Japanese Destroyer Hatsukaze - Operational History - Solomon Islands Campaign

Solomon Islands Campaign

On 14 July, Hatsukaze and Desdiv 16 were reassigned to Desron 10, Third Fleet. On 16 August, Desron 10 departed Kure, escorting a fleet towards Truk. On 24 August, Desron 10 escorted Admiral Nagumo's Striking Force in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. During September and October, the squadron escorted the fleet patrolling out of Truk north of the Solomon Islands. On 26 October, in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the squadron escorted the Striking Force, then escorted the damaged carriers Shōkaku and Zuihō into Truk on 28 October. On 4 November, Desron 10 escorted Zuikaku from Truk to Kure, then engaged in training in the Inland Sea, and then escorted Zuikaku from Truk to the Shortland Islands in January 1943.

On 10 January, while providing cover for a supply-drum transport run to Guadalcanal, Hatsukaze assisted in sinking the American PT boats PT-43 and PT-112. She suffered heavy damage when struck by a torpedo (possibly launched by PT-112) in the port side; her best speed was 18 knots as she withdrew to Truk, for emergency repairs. Then she sailed to Kure in April for more extensive repairs. In September, Hatsukaze and Desron 10 escorted the super-battleship Yamato from Kure to Truk. In late September and again in late October, Desron 10 escorted the main fleet from Truk to Eniwetok and back again, in response to American carrier airstrikes in the Central Pacific region. Between these two missions, Hatsukaze sortied briefly from Truk in early October 1943 to assist the fleet oiler Hazakaya, which had been torpedoed by an American submarine.

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