Kamikaze
   Images


Only search Kamikaze Images

 
Asashimo Monument
Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Eight destroyers, including Asashimo, and the light cruiser Yahagi accompanied battleship Yamato on a special (suicide) attack mission from Japan's Seto Inland Sea toward Okinawa on April 6, 1945. Yamato, Yahagi, and four escort destroyers, including Asashimo, sank the next day as hundreds of American carrier-based aircraft dropped torpedoes and bombs on the Japanese ships. All 329 men aboard Asashimo lost their lives in the attack. The destroyer was one of 70 unfortunate ships in the Japanese Navy that had no survivors when the ships went down during the Pacific War [1].

The Destroyer Asashimo Association selected the temple grounds of Myohokkeji in Mishima City to erect the Destroyer Asashimo War Dead Monument in 1956. A plaque erected in 1990 to the rear of the monument summarizes the war record of the destroyer Asashimo:

Destroyer Asashimo's War Record

During the Greater East Asia War, the destroyer Asashimo was part of the Imperial Japanese Navy 2nd Fleet, 2nd Torpedo Squadron. The ship participated and fought hard in major operations of the Pacific area.

On April 6, 1945, Asashimo became part of the Surface Special Attack Force made up of the battleship Yamato and nine other ships. The fleet departed from the sea off Mitajiri toward Okinawa in order to stop the invasion of the island by the American military. On April 7 at about noon on the sea southwest of Kyushu, the ship fought hard against numerous enemy aircraft coming in from all directions. The following telegraph message was sent to the flagship battleship Yamato:  "We are engaged in battle with 30 enemy planes."

Finally at about 12:10, the ship sank in the same area where enemy planes were encountered. The entire crew of 329 men bravely met their end together with the ship.

Here we erect this monument to extol the ship's great deeds and to remember all the men who died in battle. In this connection, we present the history of the destroyer Asashimo.

History

1. Construction

Completed: November 27, 1943
Place: Fujinagata Shipyards (Osaka)

2. Main Characteristics

Displacement: 2,077 tons
Total Length: 117 meters
Width: 10.8 meters
Draft: 3.76 meters
Main machinery: 2 steam turbines with 2 shafts each
Power: 52,000 horsepower
Top speed: 35 knots
Main guns: 12.7-cm guns in 3 twin mounts
Torpedoes: 61.0 centimeters with 2 quadruple mounts

3. War History (principal operations that ship participated in)

Operation A-Go (Naval battle off Mariana Islands)
Operation Sho Ichi-Go (Naval battle off Leyte Island)
Operation Ta-Go (Ormoc convoy operation)
Operation Rei-Go (Operation off Mindoro Island)
Operation Ten Ichi-Go (Okinawa attack operation)

The back of the plaque has the following words:

The "Destroyer Asashimo War Dead Monument" was erected in 1956 in order to remember all crewmen who shared the same fate as their warship when she sank.

The "Destroyer Asashimo War Dead Monument" was made possible through extraordinary efforts of the Asashimo Association, local volunteers, and Mr. Shingo Takahashi.

As a home place at this monument that we erected in this sacred place of Tamazawa in Mishima City, the Asashimo Association, made up of bereaved family members and former crewmen, gathered here once each year to deepen our friendships and to encourage each other, and we were able to overcome postwar hardships.

On this occasion, through volunteer efforts of Ms. Kinuko Morimoto, a bereaved family member who lives in Nanae Town of Kameda District, Hokkaido, this war history plaque for the monument was contributed as an offering to spirits of the war dead.

April 7, 1990
Destroyer Asashimo Association


Asashimo Monument (left)
and Atago Monument (right)

At the right side of Asashimo Monument, there is a similarly-shaped monument dedicated to the war dead of the heavy cruiser Atago. On October 23, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Atago was hit by four torpedoes launched from the submarine USS Darter (SS-227) and sank about 20 minutes later. According to the Atago Monument plaque, 484 out of 1,197 total crewmen lost their lives. The destroyer Asashimo rescued 492 Atago crewmen, and the destroyer Kishinami rescued another 221 men.

Myohokkeji also has a monument to the destroyer Ume just a few yards away from the Asashimo Monument and Atago Monument. On January 31, 1945, Ume sank in Bashi Channel, between the Philippines and Taiwan, after attacks by about 30 enemy aircraft and hits by three bombs on the deck. Over 80 crewmen lost their lives.


Destroyer Asashimo when completed
on November 27, 1943 [2]

Notes

1. Abe 2005, 103.

2. Ibid., 102.

Source Cited

Abe, Saburo. 2005. Tokkou Yamato Kantai (Yamato Special Attack Fleet). Tokyo: Kojinsha.