Sunday, January 12, 2020

Southeastern French Indochina Attacked

FRI 12 JAN 1945
TF 38 (Vice Adm John S. McCain) operating in the South China Sea hits Japanese shipping, airfields, and other shore installations in southeastern French Indochina. TF 38 planes sink training cruiser Kashii north of Qui Nhon, 13°50'N, 109°20'E; escort vessel Chiburi, Coast Defense Vessel No.17, and Coast Defense Vessel No.19 off Cape St. Jacques, 10°20'N, 107°50'E; submarine chaser Ch 31, minesweeper W.101, Patrol Boat No.103 [ex-U.S. minesweeper Finch (AM-9)], Coast Defense Vessel No.35, Coast Defense Vessel No.43, and merchant tanker Ayayuki Maru off Cape Padaran, 11°10'N, 108°55'E; submarine chaser Ch 43 near Cam Ranh Bay, 11°53'N, 109°08'E; landing ship T.140 and victualling stores ship Ikutagawa Maru at Saigon, 10°20'N, 107°50'E; Coast Defense Vessel No.23 and Coast Defense Vessel No.51 north of Qui Nhon, 14°15'N, 109°10'E; auxiliary minesweeper Otowa Maru at Cam Ranh Bay, 11°50'N, 109°00'E; oil tanker Kumagawa Maru and transports Shinsei Maru and Toyu Maru off Cape St. Jacques, 10°20'N, 107°45'E; transport Kembu Maru and army cargo ships Yushu Maru and Kyokuun Maru north of Qui Nhon; army cargo ships Kiyo Maru and No.17 Shinsei Maru, Saigon; and merchant cargo ships Kenei Maru and Taikyu Maru and tanker No.9 Horai Maru at Saigon; tanker Akashi Maru off Cape St. Jacques; cargo ship Eiman Maru and tanker No.2 Nanryu Maru, east coast (exact location unspecified) of French Indochina; tanker Shoei Maru, cargo ships Hotsusan Maru, Tatsuhato Maru, Otsusan Maru, Yujo Maru, and No.63 Banshu Maru north of Qui Nhon; and tankers Koshin Maru, Ayanami Maru, Hoei Maru, and Eiho Maru, and cargo ship Kensei Maru, southeast of Cape St. Jacques. TF 38 planes also damage escort vessels Daito and Ukuru, Coast Defense Vessel No.27, and fleet tanker San Luis Maru north of Qui Nhon; submarine chaser Ch 34 and merchant cargo ship Ryuyo Maru at Cam Ranh Bay; landing ships T.149 and T.137 and fleet tanker No.3 Kyoei Maru off Cape St. Jacques; landing ship T.131 near Saigon; guardboatNo.2 Fushimi Maru at entrance to Vung Tau; army cargo ship France Maru and merchant tanker Shingi Maru, southeast of Cape St. Jacques; and merchant cargo ships Chefoo Maru and Kanju Maru at Saigon. Vichy French ships, due to their proximity to Japanese vessels, also come under attack: TF 38 planes sink light cruiser Lamotte-Picquet off Cat Lai, and sink French surveying vessel Octant. Other Japanese casualties include Coast Defense Vessel No.2 damaged by aircraft (location unspecified); and auxiliary vessel Keishu Maru damaged by aircraft off Longhai.

Off the west coast of Luzon, kamikazes damage destroyer escorts Richard W. Suesens (DE-342) and Gilligan (DE-508), 16°20'N, 120°10'E; attack transport Zeilin (APA-3), 15°23'N, 119°25'E; and tank landing ship LST-700, 14°04'N, 119°25'E; suicide pilots target U.S. merchant ships, damaging freighters Elmira Victory (there are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 27-man Armed Guard) 16°11'N, 120°20'E (friendly fire also accounts for damage to the ship); Otis Skinner, on board which Armed Guard sailors contribute to fire-fighting efforts, 14°42'N, 119°35'E; Edward M. Wescott off the west coast of Luzon (10 of the 25-man Armed Guards are wounded by flying debris); Kyle V. Johnson, (on board which 129 of 506 Army troops, being transported, die) at 15°12'N, 119°30'E; and David Dudley Field at Subic Bay (Armed Guard gunfire deflects the kamikaze so that it only strikes the ship a glancing blow). Friendly fire accounts for damage to high speed transport Sands (APD-13) and tank landing ships LST-710 and LST-778, 15°00'N, 119°30'E.

Operation KONGO continues; submarine I 47 launches kaitens that damage U.S. freighter Pontus H. Ross off Hollandia, New Guinea, 02°33'S, 140°06'W; there are no casualties among the merchant sailors or the 27-man Armed Guard. Efforts by submarines I 53 at Kossol Roads, Palau; I 56 at Manus, in the Admiralties; and by I 58 at Apra Harbor, Guam, are not [sic] unsuccessful (see 20 and 23 January).

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