KAIBOKAN!

(Type C Escort by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Escort Yashiro:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2006-2014 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 9


18 November 1943:
Osaka. Laid down at Hitachi Zosen Co. Ltd.’s Sakurajima shipyard as Kaibokan No. 328.

25 January 1944:
No. 328 is named YASHIRO.

16 February 1944:
Launched.

10 May 1944:
LtCdr Yamashita Sadayoshi (61) is posted Chief Equipping Officer.

3 June 1944:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. LtCdr Yamashita is the Commanding Officer. Assigned to the General Escort Command’s First Marine Surface Escort Division. Attached to the Kure Guard Unit.

11 June 1944:
At 1530, YASHIRO departs Moji with destroyers ASAGAO and ASAKAZE, kaibokan CD-2 and auxiliary minesweeper TAKUNAN MARU No. 3 escorting convoy MI-07 consisting of MATSUURA, KAMO, SHINKOKU, NISHI (ex British KALGAN), MINO, TAIKAI, KAKOGAWA, MYOGI, GYOKUYO, KOKKO, YULIN, OYO MARUs and tankers KOEI, TAIEI, CHIHAYA, RYUSHO, SAKURA, and SAN LUIS MARUs, Landing ship KORYU (SS 1) and seven unidentified merchant ships. Immediately after leaving port, KOEI MARU develops engine problems and is forced to return to port.

15 June 1944:
At 1040, anchors at Oshima Strait, Amami-Oshima.

16 June 1944:
Departs Oshima Strait.

17 June 1944:
MATSUURA and KAMO MARUs are detached with destroyer ASAGAO and head for Kirun.

18 June 1944:
At 1300, arrives at Takao. Later, ASAGAO rejoins convoy.

23 June 1944:
At 1800, arrives at Manila. CD-2 and ASAGAO are detached.

27 June 1944:
At 0600 departs Manila with addition of KENEI, SHIROGANESAN, YAMAKO (SANKO), TAKETSU (BUTSU), NITTETSU and OEI MARUs.

2 July 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

5 July 1944:
At 0600 YASHIRO departs Miri with destroyer ASAKAZE escorting convoy MISHI-04 consisting of tankers SHIMPO MARU, KYOEI MARU No.8 and cargo ships KENEI, KOKKO, GYOKUYO, SHIROGANESAN MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No.17. The convoy sails at 9 knots.

9 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

12 July 1944:
At 1100 YASHIRO departs Singapore with destroyer ASAKAZE escorting convoy SHIMI-06 consisting of HIDA, HAKUBASAN, DAIZEN, KENZUI, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE), TOYOFUKU MARU and four unidentified merchant ships.

17 July 1944:
Arrives at Miri.

19 July 1944:
YASHIRO departs Miri with destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan CD-3, minelayer MAEJIMA, auxiliary gunboats PEKING and KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARUs escorting convoy MI-10 consisting of tankers HAKUBASAN, MATSUMOTO, SHUNTEN, TAKETSU (BUTSU), CHIYODA, KOSHIN, KOTOKU, NICHINAN (1945 GRT) and SHIMOTSU MARUs and DAIZEN, HIDA, HINAGA, KENZUI, TEIFU (ex French BOUGAINVILLE) and FUYUKAWA MARUs, WAKO GO and eleven unidentified ships.

E 24 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila where convoy MI-10 is joined by tankers OEI MARU and KYOEI MARU No. 6 and KAKOGAWA, TSUKUBASAN, ROKKO, RASHIN, KUROGANE, FRANCE, MYOGI MARUs and UNYO MARU No.7.

27 July 1944:
At 1100, reconstituted convoy MI-10 departs Manila.

28 July 1944:
At 1040, LtCdr Francis D. Walker's (USNA ’35) USS CREVALLE (SS-291) torpedoes and sinks HAKUBASAN MARU with 7351-tons of oil and 710-tons of rubber at 16-28N 119-38E. Three crewmen are KIA.

2 August 1944:
Arrives at Takao. YASHIRO and destroyer ASAKAZE are detached. KUROGANE, FRANCE and RASHIN MARUs are probably also detached.

4 August 1944:
Departs Takao in convoy MI-13 then consisting of tankers SHIMPO, ZUIYO, KYOEI, ATAGO, TEIKON (ex German WINNETOU), SHINCHO, TOKUWA MARUs, OGURA MARU No. 2 and cargo ships SHINKO, HIYORI, KUNIYAMA (KOKUZAN), KIZAN, KAZAN, HIYORI, DURBAN, KOKUSEI, HIGANE, RISSHUN and URAL MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No.1 escorted by kaibokan MATSUWA, KUSAGAKI, CD-14, minesweeper W-18, patrol boat PB-38, destroyer ASAKAZE, auxiliary gunboat CHOHAKUSAN MARU, auxiliary patrol vessels EIFU, NUNOBIKI, FUYO and KASUGA MARUs and Naval transport T-3.

