FUSETSUKAN!



(TSUGARU by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Minelayer TSUGARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2017 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall

Revision 13


5 July 1939:
Laid down at the Yokosuka Navy Yard.

19 March 1940:
Her assigned call sign is JLVA.

5 June 1940:
Launched and named the TSUGARU.

20 June 1940:
Captain Inagaki Yoshiaki (40) (current CO of TOKIWA) is posted Chief Equipping Officer as an additional duty.

15 November 1940:
Captain Inagaki assumes full-time duty as Chief Equipping Officer.

22 October 1941:
Completed and commissioned in the IJN. Captain Inagaki Yoshiaki is the Commanding Officer. Attached to the Combined Fleet Fourth Fleet Sentai No. 19.

1 November 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

5 November 1941:
Arrives at Saipan.

6 November 1941:
Departs Saipan.

8 November 1941:
Arrives at Truk.

22 November 1941:
At 1330 departs Truk.

24 November 1941:
At 1645 arrives at Saipan.

25 November 1941:
Unloads all three mine types, a total of 600 and loads 348t heavy oil and 25t fresh water.

26 November 1941:
At 1330 departs Saipan.

28 November 1941:
At 1230 arrives at Haha Jima. Joins invasion unit G.

1 December 1941:
TSUGARU is assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (39) Mine Division 19 in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (37) Fourth Fleet. Her call sign changes to JUIA. At 1400 departs Haha Jima. She executes various training excercises, landing excercises and harbor entrance excercises

2 December 1941:
The TSUGARU receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). At 0747 arrives back at Haha Jima.

3 December 1941:
An additional funnel is added. (Presumably a dummy funnel to foil identification?)

4 December 1941:
At 0900 departs Hahajima in support of the invasion of Guam with Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (38) CruDiv 6’s AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO, and FURUTAKA and destroyers KIKUZUKI, YUZUKI, UZUKI and OBORO, then to Truk.

10 December 1941:
At 0045 MATSUE MARU begins transferring troops ashore via Daihatsu barge. At 0340 TSUGARU arrives off Matsuyama Wan (Bay), (Meriza) southern Guam. At 0522 TSUGARU's landing party goes ashore. At 0640 arrives outside Mata Bay. At 1030 anchors off oil jetty. At 1210 ties up at oil jetty. At 1525 recovers landing party and departs at 1600. At 1705 anchors off oil jetty.

11 December 1941:
At 0830, sends an investigation team towards the American fleet oiler ROBERT L BARNES (AG-27). At 1330, surveys an estimated 500t fresh water distribution ship. [1]

12 December 1941:
At 1630 departs Guam.

14 December 1941:
Arrives at Saipan. At 0700, anchors alongside a pier and unloads food for 3 months, 330t fuel, and 80t fresh water.

15 December 1941:
At 0603, Destroyer OBORO lies on the the portside for refueling. At 1030, embarks 309 army soldiers and loads 1 mountain gun, 2 trucks, 2 machine guns, ammunition and munitions for 1 month and refueling of OBORO is completed. At 1100, departs from the pier and anchors in Saipan outer port. Departs at 1530 with the destroyer OBORO.

19 December 1941:
At 1000, arrives at Roi, Kwajalein and moors next to auxiliary cruiser KINRYU MARU. At 1100, transfers 309 army soldiers, 1 mountain gun, 2 trucks, 2 machine guns, ammunition and munitions for 1 month. At 1415, disengages and anchors at 1452. At 1652 arrives at Roi, Kwajalein.

20 December 1941:
Loads 77 volatile oil drums from auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU destined for the Gilberts air corps. Refueled with 200t heavy oil by auxiliary oiler HOYO MARU. At 1530 departs Roi.

22 December 1941:
At 0715 arrives at Makin. Unloads 77 volatile oil drums destined for the air base.

27 December 1941:
At 0750, emabarks 7 war prisoners and loads captured items. At 1020, departs Makin.

28 December 1941:
At 0722 arrives at Jabor, Jaluit and meets auxilary gunboat DAIDO MARU to whom 7 POWs are transferred and departs alone at 1000.

