Tanikaze

CountryJapan
Ship ClassKagero-class Destroyer
Builder NameFujinagata, Osaka, Japan
Launched1 Nov 1940
Commissioned25 Apr 1941
Sunk9 Jun 1944
Displacement1,300 tons standard; 2,490 tons full
Length389 feet
Beam35 feet
Draft12 feet
MachineryParsons geared turbines, 2 shafts, 4 Kampon boilers
Bunkerageoil 380 tons
Power Output52,000 SHP
Speed37 knots
Range4,000nm at 15 knots
Crew239
Armament3x2x5in dual purpose guns, 2x2x24mm anti-aircraft guns, 2x4x24in torpedo tubes, 16 depth charges

Contributor:

ww2dbaseDestroyer Tanikaze was commissioned in 1941 with Commander Motoi Katsumi in command. As a part of Destroyer Division 17 of Destroyer Squadron 1, First Fleet, she set sail from the Kurile Islands in late Nov 1941 and escorted Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's Pearl Harbor strike force. Between 21 and 23 Dec, she escorted Hiryu and Soryu while their aircraft struck Wake Island. On 29 Dec, she returned to Kure, Japan for a brief rest. Between 8 and 14 Jan 1942, she escorted the carrier force to Truk in the Caroline Islands, then on 20 Jan she escorted the carrier force to Rabaul for the 23 Jan landings in the Bismarck Archipelago, returning to Truk on 27 Jan. Between 1 and 8 Feb, she escorted the carrier force in the Central Pacific region, then made a port call to Palau Islands. On 19 Feb, she escorted the carrier force as the aircraft struck Port Darwin in Australia. On 5 Mar, she escorted carriers as the aircraft struck Tjilatjap, Java. On 7 Mar, she escorted battleships Kongo and Haruna while they bombarded Christmas Island. In early Apr 1942, she escorted Nagumo's carriers while the task force raided British ships and bases in the Indian Ocean. Between 27 Apr and May, she docked in Kure for repairs; it was in that period that twenty-year-old Masashi Shibata came aboard Tanikaze in May 1942. The young signalman recalled the crew as tight-knight, "like a family".

ww2dbaseDuring the Battle of Midway, Tanikaze acted once again as escort to carriers. Around noon on 5 Jun she was the lone ship ordered to the disabled Hiryu to rescue survivors, with torpedoes ready to sink the ship when appropriate. Failing to locate the disabled carrier by about 1700, Katsumi was about to turn the ship around toward the Main Force when American aircraft appeared on the horizon. The American aircraft first passed it as an unworthy target, but on the return trip, not having found any major targets, they decided to attack the lone destroyer, which the Americans identified as a cruiser. The 32 American dive bombers dove in sequence while Tanikaze's anti-aircraft batteries fired relentlessly. About 5 of the 500-lb bombs from the dive bombers made near misses and none made a direct hit. "Huge columns of waters, higher than our masthead, surrounded the Tanikaze," recalled Shibata, who spent most of the attacked halfway hanging out of the bridge window to act as an observer, yelling to the captain the direction of each American diving attack. Although no direct hits were made, the intense explosions from near misses caused an explosion in the after turret, killing six. After surviving the intense attack, Commander Katsumi offered all the men cider and dry bread. "I will never forget how tasty that bread was", recalled Shibata.

We worked all through the night to repair the damage and tended to the wounded. In the morning, around 0600, we buried the bodies of our six dead shipmates at sea. I played the bugle as a tribute to their memories. I could not stop my tears. I felt fortunate to be one of the crew of this honourable ship, Tanikaze, and to have assisted Captain Katsumi at his side on the bridge during her historical fight.

ww2dbaseUpon repairs in Kure, Japan, Tanikaze sailed as a part of the Third Fleet at Truk in Aug 1942 where she escorted several troop convoys to Rabaul and Guadalcanal. On 26 Oct, she participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, at the end of which she escorted the damaged heavy cruiser Chikuma back to Truk. Between 2 and 7 Nov, she escorted Zuiho and Kumano from Truk to Japan, and docked for repairs at Kure. Between 22 Nov and 4 Dec, she escorted Kumano on a troop transport mission from Kure to Rabaul. In Dec 1942 and Jan 1943, she made several supply drum transport runs to Guadalcanal and troop transport runs to New Georgia, New Guinea, and Guadalcanal. On 14 Jan, on a run to Guadalcanal, she was attacked by American aircraft, which killed Commander Katsumi. On 25 Jan, Commander Kiyoshi Tomura took command. In late Jan and early Feb, she assisted in evacuating Guadalcanal. On 25 Apr, Commander Shinichirou Maeda relieved Commander Tomura. Between 28 Apr and 1 May, she escorted a transport from Truk to Iwo Jima, then patrolled between Iwo Jima and Saipan in the Mariana Islands until May. In May and Jun, she escorted ships in the Central Pacific. On 5 Jul 1943, she participated in the Battle of Kula Gulf, in which her torpedoes contributed to the sinking of the American light cruiser USS Helena. Upon completing several escort missions for the carrier Junyo, Commander Maeda was relieved by Lieutenant Commander Shunsaku Ikeda on 8 Nov. She spent of the rest of the year by escorted carrier Shokaku and Yamato, on two separate trips, from Yokosuka, Japan to Truk.

