Technical Specifications


MUTSUKI Destroyer


15 May 1926


20 November 1926


Maizuru Dock Yard


1772 tons


338 feet 9 inches (103m) waterline


30 feet (9.1m)


9 feet 8 inches (2.8m)


2-shaft, Parsons Geared Turbine, 4 Kampon boilers.


420 tons oil

Shaft Horse Power



37.25 knots


4000 @ 15


Four 4.7in 45-cal DP, six 24in torpedoes (10 torpedoes), 16 mines, 18 DCs, 7.7mm MGs.

These destroyers also rated as minesweepers and minelayers. Incidentally some of the same model 4.7in guns as on the destroyer are located in land mounts in the Solomon Islands.

In a backwater, mangrove-lined, bay of inner Ghovana Inlet or Tokyo Bay, Big Florida Island (Nggela Sule Island). The wreck is visible on Google Earth.

GPS Location
09º 7.419’S, 160º 14.259’E. Google Earth derived. Degrees, Decimal minutes.

Site Creation & History
On the 3 May 1942 Japanese forces invaded Tulagi and Gavutu Harbours and 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Forces captured the area. On the 4 May 1942, aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) attacked the  Japanese Tulagi Invasion fleet. The Kikuzuki and Uzuki were caught moored alongside the big minelayer Okinoshima which was anchored a mile or two South of Tanambogo Island. These strikes by the US Carrier Task Forces were the opening raids of the Battle of the Coral Sea. This was the first carrier to carrier duel of the Pacific War. The Americans lost the big carrier USS Lexington (CV-3), but turned back the Japanese Port Moresby invasion fleet.

The Okinoshima was the Tulagi Invasion Force flagship under Read Admiral Shima Kiyohide. The invasion fleet was at anchor and was surprised at 0815 in morning when SBD-3s of VS-5 and VB-5 and TBD-1s of VT-5 attacked. One torpedo from a TBD-1 Devastor torpedo aircraft from Torpedo Five Squadron hit the Kikuzuki aft. A dozen crew were killed and 22 injured. The CO, Lt. Cdr. Mori Koukichi survived.  In an attempt to prevent the ship sinking, the auxiliary submarine chaser Toshi Maru No. 3 (ex-steam whale catcher) towed the Kikuzuki and beached her in Halavo Bay, on the main Florida Island. (Not Gavutu Island as often recorded). The beaching was unsuccessful as the destroyer slid off the shore and into deep water. The wreck was completely submerged. Although unconfirmed, it appears the Japanese tried to beach the Kikuzuki on the Eastern side of the bay. The stern came to rest in 80 feet and the bow in 30 feet of water.

Within hours the Japanese were using the newly won territory as a major reconnaissance flying boat base for the huge Kawanishi Type 97 H6K flying boats of the Yokohama Kokutai. On 6 May, five of these big MAVIS flying boats had taken off from the Tulagi area to try and locate the American Carrier Task Forces in the Coral Sea. They did spot the Americans and the Japanese attempted to organise a torpedo attack by the flying boats against the Americans but it was too late in the day and darkness prevented it.

Due the clear tropical seas in Halavo Bay, the bow of the Kikuzuki would have been seen from the surface. In June 1942, the Japanese would establish the RUFE Zero fighters in Halavo Bay. The Japanese would have known the Kikuzuki was sunk in there and known exactly where. For three months the Kikuzuki was in Japanese territory but apparently no salvage was attempted.

On 7 August 1942, the Tulagi and Gavutu environs were surprised again by an American Carrier aircraft raid. This time, it preceded a landing by US Marine Raiders and Paramarines by a couple of hours. Reports of the vicious battles in the area and the Americans landings make no mention of the wreck of the Kikuzuki. Halavo Bay was duly taken over and in turn used by American seaplanes particularly from late November 1942. By early 1943, it was in heavy use by US Navy Patrol Squadrons with PBY-5 Catalina Flying Boats. No mention is made of the submerged destroyer just a few hundred feet off the busy bay, but the Americans must have known. The submerged bow would have been seen from the sea surface.

