Japanese destroyer Yūzuki

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Yūzuki on July 5, 1928.
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Yūzuki
Owner: Empire of Japan
Operator: Imperial Japanese Navy
Builder: Fujinagata Shipyards, Japan
Yard number: Destroyer No. 34
Laid down: November 27, 1926
Launched: March 4, 1927
Commissioned: July 25, 1927
Renamed: as Yūzuki August 1, 1928
Struck: January 20, 1945
Fate: air attack December 23, 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
Yūzuki flees Tulagi harbor during airstrikes by aircraft from the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) on May 4, 1942 during the Japanese invasion of Tulagi.

Yūzuki (夕月 ”Evening Moon”?)[1] was the final 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]


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] Yūzuki, built at the Fujinagata Shipyards in Tokyo, was laid down on November 27, 1926, launched on March 4, 1927 and commissioned on July 25, 1927.[4] Originally commissioned simply as “Destroyer No. 34”, it was assigned the name Yūzuki on August 1, 1928.

In the late 1930s, Yūzuki 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, Yūzuki 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 join the invasion force for ”Operation R" coverng landngs of Japanese forces at Kavieng, New Ireland on January 23, and returning to Truk one month later.[5] In March, Yūzuki assisted in covering landings of Japanese forces in the northern Solomon Islands, Lae and Admiralty Islands.[6] It was reassigned to the IJN 4th Fleet on April 10.

During the invasion of Tulagi on May 3–4, 1942, Yūzuki was strafed in an air attack, which killed 10 crewmen, including her captain, Lieutenant Commander Hirota Tachibana, and injured 20 more. After returning to Sasebo Naval Arsenal for repairs at the end of May, Yūzuki was assigned to the IJN 4th Fleet. Yūzuki was based at Truk, and assigned to escort convoys carrying airfield construction crews from Truk to Bougainville and Guadalcanal, and patrols around Rabaul until the end of August. On August 31, Yūzuki helped screen the Nauru and Ocean Island invasion force during "Operation RY", and patrolled in the central Pacific to the end of the year.

After maintenance at Sasebo in January, Yūzuki continued patrols in the central Pacific to November, 1943, on numerous occasions rescuing crews of torpedoed transports. On November 30, Yuzuki was reassigned to the IJN 8th Fleet and returned to Rabaul on February 17, 1944. In February, Yūzuki led the final “Tokyo Express” transport runs to New Britain and the final evacuation of Rabaul. From the end of February to May, Yūzuki was based at Palau and assisted in rescuing the survivors of the torpedoed cruiser Yubari on April 27. From May 1, Yūzuki was reassigned to the Central Pacific Area Fleet and on July 18, directly to the Combined Fleet. In September and October, Yūzuki escorted convoys from the Japanese home islands to Taiwan, and escorted the aircraft carrier Junyō to Brunei and Manila. On November 21, Yūzuki was reassigned to the IJN 5th Fleet.

On December 12, while escorting a troop convoy from Manila to Ormoc, Yūzuki was sunk by USMC aircraft, 65 miles (105 km) north-northeast of Cebu 11°20′N 124°10′E / 11.333°N 124.167°E / 11.333; 124.167Coordinates: 11°20′N 124°10′E / 11.333°N 124.167°E / 11.333; 124.167,[7] with 20 crewmen killed and 217 survivors. The survivors were rescued by the destroyer Kiri.

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



  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 283
  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. 

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