6 January 1942:
Painted inner and outer hull.

7 January 1942:
Provisioned with food.

8 January 1942:
Supplied with 282t heavy oil by auxiliary oiler KAIJO MARU No. 2 GO.

9 January 1942:
Loaded fresh food for a period of approximately 10 days.

12 January 1942:
At 1000 departs Truk for Guam.

14 January 1942:
At 1412, the minelayer OKINOSHIMA is discovered at the port side. At 1415, joines the transport convoy and starts escorting it. At 1500 the Taskforce including TSUGARU departs Guam for Rabaul area.

17 January 1942:
Ordered a sailboat to stop. After interrogation found out that the vessel is the SHINKO MARU No. 2 and ordered it to head towards the west coast for one hour.

18 January 1942:
At 0430, destroyer MUTSUKI detaches. At 0739, auxiliary oiler KAIJO MARU No. 2 GO joins the convoy.

19 January 1942:
At 1700, destroyer MUTSUKI rejoins the convoy.

20 January 1942: Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland:
Mine Division 19's TSUGARU, OKINOSHIMA and auxiliary minelayers TENYO MARU and TOKIWA participate in the invasion of Rabaul with DesRon 6's YUBARI, DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI, YAYOI, DesDiv 29's OITE, ASANAGI and YUNAGI and auxiliary seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU. At 1730, destroyer YUNAGI detaches.

22 January 1942:
At 1000, destroyer YUNAGI rejoins the convoy. At 1500, TSUGARU detaches and arrives at Rabaul outer harbor later that day. At 2347, searches for the CHINA MARU, one of the invasion transports.

23 January 1942:
The invasion forces swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy both Rabaul and Kavieng. At 1330 arrives at Rabaul. Remains there throughout February.

24 January 1942:
At 1251, transfered to auxiliary oiler KAIJO MARU No. 2 GO for refueling. Loads 256t heavy oil. At 1527, refueling is completed. At 1748, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 106 rounds and the 25 mm machine guns fire 205 rounds.

25 January 1942:
Anchors off Kokopo. At 1020, auxiliary minesweeper HAGOROMO MARU comes alongside to port and is replenished with 15t water. At 1145, HAGOROMO MARU departs and auxiliary minesweeper NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 GO comes alongside to port and is replenished with 15t water. At 1400, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2 GO departs and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 2 domes alongside to port and is replenished with 16t water. At 1550, TAMA MARU No. 2 departs and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU comes alongside to port and is replenished with 15t water.

26 January 1942:
At 2033, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 20 rounds.

28 January 1942:
At 2257, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 13 rounds and the 25 mm machine guns fire 181 rounds.

30 January 1942:
At 0845, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 87 rounds and the 25 mm machine guns fire 403 rounds.

31 January 1942:
At 1548, anchors on the west side of Rabaul harbor.

3 February 1942:
At 1235, a diver is sent to VENICE MARU to repair her propeller. The diver returns at 1600.

4 February 1942:
At 0720, starts loading ammunition and a diver is sent to VENICE MARU to continue repairing her propeller. At 1600, completed loading ammunition. At 1630, the diver returns.

5 February 1942:
Auxiliary water tanker TATEYAMA MARU comes alongside to port and replenishes 58t fresh water. At 1127, sustains an air attack. From 1623 till 1642 anchors. At 1849, sustains an air attack.

6 February 1942:
At 0815, sustains an air attack. The 25 mm guns fire 22 rounds.

9 February 1942:
At 0430, sustains an air attack. At 0920, anchors. Therafter transfers to auxiliary oiler HOYO MARU and loads 145t heavy oil from auxiliary oiler HOYO MARU. At 1110, loading heavy oil is completed and transfers to anchorage. At 1340, loads fresh food for a period of 15 days.

10 February 1942:
At 0405, sustains an air attack.

11 February 1942:
At 0405, sustains an air attack.

12 February 1942:
At 0405, sustains an air attack.

14 February 1942:
At 1414, sustains an air attack.

15 February 1942:
From 0830 till 0943 anchors.

18 February 1942:
At 1147, sustains an air attack. The main gun fires two rounds.

19 February 1942:
At 1112, sustains an air attack. At 1222, alongside auxiliary water tanker WAYO MARU and is replenished with 40t fresh water.

20 February 1942:
At 0630 sent an investigation team towards the stranded maru on the southern side of Volcano Island. Later this day supports the patrol unit in the Rabaul Strait area. Therafter temporarily anchors on the south side of Volcano Island.

21 February 1942:
Heads towards the Rabaul Strait area to support the patrol units. The Japanese command at Rabaul orders a search for a lost floatplane by minelayer TSUGARU of Tanga and Nuguria Islands and minelayer KOEI MARU of the waters NW of Kapingamarangi. KIYOKAWA MARU is detached to assist.

