Minazuki (1926)

Minazuki running trials in February, 1927, a month before she was commissioned. At this time, she was still named Destroyer No. 28. Imperial Japanese Navy photo in the collections of the Kure Maritime Museum.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Destroyer No. 28 was laid down in 1925, as part of the Mutsuki-class. Commissioned in March, 1927, she was named Minazuki in August, 1928, when the Japanese resumed giving their destroyers names, rather than just hull numbers. By 1941, Minazuki had been relegated to second-line duties as more advanced destroyers became available. She covered the invasion of the Philippines in December, then joined the invasion of the Dutch East Indies in February, 1942. Minazuki saw little action, remaining in the Southwest Pacific until she returned home for a refit in August to October, and spent most of the year escorting convoys. In February, 1943, Minazuki was committed to the Solomons, participating in supply runs, but continued to see little action, despite being present during the Battle of Kolombangara in July. From August to September, she returned to Japan for repairs, then resumed work in the Solomons. Minazuki engaged a trio of American destroyers on the night of 2 October, and was hit by three dud shells, making her escape with evacuated troops. Minazuki withdrew from the Solomons for good in February, 1944, and joined the Central Pacific Area Fleet, resuming her convoy escort duties. On 6 June, 1944, she was sunk by the US submarine Harder while covering a convoy of tankers. Less than a third of her 150 crew survived.