Steve Burton Passed on by Michael Mohl

Steve Burton Passed on by Michael Mohl

Side Scan Information

Steve Burton passed on by Michael Mohl

Hi Michael,

How very interesting – so little information remained after the end of WWII it’s great to come across snippets of information like this.

A sidescan sonar search of the area should be carried out first – At these shallow depths, they are cheap enough to fit on even the smallest fishing boats, and will be perfectly adequate to confirm the location and outline/structure of the wreck without sending down divers.

Hummingbird make decent units for a few hundred dollars that can even be temporary mounted on the back of a small day boat - imagery is fantastic, even to the point where it’s not necessary to dive the wreck anymore unless artifacts or a closer visual inspection of some specific identifying feature(makers name on the props, etc.) needs to be carried out.

Steve Burton BSc(hons) C.Eng., MIET M.D. SamuiEasytekCo.Ltd email:- , Dive Industry Technician Training & Support Tel/Fax +66-38-300-273,Mob(SMS,MMS) +66-81-652-3197 , GMT+7 SKYPE, FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN:>scubaengineer

Comments from Bruce:

This is a significant change as it takes it out of scuba depth. That means side scan sonar and ultimately ROV. Side scan for under 1500 feet can be purchased for slightly over $1200.

On the other hand the 460 feet depth is much more credible for sub action.

Important Revision on Depth

If the map and coordinates of the attack on are correct and Escolar is, indeed, resting in the Tsushima Strait, we then have to revise the depth. The strait has a fairly consistent depth of 140 metres (approx. 460 feet) throughout its length and width carved by the currents, so that's a somewhat different scenario as far as what will be needed to find/dive her. The coordinates place Escolar fairly mid-way in the strait, so I believe we can make a pretty accurate guess that we can expect the 460 feet depth. Also, the currents are stronger than where I thought she rested in the Yellow Sea, but the clarity of the water is better. With regard to conditions, summer is still the best season.

Tony Duda

Yobu note. Most important Japanese Coast Guard English Translation

Dear Mr.Abele.

I send to this email attaching Undersea cable map by Ocean ledger.

And Japan Coast Guard has English website.

It seems can also contact English.

With best regards.

Kiyotaka Asano

Richard Graham

Relation of Bessel Ellipsoid to WGS 84 Ellipsoid

I'd like to do more research, but the preliminarily answer is: thereappears to be about a 60m shift to the north of the Bessel Ellipsoidrelative to the WGS 84 Ellipsoid.

I note that there is some disparity between the E 128 43, N 33 32 you giveand the Wiki article [E122 35 N33 21] Non the Escolar's last known position of "North BoninIslands" However, the article also mentions the Yellow Sea as the patrolarea.

Richard F. Graham



From Yobu Snag Reports

Japan Coast Guard have many information.

this is information toppage

Click the left button in the pop-up.

you can use Ocean ledger.

I send to this email attaching some information jpeg files hasten. it is Seabed obstacles and Wreck.

I'm sorry in an incomplete description. I do not have time anymore. Tonight.

With best regards.

Kiyotaka Asano

Top jpg is wrecks; bottom is seabed obstacles.

From Yobu

Sorry to send email rapid. Mr. Morl.

I noticed. Old Japan Geodetic System is differ Compared to international Terrestrial Reference Frame.

Old Japan Geodetic System used Bessel ellipsoid.

Google map Used WGS84 ellipsoid.The need to be fixed.

I'm sorry If you already know

Sorry to send email rapid. Mr. Morl.

From Yobu

Dear Mr.Mohl

Named PT-102 of the previous email was a mistake. Named PB-102 is correct.

Detection point of an unknown submarine was written in the Wartime diary of PB-102.

It is a little different with the combat action report of the CD-38.

I translated wartime diary of PB-102 and wrote red.

I will attach jpeg files.

With best regards.

