© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Akigumo: Tabular Record of Movement

KAGERO-class (19 ships) profile (Ships of the World)

@Updated - February 8, 2012 - Allyn Nevitt

@Revised - Anthony Tully with Allyn Nevitt - November 2018

Name Translation: "Autumn Clouds"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Commander Arimoto Terumichi [50] (prev. C.O. YUDACHI). Assigned to Cardiv 5, First Air Fleet.[1]

18-22 November 1941:
Steamed with Desron 1 from Saeki to Etorofu (Kuriles).

26 November:

Departed Hittokapu Bay. Escorted Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

1 December:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

5 December:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

6 December:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

7 December:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

22 December:
Arrived at Hashirajima with fleet elements.

24 December:
Arrived in Kure. Commander Arimoto (to C.O. KAGERO) relieved by Commander Soma Masahira [50].

5 January 1942:
Returned to Hashirajima. Trained in the local area.

8-14 January:

Escorted carrier force from Japan to Truk.

20 January:

Escorted carrier force in air strikes on Rabaul.

21 January:

Escorted SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU in air strikes on Lae/Salamua.

23 January:

Escorted SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU covering Rabaul/Kavieng landings, then returned to Truk 29 January.

1-8 February:

Escorted carrier force in pursuit of U.S. carriers, then to Palau.

9-13 February:

With ARARE, escorted ZUIKAKU from Palau to Yokosuka, then training and defensive patrols in home waters.

18 February:
Arrived at Tateyama.

26 February:
Departed Yokosuka; arrived at Yokohoma and entered drydock that day.

3 March:
Left drydock. Cruised back to Yokosuka.

8 March:
Departed Yokosuka with KAGERO escorting SHOKAKU.

11 March:
Rendezvoused south of Honshu with ZUIKAKU and ARARE which had departed Kure on 6 March. Then head for Wake Island to counter enemy carrier activity taking place.

16 March:
Arrived back at Yokosuka, the operation cancelled.

17-24 March:

With KAGERO and ARARE, escorted SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU from Yokosuka to Staring Bay (Celebes).

27 March:

Departed Staring Bay for "C" Operation, and with HAGIKAZE and MAIKAZE escorting supply group of six tankers (SHINKOKU MARU, NIPPON MARU, TOHO MARU, KOKUYO MARU, KENYO MARU, KYOKUTO MARU) for carrier force in Indian Ocean raids.

31 March:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

4 April:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

9 April:
Engaged in mid-ocean towed refueling.

10 April:

Assigned to Desdiv 10 (KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO, YUGUMO, AKIGUMO), Desron 10, First Air Fleet. (See Note 1)

14 April:
Head for Makou for escort duty with Cardiv 5.

18 April:
Arrived Makou, reprovisioned, then departed escorting Cardiv 5 (ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU).

22 April:
Arrived in Yokosuka. Then departed to join Main Body engaged in hunting the U.S. carrier force that raided Japan on 18 April. ("Doolittle Raid").

23 April:

Arrived in Kure from Southern operations, then docked for refitting.

26 May:
Arrived in Gunchu Sea.

27 May:
Departed for "MI" Operation with Desiv 10 escorting First Mobile Fleet. AKIGUMO assigned to escort the tanker train (less KENYO MARU) as before.

4-5 June: Battle of Midway

Escorted supply group for Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force. However, after the 0730 bombing of three carriers, AKIGUMO was detached and hastened to join carrier HIRYU's screen.

6 June:
Resumed screening duty of the five tanker Supply group.

24 June-7 July:

Escorted fleet patrolling out of Ominato southwest of the Aleutians.

14 July:

Desron 10 reassigned to Third Fleet.

5 August:
Departed Hashirajima with SHOKAKU. Acted as plane guard as the carrier performed launch and recovery exercises in Iyo and Suo-nada seas. Arrived at Okurajima anchorage.

7 August:
Departed Okurajima and carried out more excercises.

8 August:
AKIGUMO and SHOKAKU arrived at Kure.

10 August:
Cruised to Hashirajima.

16 August:

Departed Kure, escorting fleet towards Truk.

20 August:
After reports of enemy carrier force operating south of Guadalcanal, the arrival at Truk was cancelled. Mobile Fleet remained at sea, pressing on toward the battle zone.

