Imperial Flattops

KIDO BUTAI

IJN Taiyo: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2000 (Revised June 2007) Anthony P. Tully

Contact Email: tullyfleet - gmail.com


Initial Command Structure:
Commanding Officer: Captain Ishii Norie.

10 February 1941:
Liner KASUGA MARU officially requisitioned for transportation of military stores and personnel. She served in such capacity till 31 March, making calls at Yokosuka, Tokyo, Chichi-Jima Island, Saipan, Formosa, Truk, Ponape, and Fais.

April 1941:
Reconstruction to escort carrier authorized.

1 May 1941:
Enters dock at Sasebo for conversion. Captain Ishii Norie assigned as equipping officer, later to become commanding officer.

1 September 1941:
At Sasebo, flag of CarDiv 5, 1st Air Fleet hoisted aboard.

2 September 1941:
Reconstruction to CVE completed at Sasebo.

10 September 1941:
Flag of CarDiv 5, 1st Air Fleet removed, thereafter ship is assigned to CarDiv 4.

24 October 1941:
Depart Sasebo for Takao, Formosa.

26 October 1941:
Arrive at Takao.

7 November 1941:
Depart Takao for Sasebo.

10 November 1941:
Arrive at Sasebo.

28 November 1941:
Depart Sasebo carrying Type-96 shipboard fighters to Palau for 11th Air Fleet)

1 December 1941:
Arrive at Takao, Formosa, depart next day for Palau.

6 December 1941:
Arrive at Palau, off-load fighter cargo.

8 December 1941:
Depart Palau for return to the Inland Sea.

12 December 1941:
Arrive off Tokuyama.

January 1942:
Assigned to Kure Naval District Force. In Tokuyama area.

10 January 1942:
Depart Tokuyama, arrive Kure.

29 January 1942:
Depart Kure; arrive Saeki.

16 February 1942:
Depart Oita, arrive Kure.

20 February 1942:
Depart Kure for Yokosuka.

22 February 1942:
Arrive Yokosuka.

25 February 1942:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

3 March 1942:
Arrive at Truk.

5 March 1942:
Depart Truk for Kure.

12 March 1942:
Arrive Kure.

1 April 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

3 April 1942:
Depart Yokosuka for Rabaul.

11 April 1942:
Arrive at Rabaul. Bombed that same day, no damage.

12 April 1942:
Bombed at Rabaul, no damage. Depart same day for Tokyo Bay.

20 April 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

25 April 1942:
Depart Yokosuka.

3 May 1942:
Arrive Ruotto. Depart next day.

7 May 1942:
Arrive at Queen Carola and then Rabaul.

9 May 1942:
Depart Rabaul for the Inland Sea.

16 May 1942:
Arrive at Kure.

21 May 1942:
Enter drydock at Kure.

25 May 1942:
Leave drydock.

4 August 1942:
Captain Ishii relieved by Captain Takatsugu Kanichi as commanding officer.

16 August 1942:
Assigned to "KA" Operations force main body.

17 August 1942:
Depart Oita for Taroa, joining up with YAMATO.

27 August 1942:
Detach from Main Body and proceed with AKEBONO with load of planes for Maloelap in the Marshall Islands.

29 August 1942:
Arrive at Taroa, depart next day for Truk.

31 August 1942:
Name officially changed from KASUGA MARU to TAIYO.

4 September 1942:
Arrive at Truk with AKEBONO from Maloelap; depart later for Palau.

7 September 1942:
Arrive at Palau.

11 September 1942:
Depart Palau.

12 September 1942:
Arrive Davao, depart next day.

17 September 1942:
Arrive at Kavieng.

21 September 1942:
Arrive back at Davao, depart next day for Truk, escorted by AKEBONO and USHIO.

28 September 1942:
At 1325 when 40 miles south of Truk's South Channel, in position 06-59'N, 151-45'E hit in stern by one torpedo of five fired by USS TROUT. Thirteen men are killed, but the carrier is able to proceed at 16 knots, arriving safely in Truk later that day.