7 August 1944:
At 2205 LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskin's (USNA ’33) USS GUITARRO (SS-363) torpedoes and sinks KUSAGAKI at 14-50N 119.57E. Ninety-seven of KUSAGAKI's crew are KIA, 30 others drift throughout the night. In the morning, the survivors, including CO LtCdr Ozaki, are rescued by ASAKAZE and taken to Manila.

8 August 1944:
At 0800 arrives Manila. YASHIRO and most of the escorts are detached.

22 August 1944:
At 1410, YASHIRO departs Takao for Manila with torpedo boat HATO, kaibokan CD-8, CD-25, CD-32 and minesweepers W-38, W-39 escorting convoy TAMA-24 consisting of HIOKI, KOTOKU, TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), RAKUTO, BATOPAHAT, GENKAI, YUKIKAWA and MANSHU MARUs and tankers TACHIBANA and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2.

25 August 1944:
CD-25 and GENKAI MARU are detached from the convoy and go to Pasaleng Bay to offload five MTB's from the deck of damaged HAKKO MARU No. 2 sheltering in the bay with destroyer YUNAGI. YUNAGI is detached and joins TAMA-24.

At 1024, Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's (USNA ’27) USS PICUDA (SS-382) torpedoes and sinks KOTOKU MARU at 18-42N, 120-49E with the loss of 16 men. At 1026, in the same position, Donaho torpedoes and sinks YUNAGI as the destroyer attempts a counter-attack. 32 sailors are KIA, 19 wounded; CO LtCdr Iwabuchi is among the 202 survivors rescued by CD No. 25. At 1325, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Louis D. McGregor's (USNA ’30) USS REDFISH (SS-395) torpedoes and sinks BATOPAHAT MARU at 18-31N, 120-32E. 17 crewmen and an unknown number of passengers are KIA.

28 August 1944:
At 2100, arrives at Manila.

6 September 1944:
At 1200 YASHIRO departs Manila with torpedo boat HIYODORI, minesweepers W-38 and W-39 and one unidentified warship (likely TAKUNAN MARU No. 5) escorting convoy MATA-27 consisting of SHINSEI MARU and eight unidentified merchant ships.

11 September 1944:
At 1730 arrives at Takao.

14 September 1944:
Off Takao, Formosa. Early in the morning while departing the harbor to join an outgoing convoy, YASHIRO hits a magnetic mine at 22-42N, 120-12E. Her engines are temporarily disabled and a small leak appears in the bow. Several sailors are injured as a result of the blast.

YASHIRO is taken under tow by MIYAKE and later returns to Takao for makeshift repairs that last until 30 September.

1 October 1944:
At 1700, YASHIRO departs Takao with kaibokan DAITO, patrol boat P-104, auxiliary gunboat KAZAN (HUASHAN) MARU, subchaser CH-21 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-87 and CHa-92 escorting convoy TAMA-28 consisting of TSUYAMA, CHOSAN, MURORAN, MACASSAR, FUYUKAWA, SHINSEI, FUSHIMI, KIZAN, NANKING, EIKO and TAISEI MARUs.

2 October 1944:
Luzon Strait. During a storm, LtCdr Frank C. Acker's (USNA ’32) USS POMFRET (SS-391) torpedoes and sinks TSUYAMA MARU at 20-50N, 121-31E. The ship is carrying 1600 men of the Mobile 18th Infantry Regiment. 1,273 men (73 crewmen and 1,211 soldiers) on board are KIA.

6 October 1944:
YASHIRO is detached and redirected to a small port near Aparri, Luzon, for generator repairs.

11 October 1944:
At 0600, the convoy departs North San Fernando. Off San Vicente, Luzon, YASHIRO is attacked by estimated 50 Grumman F3F-3 "Hellcat" fighters of Vice Admiral (later Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain’s (USNA ’06) Task Force 38, approaching in several waves. Her radio is knocked out, two sailors are KIA and several wounded. Following the attack YASHIRO is redirected to Mako, Pescadores.

16 October 1944:
Arrives at Mako.

22 October 1944:
Mako. YASHIRO joins the remnants of convoy HI-76, now probably consisting of tanker TENEI MARU and possibly TEIHOKU MARU (ex French PERSEE) escorted by KANJU, KURAHASHI, CD-8, CD-25, CD-130 and escort carrier SHINYO.

24 October 1944:
TENEI MARU has an engine breakdown and falls behind, but later rejoins the convoy.

26 October 1944:
At 1130 arrives at Moji. SHINYO had been detached to Kure prior to arrival.

15 November 1944:
The General Escort Command’s 102nd Escort Squadron is formed with YASHIRO, MIKURA, CD-2, CD-33, CD-34 and CD-35.

