives at Labuan.

24 April 1943:
At 0800 departs Labuan and at 2000 arrives at Miri.

1 May 1943:
At 1200 departs Miri.

3 May 1943:
At 1100 arrives at Seletar, Singapore.

7 May 1943:
At 0900 departs Seletar.

8 May 1943:
At 1600 arrives at Singapore.

9 May 1943:
At 1000 departs Singapore and at 2100 arrives at Seletar.

15 May 1943:
An unknown officer is appointed Commanding Officer.

23 May 1943:
At 1200 departs Seletar.

25 May 1943:
At 1630 arrives back at Seletar.

27 May 1943:
At 1600 departs Seletar.

29 May 1943:
At 0130 arrives alongside repair berth.

31 May 1943:
At 1350 departs repair berth.

4 June 1943:
At 1315 arrives at Seletar.

8 June 1943:
At 1045 departs Seletar.

13 June 1943:
At 1945 arrives at Seletar.

17 June 1943:
At 1600 departs Seletar.

20 June 1943:
At 1200 arrives at Seletar.

21 June 1943:
At 0800 departs Seletar. At 1230 arrives at south port, Singapore. At 1300 drydocked for repairs.

29 June 1943:
At 1230 undocked.

13 July 1943:
Departs Singapore escorting a convoy to the Andaman Islands.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at Nicobar Islands and departs later the same day.

28 July 1943:
Arrives with light cruiser KASHII at Port Blair and departs later that day.

31 July 1943:
Both ships arrives at Singapore.

11 August 1943:
Departs Singapore escorting the minelayer TATSUHARU MARU.

15 August 1943:
Arrives at Car Nicobar, Andaman Islands.

16 August 1943:
Departs Car Nicobar and later that day arrives at Port Blair. Departs and returns to Nicobar Islands.

21 August 1943:
Departs Car Nicobar still escorting TATSUHARU MARU.

24 August 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

27 August 1943:
Departs Singapore.

3 September 1943:
Arrives at Penang.

5 September 1943:
Departs Penang.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at Sabang.

11 September 1943:
Departs Sabang.

21 September 1943:
Anchors off Krian.

22 September 1943:
Departs from off Krian.

23 September 1943:
Arrives at Belawan.

24 September 1943:
Departs Belawan.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

2 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

5 October 1943:
Arrives at Miri.

6 October 1943:
Departs Miri.

9 October 1943:
Arrives at Labuan.

10 October 1943:
Departs Labuan and later that day arrives at Miri.

11 October 1943:
Departs Miri.

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

24 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

27 October 1943:
Arrives at Sabang.

28 October 1943:
Departs Sabang.

30 October 1943:
Arrives at Penang.

31 October 1943:
Departs Penang.

2 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

4 November 1943:
Departs Singapore for Penang area.

18 November 1943:
Departs Penang on an anti submarine sweep.

23 November 1943:
Arrives back at Penang.

24 November 1943:
Departs Penang.

29 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 December 1943:
Departs Singapore.

18 December 1943:
Arrives at Penang.

19 December 1943:
Departs Penang.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

29 December 1943:
Departs Singapore.

2 January 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

3 January 1944:
Departs Penang.

4 January 1944:
Arrives at Sabang and departs later that day.

7 January 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

10 January 1944:
W-7 departs Singapore with torpedo boat SAGI for Car Nicobar and Port Blair, Andaman Islands escorting cargo ship RYUKO MARU.

15 January 1944:
Car Nicobar. LtCdr L. W. A. Bennington's submarine HMS TALLY HO torpedoes and sinks RYUKO MARU is sunk at 10-50N, 093-00E. The ship was loaded with war supplies and 11 passengers (comfort women) and a gunner and nine crewmen are killed.

16 January 1944:
Arrives at Port Blair.

17 January 1944:
Departs Port Blair.

18 January 1944:
Arrives at Car Nicobar.

22 January 1944:
Departs Car Nicobar.

23 January 1944:
Arrives at Sabang and departs later that day.

26 January 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

27 January 1944:
Departs Singapore.

2 February 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

3 February 1944:
Departs Penang.

5 February 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

7 February 1944:
Departs Penang.

9 February 1944:
Arrives at Sabang.

10 February 1944:
Departs Sabang.

14 February 1944:
Arrives at Sabang.

15 February 1944:
Departs Sabang.

17 February 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

20 February 1944:
Departs Penang.

22 February 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

7 March 1944:
Departs Singapore.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

16 March 1944:
Departs Penang.

17 March 1944:
Arrives at Belawan.

19 March 1944:
Departs Belawan.

20 March 1944:
Arrives at Nancowry.

21 March 1944:
Departs Nancowry.

23 March 1944:
Arrives at Port Blair. Departs at an unknown date and time.

25 March 1944:
Minelayer Ma-4, subchaser CH-7 and auxiliary submarine chaser CHa-59 depart Singapore for Port Blair, Andaman Islands escorting the "Matsukawa Maru convoy" consisting of cargo ships MATSUKAWA MARU and KONAN MARU No. 1.

26-27 March 1944:
The "Matsukawa Maru convoy" arrives at Pangkor, then Penang, Malaya. CH-7 is detached to return to Singapore.

27 March 1944:
W-7 arrives at Sabang and departs later that day. At some point W-7 joins up with "Matsukawa Maru convoy".

2 April 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

3 April 1944:
Departs Penang.

8 April 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

9 April 1944:
Departs Penang.

14 April 1944:
Indian Ocean. Arrives at Port Blair, Andaman Islands. Unloads.

15 April 1944:
Nicobar archipelago, Indian Ocean. At 0810, Royal Navy (Volunteer Reserve) LtCdr Edward P. Youngís British submarine HMS STORM sights a merchant ship bearing 350 degrees, steaming eastward from Port Blair escorted by a ďdestroyerĒ (W-7), a subchaser and one other anti-submarine vessel.

At 0837, Young fires two torpedoes at the merchant ship at 4,000 yards and hears two explosions. At least one torpedo hits W-7 in the stern in the vicinity of her screw and rudder. She loses all electrical power. Young observes the merchant turning hard-a-port half-hidden by a veil of thin smoke. He also sees W-7 with a column of spray or white smoke just astern of the merchant. Soon he sees black smoke and orange flame pouring out of W-7ís stern.

HMS STORMís crew hears two depth charges, but after the hit on W-7 no further counter-attack is made. A subchaser arrives and takes off W-7ís survivors. An aircraft also arrives over the scene. At 0952, W-7 emits a huge sheet of flame and thick black smoke from her stern. She slowly sinks at 11-34N, 93-08E. The subchaser returns to harbor with the survivors. The remaining two escorts and the merchant ship make off on course 105 degrees.

10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Author's Note:
Photo credit goes to Ships of the World (SOTW) via J. Ed Low.

Thanks go to John Whitman and Bill Somerville for info from Japanese and British sources about the loss of W-7 to HMS STORM, to Matthew Jones of USA for information on some Commanding Officers and to Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for general assistance.

-Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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