© 1998, 2009 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Amatsukaze: Tabular Record of Movement


Name Translation: "Heavenly Wind"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Commander Hara Tameichi [49] (prev. C.O. YAMAGUMO). Assigned to Desdiv 16 (YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE), Desron 2, Second Fleet.

26 November-1 December 1941:

Desdiv 16 steamed with Desron 2 from Terashima Strait to Palau.

6-15 December:

Escorted RYUJO out of Palau, supporting Southern Philippine attack forces.

20 December:

With Davao invasion force. One crewman killed while securing shipping in harbor.

11 January 1942:

With Menado invasion force.

24 January:

With Kendari invasion force.

31 January:
With Ambon invasion force.

20 February:
With Timor invasion force.

27 February:

With Eastern Java invasion force.

27 February: Battle of the Java Sea

Took part in torpedo attack on Allied fleet.

1 March:

Escorted Dutch hospital ship OP TEN NOORT to Bandjermasin (Borneo).

March:

Antisubmarine operations in the Java Sea. Has been credited with sinking USS PERCH (see also USHIO) but her opponent more likely a Dutch submarine, perhaps K.10.

31 March-3 April:

With Christmas Island invasion force: escorted NATORI towing torpedoed NAKA as far as Bantam Bay; then to Makassar.

25 April-3 May:

Steamed from Makassar to Kure, then docked for maintenance.

21-25 May:

Desdiv 16 steamed with Desron 2 from Kure to Saipan.

3-6 June: Battle of Midway

Desdiv 16 escorted Midway troop convoy.

14 July:

Desdiv 16 reassigned to Desron 10, Third Fleet.

16 August:

Departed Kure, escorting fleet towards Truk.

24 August: Battle of the Eastern Solomons

With TOKITSUKAZE, escorted RYUJO and TONE. Assisted in rescue of RYUJO survivors. Also recovered a ditched ZUIKAKU bomber crew.

September-October:

Escorted fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomons.

12-13 October:

With YUKIKAZE, scouted Ndeni Island, looking for U.S. seaplane base.

26 October: Battle of Santa Cruz

Escorted Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force.

12-13 November: First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

Escorted Admiral Abe's Bombardment Force. Torpedoed and sank USS BARTON (DD-599). Medium damage: by gunfire of USS HELENA (CL-50): hydraulic systems crippled, silencing guns and jamming rudder; 43 dead.

18-25 November:

Emergency repairs at Truk.

26 November-1 December:

Steamed from Truk to Kure, then docked for repairs. Repairs probably included twin 25mm machine guns added on bandstand forward of bridge; twin 25mm machine guns at aft funnel replaced by triple mountings; and radar-detecting device installed on bridge.

10 January 1943:
Commander Hara (to Comdesdiv 27, later C.O. YAHAGI) relieved by Commander Tanaka Masao [50] (prev. C.O. FUMIZUKI).

5-10 February:

Escorted SUZUYA from Kure to Truk.

15-17 February:

With URAKAZE, aircrew (ground-support units of ZUIHO) transport run from Truk to Wewak.

17-23 February:

Assisted URAKAZE towing damaged HARUSAME from Wewak to Truk.

29 March-3 April:

Escorted convoy from Truk to Palau.

6-18 April:

With Subchaser No. 34, escorted troop convoy (Hansa No. 2A: SYDNEY MARU, TOHO MARU and TEIRYU MARU, lifting units of 20th Division) from Palau to Hansa Bay and back. On 12 April SYDNEY MARU lost in bombing attack in Hansa Bay.

26 April-6 May:

With URAKAZE and Subchasers Nos. 26 and 34, escorted troop convoy (Wewak No. 3: No. 1 Shinsei Maru, Bunzan Maru, Kanko Maru, Hofuku Maru, No. 13 Hakutetsu Maru, and San Francisco Maru, lifting units of 41
st Division) from Palau to Wewak and back.

