© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Inazuma: Tabular Record of Movement

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

@Revised - Allyn Nevitt with Anthony Tully - August 2018


Name Translation: " Power/or Electric"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Lieutenant Commander Takeuchi Hajime [52] (prev. C.O. YUZUKI). Assigned to Desdiv 6 (HIBIKI, AKATSUKI, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA), Desron 1, First Fleet.

29 November-2 December 1941:

Desdiv 6 steamed from Terashima Strait to Mako (Pescadores)

4-8 December:

Departed Mako, then with Hong Kong invasion force. Assisted ISUZU in sinking gunboats HMS CICADA and HMS ROBIN, then secured captured shipping in harbor.

24 December 1941:

Departed Hong Kong.

1 January 1942:
1600: Arrived with IKAZUCHI at Takao on convoy duty. Join ASHIGARA there.

2 January:
0800: Desdiv 6 assigned as direct escort for ASHIGARA (Flagship Third Fleet, Vice Admiral IBO Takahashi, Main Force); With IKAZUCHI departed Takao for Davao.

6 January:
1400: ASHIGARA, INAZUMA, IKAZUCHI arrived at Davao; joining NACHI and HAGURO there. Subsequently operated out of that base as distant cover to Menado invasion force through 14 January.

14 January:
0300: INAZUMA and IKAZUCHI returned to Davo with NACHI and HAGURO. Desdiv 6 stays outside the harbor, conduting patrol duty until entering the port at 1700. For the next few days Desdiv 6 Second Section patrols outside Davao.

20 January:

1605: Departed Davao.
Medium damage: At 2146 had collision with storeship SENDAI MARU (472 tons) at the mouth of Davao Gulf, then alongside AKASHI for emergency repairs. To temporarily replace her in Desdiv 6 in her role as ASHIGARA's guard, the AKEBONO of Desdiv 7 is assigned to ASHIGARA.

26 January:
Noon: Departed Davao for Mako for repairs.

29 January:

Arrived at Mako; docked for repairs.

17 February:
Repairs completed, INAZUMA undocked. She steams over to Takao. There to wait on standby to meet the newly repaired and southbound heavy cruiser MYOKO.

21 February:

INAZUMA departed Takao for Makassar with the newly arrived MYOKO. They make a high speed dash south, hoping to arrive in time to support the Java landings. Same day INAZUMA is assigned back to ASHIGARA with her sister IKAZUCHI (Second Section of Desdiv 6) for escort duty in anticipation of their re-union. (But AKEBONO remains as her stand-in on the scene for the present and the result is Main Force has a three destroyer screen - Dediv 6 with AKEBONO attached)

25 February:
1740: INAZUMA with MYOKO arrived at Makassar.
1945: ASHIGARA, IKAZUCHI and AKEBONO arrived at Makassar from Kendari. Top off on fuel. With this, Desdiv 6 is re-united, and is to serve as direct escort for ASHIGARA as flagship of Vice Admiral Ibo Takahashi of the Ran-in Invasion Force. However, MYOKO and INAZUMA have steamed further and will take longer to be ready to go to sea again, so the reunion is temporary.

26 February:
0800: ASHIGARA with IKAZUCHI and AKEBONO departed Makassar for the eastern Java Invasion operations. For the time being, AKEBONO remains attached to ASHIGARA. MYOKO and INAZUMA are to follow as soon as possible.

27 February:
The Battle of Java Sea
Action:
- 0300: MYOKO and INAZUMA, now fully refueled and re-provisioned, depart Makassar in pursuit to catch up with Ibo's Main Body.
- 0715: MYOKO and INAZUMA catch up to ASHIGARA's group. VADM Ibo's Main Body now comprises two heavy cruisers and three destroyers.
- 1330: Main Body received report of Japanese recon sighting from 1150 of ABDA's Striking force under Admiral Karel Doorman as 5 cruisers, 6 destroyers, speed 12 knots, course 080 degrees, bearing 310 degrees 63 miles northerly from Surabaya. This put the ABDA Striking Force 60 nm from the invasion convoy, and about 120 nm from Crudiv 5. This causes consternation to the Japanese. The Battle of Java Sea is about to begin. At the time Main Body was sailing westward north of the Kangean Islands. Ibo orders speed increased to 25 knots to try to join the battle as soon as possible.

28 February:
- 0200 Arrived at battle site. Sighted burning hulk of Dutch cruiser DE RUYTER, but no other sign of the enemy. After Main Force merges with Crudiv 5 (NACHI, HAGURO, YAMAKAZE, KAWAKAZE) Spends the day with the cruisers patrolling off Kragan landing zone.

