Those who play Kantai Collection know very well they are named after actual battleships that served the Imperial Japanese Navy, predecessor of the modern Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces. Some of them are anthropomorphized based on actual ship characteristics, incidents and events, giving the girls behavior that are truly unique and historical.
Some Kantai Collection players, especially Filipino players, know very well some of the ship girls’ historical counterparts featured met their ultimate fate in the Philippines, and the girls seems to be aware of it as well.
Here’s a list of those ship girls that sunk primarily in waters considered to be well within Philippine territory.
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Abukuma has an operating history of bumping with Kitakami, resulting in an untimely repair. However, she went on to serve the Japanese Navy and even accompanied major aircraft carriers and battleships.
On October 26, 1944, Abukuma was bombed by B-24 Liberator bombers, in the area of Negros Islands, resulting in sinking from chain reaction of exploding torpedoes inside her.
Her wreck remains unexplored to this day. On the other hand, she is reincarnated as a destroyer escort class of her own name in the modern JMSDF.
Akebono is tsundere and will call her Admiral names, and will go as far as daring her “Kuso Teitoku (crappy admiral)” to expel her. Yet, Akebono’s reason behind this demeanor is how her historical counterpart has been treated badly, being blamed for follies in operations and being branded a jinx. She also was unable to protect her sister ship Sazanami and had the misfortune of scuttling[What’s that?] fellow warship Mogami. Her demeanor turned off some Kancolle Admirals and either treated her as Abyssal meatshield, upgrade fodder or instantly scrapped her upon acquisition. But there are other Kancolle Admirals that sees through the hostility and gave her a chance to perform, which pays off in her ingame 2nd remodel. She also starts opening up when she gets remodeled, her cursing becoming more of an affectionate thing, somewhat similar to Michishio.
Akebono’s wreck is never reported to be seen. Some say it still lies in Manila Bay, but some report it was allegedly refloated and subsequently scrapped. Disputes whether it is located in Cavite or Manila Bay persists. A likely reason for scrapping such ships in Manila Bay is that it is a major shipping area nowadays and the presence of such wrecks in the wrong areas would become a navigational hazard. That however, may be modified by the country’s law specifically for shipwrecks and similar sites, the Republic Act 10066, aka. National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
RA 10066 essentially prevents incidents like what befell the wreckage of Haguro and Kuma in Malaysian waters in 2014.
Akebono later is given yet another chance to perform well, under the newer JMSDF, as a destroyer escort, until she was retired in 1976.
Akebono’s wreck site, along with Kiso, Nachi and Satsuki, are the closest Kancolle-related IJN shipwreck sites in Metro Manila. And they’re not that deep either.
Ah, the shipgirl who made sketches, something explored in doujinshi content. In Kancolle fan lore, Akigumo is the mangaka, often accompanied with shenanigans. That’s because the original ship’s crew had tendencies of sketching out events on paper, particularly the sinking of USS Hornet. She was hit by torpedoes of USS Redfin SS-272 and sunk on April 11, 1944.
If it’s any consolation, the area of Zamboanga is picturesque, perhaps why she wanted a sketch of the area where she sunk.
Although some may question of the islands of Zamboanga from above looks like a leg or something more… unmentionable.
Aimed to be the successor of Akashi, she had repair capabilities added, on top of being a seaplane tender, meaning she could launch airplanes that were at the same time, boats. However, in regards of her being a repair ship, she didn’t stay around for long, as she was sunk by US Task Force 38 on Coron Bay on September 23, 1944; The exact location is at Culion & Busuanga Islands, near Manglet Island.
US forces discovered her wreckage almost a year later, lying on her port side, on a bearing of 290 degrees in 36m/119ft of water. Eversince, her wreckage has been a very popular diving spot. Many other non-combat IJN ships lies in the vicinity, also notable and popular wreckage dive sites in their own right. Among them is Irako, a food ship. Ingame, Irako is a NPC that can uplift the shipgirls’ overall morale, an important factor.
A video of Akitsushima’s wreckage exploration can be viewed here.
Some sources name her the Akitsushima Maru, which would be wrong. However, a few of her other compatriot wreckages have identity problems, some of them are still not correctly identified, as in the case of the Morazan Wreck and the Tangat Wreck, both speculated to be the Olympia Maru.
Her second reincarnation is as a Yamagumo class destroyer of the JMSDF, until her retirement in 1998.
