Sakawa (1944)

This photograph of Sakawa from November, 1944, gives a good view of the layout of the Agano class. Imperial Japanese Navy photo, in the collection of the Mikasa Memorial Museum.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

The light cruiser Sakawa, last of the Agano class, was completed in November, 1944. Most of her career was spent sitting around in port, hoping for fuel. She was supposed to accompany the Yamato on her Kamikaze run to Okinawa in April, 1945, but no fuel was available for her. Post-War, Sakawa was used to bring home Japanese troops, then handed over to the Americans for use in the Bikini atomic tests. On the way to the tests, she broke down and had to be towed. Sakawa didn't fair well in the first blast, an air burst on 1 July, 1946, and was slowly sinking when the Americans decided to beach her the next morning. While under tow, Sakawa went under, and nearly dragged the towing ship down with her. The follow up blast on the 25th, an underwater detonation, destroyed her remaining superstructure. She rests mostly upright on the bottom, in 200 feet of water.

Bonus Photos

Post-War photograph of Sakawa's forward superstructure. At the time this was taken, she was being disarmed for use in the repatriation of Japanese servicemen. US Navy photo.