Specific knowledge that the Japanese destroyer may be shallow and possibly salvageable reached all the way to the Commander of South Pacific Forces, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, USN, based in Noumea. In February 1943, as Guadalcanal became the first American land victory against Japan, a fleet tug, the USS Menominee (AT-73) steamed into Noumea Harbour where ComSoPac was based. The first task for the big tug was to pull the stranded destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373) off the reef in Bulari Passage. Then, much to the skipper Lieutenant Commander Emile C. “Black Jack” Genereaux’s surprise, he was called into Halsey’s office.

Halsey began, “…I have a real job for you. During the Coral Sea battle one of my planes sank a Jap destroyer and I promised her to Nimitz and I want you to get her. We intend to fix her up and use her as a decoy for future attacks.”

Black Jack asked where it was sunk, and all the information he got was “somewhere around Guadalcanal”.


kikuzuki damage looking aft sml

October 1943 photograph by the 34th CBs looking aft from No. 4 gun mount over the damage in the stern. Note winch gear on the fantail- probably part of the minesweeping capability the MUTSUKI class destroyers possessed. The Quonset huts on shore in the background have recently been built by the 34th CBs on the Eastern shore of Halavo Bay as part of the flying boat base. [NARA 80-G-89218]


Tug and Kikuzuki Oct 1943

View looks to the East in Halavo Bay with Black Jack’s USS Menominee (AT-73) anchored on the right. It is mid-October 1943 and the Kikuzuki is afloat after days of pumping her out. The Japanese destroyer is being turned around so the stern (less propellers) can rest on seafloor. This was the culmination of seven months of discontinuous salvage on the destroyer by the USS Menominee. Photo taken by 34th U.S. Naval Construction Battalion (34th CB) which was building the nearby Halavo Bay flying boat base. [NARA 80-G-69207]


Ol Shantytown Mid Oct 1943

Mid-October 1943 and the Kikuzuki is floating in Halavo Bay in this photograph taken by the 34th U.S. Naval Construction Battalion. The destroyer is being turned around by small landing craft so the damaged and leaking stern can be rested on and supported by the seafloor. Note the waterline marks across the smoke stacks and hull- these marks are left over from swirling fuel oil patches on the sea surface from the damaged fuel tanks aboard the Kikuzuki. Two PBY-5 Catalina aircraft from a U.S. Navy patrol squadron (VP) can be seen on the shore ramp in front of the bow of the destroyer at the Halavo Bay seaplane base. [NARA 80-G-89209]


kikuzuki damage sml

October 1943 photograph by the 34th Seabees showing port side crease in the hull and other damage from the aerial torpedo hit. No. 4 gun mount is just out of frame to the left. The sea surface is covered in fuel oil leaking from the Kikuzuki’s fuel bunkers. [NARA 80-G-89219]


kikuzuki in purvis bay drydock summer 1944 sml
U.S. Naval Intelligence photographs of the Kikuzuki in the floating dry dock in Purvis Bay in the Summer of 1944. Note the missing propellers. These had been blasted off by USS Menominee (AT-73) divers as they were dragging across the seafloor of Halavo Bay and hindering the salvage effort. The props were picked up later in 1943. In the lower photo of the starboard side looking aft the temporary U.S. Navy hull repair can be seen. Courtesy of Bill Davis.


 kikuzuki prow sml


Like some giant submarine dinosaur, the bow of the Kikuzuki climbs up the coastline on the East side of Halavo Bay in the first two weeks of October 1943. The tug USS Menominee stands by with the 500-ton barge and a submarine pontoon used to help raise the destroyer. The “23” on the bow designates the assigned Destroyer Division and not the individual ship’s pennant number like on U.S. Navy vessels. [NARA 80-G-203603]