ww2dbaseTanikaze spent the earlier months of 1944 by escorting several transport convoys to Palau Islands, Lingga Islands, Philippine Islands, and Mariana Islands. Between 29 Apr and 19 May, she escorted a convoy from Saipan, Mariana Islands to Tawitawi, Philippine Islands. Departing Tawitawi on 9 Jun, she was torpedoed by American submarine USS Harder in the Sibutu Passage, 90 miles southwest of Basilan. 114 of her crew were killed. The 126 survivors, including Lieutenant Commander Ikeda (though he later died of wounds received) were rescued by destroyer Urakaze.

ww2dbaseSources: Midway Dauntless Victory, Nihon Kaigun.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2008

Tanikaze Operational Timeline

1 Nov 1940 Tanikaze was launched by Fujinagata Shipyards in Osaka, Japan.
25 Apr 1941 Tanikaze was commissioned into service with Commander Motoi Katsumi in command.
21 Dec 1941 Tanikaze covered carriers Hiryu and Soryu in the central Pacific Ocean.
23 Dec 1941 Tanikaze completed the escort duty of carriers Hiryu and Soryu in the central Pacific Ocean.
29 Dec 1941 Tanikaze arrived at Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.
8 Jan 1942 Tanikaze began escorting carriers from Japan to Truk, Caroline Islands.
14 Jan 1942 Tanikaze arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
20 Jan 1942 Tanikaze began escorting carriers from Truk, Caroline Islands toward Rabaul, New Britain, Australian Territory of New Guinea.
23 Jan 1942 Tanikaze covered carriers during the landings in the Bismarck Archipelago.
27 Jan 1942 Tanikaze arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
1 Feb 1942 Tanikaze began escorting carriers in the Central Pacific Ocean.
8 Feb 1942 Tanikaze completed escorting duty for carriers in the Central Pacific Ocean.
19 Feb 1942 Tanikaze began escorting carriers toward Darwin, Australia.
5 Mar 1942 Tanikaze covered carriers during the raid on Tjilatjap, Java, Dutch East Indies.
7 Mar 1942 Tanikaze covered battleships Kongo and Haruna while they bombarded Christmas Island.
27 Apr 1942 Tanikaze arrived at Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan for repairs.
5 Jun 1942 Tanikaze was ordered to search for the disabled carrier Hiryu and to rescue survivors, but she was not able to find Hiryu (which already sank). Tanikaze was in turn attacked by 32 US Navy dive bombers. One of the five near-misses caused an explosion in the after turret, killing six.
6 Jun 1942 The crew of Tanikaze buried six crewmen at sea in the Pacific Ocean; they were killed on the previous day during an American dive bomber attack.
26 Oct 1942 Tanikaze participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands and then escorted the damaged heavy cruiser Chikuma toward Truk, Caroline Islands.
2 Nov 1942 Tanikaze began escorting Zuiho and Kumano from Truk, Caroline Islands toward Japan.
7 Nov 1942 Tanikaze arrived at Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan for repairs.
22 Nov 1942 Tanikaze began escorting Kumano on a troop transport mission from Kure, Japan to Rabaul, New Britain, Australian Territory of New Guinea.
4 Dec 1942 Tanikaze arrived at Rabaul, New Britain, Australian Territory of New Guinea.
14 Jan 1943 Tanikaze was attacked by a US aircraft while sailing toward Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; Commander Motoi Katsumi was killed.
25 Jan 1943 Commander Kiyoshi Tomura was made the commanding officer of Tanikaze.
25 Apr 1943 Commander Shinichirou Maeda was made the commanding officer of Tanikaze.
28 Apr 1943 Tanikaze began escorting a transport from Truk, Caroline Islands toward Iwo Jima, Japan.
1 May 1943 Tanikaze completed escorting a transport from Truk, Caroline Islands toward Iwo Jima, Japan.
5 Jul 1943 Tanikaze contributed to the sinking of the American light cruiser USS Helena during the Battle of Kula Gulf in the Solomon Islands.
8 Nov 1943 Commander Shunsaku Ikeda was made the commanding officer of Tanikaze.
29 Apr 1944 Tanikaze began escorting a convoy from Saipan, Mariana Islands to Tawi-Tawi, Philippine Islands.
19 May 1944 Tanikaze completed escorting a convoy from Saipan, Mariana Islands to Tawi-Tawi, Philippine Islands.
9 Jun 1944 Tanikaze departed Tawi-Tawi, Philippine Islands.
10 Aug 1944 Tanikaze was struck from the Japanese Navy list.




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Jim Bosso says:
5 Nov 2019 09:07:02 PM

There is an impossibility likely due to typo:
"On 25 Apr, Commander Shinichirou Maeda relieved Commander Katsumi."
This is impossible since the previous sentences announce his death. I think they meant to say that motoi's replacement was relieved.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Attack on Pearl Harbor
» Battle of Wake Island
» Attack on Darwin
» Raids into the Indian Ocean
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign



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