Built by Sasebo Naval Arsenal at Sasebo. Laid down May 14, 1931. Launched February 22, 1933. Commissioned September 30, 1933 with Lieutenant Commander Makino Hiroshi in command. Named Hatsuharu (初春) meaning early spring. Assigned to 1st Fleet, Desron 1.
During December 1941, Hatsuharu operated off Japan guarding battleships and conducting anti-submarine patrols. During December 18-23, 1941 departed Tokuyama to meet the Pearl Harbor Strike Force and escorted it to Hashirijima.
Between January 14-22, 1942 escorted a tanker convoy from Tokuyama to Davao. On January 24, 1942 participated in the Kendari invasion force. On January 25, 1942 suffered minor damage from a collision with Nagara. Afterwards, escorted by Nenohi to Davao arriving on January 29, 1942 for repairs.
Repairs completed, then escorted tankers between Davao, Balikpapan and Tarakan.
Escorted tanker AKEBONO MARU from Davao to Makassar, rejoining Desdiv 21.
28 February-1 March:
In Bali Strait, Desdiv 21 engaged but failed to intercept four U.S. destroyers escaping from the Java Sea.
Desdiv 21 steamed from Makassar to Sasebo, then docked for maintenance.
With ABUKUMA, Desdiv 21 departed Ominato, escorting Adak-Attu Attack Force in Aleutians operations. Attu occupied on 7 June; Adak occupation canceled.
Patrolled in Attu-area.
Patrolled in Kiska-area, then to Saeki on 19 July.
21 July-4 August:
Docked at Yokosuka for maintenance.
Steamed from Yokosuka to Ominato, then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.
On September 12, 1942 departed Yokosuka for a transport run to Kiska Island. Afterwards, returned to Yokosuka on September 16, 1942.
On October 6, 1942 departed Ominato, arriving at
Yokosuka two days later.
On October 11, 1942 departed Yokosuka via Shimushu Island for another transport run to Kiska Island escorted by Oboro. On October 16, 1942, Hatsuharu and Oboro were attacked by B-26 Marauders at at roughly 52-17 N, 178-08 E approximately 30 nautical miles northeast of Kiska Island. The B-26 piloted by Capt Russell I. Maurer scored a direct bomb hit on Oboro that exploded munitions and caused an explosion that sank the destroyer.
Hatsuharu was also heavily damaged during the same attack, suffering a direct bomb hit on her stern that damaged the rudder. Aboard 4 were killed and 14 wounded. Although damaged, she rescued 17 survivors from Oboro. Afterwards, departed under her own power, arriving at Paramushiro Island on October 25, 1942.
On November 6, 1942 docked Maizuru for repairs with “X” turret removed/replaced by triple 25mm machine gun mount; two others replace single 40mm guns amidships; twin 25mm machine guns added on bandstand forward of bridge; Type 22 radar mounted on foremast. Command rotated among various officers while under repair until completed on September 30, 1943.
15 November 1942:
Lieutenant Commander Makino (later C.O. OKINAMI) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Yamana Hiroo  (prev. C.O. OBORO).
1 April 1943:
Desron 1 reassigned to Fifth Fleet.
Lieutenant Commander Yamana (to C.O. KASUMI) relieved by Commander Hitomi Toyoji  (C.O. MAKINAMI with additional duty as C.O. HATSUHARU and SHIRANUHI, all under repair).
Commander Hitomi relieved by Lieutenant Commander Tobita Kiyoshi .
11 October-5 November:
With HATSUSHIMO, escorted RYUHO and CHITOSE from Saeki to Singapore (19-26 October) and back to Tokuyama.
24 November-3 December:
Desdiv 21 (WAKABA, HATSUHARU, HATSUSHIMO) escorted HIYO from Kure via Manila to Singapore.
Desdiv 21 escorted HIYO from Singapore via Tarakan and Palau to Truk.
24-29 December 1943
Desdiv 21 escorted ZUIHO and UNYO from Truk to Yokosuka.
1 January 1944:
Desdiv 21 reassigned directly to Combined Fleet Headquarters.
With NOWAKI and MAIKAZE, Desdiv 21 escorted ATAGO, ZUIHO, and UNYO from Yokosuka to Truk.
Desdiv 21 departed Truk escorting ZUIHO and UNYO. (UNYO torpedoed on 19 January and detached to Saipan with HATSUSHIMO.) Continued with ZUIHO to reach Yokosuka.
29 January-16 February:
With WAKABA, escorted ZUIHO and CHIYODA from Yokosuka to Truk and back.
At Sasebo for maintenance.
With WAKABA, steamed from Sasebo to Ominato, then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.
Lieutenant Commander Tobita (to C.O. NAGANAMI) relieved by Lieutenant Commander Nagakura Yoshiharu  (prev. C.O. FUMIZUKI).
At Kure for maintenance: two single 25mm machine guns added abreast bridge bandstand mount. Then resumed Northern Area patrol/escort duties.
Departed Paramushiro, escorting TAKASHIMA MARU towards Otaru. Same day assisted the torpedoed transport and rescued survivors.
Arrived in Yokosuka from Ominato.
At Yokosuka for maintenance and refitting: ten single 25mm and four 13mm machine guns added along length of ship.
With WAKABA, transport run from Yokosuka to Iwo-jima.
Escorted convoy from Yokosuka via Iwo-jima to Chichi-jima and back.
20 July-11 August:
At Yokosuka for maintenance and refitting: Type 13 radar mounted on mainmast.
With WAKABA, escorted YAMASHIRO and UNYO from Yokosuka to Kure.
16 August-21 September:
With WAKABA, escorted convoys from Kure to Formosa and Luzon and back.
21 September-1 October:
At Kure for maintenance.
Lieutenant Commander Nagakura relieved by Lieutenant Commander Okuma Yasunosuke  (prev. C.O. SAMIDARE).
At Kure for maintenance and refitting: another five 25mm machine guns believed added.
Desdiv 21 escorted NACHI and Ashigara from Kure via Amami-O-Shima to Mako (Pescadores), then was detached to Takeo, Formosa.
Desdiv 21 performed aircrew (ground-support units of 2nd Air Fleet) transport run from Takeo to Manila, then departed to join Admiral Shima's 2nd Diversion Attack Force.
Assisted HATSUSHIMO in rescuing survivors of sunken WAKABA, including Comdesdiv 21 (Captain Ishii), then returned with HATSUSHIMO to Manila.
Escorted troop convoy TA No. 2 from Manila to Ormoc. For details see TA Operations to Leyte, Part 1
With HATSUSHIMO, detached from TA No. 2 to escort naval transport T.9 towing damaged T.131 back to Manila.
Escorted troop convoy TA No. 3 from Manila towards Ormoc; on 10 November HATSUHARU and TAKE replaced by NAGANAMI, Asashimo and Wakatsuki from TA No. 4, so returned to Manila with that convoy. For details see TA Operations to Leyte, Part 2.
During the night of November 13-14, 1944 damaged by U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft from near misses that caused flooding and fires. Aboard, 12 were killed and 60 wounded in the attack. The vessel sank upright in shallow water in Manila Bay at roughly Lat 14-35 N, Long 120-50 E. Officially, Hatsuharu was removed from the Navy List on January 10, 1945.
Fates of the Crew
Afterwards, 218 crew members including Lieutenant Commander Okuma and Captain Ishii were rescued.
Combined Fleed - Hatsuharu Tabular Movements
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December 8, 2020