Akashi was a Japanese repair ship, serving during World War II. She was the only specifically designed repair ship operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The navy based her design on the US Navy's USS Medusa.
Akashi trial run off Sasebo in July 1939
|Builder||Sasebo Naval Arsenal|
|Launched||29 June 1938|
|Completed||31 July 1939|
|Decommissioned||10 May 1944|
|Fate||Sunk on 30 March 1944|
|Beam||20.50 m (67 ft 3 in)|
|Draught||6.29 m (20 ft 8 in)|
|Installed power||10,000 bhp|
|Propulsion||2 × Mitsubishi/MAN Model 60 diesels, 2 shafts|
|Speed||19.2 knots (22.1 mph; 35.6 km/h)|
|Range||8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h)|
|Crew||336 men and 433 engineers|
In 1937 the Imperial Japanese Navy had converted the old battleship Asahi to serve as a repair ship. After the conversion of Asahi, a decision was made to build a dedicated repair ship with better capabilities for that task. The Imperial Japanese Navy planned for her to carry out 40% of the repairs needed by the Combined Fleet (needing approximately 140,000-man-hours). Therefore, she was equipped with the latest machine tools imported from Germany.
During the war Akashi operated out of the Japanese base in the Truk atoll where she repaired various types of battle-damaged Japanese warships, including the Shōkaku in October 1942 and the Yamato in December 1943. In February 1944 the Americans made a raid on Truk (Operation Hailstone), sinking and damaging many ships. Akashi was damaged in these attacks and escaped to the Japanese atoll of Palau.
On 30 March 1944, while anchored off Urukthapel in the Palau Islands, Akashi was hit numerous times by bombs and rockets from American aircraft from Task Group 58, during Operation Desecrate One. She was sunk in shallow water with her bridge still remaining above the water.
Ships in classEdit
|Ship #||Ship||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Completed||Fate|
|Akashi (明石)||Sasebo Naval Arsenal||18 January 1937||29 June 1938||31 July 1939||Sunk on 30 March 1944; salvaged and scrapped in 1954.|
|Mitsubishi, Yokohama Shipyard||Cancelled on 11 August 1943.|
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- The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No.34 Japanese Auxiliary vessels, Ushio Shobō (Japan), December 1979
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- Morison, Samuel Eliot (2001). History of United States Naval Operations in World War II: New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944 – August 1944. Vol. 8. University of Illinois Press (reprint). pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-0-252-07038-9.Google Books limited preview
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