© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Asashio: Tabular Record of Movement

Name Translation: "Morning Tide"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Lieutenant Commander Yoshii Goro [50] (prev. C.O. WAKABA). Assigned to Desdiv 8 (OSHIO, ASASHIO, ARASHIO, MICHISHIO), Desron 2, Second Fleet.

29 November-2 December 1941:
Desdiv 8 steamed from Terashima Strait to Mako (Pescadores).

4-24 December:
Desdiv 8 escorted Admiral Kondo's Southern Force Main Body out of Mako as distant cover to Malaya and Philippine invasion forces.

31 December 1941-5 January 1942:

Desdiv 8escorted 3rd Malaya troop convoy from Mako towards Singora, then put into Hong Kong.

11 January:

Desdiv 8 departed Hong Kong, escorting troop convoy to Davao.

31 January:

Desdiv 8 with Ambon invasion force.

8 February:

Desdiv 8 with Makassar invasion force.

18 February:

Desdiv 8 with Bali/Lombok invasion force.

19-20 February: Battle of Badoeng Strait

Was guarding transport SASAGO MARU off Bali when Allied ships attacked. Has been credited with sinking PIET HEIN with a torpedo, plus gunnery hits on TROMP and USS STEWART (DD-224). Light damage: was hit once, losing a searchlight and four men killed, 11 wounded.


Steamed from Makassar via Palau to reach Yokosuka 25 March.

10 April:

Desdiv 8 reassigned to Desron 4, Second Fleet.

24 April-18 May:

Steamed from Yokosuka to assist in reduction of Corregidor, entering Manila 13 May before returning to Kure.

22-26 May:
Escorted Crudiv 7 from Kure to Guam.

4-6 June: Battle of Midway

Escorted Admiral Kurita's Support Group covering the Midway troop convoy. Medium damage: in U.S. air attacks on 6 June, hit by one bomb, with 22 dead. Assisted ARASHIO in rescuing 240 MIKUMA survivors, then escorted MOGAMI into Truk on 14 June.

29 June-9 July:

Following emergency repairs by AKASHI, steamed from Truk to Sasebo.

14 July:
Desdiv 8 reassigned to "Special Reserve."

14 July-20 October:

Designated a "Special Duty Ship" while under repair in Japan, then assigned to Yokosuka Naval District for patrol/escort duties.


Escorted supply convoy between Yokosuka and Jaluit, then escorted Rabaul-bound convoy from Yokosuka as far as Saipan.

20 October:

Reassigned to Desdiv 8.

22-30 October:

Steamed from Yokosuka to Rabaul.

5 November:

Troop transport run from Shortlands to Guadalcanal.

8 November:

Troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

13-14 November: Naval Battles for Guadalcanal

Escorted Admiral Mikawa's Support Force; on 14 November assisted damaged ISUZU.

16-17 November:
Steamed from Shortlands to Rabaul.

18 November:

Troop transport run to Buna; on 21 November towed damaged UMIKAZE into Rabaul.

1 December:

Troop transport run to Buna.

8 December:

Troop transport run to Buna, aborted due to air attack. Minor damage: in air attack; temporarily disabled by near-misses off stern.

18 December:
With MOCHIZUKI, troop transport run from Rabaul to Finschhafen.

24-29 December:

Steamed from Shortlands to Truk, possibly towing MICHISHIO.

7-12 January 1943:

With INAZUMA, ISONAMI, ARIAKE, and YUGURE, escorted ZUIKAKU, MUTSU and SUZUYA from Truk to Kure, then docked for repairs.

7-12 February:

Escorted CHUYO from Yokosuka to Truk.

13-17 February:
Escorted convoy from Truk to Rabaul.

21-24 February:

Troop transport run from Rabaul to Madang and back.

25 February:
Desdiv 8 reassigned to Desron 3, Eighth Fleet.

1-3 March: Battle of the Bismarck Sea

Escorted troop convoy from Rabaul towards Lae. Sunk: after weathering the first waves of Allied air attacks on 3 March, was bombed later in the day while attempting to rescue ARASHIO and NOJIMA survivors. Lost with all hands, including Comdesdiv 8 (Captain Sato Yasuo [44]), 45 miles southeast of Finschhafen (07-15 S, 148-15 E).

1 April 1943:

Removed from Navy List.

(1) Editorial Note - There were some survivors of Asashio that escaped in a boat that had also rescued Nojima's skipper Captain Matsumoto Kametaro. Japanese sources related that Captain Sato had pledged to protect Nojima and he kept his vow. The survivors testify that Asashio's skipper was killed in the strafing and bombing that pounded his ship before she sank, but that Captain Sato was alive and chose to share the fate of his division flagship. He is considered a hero in Japan. Allied reports indicate that Asashio was pounced upon while engaged in rescue operations about 1310 JST. She had tried to escape when the attack arrived, but was battered by four to six direct hits, possibly more, and brought at once to a halt listing to port, and sank quickly, within fifteen minutes, by 1330 JST. The one variant speculation in Lex McAulay's fine book "Battle of the Bismarck Sea" that Asashio remained afloat for many hours to the next day is almost certainly erroneous. Japanese sources all agree that only two destroyer derelicts -- Arashio and Tokitsukaze -- remained afloat by nightfall, and the former went down in the pre-dawn hours, leaving only Tokitsukaze as the often bombed and photographed derelict finally sunk on 4 March. - (Tully)

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