>© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Akatsuki: Tabular Record of Movement

AKATSUKI-class (4 ships) profile (Ships of the World)

@Revised May 2013


Name Translation: "Dawn"

7 May 1932 launched at Sasebo Navy Yard.

30 November 1932 Completed.

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Lieutenant Commander Aoki Kyuji [50] (prev. C.O. AKIKAZE). Assigned to Desdiv 6 (HIBIKI, AKATSUKI, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA), Desron 1, First Fleet.

25 November 1941: -

Steamed from Hashiraima. Arrived at Saeki Bay.

29 November-2 December 1941:
Desdiv 6 - joining a convoy en-route- steamed from Terashima Strait to Mako (Pescadores)

4-10 December 1941:

Escorted Admiral Kondo's Southern Force Main Body out of Mako as distant cover to Malaya and Philippine invasion forces; also briefly escorted Malaya troop convoys during this period.

11 December 1941:

Arrived at Camranh Bay at stopover at Hainan Island on the 5th. Patrolling in and out of Camranh Bay until 20 December.

20 December 1941:

Assigned to Lingayen Invasion Support Force. Depart Carmanh Bay to screen Main Body.

23 December 1941:

Arrived at Mako. Carries out patrol duties.

6-12 January:

Attached to the Menado Invasion Support Force. Escorted MAYA from Mako to Palau.

18-20 January:

Steamed from Palau to Davao.

26 Januaruy:

Arrives at Tarakan, northeast Borneo. Depart next day escorting RAKUTO MARU to Balikpapan.

29 January:
Arrived at Balikpapan. At 1205 attacked there by four B-17s. No damage received.

1 February:
Depart Balikpapan with aircraft transport KAMOGAWA MARU. Separates 3 February.

4 February:
Arrives at Davao.

5-9 February:

Escorted troop convoy from Davao to Camranh Bay.

18 February:
Attached to Eastern Java Island Invasion convoy. Departs.

21 February:

Arrived at Anambas Islands. Joins convoy there.


27 February:
Attached to Western Java invasion force.

1 March:

Joined invasion convoy. Landings completed.


4 March:
With HIBIKI refuel from oiler ERIMO in Karimata Strait.

5 March:

Attached to the Philippine Islands Invasion Support Force.

10 March:

Arrived in Subic Bay, then assisted in operations to secure the Philippines.

17 March:

Together with HIBIKI and IKAZUCHI attack enemy submarine. (Ed-Note 1).


19-26 March:
Escorted convoy from Subic Bay to Kure, then docked at Yokosuka for maintenance.

3 April:

Arrived at Yokosuka.


11 April:
Enters drydock at Uraga for repairs.

13 April:

Lieutenant Commander Aoki (later C.O. TAMANAMI, Comdesdiv 32) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Takasuka Osamu [51] (prev. C.O. OBORO).

16 April:

Left drydock. Steams to Yokosuka. Subsequently patrol duties.


22 April:
Arrived at Agenosho, West Inland Sea with other units.

3 May:

Joins Cardiv 4 (RYUJO, JUNYO) and trains together thereafter.

20 Mary:

Attached to Northern Fleet.

22-26 May: aj

The four units of Desdiv 6 escorted RYUJO, JUNYO, TAKAO and MAYA from Kure to Ominato.

28 May-7 June:

Departed Ominato for Aleutian operations, then with Kiska invasion force.

31 May:

Separated with her sisters from the invasion convoy and heads for Kataoka, Paramushiro Island, Kurile Islands.

1 June:

Arrived at Kataoka Bay.

2 June:

Departed and that afternoon joins Main Body.

7 June:

Attached to Kiska Island Invasion Force.

11 June:

Bombarded suspected enemy positions on Kiska Island.

12 June:

With HIBIKI depart Kiska Bay for patrol duty. Attacked four times today by enemy aircraft. Claimed one shot down, but at 1330 HIBIKI is damaged in the bow by a bomb.

13-27 June:

Became flagship of Comdesdiv 6, Captain Yamada Yusuke [48]. After further air attacks, depart in evening escorting damaged HIBIKI from Kiska via Paramushiro to Ominato via Kataoka Bay.

29-2 July:

Departed Ominato with AKEBONO escorting JUNYO out of the zone, then returns.

4 July:

Departed Ominato with military personnel for Kiska Island embarked, then Kiska-area antisubmarine patrolling.

15 July:

Drop depth charges at 1244 on enemy submarine outside Kiska, and a sinking claimed. Identity of submarine - if present - unknown.

18-25 July:-aj

Steamed from Kiska via Shimushu to Yokosuka, then docked for maintenance. Attacked by B-17 when departing Kiska, no damage.

6-8 August:-aj

Departed Yokosuka for Kuriles, then Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

12 August:

With USUGUMO depth-charge enemy submarine outside Kakumabetsu, Kuriles. Results unknown.

14 August:

En-route to Ominato detect and depth-charge enemy submarine. Results unknown.

29-31 August:

Steamed from Ominato to Kure.

1-6 September:-aj

With IKAZUCHI escorted ZUIHO from Kure to Truk.

9-12 September:-aj

With IKAZUCHI escorted UNYO on aircraft transport run from Truk to Kavieng and back.

13 September:-aj

Depart Truk With IKAZUCHI escorting UNYO toward Kure.

