Amatsukaze (1939)

Amatsukaze running trials shortly before commissioning. Photo in the collection of the Kure Maritime Museum.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1939
Launched
1939
Commissioned
1940
AD/BC
AD
History

Amatsukaze, one of the Kagerō-class destroyers, was commissioned in October, 1940. Assigned to the invasions of the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, Amatsukaze played a minor role in the Battle of the Java Sea, and was part of the escort of the Invasion Force during the Battle of Midway in June, 1942. She was assigned as an escort for the light carrier Ryūjō during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, rescuing survivors after the carrier was sunk. After the Battle of Santa Cruz, Amatsukaze was assigned to a bombardment run against the American airfield on Guadalcanal. During the ensuing Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, she had all her guns knocked out, her rudder jammed, and forty-three crew killed. In exchange, she sank the destroyer USS Barton, and may have put a torpedo into the cruiser USS Atlanta, besides inflicting hits on several ships with her guns. Amatsukaze returned to Japan for repairs. back on active duty in February, Amatsukaze spent 1943 on escort duty. On 11 January, 1944, she was torpedoed and had her bow blown off by the submarine USS Redfin. Everyone assumed she was sunk, but Amatsukaze was found afloat almost a week later. Out of action for the rest of the year, she was towed to Singapore in November where she was fitted with a temporary bow, which was never replaced. On 6 April, 1945, she was attacked by B-25 Mitchell bombers, and heavily damaged in return for shooting down three. Crippled, Amatsukaze was beached by her crew, but bad weather made recovery impossible. Amatsukaze was scuttled with explosive charges, and designated for use as a target for bomber crews in training. Her wreck was rediscovered in 2012, and partly salvaged for scrap metal before she could be brought under the protection of the proper preservation agencies. At last report, there are plans to build a museum around the wreck.