The USS Menominee was on her way to Guadalcanal the very next day. After some days steaming the 205 foot tug anchored off Lunga Point and Black Jack went ashore to confer with the Commander of the Guadalcanal Naval Base, Captain Thomas “Tom” Shock. No information was forth coming, so Shock suggested Black Jack cross over Iron Bottom Sound to confer with Captain “Scrappy” Kessing, the CO of the Tulagi Naval Base. This soon led them to Halavo Bay and on about March 24, 1943, the first dives on the Kikuzuki was made by US Navy divers Ken Knott and Don Hammer, both 1/c Shipfitters. The biggest problem facing the Menominee crew was the lack of salvage gear. Guadalcanal was only just secured and the whole area was frequently under Japanese air attacks. It was still a very forward area well in the battle zone. There was no facilities, no base, no lifting apparatus and AT-73 was one of the first tugs in the area.  Black Jack described the equipment problem… “nothing available for the present” , “it took months to get equipment” and the destroyer “presented an enormous problem of lifting 1500 tons with nothing”. Genereaux was not to be beaten and highly experienced; if they couldn’t lift it, they would DRAG it, so the anchors and chains of the submerged destroyer were taken out of the hawes pipes and buried ashore. A 500-ton barge was scrounged amongst other gear. The barge was positioned over the wreck and filled with water until it was almost sinking then tightly chained down to the destroyer. Then the barge was pumped out as well as a strain taken on the shore. Foot by foot the Japanese destroyer was worked along the bottom and up the shoreline profile. It eventually broke the surface eight months later! Why did it take so long? The Menominee was so useful in the forward area, the tug was being given other higher priority tasks such as salvage work on damaged cruisers and saving other damaged ships in the area like the bombed oiler USS Kanawha (AO-1), that the AT-73 was not able to work continuously on the destroyer.

As the destroyer climbed up the beach on the Eastern side of Halavo Bay, Seabees from the 34th U.S. Naval Construction Battalion assisted in pumping her out. The 34th was developing the flying boat base in Halavo at the time. On October 16, 1943, the Japanese destroyer was taken in tow and beached near the landing craft base at Carter City at the entrance to Ghovana Bay. At the time the destroyer was mistakenly called the “Yayoi” or “Yahoi #23”, which was one of the Mutsuki class, but sunk in Papua New Guinea waters in September 1942. The number “23” found on her bow was not the ship pennant number but her assigned destroyer division.

The salvaged destroyer became the subject of U.S. Navy intelligence specialists. The MUTSUKI class were the first destroyers to use the 24-inch Long Lance torpedoes, the highly advanced torpedo designs being of much interest to US Naval intelligence. It is likely there would have been torpedoes on board Kikuzuki when first salvaged, but the Americans would have recovered Long Lance torpedoes earlier in 1942 from the shores of Guadalcanal after Japanese 24-inch torpedoes beached themselves after Naval Battles in the sound. The Kikuzuki was placed in floating dry dock in nearby Purvis Bay. Repairs were made to the hull. In the spring of 1944, the repair ship USS Prometheus (AR-3) was stationed in Purvis Bay and conducted further work on the Japanese destroyer. On July 1, 1944, the yard tug YT-312, brought the Kikuzuki alongside the Menominee sister ship the USS Pawnee (AT-74). After some water tightness work, the Japanese destroyer was dry docked a second time in floating dry dock ARD-14 in Purvis Bay. By this time, the war front had moved much closer to Japan, and there was no use for the Japanese destroyer. At some point in late 1944 or 1945, the almost two decades old destroyer was towed into the furthest backwaters of the Ghovana Bay by the Americans and abandoned.


Port Side Kikuzuki 1945sml

Kikuzuki as finally abandoned in upper Tokyo Bay, Florida Islands, circa late 1944-1945. It is not known for sure but most likely that the wreck is the reason for calling the bay “Tokyo”. The Melanesian name for the same bay is Ghovana. Note port bower in place as well as degaussing cabling around topsides.

The Kikuzuki became a site visit. Base personnel, transiting sailors, and others curious to see an enemy craft up close landed aboard Kikuzuki. Wartime souveniring off the wreck was prevalent and had now continued for two years. Wartime visitors got their photograph taken aboard the old destroyer.  Kikuzuki’s popularity as an attraction continued post war.




