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  Okinoshima
IJN
Minelayer

4,290 Tons (standard)
370' 9" x 51' 8" x 18'
4 x 14cm guns
2 x 80mm AA guns
2 x 13mm MG
500 x sea mines
22 x depth charges
1 x E7K seaplane
1 x catapult

Ship History
Built at Harima Zosensho K. K (Harima Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Shipyard) at Harima. Laid down September 27, 1934. Launched November 24, 1935 as Okinoshima. Commissioned September 30, 1936 in the Imperial Japanese Navy(IJN) under the command of Captain Sato Namiz. Assigned to the 12th Battle Squadron with Kamoi with destroyers Asanagi, Yunagi, Oite and Hayate.

On January 18, 1937 placed under the command of Captain Anju Giichi. On January 28, 1937 departs Yokosuka with Kamoi, Asanagi and Yunagi bound for the Caroline Islands and Mariana Islands to visit twenty-one anchorages to survey each as potential sites for military bases and airfields.

On January 28, 1937 departs Yokosuka with Kamoi with destroyers Asanagi and Yunagi for Carolines and Marianas to survey the sites for potential military bases. The group visits a total of 21 ports and also surveys 11 locations from the air as potential sites for airfields then returns to Yokohama. On June 29, 1937 participates in maneuvers with Kamoi, Asanagi and Yunagi plus aircraft from the Yokohama Kokutai (Yokohama Air Group) until July 5 1937.

PARTIAL HISTORY

On April 28, 1942 departed Truk as part of "Operation MO", the invasion of Tulagi and Port Moresby. Okinoshima serves as the flagship of Rear Admiral Shima with the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard. The force also includes Azumasan Maru, minelayer Koei Maru escorted by destroyers Kikuzuki and Yuzuki, subchasers Toshi Maru No. 3 and Tama Maru No. 8, special duty minesweepers WA-1 and WA-2, Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No. 2 and Tama Maru.

On May 3, 1942 entered Queen Carola Harbor then departs bound for Tulagi Harbor and sucessfully disembarks 3rd Kure SNLF without opposition on Tulagi.

On May 4, 1942 at 8:15am, attacked by carrier aircraft from USS Yorktown CV-5 including SBD Dantlesses from VS-5 that failed to score any hits plus TBD Devestators from VT-5 releasing aerial torpedoes. During the attack, Okinoshima suffered minor damage. During the last attack, a torpedo hit Kikuzuki forcing her to beach.

On May 10, departed Rabaul leading the Ocean-Nauru Occupation Force escorted by Uzuki, Mochizuki and Yuzuki.

Sinking History
On May 12, 1942 off New Ireland, during an early morning in a rainstorm, the convoy is spotted at 4:39am by USS S-42 (SS-153) and makes a submerged attack, firing four Mark 10 torpedoes.

Okinoshima is hit in the port fire room and taken under tow by Mochizuki, but capsizes and sinks. Sinking location is listed as St. George's Channel, Bismarck Sea at Lat 5°  6S, Long 153°  48E. Other sources say it was sunk in Queen Carola Harbor off Buka Island. Captain Nomi and crew are rescued.

Repair ship Shoei Maru was dispatched with a trawler to assist Okinoshima, but were too late and were also attacked by USS S-44 (SS-155), sinking Shoei Maru at 2:40pm at Lat 4° 51S, Long 152°  54E. The trawler attacks S-44 and drops 16 or more depth charges, the submarine escapes.

References
Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War page 301
Combined Fleet - IJN Minelayer OKINOSHIMA:  Tabular Record of Movement
The First Team (1984) mentions Okinoshima

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Last Updated
March 11, 2021

 

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