Japanese destroyer Samidare (1935)

Samidare (五月雨, ”Early Summer Rain")[1] was the fifth of ten Shiratsuyu-class destroyers, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy under the Circle One Program (Maru Ichi Keikaku).[2]

Empire of Japan
Name: Samidare
Ordered: FY 1931
Builder: Uraga Dock Company
Laid down: 19 December 1934
Launched: 6 July 1935
Commissioned: 19 January 1937
Stricken: 10 October 1944
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by USS Batfish, 26 August 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Shiratsuyu-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,685 long tons (1,712 t)
  • 103.5 m (340 ft) pp
  • 107.5 m (352 ft 8 in) waterline
Beam: 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in)
Draft: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
Speed: 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) at 18 kn (33 km/h)
Complement: 226
Service record
Samidare and Shigure operating off the coast of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands hours prior to the Naval Battle of Vella Lavella on 6 October 1943.


The Shiratsuyu-class destroyers were modified versions of the Hatsuharu class, and were designed to accompany the Japanese main striking force and to conduct both day and night torpedo attacks against the United States Navy as it advanced across the Pacific Ocean; according to Japanese naval strategic projections.[3] Despite being one of the most powerful classes of destroyers in the world at the time of their completion, none survived the Pacific War.[4]Samidare, built at the Uraga Dock Company was laid down on 19 December 1934, launched on 6 July 1935 and commissioned on 19 January 1937.[5]

Operational historyEdit

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Samidare was assigned to Destroyer Division 2 of Destroyer Squadron 4 of the IJN 2nd Fleet together with her sister ships Murasame, Harusame, and Yūdachi, and had sortied from Mako Guard District as part of the "Operation M" (the invasion of the Philippines). From January 1942, Samidare participated in operations in the Netherlands East Indies, including the invasions of Tarakan, Balikpapan and eastern Java. During the Battle of the Java Sea, Samidare engaged a group of Allied destroyers and cruisers. Returning to Subic Bay in the Philippines on 16 March, Samidare assisted in the blockade of Manila Bay and the invasion of Cebu, returning to Yokosuka for repairs in early May. During the Battle of Midway on 4–6 June, Samidare was part of the Midway Occupation Force under Admiral Nobutake Kondō.

From mid-June, Samidare deployed from Kure via Singapore and Mergui for raiding operations in the Indian Ocean, but the operation was cancelled due to reverses suffered by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Solomon Islands. Samidare was escort for the battleship Mutsu at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August. For most of the month of September Samidare was escort for the seaplane tender Kunikawa Maru, scouting the Solomon Islands and Santa Cruz Islands for potential seaplane bases, returning to Palau as the end of the month. In October, Samidare escorted troop convoys to Guadalcanal, and was slightly damaged in an air strike on 14 October by a near-miss. However, she was still combat-capable and conducted a "Tokyo Express" high speed transport run to Guadalcanal and a gunfire support mission as well as participating briefly in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October under Admiral Takeo Kurita.

After repairs at Truk, Samidare was assigned to the Bombardment Force of Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki, participating in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on the night of 12–13 November 1942. Although entering combat late in the battle, she assisted in sinking the destroyer USS Monssen and damaging the cruiser USS Helena. After the battle, she rescued the 207 survivors from her sister ship Yūdachi, which she unsuccessfully attempted to scuttle with torpedoes.

During the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, on the night of 14–15 November, with her squadron flagship Nagara Samidare assisted in sinking the destroyers USS Benham, Walke, Preston and damaging Gwin. After the battle, she rescued survivors from the sinking battleship Kirishima, reaching Truk on 18 November. At the end of the month, she returned to Yokosuka for repairs. At the end of December, she returned to Truk as escort for the heavy cruiser Takao.

In mid-January 1943, Samidare escorted the aircraft carrier Jun'yō from Truk to Palau and Wewak, and after covering troop evacuation runs out of Guadalcanal in February, was assigned to covering troop transport operations to New Guinea, Kolombangara and Tuluvu through the end of April. In May she returned to Yokosuka as part of the escort for the battleship Yamato, and was then assigned to northern waters with the cruisers Myōkō and Haguro to cover the evacuation of Japanese forces from Kiska. She returned to Yokosuka on 6 August with the cruiser Maya for repairs. In September, Samidare escorted the aircraft carriers Taihō and Chūyō to Truk, and subsequently covered troop evacuations from Kolombangara, escaping an attack by American destroyers on 2 October with minor damage. During the Battle of Vella Lavella on 6–7 October, Samidare torpedoed the destroyer USS Selfridge. After continuing with troop evacuation missions throughout October, Samidare was in the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay on 2 November. During the battle, Samidare torpedoed the destroyer USS Foote but suffered medium damage from two shell hits and a collision with her sister ship Shiratsuyu which damaged her bow. She returned to Yokosuka Naval Arsenal for repairs by mid-December.

In April 1944, Samidare escorted troop convoys from Japan to Saipan and on the Truk and Palau. On 27 April, she assisted in the rescue of survivors from the torpedoed cruiser Yūbari. In May and early June, Samidare covered troop evacuations from Biak and other locations in the Netherlands East Indies. She participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19–20 June as part of Admiral Takatsugu Jōjima's task force. In July, she escorted a troop convoy to Okinawa and to Lingga, returning with Kinu to Palau in August. However, on 18 August, Samidare ran aground on the Velasco Reef near Palau Island at position 08°10′N 134°38′E / 8.167°N 134.633°E / 8.167; 134.633. On 25 August, she was torpedoed by the submarine USS Batfish. The destroyer broke in two with her stern-section sinking, and the bow-section later destroyed by the Japanese.


  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. page 33
  2. ^ Lengerer, pp. 92–3
  3. ^ Peattie & Evans, Kaigun.
  4. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Shiratsuyu class destroyers
  5. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Shiratsuyu class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2010.


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