© 1998 Allyn D. Nevitt

IJN Yamagumo: Tabular Record of Movement

Name Translation: "Clouds on the Mountain"

Initial Command Structure:
Ship's captain: Commander Koga Yasuji [50] (prev. C.O. MINAZUKI). Assigned to Desdiv 9 (ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO, NATSUGUMO, MINEGUMO), Desron 4, Second Fleet.

26-29 November 1941:

Desdiv 9 steamed with Desron 4 from Terashima Strait to Mako (Pescadores), then YAMAGUMO became flagship of Commander, 3rd Surprise Attack Force (Rear Admiral Hirose Sueto [39]).

7-10 December:

Departed Mako, then led Batan Island and Camaguin Island (Philippines) invasion forces.

22 December:

With Lingayen invasion force.

31 December:

Heavy damage: struck a Japanese mine, left dead in the water with flooded engineering spaces; Admiral Hirose transferred to MANAZURU; then alongside YAMABIKO MARU in Lingayen Gulf for emergency repairs.

9 February 1942:

Towed into Hong Kong, then more repairs.

7 April-30 September:

Arrived in Yokosuka from Hong Kong, then docked for repairs.

15 May:

Designated a "Special Duty Ship," Yokosuka Naval District.

20 May:
Commander Koga (to C.O. AKIZUKI) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Ono Shiro [54] (prev. C.O. SAWAKAZE).

1 October 1942-20 August 1943:

Local patrol/escort duties out of Yokosuka; a convoy escort mission to Saipan in December 1942 was ship's only operation out of Japanese home waters.

8 February 1943:
Departed Yokosuka, escorting TATSUTA MARU to Truk, aborted when liner was torpedoed and sunk same day with loss of over 1,400 lives.

10 July-20 August:
Lieutenant Commander Ono assigned extra duty as C.O. HARUSAME (under repair).

20 August:

Assigned to Desron 11, First Fleet, for training.

15-16 September:

Assigned to Desdiv 4 (MAIKAZE, NOWAKI), Desron 10, Third Fleet, then departed Yokosuka for Shanghai.

24 September-5 October:

With HIBIKI and MAKINAMI, escorted troop convoy (Operation T2: HEIAN MARU, GOKOKU MARU, KIYOZUMI MARU and AKITSUSHIMA, lifting units of 17th Division) from Shanghai via Truk (2 October) to Rabaul, then to Truk on 9 October.

11-18 October:

Escorted convoy (NAKA, ISUZU, GOKOKU MARU and KIYOZUMI MARU) from Truk to Shanghai.

21-28 October:

Escorted troop convoy (2
nd section of Operation T4: NAKA, ISUZU, GOKOKU MARU and KIYOZUMI MARU, lifting units of 17th Division) from Shanghai to Truk.

3-7 November:
Departed Truk escorting troop convoy to Rabaul, but recalled due to heavy air attacks in Rabaul-area.

9-12 November:

With MAIKAZE and NOWAKI, escorted troop convoy (3
rd section of Operation T4: NICHIEI MARU, NICHII MARU and KAMIKAZE MARU, lifting units of 17th Division) from Truk to Rabaul.

13-15 November:

With MAIKAZE and NOWAKI, aircrew (of Cardiv 1) transport run from Rabaul to Truk.

18-19 November:

Departed Truk, escorting KASHIMA and CHOGEI towards Kure. On 19 November sank USS SCULPIN (SS-191) with depth charges and gunfire, then rescued 41 survivors and returned to Truk.

25 November-7 December:

Escorted tanker NIPPON MARU supporting fleet operating in Marshalls-area in response to U.S. landings on Tarawa, then returned to Truk.

11-16 December:

Escorted KONGO and HARUNA from Truk to Sasebo.

20-25 December:

Escorted YAMATO from Yokosuka to Truk.

30 December 1943-2 January 1944:

Escorted NOSHIRO and OYODO on troop transport run from Truk to Kavieng (1 January) and back. Light damage: in air attack on 1 January due to strafing; flooded fuel tank.