15 September:

Separate in the morning to refuel at Saipan, then rejoins.

18 September:

Arrives with UNYO and IKAZUCHI at Kure.

26 September:

Assigned to convoy escort duty. Departed Kure for Saeki.

29 September-12 October:-aj

Led escort along with IKAZUCHI and MS No.1 and No.3 of troop convoy Oki-3 (3 Marus) from Saeki via Okinawa, Saipan (3 Oct.), Truk (10 Oct.), and Rabaul (9 Oct.) to the Shortlands.

13 October:

Bombed at Shortlands by B-17. No damage.

14 October:-aj

Depart Shortlands with ASAGUMO, SHIRAYUKI, and IKAZUCHI escorting SENDAI and YURA on troop transport run to Guadalcanal. However, mission aborted next day.

16 October:
Shortlands anchorage attacked by B-17. No damage.

17 October:-aj

Depart Shortlands with SENDAI and YURA for second try at troop transport run to Guadalcanal. However, in the morning attacked by submarine which hits YURA with a dud torpedo in her port bow. Carried out depth-charge attack, results unknown. (Edit-2)

18 October:

After depth charge attack on suspected enemy submarine, arrived at Shortlands.

19-23 October:

At Shortlands. Repulsed several enemy air-raids on the anchorage.

23 October:

Attached to Guadalcanal Island Assault Force. Depart temporarily with bombardment force, but recalled same day.

24 October:

Departed Shortlands at 1200 with IKAZUCHI and SHIRATSUYU for Guadalcanal.

25 October:

Led attack mission to Guadalcanal incurring several air raids en-route; assisted in sinking USS SEMINOLE (AT-65) and YP-284 and damaging USS ZANE (DMS-14). Light damage: No. 3 turret magazine hit on port side by shore batteries. There is no explosion but there are four dead and one severely injured.

26 October:

Returned to Shortlands.

1 November:

Lieutenant Commander Takasuka promoted to Commander.

2 November:-aj

Troop transport run to Guadalcanal with cruiser TENRYU in consort with destroyers MURASAME, HARUSAME, YUDACHI, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIRAYUKI, and IKAZUCHI to Guadalcanal.

3-6 November:

Escorted CHITOSE and CHIYODA from Shortlands to Truk. At Truk undergoes temporary repairs.

12-13 November: First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal -aj

Escorted Admiral Abe's Bombardment Force led by battleships HIEI and KIRISHIMA. Is generally credited with illuminating and then torpedoing USS ATLANTA (CL-51).(See, Edit-3) Sunk: by repeated gunfire hits on the bridge, amidships, aand engines of U.S. cruiser-destroyer group near Savo Island (09-17 S, 159-56 E). Sank stern first with heavy loss of life, including Comdesdiv 6 (Captain Yamada) and Commander Takasuka. 18 survivors later rescued by U.S. ships.(Edit-4)

15 December 1942:

Removed from Navy List.


[1] Editorial Note 1 - This was almost certainly USS PERMIT (SS-178). PERMIT at 2000 (Zone-8) 17 March sighted 3 DDs and was attacked by them at a position 15 miles east of Marinduque Island. - (Tully)

[2] Editorial Note 2 - This was USS GRAMPUS (SS-207). GRAMPUS is known to have survived this attack and made report, but was lost subsequently on patrol before returning home, so no details are known. - (Tully)

[3] Editorial Note 3 - This "general crediting" comes from the majority of post-war sources and reports, but were necessarily speculative. Recent testimony by Japanese veterans has clarified the issue. Whoever did torpedo Atlanta it was apparently not Akatsuki. In interviews in 1992 and 1998 her chief torpedo officer (A good summary is found in The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal: Night Action 13 November 1942- James Grace ISBN1557503273) Lt. Shinya Michiharu is adamant she was unable to launch torpedoes after being overwhelmed by gunfire after indeed illuminating Atlanta for the others. Repeated hits first disabled starboard then port machinery and the steering was knocked out. It is unclear to Shinya if she even was able to fire any guns, but stated no torpedoes. The true likely agents were thus either Inazuma or Ikazuchi, but the question remains open. - (Tully)

[4] Editorial Note 4 - It is important to note for the record, that the Shinya testimony vividly describes how Akatsuki was left slowly settling and dead in the water, in flames from the bridge aft, and listing increasingly to port. He, Commander Takasuka himself, and the Navigator (both later perished) escaped from the bridge at close to the last moment, then Akatsuki's bow reared skyward and she sank. Despite this, the otherwise fine painting commissioned for "The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal" of the Ballard expedition of 1992 (ISBN 0-446-51636-8) shows (p 138-139) Akatsuki afire and steadily sinking on an even keel; yet with bow awash. Thus oddly disregarding and contradicting the description given in the same text. To this extent the painting is potentially misleading, but accurately shows such details as Akatsuki's distinctive thinner No.1 funnel. - (Tully).

Remark: - A wreck discovered late July 1992 during the Dr. Robert Ballard and National Geographic expedition to Savo located a Japanese destroyer wreck whose cursive letter "A" in hiragana of its fantail name is still visible. Sometimes associated with Akatsuki it is in fact, Ayanami. To date, as far as known, Akatsuki remains unlocated.- (Tully)
For more info, see editor's page on: Shipwrecks of the IJN


Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Anthony Tully and Bill Somerville for contributing from their works to this TROM.

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