1 March:

Action:
- 0400 Main Force ASHIGARA, MYOKO, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, and AKEBONO are on patrol 100 nm north of the Kragan landing forces in a box circling the 6 Degree line. At this time Nishimura signals that the landings have been successful. [1]
- 1020 Sighted and engaged Allied task force comprised of cruiser HMS EXETER and destroyers HMS Encounter and USS POPE. Crudiv 5 (NACHI, HAGURO, YAMAKAZE, KAWAKAZE) also engaged from the southwest.
- 1235 EXETER hit in boiler room; slows to a dead halt. INAZUMA opens fire closing to 15,000 meters.
- 1310 Obeying orders INAZUMA at a range of 3,700 yards fired two torpedoes to finish off EXETER. Both hit the starboard side. INAZUMA then ceased fire and comes in closer to starboard, and signaled EXETER "recommend surrender." Her crew musters on deck to salute the British ship.[2]
- 1330 EXETER lays over on her starboard side, and sinks stern first. INAZUMA rescued 379 survivors.
- 1343 ASHIGARA ordered Crudiv 5 to break off action and proceed to Kendari via Bandjermasin; Main Force will continue pursuit of the enemy destroyer (POPE - later sunk at 1540 south of Cape Puting).
- c1630 INAZUMA breaks off rescue. (There are indications IKAZUCHI arrived on the scene at this time and Desdiv 6 directed to suspend rescue operations. The IKAZUCHI would return the next day for the rest of the survivors).[3]

2 March:
INAZUMA arrived at Bandjermasin. The survivors of EXETER are transferred to a tanker there.(Possibly NOTORO) Departed again later late that afternoon to rejoin Main Force.

3 March:

Action:
- 0652: MYOKO, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, AKEBONO, USHIO and SAZANAMI on patrol southwest of Bandjarmasin encountered the crippled U.S. submarine PERCH on the surface. It is engaged and the Americans abandon the sub. They are all picked up by USHIO. ASHIGARA, USHIO and SAZANAMI head for Bandjarmasin.
- 2250 INAZUMA picked up 151 POPE survivors after having returned to the scene of the sinking. It seems at the same time AKEBONO and IKAZUCHI are also prowling around for survivors.

4 March:
- Morning: ASHIGARA, USHIO, SAZANAMI return to off Kragan, and by doing so "join" IKAZUCHI and INAZUMA which are to remain there.

5 March:
MYOKO and AKEBONO are headed for Makassar somewhat ahead of the ASHIGARA, USHIO, SAZANAMI, IKAZUCHI, and INAZUMA who are also headed there from off the Kragan landing area.
- 1810 MYOKO and AKEBONO arrived at Makassar.
- 2300 ASHIGARA, INAZUMA, IKAZUCHI arrived at Makassar.

6 March:
0200: INAZUMA departed for Kendari.

7 March:
0900: INAZUMA arrived at Kendari. Departed same day, escorting KEIYO MARU.

12 March:

0830: Arrived in Subic Bay, then assisted in operations to secure the Philippines.

19-26 March:

Escorted convoy from Subic Bay to Kure, then docked at Yokosuka for maintenance.

22-26 May:

Escorted TAKAO and MAYA from Kure to Ominato.

3-5 June: Battle of Midway

Escorted Admiral Hosogaya's Northern Force Main Body.

11-18 June:

Kiska-Attu patrol/escort duties.

28 June-10 July:

Kiska-area antisubmarine patrolling; on 5 July rescued 36 NENOHI survivors.

15-31 July:

Docked at Yokosuka for maintenance, then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

12-15 August:

Transport run from Paramushiro to Kiska.

15-20 August:

Towed damaged SHIRANUHI from Kiska to Shimushu.

29-31 August:

Steamed from Ominato to Kure.

September:

Training with JUNYO and HIYO in Inland Sea.

4-9 October:

Escorted JUNYO and HIYO from Saeki to Truk, then joined fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomons.

22-26 October:

Escorted disabled HIYO into Truk.

1 November:

Lieutenant Commander Takeuchi promoted to Commander.

6 November:

Commander Takeuchi (to C.O. KUROSHIO) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Terauchi Masamichi [55] (prev. C.O. KURI).

12-13 November: First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

Escorted Admiral Abe's Bombardment Force. Claimed sinking a cruiser with torpedoes, then escorted KIRISHIMA to the rear.

14-15 November: Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal

Action:
Escorted Admiral Kondo's Emergency Bombardment Force. With NAGARA in assault on enemy destroyers, assisted in sinking USS BENHAM (DD-397), USS WALKE (DD-416), and USS PRESTON (DD-379) and damaging USS GWIN (DD-433); then to Truk on 18 November.

20-22 November:

Steamed from Truk to Rabaul.

23-24 November:

Transport run to Lae/Salamua, aborted due to air attack.

1 December:

Troop transport run to Buna.

8 December:

Troop transport run to Buna, aborted due to air attack.

11-14 December:

Troop transport run to Buna, via the Admiralties to avoid air attack.

16-20 December:

With TENRYU, ARASHIO, SUZUKAZE, and ISONAMI, escorted Madang attack force (auxiliary cruisers AIKOKU MARU and GOKOKU MARU carrying two battalions of 5th Division from Ambon) from Rabaul to Madang and back.

26-27 December:

Troop transport run from Rabaul via the Shortlands to New Georgia.

2 January 1943:

Supply-drum transport run to Guadalcanal; detached to escort damaged SUZUKAZE back to Shortlands.

