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Japanese destroyer Yūnagi (1924)
Japanese destroyer Yunagi on 5 September 1936.jpg
Yunagi in September 1936
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Yunagi
Owner: Empire of Japan
Operator: Imperial Japanese Navy
Builder: Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Japan
Yard number: Destroyer No. 17
Laid down: September 17, 1923
Launched: April 23, 1924
Commissioned: May 24, 1925
Renamed: as Yunagi August 1, 1928
Struck: October 6, 1944
Fate: sunk August 25, 1944
General characteristics
Class & type: Kamikaze class destroyer
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,400 long tons (1,400 t) normal,
1,720 long tons (1,750 t) full load
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 9.1 m (30 ft)
Draught: 2.9 m (9.5 ft)

2 shafts
4 x Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers
2 x Kampon geared turbines
38,500 ihp (28,700 kW)

2 shafts
Speed: 36.88 knots (68.30 km/h)
Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
(6,700 km at 26 km/h)
Complement: 168
Armament: 3 ×Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
10 × Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Guns
4 × 21 inch torpedo tubes
16 × naval mines
Service record
Operations: Battle of Wake Island
New Guinea Campaign
Solomon Islands Campaign
Battle of Savo Island
Battle of the Philippine Sea

Yūnagi (夕凪 ”Evening Calm”?)[1] was the ninth and final vessel of the Kamikaze-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.

History[edit | edit source]

Construction of the large-sized Kamikaze-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-4 Fleet Program from fiscal 1921–1923, as a follow on to the Minekaze-class destroyer, with which they shared many common design characteristics.[2]Yūnagi, built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal, was laid down on September 17, 1923, launched on April 23, 1924 and commissioned on May 24, 1925.[3] Originally commissioned simply as “Destroyer No. 17”, it was assigned the name Yūnagi on August 1, 1928.

World War II history[edit | edit source]

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Yūnagi was assigned to Destroyer Division 29 of Desron 6 in the IJN 4th Fleet, based at Truk. It provided cover for the Gilbert Islands invasion force from December 8–10, 1941, and subsequently was assigned to the second Wake Island invasion force from December 23.

From January through March 1942, Yūnagi provided cover for the landings of Japanese forces during "Operation R" (the invasion of Rabaul, New Britain) and "Operation SR" (the invasion of Lae and Salamaua). While patrolling out of Lae on March 10, she suffered medium damage from strafing attacks, forcing a return to Sasebo for repairs by April. Once repairs were completed in June, Yunagi escorted convoys from Moji in Kyūshū back to Rabaul, via the Philippines and Palau.

Yūnagi participated in the Battle of Savo Island from August 8–9, 1942, engaging USS Jarvis (DD-393) in combat, but withdrawing without taking any damage.[4] She spent the remainder of August through March 1943 on patrols in the Solomon Islands and central Pacific.[5]

After refit at Sasebo in March 1943, Yūnagi was reassigned to the IJN 8th Fleet, returning to Rabaul in June. During June and July, she made several "Tokyo Express" troop transport runs to Kolombangara,[6] assisting in the sinking of USS Strong (DD-467) on July 4[7] and in the Battle of Kolombangara on July 12. On July, while at Shortland, Yūnagi was hit by an Allied air strike, which caused medium damage to her hull.

On October 2, Yūnagi helped provide cover for the evacuation of Japanese troops from Kolombangara and made numerous “Tokyo Express” runs throughout the Solomon Islands through the end of the year.

In January 1944, Yūnagi returned to Sasebo for repairs, after which she escorted troop convoys to Saipan in March and April. In May, it was reassigned to Destroyer Division 22, Desron 3, Central Pacific Area Fleet, performing Philippines-area convoy escort duties through June.

On June 19–20, Yūnagi escorted Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa’s 1st Supply Force at the Battle of the Philippine Sea.[8] Afterwards, she was assigned to escort tanker convoys via Manila to Kure.

On July 18, 1944 Yūnagi was reassigned directly to the Combined Fleet. From August 10–18, 1944, she escorted a convoy from Moji via Mako towards Manila, but detached to Takao to assist the damaged transport Eiyō Maru. On her return from Takao to Manila, she was torpedoed and sunk 20 miles (32 km) north-northeast of Cape Bojeador, Luzon at position 18°46′N 120°46′E / 18.767°N 120.767°E / 18.767; 120.767Coordinates: 18°46′N 120°46′E / 18.767°N 120.767°E / 18.767; 120.767 by the United States Navy submarine USS Picuda (SS-382) on August 25, 1944, with 32 crewmen killed and 19 wounded.[9]

Yūnagi was struck from the navy list on October 6, 1944.[10]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • 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. 
  • Kilpatrick, C. W. (1987). Naval Night Battles of the Solomons. Exposition Press. ISBN 0-682-40333-4. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942 – February 1943, vol. 5 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-58305-7. 
  • 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 | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 270, 193
  2. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun.
  3. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Kamikaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. http://homepage2.nifty.com/nishidah/e/stc0421.htm. 
  4. Dull. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy
  5. Morison. The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942 – February 1943
  6. Kilpatrick. Naval Night Battles of the Solomons
  7. Brown. Warship Losses of World War Two
  8. D'Albas. Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II
  9. Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Yunagi: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. http://www.combinedfleet.com/yunagi_t.htm. 
  10. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Kamikaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. http://homepage2.nifty.com/nishidah/e/stc0421.htm. 

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