Japanese destroyer Yakaze

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Yakaze in July 1922.
Career (Empire of Japan)
Name: Yakaze
Ordered: 1917 fiscal year
Builder: Mitsubishi-Nagasaki, Japan
Laid down: 15 August 1918
Launched: 20 April 1920
Commissioned: 19 July 1920
Decommissioned: 20 July 1942 (as destroyer)
used as patrol boat until 15 August 1945
Fate: Scuttled 1945
General characteristics (As built)
Class and type: Minekaze-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,345 long tons (1,367 t) normal,
1,650 long tons (1,680 t) full load
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 9 m (30 ft)
Draught: 2.8 m (9.2 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Mitsubishi-Parsons geared turbines, 4 boilers 38,500 ihp (28,700 kW)
Speed: 39 knots (72 km/h)
Range: 3,600 nautical miles (6,700 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 148
Armament: 4 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
2 × 7.7 mm machine guns
General characteristics (As target vessel)
Displacement: 1,321 long tons (1,342 t) normal,
1,600 long tons (1,600 t) full load
Length: 97.54 m (320.0 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 8.92 m (29.3 ft)
Draught: 3.13 m (10.3 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Mitsubishi-Parsons geared turbines, 2 boilers 11,261 ihp (8,397 kW)
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: 2,230 nautical miles (4,130 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
Armament: depth charges
Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Guns
Service record
Operations: Second Sino-Japanese War
Pacific War

Yakaze (矢風 Arrow Wind?)[1] was a Minekaze-class destroyer, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy immediately 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.


Construction of the large-sized Minekaze-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-4 Fleet Program from fiscal 1917-1920, as an accompaniment to the medium-sized Momi class with which they shared many common design characteristics.[2] Equipped with powerful engines, these vessels were capable of high speeds and were intended as escorts for the projected Amagi-class battlecruisers, which were ultimately never built.[3] Yakaze, built at the Mitsubishi shipyards in Nagasaki, was the sixth ship of this class. The destroyer was laid down on 15 August 1918, launched on 20 April 1920 and commissioned on 19 July 1920. On completion, Yakaze was assigned to the Kure Naval District under the IJN 2nd Fleet.[4]

In 1931, Yakaze was teamed with sister ships Minekaze, Okikaze, and Sawakaze at Sasebo Naval District to form Destroyer Division 2 under the IJN 1st Air Fleet as part of the escort of the aircraft carriers Akagi and Hōshō to assist in search and rescue operations for downed aircraft. At the time of the First Shanghai incident of 1932, Yakaze was engaged in river patrol duties along the Yangzi River in China.

Soon after the start of the Pacific War, Yakaze was withdrawn from combat service and stripped of most of its weaponry at Kure Naval Arsenal for conversion into a target ship. The venerable battleship Settsu previously used for this task was slow, and reaching the end of its operational life. Settsu was replaced as a target by Yakaze for torpedo and air attack practice at Yokosuka starting 20 May 1942. Yakaze was officially removed as a destroyer from the navy list on 20 July 1942.[5]

Although Yakaze had a distinct advantage over Settsu in speed, the destroyer was obviously no match in terms of armor, and could only withstand a direct hit by a one pound practice bomb. The Imperial Japanese Navy rethought its plans to use Yakaze as a target vessel, and re-commissioned the ship as a patrol boat on 6 March 1943. The patrol boat was used as a guard vessel at Yokosuka port until the end of World War II. At the time of the surrender of Japan, the former Yakaze was bottomed at Yokosuka port due to damage and flooding incurred during the Attack on Yokosuka on 18 July 1945. After the war, ex-Yakaze was scuttled to form part of the breakwater and Nagaura port, in Yokosuka.[6]



  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. pages 646, 960
  2. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Minekaze class destroyers
  4. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  6. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Yakaze: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. 


  • 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. 
  • 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. 

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