Japanese destroyer Natsugumo (1937)

Natsugumo (夏雲, Summer Cloud) [1] was the seventh of ten Asashio-class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the mid-1930s under the Circle Two Supplementary Naval Expansion Program (Maru Ni Keikaku).

Natsugumo underway on 22 November 1939
Empire of Japan
Name: Natsugumo
Ordered: 1934 Maru-2 Program
Builder: Sasebo Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 1 July 1936
Launched: 26 May 1937
Commissioned: 10 February 1938
Struck: 15 November 1942
Fate: Sunk in air attack, 12 October 1942
General characteristics
Class and type: Asashio-class destroyer
Displacement: 2,370 long tons (2,408 t)
  • 111 m (364 ft) pp
  • 115 m (377 ft 4 in)waterline
  • 118.3 m (388 ft 1 in) OA
Beam: 10.3 m (33 ft 10 in)
Draft: 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
Propulsion: 2-shaft geared turbine, 3 boilers, 50,000 shp (37,285 kW)
Speed: 35 knots (40 mph; 65 km/h)
  • 5,700 nmi (10,600 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)
  • 960 nmi (1,780 km) at 34 kn (63 km/h)
Complement: 200


The Asashio-class destroyers were larger and more capable that the preceding Shiratsuyu-class, as Japanese naval architects were no longer constrained by the provisions of the London Naval Treaty. These light cruiser-sized vessels were designed to take advantage of Japan’s lead in torpedo technology, and 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, none survived the Pacific War.[3]

Natsugumo, built at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal was laid down on 1 July 1936, launched on 26 May 1937 and commissioned on 10 February 1938.[4]

Operational history

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Natsugumo, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Moritaro Tsukamoto, was assigned to Destroyer Division 9 (Desdiv 9), and a member of Destroyer Squadron 4 (Desron 4) of the IJN 2nd Fleet, escorting the Philippines invasion forces to Vigan and Lingayen. She then assisted in the landings of Japanese forces at Tarakan, Balikpapan, Makassar and Java in the Netherlands East Indies. During the Battle of the Java Sea of 27 February, she was on detached duty escorting the troop convoy and thus did not see combat. However, on 1 March, she damaged the submarine USS Perch with depth charges.[5]

Natsugumo participated in the Battle of Christmas Island from 31 March–10 April, escorting the damaged cruiser Naka to Singapore, and then returning to Yokosuka on April 12 for repairs.

Natsugumo joined the escort for Admiral Nobutake Kondō’s Midway Invasion Force during the Battle of Midway from 4–6 June 1942. Afterwards, she was reassigned to the Ominato Naval District and assigned to patrols of the Kurile Islands and north Pacific to mid-July. However, on 19 July, she received orders to escort the cruiser Chokai from Kure to Truk. From Truk, she made a transport run to Kwajalein and returned to Yokosuka by 8 August.

On 11 August, Natsugumo departed Yokosuka for Truk, and was part of the escort for the aircraft carrier Chitose at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August. She was assigned to patrols out of Truk in September, and ordered to Shortland Island in October. During the month of October, she made four “Tokyo Express transport runs to Guadalcanal. On the fourth run, while escorting Nisshin and Chitose, she went to the assistance of the destroyer Murakumo which had been damaged during the Battle of Cape Esperance. Attacked by United States Navy aircraft on the night of 11 October, near misses ruptured her hull, and she sank after only 39 minutes at position 08°40′S 159°20′E approximately 90 nautical miles (170 km; 100 mi) west-northwest of Savo Island. The attack killed 16 crewmen, including her captain (LtCdr Moritaro Tsukamoto); the destroyer Asagumo took off her 176 survivors [6] She was removed from the navy list on 15 November 1942.


  1. Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. page 52, 942
  2. Peattie & Evans, Kaigun .
  3. Globalsecurity.org, IJN Asashio class destroyers
  4. Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Asashio class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  5. Allyn D. Nevitt (1998). "IJN Natsugumo: Tabular Record of Movement". combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  6. 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.
  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X.
  • Hammel, Eric (1988). Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea : The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Nov. 13–15, 1942. (CA): Pacifica Press. ISBN 0-517-56952-3.
  • 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.
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8.
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.