Abukuma file photo [2183]


Ship ClassNagara-class Light Cruiser
Launched16 Mar 1923
Sunk26 Oct 1944
Displacement5,570 tons standard
Length534 feet
Beam48 feet
Draft16 feet
Speed36 knots
Armament7x140mm, 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

Light Cruiser Abukuma Interactive Map


Abukuma underway, circa 1941; note E7K1 floatplane on catapultDecommissioned submarines at Groton, Connecticut, United States, circa 1947; L to R: Archer-Fish, Flasher, Cobia, Croaker, Drum, and Cavalla

Abukuma Operational Timeline

26 Mar 1943 During the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, Japanese cruisers Nachi, Maya, Tama, and Abukuma with destroyers Wakaba, Hatsushimo, Ikazuchi, Inazuma, and Usugumo plus three transport ships engaged United States Navy cruisers Salt Lake City and Richmond escorted by destroyers Coghlan, Bailey, Dale, and Monaghan in one of the very few pure naval surface battles of World War II involving long-range guns. Nachi was forced to push one of her floatplanes overboard (concussion damage from her own guns), fired several Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the US forces (none of which hit), and received five hits (killing 14). Salt Lake City sustained moderate damage and was dead in the water for a short time. Bailey, Coghlan, and Monaghan made a bold torpedo attack that became known as the Charge of the Irish Destroyers.

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More on Abukuma
» Matsuda, Chiaki

Event(s) Participated:
» Attack on Pearl Harbor
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 1, Bismarck Islands
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Attack on Darwin
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Aleutian Islands Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

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Light Cruiser Abukuma Photo Gallery
Abukuma underway, circa 1941; note E7K1 floatplane on catapult
See all 2 photographs of Light Cruiser Abukuma

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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