Kiyotaka Asano( Web HN Job)

More Thoughts

I’m afraid I know very little (okay, absolutely nothing) about diving and that area of the Yellow Sea/Northern East China Sea. However, I’m going to search through Croaker’s and Perch’s patrol reports to see if there are any references to Escolar having radio problems. I tend to doubt that there were based upon the admittedly limited information that I’ve seen, but I’ll give it a look. Escolar’s”Prologue” patrol report information might also still be available, and this might supply information about her pre-departure refit and maintenance work, potential radio issues, and the hull chipping and cracking that Cramp-built boats reportedly suffered from. One thing that would be interesting would be to learn if the Japanese aircraft mentioned in the notes. By this time, the Japanese had a very creditable MAD system which was put to good use against Halibut, for example; was the aircraft involved a MAD plane? Also, who detected Escolar (if it was her) first? The kaibokan or the aircraft? The notes aren’t clear. Given the 4:00 PM time given, I’m surmising that Escolar was submerged and that her periscope was detected. None of this would indicate whether the reported attack was upon Escolar, but it may possibly help to interpret her final moments if it can be ascertained.

Anyway, just some random ideas that crossed my mind last night and today at work.

Take care,


Tactical questions:

From: Robert Morgan‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Date: Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Subject: Re: Fwd: USS Escolar

My question is more of a tactical one. If Escolar was aware of MI-23 through an Ultra dispatch, then why did Cmdr. Millican detach and then not recall Croaker and Perch? I could see detaching one of them, perhaps, to cover the patrol area, but the whole point of a coordinated attack group was to, well, attack in a coordinated fashion. Going it alone defeats the purpose.

I'm going on the very, very rough working theory that Escolar didn't have precise information about MI-23, and perhaps blundered into it totally by accident while proceeding to her new position. The map shows that Croaker wasn't terribly far away at the time of the Japanese attack, but certainly not close enough to directly intervene, so if Millican knew about the convoy, reason suggests that he would have called her in, or attempted to maintain contact, trail, report, and eventually coach his packmates into position. Doctrine required or highly suggested that that boat making contact not attack first. The only plausible reasons I can think of for Millican disregarding procedure under this scenario are that:

1. Escolar detected the convoy and didn't have time to send out a contact report before being attacked; she was attacked while still "sorting out" what she had found.

2. Escolar's radio transmitting ability was somehow diminished, as suggested in the notes, so Millican decided to take the proverbial bird in hand and attack on his own without waiting for nightfall to surface and report.



From Yobu

Thank you four your email. Mr.Able.

I Finished reading the last email from you. I was saved.

And I will answer your questions.

I learned from these websites

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records National Archives of Japan

Description:This web site allows you to search documents of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy in japanese.

I was confirmed the combat action report of the battle at CD-38 on this web site.

Library of Peace Memorial Display Museum

Description:This web site is put the memorandum of Many soldiers who survived.

I know the battle of CD-38 in this site. And was going to examine the sunken submarine.

I Investigated at JpWikipedia and EnWikipedia and For USS escolar.

Finally, I will attach a photo of me. Sorry for being late.


Let me know if you need any help.

Kiyotaka Asano (Web HN Job)

From Anthony Duda

Clarity, currents

I've done some research on the clarity and currents of the Yellow Sea. We can go on forever with endless data, but here is what's important in a nutshell:

- The clarity changes by season, with better clarity during the summer, and worse in winter.

- The Yellow Sea tends to have overall lower clarity than other bodies of water. This is due to its relatively shallow depth, as well as sand that blows in from the Gobi desert, giving it a yellow hue. Also, a higher amount of organic matter is present there due to the shallow depth and gentle currents. The exception to this is the central area, which is the deepest part. There the clarity of the water is better, but the currents are somewhat stronger. However, if coordinates are correct, Escolar doesn't rest in that part of the Yellow Sea.

- The currents, overall. are relatively gentle in the Yellow Sea, again, due to its shallow depth and other factors. Of course, all bets are off during the winter, as it is typhoon season in that part of the world.