10 December 1944:
Reassigned to the First Escort Fleet.

31 December 1944:
At 0820, YASHIRO departs Moji for Singapore with kaibokan MIKURA, KURAHASHI and CD-13 and destroyers SHIGURE, HATAKAZE and DesDiv17’s HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE escorting convoy HI-87 consisting of oilers KAMOI, TENEI, KAIHO, KUROSHIO, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA, MIRI, MUNAKATA and SARAWAK MARUs and passenger-cargoman TATSUWA MARU. Light carrier RYUHO provides air cover.

1 January 1945:
Reassigned to the No. 102 Escort Squadron of the First Escort Fleet. The Squadron includes light cruiser KASHIMA (F), kaibokan MIKURA, CD-2, CD-33, CD-34 and CD-35.

7 January 1945:
East China Sea. The convoy is sighted by "Loughlin's Loopers", a submarine wolf pack consisting of Cdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Eugene R. Fluckey's (USNA ’35) USS BARB (SS-220) and LtCdr Evan T. Shepard's (USNA ’35) USS PICUDA (SS-382), later joined by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Charles E. Loughlin's (USNA ’33) USS QUEENFISH (SS-393). At 0905, in high seas, Shepard's USS PICUDA heavily damages MUNAKATA MARU in the bow. She is assisted by KURAHASHI then proceeds separately to Kirun (Keelung). The convoy anchors at Shinchiku Roadstead, Formosa.

At 1300, the convoy is sighted by the wolfpack and tracked. RYUHO and SHIGURE are detached and proceed to Kirun. At 1830, in dense fog, the convoy anchors temporarily on the W Formosan coast. The ships then split up and enter Takao’s port at different times.

8 January 1945:
At 1200, YASHIRO, MIKURA, CD-13, KAMOI and KAIHO MARU enter Takao Port.

That same day, YASHIRO departs Takao with kaibokan MIKURA and CD-13 escorting fleet oiler KAMOI and KAIHO MARU. At 1330, KAIHO MARU experiences an engine breakdown. YASHIRO and CD-13 remain behind with her. At 2313, KAMOI and the other ships anchor temporarily outside Takao’s port.

9 January 1945:
Takao, Formosa. Vice Admiral John S. McCain's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 38 aircraft attack shipping off Takao. At 1200, 17 Grumman TBM "Avengers" and F6F "Hellcats" damage YASHIRO.

10 January 1945:
At 1700, reformed convoy HI-87 departs Takao for Mako, Pescadores. It now consists of SARAWAK, MATSUSHIMA, MITSUSHIMA and HASHIDATE MARUs, KAMOI kaibokan YASHIRO, MIYAKE, KANJU, KURAHASHI, NOMI, SHINNAN, CD-13, CD-60 and CD-205. Destroyer SHIGURE rejoins the escort from Kirun. At 1830, MITSUSHIMA MARU suffers an engine breakdown and returns to Takao.

12 January 1945:
At 0600, TENEI MARU's steering breaks down and she is escorted by CD-60 to Hong Kong. Soon after, the rest of the convoy is advised of a pending air raid on Mako and turns about for Hong Kong.

13 January 1945:
At 1100, enters Hong Kong port.

14 January 1945:
YASHIRO departs Takao with destroyer ASAKAZE, kaibokan CD-1, CD-56 CD-130 and-, CD-134 and minesweeper W-21 escorting convoy TAMO-37 consisting of DAIKO, DAII, BRAZIL, MELBOURNE, DAIIKU MARUs and two unidentified merchant ships. [1]

16 January 1945:
Hong Kong. The air attacks continue from 0820. At 1124, KAMOI is near missed. At 1240, KAMOI and TENEI MARU both suffer direct hits. At 1540, MATSUSHIMA MARU suffers a direct hit and is set on fire. At 1644, NOMI suffers damage from a near miss.

19 January 1945:
YASHIRO's CO, LtCdr Yamashita dies of wounds received in the air attacks. He is relieved by an unknown officer, probably the next senior surviving officer.

23 January 1945:
Arrives at Moji.

February 1945:
LtCdr Honjo Takuji assumes command. YASHIRO then conducts an anti-submarine patrol off the Chinese coast.

20 February 1945:
YASHIRO departs Moji with kaibokan CD-36 and CD-84 escorting convoy MOYU-01 consisting of 2 unidentified merchant ships.

3 March 1945:
Arrives at Yulin, Hainan Island.

27 March 1945:
Departs Sasebo to patrol off Amami-Oshima.

7 April 1945:
YASHIRO is ordered to return to Sasebo. After 1203, she establishes radar contact with multiple surface ships W of Amami-Oshima, in all likelihood battleship YAMATO and her escorts, maneuvering under attack of planes from TF 58.

