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  Yayoi (Destroyer No. 23)
Mutsuki Class destroyers

1,315 Tons (standard)
97.54m x 9.16m x 2.96m
4 x 120mm
2 x tripple torpedo tubes
18 x depth charges
16 x mines

Click For Enlargement
February 1927

Click For Enlargement
5th AF Sept 11, 1942

Ship History
Named Yayoi for the month of March. Built at the Uraga Dock Company following the abandonment of the Washington Naval Treaty from fiscal 1923. Laid down January 11, 1924. Launched July 11, 1925. Commissioned August 28, 1926 as “Destroyer No. 23” (DD-23). On August 1, 1928 named Yayoi meaning "March" (third month in the year) in Japanese.

During the late 1930s, Yayoi participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War, including the Invasion of French Indochina in 1940. Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Kimotsuki Masaki. On November 29 - December 3, 1941, steamed with Desron 6 from Truk to Kwajalein.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 departed Kwajalein as part of the first invasion force bound for Wake Island including light cruisers Yūbari, Tenryū and Tatsuta, sdestroyers Yayoi, Hayate, Kisaragi, Mutsuki, Oite, and Asanagi with Patrol Boat No. 32 and Patrol Boat No. 33 plus two transports with Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) troops aboard.

On December 11, 1941 in the early morning the invasion force was repelled with the loss of Kisaragi and Hayate without landing. Yayoi was hit by a shore battery shell, killing one aboard and wounding seventeen. On December 23, 1941 returned with the second invasion force bound for Wake Island and afterwards returned to Kwajalein.

Afterwards, escorted a convoy from Kwajalein to Truk and had additional 13mm machine guns installed.

On January 13-15, 1942 departed with Truk with Yubari to escort Kiyokawa Maru two transports and one auxiliary from Truk to join Rabaul invasion force near Woleai and remains there between January 16-17, 1942 then departed for Rabaul.

On January 23, 1942 participates in the invasion of Rabaul, then patrol and escort duties in the vicinity. Next, on February 9, participates in the invasion of Gasmata. Afterwards on March 8 the invasion of Lae, then eastward to Bougainville and on March 28 the invasion of Kieta and the Shortlands. Finally, April 8 landing on Manus. During May 7-8, participated in the Battle of Coral Sea, escorting troop transports.

Afterwards returned to Truk, then during July 1-9 steamed to Yokosuka and docked at Sasebo for refit for the remainder of the month and into August, including boiler changes, additional machine guns and the addition of underwater sound detection equipment and Lieutenant Commander Kajimoto Shizuka took command and the destroyer was reassigned to 2nd Surface Escort Division, 4th Fleet, then the 8th Fleet. On August 15, 1942 departed Sasebo escorting Sanuki Maru to Rabaul then to Shortlands.

Battle of the Eastern Solomons
On August 24, 1942 during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons (Second Battle of the Solomon Sea) Yayoi departs Shortlands with Mutsuki, Isokaze and Kawakaze then joins Kagero and conducts a shore bombardment of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. On August 25, 1942 joined Admiral Tanaka's troop convoy and rescues survivors from Mutsuki and Kinryu Maru. Afterwards, the mission is cancelled and withdraws to Shortlands.

On August 27, 1942 escorts Patrol Boats Nos. 1 and 2 to Rabaul. Next, during August 28-31, performed a troop transport run to Milne Bay. Captain Yasutake's report of untenable conditions ashore led to Eighth Fleet's decision to evacuate Milne Bay. On September 4, 1942 arrives at Taupota evacuates 224 casualties. Afterwards, escorts Patrol Boat No. 39, carrying intended reinforcements to Rabaul.

Sinking Histroy
On September 10, 1942, Isokaze and Yayoi departed Rabaul on a mission to evacuate stranded Japanese troop on Goodenough Island.

On September 11, 1942, B-17s attacked this destroyer, roughly 20 miles east of Normanby Island. A direct hit from a bomb hit near stern disabled ship, then continued strafing and near-misses led to uncontrollable flooding. Aboard 68 were killed in the attack, including comdesdiv 30's Captain Yasutake Shiro. Yayoi sank at roughly Lat 8-45 S Long 151-25 E eight miles northwest of Vakuta Island. Officially stricken October 20, 1942.

Some of the surviving crew manages to reach Normanby Island. On September 26, 1942 Isokaze and Mochizuki rescued 83 survivors including Lieutenant Commander Kajimoto from Normanby Island.

Combined Fleet IJN Yayoi: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


08-45 S
151-25 E

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