To sum this up, the best time of year to search/dive for Escolar in the Yellow Sea is during the summer months: better clarity, gentler currents, and air/water temperatures more moderate. Summer is the monsoon season, however, but that would cause much less of a hindrance than typhoon season in the winter. last name is Duda, not "Duba" :-)

Thanks, and I hope this information is helpful.


From Yobu

Thank you four your email. Mr.Able.

Everyone. I'm sorry. You was missread. doe to my bad English.

I was born in 1978. I do not participate in the Pacific War.

I am fun able to examine the history of the battle of ancestors.

My information is obtained from what was wrote ancestors.

You would have been disappointed. Please forgive me.

I will tell you also, if there is a new discovery for Escolar.

With best regards

Kiyotaka Asano( Web HN Job)

Depth from Tony Duda who has been doing research 99’ to 245’. Most likely about half way between.

Hello All

I think it is enough certain that Escolar(SS-294) was where DE 38 attacked submarine on Oct. 19th 1914.

The wolfpack 'Millican's Marauders' was consisted by three submarines, Escolar(SS-294), Perch(SS-313) and Croaker(SS-246).

Escolar was pack leader.

DE-38 was one of escorts of Japanese convoy MI-23. MI-23 was at Sasebo, KYUSHU(See attached map) on 15th Oct.

They were waiting for departure because US Task Force 38/Hulsey had attacked Okinawa and Formosa since 10th Oct. 1944.

US wolfpack had information from CINCPAC that called 'ULTRA'.

I suppose Escolar knew MI-23 schedule but didn't know which sourse MI-23 took northbound to TSUSHIMA strait or southbound to East china sea.

Attached are log of Perch(SS-313) and Croaker(SS-246) around 15th to 19th Oct.

(Does CTG17.14 means Combat Tactics Group?)

The wolfpack moved to TSUSHIMA strait on 15th together,

then on 17th late at night 23:00 Millican separated the wolfpack and ordered two submarines south of SASEBO.

This was the last transmission from Escolar.

On 18th two subs, Perch and Croaker were proceeding to new assigned station by 'Three engine speed'.

I suppose Escolar/Millican was still in TSUSHIMA strait watching north passage from SASEBO.

On 18th convoy MI-23 departed SASEBO and at that night anchored at neighbor harbor IMARI-WAN Bay.

On 19th morning they departed northbound into TSUSHIMA strait and 15:00 DE38 attacked submarine at N33-32' E128-43'.

Sincerely Yutaka Iwasaki

From Brad Pearson


This is what I got from the crew memorandum book. I can't make a lot of sense of the actual log book, hopefully Yutaka-san can. I don't have the vocabulary and reading handwriting is super difficult for me.

This is the story of an un named (as far as I can tell) Japanese sailor aboard the number 38 escort destroyer that was assigned coastal defense and convoy escort duty.

The 19th (of October 1944), four p.m. off the coast of Sasebo (Big deep water port south of Nagasaki. There is a US Navy base there now.), forty-five degrees off the starboard bow, our ship did positively detect an enemy submarine at 3000 meters, we fired about thirty depth charges. As a result, we saw a heavy oil slick on the surface, and a lot of gear from an enemy submarine also floated to the surface. We took this as a certain sign that the enemy submarine had been sunk and we put a mark on the outside of the bridge. One Japanese military aircraft aircraft helped in this battle.

Here is the original Japanese language used by the sailor:


As always any mistakes found are mine and are in no way meant to be misleading.

Brad "The Greatness" Pearson


お元気ですか? I would be very interested in your reading of the JACAR documents. I have used them before in our research on USS Tang and USS Darter.

My wife and son will be returning from Sapporo tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the omiyage that they are bringing.


Charles R. Hinman

Director of Education & Outreach

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park


The log book says it was between Kyushu and Korea. It says the initial contact but not the final and considering 38 engaged at 3km and they were almost two hours before they were finished they could have been all over the place. There is solid, IMO, info and I'm sure Yutaka San can find it.

Please keep me updated on how this turns out. As a Marine, those are my shipmates, and if I can do any more to help find them, I'm here.

