Japanese Destroyer Sakura (1944) - Operational History

Operational History

On 12 February 1945, Sakura departed Moji with Desron 11, escorting Convoy MOTA-36 towards Keelung. The squadron then escorted Kashima to Shanghai. On 15 March Sakura was reassigned to Destroyer Division 53 (Desdiv 53), Desron 11, Combined Fleet. On 21 March, the squadron returned to Kure from patrol and escort duties in the Shanghai area. In early April, Desron 11 was reassigned to Second Fleet, then back to Combined Fleet. On 25 May Sakura suffered minor damage by striking a mine in Shimonoseki Straits.

In June, the squadron conducted minesweeping duties in the Osaka Bay area. On 11 July, Sakura was sunk after she struck a mine in Osaka Harbor (34°36′N 135°28′E / 34.6°N 135.467°E / 34.6; 135.467); her aft magazine exploded, severing her stern. The ship sank rapidly, stern first; the rapid sinking meant that nearly 100 crewmen were trapped inside her hull and drowned. Of her crew 130 were killed, including Lt.Cmdr. Shimobe.

Sakura should not be confused with military convoy ships with the name Sakura Maru and an identifying number (such as Sakura Maru 14), nor should it be confused with the two ship, 600-ton "Sakura"-class destroyers of 1911.

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