23 February 1942:
TSUGARU picks up three 4th NAG’s survivors and departs at 0800. By 1200, she arrives at Rabaul as does KIYOKAWA MARU at an unknown time.

25 February 1942: Operation “SE” – The invasion of Cape St. George, New Ireland:
At 0700 anchors at Southern Volcano Island. Departs Rabaul later this day as a part of the operation “SE” cover force.

26 February 1942:
At 0445, arrives off the coast of Cape St. George providing direct support for the “SE” invasion force. At 0628 arrives at Lanisso Bay. At 1610, auxiliary submarine chaser TAMA MARU No. 8 arrives and at 1740, auxiliary gunboat SEIGA MARU arrives.

27 February 1942:
At 1730, auxiliary gunboat SEIGA MARU and auxiliary submarine chaser TAMA MARU No. 8 depart. At 1737, sustains an air attack. The 25 mm guns fire 15 rounds. Departs Lanisso Bay later this day.

28 February 1942:
Arives at Rabaul.

2 March 1942:
At 1719, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 2 rounds and the 25 mm guns fire 51 rounds.

5 March 1942: Operation “SR” – The Invasions of Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea:
From 0916 till 1159 alongside auxiliary seaplane tender KAMOI and is supplied with 250t heavy oil. At 1300 TSUGARU and minelayer OKINOSHIMA depart Rabaul with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Marumo Kuninori's (40) CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA and KIYOKAWA MARU, Rear Admiral Goto's CruDiv 6, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) DesRon 6's YUBARI and DesDiv 29’s ASANAGI, OITE, YUNAGI and DesDiv 30’s MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YOYOI.

8 March 1942:
Provides cover for invasions of Lae and Salamaua.

9 March 1942:
At 0840 TSUGARU arrives at Salamaua. At 1530, auxiliary minesweeper HAGOROMO MARU comes alongside and is loaded with fresh food for the second platoon.

10 March 1942:
Off Lae and Salamaua,The Invasion force is attacked by Vice Admiral Wilson Brown Jr. (USNA ’02) Task Force 11, including ships of Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank Jack Fletcher's (USNA ’06) TF 17. One hundred and four aircraft (SBDs, TBDs and F4Fs) of the USS LEXINGTON and USS YORKTOWN fly over New Guinea's Owen Stanley mountain range from the Coral Sea to make the attack.

The armed merchant cruiser KONGO MARU, auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU and transport YOKOHAMA MARU are sunk. The light cruiser YUBARI, destroyers YUNAGI, ASANAGI, OITE, ASAKAZE and YAKAZE, seaplane carrier KIYOKAWA MARU, transport KOKAI MARU, minesweeper No. 2 TAMA MARU and minelayers OKINOSHIMA and the TSUGARU are damaged.

11 March 1942:
At 1910, sends the remains of 12 war dead to Lae.

12 March 1942:
At 0030 TSUGARU departs Lae.

13 March 1942:
At 1108 arrives back at Rabaul.

16 March 1942:
Sends 12 urns of war dead to the hospital ship HIKAWA MARU.

18 March 1942:
At 0815, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 9 rounds.

20 March 1942:
At 0740, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 83 rounds and the 25 mm guns fire 336 rounds. At 1700 departs Rabaul.

21 March 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng. Embarks the Kashima army unit. Departs Kavieng later this day.

23 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

24 ~ 25 March 1942:
Damage is being repaired.

26 March 1942:
From 0803 till 0940 alongside auxiliary oiler HOYO MARU and is supplied with heavy oil. At 1000 departs Truk.

1 April 1942:
At 1000 arrives at Yokosuka. Starts repairs at the Yokosuka Navy Arsenal.

20 April 1942:
Loads various goods.

22 April 1942:
Supplied with fuel.

23 April 1942:
Provisioned with fresh food.

24 April 1942:
The majority of the repairs are completed.

25 April 1942:
At 1000 departs Yokosuka.

30 April 1942:
At 1455 arrives at Truk.

1 May 1942:
Comes alongside hospital ship HIKAWA MARU and is supplied with 150t heavy oil. Refuelled by auxiliary transport MITAKESAN MARU and auxiliary collier/tanker SHINSEI MARU No. 6. Departs Truk later this day.

