Japanese destroyer Fubuki

"Fubuki" (Japanese: 吹雪, meaning "snowstorm") was a "Fubuki"-class destroyer of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was a veteran of many of the major battles of the first year of the war, and was sunk in Ironbottom Sound during the Battle of Cape Esperance in World War II.

Combat record

On 20-26 November 1941 "Fubuki" steamed with Destroyer Division 3 ("Desron 3") from Kure to the port of Samah on Hainan Island. From 4 December 1941 to 30 January 1942 Desron escorted the heavy cruisers "Suzuya," "Kumano," "Mogami" and "Mikuma" out of Samah and Camranh Bay in support of Malaya, British Borneo and Anambas Islands invasion operations; "Fubuki" also briefly escorted troop convoys during this period.

On 10 January, "Fubuki" assisted the destroyers "Asakaze" and "Hatakaze" in rescuing survivors of the torpedoed transport "Akita Maru." On 27 January she participated in the Battle off Endau,and assisted in sinking the British destroyer HMS "Thanet." On 13-18 February, "Fubuki" was with the Bangka-Palembang invasion forces, and took part in attacks on Allied shipping fleeing from Singapore: "Fubuki" assisted in the sinking or capture of at least seven vessels.

On 27 February, "Fubuki" joined the Western Java invasion force. On 1 March, she was involved in the Battle of Sunda Strait, where she assisted in the sinking of the Australian cruiser HMAS "Perth" and the American heavy cruiser USS "Houston" (CA-30). The crew of "Fubuki" has been accused of launching the torpedo spread that accidentally sank four Japanese transports and a minesweeper, but recent research indicates "Mogami" the more likely agent.

On 12 March, "Fubuki" escorted Admiral Ozawa's cover force for the Northern Sumatra invasions. On 23 March, she escorted Admiral Ozawa's cover force for the Andaman Islands invasion; then she served patrol and escort duties out of Port Blair during the Japanese raids into the Indian Ocean. On 13-22 April she steamed from Singapore via Camranh Bay to Kure, then docked for maintenance.

On 4-5 June, Desron 3 participated in the Battle of Midway as an escort for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's Main Body. "Fubuki" provided antiaircraft protection during the American air attacks, which sank the "Mikuma" and badly damaged the "Mogami."

On 30 June-2 July, Desron 3 escorted a troop convoy from Kure to Amami-O-Shima, then conducted antisubmarine patrolling there. On 17-31 July, the squadron steamed from Amami-O-Shima via Mako, Singapore and Sabang to Mergui (Burma) for Indian Ocean raiding operations, which were aborted due to the American invasion of Guadalcanal. On 8-17 August, the squadron steamed from Mergui via Makassar to Davao.

On 19-23 August, Desron 3 escorted a troop transport convoy from Davao to Truk, and was then sent into the Solomon Islands theater of operations. On 25-27 August, the squadron steamed from Truk to Rabaul. On 27-31 August, it escorted the transport "Sado Maru" from Rabaul to the Shortland Islands, followed by a pair of troop transport run to Guadalcanal.

On 2 September the squadron conducted an attack mission on Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, shelling the airfield to cover for the "Tsugaru" troop transport run. There was another troop transport run on 5 September and another attack mission on 8 September. On 12-13 September, "Fubuki" provided gunfire support against US Marine positions on Guadalcanal in support of the Kawaguchi offensive. This was followed by five more troop transport runs to Guadalcanal on 13 September, 16 September, 1 October, 4 October and 7 October.

On 11 October, in the Battle of Cape Esperance, "Fubuki's" luck finally ran out. She was sunk by gunfire of a US cruiser-destroyer group, off Cape Esperance (09-06 S, 159-38 E). There were 109 survivors from her crew who were later rescued by the American destroyer USS "McCalla" (DD-488), and the destroyer/minesweepers USS "Hovey" (DMS-11) and USS "Trever" (DMS-16). Lt. Cmdr. Shizuo Yamashita was killed in action.

Commanding Officers

Chief Equipping Officer - Cmdr. Tokujiro Yokoyama - 1 February 1928 - 10 July 1928

Cmdr. Tokujiro Yokoyama - 10 July 1928 - 10 December 1928

Cmdr. Yuzo Ishido - 10 December 1928 - 30 November 1929

Lt. Cmdr. Tsutatsu Higuchi - 30 November 1929 - 31 October 1931

Cmdr. Keizo Sato - 31 October 1931 - 1 July 1932

Cmdr. Hachiro Naotsuka - 1 July 1932 - 15 November 1933

Lt. Cmdr. / Cmdr. Yasuji Hirai - 15 November 1933 - 15 October 1935(Promoted to Commander on 15 November 1934.)

Cmdr. Torajiro Sato - 15 October 1935 - 9 November 1935

Cmdr. Hironosuke Ueda - 9 November 1935 - 15 November 1936

Lt. Cmdr. / Cmdr. Kiyoto Kagawa - 15 November 1936 - 15 November 1937(Promoted to Commander on 1 December 1936.)

Lt. Cmdr. Tomozo Fujita - 15 November 1937 - 4 February 1938

Lt. Cmdr. Tatsutaro Yamada - 4 February 1938 - 15 November 1938

Lt. Cmdr. Tsuneo Orita - 15 November 1938 - 15 December 1938

Cmdr. Kiichiro Wakida - 15 December 1938 - 10 October 1939

Lt. Cmdr. Shizuo Okayama - 10 October 1939 - 15 October 1940

Lt. Cmdr. Shizuo Yamashita - 15 October 1940 - 11 October 1942 (KIA)


* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/fubuki_t.htm Long Lancers: IJN "Fubuki": Tabular Record of Movement]
* [http://navalhistory.flixco.info/G/104947x9/8330/a0.htm "Fubuki" in Naval History of World Wars]
* [http://www.lemaire.happyhost.org/ship/+navires3/3638.html#300483 LemaireSoft's "Fubuki", N°35]

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