4 October 1942:
After completion of emergency repairs, depart Truk for the homeland.

13 October 1942:
Arrive at Kure.

16 October 1942:
Enter drydock, remaining till 26th.

24 October 1942:
Captain Takatsugu relieved by Captain Fujita Tarohachi as commanding officer.

26 October 1942:
Leave drydock, depart subsequently for Yokosuka.

29 October 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

1 November 1942:
Resuming plane ferry duty, depart Yokosuka for Truk.

6 November 1942:
Arrive at Truk, depart next day.

16 November 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

19 November 1942:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

25 November 1942:
Arrive at Truk; depart next day.

5 December 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

15 December 1942:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

21 December 1942:
Arrive Truk, depart next day for Kavieng.

24 December 1942:
Arrive at Kavieng. From there depart to Tokyo Bay.

31 December 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

January 1943:
At Yokosuka throughout.

1 February 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

7 February 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

11 February 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.

17 February 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka with UNYO and HIBIKI.

24 February 1943:
Depart Yokosuka with UNYO for Truk, escorted by HIBIKI.

2 March 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

6 March 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka with UNYO, escorted by USHIO and HIBIKI.

12 March 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

4 April 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk with CHUYO and CHOKAI, escorted by HIBIKI, SAZANAMI, and KUROSHIO.

7 April 1943:
Arrive at Saipan for short layover, depart later the same day for Truk.

9 April 1943:
At 2049 attacked by submarine USS TUNNY which fires two torpedo spreads from a position directly between the two column formation. She claims three hits on the starboard side of the left-hand carrier and four hits on the port side of the right hand carrier. However, TAIYO (apparently the right-hand target) suffers only minor damage from defective torpedoes which apparently fail to explode. The task force proceeds at flank speed to Truk. (See forthcoming article in `Untold Stories' for details).

10 April 1943:
TAIYO, CHUYO, CHOKAI, SAZANAMI, USHIO, and AKEBONO arrive at Truk. TAIYO's damage is not great enough to necessitate repair.

16 April 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka with CHUYO, screened by HIBIKI and SHIGURE.

17 April 1943:
Arrive at Saipan, joined by SAZANAMI, and depart the same day for Yokosuka.

21 April 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

25 April 1943:
?? Depart Yokosuka for Truk with both UNYO and CHUYO, escorted by SHIGURE and NAGANAMI.

1 May 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

6 May 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

8 May 1943:
Depart Truk.

25 May 1943:
Arrive at Mako.

27 Mary 1943:
Depart Mako.

29 May 1943:
Captain Fujita relieved by Captain Matsuda Takamatsu as commanding officer.

15 June 1943:
Enter drydock at Sasebo.

30 June 1943:
Leave drydock.

15 July 1943:
Depart Sasebo.

17 July 1943:
Arrive Yokosuka.

23 July 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

28 July 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

4 August 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.

6 August 1943:
Attacked by four torpedoes fired by submarine USS PIKE in position 21-23'N, 153-20 E. No damage received, while ONAMI depth charges with unknown results.

9 August 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

17 August 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

23 August 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

28 August 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka with YUKIKAZE.

2 September 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

7 September 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk with CHUYO.

9 September 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

21 September 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka with CHUYO, escorted by SHIMAKAZE.

24 September 1943:
At 0726 attacked by submarine USS CABRILLA which fires six torpedoes in position 28-04'N, 145-05'E. Receive one hit on starboard quarter which wrecks starboard propeller and causes moderate damage. However, she temporarily loses power and has to be towed to Yokosuka by UNYO.

26 September 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka. Enter drydock for repairs.

11 November 1943:
Leave drydock, repairs complete. Remain at Yokosuka.

17 November 1943:
Captain Matsuda relieved by Captain Matsuno Toshiro as commanding officer.

December 1943:
Assigned from Combined Fleet Force to Grand Escort Command.