3 May 1942:
Test fires the 25 mm guns.

4 May 1942: Operation “MO” – The Invasions of Tulagi and Port Moresby:
Rabaul, New Britain. TSUGARU arrives at Rabaul. Rear Admiral Kajioka's Port Moresby Attack Force departs with DesRon 6's YUBARI, DesDiv 29’s ASANAGI, OITE, DesDiv 30’s MUTSUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YAYOI and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (40) (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of five Navy and six Army transports, repair ship OSHIMA, oilers GOYO MARU, HOYO MARU, IRO, mine-sweepers W-20, HAGOROMO MARU, NOSHIRO MARU No. 2, FUMI MARU No. 2 and TSUGARU towards the Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago. The Port Moresby invasion troops are in this group.

6 May 1942:
At 1106, the convoy sustains an air attack. TSUGARU’s main guns fire 8 rounds. At 1700, YUBARI and DesDiv 29 detach. At 2340, Desdiv 30 and W-20 detach.

7 May 1942:
At 0453, YUBARI and DesDiv 29 rejoin the convoy. At 0545, The convoy sustains an air attack. TSUGARU’s main gun fire 15 rounds. At 1015, The convoy sustains an air attack. TSUGARU’s main gun fire 86 rounds and the 25 mm fire 176 rounds.

9 May 1942:
After the Battle of Coral Sea, the Attack Force returns to Rabaul. At 0920, DesDiv 30 rejoins the convoy. At 1405, the convoy is dissolved. TSUGARU arrives at Rabaul at 1459.

10 May 1942:
Destroyer UZUKI comes alongside to port and is supplied with 150t heavy oil.

11 May 1942: Operation "RY" - The Invasion of Ocean-Nauru Island:
After Operation "MO" is cancelled, TSUGARU and light cruiser TATSUTA are ordered to join the Ocean-Nauru Invasion Force. Alongside ammunition ship TATSUTAKE MARU and supplied with ammunition. From 1040 till 1344 alongside to starboard of oiler IRO and is supplied with 401t heavy oil. At 1630, departs Rabaul. At 2250 looses sight of hospital ship HIKAWA MARU. At 1630 departs Rabaul.

12 May 1942:
At 0910 sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 8 rounds. At 0955, arrives at Buka. At 1000, joins destroyer YUZUKI. At 1100, raises the flag of the 19th. Squadron.

13 May 1942:
At 0457 departs Buka with the Ocean-Nauru Invasion Force.

15 May 1942:
At 1350 Operation "RY" is cancelled.

16 May 1942:
At 0805, destroyer YUZUKI detaches. At 0950 enters the YUZUKI column. At 1627, TATSUTA detaches.

19 May 1942:
At 0617, destroyer UZUKI carries out an anti submarine sweep and throws 6 depth charges. At 0645, entered the UZUKI column. At 0745, an enemy submarine is deteceted. At 0820, UZUKI carries out an anti submarine sweep. At 1057 arrives at Truk. Loads stores from storeship HOKKAI MARU.

20 May 1942:
Alongside oiler IRO and loads heavy oil.

24 May 1942:
At 0759 departs Truk.

30 May 1942:
At 0900 arrives at Yokosuka.

2 June 1942:
Enters the second dock of the Yokosuka Navy Arsenal.

8 June 1942:
Leaves the dock.

10 June 1942:
Provisioned with food.

12 June 1942:
Loads ammunition.

17 June 1942:
Provisioned with fresh food.

18 June 1942:
Departs Yokusuka.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Later this day lies alongside auxiliary collier\oiler YODOGAWA MARU and is supplied with heavy oil.

30 June 1942:
Inside Truk atoll carries out an ad hoc anti aircraft battle excercise and a gunnery shooting excercise.

4 July 1942:
At 0600 departs Truk with submarine chaser CH-31 escorting NOJIMA MARU.

7 July 1942:
At 1644, CH-31 detects an enemy submarine 25 miles east of Lae. At 1700, TSUGARU detaches and heads to Lae. At 1730 arrives at Lae and departs at 2100.

10 July 1942:
At 1400 arrives at Truk.

14 July 1942:
The TSUGARU is assigned to the Eighth Fleet. Loads 200t heavy oil and fresh food.

15 July 1942:
Departs Truk.

17 July 1942:
At 1530 arrives at Rabaul. Bunkers from tanker IRO. From 1552 till 1807 minelayer TSUGARU lies alongside IRO and is supplied with 284t heavy oil.

