Empire of Japan
Name: Ōnami
Builder: Fujinagata Shipbuilding Yard
Laid down: 15 November 1941
Launched: 31 August 1942
Completed: 29 December 1942
Commissioned: 20 January 1943, 31st Destroyer Division
Struck: 10 February 1944
Fate: Sunk in action, 25 November 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Yūgumo-class destroyer
Length: 119.15 m (390 ft 11 in)
Beam: 10.8 m (35 ft 5 in)
Draught: 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in)
Speed: 35 knots (40 mph; 65 km/h)
Complement: 228

Ōnami (大波) was a Yūgumo-class destroyer of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her name means "Billow Wave" (Big Rough Waves).

Design and description

The Yūgumo class was a repeat of the preceding Kagerō class with minor improvements that increased their anti-aircraft capabilities. Their crew numbered 228 officers and enlisted men. The ships measured 119.17 meters (391 ft 0 in) overall, with a beam of 10.8 meters (35 ft 5 in) and a draft of 3.76 meters (12 ft 4 in).[1] They displaced 2,110 metric tons (2,080 long tons) at standard load and 2,560 metric tons (2,520 long tons) at deep load.[2] The ships had two Kampon geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by three Kampon water-tube boilers. The turbines were rated at a total of 52,000 shaft horsepower (39,000 kW) for a designed speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph).[3]

The main armament of the Yūgumo class consisted of six Type 3 127-millimeter (5.0 in) guns in three twin-gun turrets, one superfiring pair aft and one turret forward of the superstructure.[2] The guns were able to elevate up to 75° to increase their ability against aircraft, but their slow rate of fire, slow traversing speed, and the lack of any sort of high-angle fire-control system meant that they were virtually useless as anti-aircraft guns.[4] They were built with four Type 96 25-millimeter (1.0 in) anti-aircraft guns in two twin-gun mounts, but more of these guns were added over the course of the war. The ships were also armed with eight 610-millimeter (24.0 in) torpedo tubes in a two quadruple traversing mounts; one reload was carried for each tube. Their anti-submarine weapons comprised two depth charge throwers for which 36 depth charges were carried.[2]

Construction and career

On the night of 24–25 November 1943, Ōnami led a troop transport/evacuation run to Buka Island. In the Battle of Cape St. George, she was torpedoed by the destroyers USS Charles Ausburne, Claxton and/or Dyson, 55 miles (89 km) east-southeast of Cape St. George (05°15′S 153°49′E / 5.250°S 153.817°E / -5.250; 153.817Coordinates: 05°15′S 153°49′E / 5.250°S 153.817°E / -5.250; 153.817). Ōnami blew up and sank with all hands, including ComDesDiv 31 (Captain Kiyoto Kagawa).[5] Captain Kiyoto Kagawa was posthumously promoted two ranks, one of the few IJN destroyer skippers so honored.


  1. ^ Chesneau, p. 195
  2. ^ a b c Whitley, p. 203
  3. ^ Jentschura, Jung & Mickel, p. 150
  4. ^ Campbell, p. 192
  5. ^ "Long Lancers". www.combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 2018-11-07.


  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • Jentschura, Hansgeorg; Jung, Dieter & Mickel, Peter (1977). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.

External links

  • CombinedFleet.com: Yūgumo-class destroyers
  • CombinedFleet.com: Onami history