Editorial Notes by Anthony Tully - Managing Editor, CombinedFleet.com


(1) - It bears mentioning that many Japanese publications, such as Ships of the World and Gran Prix Shuppan, segregate Ariake and Yugure into a `Group 2' subset of two ships from the other Hatsuharu-class members. In part this is because they were originally completed with twin rudders, but this was later changed to single rudder like the rest. The other major if subtle design difference was the pair's hulls were widened to improve stability, resulting in shallower draft. - (Thanks to Dan Kaplan for providing this information)

(2) - Yugure is sometimes reported as having rejoined teammates of Desdiv 27 at Truk and escorted Myoko and Haguro home 17-22 May. But Senshi Sosho and signal evidence suggested continued escort duty assignment to Shokaku. After learning of a lack of records for Yugure and that references tended to impose generic entries from other Desdiv 27 ships, various investigations were made. A signal from Shokaku upon arriving at Kure provided by Lu Yu clinched the matter. These demonstrated Yugure had remained with her, Sazanami had not, and reconciled the discrepancies.

(3) - Reinforcement mission of 19-20 July 1943 O.B.: Main Body (Cover) under Comcrudiv 7 Rear Admiral Nishimura Shoji [39]: Crudiv 7 (Kumano, Suzuya), Chokai; Escort/Torpedo Force under Comdesron 3 Rear Admiral Ijuin Matsuji [43]: Sendai, Desdiv 16 (Yukikaze), Hamakaze, Kiyonami, Yugure; Transport Force under Comdesdiv 30 Commander Orita Tsuneo [49]: Desdiv 30 (Mikazuki, Minazuki), Matsukaze.

(4) - A `Black Cat' had sighted Nishimura' force at 2320 JST, on course 150 headed for Vella Lavella on 150 degrees, 12 knots. Six TBFs of VT-21 had taken off 2245-2253 JST from Guadalcanal armed with very heavy, 2,000 pound bombs with 4.5 sec delay each. They sighted the Japanese about 0025 now headed northwest, and swung around to make an attack "into the moon" using radar. Attack lasted from 0030-0145, agreeing very closely with IJN records. There seems little doubt that Yugure was sunk by 2,000 pound bomb dropped by TBF of Lt (jg) Miller, who saw it clearly hit amidships and reported the blast "completely demolishing it." (Incidentally, heretofore there had been some ambiguity about whether Kumano was hit by torpedo as Japanese believed, or large bomb. The chronology that Kumano reported her hit at 0046 settles the question: it was one of the massive 2,000 pound bombs, helping to explain the belief.) - (I am grateful to Berend for locating these reports)

(5) - U.S. records don't quite match here. It is known the second element of the first attack went in slightly later, and may account for this discrepancy. The actual next attack group didn't arrive on scene till 0240 JST. These were five TBFs of VT-21 that had taken off at 0102-0107 JST now armed with torpedoes, and made their attacks between 0240-0400. But they appeared to have attacked the transport force, and their torpedoes were seen to malfunction and sink. No hits claimed. (Again, I am grateful to Berend for locating these reports.)

(6) - These eight B-25s appear to have been from the 390th Squadron, escorted by four divisions of fighters from VMF-122, but some uncertainty remains. There is some indication that Kiyonami had been previously attacked by aircraft during her rescue mission, and was crippled. Further ambiguity arises from the fact that Minazuki of the transport force also suffered bomb damage this morning. This matter will be invesigated and documented further in Editorial notes to Kiyonami's enhanced TROM. Captain Hara's "Japanese Destroyer Captain gave the losses as 228 for Yugure and 240 for Kiyonami.

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