© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Nokaze: Tabular Record of Movement

NOKAZE-class (Minekaze sub-class of 3 ships) (Ships of the World)

@Updated - January 1, 2012 - Allyn Nevitt

@Revised - Allyn Nevitt with Anthony Tully - September 2016


Name Translation: "Wind over the Field"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Lieutenant Commander Kawahashi Akifumi [54]. Assigned to Desdiv 1 (KAMIKAZE, NAMIKAZE, NUMAKAZE, NOKAZE), Ominato Guard District.

4 December 1941:
Departed Ominato, then Hokkaido-Kuriles patrol/escort duties.

15 April 1942:
Lieutenant Commander Kawahashi (to C.O. SHIKINAMI) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Tokiwa Teizo [58].

25 May 1942:
Participated in Aleutians Islands attack operations.

9 October:
Departed Ominato, then Hokkaido-area patrol/escort duties.

10 December:
Departed Ominato, then Hokkaido-Yokosuka convoy escort duties.

17 May-15 June 1943:
Reassigned directly to Fifth Fleet, then back to Desdiv 1.

1 July:
Departed Ominato, then supported Kiska evacuation.

5 August:
Hokkaido-Kuriles convoy escort duties.

10 November:
Lieutenant Commander Tokiwa (to C.O. INAZUMA) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Ebihara Taro [59] (prev. C.O. FUMIZUKI). Lieutenant Commander Ebihara assigned added duty as Acting Comdesdiv 1 following death of Commander Watanabe Yasumasa [49] on 18 December when flagship NUMAKAZE sunk.[Desdiv 1 reduced to NAMIKAZE, NOKAZE, KAMIKAZE.]

20 December 1944:
1359: NOKAZE ordered to drydock for upkeep and fittings at Ominato.

21 December 1943-2 February 1944:
Docked repairs and refitting. NOKAZE now flagship of Desdiv 1.

15 February:
Departed Ominato, then resumed Hokkaido-Kuriles convoy escort duties.

17 March 1944:
Action
- 0338: NOKAZE and NAMIKAZE ordered to depart Akkeshi Bay, southwest Hokkaido, immediately to join in the hunt for an enemy submarine (USS-TAUTOG- SS-199)that had sunk NICHEREN MARU and destroyer SHIRAKUMO around midnight in a convoy that had left Ominato on the 14th.

26 April 1944:
2205: NOKAZE with HATSUHARU departed Ominato for Tenei Island in the Kuriles, escorting freighters FUSHIMI MARU (4,935 tons) and HIBURI MARU (4,366 tons).

29 April 1944:
Arrived at Hittokappu Bay, Etorofu Island with FUSHIMI MARU, having separated from HATSUHARU and HIBURI MARU.[Reason unknown].

30 April 1944:
NOKAZE departed Hitokappu Bay escorting out freighter FUSHIMI MARU, then returned. At 1240 departed again for Akkeshi Bay, Hokkaido.

1 May 1944:
0825: Arrived at Akkeshi Bay, refueled, and at 2000 departed on convoy duty.

2 May 1944:
0415: NOKAZE grounds on a reef while enaged in convoy duty. She is finally pulled off at 0500 5 May by another vessel. During the days aground, the following damage incurred: The blade tips of both propellers were broken. The echo ranging and sound head were broken, and the hull damaged so that it was not safe to make speed greater than 16 knots.

9 September 1944:
NOKAZE departed Kataoka Bay to go to the aid of torpedo-damaged sister ship NAMIKAZE. (She had been torpedoed and fantail severed at 1950 8 September by USS SEAL SS-183).

10 September 1944:
KAMIKAZE joins NAMIKAZE first, and set about towing operations.

11 September 1944:
NOKAZE arrived at the scene, and screened KAMIKAZE as she towed NAMIKAZE to a nearby bay for temporary repairs.

13 September 1944:
NOKAZE escorted KAMIKAZE as the latter towed the crippled NAMIKAZE out of temporary anchorage at 7 knots. Later that day they arrived at Otaru, Hokkaido.

21 December:
Drydocked at Ominato for maintenance.

26 December 1944:
NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE ordered by CoS Combined Fleet to engage in training exercises till about 13 January.

5 January 1945:
Desdiv 1 ordered to depart on the 10th for Kure.

10 January 1945:
Attached to Combined Fleet.

13 January 1945:
NOKAZE departed Ominato for the Inland Sea.

22 January 1945:
NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE carried out practice against targets in the Hashirajima area.

26 January:
0800: Departed Moji with KAMIKAZE, escorting Convoy HI-91 towards Singapore. Composition in addition to Desdiv 1: SANUKI MARU (9,246 tons), TOKI MARU, EIYO MARU, and KITSURIN MARU with Kaibokans SHONAN, KUME, CD-24, and CD-53.