8-17 May:

With URAKAZE and Subchaser No. 34, escorted troop convoy (Wewak No. 4: TEIRYU MARU, No. 3 YOSHIDA MARU, TOHO MARU, MAYA MARU, and ARATAMA MARU, lifting units of 41
st Division) from Palau to Wewak and back.

23 May-3 June:

With URAKAZE, escorted troop convoy (Hansa No. 3: HOFUKU MARU, No. 1 SHINSEI MARU, DENMARK MARU, SHINYU MARU and No. 13 HAKUTETSU MARU, lifting units of 20
th Division) from Palau to Hansa Bay and back.

5-15 June:

With URAKAZE, escorted troop convoy (Wewak No. 5: MAYA MARU, No. 3 YOSHIDA MARU, BENGAL MARU, and HAKKA MARU, lifting units of 41
st Division) from Palau to Wewak and back. During return voyage convoy joined by auxiliary gunboat KAZAN MARU.

21 June-2 July:

With URAKAZE, escorted troop convoy (Hansa No. 4: DENMARK MARU, NAGANO MARU, KANKO MARU, YUBAE MARU and SHINYU MARU, lifting units of 20
th Division) from Palau to Hansa Bay and back.

5-17 July:

With URAKAZE and SHIRATAKA, escorted troop convoy (Wewak No. 6: BENGAL MARU, No. 3 YOSHIDA MARU, No. 1 SHINSEI MARU, MAYA MARU and TOHO MARU, lifting units of 41
st Division) from Palau to Wewak and back. On return voyage escorted URAKAZE towing disabled TOHO MARU back to Palau.

19-24 July:

With URAKAZE, escorted convoy from Palau to Truk.

25 July-1 August:

With URAKAZE, escorted convoy from Truk to Kure, then docked for maintenance. Possibly received Type 22 radar mounted on foremast during this refit.

16-23 August:

With HATSUKAZE, escorted YAMATO from Kure to Truk as part of larger fleet deployment.

18-25 September:

Escorted fleet from Truk to Eniwetok and back in response to U.S. carrier raids in the Central Pacific.

21-27 October:

Escorted tanker HOYO MARU from Truk to Eniwetok and back in support of fleet operating in Marshalls-area.

2 November:

Departed Truk on aircrew transport run to Rabaul, but diverted to assist damaged tanker NISSHO MARU.

11 November:
Commander Tanaka promoted to Captain.

12-24 November:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Palau and back.

7-14 December:

Escorted CHITOSE and IRAKO from Truk to Yokosuka.

10 January 1944:
Relief of Captain Tanaka by Lieutenant Commander Suga Akiji [56] (C.O. SAZANAMI) ordered but never realized due to Suga's death in SAZANAMI's sinking.

11-16 January:

With YUKIKAZE and CHITOSE, escorted high-speed tanker convoy (HI-31: OMUROSAN MARU, TATEKAWA MARU, ITSUKUSHIMA MARU, GENYO MARU, KUROSHIO MARU, HOKUROKU MARU) from Moji bound for Singapore. Heavy damage: torpedoed north of the Spratly Islands by USS REDFIN (SS-272). Magazine explosion forward severed bow and killed 80, including Comdesdiv 16 (Captain Furukawa Bunji [49]). Presumed sunk by convoy, left adrift for six days until discovery by patrol plane. Note: it is unclear whether Captain Tanaka (to 2
nd Surface Escort Group; later Instructor, Torpedo School) survived this voyage or had been relieved prior to it by another officer in Suga's absence.

24-30 January:

Towed by ASAGAO to Cape St. Jacques, then emergency repairs.

15 March:
Captain Sasaki Takanobu [47] (X.O., 11
th Special Base Force) assigned extra duty as ship's captain.

31 March:

Removed from Desdiv 16; attached to First Southern Expeditionary Fleet, Southwest Area Fleet.

2 September:
Captain Sasaki relieved by Captain Hasebe Yoshizo [40] (C.O. HAYATOMO).

15 November:

Arrived in Singapore for fitting of temporary bow, then local escort duties.

