© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Akizuki: Tabular Record of Movement


Name Translation: "Autumn Moon"

11 June 1942:

Completed at Maizuru. Ship's captain: Commander Koga Yasuji [50] (prev. C.O. YAMAGUMO)

15 June:

Departed Kure, escorting ZUIKAKU to Northern Area in expectation of U.S. counterattack in the Aleutians.

29 June-18 July:

Escorted liner KAMAKURA MARU from Yokosuka to Makassar (6-10 July) and back.

13-21 August:

Escorted ammunition ship NARUTO MARU from Yokosuka via Kavieng to Rabaul.

24 August: Battle of the Eastern Solomons

Joined escort of Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force.

September:

Escorted fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomons.

27-29 September:

Steamed from Truk to Shortlands. On 29 September weathered attack by B-17s near Buka without damage.

3 October:

Out of Shortlands to assist NISSHIN against U.S. aircraft.

7 October:

Escorted NISSHIN on troop transport run to Guadalcanal, aborted due to weather; on same date, assigned to Desdiv 61 (AKIZUKI, TERUZUKI), Desron 10, Third Fleet.

8 October:

Escorted NISSHIN on troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

11 October:

Escorted NISSHIN and CHITOSE on troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

12-16 October:

Became flagship of Comdesron 4 (Rear Admiral Takama Tamotsu [41]), then with Desdivs 2 and 27 (minus YUGURE), escorted troop convoy (“High Speed Convoy:” SADO MARU, AZUMASAN MARU, KYUSHU MARU, NANKAI MARU, SAKITO MARU and SASAKO MARU, lifting units of 2nd Division) from Shortlands to Guadalcanal and back. KYUSHU MARU, AZUMASAN MARU and SASAKO MARU lost to air attacks and/or grounding, but all troops, tanks, and guns were successfully landed.

17 October:

Led troop transport run to Guadalcanal (cover).

25 October:

Led gunfire support mission to Guadalcanal (Hyakutake offensive), aborted. Assisted in rescue of survivors from bombed YURA. Medium damage: when near-missed by U.S. aircraft and left temporarily unnavigable due to damage in engineering spaces. Admiral Takama transferred to MURASAME.

27-31 October:

Alongside repair ship HAKKAI MARU at Rabaul.

1-6 November:

Escorted SHOKAKU and CHIKUMA from Truk to Japan, then docked at Yokosuka for repairs.

16 December:

Repairs completed.

31 December 1942-4 January 1943:

With HATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE, escorted ZUIKAKU from Yokosuka to Truk.

6-11 January:

Became flagship of Comdesron 10 (Rear Admiral Kimura Susumu [40]), then steamed from Truk via Rabaul to the Shortlands.

14 January:

Led troop transport run to Guadalcanal (cover).

19 January:

Out of Shortlands to assist torpedoed transport MYOHO MARU. Medium damage: when torpedoed by USS NAUTILAUS (SS-168). Two torpedoes hit but one was a dud. Starboard engine room flooded, keel severely strained, but able to steam at 20 knots; 14 dead and 63 injured, the latter including Admiral Kimura.

2 February-11 March:

Arrived Truk from the Shortlands, then alongside repair ship AKASHI.

11-14 March:

Escorted transport TOKYO MARU from Truk to Saipan.

14 March:

Heavy damage: while leaving Saipan, damaged keel buckled under the bridge, nearly sinking ship. Towed back to Saipan on 15 March by auxiliary gunboat SHOEI MARU and beached.

March-June:

Emergency repairs by salvage ship MATSUNOURI MARU: bridge and forward turrets removed to lighten ship.

24 June-2 July:

Towed by auxiliary minelayer SHINKO MARU from Saipan to Nagasaki, then docked for repairs. On 30 June designated a "Reserve Ship" while under repair in Japan.

26 July:
Commander Koga (to X.O. MYOKO) relieved of command.

8 October:
Commander Ogata Tomoe [50] (prev. C.O. ARARE, ComSCDiv 56, X.O. KISO) appointed ship's captain.

31 October:

Repairs completed; reassigned to Desdiv 61.

26 November-1 December:

With SHIMAKAZE, TAMANAMI and TANIKAZE, escorted SHOKAKU and CHITOSE from Yokosuka to Truk.

9-14 December:

Supply transport run from Truk to Kwajalein (11 December) and back.

30 December 1943-4 January 1944:

Escorted NOSHIRO and OYODO on troop transport run from Truk to Kavieng (1 January) and back; on 1 January weathered attack by U.S. aircraft without damage; on 3 January assisted torpedoed transport KIYOZUMI MARU.

1-3 February:

Escorted fleet from Truk to Palau.

16-21 February:

Escorted fleet from Palau to Lingga.

12-15 May:

Escorted fleet from Lingga to Tawitawi.

19-20 June: Battle of the Philippine Sea

Escorted Admiral Ozawa's Force A. Assisted the torpedoed TAIHO and helped rescue survivors.

July-October:

Upkeep and training in Japan.

15 October:
Commander Ogata promoted to Captain.

25 October: Battle of Leyte Gulf
Escorted Admiral Ozawa's Northern Force in Battle off Cape Engano. Sunk: probably by torpedo, ENE of Cape Engano (20-29 N, 126-30 E), during initial U.S. air attack on Northern Force. Most sources credit the hit to aircraft of TF 38, but some give credit to submarine USS HALIBUT (SS-232). Blew up and sank with 183 dead. MAKI rescued 145 survivors, including Captain Ogata; one other survivor later rescued by Americans.

10 December 1944:

Removed from Navy List.


(1) Editorial Note 1 - USS Nautilus attack report says sighted at 2337 (L-time) on 19 January 1943. A dramatic encounter followed, for Nautilus commenced a submerged approach, only to see that the target was a big warship that had seen them and was charging their way at 26 knots to ram. At 2353 sub fired two stern tubes at only 700 yards range and saw one hit starboard amidships. By the flash target was identified as a Mogami-class cruiser which then opened heavy and smaller caliber gunfire on the periscope as slowed to a halt. At 2359 hastily fired three bow torpedoes at only 500 yards range and they went under or failed to detonate. The "Mogami" continued to land shells close around, rocking the submarine, and within a few minutes got underway with one screw and began to draw away southerly at 8-10 knots zig-zagging. At 0107 Nautilus surfaced to pursue, following a pungent oil slick, but having sighted nothing abandoned the chase at 0230 on basis of a convoy contact report and to avoid infringing on another submarine's zone. - (Tully)

[2] Editorial Note II - Post-war Japanese investigation and the time of sinking both seems to have ruled out submarine attack, though an odd number of mysteries persist. Akizuki apparently suffered an explosion of her boiler room or TT mount, jacknifed and sank after being struck. - (Tully)

For an article discussing these questions and the sinking, see:

The sinking of Akizuki : A Sudden but obscure fate unveiled.


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