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Otori Class
Torpedo Boat

840 Tons (standard)
960 Tons (loaded)
290' 4" x 278 10" x 26' 10"
Armament Otori Class
3 x 12cm guns
1 x 40mm AA
1 x 11mm MG
3 x Type 94 Torpedo Tubes
3 x 6th Year Torpedoes
2 x Paravanes

Armament August 1944
2 x 12cm guns
11 x 25mm AA
3 x Type 94 Torpedo Tubes
3 x 6th Year Torpedoes
48 x depth charges

Ship History
Built by Tōkyō-Ishikawajima Shipbuilding Yard. Launched October 25, 1935. Completed December 20, 1936. Commissioned as Hiyodori 鵯 a Otori Class Torpedo Boat. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), Second China Expeditionary Fleet, 15th Escort Squadron.

Wartime History
On December 4, 1941 departs Mako as part of the invasion force bound for Hong Kong. On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War conducts patrol and escort duties around Hong Kong.

During March 3-27, 1942 repaired at Hong Kong. On April 10, 1942 the 15th Escort Squadron deactivated; reassigned directly to Second China Expeditionary Fleet. On September 15, 1942 departs Hong Kong escorting a convoy bound for Palau and returns to Hong Kong on September 25, 1942.

On September 26, 1942 departs Hong Kong escorting a convoy via Palau to Rabaul then to Shortlands. On November 6, 1942 escorts a troop convoy from Rabaul to Shortlands then returns to Rabaul by November 8, 1942.

On November 21, 1942 departs Rabaul with Otori transporting food for an emergency transport run bound for Lae. On November 22, 1942 the vessels are spotted by two B-17s and incorrectly identified them as destroyers roughly 68 miles southwest of Arawe. The B-17s made a first attack that was unsuccessful then circled around for a second bomb run when B-17E 41-2536 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed into the sea with at least six of the crew bailing out. Hiyodori was undamaged during the attacks and rescues one of the crew. Afterwards, Hiyodori and Otori reach Lae, unload their and return to Rabaul on November 24, 1942.

The Naval Land Unit That Vanished In The Jungle by Tetsuo Watanabe adds:
"Hiyodori was on a sortie from Rabaul to Lae, whose crew were in high moral and said 'Soon we will show you a real man's war'. Their mission was not without incident, as a bombing attack by B-17's that dropped bombs and circled around to strafe. Tetsuo's jaw was wounded from a piece of shrapnel from a nearby blast, but was consoled by the sight of a B-17 falling with its wing on fire. In a unique turn of events, their ship picked up one of the Australian crew members who survived the crash, and the author remembers "He caught a look at my face bandaged except for my eyes, then he looked away" [likely, this was Australian Allan G. Fairfax]

On December 24, 1942 departs Rabaul escorting a convoy bound for Palau and returns to Rabaul on January 7, 1943. On January 16, 1942 escorts Yamashimo Maru transporting an anti-aircraft unit to Kolombangara. On January 17, 1943 escorts Tsugaru transporting an anti-aircraft unit to Rekata Bay.

On January 22, 1943 during the evening departs Rabaul escorting Toa Maru No. 2 on a supply run bound for Bougainville, Shortland, Kolombangara and Munda. Also escorting was Subchaser No. 23 (CH-23) and mine layer Kamome. After departing Rabaul, the convoy was spotted by a Allied coastwatcher on New Ireland and reported by radio to the Allies.

On February 16, 1943 with Subchaser No. 18 drops depth charges that sink USS Amberjack (SS-219) at roughly Lat 5°05′S Long 152°37′E. Afterwards, a large amount of heavy oil and "parts of the hull" came to the surface.

On March 31, 1943 departs Rabaul northward to Truk arriving April 3, 1943 and was reassigned to 2nd Surface Escort Division, Fourth Fleet. On April 14, 1943 departs Truk. On April 21, 1943 arrived at Yokosuka and departs five days later as part of a convoy for Saipan then to Truk and then to Rabaul.

On May 8, 1943 departs Truk escorting convoy 4508 bound for Yokosuka. Two days later, aids in the rescue of survivors of Kinai Maru and Tatsutake Maru that were torpedoed earlier.

On July 17, 1943 departs Truk escorting convoy 1172 to Rabaul arriving four days later.

On November 1, 1943 departs Kwajalein escorting a convoy via Truk then to Japan. On November 15, 1943 the 2nd Surface Escort Division reassigned to General Escort Command. On November 23, 1943 arrived at Sasebo. On November 30, 1944 docked at Maizuru for repairs completed by December 18, 1944.

On January 9, 1944 departs Yokosuka escorting a convoy via Chi Chi Jima to Truk thirteen days later. On January 25, 1944 departs Truk escorting a convoy to Yokosuka then to Saipan arriving February 5, 1944. On March 3, 1944 sustained minor damage at Saipan then returned to Yokosuka and underwent repairs between March 19-30, 1944.

On April 1, 1944 departs Yokosuka escorting a convoy convoy Matsu No. 4 to Saipan then returned to Yokosuka. On June 1, 1944 escorted a convoy from Saipan to Truk arriving nine days later. On June 21, 1944 departs Truk escorting a convoy via Davao, Cebu then Manila Bay arriving July 13, 1944. On July 18, 1944 assigned to 1st Surface Escort Division, General Escort Command. On July 24, 1944 departs Manila Bay escorting a convoy via Takao to Sasebo then underwent repairs August 5-7, 1944.

On August 15, 1944 departs Sasebo escorting a convoy via Keelung and Takao to Singapore arriving September 22, 1944. On October 2, 1944 departs Singapore escorting a convoy to Manila Bay arriving a week later.

On October 17, 1944 departs Manila Bay escorting a convoy to Brunei Bay. On October 24, 1944 with Naganami a boarding party inspects the abandoned shipwreck of USS Darter (SS-227) that ran aground on Bombay Shoal and removes various items including a .50 caliber machine gun. On October 25, 1944 arrives Brunei Bay.

On October 27, 1944 departs Brunei Bay escorting a convoy via Miri to Cape Saint Jacques in Vietnam arriving on November 5, 1944. On November 10, 1944 departs Cape Saint Jacques escorting convoy MI-20 bound for Takao.

Sinking History
On November 17, 1944 torpedoed by USS Gunnel (SS-253) in the South China Sea at roughly 140 miles east-northeast of Cape Tourane at roughly Lat 16°  56N Long 110°  30E. Officially removed from the Navy list on January 10, 1945.

Combined Fleet - IJN Hiyodori: Tabular Record of Movement
The Naval Land Unit That Vanished In The Jungle mentions Rabaul to Lae supply run November 21-24, 1942
NARA USS Gunnel, Report of War Patrol Number Seven pages 24-30

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Last Updated
November 18, 2019


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