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Japanese destroyer Oboro (1930)
Oboro on July 22, 1936
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Oboro
Namesake: Japanese destroyer Oboro (1899)
Owner: Empire of Japan
Operator: Imperial Japanese Navy
Ordered: 1923 Fiscal Year
Builder: Sasebo Naval Arsenal
Yard number: Destroyer No. 51
Laid down: November 29, 1929
Launched: November 8, 1930
Commissioned: October 31, 1931
Struck: November 15, 1942
Fate: Sunk in air attack, October 17, 1942
General characteristics
Class & type: Fubuki-class destroyer
  • 1,750 long tons (1,780 t) standard
  • 2,050 long tons (2,080 t) re-built
  • 111.96 m (367.3 ft) pp
  • 115.3 m (378 ft) waterline
  • 118.41 m (388.5 ft) overall
  • Beam: 10.4 m (34 ft 1 in)
    Draft: 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
    • 4 × Kampon type boilers
    • 2 × Kampon Type Ro geared turbines
    • 2 × shafts at 50,000 ihp (37,000 kW)
    Speed: 38 knots (44 mph; 70 km/h)
    Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
    Complement: 219
    Service record
    Operations: Second Sino-Japanese War
    Invasion of French Indochina
    Invasion of Guam
    Aleutian campaign

    Oboro ( "Gloom"?) [1] was the seventeenth of twenty-four Fubuki-class destroyer, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy following World War I. When introduced into service, these ships were the most powerful destroyers in the world.[2] They served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, and remained formidable weapons systems well into the Pacific War.


    Construction of the advanced Fubuki-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's expansion program from fiscal 1923, intended to give Japan a qualitative edge with the world's most modern ships.[3] The Fubuki-class had performance that was a quantum leap over previous destroyer designs, so much so that they were designated Special Type destroyers (特型 Tokugata?). The large size, powerful engines, high speed, large radius of action and unprecedented armament gave these destroyers the firepower similar to many light cruisers in other navies.[4] Oboro, built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal was the seventh in an improved series, which incorporated a modified gun turret which could elevate her main battery of Type 3 127 mm 50 caliber naval guns to 75° as opposed to the original 40°, thus permitting the guns to be used as dual purpose guns against aircraft.[5] Oboro was laid down on November 29, 1930, launched on November 8, 1930 and commissioned on October 31, 1931.[6] Originally assigned hull designation “Destroyer No. 51”, she was commissioned as Oboro.

    The 4th Fleet Incident occurred only a year after her commissioning, and Oboro was quickly taken back to the shipyards to have her hull strengthened.

    Operational history[]

    On completion, Oboro was assigned to Destroyer Division 20 under the IJN 2nd Fleet. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, from 1937, Oboro covered landing of Japanese forces in Shanghai and Hangzhou. From 1940, she was assigned to patrol and cover landings of Japanese forces in south China and in the Invasion of French Indochina.

    World War II history[]

    At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Oboro was assigned to Carrier Division 5 of the IJN 1st Air Fleet, and had deployed from Yokosuka Naval District to Hahajima in the Bonin Islands, from which it subsequently provided cover for Japanese landing operations in the Invasion of Guam.[7]

    From mid-December to April 1942, Oboro was based at Kwajalein, and from mid-April to the end of August 1942, Oboro was based at Yokosuka, patrolling in the nearby waters, and escorting convoys from Yokosuka to Ōminato Guard District to the north, and Mako Guard District to the southwest.

    On 11 October 1942, Oboro departed Yokosuka with a re-supply convoy for Kiska in the Japanese-occupied Aleutian Islands. Oboro was sunk on 17 October in an air attack by USAAF B-26 Marauders 30 nautical miles (56 km) northeast of Kiska at position 52°17′N 178°08′E / 52.283°N 178.133°E / 52.283; 178.133Coordinates: 52°17′N 178°08′E / 52.283°N 178.133°E / 52.283; 178.133. A direct bomb hit among munitions being carried caused the ship to explode and sink, leaving only 17 survivors, including her captain, Lieutenant Commander Yamana, who were rescued by Hatsuharu (also heavily damaged in same attack).[8][9]

    On 15 November 1942, Oboro was removed from the navy list.[10]


    • 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. 
    • 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[]


    1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 754
    2. "IJN Fubuki class destroyers". 
    3. Fitzsimons, Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare p.1040
    4. Peattie & Evans, Kaigun page 221-222.
    5. F Fitzsimons, Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1977), Volume 10, p.1040.<
    6. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Fubuki class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
    7. Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Oboro: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. 
    8. D’Albas. Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II.
    9. Brown. Warship Losses of World War II
    10. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Fubuki class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 

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