Asashio (1936)

Asashio running trials in July, 1937. Photo in the collection of the Kure Maritime Museum.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

Lead ship of her class, the destroyer Asashio was completed in early 1937, but while running trials in July, it was found that her rudder and steering was problematic. She was refitted with a new stern before her commissioning on 31 August. Asashio provided distant cover for the invasions of the Philippines and Malaya in December, 1941, then followed up the next two months escorting troop and invasion convoys. On the night of 19 February, 1942, Asashio was engaged in the Battle of Badung Strait, where she is credited with sinking the Dutch destroyer Piet Hein with a torpedo. Asashio was hit once in return, suffering light damage, but she was back in action shortly, and participated in the bombardment of Corregidor in April-May. Asashio was part of the Midway Invasion Force, and was assigned as escort for the ill-fated bombardment group that was dispatched to shell Midway after the loss of the carriers on 4 June. She was hit by one bomb on the 5th, but was able to escort Mogami back to Truk. Asashio was used in transport runs to Guadalcanal in September and October, but did not see combat again until March, 1943, when she was serving as convoy escort during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. On 3 March, Asashio was lost with all hands when she was bombed while attempting to rescue survivors from two other Japanese destroyers.

Bonus Photos

Stern view of Asashio, as featured in an identification booklet published by the US Department of Naval Intelligence.