The IJN Fumizuki Destroyer was a Mutsuki Class destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched 16 FEB 1926. She was built by Fujinagata Zosen of Osaka and was nearly obsolete when sunk. The ship’s name means “Month of Rice Ears” in Japanese.
During the war the IJN Fumizuki Destroyer participated as part of the famed “Tokyo Express” to relieve Japanese forces engaged in the battle for Guadalcanal. Throughout the conflict she was repeatedly damaged in various aircraft attacks. Finally after being severely hit by B-24 bombers while at Rabaul, she was sent to Truk for repairs.
During the “Hailstone” attack, Fumizuki was pulled over and put alongside the hospital ship Hikawa Maru to avoid attack until her engine crew could raise steam and reassemble one turbine for single screw propulsion. Throughout the first day the aircraft were buzzing the Hospital ship to get rid of her consort or risk damages. Finally, by near end of daylight she cut loose and proceeded at about 15 knots speed to the west with hopes of escape through a west pass opposite to the NE direction of the attackers. Nearly safe, she was spotted by last torpedo bomber to fly that afternoon when spotting her wake, gave chase and put a torpedo directly under her stern, uplifting her counter, killing all engine room staff, and leaving her on end with bow high in the sky to slowly drop straight downward before the tearful eyes of her survivors in the water. Her gunnery office related these tales to us as to how sad they all felt after so much work to save their beloved ship. She now lies with a port side list but mostly upright. On earliest viewings of her after receiving details of her position, she was beautifully preserved with a full bridge in place and two rakish funnels along with all deck gear and guns visible. Unfortunately some vandals blew her bridge away to remove a big security safe under the bridge floors, and later anchor moorings from certain dive vessels tore away both funnels, and later her bow has been separated from attaching to fragile structures. She is however still a great site, with large volumes of colorful corals and fish on her remains.
- IJN FUMIZUKI MUTSUKI CLASS DESTROYER
- Displacement: 1913 tons
- Length: 330 feet
- Beam: 30 feet
- Engine: 4 Kanpon Boilers on 2 Parsons geared turbines, 2 shafts
- Max Speed: 37.5 kts.
- Mission: Antisubmarine/Transport.
- Armament: 2-4.7″ .50 cal dual purpose guns; 10-25 MM anti-aircraft guns; 6-24″ (“Long Lance”) torpedo launchers; 36-depth charges. Crew: 150.