Japanese cruiser Agano


Japanese cruiser Agano

nihongo|IJN Agano |阿賀野 軽巡洋艦|Agano keijunyōkan was the lead ship of Agano class of four light cruisers which served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. It was named after the Agano River in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures in Japan.

Background

The "Agano" class light cruisers were designed to be swift and lightly armored command vessels for destroyer or submarine squadrons, and were intended to replace earlier classes of light cruisers built soon after the end of World War I.

ervice career

Built at Sasebo Navy Yard, "Agano" was completed on 31 October 1942 and originally assigned to Destroyer Squadron 10 of the Japanese Third Fleet. On 16 December 1942, "Agano" began her first combat operation, joining the Japanese aircraft carrier "Junyō" and other ships to escort troops to Wewak and Madang in New Guinea.

"Agano" was next involved in the evacuation of Japanese troops from Guadalcanal, after which the ship received further minor modifications and repairs, before being assembled with powerful fleet units intended to counterstrike against American forces which had landed on Attu Island in the Aleutians. However, by the time the force was assembled, the Americans had completed their capture of the island, and the strike was called off.

In June, 1943, "Agano" put in at Kure for refit, including the addition of air search radar Type 21 and ten 25 mm Type 96 antiaircraft guns in two twin and two triple mounts, adding to the original two triple mounts for a total of sixteen guns. After refitting and dry dock, "Agano" departed for Truk in the Caroline Islands with a large Japanese force. Despite numerous spottings by American submarines and an attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier "Zuihō", "Agano" made it safely to Truk where she began ferrying troops to Rabaul.

"Agano" sortied with the fleet to attempt to intercept American raiding forces near Eniwetok in September 1943, but failed to make contact. Another attempt to intercept the Americans in October was a failure as well. However, on 2 November 1943, while part of the fleet supporting the defense of Rabaul, "Agano" participated in a major action (the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay) against American units in which the cruiser "Sendai" and destroyer "Hatsukaze" were both sunk. Three days later, back in port at Rabaul, "Agano" was barely missed by an American air strike launched by the USS "Saratoga" and USS "Princeton", sustaining slight damage and with one crewman killed. The fleet put to sea to engage American forces but this was cancelled and the fleet returned to Rabaul by 7 November 1943.

In harbor at Rabaul, a Mark 13 torpedo launched by a Grumman TBF Avenger aircraft in another American air strike hit "Agano" in the stern, causing significant damage and injuring Rear Admiral Morikazu Osugi. The next day, with three other ships, "Agano" departed for Truk, but en route she was torpedoed by American submarine USS "Scamp". The USS "Albacore" also attempted to attack but was held off by Japanese depth charge barrage. "Agano" was taken under tow by its sister ship, "Noshiro" and arrived back at Truk on 16 November 1943.

After three months of hasty field repairs, "Agano" was able to operate on two of her four screws and departed Truk on 15 February 1944 for the Japanese home islands where she was to be properly repaired. Escorted by the destroyer "Oite", only 160 miles north of Truk she was struck by two torpedoes from the USS "Skate", which set the ship ablaze. Of her crew of 726 men, some 523 survivors were rescued by "Oite", and at 05:17 the next morning, "Agano" sank at coord|10|11|N|151|42|E .

As it returned to Truk, "Oite" was sunk by TBF Avengers in the during Operation Hailstone, taking all but twenty of her own crew down with her. All of the "Agano" crewmembers originally rescued were lost.

"Agano" was removed from the Navy List on 31 March 1944.

List of Captains

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Ko Nakagawa - 15 February 1942 - 31 October 1942

Capt. Ko Nakagawa - 31 October 1942 - 5 August 1943

Capt. Hiroshi Matsubara - 5 August 1943 - 16 November 1943

Capt. / RADM* Takamatsu Matsuda - 16 November 1943 - 17 February 1944 (KIA; rescued by DD "Oite", but KIA when rescue vessel was sunk.)

References

Books

*cite book
last = Brown
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1990
title = Warship Losses of World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-914-X

*cite book
last = D'Albas
first = Andrieu
authorlink =
year = 1965
title = Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II
publisher = Devin-Adair Pub
location =
id = ISBN 0-8159-5302-X

*cite book
last = Dull
first = Paul S.
authorlink =
year = 1978
chapter =
title = A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-097-1

*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1979
title = Kaigun : Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-192-7

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
authorlink =
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0-68911-402-8

*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1976
chapter =
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-893-X

*cite book
last = Lacroix
first = Eric
authorlink =
coauthors = Linton Wells
year = 1997
chapter =
title = Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-311-3

*cite book
last = Whitley
first = M.J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1995
chapter =
title = Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-141-6

External links

*cite web
last = Parshall
first = Jon
coauthors = Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, & Allyn Nevitt
year =
url = http://www.combinedfleet.com/agano_c.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Agano" class
title = Imperial Japanese Navy Page (Combinedfleet.com)
work =
accessdate =

*Tabular record: [http://www.combinedfleet.com/agano_t.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Agano" history]

Notes

ee also

*List of World War II ships


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