10 February 1945:
Captain Hasebe relieved by Lieutenant Morita Tomoyuki [68].

19-30 March:

Escorted convoy (HI-88J: last convoy to depart Singapore for Japan) from Singapore to Yulin. Heavy losses led to convoy dissolution at Yulin.

6 April:

Sunk: in air attack by U.S. Army B-25s, six miles east of Amoy (24-30 N, 118-10 E). Hit by three bombs; crew managed to beach ship, but storm foiled salvage attempts on 7 April and wreck largely abandoned ashore. 44 dead, but Lieutenant Morita among survivors.

10 May:
Designated “Reserve Ship 4
th Class,” later expended as target for Japanese aircraft.

10 August 1945:

Removed from Navy List.


[1] Editorial Note I - USS Redfin's patrol report reveals the submarine was stalking the convoy near dusk on the surface when the Amatsukaze was sighted overtaking steadily from astern. Suddenly the Japanese destroyer lit off all boilers, and commenced a charge. Redfin had been sighted, and a hot pursuit ensued. At 1949 (sub was using H-time, here adjusted to JST) the Amatsukaze opened fire. Cornered Redfin retaliated with four stern tubes; one of which struck the port bow at 1952 setting off the forward magazine and producing a fireball that caused the sub to believe all its torpedoes had struck and demolished the destroyer. - (Tully)

[2] Editorial Note II - Spectacular photographs taken during Amatsukaze's final action reveal the character of her transformation. Her hull had been cut off at the former location of No.1 TT mount, and a temporary bridge and snub-nosed bow fitted there. Her No.2 stack became her only stack, and was just abaft the temporary bridge. Perhaps not surprisingly, in this case No.2 5-inch turret was not removed, and she retained both aft turrets. From No.2 stack aft, Amatsukaze thus remained a normal looking Kagero-class destroyer.- (Tully)

[3] Editorial Note III - Hi88J indeed suffered heavily. Of the original composition of seven marus - Sarawak, Kaiko, Asokawa, Honan, Araosan, Tencho, Saigon Maru -- and seven escorts - No.134 (Flag), Nos. 18, 26, 84, 130,134, Manju, and Amatsukaze; four marus and three kaibokan were crippled or sunk by the time they arrived at Hainan Island on 30 March. - (Tully)

[4] Editorial Note IV - These bombers were from the 345th Bomb Group. At the time Amatsukaze was part of the escort for convoy Ho-Mo # 3 (Amatsukaze, No.1, No.134 (Flag Cmdr. Hirano), Manju, SC No.9, SC No.20, Kine Maru and Dai 2 Tokai Maru) which had set out from Hong Kong evening of 4 April for the homeland. A running air battle had ensued over the next two days, and the two Marus and two kaibokan were sunk by the time the destroyer's turn came at 1230 6 April. Amatsukaze claimed five planes shot down, and four damaged.(It was actually three planes destroyed). Damage summary disloses that the B-25s scored three direct hits in turn. One struck in the auxiliary machinery room (forward of No.2 turret); a second in the radio room, and the third in the wardroom. In addition, multiple rocket hits damaged the barrels of No.2 and No.3 turrets. The rear bridge was collapsed and topside damage heavy. All power was lost and Amatsukaze became adrift with bad fires raging aft. Rudder fails, and unable to anchor she runs aground on the shoals south of Amoy Harbor at 2100. Though Army guard boats of the base arrive that evening and tow her across the bay mid-morning April 7, bad weather frustrates salvage attempts. She soon bottoms with both engine rooms flooded. Recovery proves impossible, and on 10 April she was blown up and the wreck thereafter used as a target for Japanese planes. Of interest, she reported six officers and 150 men survived; 3 officers, 1 passenger, and 41 crew lost. Lt. Morita was appointed to command of the Sijiao Island garrison, China Theater Fleet and remained there till after the war. - (Tully)


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