28 January 1945:
- Action:
- 0240 Kaibokan KUME torpedoed by USS SPADEFISH (SS- ); breaks into flames, and foundered stern first.
- 0313 SANUKI MARU is torpedoed and sunk by the same submarine. KAMIKAZE moves to rescue her survivors then those of the sinking KUME. Then proceeded with NOKAZE to Chinkai, South Korea, to disembark the survivors.

29 January 1945:
1630: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE departed Chinkai; intending to arrive at at Keelung at 1000 on 1 February, having been detached from HI-91.

31 January 1945:
0800: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE arrived at Kiru.

3 February 1945:
1032: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE arrived at Keelung. Original plans were for them to do convoy duty to Singapore, but other schedules intervened.

8 February 1945:
1500: "North Operation" for Cardiv 4 is ordered, to depart Singapore for Japan 10 February, and Desdiv 1 is directed to standby to assist the screen duty.

10 February 1945:
1425: By order of Combined Fleet Desdiv 1 placed under command of ComCardiv 4 RADM Matsuda Chiaki and ordered to reinforce its escort for "North Operation": the return home of Cardiv 4 and OYODO from Singapore.
2300: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE released from convoy duty to proceed to Mako for the new assignment.

11 February 1945:
0850: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE arrived at Mako.

14 February 1945:
1023: Desdiv 1 rendezvoused with Cardiv 4 to augment its screen as ordered. However the sea is such that the two old destroyers have trouble matching the fleet speed of 18 knots; they have to increase speed to 21 knots just to attain 18 knots through the water.

15 February 1945:
1745: Comdesdiv 1 Ebihara requests that Mako prepare fresh water and other supplies to be ready; for Desdiv 1 will arrive there by 0900 next day.[It had been decided to release Desdiv 1 at next stop from trying to continue north].
1930: Arrived at overnight stop at Matsu Island on the Chinese coast just north of Formosa Strait. Desdiv 1 refuels. Since SHIOKAZE was arriving in the area, she is detailed to take Desdiv 1's place in screen duty.

16 February 1945:
0024: Comcardiv 4 Matsuda released Desdiv 1 from the escort assignment, directing them to return to Mako since they can't keep pace. The "North Force" resumes its voyage to Japan and NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE detach and head for Mako, arriving at 0900 that morning.
1745: NOKAZE and KAMIKAZE depart Mako for Singapore making overall speed of 13 knots. They have embarked between them 50 passengers, among them survivors of the super-battleship MUSASHI assigned to ships at Singapore.

20 February:
- Sunk: At 0327 while Desdiv 1 is south-bound NOKAZE is struck starboard side under the bridge by torpedo, one of four fired by USS PARGO (SS-264) off Cape Varella in the South China Sea (12-27'N, 109-40'E).[1] Exploded violently and sinks at once. KAMIKAZE counter attacks with depth charges, but does not believe attack was successful.
- 1015: KAMIKAZE stops sweep, having expended 20 depth charges. Commences search for survivors, returning to the scene. She found a 10 mile long oil slick floating southward and followed it, eventually finding survivors adrift in the current. Twenty-one are rescued, including CO Lt.Cdr. Ebihara (Still serving as acting Comdesdiv 1 too), but 209 officers and men are killed. KAMIKAZE reports the sinking at 1058 and then proceeds as scheduled to Singapore with the survivors aboard. Increases speed to 21 knots and maintains zig-zagging to avoid further submarines.

22 February 1944:
2200: KAMIKAZE arrived at Singapore. Survivors disembarked.[2]

10 April 1945:
Removed from Navy List.


[1] - At the time the flagship was sailing 600 meters abeam of Kamikaze to starboard. Pargo fired four torpedoes at a range of 2,999 yards and reported "How many torpedoes hit will never be known because at 0227 [0327 IJN], 15 secs. First torpedo hit was immediately followed by a tremendous explosion which tore the destroyer stem from stern and blew the middle sky high. A column of fire and streaks of molten metal went up from under the bridge at least 3,000 feet in the most spectacular sight any of us had ever seen. Burning embers were still falling downward one minute later, and the target had completely disintegrated. The nearest thing that can describe it are the pictures of the USS Shaw blowing up at Pearl Harbour on December 7th; so we have unofficially chalked this up as “revenge for the Shaw.” The pip of radar broke into several parts and the interference on our APR ceased with the explosion. 0232 [0332 IJN] The target faded completely from sight at 3,000 yards and from the radar screen at 4,500 yards." At 1058 Kamikaze radioed news of the sinking and reported was engaged in rescue efforts. Sinking position is conventionally given as (12-48 N, 109-38 E); but Kamikaze gave the position that was used above.

[2] - Though Commanding officer LtCdr. Ebihara Tarou survived the sinking and arrived safely at Singapore, he was unfortunately killed in action on 29 March 1945 when the transport had had been ordered to return to Japan aboard was sunk. Nokaze had the dubious distinction of being the last of 39 Japanese destroyers to fall victim to U.S. submarines during the war.


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