E 27 April 1945:
S of Japan. YASHIRO, SAKITO and CD-41 join convoy SHIMO-03 consisting of KASHIMA, BANSHU, ABUKUMAGAWA, SHINTON and TAIKYU MARUs and tanker NANRYU MARU No. 9 escorted by destroyer ASAGAO, patrol boat P-102 (ex-USS STEWART, DD-224), kaibokan UKU, CD-26, subchaser CH-20, and minesweeper W-29.

8 April 1945:
Returns to Sasebo.

28 April 1945:
At 1200, arrives at Moji.

9 June 1945:- Operation AS-3:
The vessels of No. 102 Escort Squadron conduct an anti-submarine sweep in the area NW of Kyushu and Tsushima Strait. YASHIRO and CD-41 are assigned to an area SE of Mokpo, Korea.

At 0455, LtCdr Warren C. Hull’s (USNA ’37) USS SEA OWL (SS-405) fires six torpedoes at CD-41. One torpedo hits her ammunition magazine. CD-41 explodes and disappears at 34-18N, 127-18E.

USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from YASHIRO that reads: “CD-41 torpedoed by enemy submarine. Sunk in position 34-22N, 128-11E .”

24 June 1945:
At 1930, YASHIRO departs Gainichiwan (Yongil Bay), Chosen (Korea) with kaibokan CD-2 and CD-13 escorting convoy SEINAI-04 consisting of ENRYAKU, MATSUURA MARUs and tanker YAMANAMI MARU.

26 June 1945:
At 0758, arrives at Hagi.

27 June 1945:
At 1045, arrives Maizuru. The convoy is dissolved.

5 July 1945:
Reassigned to the Coast Defense Squadron.

July 1945:
YASHIRO conducts patrols in the North Korean Sea.

1 August 1945: - Supply operation "Nichi-GO":
A six-strong convoy of cargo ships departs Fushiki harbor for Rashin (Najin), Korea, escorted by CD-87 and CD-150. The convoy is tasked with ferrying supplies and war materials from Korea to home islands.

8 August 1945:
72 miles SE of Rashin. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) David B. Bell's (USNA ’37) USS PARGO (SS-264) torpedoes and sinks the 5,462 ton RASHIN MARU at 41-15N, 131-19E. 35 crewmen, 51 gunners and about 1,100 troops, mostly from the 1st Rocket Regiment, and passengers are KIA.

That same day, YASHIRO debarks 400 cadets of the IJA flying school to Yuki (Unggi), Korea. She is ordered to depart immediately and join the convoy enroute to Rashin.

9 August 1945:
Off Rashin, YASHIRO rendezvouses with the convoy early in the morning. While several miles away from the harbor, the escorts witness the attack of Soviet Ilyushin Il-4 bombers, Il-2 "Sturmovik" ground attackers and Yakovlev YAK-9 fighter-bombers at that location. It is decided to proceed to Yuki. Around 0920, the convoy arrives 3 miles off Yuki, when another Soviet air attack starts on that harbor. Some Il-4 bombers attack the convoy. YASHIRO and other escorts fire back with their AA guns. At 0950, YASHIRO reports to Tokyo about destroying no less than 11 Soviet bombers. Two of her sailors are KIA, 19 wounded. CD-87 receives a bomb hit to her bridge. RYUWA and MEIYU MARUs receive minor damage.

10 August 1945:
The convoy arrives at Genzan (Wonsan), Korea.

15 August 1945:
At sea returning to Japan from Korea, YASHIRO’s crew receives notice of the termination of the war.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 December 1945:
Assigned to Allied Occupation Forces as a minesweeper.

March 1946:
Operating off Kikai Jima with kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-49, CD-48 and CD-77 together with US minesweepers USS SHOVELER (AM-382) and USS REDSTART (AM-378). When not minesweeping the ships were anchoring off Amami-Oshima.

29 August 1947:
Tsingtao. Ceded to the Chinese Nationalists as a war reparation. Renamed WEI TAI. Rearmed with two 12-cm, two 40-mm and eight 25-mm AA guns.

February 1949:
Transferred from Tsingtao to Saei, Taiwan.

1951:
Saei. WEI TAI undergoes major repairs. She is rearmed with two American 5-in guns, two 40-mm and eight 20-mm AA guns and renamed ZHENG AN (PF-76).

1956:
Discarded.

1963:
Stricken from the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy list and scrapped soon thereafter.


Authors' Note:
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro and Mr. Aki of Japan, Mr. M Willmann and Mr. Gilbert Casse of France. Thanks also go to Matthew Jones of Ohio for help in identifying kaibokan COs and to John Whitman for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages.

1: It is unclear when YASHIRO joins convoy TAMA-37. Most probably it was after the 16 January Hong Kong air attack. TAMA-37 also did not arrive at Moji-Mutsure until 23 January 1945.

-Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall


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