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Japanese destroyer Kagerō (1938)
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Kagerō
Ordered: Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 3 September 1937
Launched: 27 September 1938
Completed: 6 November 1939
Commissioned: 6 November 1939,
18th Destroyer Division
Struck: 20 June 1943
Fate: Sunk in action, 8 May 1943
General characteristics
Class & type: Kagerō-class destroyer
Displacement: 2,033 long tons (2,066 t) standard
Length: 118.5 m (388 ft 9 in)
Beam: 10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Draft: 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 3 × Kampon water tube boilers
2 × Kanpon impulse turbines
2 × shafts, 52,000 shp (39 MW)
Speed: 35.5 knots (40.9 mph; 65.7 km/h)
Range: 5,000 NM at 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)
Complement: 239
Armament: (1939)
• 6 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 DP guns
• 4 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 18 depth charges
• 2 x paravanes
• 6 × 12.7 cm/50 Type 3 DP guns
• 8 × Type 96 25 mm AA guns
• 8 × 24 in (610 mm) torpedo tubes
• 18 depth charges

Kagerō (陽炎 Mirage?) [1] was the lead ship in the 19-vessel Kagerō-class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late-1930s under the Circle Three Supplementary Naval Expansion Program (Maru San Keikaku).


The Kagerō-class destroyers were outwardly almost identical to the preceding light cruiser-sized Asashio-class, with improvements made by Japanese naval architects to improve stability and to take advantage of Japan’s lead in torpedo technology. They were designed to accompany the Japanese main striking force and in both day and night attacks against the United States Navy as it advanced across the Pacific Ocean, according to Japanese naval strategic projections.[2] Despite being one of the most powerful classes of destroyers in the world at the time of their completion, only one survived the Pacific War.[3]

Kagerō , built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal, was laid down on September 3, 1937, launched on September 27, 1938 and commissioned on November 6, 1939.[4]

Operational history

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kagerō, was assigned to Destroyer Division 19 (Desdiv 18), and a member of Destroyer Squadron 2 (Desron 2) of the IJN 2nd Fleet, and had deployed from Etorofu in the Kurile Islands, as part of the escort for Admiral Nagumo’s Carrier Strike Force. She returned to Kure on 24 December.[5]

In January 1942, Kagerō escorted aircraft carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku to Truk, and onwards to Rabaul to cover landings of Japanese forces at Rabaul and Kavieng. She returned with Shōkaku from Palau to Yokosuka on 3 February, and spent the following month in training patrols. On 17 March, she departed Yokosuka with Shōkaku and Zuikaku to Staring-baai in Sulawesi, Netherlands East Indies.

Kagerō departed Staring-baai on 27 March to escort the carrier force in the Indian Ocean raid on 27 March. After the Japanese air strikes on Colombo and Trincomalee in Ceylon, she returned to Kure for repairs on 23 April. She deployed from Saipan on 3 June as part of the escort for the troop convoy in the Battle of Midway. Afterwards, she escorted the cruisers Kumano and Suzuya from Truk back to Kure.

On 5 July, she was assigned to escort the transport Kikukawa Maru to Kiska in the Aleutian Islands on a supply mission, and on 8 August assisted in towing the damaged destroyer Kasumi back to Japan. On July 20, she was reassigned to Desdiv 15, Desron 2, still within the IJN 2nd Fleet.

In mid-August, Kagerō escorted Jintsu to Truk, and continued on from Truk on a high speed transport run to Guadalcanal. For the remainder of 1942 and into February 1943, she was assigned to patrols from Guadalcanal towards Shortland, and to numerous “Tokyo Express” high speed transport operations in the Solomon Islands. During this period, she fought at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, Battle of Santa Cruz, Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, and Battle of Tassafaronga

In mid-February 1943, Kagerō returned with Junyō via Truk to Kure for repairs. In mid-March Kagerō, Junyō and Hiyō returned to Truk, and Kagerō continued on to Shortlands, arriving on 24 April. After making a troop transport run from Rabaul to Kolombangara on 7 May Kagerō was disabled by a naval mine while leaving Vila port. Barely able to maneuver, she was then attacked by Allied aircraft and sank southwest of Rendova (08°08′S 156°55′E / 8.133°S 156.917°E / -8.133; 156.917Coordinates: 08°08′S 156°55′E / 8.133°S 156.917°E / -8.133; 156.917).[6] On Kagerō , 18 crewmen were killed and 36 were wounded. Kagerō was removed from the navy list on June 20, 1943.

See also


  • 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. 
  • Evans, David (1979). Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-192-7. 
  • Roger Chesneau, ed (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Grenwitch: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • 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. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Watts, A. J. Japanese Warships of World War II, Ian Allen, London, 1967.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Cassell Publishing. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links


  1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 933; also means “Shimmering”
  2. Peattie & Evans, Kaigun .
  3., IJN Kagero class destroyers
  4. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Asashio class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. Allyn D. Nevitt (1998). "IJN Kagero: Tabular Record of Movement". 
  6. Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 

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