Japanese destroyer Yayoi (1925)

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For the Japanese destroyer Yayoi (1905), see Kamikaze-class destroyer (1905).
Yayoi in February 1927.
Career (Empire of Japan)
Name: Yayoi
Namesake: Japanese destroyer Yayoi (1905)
Builder: Uraga Dock Company, Japan
Yard number: Destroyer No. 23
Laid down: 11 January 1924
Launched: 11 July 1925
Commissioned: 28 August 1926
Renamed: as Yayoi 1 August 1928
Struck: 20 October 1942
Fate: sunk in air attack 11 September 1942
General characteristics
Type: Mutsuki-class 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: 3,600 nautical miles (6,700 km) at 14 knots (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 30
Operations: Second Sino-Japanese War
Battle of Wake Island
Solomon Islands campaign
New Guinea Campaign
Yayoi under attack near New Guinea on 11 September 1943.

Yayoi (弥生 ”March”?)[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]


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 and Kamikaze-class destroyers, with which they shared many common design characteristics.[3] Yayoi, built at the Uraga Dock Company was laid down on 11 January 1924, launched on 11 July 1925 and commissioned on 28 August 1926.[4] Originally commissioned simply as Destroyer No. 23, the vessel was assigned the name Yayoi on 1 August 1928.

In the late 1930s, Yayoi participated in combat actions in the Second Sino-Japanese War, including the Invasion of French Indochina in 1940.

World War II history[edit]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yayoi was part of Desron 30 under Destroyer Division 6 in the IJN 4th Fleet, and deployed from Truk as part of the Wake Island invasion force. During the First Battle of Wake Island, Yayoi was hit by a shell from the defending USMC-manned six 5"/51 caliber coastal artillery guns, which caused one fatality and 17 injuries among her crew.[5] Yayoi returned on 23 December with the second (and ultimately successful) Wake Island invasion force.[6]

In early 1942, Yayoi escorted a troop convoy from Kwajalein to Truk, and then joined the invasion of the Solomon Islands, covering the landings of Japanese forces on Rabaul, Gasmata (New Britain), New Ireland, Lae and Bougainville during ”Operation R”. During the Battle of the Coral Sea from 7–8 May 1942, Yayoi was assigned to the "Operation Mo" invasion force for Port Moresby. After that operation was cancelled, it returned to Japan in July for refitting at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal.[7]

After repairs were completed in mid-July Yayoi was reassigned to the IJN 8th Fleet and participated in the bombardment of Henderson Field on 24 August 1942.[8] During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 25 August 1942, Yayoi rescued survivors from her sister ship Mutsuki, which had been sunk in an attack by USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.[9]

At the end of August, Yayoi made a number of “Tokyo Express” troop transport runs to Milne, New Guinea. From early September, it began participating in "Operation Ke", the evacuation of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal. On 11 September 1942, after departing Rabaul on an evacuation mission to Goodenough Island, Yayoi came under attack by Allied B-17 Flying Fortress and B-25 Mitchell aircraft, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Vakuta Island 08°45′S 151°25′E / 8.750°S 151.417°E / -8.750; 151.417Coordinates: 08°45′S 151°25′E / 8.750°S 151.417°E / -8.750; 151.417. The attack also killed the commander of Destroyer Division 30 (Captain Shiro Yasutake). Taking on water uncontrollably, Yayoi‍ '​s captain, Lieutenant Commander Shizuka Kajimoto, gave the decision to abandon ship. The destroyers Mochizuki and Isokaze later rescued 83 survivors from nearby Normanby Island.

Yayoi was struck from the navy list on 20 October 1942.


  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. page 375
  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. ^ Devereaux, The Story of Wake Island
  6. ^ Dull. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy
  7. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Yayoii: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. 
  8. ^ Morison. The Struggle for Guadalcanal
  9. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Mutsuki: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. 


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