This Kamikaze-class ship did not ram another ship in a suicide attack, but rather she was a convoy loss while accompanying other ships en route to Manila on August 23, 1944, from the torpedos of USN submarine USS Haddo. After being hit, she was taken in tow by one of the ships in the convoy, the tanker Nijō Maru but sank southwest of Cape Bolinao, Luzon, Philippines by dawn.
Damage control was implemented on Asakaze, enabling her to float a little longer, and long enough for her entire crew to make it out all alive.
At least all her fairies get to fight another day. Her wreckage remains undisturbed to this day, but there’s diving groups in Bolinao, and it might not belong before her wreck becomes divable, except it’s a bit distant from land.
But wait, why is Kamikaze associated with suicide attacks?
That would be Takijiro Onishi’s doing, who coined the term, though he originally opposed it. He decided to have airplane pilots crashland into targets to inflict bigger damage, but at the price of the life of the pilot. He made this decision in Clark Air Base during his visit on October 19, 1944.
However, this did not prevent the atomic bombs from laying waste on Japan and causing his country’s surrender. After Japan’s unconditional surrender, he committed seppuku without the assistance of a kaishakunun, who would’ve behead him out of his 15-hour-long misery (he agonized for 15 hours until finally dying), telling in his suicide note that every war survivor should strive for peace, and that his suicide is penance for all the lives he sent to their deaths.
She and Maya is currently untouched due to the depth of their wreckage. Not to be confused with Atago Maru, which is located in Sarawak, Malaysia.
Atago is reborn as a guided missile destroyer of the JMSDF of her own class and lived again in March 15, 2007. Her new incarnation ran into controversy due to wrongful destruction of a civilian fishing boat attributed to her.
The wreck’s depth is comparable to going atop the Himalayas. Special diving vehicles will be required for such a depth, which was already successfully attempted as early as 2012 by film director James Cameron, at 10000 meters.
Beyond the depths of the Philippine Trench, Choukai reincarnates as a Kongou-class destroyer of the JMSDF, on March 20, 1998.
Sunken with all hands lost, including survivors from Choukai, whom she scuttled after, on October 27, 1944, 9:15 AM, from a torpedo explosion brought by swarms of aircraft from USS Franklin (some accounts also mention USS Essex also sending planes against her). She was originally sent to help Hayashimo.
Her wreckage rests just near Shiranui’s, who sank later after her. Due to the proximity of the wreck site from land, her wreckage is undisturbed and may need special equipment to explore.
The unlucky enigma of one of the Nishimura fleet still remains mysterious, though her sister ship Yamashiro have been somewhat discovered. She was sunken on October 24, 1944. How is she unlucky? Her name is a pun of being unlucky (historically and name-wise), because Fusou is sometimes branded as “Fukou”, the word “Unlucky” in Japanese. In reality, she is named after a flora that became the basis of the ancient name of Japan. Her name is also used by Mitsubishi Motors’ truck production division.
Her survivors, like other ships that sunk in the Philippines, were either rescued by other ships or refused rescue, and attempted to swim ashore, only to meet an untimely end at the hands of angry Filipinos eager to return the cruel favor.
In connection, Filipino guerrillas hiding in the mountains are a nightmare to Imperial Japanese troops, choosing to sleep aboard ships rather than on land, for the fear of an ambush.
Upgraded yet struck down by air raids in Manila Bay on November 13, 1944. Her wreck is implied to be still present in Manila Bay, unlike other ships such as Akebono. However, it is later shown that her wreckage is cleared out as well. Her wreckage site also is near that of Okinami’s.
Hayashimo in her state got stranded in Semirara Island, in the vicinity of Caluya, Antique, on October 26, 1944. The Imperial Japanese Navy wanted to still revive her but gave up two months later. US Forces retrieved things of interest from Hayashimo, and her fate is rumored to be that she’s progressively sinking in the shallow waters there, and easily accessible to divers in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Island.
It is highly likely that the ‘one wreck of an engine of a WWII Japanese patrol boat’ advertised widely in Puerto Galera belongs to Hayashimo, now a popular diving spot.
To say Hayasui’s role is to be simply an oil tanker is to take her work lightly. She was not just any tanker. She also provided aviation fuel, fresh water, food and manpower. Even today, such ships would be held in high regard in any navies next to repair ships.
Japanese Kantai Collection players have made fun of Hayasui right after her release. In Kanji, 速 (haya) means fast, as in speedy fast, and (吸) sui pertains to suction. Put two together like the Japanese did and you get fast suction. And that’s a euphemism for a blowjob. And yes, there’s rule 34 of Hayasui right away.
