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Ukuru-class Escort Ship
78.8m x 9m x 3m
3 x 120mm guns
6 x 25mm AA guns
Ushio Shobo 1947
Built by Nihon Kokan at Tsurumi. Laid down February 15, 1944. Launched September 21, 1944 delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Aguni. Completed December 2, 1944 and assigned to the Kure Naval District, Kure Guard Unit at Tsurumi with LtCdr Toshio Higai as commander.
On January 17, 1945 assigned to General Escort Command’s First Surface Escort Division. On January 21, 1945 at noon arrives Tokuyama.
On May 27, 1945 Aguni off the southern coast Korea and targeted by a Bat bomb released by PB4Y-2 Privateer piloted by Lt.Cdr. George L. Hicks and Lt. Leo E. Kennedy from Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) release a Bat bomb (Special Weapons Ordnance Devices SWOD Mark 9, Mod 0) against an enemy vessel as claimed to be a "Destroyer of Large DH" and claimed it as sunk. In fact, the bat bomb hit on the bow above water line causing heavy damage to the forward deck area and resulted in 2 officers KIA, 32 enlisted KIA and 1 seriously wounded. Although heavily damaged, Aguni managed to reach Pusan under steaming stern first under her own power.
During June 1945 until the end of the Pacific War, Aguni was under repair at Chosen Heavy Industries at Pusan. On November 30, 1945 officially removed from the Navy List.
By March 1, 1947 anchored with other Escort Ships at Maizuru. On May 20, 1948 scrapped by Iino Kaiun K. K at Maizuru
Combined Fleet - IJN Escort Aguni: Tabular Record of Movement
Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 (VPB-109) War Diary, May 1945, page 13
(Page 13) “[May 27, 1945] traveled true, hitting destroyer directly on the bow above water line. The explosion blew off the bow back to the turret. Both planes circled at 5,000 feet altitude at 6 to 7 miles distant before AA from the undamaged DD was received, forcing withdrawal. As soon as the AT detonated, the undamaged destroyer originally a mile away, proceeded to a position 100 yards from the sinking destroyer, then turned broadside to the planes (both destroyers had initially turned bow to the planes’ attack) to fire. Firing started as the last window settled to the water.”
Aguni (4-電報-33) page 798 via Minoru Kamada
Battle History of Japanese Kaibokan Frigates (1994) by Jiro Kimata
Thanks to Jim Sawruk and Minoru Kamada for additional information
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