24 August: Battle of the Eastern Solomons

Escorted Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force.

27 August:
Attached to First Replenishment Force.

28 August:
AKIGUMO escorted auxiliary tankers TOEI MARU (10,022 tons) and TOHO MARU (9,997 tons).


Escorted fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomons.

29 September-1 October:

Steamed from Truk to the Shortlands.

3 October:

Troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

6 October:

Troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

9 October:

Troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

10 October:

Departed Shortlands to rejoin fleet north of the Solomons.

26 October: Battle of Santa Cruz

Escorted Admiral Abe's Vanguard Force. Assisted MAKIGUMO in scuttling of USS HORNET (CV-8) with torpedoes.
- 0445 Enemy aircraft detected.
- 0544 Battle with nine enemy aircraft, no damage sustained.
- 2058 AKIGUMO and MAKIGUMO proceeding by order to derelict and burning enemy carrier. To evaluate for possible capture, and otherwise, to dispose of it.
- 2205 Finding the carrier ablaze and listing 45 degrees to port two torpedoes are fired from each destroyer to finish it off. Three hits are claimed. The enemy carrier had the number `8' as revealed by searchlight.
- 2234 Enemy carrier sank.

2-8 November:

Escorted ZUIHO and KUMANO from Truk to Japan, then docked for repairs.

18-23 January 1943:

Escorted ZUIKAKU from Iwakuni to Truk.

24-28 January:

Steamed from Truk via Rabaul to Shortlands.

1 February:

Troop evacuation run to Guadalcanal.

4 February:

Troop evacuation run to Guadalcanal.

7 February:

Troop evacuation run to Russell Islands.

12-16 February:

Steamed from Shortlands to Palau.

21-28 February:

With ISONAMI and NAGATSUKI, escorted troop convoy (3rd section of HEI No. 3: KIYOKAWA MARU and YASUKUNI MARU, lifting elements of 41st Division from Tsingtao) from Palau to Wewak and back.

6-18 March:

With KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, SAMIDARE and SATSUKI, escorted troop convoy (HANSA No. 1: No. 1 SHINSEI MARU, MOMOYAMA MARU, YASUSHIMA MARU, OYO MARU, ASO MARU, TEIRYU MARU, SYDNEY MARU, lifting units of 20th Division) from Palau to Hansa Bay and back. On 13 March rescued crew from, and scuttled with torpedo, bombed transport MOMOYAMA MARU.

20-23 March:

Steamed from Palau to Rabaul.

24-31 March:

Escorted convoys between Rabaul and Shortlands.

1 April:

Troop transport run from Shortlands to Kolombangara.

2 April:

Transport run to Buka.

5 April:

Troop transport run to Kolombangara.

11 April:

Transport run to Tuluvu (New Britain).

18-21 April:

Escorted seaplane carrier KAMIKAWA MARU from Rabaul to Truk.

3-8 May:

With AGANO, YUGUMO and YUKIKAZE, escorted ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO from Truk to Yokosuka, then docked for repairs.

10-13 June:

Desdiv 10 (YUGUMO, KAZAGUMO, AKIGUMO) steamed from Yokosuka to Paramushiro.

7-17 July:

Initial troop evacuation run to Kiska, aborted due to weather.

22 July-1 August:

Second troop evacuation run to Kiska, successful on 29 July. With ABUKUMA, KISO, and five other destroyers, assigned to transport unit. Removed 463 evacuees.

3-6 August:

Desdiv 10 escorted MAYA from Paramushiro to Yokosuka.

17-24 August:

With YUGUMO, escorted ATAGO, TAKAO and TAIYO from Yokosuka to Truk.

6-8 September:

Steamed from Truk to Rabaul, then became flagship of Comdesron 3 (Rear Admiral Ijuin Matsuji [43]).

28 September:

Led troop evacuation run to Kolombangara (cover).

2 October:

Led troop evacuation run to Kolombangara (cover).

