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Japanese destroyer Kamikaze (1922)
Kamikaze underway on December 23, 1922.
Career Naval Ensign of Japan.svg
Name: Kamikaze
Owner: Empire of Japan
Operator: Imperial Japanese Navy
Builder: Mitsubishi-Nagasaki Shipyards, Japan
Yard number: Destroyer No. 1
Laid down: December 15, 1921
Launched: September 25, 1922
Commissioned: December 19, 1922
Renamed: as Kamikaze August 1, 1928
Struck: October 5, 1945
Fate: grounded June 7, 1946
General characteristics
Class & type: Kamikaze-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,400 long tons (1,400 t) normal,
1,720 long tons (1,750 t) full load
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 9.1 m (30 ft)
Draught: 2.9 m (9.5 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shafts
4 x Ro-Gō Kampon water-tube boilers
2 x Parsons geared turbines
38,500 ihp (28,700 kW)
Speed: 37.25 knots (69 km/h)
Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
(6,700 km at 26 km/h)
Complement: 168
Armament: 3 ×Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
10 × Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Guns
4 × 21 inch torpedo tubes
16 × naval mines
Service record
Part of: Destroyer Division 1
Operations: Battle of the Malacca Strait

Kamikaze (神風 God Wind”?)[1] was the lead ship of nine Kamikaze-class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy following World War I. Advanced for their time, these ships served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, but were considered obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War.[2]


Construction of the large-sized Kamikaze-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-4 Fleet Program from fiscal 1921–1923, as a follow on to the Minekaze class, with which they shared many common design characteristics.[3] Kamikaze, built at the Mitsubishi-Nagasaki shipyards, was laid down on December 15, 1921, launched on September 25, 1922 and commissioned on December 19, 1922.[4] Originally commissioned simply as “Destroyer No. 1”, it was assigned the name Kamikaze on August 1, 1928.

On completion, Kamikaze was assigned to Destroyer Division 1, based out of the Ōminato Guard District and charged with the coastal defense of Japan’s northern waters.

World War II history

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kamikaze was still based out of Ōminato, and was assigned to patrols from the Chishima Islands to the southern coasts of Hokkaidō.

In June 1942, Kamikaze helped provide cover for the Japanese forces during "Operation AL", the diversionary invadion of the Aleutian Islands during the Battle of Midway. Following the Aleutian Islands Campaign, Kamikaze patrolled from Hokkaidō through the Aleutians through the end of the year. Throughout 1943 and 1944, she was assigned to patrols of Soya Strait and Tsugaru Strait and to escort ship convoys to remote outposts in the Kurile islands.[5]

However, from January 1945, Kamikaze was reassigned to the Combined Fleet and relocated to Moji in Kyūshū. On January 26, 1945, she departed with a convoy from Moji bound for Singapore, but was assigned detached duty at the Mako in the Pescadores. On February 14 she formed part of the escort for both Ise-class battleships which were sailing from Singapore to Japan as part of Operation Kita. On February 20, she rescued the survivors of the torpedoed destroyer Nokaze, continuing on to Singapore by February 22.[6] In May 1945, Kamikaze sortied twice from Singapore as escort to the cruiser Haguro on emergency transport missions to the beleaguered Japanese garrison in the Andaman Islands. During the second sortie, on May 16, Haguro was sunk in surface action with the Royal Navy, and Kamikaze suffered 27 crewmen killed and 14 injured in battle with the British destroyer group.[7] Damage to the ship was light, and Kamikaze rescued 320 survivors from Haguro before returning to Singapore. In June 1945, Kamikaze sortied from Singapore to Batavia as escort to the cruiser Ashigara. During the return voyage on June 8, Ashigara was torpedoed,[8] and Kamikaze rescued 853 crewmen and 400 soldiers before returning to Singapore.[9] Later that month, as Kamikaze was escorting the tanker Tōhō Maru to French Indochina, Toho Maru was sunk in an attack by USAAF B-24 Liberator bombers, and Kamikaze rescued 200 survivors.[10] Kamikaze successfully completed several more escort operations through the remainder of June and July. At the time of the surrender of Japan, she was still based in Singapore, and was turned over to British authorities there. Kamikaze was struck from the navy list on October 5, 1945.[11] She was subsequently demilitarized and used as a repatriation vessel returning Japanese military personnel back to the Japanese home islands from Singapore, Bangkok and Saigon in late 1945 and early 1946. Kamikaze ran aground and was wrecked on June 7, 1946 while coming to the rescue of former Kunashiri, another repatriation vessel, off Cape Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture at position 34°38′N 138°8′E / 34.633°N 138.133°E / 34.633; 138.133 (Omaezaki City)Coordinates: 34°38′N 138°8′E / 34.633°N 138.133°E / 34.633; 138.133 (Omaezaki City).


  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941–1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • 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. 
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7. 
  • Winton, John (1981). Sink the Haguro. Saunders of Toronto Ltd. ISBN 0-85422-152-2. 
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8. 

External links


  1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. Page 657, 480
  2. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun
  3. Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun.
  4. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Kamikaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. Nevitt, Long Lancers
  6. Nevitt, Long Lancers
  7. Winton, Sink the Haguro
  8. Submarine History: Submarine Service: Operations and Support: Royal Navy
  9. Dull. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy
  10. Brown. Warship Losses of World War Two
  11. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Kamikaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 

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