Kikuzuki visitors

The Japanese destroyer became a popular site visit for the thousands of sailors who transited though or were based in the Port Purvis Area. In this photo, the sailors are Norman J. Reick EM2c, Wilburn P. Jett S1c and Clarence L. Jorden Y2c of the 173 foot Patrol Craft USS PC-477. Photo probably taken between December 1944 and January 1945. Note the prominent breakwater just behind the sailors in front of No. 1 gun mount. As published p. 347, Peter Charlie: The Cruise of the PC477 by Art Bell, 384pp, 1982


Post War History
Immediately post war, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) was reeling from the war damage to plantations and trade and business was slow to recover. The colonial government was poor and looking at any avenues for revenue. The vast amounts of war scrap was an obvious one. The government could earn revenues from royalties from the export of scrap. In 1953, the British Solomons Government offered the Kikuzuki wreck for sale, but were duly informed by the trading company W.R. Carpenter & Co., Ltd., that they already owned the wreck. Carpenter’s claim was based on a contract of sale dated 20th March 1946 with the U.S. Government for all the abandoned scrap or salvage of the Tulagi Naval Base. Incidentally, at the time,  the BSIP government referred to the Kikuzuki as “Japanese destroyer no. DD-23”.


Kikuzuki Abandoned 1944-45

The Kikuzuki in final abandoned position late 1944 – 1945. Note the stern bent upwards. The aerial torpedo from the Torpedo Five Squadron TBD-1 Devastator aircraft hit just abaft the No. 4 gun mount on May 4, 1942. This was one of very few torpedo hits scored by the Devastator during WWII. The TBD was not an old aircraft, but it’s final appearance was a month later at the Battle of Midway where it was slaughtered by Japanese fighters.

kikuzuki with canvas 1945 sml

View to the South of abandoned Kikuzuki circa 1945 evidently being used for storage at the time. Courtesy Peter Flahavin. [NARA 80-G-K-6108]

Five years later, the BSIP government again put up a Tender Notice for the “right to salvage and dispose” of the Japanese destroyer. The government had clearly in the meantime been doing some homework and in an official letter dated 26 October 1957, rejected Carpenter’s ownership claim, stating, “Government has obtained copies of the contract to which you refer and has taken legal advice, as a result of which it appears that the destroyer is in fact the property of this government”. The letter further stated, “Under United Kingdom law, which applies in the protectorate by virtue of Article 20 of the Pacific Order in Council 1893, unclaimed wrecks off the coast belong to the crown”. With the ownership details cleared, the government proceeded to re-tender the salvage rights. The destroyer was described by the government of the day… “vessels such as this constitute a nuisance in protectorate waters. They also represent a potential source of revenue. For these reasons the Government is anxious to see the vessel dismantled and sold”.  In a Tender Notice dated 15th September 1958, the noticed called for tenders to be submitted in a sealed envelope marked “Japanese Destroyer” and addressed to “The Secretary of the Tender Board, Western Pacific High Commission, Honiara, British Solomon Islands Protectorate”. The closing time for tenders was 4pm, 11th November 1958. Between 1945 until 1958, nothing much appears to have happened to the wreck, commercial salvage-wise. That was just about to change.

In tendering for the Kikuzuki, bidders had to take into account the costs to salvage the wreck and the ongoing export duties/royalties on every ton exported. A schedule accompanying the Tender Notice detailed the royalties & duties. Export duties on ferrous metals were A25/- per ton and non-ferrous metals was “15 per centum ad valorem f.o.b. value of metal”. In addition, royalties were also payable: ferrous metals A25/- per ton and non-ferrous metals…5 per centum ad valorem f.o.b. value of the metal.