6 October: Battle of Vella Lavella

As flagship of Desron 3 led troop evacuation run to Vella Lavella (cover). Engaged U.S. destroyers.
- 1145 One large enemy aircraft in contact with force.
- 1445 Rendezvoused with transport force.
- 1638 Thirty enemy aircraft sighed ahead to the left, range 12,000 meters.
- 1858 Four enemy destroyers detected bearing 210 degrees, range 15,000 meters.
- 1917 Lost sight of enemy in rain squall.
- 2008 White and red starshells bursting bearing 81 degrees, 22,000 meters.
- 2018 White and blue starshells sighted bearing 125 degrees, range 21,000 meters.
- 2025 More white and blue starshells bursting bearing 125 degrees, 21,000 meters.
- 2049 More starshells, these red and white, bursting 90 degrees, range 15,000 meters.
- 2056 Enemy destroyers opened fire.
- 2057 Order given: Right 90 degrees, simultaneous firing.
- 2058 YUGUMO observed hit by many enemy shells. Enemy cruiser "instantly" sunk, one enemy destroyer sunk.
- 2105 YUGUMO observed hit by torpedo. Sank soon after.
- 2139 Ceased fire. Departed battle area for Rabaul.
- Opinion: The delay in receiving firing instructions lost the advantage in the battle.

7 October:
0900: Arrived at Rabaul.
1800: Departed Rabaul with Desdiv 7 on transport run to Tuluvu, northwest New Britain.
2300: Disembarkation at Tuluvu commenced.

8 October:

Departed Rabaul on another transport to Tuluvu.

9 October:
Enemy B-17 sighted while unloading. Departed for Truk.

10 October:
Arrived at Truk.

14 October:
Departed Truk for patrol outside lagoon; then returned.

17-26 October:

Escorted fleet from Truk to Eniwetok in anticipation of U.S. carrier raids, then returned.

5-10 November:

Escorted ZUIHO and CHUYO from Truk to Yokosuka.

11 November:
Commander Sooma (to Torpedo Research Dept., Kure Arsenal) relieved by Commander Iritono Atsuo [55] (prev. C.O. HATSUSHIMO).

16-21 November:

Escorted ZUIHO, CHUYO and UNYO from Yokosuka to Truk.

23 November:

0430: Departed Truk with Desdiv 4 (YAMAGUMO, MAIKAZE, NOWAKI) through the south passage escorting tankers NIPPON MARU and TOA MARU for Kwajalein via Ponape on supply duty for fleet operating in Marshalls-area.

25 November:
- 1231 TOA MARU (10,052 tons) torpedoed by USS SEARAVEN (SS-196). AKIGUMO dropped twenty-seven depth charges in counter-attack, but the submarine escaped.
- 1247 TOA MARU sank with the loss of 13 but AKIGUMO rescued 117 survivors and returned to Truk the next day.

1-7 December:

Escorted convoy from Truk to Palau.

7-11 December:

Escorted with YAMAGUMO the tanker KENYO MARU (10,022 tons) from Palau to Truk.

12-17 December:

With KAZAGUMO and TANIKAZE, escorted SHOKAKU and YAMATO from Truk to Japan, then docked at Yokosuka for repairs. (“X” turret removed/replaced by two triple 25mm mounts during this refit.)

5 January 1944:
AKIGUMO entered drydock.

13 January:
Left drydock.

19 January:
Photo taken while anchored at Tokuyama, showing 15 officers plus Desdiv 10 commander and medical officer posed in front of AKIGUMO's bridge.(See Note 1 for importance)

6-13 February:

Escorted SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU from Kure to Singapore.

20 February-15 March:

Escorted ZUIKAKU from Singapore to Kure (27 February-8 March) and back.

8 March:
0850 AKIGUMO and KAZAGUMO joined ZUIKAKU and MOGAMI. Departed Inland Sea for Lingga Roads.

15 March:
Arrived at Lingga Roads.

1 April:

Departed Singapore for Davao on transport run carrying materials for Air Group 601.

3 April:
- 1204 Patrol aircraft reported enemy submarine ahead on AKIGUMO's track. Carried out depth-charge attack. Results unknown.

4 April:
Arrived at Davao and unloaded materials. Departed same day for Lingga.

5 April:
Diverted by order to Singapore for more transport duty to Davao.

9 April:
Arrived at Davao. Unloaded cargo. Directed to retun to Lingga but requested permission to go to Singapore instead for needed repairs.(Nature of damage unclear: Message says "----has 40 cm crack and leaks to such an extent that it cannot be used. Can be repaired in two days. Request this be done without delay at Singapore.")
2300: Departed for Singapore, projected to arrive 13 April.

