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Japanese cruiser Agano
Japanese cruiser Agano.jpg
Agano in October 1942, off Sasebo, Nagasaki
Career (Japan) Japanese Navy Ensign
Ordered: 1939 Fiscal Year
Laid down: June 18, 1940
Launched: October 22, 1941
Commissioned: October 31, 1942[1]
Struck: March 31, 1944
Fate: sunk February 15, 1944 by USS Skate north of Truk
10°11′N 151°42′E / 10.183°N 151.7°E / 10.183; 151.7
General characteristics
Class & type: Agano class cruiser
Displacement: 6,652 tons (standard); 7,590 tons (loaded)
Length: 162 meters
Beam: 15.2 meters
Draught: 5.6 meters
Propulsion: 4 shaft Gihon geared turbines
6 Kampon boilers
100,000 shp
Speed: 35 knots (67 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 726
Armament: 6(3x2) × 6.0-inch (152 mm) Type 41 guns
4 × 76 mm guns,
32 x 25 mm Type 96 AA guns
8 × 610 mm torpedo tubes (4x2)
16 depth charges
Armor: 60 mm (belt)
20 mm (deck)
Aircraft carried: 2 x floatplane, 1 catapult

Agano (阿賀野 軽巡洋艦 Agano keijun'yōkan?) was the lead ship of the Agano class of four light cruisers which served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She was named after the Agano River in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures in Japan.

Background

The Agano class light cruisers were designed to be swift and lightly armored command vessels for destroyer or submarine squadrons, and were intended to replace earlier classes of light cruisers built soon after the end of World War I.

Service career

Built at Sasebo Naval Arsenal, Agano was completed on October 31, 1942 and originally assigned to Destroyer Squadron 10 of the Japanese Third Fleet. On December 16, 1942, Agano began her first combat operation, joining the Japanese aircraft carrier Junyō and other ships to escort troops to Wewak and Madang in New Guinea.

Agano was next involved in the evacuation of Japanese troops from Guadalcanal, after which the ship received further minor modifications and repairs, before being assembled with powerful fleet units intended to counterstrike against American forces which had landed on Attu Island in the Aleutians. However, by the time the force was assembled, the Americans had completed their capture of the island, and the strike was called off.

In June, 1943, Agano put in at Kure Naval Arsenal for refit, including the addition of air search radar Type 21 and ten 25 mm Type 96 antiaircraft guns in two twin and two triple mounts, adding to the original two triple mounts for a total of sixteen guns. After refitting and dry dock, Agano departed for Truk in the Caroline Islands with a large Japanese force. Despite numerous sightings by American submarines and an attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuihō, Agano made it safely to Truk where she began ferrying troops to Rabaul.

Agano sortied with the fleet to attempt to intercept American raiding forces near Eniwetok in September 1943, but failed to make contact. Another attempt to intercept the Americans in October was a failure as well. However, on November 2, 1943, while part of the fleet supporting the defense of Rabaul, Agano participated in a major action (the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay) against American units in which the cruiser Sendai and destroyer Hatsukaze were both sunk. Three days later, back in port at Rabaul, Agano was barely missed by an American air strike launched by the USS Saratoga and USS Princeton, sustaining slight damage and with one crewman killed. The fleet put to sea to engage American forces but this was cancelled and the fleet returned to Rabaul by November 7, 1943.

In harbor at Rabaul, a Mark 13 torpedo launched by a Grumman TBF Avenger aircraft in another American air strike hit Agano in the stern, causing significant damage and injuring Rear Admiral Morikazu Osugi. The next day, with three other ships, Agano departed for Truk, but en route she was torpedoed by American submarine USS Scamp. The USS Albacore also attempted to attack but was held off by Japanese depth charge barrage. Agano was taken under tow by its sister ship, Noshiro and arrived back at Truk on November 16, 1943.

After three months of hasty field repairs, Agano was able to operate on two of her four screws and departed Truk on February 15, 1944 for the Japanese home islands where she was to be properly repaired. Escorted by the destroyer Oite, only 160 miles (260 km) north of Truk she was struck by two torpedoes from the USS Skate, which set the ship ablaze. Of her crew of 726 men, some 523 survivors were rescued by Oite, and at 05:17 the next morning, Agano sank at 10°11′N 151°42′E / 10.183°N 151.7°E / 10.183; 151.7 .

As it returned to Truk, Oite was sunk by TBF Avengers in the course of Operation Hailstone, taking all but twenty of her own crew down with her. All of the Agano crewmembers originally rescued were lost.

Agano was removed from the Navy List on March 31, 1944.

References

Books

  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun : Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Lacroix, Eric; Linton Wells (1997). Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-311-3. 
  • Whitley, M.J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-141-6. 

External links

Notes

  1. Lacroix, Japanese Cruisers, p. 794.

See also


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