Japanese destroyer Asashimo
Asashimo on November 27, 1943.
|Completed:||27 November 1943|
|Struck:||10 May 1945|
|Fate:||Sunk in action, 7 April 1945|
|Class & type:||Yūgumo-class destroyer|
|Armament:||• 6 × 127 mm/50 caliber DP guns
• up to 28 × 25 mm AA guns
• up to 4 × 13 mm AA guns
• 8 × 610 mm torpedo tubes for Type 93 torpedoes
• 36 depth charges
Asashimo (朝霜?, "Morning Frost") was a Yūgumo-class destroyer of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was sunk with all hands during Operation Ten-Go, as were other escort destroyers, the Yamato and the Yahagi, by attacking US aircraft.
Service career and fate
On 29 February 1944, while escorting a large convoy en route to Truk, Asashimo detected the USS Rock (SS-274) making a night surface approach on the convoy. Rock fired a spread of four torpedoes from her stern tubes at the closing Asashimo without scoring a hit. Illuminated by the destroyer's searchlight, and under fire from the ship's 5-inch (130 mm) guns, Rock dived. For four hours Asashimo continued depth charge attacks, without success. That night Rock surfaced and found that her periscopes were excessively damaged and that her bridge had been riddled with shrapnel. The damage necessitated a return to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Later that night, the busy Asashimo sank Trout. Japanese records indicate that one of their convoys, Matsu No. 1, was attacked by a submarine on 29 February 1944 in the patrol area assigned to Trout. Carrying the 29th Infantry Division of the Kwantung Army from Manchuria to Guam, Matsu No. 1 consisted of four large transports escorted by three Yūgumo-class destroyers of Destroyer Division 31: Asashimo, Kishinami, and Okinami. The submarine badly damaged one large passenger-cargo ship and sank the 7,126-ton transport Sakito Maru. About 2,200 of the 3,500 men aboard the Sakito Maru died, which included a large portion of the 18th Infantry Regiment. Asashimo detected the submarine and dropped 19 depth charges. Oil and debris came to the surface and the destroyer dropped a final depth charge on that spot. The submarine was using Mk. XVIII electric torpedoes, and it was also possible that one of those had made a circular run and sunk the boat, as happened with Tang.
The Asashimo participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, she rescued survivors of Atago on October 23. At the Battle of Ormoc Bay, she was the only destroyer to survive the Convoy TA no. 4 Battle. On December 26, 1944, she assisted in scuttling Kiyoshimo and rescued 167 crewmen, plus her C.O. and Comdesdiv2.
On 6 April 1945, Asashimo escorted the battleship Yamato from the Inland Sea on Operation Ten-Go towards Okinawa. She was sunk on 7 April by aircraft of Task Force 58, of USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) after falling astern of the Yamato task force due to engine trouble, 150 miles (275 km) southwest of Nagasaki, and all of her 326 crew members lost their lives. The others, including Hamakaze, were sunk during the same attack, also by aircraft of San Jacinto, but several destroyers, such as Suzutsuki survived with heavy damage. Asashimo was sunk at ( ).