Japanese destroyer Yūdachi (1936)

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Yudachi II.jpg
Yūdachi underway on 30 November 1936
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Yūdachi
Ordered: 1931 FY
Builder: Sasebo Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 16 October 1934
Launched: 11 June 1936
Commissioned: 7 January 1937
Struck: 15 December 1942
Fate: Sunk 13 November 1942
General characteristics
Class & type: Shiratsuyu-class destroyer
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,685 long tons (1,712 t)
Length: 103.5 m (340 ft) pp
107.5 m (352 ft 8 in) waterline
Beam: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in)
Draft: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 2 shaft Kampon geared turbines
3 boilers, 42,000 hp (31,000 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) @ 18 kn (33 km/h)
Complement: 226
Armament: • 5 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 naval guns (2×2, 1×1)
• 2 × 13 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 16 × Depth charges
Service record
Operations: Battle of Tarakan (1942)
Battle of the Java Sea (1942)
Battle of Midway (1942)
Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (1942)
First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (1942)

Yūdachi (夕立 ”Evening Squall”?)[1] was the fourth of ten Shiratsuyu-class destroyers, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy under the "Circle One" Program (Maru Ichi Keikaku).[2]

History[edit]

The Shiratsuyu class destroyers were modified versions of the Hatsuharu-class, and were designed to accompany the Japanese main striking force and to conduct both day and night torpedo attacks against the United States Navy as it advanced across the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese naval strategic projections.[3] Despite being one of the most powerful classes of destroyers in the world at the time of their completion, none survived the Pacific War.[4] Yūdachi, built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal was laid down on 16 October 1934, launched on 11 June 1936 and commissioned on 7 January 1937.[5]

Operational history[edit]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yūdachi was assigned to Destroyer Division 2 of Destroyer Squadron 2 of the IJN 2nd Fleet together with her sister ships Murasame, Harusame, and Samidare, and had sortied from Mako Guard District as part of the "Operation M" (the invasion of the Philippines). From January 1942, Yūdachi participated in operations in the Netherlands East Indies, including the invasions of Tarakan, Balikpapan and eastern Java. During the Battle of the Java Sea, Yūdachi engaged a group of Allied destroyers and cruisers. Returning to Subic Bay in the Philippines on 16 March, Yūdachi assisted in the blockade of Manila Bay and the invasion of Cebu, returning to Yokosuka for repairs in early May. During the Battle of Midway on 4–6 June, Yūdachi was part of the Midway Occupation Force under the overall command of Admiral Nobutake Kondō.

From mid-June, Yūdachi deployed from Kure via Singapore and Mergui for raiding operations in the Indian Ocean, but the operation was cancelled due to reverses suffered by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Solomon Islands. Yūdachi arrived at Shortland Island on 30 August, and was immediately assigned to "Tokyo Express" high speed transport runs to Guadalcanal. During one such mission from 4–5 September, Yūdachi assisted in the sinking of USS Gregory (DD-82) and USS Little (DD-79). Yūdachi continued making missions to Guadalcanal through November, participating briefly in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October under Admiral Takeo Kurita.

On the night of 12–13 November 1942, in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Yūdachi escorted the Bombardment Force of Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki. The lead ship in the formation at beginning of battle, Yūdachi had to swerve to avoid U.S. ships, then torpedoed USS Portland (CA-33). After Yūdachi was disabled by gunfire of the U.S. cruiser-destroyer group, 207 survivors were removed by the Samidare, which then failed to scuttle her with a torpedo. The abandoned hulk was later sunk by gunfire of Portland, southeast of Savo Island at position (09°14′S 159°52′E / 9.233°S 159.867°E / -9.233; 159.867). According to James Hornfischer, Yūdachi showed a white flag before Portland fired, but this was deliberately ignored by the American captain, who directed his gunnery officer to "sink the S.O.B." [6]

References[edit]

  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895–1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Lengerer, Hans (2007). The Japanese Destroyers of the Hatsuharu Class. Warship 2007. London: Conway. pp. 91–110. ISBN 1-84486-041-8. OCLC 77257764
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7. 
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8. 
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 283
  2. ^ Lengerer, pp. 92–3
  3. ^ Peattie & Evans, Kaigun .
  4. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Shiratsuyu class destroyers
  5. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Shiratsuyu class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  6. ^ James D. Hornfischer, Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal (New York: Bantam, 2011) at 322.