One bidder was local man Jack Gaskell, who’s family had been associated with the Florida Islands for decades. He submitted a tender of 10 pounds the day before closing. His offer was rejected. The tender winner was Major (his actual Christian name) I. “Dick” Harper who operated and leased nearby Mandoliana Island plantation. Dick Harper was a returned servicemen from World War One and during the Second World War in the Solomons served in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve as a Warrant Officer. With his expert pre-war hydrographic knowledge of the Solomons waters, he spent three years piloting US Navy vessels in the region. The Americans awarded him the Order of Merit. However, as one historian stated, “Dick Harper was never known as a hard worker” and tried various occupations in the Solomons including selling postage stamps. For the next decade, Dick Harper would work the wreck of the Kikuzuki periodically. The non-ferrous was particularly sought after. Brass valves, fittings, copper piping were the pick of salvage. Dick Harper also used explosives to demolish the main guns to extract the non-ferrous fittings.

In the early 1970’s in lieu of settling a debt, Dick Harper ceded his salvage rights to Australian salvager Wally Gibbins who had obtained salvage concessions for other wrecks in the area. Part of the salvage Dick had in mind when he brought the salvage license was the valuable non-ferrous propellers, which he still hadn’t salvaged when he ceded the rights, probably due to the difficulty of them being heavily buried underwater in the mangrove mud of Tokyo Bay. Wally Gibbins didn’t waste much time and started his divers on digging for the props. One of the divers was Brian Bailey. He describes working very hard in pitch black, liquid mud, digging a big hole under the stern of the Kikuzuki. The hole sides kept collapsing and it was difficult to tell what orientation you were in. At the time, the real identity of the wreck was still unknown, and it was simply known as the “Jap destroyer”. Groping through the pitch blackness, Brian would find the end of one shaft with no propeller on the end! When Wally asked Brian to dig for the other prop, Brian told Wally where to go!

So there were no lucrative bronze props to be had from the “Jap destroyer”. Most of the non-ferrous had already been salvaged, so Wally & co., got very little, if anything salvage-wise from the Kikuzuki. From about 1973, no further salvage work  was conducted on the wreck.

The Kikuzuki with it’s deck low to the surface of the water has made a useful jetty occasionally. In the 1950s, possibly 1960’s, an old schooner was tied alongside the port side, and this sank in the same position and still there today. About 1972, after Wally’s disappointing attempt to recover the props, Wally tied his recently hired salvage vessel alongside for safe keeping. The vessel, previously named Coronation, was of 1902 vintage from New Zealand, built of wood and 138 gross tons, and now called Tamahae and in poor condition. Due to finance issues, all Wally could do was tie up the old ship for the moment. The quiet calm backwater alongside Kikuzuki’s post side was ideal. A native crew of two were left aboard to keep pumps going and take care of her. Not long after, the Tamahae slowly filled with water and sank onto some sharp object, reportedly a steel protrusion from the destroyer, which pierced the hull bottom. The owner of Tamahae, Dr. Ken Hutton, flew up from New Zealand to inspect the Tamahae, which was declared a total loss. The 1902 motor vessel still lies on the mud alongside the Kikuzuki’s port side along with the old schooner.

It is surprising the Kikuzuki was not completely salvaged for steel scrap. On Guadalcanal in the early 1960’s, a Hong Kong-based firm cut down the beached Japanese transports on Guadalcanal to about 25 feet under water, as that was the limit of their hookah gear. The Kikuzuki was very shallow (sea floor about 20 feet deep) and could have been easily worked, but probably because her salvage rights ended up in Dick Harper’s hands, the Kikuzuki survived to some degree. It is known that in the mid-1960’s, the price of steel had dropped, which occurred about the time of Dick Harper’s tenure, so the Kikuzuki ferrous scrap was probably uneconomic to work too.

Salvagers of the Kikuzuki sister-ship the Nagatsuki, describe the brass, bronze and copper salvage on this class of destroyer as particularly lucrative as they were steam driven with a mass of copper piping in the engine rooms.


kikuzuki 1945 wdrums sml


The colours in this official US Navy photograph have deteriorated since it was taken circa 1945. Note the torpedo davit on the left. Evidently the destroyer is being used by the Americans for storage (as per the drum stack) and a canvas spread over the forward torpedo mount and the No. 1 gun provides shade from the scorching tropical sun. The black oil waterline marks are still quite evident on the aft stack. The convenience of the Kikuzuki’s main deck being close to the sea surface has lent itself to storage- a small boat can pull alongside and load up rather easily. Courtesy Peter Flahavin. [NARA 80-G-K-6103].

