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  Yayoi 弥生 (Destroyer No. 23)
Mutsuki Class destroyer

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

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IJN February 1927

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5th AF Sept 11, 1942
Ship History
Built at Uraga Dock Company at Uraga. Laid down January 11, 1924 as Mutsuki Class destroyer after Japan abandoned the Washington Naval Treaty that ended in fiscal year 1923. Launched July 11, 1925 as “Destroyer No. 23” (DD-23). Commissioned August 28, 1926 in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). On August 1, 1928 named Yayoi for the third month in the year (March) in Japanese. Assigned to Destroyer Division 30 (Desdiv 30) with Mutsuki, Kisaragi and Mochizuki as part of Desron 6, Fourth Fleet.

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, 1941 departed Truk with Desdiv 30 Desron 6 and arrives December 3, 1941 at Kwajalein.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 departs Kwajalein as part of "U" Operation for the invasion of Wake with flagship Yubari, Oite and Hayateplus DesDiv 30 destroyers Mutsuki, Yayoi and Mochizuki, light cruisers Tatsuta and Tenryu plus Jingei and transports Kongo Maru and Kinryu Maru with Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) and Patrol Boat No. 32 and Patrol Boat No. 33.

On December 11, 1941 in the early morning destroyers Yayoi, Hayate, Mutsuki and Kisaragi conduct pre-landing bombardment of Wake Atoll. Ashore, U.S. gun batteries score at least one or two hits on Hayate that sinks within two minutes. Afterwards, Yayoi, Mutsuki and Kisaragi attempt to bombard Peale Island and Wilkes Island but receive more gunfire from shore batteries with Yayoi is hit by a 5" shell fired by Battery "B" commanded by 1st Lt Woodrow W. Kessler on Peale Island. The shell causes minor damage with one killed and seventeen wounded aboard. Due to the shore batteries and air attacks, the Japanese invasion is suspended and while withdrawing Kisaragi is attacked by U.S. aircraft, hit by a bomb and sunk.

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 departs 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.

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

Sinking Histroy
On September 11, 1942 Yayoi was bombed by B-17 Flying Fotresses roughly 20 miles east of Normanby Island and scored a direct hit near the stern and disabled ship, then continued strafing and near-misses led to uncontrollable flooding. Aboard 68 were killed in the attack, including Captain Yasutake Shiro (commander of DesDiv 30). 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 19, 2021


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08°  45' S
151° 25' E
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