Japanese destroyer Uzuki (1925)

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For the Japanese destroyer Uzuki (1906), see Kamikaze-class destroyer (1905).
Uzuki
Uzuki in August 1925.
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Uzuki
Namesake: Japanese destroyer Uzuki (1906)
Owner: Empire of Japan
Operator: Imperial Japanese Navy
Builder: Ishikawajima Shipyards, Japan
Yard number: Destroyer No. 25
Laid down: January 11, 1924
Launched: October 15, 1925
Commissioned: September 14, 1926
Renamed: as Uzuki August 1, 1928
Struck: January 10, 1945
Fate: torpedoed December 12, 1944
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,315 long tons (1,336 t) normal,
1,445 long tons (1,468 t) full load
Length: 97.54 m (320.0 ft) pp,
102.72 m (337.0 ft) overall
Beam: 9.16 m (30.1 ft)
Draught: 2.96 m (9.7 ft)
Propulsion: 4 x Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers
2 x Kampon geared turbines
38,500 ihp (28,700 kW); 2 shafts
Speed: 37.25 knots (68.99 km/h)
Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
(6,700 km at 26 km/h)
Complement: 154
Armament: 4 ×Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun,
2 x Type 92 7.7 mm machine gun,
2 x triple Type 12 torpedo tubes
(12 × 610 mm Type 8 torpedoes),
18 x depth charges
16 x Ichi-Gō naval mines
Service record
Part of: Destroyer Division 23
Operations: Second Sino-Japanese War
Invasion of Guam
Solomon Islands campaign
Battle of the Philippine Sea

Uzuki (卯月 ”April”?)[1] was one of twelve Mutsuki-class destroyers, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy following World War I. Advanced for their time, these ships served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, but were considered obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War.[2]

History[edit]

Construction of the Mutsuki-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's build up following the abandonment of the Washington Naval Treaty from fiscal 1923. The class was a follow-on to the earlier Minekaze-class and Kamikaze-class destroyers, with which they shared many common design characteristics.[3] Uzuki, built at the Ishikawajima Shipyards in Tokyo, was laid down on January 11, 1924, launched on October 15, 1925 and commissioned on September 14, 1926.[4] Originally commissioned simply as “Destroyer No. 25”, it was assigned the name Uzuki on August 1, 1928.

In the late 1930s, Uzuki participated in combat actions in the Second Sino-Japanese War, covering the landings of Japanese troops in central and southern China, and the Invasion of French Indochina.

World War II history[edit]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Uzuki was part of Desron 23 under Carrier Division 2 in the IJN 1st Air Fleet, and deployed from Hahajima in the Ogasawara Islands as part of the Japanese invasion force for the Invasion of Guam. She returned to Truk in early January 1942 to covering the landings of Japanese forces during ”Operation R” at Kavieng, New Ireland on January 23, returning to Truk one month later.[5] In March, Uzuki assisted in covering landings of Japanese forces during ”Operation SR” in the northern Solomon Islands, Lae and Admiralty Islands.[6] It was reassigned to the IJN 4th Fleet on April 10. During the Battle of the Coral Sea from May 7–8, 1942, Uzuki was assigned to escort the tanker Hoyo Maru in the Shortlands area, and returned to Sasebo Naval Arsenal for refitting on May 28. By the end of June, Uzuki was based at Truk, and assigned to escort convoys carrying airfield construction crews from Truk to Bougainville and Guadalcanal, and patrols around Rabaul. During the invasion of Buka (July 21–22), Uzuki was strafed by Allied aircraft, with loss of 16 crewmen. On August 11, Uzuki sortied from Rabaul to rescue the survivors of the cruiser Kako. At the end of August, while on a "Tokyo Express" transport run to Guadalcanal, Uzuki suffered damage from a near miss in an attack by USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, and returned via Rabaul, Truk and Saipan back to Sasebo for repairs on September 14.

Uzuki was assigned to the IJN 8th Fleet on December 1, 1942, and escorted the aircraft carrier Chūyō from Yokosuka to Truk, and a troop convoy from Truk to Rabaul at the end of the year. However, at Rabaul on December 25, Uzuki suffered heavy damage in a collision with the torpedoed transport Nankai Maru, and was taken in tow by Ariake and Urakaze back to Rabaul for emergency repairs. While at Rabaul, it was further damaged in an air raid on January 5, 1943. The destroyer Suzukaze towed Uzuki to Truk for further repairs, and then Uzuki returned to Sasebo under her own power by July 3. Once repairs were completed in mid-October, Uzuki returned to Truk and escorted Kiso and Tama, both loaded with troops, back to Rabaul. On October 23–24, Uzuki sortied to Jacquinot Bay on New Britain to rescue the survivors of her sister ship Mochizuki. Uzuki continued to make "Tokyo Express" transport runs throughout the Soloman Islands to the end of November. On November 24–25, Uzuki engaged US Navy destroyers at the Battle of Cape St. George, during the Japanese evacuation of Buka, but without damage. In December, Uzuki was assigned to escort tankers from Rabaul to Truk and Palau and back.

In January 1944, Uzuki escorted the cruiser Nagara back to Japan. After refit at Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Uzuki escorted troop convoys from Yokosuka to Palau, Yap, Saipan and Truk through the end of June. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20), Uzuki was part of the Second Supply Force. On June 20, she rescued the crew of the transport Genyo Maru, and sank the crippled transport with gunfire. Uzuki continued to escort convoys from Kure to Manila and Singapore to the middle of November. On July 18, she was assigned to Combined Fleet, and on November 20, was re-assigned to the IJN 5th Fleet.

On December 12, while escorting a troop convoy from Manila to Ormoc, Uzuki was torpedoed by the PT boats PT-490 and PT-492, 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Cebu at 11°03′N 124°23′E / 11.050°N 124.383°E / 11.050; 124.383Coordinates: 11°03′N 124°23′E / 11.050°N 124.383°E / 11.050; 124.383,[7] exploding and sinking with all hands.

Uzuki was struck from the navy list on January 10, 1945.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 228
  2. ^ Jones, Daniel H. (2003). "IJN Minekaze, Kamikaze and Mutsuki class Destroyers". Ship Modeler's Mailing List (SMML). 
  3. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun.
  4. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Mutsuki class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. ^ Morison. The Rising Sun in the Pacific 1931 - April 1942.
  6. ^ Dull. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy
  7. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Mutsuki class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  8. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Minatsuki: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com.