Archaeological Significance and Status
The Kikuzuki was one of 12 units in the Mutsuki destroyer class. She is one of three of this class sunk in the Solomons. The others are Nagatsuki off Kolombangara Island and Mutsuki herself North of Santa Isabel. The Kikuzuki is one of very few Japanese destroyers from WWII which you can view from above the sea surface. She is the largest and most easily visible evidence of the Battle of the Coral Sea. She is the first significant naval site of WWII in the Solomon Islands.

The Kikuzuki has lasted a long time due to it being located in a calm backwater site. It is interesting to compare this site to the sister ship Nagatsuki off Kolombangara island. The hull of the Kikuzuki is fairly complete and whole…the Nagatsuki is a scattered debris field. The Nagatsuki site is an exposed coastal site and periodically gets pounded by wave action.

Destroyers are often called “tins cans” because they have no armour and are basically high speed motorboats with big guns. To attain the speed they have massive engines and much of the destroyer is taken up by engine spaces. They are thirsty on fuel. They are also built of thin steel plate, and on the Kikuzuki, due to corrosion this is now very thin and much plating has broken through. On wrecks that are partially above water, the mechanical action of sea water movement around the waterline acts like a guillotine and cuts the above water structure off. This has occurred to the Kikuzuki site. The superstructure, guns, and fittings have fallen into the hull. The topsides have severed along the waterline due corrosion and fallen off. The prominent forecastle was intact until about 1986 when it failed along the water line and canted over to the starboard side. (See photos).

The wreck is orientated with it’s stern to shore.

No under water survey or detailed archaeological survey has been done on this site.

Due to the dirty, un-inviting water at the site, no snorkelling or diving is done on the wreck. Probably the last time the wreck was SCUBA dived was in the early 1970’s by Brian Bailey during the attempt to salvage the propellers whilst working for Wally Gibbins.

Saltwater crocodiles are occasionally seen sunning themselves on the wreck- another deterrent to swimming and in-water survey of the site!. These crocodiles still frequent the area today.

Kikuzuki 1975

July 17, 1975: Port side of the 1926 destroyer Kikuzuki with the even older (1902 vintage) salvage vessel Tamahae sunk alongside. Australian salvager Wally Gibbins had hired the old New Zealand motor vessel for salvage work in the area and due to neglect sank alongside Kikuzuki about three years before the photograph was taken. Visitors to the wreck would be well advised to keep their vessel clear of this port side due to possible obstructions from the now sub-surface wreckage of the Tamahae. Photo as published p. 23, After the Battle Magazine, Issue 18, 1977. Courtesy of William H. Bartsch

Archaeological future
The wreck will continue to slowly corrode. The thin steel plate is now (2011) corroded away completely in many areas on this 85 year old wreck. All the superstructure has collapsed and most of the main deck. One effective way to halt the corrosion is to attach zinc blocks but it will be a long time before that will happen in the 3rd world poor Solomon Islands. It probably will never happen. At this stage, the deck has largely corroded away. The hull appears quite whole, but as corrosion progresses the hull will implode inwards and form a heap of collapsed plates. The whole ferrous mass of corroded products will slowly sink deeper into the mangrove mud, and nothing will be seen from the surface. Additional silt entrapment will gradually bury the wreck. As the wreck deteriorates below the sea surface, the site will become un-interesting and less visited. It’s value as an attraction will reduce.