5-7 January:

Steamed from Rabaul to Truk.

7-12 January:

With ISONAMI, ARIAKE, YUGURE and ASASHIO, escorted ZUIKAKU, MUTSU and SUZUYA from Truk to Kure, then to Yokosuka for maintenance.

12-28 January:
While at Yokosuka, twin 13mm machine guns added on bandstand forward of bridge.

5-9 February:

Escorted convoy from Yokosuka to Ominato, then Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

26 March: Battle of the Komandorskis

Action:
During escort of troop convoy from Paramushiro to Attu (aborted), engaged U.S. cruiser-destroyer group. Escorted transports to the rear so saw no action in battle.

1 April:

Desdiv 6 reassigned as cadre to Desron 11, First Fleet.

13-16 April:

Escorted ABUKUMA from Paramushiro to Yokosuka, then docked for maintenance.

5-11 May:

Escorted KATORI from Yokosuka to Truk.

14 May-4 June:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back.

7-28 June:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back.

1-26 July:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back.

27 July-17 August:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back.

21 August-19 September:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back.

26 September-6 October:

Escorted convoys from Truk via Saipan to Yokosuka, then docked for maintenance.

1-13 November:

Escorted convoy from Yokosuka to Truk.

20 November:

Lieutenant Commander Terauchi (to C.O. YUKIKAZE) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Tokiwa Teizo [58] (prev. C.O. NOKAZE).

20 November-10 December:

Escorted convoys from Truk to Yokosuka and back; on 4 December rescued survivors of torpedoed transport HIYOSHI MARU.

14-19 December:

Troop transport run from Truk to Kusaie and back.

21 December:

Action:
Out of Truk to assist torpedoed tanker TERUKAWA MARU; helped rescue survivors.

27 December 1943-2 January 1944:

With HIBIKI, escorted HIYO and RYUHO from Truk to Kure.

12 January-19 February:

With HIBIKI, escorted KAIYO from Kure to Manila, Singapore, Tarakan, Palau and Truk and back.

25 February:

Desron 11 reassigned to Combined Fleet.

1-12 March:

With HIBIKI, escorted CHIYODA from Yokosuka via Saipan and Guam to Palau.

15-24 March:

With HIBIKI, escorted CHIYODA from Palau to Balikpapan and back.

27 March-10 April:

With HIBIKI, escorted CHIYODA from Palau via Balikpapan and Davao to Kure, then docked for maintenance.

10-30 April:
While at Kure, “X” turret removed/replaced by two triple 25mm mounts; additional twin and triple mounts also added. Details of any further modifications (including radar) unknown.

3-9 May:

With HIBIKI, ASAGAO and TAIYO, escorted tanker convoy (HI-61) from Moji to Manila.

11 May:

With HIBIKI, departed Manila, escorting tanker convoy (NICHIEI MARU, TATEKAWA MARU, AZUSA MARU) to Balikpapan.

14 May:
Action
- 0413 Convoy attacked by USS BONEFISH (SS-223) in the Celebes Sea near Tawi Tawi.
Sunk:
- 0420: torpedoed in port side. Stern blew off and by 0438 had completely sunk (05-08 N, 119-38 E) A reported 161 dead, including Comdesdiv 6 (Commander Tomura Kiyoshi [49]) and Commander Tokiwa. HIBIKI rescued 125 survivors.

17 May:
- 2035 ComDesDiv 6 sends saying of the men HIBIKI has rescued from INAZUMA -- Lt. ? -- and 7 officers junior to him as well as 113 enlisted men. They are temporarily attached to Base Force # 22 of Bakikpapan as of 16 May. [This figure disagrees slightly with the official figure of losses but may be more accurate.]

10 June 1944:
Removed from Navy List.


[1] Per Crudiv 5 Action Report and War Diary. Strictly speaking, IKAZUCHI seems to have not been present at the time the action began, returning from refueling and hearing of the action, hurrying to rejoin.

[2] Significantly, "After the wreck of HMS Exeter was discovered by MV Empress in 2007 it was confirmed that there was in fact two torpedo hits -" (as notice Inazuma always claimed) "- rather than "just one as survivors had reported seeing hit after they had abandoned ship. Damage from that hit amidships is now only visible on the bottom of the wreck (as she lays on her starboard side, the side the torpedo hit), whereas the unreported hit just forward of A Turret has almost severed the bow.." Inazuma's report did not state the location of her two hits on Exeter. The wreck survey neatly fills this in. - (Quoted details provided by Kevin Denlay - Tully)

[3] INAZUMA and YAMAKAZE rescued only EXETER men on 1 March. However, the IKAZUCHI which had rejoined her team-mate at the rescue's suspension had noted the action and position and would rescue the remaining EXETER men and all the ENCOUNTER men the following day, including both British vessel's commanding officers. It is generally reported that INAZUMA rescued 376 but translator pointed out in a new translation that the last figure is 9, not 3, and examination by eye of the original Japanese microfim confirms this.


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lmd: 3/30/2012; 8/6/2018h1755