Japanese escort ship Amakusa

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History
Empire of Japan
Name: Amakusa
Builder: Hitachi, Sakurajima
Laid down: 5 April 1943
Launched: 1943
Completed: 20 November 1943
Fate: 9 August 1945 sunk by airplane.
General characteristics
Class and type: Etorofu-class escort ship
Displacement: 870 long tons (884 t)
Length: 77.7 m (255 ft)
Beam: 9.1 m (29 ft 10 in)
Draught: 3.05 m (10 ft)
Speed: 19.7 knots (22.7 mph; 36.5 km/h)
Complement: 150
Armament:
  • 3 × 120 mm (4.7 in)/45 cal DP guns
  • Up to 15 × 25 mm (0.98 in) AA guns
  • 6 × depth charge throwers
  • Up to 60 × depth charges

The Japanese escort ship Amakusa was one of four Etorofu-class escort ships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Background and description[edit]

The Etorofu class was an improved version of the preceding Shimushu class with a greater emphasis on anti-submarine warfare. The ships measured 77.72 meters (255 ft 0 in) overall, with a beam of 9.1 meters (29 ft 10 in) and a draft of 3.05 meters (10 ft 0 in).[1] They displaced 880 metric tons (870 long tons) at standard load and 1,040 metric tons (1,020 long tons) at deep load. The ships had two diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft, which were rated at a total of 4,200 brake horsepower (3,100 kW) for a speed of 19.7 knots (36.5 km/h; 22.7 mph). The ships had a range of 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at a speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).[2]

The main armament of the Etorofu class consisted of three Type 3 120-millimeter (4.7 in) guns in single mounts, one superfiring pair aft and one mount forward of the superstructure. They were built with four Type 96 25-millimeter (1.0 in) anti-aircraft guns in two twin-gun mounts, but the total was increased to 15 guns by August 1943. 36 depth charges were stowed aboard initially, but this later increased by August 1943 to 60 depth charges with a Type 97 81-millimeter (3.2 in) trench mortar[2] and six depth charge throwers. They received Type 22 and Type 13 radars and Type 93 sonar in 1943–44.

Construction and career[edit]

Amakusa was damaged by a magnetic mine at Chichi-jima on 20 December 1944. Sailed to Yokosuka and drydocked 13 January 1945. Repairs finished 22 January. On 26 February 1945 damaged by US Navy aircraft from Task Force 58 east of Izu Shima, 26 crewmen killed. Repaired at Yokosuka with repairs finished on 16 March 1945. On 9 August 1945, while lying in harbor at the Onagawa Bay, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the ship came under attack by a Corsair piloted by Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray and was sunk; 71 crewmen, and Lt. Gray (while he earned the Victoria Cross), were killed.[3]

In 2007, a memorial was dedicated to both the crew of Amakusa and Lt. Gray overlooking the town of Onagawa in Sakiyama Scenic Park.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Chesneau, p. 205
  2. ^ a b Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 187
  3. ^ Soward, Stuart E. "A brilliant flying spirit: Lt. Hampton Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012.  Retrieved 2012.03.13
  4. ^ "女川防備隊" (in Japanese). 23 December 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 

References[edit]

  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Jentschura, Hansgeorg; Jung, Dieter & Mickel, Peter (1977). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 

External links[edit]

"Japanese Escorts". Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013.