She was sunk on August 19, 1944, in two torpedo strikes from USS Bluefish, a submarine. Her wreckage lies to the west of the Philippines, specifically fronting Vigan City in Ilocos Sur. Her wreckage barely reaches territorial waters and is close to the country’s EEZ waters.
The last to sink among the Akatsuki class in World War II, Inazuma was sunk in the vicinity of Celebes Sea, in Tawi Tawi, barely close to Sabah, a disputed island currently occupied by Malaysia. Her wreck remains unexplored by civilian divers.
Only Hibiki, who rescued her survivors, lived on long after the war as a warship for Russia (USSR back in the day) before being decommissioned and sunken much later due to obsolescence, to become a diving attraction in Russia.
Inazuma fortunately reincarnates not once, but twice. Her first reincarnation was under her sister ship Ikazuchi’s class name, as a destroyer escort, in the newer JMSDF. Both served from 1956 to 1977, with Ikazuchi retiring earlier. Her second coming is as a JMSDF ship under the Murasame class on the year 2000, with Ikazuchi following the same path a year later. We can tell Inazuma is happy she lives right now in a time of peace. Well, if you don’t count current territorial hostilities, Islam Extremists or the War on Terror.
Inazuma’s sterling reputation for rescuing enemy forces, humane treatment in spite of being a prisoner of war, and later turning them over to appropriate entities was later emulated by sister ship Ikazuchi, who risked enemy fire from attempting the rescue. After the war, these two ships would become the symbol of hope amidst conflict, and for Ikazuchi, her captain, Shunsaku Kudo, who decided wars are irrelevant when humanitarian matters is at hand, honored. Kudo’s feat was only revealed long after his death, by a British national, a former prisoner of war who recounted humane treatment by Kudo and his crew aboard Ikazuchi. The Japanese people and government celebrated the rather-treasonous act (putting it at a wartime perspective) as one of the ultimate examples of human compassion.
Kantai Collection makes major references to the feat in Inazuma and Ikazuchi’s personality.
Whilist escorting fellow warships Myoko and Haguro from Davao to support Biak troop operations, she was torpedoed by, yes, you guessed it right, a submarine. USS Hake was the one who was responsible for her sinking, on June 8, 1944.
Just about every IJN destroyers in Kantai Collection have a deathly phobia towards submarines. That’s because nearly every destroyer in the IJN fleet were sunk by one. This was caused by a tactcial underestimation of the USN forces, because initially they had faulty torpedos, which was suddenly corrected later on, catching the IJN off-guard. As early as World War I, anti-submarine warfare became very important, but did not technologically mature significantly until World War II, with techniques shared by the USN and Allied forces. It became especially important long after World War II and in the cold war, and not just for Japan, but for all navies in the world, as submarine technology became even more stealthy, dangerous with potentially massively-destructive payloads, and significantly-increased submersion duration. Helicopter destroyers specializing in anti-submarine warfare became standard issue in major navies, and the JMSDF has plenty of these in their fleet.
After being bombarded by forces from a US escort carrier whose namesake is where the likes of Akebono sunk in, Kinu sank on October 25, 1944 southwest of Masbate. She sank by the stern in 150 feet (46 m) of water.
US Forces explored her wreckage a year later and retrieved classified articles from it. It would be safe to say her wreckage is accessible to divers.
Kiso was abandoned in Manila Bay after being swarmed by aircraft attacks and rendered a sitting duck in November 13, 1944. Her wreckage can be viewed in plain sight for years. On December 15, 1955, 11 years after the war, her wreckage was refloated for scrapping in the harbor of Manila by Nippon Salvage Company.
One of the most accessible wrecks at only 102 feet of water would have to be Kumano’s, somewhere near Zambales. Sunken on November 25, 1944 from being attacked while under repair, even some US forces felt sorry for her. Her contents were recovered by US Navy salvers.
Doubleteamed by two submarines of US forces, she sank in the waters of Surigao Strait on October 25, 1944. And when we say Surigao Strait, it’s the same water where Fusou and Yamashiro is in, and you won’t be likely to see her wreckage for now, as the Surigao Strait has reportedly unpredictable waters and poor visibility underwater, and the remoteness of the location doesn’t help either. Only Yamashiro had some semblance of sighting confirmation so far.
Similar to Akebono, she tends to call her Admiral names, but these quickly mellow down at higher levels or provisional marriage.
