Sakawa file photo [8343]


Ship ClassAgano-class Light Cruiser
Laid Down21 Nov 1942
Launched9 Apr 1944
Commissioned30 Nov 1944
Sunk2 Jul 1946
Displacement6,652 tons standard; 8,534 tons full
Length571 feet
Beam49 feet
Draft18 feet
MachineryFour Gihon geared turbines, six Kampon boilers
Power Output100,000 shaft horsepower
Speed35 knots
Range6,300nm at 18 knots
Armament3x150mm guns, 2x80mm guns, 2x25mm AA guns, 4x2x610mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor60mm belt
Aircraft2 floatplanes


ww2dbaseSakawa was assigned to the Combined Fleet in late 1944, and on 15 Jan 1945 she became the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 11. On 1 Apr, she was assigned to Operation Ten Go for the defense of Okinawa, Japan along with her sister ship Yahagi, but there was no fuel available for Destroyer Squadron 11, thus she was spared what might had been her last cruise. When the war ended in Sep, she was at Maizuru, having never participated in any combat action. After the war, she was used to transport Japanese servicemen from various Pacific Islands back to Japan, including the evacuation of 1,339 men of the Japanese Army from small garrisons in the Palau Islands; she remained in this role until Feb 1946. On 19 Mar 1946, she departed with an American crew from Yokosuka, Japan toward Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. En route, battleship Nagato broke down thus requiring Sakawa to tow her, but Sakawa soon ran out of fuel, and oil tanker Nickajack Trail had to be sent to deliver fuel, which then hit a reef in bad weather and was lost. Nagato and Sakawa were finally towed to Eniwetok on 1 Apr. At Eniwetok, five disgruntled US Navy sailors sabotaged the ship by pouring sand into oil and water pumps, smashing gauges, smashing tachometers, and cutting pressure steam lines; the five American sailors were brought up on charges for damaging Sakawa. In May, after emergency repairs, she reached Bikini Atoll, where she was to participate in Operation Crossroads as a subject to atomic blasts. On 1 Jul 1946, she was exposed to the "Able" explosion, destroying her superstructure and damaging her hull, and then she burned fiercely for the subsequent 24 hours. On the next day, 2 Jul, tugboat USS Achowani attempted to tow Sakawa away to prevent sinking, but failed. Achowani's sailors cut the tow cables to prevent being dragged down by the sinking cruiser.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2009

Sakawa Operational Timeline

30 Nov 1944 Sakawa was commissioned into service.


Cruiser Sakawa prior to commissioning, Sasebo, Japan, Nov 1944

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Mitsuo Fuchida says:
7 Nov 2011 12:51:04 PM

well the agano class was not a great ship but remodeling it Oyodo class Carrier Hybrid,but the ships known as Hosho and Ryujo were weak Carriers so let there be this to you we attacked america to get more land so now you win we surrender no longer will we attack america ever again. P.S. keep an eye on russia

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Cruiser Sakawa prior to commissioning, Sasebo, Japan, Nov 1944

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