Open main menu

Japanese destroyer Namikaze

Namikaze (波風, Wave Wind)[1] was the second ship of the Nokaze sub-class, an improvement to the Minekaze-class 1st class destroyers built for the Imperial Japanese Navy following World War I. Advanced for their time, these ships served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, but were considered obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War. Following the war, the ship was transferred to the Republic of China as a prize of war and renamed Shen Yang.

Japanese destroyer Namikaze Taisho 14.jpg
Namikaze in 1925
Empire of Japan
Name: Namikaze
Ordered: 1918 fiscal year
Builder: Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Laid down: 7 November 1921
Launched: 24 June 1922
Commissioned: 11 November 1922
Decommissioned: converted to kaiten carrier 1 February 1945
Struck: 5 October 1945
Fate: prize of war to ROC Navy
Name: ROCS Shen Yang
Acquired: 3 October 1947
Fate: Scrapped 1960
General characteristics
Class and type: improved Minekaze-class destroyer
  • 1,215 long tons (1,234 t) normal,
  • 1,650 long tons (1,680 t) full load
  • 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
  • 102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 8.9 m (29 ft)
Draught: 2.9 m (9.5 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Mitsubishi-Parsons geared turbines, 4 boilers 38,500 ihp (28,700 kW)
Speed: 39 knots (72 km/h)
Range: 3,600 nautical miles (6,700 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 148
Service record


Construction of the large-sized Minekaze-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-4 Fleet Program from fiscal 1917 with nine vessels, and fiscal 1918 with an additional six vessels. However, the final three vessels in the fiscal 1918 were built to a different design and have a different enough silhouette that many authors consider them to be a separate class.[2] Namikaze, built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal, was the second ship of this sub-class. The destroyer was laid down on 7 November 1921, launched on 24 June 1922 and commissioned on 11 November 1922.[3]

On completion, Namikaze was teamed with sister ships Nokaze, Numakaze, and flagship Kamikaze at the Yokosuka Naval District to form Destroyer Division 1 (第一駆逐隊). In 1938-1939, the division was assigned to patrols of the northern and central China coastlines in support of Japanese combat operations in the Second Sino-Japanese War[4]

World War II historyEdit

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Namikaze was based at the Ōminato Guard District in northern Japan, and was assigned to patrols of the Hokkaidō and Chishima Islands coastlines.

During the Battle of Midway in May 1942, Namikaze was assigned to the reserve force for the Aleutian Islands Operation, which did not leave Japanese waters. Afterwards, she returned to patrol and escort duties based out of Ōminato through July 1943, with the ship's patrol area extended to include much of Honshū as far south as Ise Bay. In July she was assigned temporarily to the IJN 5th Fleet for the mission to evacuate surviving Japanese forces from Kiska, but only performed backup duties. She was slightly damaged in a collision with the coastal patrol vessel Manei Maru No.7 at the entry to Otaru port, Hokkaidō on 6 November 1943. Namikaze continued to be based at Ōminato for patrol and escort in northern waters until December 1943.[5]

In December 1943, Namikaze was reassigned to Moji on 1 December to escort convoys to French Indochina. She returned to Ōminato to resume the Hokkaidō-Chishima patrols from March 1944

On 21 August 1944, Namikaze was torpedoed by the submarine USS Seal north of Iturup. Her stern severed, she was towed by Kamikaze to Otaru for emergency repairs.[6] She was subsequently sent on to Maizuru Naval Arsenal for rebuilding into a carrier for Kaiten manned torpedo.

This conversion involved removing three of her four main guns and all of the torpedo launchers. Her first boiler was also removed, reducing her output to 25,000 ihp (19,000 kW) and top speed to 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h). Six Type 96 25 mm AT/AA Guns and eight 13.2 mm (0.52 in) anti-aircraft guns were added. The stern was modified with a sloping deck, and two to four Kaiten could be carried.

After completion of the refit on 1 February 1945, Namikaze was assigned to the Combined Fleet, but there is no record of Namikaze actually launching Kaiten in battle. From 16 June 1945, Namikaze was based at Ube in the Inland Sea, and was used primarily as a minesweeper searching for mines dropped by B-29 Superfortress bombers. She was at Kure Naval Base at the time of the surrender of Japan.

On 5 October 1945, Namikaze was officially removed from navy list. However, after being demilitarized, she was pressed into service by the American occupation authorities for use as a repatriation ship, and continued in that role from 1 December 1945 until 1947 evacuating demilitarized Japanese soldiers and civilians from the Asian mainland.[7]

Service with the Republic of ChinaEdit

On 3 October 1947, ex-Namikaze was turned over to the Republic of China as a prize of war, and renamed Shen Yang. Shen Yang was based in Tsingtao from 1947 until the fall of that port city to communist forces in the Chinese Civil War. She continued to be used by the Republic of China Navy from bases in Taiwan until 1960, when she was finally scrapped.


  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. pages 559, 960
  2. ^ Jones, Daniel H. (2003). "IJN Minekaze, Kamikaze and Mutsuki class Destroyers". Ship Modeler's Mailing List (SMML). Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.
  3. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  4. ^ *Nevitt, Allyn D. "Destroyer Division One: War in the Back Waters". Long Lancers.
  5. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Namikaze: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers.
  6. ^ The U.S. Navy's history of USS Seal doesn't mention this attack.
  7. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy.


  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X.
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895–1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8.
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7.
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8.
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8.

External linksEdit

kaze-class destroyers]]