20 July 1942: Operation “RI” – The Invasion of Buna, New Guinea: Departs Rabaul for Buna with CruDiv 18’s light cruisers TENRYU and TATSUTA, DesDiv 29’s ASANAGI and DesDiv 30’s UZUKI and YUZUKI escorting troop transports AYATOSAN, KINRYU and RYOYO MARUs. TSUGARU is assigned to escort the RYOYO MARU.

21 July 1942: At 1400, CH-28 drops depth charge. At 1413, UZUKI separates from the convoy and heads for Buna. At 1430, CH-30 drops depth charges. At 1505 TSUGARU and RYOYO MARU arrive at the landingzone. At 1545, sustains an air attack. The main guns fire 108 rounds and the 25 mm machine guns fire 109 rounds. At 1610, UZUKI is attacked by a lone B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy-bomber. At 1745, TSUGARU temporarily anchors off the coast of Garyborough hill. At 1754, UZUKI probably rejoins the convoy. Soon thereafter, UZUKI is detached to escort transport AYATOSAN MARU bound for Basabua, near Buna. At 1820, TSUGARU departs her anchorage temporarily. At 1900, UZUKI and AYATOSAN MARU arrive at Gona. AYATOSAN MARU starts to unload.

22 July 1942:
At 0610, American aircraft begin a series of attacks; at 0710, AYATOSAN MARU takes a direct bomb hit and bursts into flames. At 0723, UZUKI, who remained patrolling in the area, arrives and attempts to assist the burning AYATOSAN MARU, but she has to be run aground becoming a total constructive loss. Five troops and three crewmen are killed. From 1240, UZUKI begins rescuing survivors. At 1323, UZUKI departs for Rabaul. At 2050, TSUGARU rejoins the convoy.

24 July 1942:
At 1240, detaches from the convoy and arrives at Rabaul later this day.

25 July 1942:
Loads ammunition and fresh water.

31 July 1942:
Departs Rabaul at 0700 for Buna (Ri Operation - 3rd Transport Convoy) with transport NANKAI MARU and subchaser CH-28. The ships are attacked by aircraft off southwestern coast of New Britain and forced to abandon mission.

1 August 1942:
At 0750, attacked by one B-17. The main guns fire 49 rounds. At 1316, attacked by another B-17. The main guns fire 96 rounds. The 25 mm guns fire 360 rounds. At 1329, the NANKAI MARU is strafed and hit at least 8 times. At 1340, TSUGARU is ordered to withdraw and detaches. She heads towards the Bismarcks west waterways.

2 August 1942:
At 1430, rejoins with NANKAI MARU and CH-28.

3 August 1942:
CH-28 is bombed in an air attack but doesn’t get damaged. Returns to Rabaul at 2000.

7 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Guadalcanal on a 519-man troop transport mission with the armed transport MEIYO MARU, supply ship SOYA and two small escorts.

9 August 1942:
14 miles west of Cape St. George, New Britain. Just after midnight, the convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA ’32) USS S-38 at 04-50S, 152-40E. Munson sinks MEIYO MARU, but TSUGARU clears the area undamaged.

29-30 August 1942:
Departs Shortland with destroyer KAGERO to assist destroyer SHIRAKUMO hit by bombs from U.S. dive-bombers while on a troop transport run to Guadalcanal. (The destroyers HATSUYUKI, SHIRAYUKI, FUBUKI, UMIKAZE and KAWAKAZE deliver 750 troops to Guadalcanal). Takes over towing from destroyer AMAGIRI. Returns to Shortland.

1-2 September 1942:
Departs Shortland on troop (450 men) and field artillery (120-mm AA) transport run to Guadalcanal consisting of destroyers URAKAZE, TANIKAZE, SHIKINAMI and URANAMI. Covered by DesDiv 11’s FUBUKI and SHIRAYUKI, DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI and two patrol boats that also delivered two anti aircraft guns, an artillery regiment and 200 men.

3-4 September 1942:
Solomons area. Attacked by aircraft while returning to Shortland. Fourteen crewmen are killed and 30 wounded.

September 1942:
Probably undergoes repairs at Rabaul.

25 October 1942:
The TSUGARU is in Guadacanal Reinforcement Unit A with the light cruiser TATSUTA and two destroyers. Transports troops to Koli Point, Guadalcanal.

