Japanese destroyer Yūgumo (1941)

Yūgumo (夕雲, "Evening Clouds") was the lead ship of her class of destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Empire of Japan
Name: Yūgumo
Ordered: Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 12 June 1940
Launched: 16 March 1941
Completed: 5 December 1941
Commissioned: 5 December 1941, 10th Destroyer Division
Struck: 1 December 1943
Fate: Sunk in action, 7 October 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Yūgumo-class destroyer
  • 2,077 long tons (2,110 t) standard
  • 2,520 long tons (2,560 t) battle condition
Length: 119.15 m (390 ft 11 in)
Beam: 10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Draught: 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in)
Speed: 35.5 knots (40.9 mph; 65.7 km/h)
Complement: 225 (1941)

Design and description

The Yūgumo class was a repeat of the preceding Kagerō class with minor improvements that increased their anti-aircraft capabilities. Their crew numbered 228 officers and enlisted men. The ships measured 119.17 meters (391 ft 0 in) overall, with a beam of 10.8 meters (35 ft 5 in) and a draft of 3.76 meters (12 ft 4 in).[1] They displaced 2,110 metric tons (2,080 long tons) at standard load and 2,560 metric tons (2,520 long tons) at deep load.[2] The ships had two Kampon geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by three Kampon water-tube boilers. The turbines were rated at a total of 52,000 shaft horsepower (39,000 kW) for a designed speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph).[3]

The main armament of the Yūgumo class consisted of six Type 3 127-millimeter (5.0 in) guns in three twin-gun turrets, one superfiring pair aft and one turret forward of the superstructure.[2] The guns were able to elevate up to 75° to increase their ability against aircraft, but their slow rate of fire, slow traversing speed, and the lack of any sort of high-angle fire-control system meant that they were virtually useless as anti-aircraft guns.[4] They were built with four Type 96 25-millimeter (1.0 in) anti-aircraft guns in two twin-gun mounts, but more of these guns were added over the course of the war. The ships were also armed with eight 610-millimeter (24.0 in) torpedo tubes in a two quadruple traversing mounts; one reload was carried for each tube. Their anti-submarine weapons comprised two depth charge throwers for which 36 depth charges were carried.[2]

Construction and career

Yūgumo participated in the battles of Midway, the Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz Islands. The destroyer made troop transport runs to Guadalcanal 7 and 10 November 1942. She then made troop transport run to Buna, Papua New Guinea on 17 and 22 November. The ship then performed troop evacuation runs to Guadalcanal on 1 and 4 February 1943. 3 days later, Yūgumo took part in a troop evacuation run to the Russell Islands. The destroyer made Troop transport runs to Kolombangara on 1 and 5 April.

On 29 July, Yūgumo evacuated 479 soldiers from Kiska. She performed a troop evacuation run to Kolombangara 2 October 1943. On the night of 6–7 October 1943, Yūgumo was on a troop evacuation run to Vella Lavella. In the Battle of Vella Lavella, she charged U.S. destroyers, irreparably damaging USS Chevalier with a torpedo. She was sunk in turn by gunfire and at least one torpedo from Chevalier and USS Selfridge, 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Vella Lavella (07°33′S 156°14′E), with 138 killed. U.S. PT boats rescued 78 survivors and another 25 reached friendly lines in an abandoned U.S. lifeboat, but Commander Osako was killed in action.


  1. Chesneau, p. 195
  2. Whitley, p. 203
  3. Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 150
  4. Campbell, p. 192


  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • Jentschura, Hansgeorg; Jung, Dieter & Mickel, Peter (1977). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
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