22 December 1943:
Depart Yokosuka; arrive Yokohama.

11 January 1944:
Enter drydock at Yokohama.

15 February 1944:
Captain Matsuno relieved by Captain Beppu Akitomo as commanding officer.

20 March 1944:
Captain Beppu relieved by Captain Sugino Shuichi as commanding officer.

4 April 1944:
Undocked from drydock.

13 April 1944:
Depart Yokohama; arrive Yokosuka.

20 April 1944:
Depart Yokosuka for Kure.

29 April 1944:
At Kure, assigned to First Surface Escort Unit.

3 May 1944:
Depart Moji-Mutsure, escorting convoy HI-61 to Singapore via Manila.

9 May 1944:
Arrive with HI-61 at Manila.

12 May 1944:
With HI-61 depart Manila for Singapore.

18 May 1944:
Arrive at Singapore.

23 May 1944:
Depart Singapore channel escorting convoy HI-62 on return trip to Japan via Manila.

29 May 1944:
Arrive at Manila with HI-62.

1 June 1944:
Depart Manila with HI-62 for the homeland.

8 June 1944:
Arrive at Moji with convoy, detach from HI-62 and proceed to Kure, arriving the next day.

7 July 1944:
Depart Kure for Mutsure area.

12 July 1944:
Depart Mutsure to ferry planes to Manila; enroute, overtake convoy HI-69 escorted by SHINYO and KAIYO and proceed together.

20 July 1944:
TAIYO, SHINYO, and KAIYO all arrive with HI-69 at Manila, off-load aircraft.

25 July 1944:
Depart Manila for Saei, Formosa, escorting convoy, joined by KAIYO. SHINYO continues to Singapore.

27 July 1944:
Arrive at Saei, Formosa. Depart next day for Sasebo.

3 August 1944:
Arrive at Sasebo, escorting convoy. Proceeded subsequently to Imari Bay via Hesaki.

10 August 1944:
Depart Imari Bay escorting convoy HI-71 for Singapore via Manila.

15 August 1944:
Arrive with HI-71 at Mako.

17 August 1944:
Depart Mako escorting convoy HI-71 for Manila.

18 August 1944:
- 2215 Sound room detects enemy submarine bearing 45 degrees to starboard. Captain Sugino immediately orders increase to No.5 battle speed and evasive turn to starboard. However, four torpedoes are reported approaching from 15 degrees starboard. TAIYO has commenced a sharp turn right, but at 2220 is struck in starboard quarter by one (or both) of two torpedoes fired by USS RASHER (SS-269). The hit was near the ship's aft av-gas tank which exploded violently, and the carrier was engulfed in explosions and fires. (See Note 1). Fire breaks out in the hangar deck and many are killed, and the carrier begins to list to starboard and settles aft. Captain Sugino orders the port magazines flooded to compensate but at 2230 an oil tank aft on the port side exploded with tremendous force, and it was thought by some to be another torpedo hit amidships. It is reported most of the emergency personnel are killed and the equipment wrecked, and fire fighting and counter-flooding to check the starboard list is impossible. As a result of this Captain Sugino ordered all hands to the upper deck, and then to abandon ship.

- Sunk: Soon after the order to abandon, TAIYO was wracked by another final huge explosion and sank at 2248 in position 18-10'N, 120-22'E. Because of the fire and speed of sinking, most of her crew were lost. If common practice obtained, including passengers about 1,200 were probably aboard. Of these reportedly 747 perished; but by some miracle, Captain Sugino Shuichi was among the just over 400 surviving crew and passengers. [See Note 2]

1 October 1944:
Removed from the Navy list.



Note 1: The Rasher's patrol report took its target to be a large tanker, and gave a graphic description of how part of the stern was blown off, and "the tanker" remained afloat in two furiously burning sections for another twenty minutes, after which it sank after another huge explosion. Though few details are available, clearly Taiyo suffered massive damage aft, and all likelihood sank stern first. The aft av-gas tank was located only a short distance forward of the rudder, below the rear overhang of the fight deck, and its an open question whether this segment of her stern was actually severed by the explosion of the av-gas tank prior to this. The explosion of the tank on the port side also enters into consideration.

Note 2: Because the total aboard is unknown, Taiyo's casualties are uncertain, but in all likelihood she carried about 350-400 passengers or more as was common practice before and after with the CVEs. The 747 lost figure sometimes quoted seems of little value, being simply the standard complement of the carrier given in basic sources. (Implying almost all hands lost). Actually, Taiyo and Unyo's assigned complement as of 31 July 1944 was 834 officers and men, and since the rescued were a little over 400, this suggests a loss figure coincidentally close to the 747, but more like 790. Again, the question mark is how many passengers were aboard. Japanese times for the hit differ somewhat from RASHER's but state she went down in twenty-eight minutes.

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to "Eric" of j-aircraft who contributed extra detail of the sinking that is sourced from Gakken volume # 45.


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