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  Abukuma (阿武隈 軽巡洋艦)
IJN
Nagara Class
Heavy Cruiser

5,088 Tons (standard)
5,832 Tons (full load)
534' 9" x 48' 5" x 16'
7 x 140mm guns
2 x 25mm AA
6 x 13mm MG
8 x torpedoe tubes
48 mines
1 floatplane
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IJN c1942

Click For Enlargement
IJN June 1942

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22nd BG
Oct 26, 1944

Ship History
Built by at Uraga Dock Company at Uraga. Laid down December 8, 1921. Launched March 16, 1923. Completed May 26, 1925.

PARTIAL HISTORY

Aleutians Operations
On May 26, 1942 departs Ominato as part of "Operation AL" the capture of the Aleutian Islands. On June 7, 1942 lands Japanese troops on Attu Island, then patrols the area including reconnaissance of Shemya Island. On June 13-15, 1942 searches with Wakaba and Nenohi for possible airfield sites on Amchitka Island. On June 18, 1942 departs Attu Island returning to Mutsu Bay, Kawauchi on June 24, 1942.

Four days later, departs Kawauchi with reinforcements convoy bound for Kiska, then patrols the area, departing July 7 to assist torpedoed destroyers Kasumi and Shiranuhi, then returns to Kiska June 10 then departs the same day for Yokosuka arriving July 16 for refit.

On August 8, departs Ominato via Paramushiro on August 11 to conduct training, then returns to Ominato five days later. On August 29 departs with Nachi covering southwest of Kiska to cover the transfer of Japanese forces from Attu to Kiska, then departs for Ominato arriving September 18. Two days later, Captain Shibuya Shiro takes command of Abukuma and departs for Muroran then to Ominato on September 24. Six days later, departs with Nachi to intercept U. S. Navy vessels in the Aleutian Islands, but the report proves to be false and returns on October 2.

On November 12, 1942 participates in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

PARTIAL HISTORY

Battle of the Surigao Strait
On October 25, 1944 Japanese warships entered Surigao Strait, the force is attacked by American PT-boats. A torpedo fired from PT-137 approaches to within 900 yards of a destroyer, and fires a torpedo, it runs deep and passes underneath the destroyer. This same torpedo continues on and hits Abukuma near the No. 1 boiler room, killing 30 crew. After emergency repairs, Abukuma, down by the bow, resumes course at slow speed. At 4:45am, Captain Hanada increased speed to 20 knots. At 5:35am, he reverses course and joins the other units of Shima's force retiring from Surigao.

Sinking History
On October 26, 1944 departed with Ushio for Coron. While underway in the Sulu Sea, attacked three times between 10:06 - 10:44 by B-24 Liberators of the 13th AF, 5th BG. Suffers a direct hit near the No. 3 140-mm gun mount.

First, 5th Bomb Group B-24s attacked and scored one hit. Later, at 10:20, B-24s 5th AF, 22nd BG, 33rd BS attacked. B-24 "Gypsy" bombardier 1st Lt. Cappola scored two direct hits aft that start heavy fires. Power was lost, the steering gear breaks down and her speed falls off. The fire spreads to the aft engine and torpedo rooms. At 1037, four Type 93 Long Lance torpedoes explode.

Between 1100-1130, the crew abandons ship. At 1142 hours, she sinks by stern near Negros with the loss of 250 crewmen. Captain Hanada and 283 crewmen are rescued by Ushio. One of the only instances when a Heavy Cruiser was sunk by heavy bombers during the war.

References
At Close Quarters pages 379-380, 384, 390, 496
Revenge of the Red Raiders pages 328 - 331

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

Link
Tabular Movement

Map
9 20N
122 32 E

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