Ecological Threat
There is no apparent oil leakage from the site today. It is unknown how much fuel oil was aboard the Kikuzuki when she was hit by VT-5’s torpedo, but it is highly likely the battle damage removed some oil at the time. As the sunken wreck lay in Halavo Bay, there does not appear to be significant oil leakage as nothing noticeable is seen in wartime aerial photos of the area. The wreck on the bottom of Halavo Bay does not appear to have been located by oil rising from her. The ship had a capacity of 420 tons of oil fuel. During the many  months of extensive salvage operations on the Kikuzuki by the Americans in 1943, it is also likely the fuel oil was pumped out and either used or pump over the side. The thin steel plates used to construct the ship are severely corroded and the gradual perforation of fuel bunkers through corrosion means small amounts of oil leaches out slowly over a prolonged period of time. There has been no direct assessment for oil threat for this site.

It is unknown what occurred to the ammunition stowed in lockers and magazines aboard the Kikuzuki. It is likely some of the ammunition was recovered for US Naval Intelligence purposes. It seems unlikely that with all the close scrutiny, salvage work and visitations surrounding the Kikuzuki, the Americans would leave such a dangerous cargo aboard. The Kikuzuki was dry docked twice in Port Purvis. It seems unlikely the Americans would risk having this damaged enemy destroyer full of ammunition in a valuable dry dock.


Kikuzuki Don Cook -1985

The forecastle has severed along the tide line and toppled over to starboard and No. 1 gun mount is partially submerged. The Number One 120mm calibre gun barrel which was resting on the breakwater, has presumably slid over the side and now on the seabed in the vicinity.  Photo taken about 1985. Courtesy Don P. Cook


doncook63 sml

The brackets around the top of the hull near the top are for supporting the degaussing cabling which was designed to neutralise the ship’s magnetic field and thus make it immune to magnetically activated mines. Presumably Dick Harper salvaged this in the 1960’s for the lucrative copper content?. Some modern white graffiti adorns the stem. Photo taken about 1985. Courtesy of Don P. Cook.

The author gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of the Nautical Research Guild, Western Pacific High Commission Archives, Brian Bailey, Ian Gardiner, Charles R. Haberlein, William H. Bartsch, Peter Flahavin, Don Cook, Theodore C. Mason, Charles W. Miller, Peter Woodbury, William Davis and Ian Farquhar in preparing the brief history above.

We Will Stand By You: Serving in the Pawnee, 1942-1945 by Theodore C. Mason, University of Carolina Press, 269pp, 1990.
The Captain Loved the Sea by Emile C. Genereaux, Nautical Research Journal, 1970
Bibliography of the Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands WWII Campaigns by Ewan Stevenson, Archaehistoria, 491pp, January 2010.
Kikuzuki TROM
A Teen-ager sails the world alone by Robin Lee Graham National Geographic (October 1968): pp. 445-470
Warship International No. 2 (1982): pp. 107-110
Mutsuki-class destroyer refloated. CINCPAC Weekly Intelligence Vol. 1, No.4 (6 August 1944)
Diving Log, USN Diver Charles W. Miller, Shipfitter 1st Class, Salvage Diver, USS Menominee (AT-73)

Request for Information would be most grateful for any information regarding the Kikuzuki. Any photographs, wartime reports, anecdotes, sketches, intelligence reports would be very helpful to complete the story of the Kikuzuki. Information on the MUTSUKI destroyer class would be greatly appreciated.



Kikuzuki 1985 Portside sml

Port side looking aft. Note brackets for degaussing cabling along topsides. Photo taken about 1985. Courtesy Don P. Cook


doncook64 1985 sml 


Looking aft along the portside main deck. Note the tide range in the area is about three feet. At the top of the tide the main deck is or almost awash. Photo taken about 1985. Courtesy of Don P. Cook.


Kikuzuki 1993

Kikuzuki 1993

Aerial photographs of the Kikuzuki wreckage taken in 1993. Note the underwater wreckage of the salvage vessel Tamahae off the port bow. The wreckage to the extreme right of one photograph and well aft of the stern of the Kikuzuki is unidentified. The Tokyo Bay (Ghovana Bay) area was used as a dumping ground for derelict water craft. Some of these craft were uneconomic to repair during the war so were abandoned in the area. Courtesy Lennie Palmer



©Ewan M. Stevenson.

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