19-22 January:

Escorted tanker KOKUYO MARU from Truk to Rabaul.

24-25 January:

Troop transport run from Kavieng to Lorengau (Manus).

28 January:

Troop transport run from Rabaul to Qavuvu (New Britain).

1-2 February:

Troop transport run from Rabaul to Lorengau.

3-4 February:

Steamed from Rabaul to Truk.

15-23 February:

Escorted transport ASAKA MARU from Truk via Saipan to Yokosuka, then docked for repairs. (“X” turret probably removed/replaced by two triple 25mm mounts during this refit.)

29 March-7 April:

With YUKIKAZE, escorted ZUIHO from Yokosuka to Guam, then back to Kure.

11-16 May:

Escorted JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO from Saeki to Tawitawi.

10-12 June:

With NOSHIRO, SHIMAKAZE, OKINAMI and NOWAKI, escorted YAMATO and MUSASHI from Tawitawi to Batjan to support Biak troop transport operations.

13 June:

Departed Batjan, escorting Admiral Ugaki's task force to join Admiral Ozawa's fleet in Philippine Sea.

19-20 June: Battle of the Philippine Sea

Desdiv 4 escorted Admiral Joshima's Force B.

23-26 June:

Desdiv 4 steamed from Okinawa to Guimarras to pick up oil tankers, then to Davao on 29 June.

1-15 July:

Desdiv 4 escorted FUSO from Davao via Tarakan to Kure.

15-21 August:

Escorted HARUNA from Sasebo to Singapore.

18-20 October:

Escorted fleet from Lingga to Brunei.

22-25 October: Battle of Leyte Gulf

Fuelled from YAMASHIRO, then escorted Admiral Nishimura's Southern Force in Battle of Surigao Strait. Sunk: by torpedoes of USS McDERMUT (DD-677) in Surigao Strait (10-25 N, 125-23 E). Blew up, broke in two, and sank in two minutes, leaving only two survivors. Lieutenant Commander Ono killed in action.

10 January 1945:

Removed from Navy List.

(1) Editorial Note I - The Yamagumo first sighted Sculpin surfacing at 0640 on her port beam, and began a series of alternate depth-charge and pinging runs. At 1109 the damaged submarine accidentally broaches the surface, and the destroyer closes for the kill, forcing Sculpin to the surface at 1256. The submarine rises for a desperate gunfire duel with its starboard side facing Yamagumo's starboard side as they exchange fire at 2,000 yards. By 1307 the Sculpin is listing and Yamagumo ceases fire and ten minutes later dispatches rescue boats as the scuttled submarine submerges for the last time in what looked to her survivors almost like a normal dive. (For sometime after the war, the Sculpin's nemesis was erroneously rendered as the Yokohoma instead of Yamagumo) and this name is sometimes still encountered online). - (Tully)

For more details on this dramatic combat, see cruiser Kashima TROM and also the account of Sculpin survivor George Rocek at respectively:

KASHIMA tabular record

Saga of a Sculpin Survivor

(2) Editorial Note II - Crewmen Morita Michio, captured later at Surigao Strait, confirms the general timing of the refit. He states he left the ship in March 1944 and when he re-joined her in October he found No.2 turret missing. Though this is rather vague, it basically says No.2 turret was in place until March 1944. - (Tully)

(3) Editorial Note III - Japanese witnesses on Mogami and Shigure observed the Yamagumo struck at 0319-0320 by a minimum of two to three torpedoes in the port side amidships. Apparently her torpedoes exploded and she blew up and jacknifed immediately, bow and stern upraised. She sank within two minutes in a blazing fire. Ultimately only two men survived her sinking, one of them from No.1 turret shell room, indicating that its magazine was not involved in the destruction of the destroyer. - (Tully)

For full details of the night action and Yamagumo sinking see the book Battle of Surigao Strait

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