IJN OITE DESTROYER
The IJN OITE was a Kamikaze Class destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched November 27, 1924. She was built by Uraga of Osaka and was the first class to have a reinforced bridge for protection. The ship's name means "Favorable Wind" in Japanese.
OITE had left Truk prior to the "Hailstone" attack, as an escort for a group of ships including the cruiser Agano, bound for Guam. When the ships were about 200 NM from Truk, the Agano was sunk by the U. S. submarine Skate. The OITE and other ships picked up the survivors and then returned to Truk to help defend against the attack. She now had nearly 400 men onboard, including the Captain of the Agano.
The ships entered the North passage when American "Hellcat" fighter aircraft from the carrier USS Bunker Hill caught her and began to attack. The OITE had very little ammunition onboard for the transit to Guam, but defended against the strafing aircraft. During one of these attacks, the OITE’s Captain LCDR Uono was killed, after which the Agano’s Captain took command.
IJN Oite attempts to avoid two torpedoes off her bow. (USNA)
The U.S. fighters called in five "Avenger" torpedo bombers who began a coordinated attack putting a torpedo into OITE aft of the bridge. The explosion was devastating and the OITE broke in two and sank immediately. Only a few sailors survived. She now lies in over 210 fsw.
IJN Oite sinks. The bow is near the oil slick and the stern between the white and black smoke.
IJN OITE KAMIKAZE CLASS DESTROYER: Displacement: 1270 tons; Length: 336 feet; Beam: 32 feet; Engine: 4 Kanpon Boilers on 2 Uraga geared turbines, 2 shafts; Max Speed: 37.25 kts. Mission: Escort / Transport. Armament: 4-4.7" .50 cal dual purpose guns; 2-7.7 MM and 6-25 MM anti-aircraft guns; 6-21" torpedoes in 3 X 2 launchers; mines. Crew: 148.