Some twenty-two warships of the Kagero-class destroyer group ("Destroyer Type-A") were originally planned by the rearming Imperial Japanese Navy prior to World War 2 (1939-1945). Eighteen emerged from a 1937 commitment and four more followed in 1939. The warships were part of a destroyer expansion program leading up to the Grand Conflict though only nineteen of the planned class were realized and one of these vessels became IJN Akigumo.
Akigumo was ordered on March 4th, 1939 and saw her keel laid down on July 2nd, 1940. She was launched on April 11th, 1941 and formally commissioned for service on September 27th, 1941.
As built, Akigumo displaced 2,530 tons and showcased a length of 388.8 feet, a beam of 35.5 feet and a draught of 12.5 feet. Installed power was from 3 x Kampon water-tube boilers feeding 2 x Kampon impulse turbines developing 52,000 horsepower and driving 2 x shafts under stern. primary armament were 6 x 127mm Dual-Purpose (DP) main guns in three twin-gunned turrets. The main guns were arranged with on turret over the forecastle and the remaining two over the stern. The guns were arranged as such to provide the best firing arcs available. Beyond this there was a collection of 25mm automatic cannons for Anti-Aircraft (AA) duties. Furthermore, 4 x 13mm machine guns were installed for point defense against aircraft. The warship was also fitted with 8 x 610mm (24") torpedo tubes and carried 36 depth charges for submarine hunting exercises.
The vessel's profile included two inline smoke funnels near midships and the bridge superstructure located forward of the forward-most funnel. Forward of the bridge was the first turret. The main mast was situated aft of the bridge superstructure. A secondary mast was fitted behind the second turret overlooking the stern.
IJN Akigumo was an active participant of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, serving the fleet as an escort. The American carrier USS Hornet then fell to Akigumo and other Japanese warships after the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (October 25th - 27th, 1942) - a tactical victory for the Japanese. By 1944, Akigumo was outfitted with radar (Type 22 and E-27 series) and improved Anti-Aircraft (AA) weaponry to better her service capabilities.
The end of her career came on April 11th, 1944 when she received a torpedo to her side from the American Navy submarine USS Redfin. She sunk off the coast of the Philippines with all hands aboard. Just one Kagero-class destroyer lived to see the end of the war - this being IJN Yukikaze.
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
388.8 ft (118.51 m)
Width / Beam:
35.4 ft (10.79 m)
Height / Draught:
12.5 ft (3.81 m)
3 x Kampon water-tube boilers feeding 2 x Kampon turbines developing 52,000 horsepower and driving 2 x Shafts.
35 kts (40 mph)
4,345 nm (5,000 miles; 8,047 km)
6 x 127mm (5") /50 caliber Dual-Purpose (DP) turreted main guns.
2 x 25mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns in two twin-gunned turrets.
4 x 13mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs)
8 x 610mm (24") torpedo tubes
36 x Depth charges
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