Brad Pearson


The memorandum from the crew gives very specific details (45 deg off starboard we positively detected the enemy sub at a range of 3000 m, we fired over 30 depth charges, etc) but seems thin on other details (time of engagement, heading and location at time of detection to name a few) Is this normal or is this just a mediocre source document?

I'm still new to all of this.

Semper Fi


From Yobu

Thank you for your email. Mr.Abele.

You had japanese supporter.

I Found Mr.Iwasaki’s USS Grunion website after your email.

There are news to tell.

I got email Also from Mr.Norford.

He is broter of USS Escolar crew.

He Wrote, investigate IJN escort CD-38 combat report and memorandom.

I noticed that site( is painful look.

i convert to Jpeg image The DE38 combat report written to oct.19.1944

and send to

Please wait a little, so start from now.

Hello All

I have done a quick review about Job's information.

I suppose he may be Japanese, possibly Wikipedia editor. (This day Wikipedia pages of Japnese about Japanese convoy is growing.)

He says there are two resources that may concern with Escolar's loss.

One is JACAR documents C08030594400. It is combat action report of IJN DE38.

(His link in his e-mail doesn't work. So you need proper function of search in JACAR homepage)

The other is a reminiscences essay by one of DE38 crew, his name is ISAMU SUEMUNE.

The title is '- Convoy escort - Earnest military service on KAIBOKAN escort'.

This is pdf file O_05_357_1.pdf at web page .

(Job's link also doesn't work. Maybe he carefully insert blank in the words to avoid direct internet link for e-mail manner.)

By those two resouces it is certain that

DE38 did anti-submarine attack on Oct. 19th, 1944 in TSUSHIMA strait, and they reported with conviction.

Though this is typical 'confirmed kill' report by IJN AS vessels and usually misunderstanding or US submarines had safely escaped.

However the loss of Escolar is unsolved mystery. Job's information possibly helps the solution.

My little additional information.

DE38 escorted convoy MI-38.

This convoy is well known because USS Tang (SS-306) attacked this convoy on Oct. 24th-25th, 1944 at Formosa strait

and sank by Japanese counterattack. Commander O'Kane became prisoner.

MI-23 log

Oct.15, 1944 Organized at MIIKE port, KYUSHU. Moved to SASEBO.

Oct.18 departed SASEBO. At this night anchored at IMARI bay.

Oct.19 Morning departed toward Korea across TSUSHIMA strait. Convoy speed 8knt.

Oct.20 Anchored at Dadohaenaesang Bay, Korea.

Oct.22 Anchored at Zhōushān Islands off Shanghai

Because Comsubpac must dispatched ULTRA information about convoy MI-23 to submarines,

it is nautral Escolar was near the cource.

However the packmate submarine, Croaker(SS-246) and Perch(SS-313),

received last message from Escolar(commanding ship of the wolf pack - 'Millican's Marauders')

on Oct. 17th. Since then they could not raise Escolar by radio.

Escolar seemed had some trouble in radio facility, since 30th Sept. listening post failed to hear from Escolar. On that date Escolar fought against armed yacht, possibly was damaged.

Another possibility is malfunction of the ship.

Escolar was built by the Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia.

This shipyard had almost no skill to build GATO class submarine, I saw in 'Sink'em all' by Charles Lockwood.

Attached are the location concerning.

I pick up long/lat from original report of Croaker(SS-246) and Perch(SS-313) in

The last position of Escolar is found at

'Perch reported that on 17 October she had received a message from Escolar stating that she was in position 33°-44'N, 127°-33'E, and was heading for Latitude 33°-44'N, Longitude 129°-06'E.

Neither Perch nor Croaker could raise Escolar by radio after this transmission was received.'

Best Regards,

Yutaka Iwasaki

12 June, 2014

------Forwarded message ------

From: Yobu < >

Date: Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Subject: About USS Escolar (SS-294) sinking


Nice to meet you Mr.Mohl. I'm Japanese Farmer. Please call me Job.