Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Candid Lament

TUE 22 AUG 1944
Submarine Bowfin (SS-287) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking army cargo ship Tsushima Maru in the Nansei Shoto, 29°30'N, 129°30'E.

Submarines Haddo (SS-255) and Harder (SS-257) encounter three Japanese escort vessels off the mouth of Manila Bay. Haddo sinks Sado 35 miles west of Manila, 14°15'N, 120°05'E; Harder sinks Matsuwa and Hiburi about 50 miles west-southwest of Manila, 14°15'N, 120°05'E. Loss of the trio of escorts in one day prompts the Chief of Staff, 1st Surface Escort Unit, to lament candidly: "Escort vessels, whose prime duty it is to attack and sink enemy submarines, have themselves been being sunk by enemy subs. This year alone a total of 13 have been sunk and three badly damaged. In addition, the Kusagaki, Matsuwa, Sado and Hiburi have been sunk one after the other just recently." The situation mirrors the plight of Japanese anti-submarine operations.

Submarine Pintado (SS-387) attacks Japanese convoy, sinking merchant tanker No.2 Tonan Maru (see 10 October 1942) 200 nautical miles southeast of Shanghai, 29°52'N, 125°22'E.

Submarine Spadefish (SS-411) attacks Japanese convoy, damaging tanker No.2 Hakko Maru in Luzon Strait, 18°48'N, 120°46'E; the tanker takes refuge in Passeleng Bay. Subsequent efforts to salvage her prove unavailing as the tanker will break up in heavy swells on 18 September.

Submarine Tang (SS-306) sinks Japanese army cargo ship No.2 Nansatsu Maru off Mikizaki, 34°01'N, 136°21'E.

British submarine HMS Statesman sinks Japanese army cargo ship No.5 Sugi Maru (ex-Panamanian Gran) off Port Blair, 11°41'N, 92°47'E; escorting torpedo boat Kari and submarine chaser Ch.9 carry out unsuccessful counterattacks.

Japanese merchant cargo ship Kanzaki Maru is sunk by aircraft off east coast of Korea, 36°01'N, 129°41'E.

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