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Japanese destroyer Kuroshio
Kuroshio being launched
Kuroshio being launched
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Kuroshio
Ordered: Fujinagata Shipyards
Laid down: 31 August 1937
Launched: 28 October 1938
Completed: 1 January 1940
Struck: 23 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
• 2 × 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

Kuroshio (黒潮?) [1] was the third vessel to be commissioned 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]

Kuroshio, built at the Fujinagata Shipyards in Osaka, was laid down on 31 August 1937, launched on 25 October 1938 and commissioned on 27 January 1940.[4]

Operational history

Shortly after commissioning, Kuroshio was assigned to participate in the 16th Annual Maneuvers of the Combined Fleet. On her return, at 1800 hours on 23 June 1940, she collided with Natsushio and Minegumo in Bungo Channel resulting a month of repairs at Kure Naval Arsenal.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Kuroshio, was assigned to Destroyer Division 15 (Desdiv 15), and a member of Destroyer Squadron 2 (Desron 2) of the IJN 2nd Fleet, and had deployed from Palau, as part of the escort for the aircraft carrier Ryūjō in the invasion of the southern Philippines and minelayer Itsukushima. She suffered minor damage on 23 December due to a strafing attack by USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.[5]

In early 1942, Kuroshio participated in the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies, escorting the invasion forces for Menado, Kendari and Ambon in January, and the invasion forces for Makassar, Timor and Java in February. On 8 February, she rescued survivors from Natsushio and on 5 March assisted Oyashio in sinking a Royal Navy minelayer. At the end of March, she returned with Kaga from Staring-baai in Sulawesi to Sasebo.

At the end of April, Kuroshio deployed from Kure to assist in the occupation of the Cagayan Islands near Palawan in early May, and then returned with the damaged Shōkaku from Manila to Kure on 17 May. In early June, Kuroshio deployed from Saipan as part of the troopship escort for the Battle of Midway.

In mid-June, Kuroshio was assigned as escort for cruisers in projected further Indian Ocean raids, but the operation was cancelled by the time she reached Mergui in Burma, and she was re-assigned as escort for the cruisers Kumano and Suzuya to Balikpapan and the Solomon Islands. During the Battle of the Eastern Solomons of 24 August she was part of Admiral Kondō’s Advance Force, but was not in combat. During September, Kuroshio was used for patrols between Truk and Guadalcanal, and in October began operations as a “Tokyo Express” high speed troop transport to Guadalcanal. These operations continued to mid-February 1943. During the Battle of Santa Cruz on 26 October, she was assigned to escort Jun'yō. Kuroshio was also at the Battle of Tassafaronga on 30 November, during which one of her torpedoes may have hit the American cruiser USS Pensacola (CA-24).

On 21 February, Kuroshio returned to Kure for repairs, together with Jun'yō, and returned on 10 April to Truk together with Chūyō and Taiyō. At the end of April, she was at Shortland Island, and reassigned to troop transport runs.

On the night of 7–8 May 1943, while on a troop transport run to Kolombangara, she struck mines when leaving Vila (Kolombangara), and exploded and sank at coordinates (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), with loss of 83 lives. She was removed from the navy list on 20 June 1943.[6]

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 993;
  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 Kuroshio: 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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