|Ship Class||Nagara-class Light Cruiser|
|Launched||16 Mar 1923|
|Sunk||26 Oct 1944|
|Displacement||5,570 tons standard|
|Armament||7x140mm, 36x25mm anti-aircraft, 6x13mm anti-aircraft, 8x24in torpedo tubes|
ww2dbaseNamed after the Abukuma River in Japan, the light cruiser Abukuma was commissioned in 1925. On 1 Nov 1940, Captain Seiroku Murayama took command and prepared her for the upcoming conflict. As the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 1, she participated in the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Darwin, Java, as well as the raid into the Indian Ocean. On 20 May 1942, she was reassigned to the Fifth Fleet with Destroyer Divisions 6. Transferred to Destroyer Division 21, she participated in the Aleutians/Midway campaign in the Aleutians invasion force, escorting carriers as well as scouting for possible airfield sites. On 26 Mar 1943, she engaged American forces in the Battle of Komandorski Islands; though she emerged unscathed, her force's overall commander Vice Admiral Boshiro Hosogaya was relieved for retreating from an inferior force. On 3 May 1943, Abukuma was admitted into Maizuru Navy Yard's drydocks for installation of a Type 21 air-search radar. She undocked on 17 May, and became Destroyer Squadron 1's flagship on 21 May and headed for the Aleutians once again. This time the mission was not as glorious, for they were now heading to the Aleutians not as conquerors but as instruments of evacuation. After two failed attempts, first due to American maneuvers and second to weather, Abukuma was sent along with others in Jul 1943 to evacuate Kiska; she departed Kiska on 29 Jul 1943 with 1,212 men aboard the evacuation fleet. Beginning in early 1944, she operated mainly out of Paramushiro in the Kurile Islands, performing patrol and training duties.
ww2dbaseOn 25 Oct 1944, Abukuma was a member of the Japanese force that entered the Surigao Strait ambush. Her number 1 boiler room was hit and exploded around 0325, killing 30. At 0535, at the speed of 20 knots, she retired from the battle. After emergency repairs, she sailed into the Sulu Sea on 26 Oct, and was spotted and attacked by B-24 bombers of the 13th Air Force, receiving a hit near her Number 3 gun mount. At 1020, B-24 bombers of the 5th Air Force attacked next, scoring two direct hits and started heavy fires that ignited four torpedoes at 1037. Some time between 1100 and 1130, order was given to abandon ship. She sank off Negros at 1142 with the loss of 250 men.
ww2dbaseSource: Imperial Japanese Navy Page.
Last Major Revision: Oct 2006
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