© 2010 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Usugumo: Tabular Record of Movement

Name translation: "Fleecy Clouds"

16 February 1941-20 July 1942:
Designated "Reserve Ship" while docked at Maizuru for repairs to severe mine damage incurred 15 August 1940 off South China coast. Only warship in Combined Fleet not ready for operations in December 1941.

20 June 1942:
Commander Koyama Takeo [46] (to Naval Technical HQ) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Ikeda Shunsaku [54] (prev. C.O. SATSUKI).

20 July:

Assigned to Fifth Fleet.

5-6 August:

Steamed from Maizuru to Ominato, then Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

29 August-18 September:

Escorted convoys from Ominato via Paramushiro to Shimushu and back.

14-15 October:

Escorted seaplane carrier KIMIKAWA MARU from Ominato to Yokosuka.

21 October-13 November:

Escorted KIMIKAWA MARU on transport run from Yokosuka to Kiska, then to Paramushiro.

6-9 December:

Transport run from Paramushiro to Attu.

23-30 December:
Escorted convoy from Paramushiro to Kiska.

11-27 January 1943:
Escorted convoy from Paramushiro to Kiska and back.

28-31 January:

Transport run from Paramushiro to Attu.

10-26 February:

Docked at Kure for maintenance. Additional 13mm machine guns installed. (see also 16 April-10 May below.)

26-28 February:

Steamed from Kure to Ominato, then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

26 March: Battle of the Komandorskis

Escorted transport SANKO MARU independently of main fleet so played no role in battle.

1 April:

Assigned to Desdiv 9 (ASAGUMO, SHIRAKUMO), Desron 1, Fifth Fleet.

2 April:

Transport run from Paramushiro to Attu, aborted due to weather.

8 April:

Transport run from Paramushiro to Attu, aborted due to weather.

16 April-10 May:

At Ominato for maintenance. Twin 13mm machine guns added on bandstand forward of bridge and aft funnel. (Installation begun at Kure 10-26 February; details unknown.)

12-15 May:
Departed Ominato to join MAYA, then to Paramushiro.

7-17 July:

Initial troop evacuation run to Kiska, aborted due to weather.

22 July-1 August:

Second troop evacuation run to Kiska, successful on 29 July. With ABUKUMA, KISO, and five other destroyers, assigned to transport unit. Removed 478 evacuees.

8 November:
Lieutenant Commander Ikeda (to C.O. TANIKAZE) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Wakasugi Jiichi [56] (prev. C.O. MINEKAZE).

20-23 November:

Escorted NACHI from Ominato to Kure, then docked for maintenance.

25 November 1943-1 February 1944:
While at Kure, “X” turret removed/replaced by two triple 25mm mounts; additional twin and triple mounts also added (details unclear); Type 22 radar installed on foremast.

7-9 February:

Escorted NACHI from Tokuyama to Ominato, then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.

28 February-3 March:
Escorted convoy from Ominato to Matsuwa Island.

16 March:
Departed Kushiro, escorting troop convoy to Uruppu Island, aborted when SHIRAKUMO and NICHIREN MARU were torpedoed and sunk.

27 March-3 April:
Escorted troop convoy from Kushiro to Uruppu Island.

31 March:

Desdiv 9 redesignated Desdiv 18.

29 May-12 June:

At Ominato for maintenance.

21-28 June:

At Kure for maintenance. Type 13 radar presumed mounted on mainmast; additional 13mm and 25mm machine guns added along length of ship (details unknown).

2-5 July:

Departed Otaru, escorting convoy towards Kuriles. Sunk: torpedoed by USS SKATE (SS-305) in Sea of Okhotsk, 330 miles west-southwest of Paramushiro (47-43 N, 147-55 E). Two torpedoes broke back; sank in six minutes. 267, including Lieutenant Commander Wakasugi, killed in action; 49 survivors rescued.

10 September 1944:

Removed from Navy List.

Editorial Note I - Of interest, telegram and radio correspondence shows that on 30 December 1943 Isokaze requested priority on receiving Usugumo's radar set since as of 18 December Isokaze had the platform, but no radar, installed. Usugumo apparently had cut short her refit on 27 December 1943 for an impending operation (apparently subsequently canceled). However, Isokaze's demanding schedule (she departed 6 January with Asaka Maru on duty) did not permit the switch. Thus Usugumo proceeded with her radar install on 23 January. (It is currently unknown when thereafter Isokaze finally received her own radar.) - (Tully)

Editorial Note II - Convoy was KI-504 (Taihi, Umikawa, No.2 Shinko, and Kasado Marus.) A short radio message authored from Usugumo mentions "although avoiding the torpedoes sighted by turning around" the ship was struck anyway. Skate had fired three at Usugumo's starboard side and heard two hits. Skate observed the target had made just such a 180 degree turn after emerging from smoke of the explosions and Usugumo listing 75 degrees to port. Given the radio message correlation, it is tempting to conclude that Usugumo somehow reversed course too quickly back into the path of torpedoes just avoided and was struck on the opposite, ie, port, side. However, this is speculation, and unfortunately the range and timing of torpedo run and hit details are not available to make a calculation. Although the Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy and some online sources report Kasado Maru as damaged and Skate claimed one hit from a second triple salvo fired at a freighter, this remains to be verified. 27th Army HQ at Tennei, Kuriles broadcast a report of the incident at 2131 7 July 1944. It is not unlikely that Usugumo and her convoy had stopped at Tennei just prior as this was a common port of call on such a run. - (Tully)

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