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  Mutsuki 睦月 (Destroyer No. 19)
IJN
Mutsuki class destroyer

1,336 Tons (standard)
1,800 Tons (full load)
320' x 30' 1" x 9' 9"
4 x 120mm guns
2x3 24" torpedo tubes
18 x depth charges
16 x sea mines

Ship History
Built by Sasebo Naval Arsenal at Sasebo. Laid down May 21, 1924 as Destroyer No. 19. Launched July 23, 1925. Completed March 25, 1926 as the lead ship of the Mutsuki class of destroyers. On August 1, 1928 renamed Mutsuki meaning January (first month of the year).

In 1941, under the command of captain Lieutenant Commander Kenji Hatano. Assigned to the 4th Fleet, Desron 6, Desdiv 30 with Kisaragi, Yayoi and Mochizuki. Mutsuki was the flagship of Desdiv 30.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 departed Kwajalein as part of the first Wake Island invasion force including light cruisers Yūbari, Tenryū and Tatsuta, destroyers Yayoi, Hayate, Kisaragi, Mutsuki, Oite and Asanagi with Patrol Boat No. 32 and Patrol Boat No. 33 plus two transports with Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops aboard.

On December 11, 1941 in the early morning the invasion force was repelled with the loss of Kisaragi and Hayate and damaged Yayoi without landing. On December 23, 1941 returned with the second Wake Island invasion force that successfully landed and afterwards returned to Kwajalein.

During January 1942 escorted a convoy from Kwajalein to Truk where a pair of additional 13mm machine guns were installed on the forward side of the bridge. In late January 1942 escorted a troop convoy from Truk to Guam then participated in Operation "R" the invasion of New Britain and New Ireland. Next, Operation "SR" the invasion of Lae and Salamaua on New Guinea.

During March 28 to April 1, 1942 flagship for Rear Admiral Masao Kanazawa, C. O. 8th Special Base Force during the occupation of Shorthands and Bougainville. Later in April 1942 participated in the occupation of the Admiralty Islands.

In early May 1942 joined Operation MO the planned invasion of Port Moresby. During May 7-8, 1942 participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Afterwards was based at Rabaul and escorted transports from Rabaul, Truk and Palau. In July 1942 returned to Japan for a short refit.

On August 24, 1942 during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons (Second Battle of the Solomon Sea) Mutsuki departed Shortlands with Yayoi, Isokaze and Kawakaze then joins Kagero and conducts a shore bombardment of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

Sinking History
On August 25, 1942 joined Admiral Tanaka's troop convoy and rescues survivors Kinryu Maru sunk by U. S. aircraft from Henderson Field. Afterwards, Mutsuki went along side to perform a rescue and was bombed by four B-17 Flying Fortresses. The destroyer suffered at least one direct bomb hit in the engineering spaces that killed 41 and injured 11 and caused flooding. Before sinking, she fired a torpedo to scuttle Kinryu Maru. Mutsuki sank at roughly Lat 7-47 S, Long 160-13 E forty miles northeast of Santa Isabel Island. Officially removed from the Navy list on October 1, 1942.

Rescue
Afterward, some of her crew including Comdesdiv 30 Captain Yasutake Lieutenant Commander Hatano were rescued by Yayoi.

References
Combined Fleet IJN Mutsuki: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

Map
07-47 S
160-13 E

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