November 1942:
Based at Shortland.

30 November 1942:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Takahashi Ichimatsu (40) (former CO of ITSUKUSHIMA) assumes command.

10 December 1942:
Shortland. Attacked by 11 USAAF B-17 bombers and six fighters. The oilers TOA and FUJISAN MARUs are damaged. The TSUGARU comes alongside the burning FUJISAN MARU to help extinguish the fires.

13 December 1942:
Departs Shortland.

14 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

16 December 1942:
At 1900 departs Rabaul with DesDiv 17’s URAKAZE on a troop transport run to Munda and return.

18 December 1942:
At 2330 arrives back at Rabaul.

18-25 December 1942:
Completes five transport runs from Rabaul to New Georgia and return with ten destroyers and several transports including 23 December troop transport run to Munda with DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI.

23 December 1942:
At 1900 departs Rabaul with AMAGIRI.

24 December 1942:
Assigned to the Combined Fleet Southeastern Fleet Eight Fleet.

25 December 1942:
At 2300 arrives back at Rabaul.

26 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Duke of York Island. Arrives back at Rabaul later that day.

12 January 1943:
At 1700 departs Rabaul on a troop transport run with DesDiv 30’s MOCHIZUKI to the seaplane base at Rekata Bay, Santa Ysabel Island.

13 January 1943:
At 2100 arrives at Rekata.

14 January 1943:
At 0100 departs Rekata. At 1100 arrives at Buin.

16 January 1943:
At 0950 departs Buin again for Rekata, arriving there at 2100.

17 January 1943:
At 2300 departs Rekata. At 1015 arrives at Buin.

21 January 1943:
At 0935 departs Buin. Late that day arrives again at Rekata.

22 January 1943:
Departs Rekata early am with DesDiv 15’s KUROSHIO and torpedo boat HIYODORI and at 1400 arrives at Shortland.

24 January 1943:
At 1150 departs Shortland escorting a convoy.

25 January 1943:
Arrives at Buin.

1 February 1943:
At Shortland.

6 February 1943:
At 2200 departs Shortland.

8 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

12 February 1943:
At 2400 departs Rabaul.

14 February 1943:
Arrives at Shortland.

19 February 1943:
At 1430 departs Shortland, and later with minesweeper W-21, meets and escorts ammunition ship HIBARI MARU. At 1735 at 06-27S 156-05E off the coast of Bougainville Island, HIBARI MARU is hit in the stern by a single torpedo from USS GATO. TSUGARU and the W-21 immediately counterattack unsuccessfully.

20 February 1943:
Arrives back at Shortland. At 1800 departs for Rabaul.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

10 March 1943:
At 1450 departs Rabaul for Yokosuka.

14 March 1943:
At 0615 arrived at Saipan.

15 March 1943:
At 1300 due to depart Saipan.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 March-25 May 1943:
Yokosuka. Probably undergoes repairs and refit.

25 May-3 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk, then to Rabaul with DesDiv 30’s AKIKAZE.

14 June 1943:
At 1300 departs Rabaul carrying elements of 1st Transport Party.

15 June 1943:
At 0750 arrives at Buin.

5 August 1943:
NNE of Rabaul. At 1000, TSUGARU is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) John S. Coye's (USNA ’33) USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236) at 01-53N, 153-52E. Coye claims a possible hit by one of four torpedoes he fires in a submerged attack.

31 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul with destroyer HAMAKAZE.

2 September 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

12 September 1943:
Departs Truk with IRAKO and HAMAKAZE.

18 September 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

20 September 1943:
Captain Nakatsu Seiki (44) (former XO of FUSO) assumes command.

1 December 1943:
The TSUGARU is assigned to Vice Admiral Oka Arata's (40) (former CO of IZUMO) Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet.

3 December 1943:
At 0600 departs Yokosuka escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE.

6 December 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

10 December 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

14 December 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

20 December 1943:
Departs Manila.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

31 December 1943:
Departs Singapore on an escort mission.

11 January 1944:
Departs Singapore.

13 January 1944:
Arrives at Penang.

23 January 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

3 February 1944:
Arrives at Port Blair.

4 February 1944:
Departs Port Blair.

7 February 1944:
Arrives at Singapore and transfers to Seletar.

17 February 1944:
Departs Singapore.

18 February 1944:
Arrives at Belawan and departs later that day.

20 February 1944:
Arrives at Nicobar Islands and departs later that day.

22 February 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

23 February 1944:
Departs Singapore.

25 February 1944:
Arrives at St Jacques and departs the same day for Manila.

7-8 April 1944:
Maradugao River, Mindanao. TSUGARU is replenished by stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

28 April 1944:
Departs Manila escorted by patrol boat PB-102. At N13.35-E120.05, PB-102 detaches. Arrives at Davao later this day.