11 April:
0120: While still en-route to Singapore AKIGUMO's orders are changed by Mobile Fleet command: "AKIGUMO will proceed to Lingga anchorage as soon as possible after escorting KIYOKAWA MARU from Davao to Zamboanga."
- 0700 Rendezvoused with KIYOKAWA MARU (6,882 tons) The Maru was carrying vital aviation fuel from Balikpapan and high high priority. They turned about and headed back toward Davao.
- 1815 While scouting ahead of KIYOKAWA MARU the AKIGUMO was torpedoed by USS REDFIN (SS-272) 30 miles southeast of Zamboanga (06-43 N, 122-23 E) [Radio message gave position as 112 miles bearing 27 degrees from Zamboanga lighthouse] Reported two torpedo hits on either side and so believed attacked by two submarines. Listed 45 degrees. Commander Iritono ordered abandon ship, then entered his cabin and locked the door to share the fate of his ship.[2]

- 1817 Sank stern first. A total of 137 killed, including Commander Iritono; 8 officers (2 seriously wounded) and 105 men (5 seriously wounded) survived. A passing fishing boat saw the event and reported it, allowing a Japanese I boat to rescue the survivors.
- 2030 and 2200 Two enemy submarines reported surfaced for about 30 minutes each, using four searchlights, and appeared to be taking aboard and making prisoner some AKIGUMO survivors.[3]

24 April:
A total of 111 survivors arrived at Manila. Warrant officers and above are to return to the Empire by air, petty officers and men are to return by ship.

10 June 1944:
Removed from Navy List.

Notes & Remarks:

[1] Until fairly recently a myth and error persisted that Akigumo was a member of the Yugumo-class destroyers. This is even found in such sterling Japanese publications as Ships of the World History of Japanese Destroyers (No.453 -July 1992) In many ways this is understandable. The name of the ship sounds like a Yugumo and lack of a trial or `portrait style' abeam photograph of her allowed room for confusion. She was also assigned to Desdiv 10 which otherwise was all Yugumo-class. However a study by Japanese maritime historian Tamura Toshio published in the April 1994 issue of Ships of the World determined Akigumo actually belongs to the Kagero-class destroyers.

[2] Nonetheless, there was only one submarine. Redfin reported the destroyer was zig-zagging at the time. A sharp zig to port at 4,500 yards gave a good stern shot and Redfin fired at 1715 (H-time, so 1815 Tokyo) four stern tube torpedoes at Akigumo's starboard side at a range of 1,340 yards. At the time target destroyer estimated to be making 19.5 knots on course 085 with Redfin firing from aft while headed due-south. At 1715:40 first torpedo hits the bow just forward of No.1 turret, setting off its magazine and blasting the bridge, the second torpedo hits just abaft the mainmast, target enveloped in smoke; third torpedo heard but not observed to hit but loud explosions aboard almost continuously and much smoke; at 1718:30 the destroyer is observed to sink by the stern nearly vertical "the bow flared out like much like a rose from the forward hit". From the fore-going, it is not clear why Akigumo officers thought torpedoed on both sides. Incidentally the Akigumo had fulfilled her primary mission: the valuable Kiyokawa Maru was following astern far enough to catch the warning and evade attack.

[3] This odd mention appears from the CO of Akigumo (from context `CO Akigumo' probably refers to ComDesdiv 10 since CO Iritono went down with her). It may have been sent by someone that mistook I-boats doing rescue for enemy submarines. It reads:
25 Apr 1250:
CO of Akigumo sends:
"Info concerning enemy sub __ at time Akigumo-DD was hit by torpedoes.
1. On (11 April?) at 1817 while (steaming at?) 23 knots in position 112 miles 027 dg from Zamboanga lighthouse, (we were attacked?) at almost the same time from both sides [2 hits starboard___ and 2 hits port___].
2. At about 2030 and 2200 two enemy submarines surfaced for about 30 minutes and, using four searchlights, appeared to be taking aboard (some of our) crew members.)"

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

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Lmd: 2/8/2012; 12/14/2018