Long Lancers © 1998, 2009 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Mikazuki: Tabular Record of Movement

Name Translation: “Full Moon,” “New Moon”

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Lieutenant Commander Maeda Saneho [56] (first sea command, prev. Torpedo Officer KUMANO). Assigned to Cardiv 3, First Fleet.

December 1941-May 1942:

Remained in Japanese home waters, serving as guardship to HOSHO and ZUIHO while training.

1 April:

Reassigned directly to First Fleet.

4-5 June: Battle of Midway

Escorted ZUIHO of Admiral Kondo's Occupation Force Main Body.

15 June:
At Sasebo for maintenance, completed by end of month (further details unknown).

20 June:

Assigned to 1st Surface Escort Division, Southwest Area Fleet.

12 July:

Departed Moji, then convoy escort duty between Japan and Formosa.

5 August:

Lieutenant Commander Maeda (to C.O. IKAZUCHI) relieved by Lieutenant (s.g.) Yamazaki Nitaro [58] (prev. C.O. HIYODORI).

14 December 1942-27 January 1943:
At Sasebo for maintenance: improved underwater sound detection equipment installed.

26 March-10 June:

Docked at Sasebo for maintenance and refitting, during which boiler-removal led to reduction in size of aft funnel. (Only unit of class so altered, but see also YAYOI, 9 July-15 August 1942). Also included removal of aft torpedo mount and Nos. 2 and 4 main guns in favor of added 25mm machine-guns (first in class so re-armed), and replacement of single 7.7mm machine-guns abreast bridge by dual 13mm.

31 March:

Assigned to Desdiv 30 (MIKAZUKI, MOCHIZUKI, UZUKI), Desron 3, Eighth Fleet.

11 June:

Departed Sasebo for Rabaul.

28-29 June:

With NAGATSUKI and MINAZUKI, troop transport run from Rabaul via Shortlands to Kolombangara, aborted due to heavy enemy air activity in region.

30 June:
Rendova bombardment mission with AMAGIRI, HATSUYUKI, NAGATSUKI and MINAZUKI, aborted due to weather.

2-3 July:

With YUBARI and eight other destroyers, Rendova bombardment mission.

5-6 July: Battle of Kula Gulf

Troop transport run to Kolombangara. With MOCHIZUKI and HAMAKAZE in 1st Transport Group, landed troops during battle so saw no action.

9 July:

Troop transport run to Kolombangara. With SATSUKI, MATSUKAZE and YUNAGI, landed 1,200 troops and 85 tons of supplies at Vila.

12 July: Battle of Kolombangara

Troop transport run to Kolombangara (picket). Attempted to assist sinking JINTSU but driven off by enemy.

17 July:
Minor damage:
in U.S. air raid on Shortlands due to near-misses.

19-20 July:

Troop transport run to Kolombangara. [Note 1]

27-28 July:

With ARIAKE, troop transport run to Tuluvu (New Britain). Sunk: after grounding on reef near Cape Gloucester (05-27 S, 148-25 E) was destroyed by U.S. Army B-25s. Eight killed; survivors included Comdesdiv 30 (Captain Orita Tsuneo [49], later to Comdesdiv 32) and Lieutenant Yamazaki (to C.O. AKIKAZE).

15 October 1943:

Removed from Navy List.

[Note 1] Reinforcement mission of 19-20 July 1943 O.B.: Main Body (Cover) under Comcrudiv 7 Rear Admiral Nishimura Shoji [39]: Crudiv 7 (KUMANO, SUZUYA), CHOKAI; Escort/Torpedo Force under Comdesron 3 Rear Admiral Ijuin Matsuji [43]: SENDAI, Desdiv 16 (YUKIKAZE), HAMAKAZE, KIYONAMI, YUGURE; Transport Force under Comdesdiv 30 Commander Orita Tsuneo [49]: Desdiv 30 (MIKAZUKI, MINAZUKI), MATSUKAZE. Anticipated enemy surface interference never materialized. Transport force succeeded in landing about 300 men and munitions on Kolombangara, but cover forces lost YUGURE and KIYONAMI and suffered damage to KUMANO in U.S. air attacks.

Editorial Note: It is unknown how long Mikazuki's wreck remained visible, but it was not salvaged and was often bombed as a target as war went on. A photograph of 4 September 1943 shows her with No.2 stack gone with back now broken abaft the No.1 stack and the forepart and most of the bridge submerged. - (Tully).

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