27 May 1944: American Operation "Horlicks" - The Invasion of Biak, New Guinea:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral/CNO) William M. Fechteler's (USNA ’16) (former CO of INDIANA, BB-58), Task Force 77 lands Maj Gen Horace H. Fuller's 41st Division on Biak off New Guinea.

31 May 1944: Operation “KON” - The Relief of Biak:
Davao, Philippines. Joins in the effort to embark 3, 500 troops of the Second Mobile Brigade from Zamboanga, Mindanao to reinforce Biak.

2 June 1944:
Departs Zamboanga for Biak. The TSUGARU attempts to transport 800 troops to Biak (with minelayer ITSUKUSHIMA and Transport No. 127 as second convoy escorted by minesweeper W-30). After being sighted by two B-24 bombers, the operation is canceled.

7 June 1944:
At 1225 minesweeper W-30 departs Davao with minelayer TSUGARU.

9 June 1944:
At 2010 arrives at Sarawatoe Island anchorage.

10 June 1944:
At 0835 W-30 departs Sarawatoe anchorage still escorting TSUGARU.

11 June 1944:
At 1606 arrives at Kau.

12 June 1944:
Operates from Kau (Kaoe) area to Sorong, New Guinea with the ITSUKUSHIMA, Transport No. 127 and minesweeper W-30. Makes a third attempt to reinforce Biak with cover from the battleships MUSASHI and YAMATO. At 1227 W-30 departs Kau escorting TSUGARU.

13 June 1944:
At 1148 arrives at Sorong and departs at 1508. At 1935 arrives at Sarawatoe western anchorage.

14 June 1944:
At 1031 departs Sarawatoe and at 1409 arrives at Sorong.

15 June 1944:
At 1145 anchored off Sorong, attacked by a B-25 and P-38 without damage.

16 June 1944:
At 1415 W-30 departs Sorong with TSUGARU.

17 June 1944:
At 1025 arrives at Obit.

21 June 1944:
At 0800 TSUGARU arrives at Sarawatoe anchorage and departs at 0900. At 0938 W-30 and T-127 depart Sarawatoe and at 1300 meet up with TSUGARU. Off Sanana, Soela islands between Sorong and Kau Roads, Moluccas. The TSUGARU is torpedoed by Dutch Ltz. I Jacob F. Drijfhout van Hooff's submarine HNMS K-XIV at 01-10S, 130-30E. The extent of damage inflicted is unknown.

22 June 1944:
At 0800 TSUGARU and destroyer HOKAZE arrive at Kau.

29 June 1944:
At 0630 TSUGARU with submarine chasers CH-38 and CH-45 depart Kau for Manila. Off Morotai Island, near Biak. In the early afternoon, Cdr (later Captain) David H. McClintock’s (USNA ’35) USS DARTER (SS-227) sights a large minelayer under escort by two 300-ton subchasers and an aircraft. Using an out-dated reference, McClintock misidentifies TSUGARU as the similarly configured, but somewhat older, minelayer OKINOSHIMA. At 1356, the USS DARTER's crew readies all torpedo tubes. As TSUGARU approaches from starboard, Cdr McClintock observes a floatplane on her deck. At 1425, he fires a full bow spread of six torpedoes with a run of about 2,350 yards. Two torpedoes hit and TSUGARU goes dead in the water. At 1432, the subchasers begin dropping a total of 24 depth charges, but USS DARTER goes deep and escapes undamaged.

At 1449, TSUGARU sinks at 02-19N, 127-57E. Captain Nakatsu is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:

[1] Later ROBERT L BARNES (AG-27) is renamed HASU MARU.

Special thanks for assistance go to Jean-Francois Masson of Canada, Matthew Jones of Mississippi, USA, the late John Whitman of Virginia, USA, Gilbert Casse of France, Berend van der Wal of the Netherlands, the late Luca Ruffato of Italy and Allan Alsleben of Oregon.

- By Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Peter Cundall.


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