Ah, poor Mogami, taken advantage of her clumsiness by US forces after realizing she was crippled, from colliding with Nachi. After absorbing airstrikes and torpedos, she was scuttled in Surigao Strait on October 25, 1944 by Akebono, to rest in an area east of Bohol islands. Her wreckage remains undisturbed to this day.
Musashi is what everyone calls, a tough girl. It took several torpedoes and airstrikes before she totally sunk. The US Navy seemed to have taken note and used a more efficient version of their strike against Musashi to later take down her sister ship Yamato, doing so with fewer ordnance.
As if by fate, Paul Allen’s team found her 70 years later, rekindling not hostility, but pride, whether for friends or former foes. Allen’s group, the Japanese government and certain Japanese civilians and even a Filipino group based in Romblon were all looking for Musashi’s wreckage, as early as decades ago. Everybody, including Kantai Collection celebrated the recent discovery as well.
There’s a tag in Pixiv, an artwork site in Japan that is dedicated to Musashi’s discovery, Kancolle related or otherwise.
Musashi was found in a depth not accessible to divers, and an unmanned ROV had to be used to explore her wreckage. Her map coordinates of wreckage were then unclear until the discovery.
Making it worse is that her wreck got salvaged extensively by US forces, and part of her wreck sticking out in shallow waters got blasted. She was scrapped later, ironically, by a Japanese salvage company. Yup, there’s nothing of Nachi left in Manila Bay, sadly.
Sunken by aircrafts of US Task Force 38 on November 10, 1944, along with Shimakaze. She lies in Ormoc Bay and theoretically would also be at 250m in depth. The depth would be stretching the limits of any scuba diver. Her wreckage coordinates remains a mere estimate, as with Shimakaze’s.
A gallant ship to the end, Noshiro succumbed to airstrikes and torpedo hits on October 26, 1944. Her wreckage is north of Maniguin Island Lighthouse and lies some distance, roughly 30km to the west of the famous Boracay Island.
A survivor of The Battle of Midway, and among the fleet of destroyers that scuttled aircraft carrier Akagi after being damaged beyond repair. Sunken during the Batlle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944 by U.S. cruisers and torpedoes from USS Owen. Sunk together with survivors of Chikuma. Wreckage currently undisturbed.
Unlike most Yuugumo destroyers listed here, she took her fall in Manila Bay, November 13, 1944, according to war records. Weirdly enough, a video showing her partly-submerged wreckage claimed she was in Coron Island and totally sunk there.
Said video shows another wreckage- Possibly Hatsuharu’s, since their proximity isn’t that far, and at times, are shown to be near if not the exact same spot.
She was possibly scrapped along with the other wreckages in Manila Bay due to being navigational hazards. Today, Manila Bay is well-known for being a busy shipping lane, along with its picturesque and world-famous sunset scene.
Sunken by air raids within Manila Bay on September 21, 1944. Wreckage status unknown, possibly refloated already and scrapped after the war as the area is now a busy shipping lane and such wrecks, especially in the case of Nachi, would pose a navigational hazard.
It’s a fate immortalized in a hentai doujinshi or two.
Shimakaze’s wreck has been pinpointed to be in an area where Naganami and two others sunk too. There has been an attempt to dive to it in 2009, being at 250 meters underwater of Ormoc Bay. However, this dive never materialized due to adverse conditions. Had it continued, it would be credited under Rob LaLumiere, who previously located and paid tribute to USS Cooper in the same area. LaLumiere would have broken the safe deepest possible underwater diving depth record ever attempted.
Shimakaze reincarnates in the modern JMSDF also as a destroyer, in the newer Hatakaze class.
Sunken while trying to save Hayashimo, on October 27, 1944. Rests in an area south of Sibuyan Island, and currently unexplored. Just above her northeast of Sibuyan Island is Musashi. Fujinami also rests nearby her.
She collided with a compatriot oil tanker, Seiyo Maru, on the night of June 15, 1944. The collision detonated her depth charges and decimated her crew, including the captain.
Her damage art reflects what a collision would looks like for ship girls, and reflects her real-life counterpart’s fate. We aren’t sure if her real life counterpart’s keel is painted white though.
She sank in action during the Battle of Samar on October 25, 1944, at 27600 ft under surface (8410m), making her wreck site inaccessible. She lies at the Philippine Trench along with Choukai, a stark contrast compared to her sister Kumano, who sank at an accessible depth.
Sunk in action, June 9, 1944 in Sibutu Passage, Tawi-Tawi, by USS Harder (SS-257), the same submarine which had claimed both the Minazuki and Hayanami only days prior. Like the neighboring wreckage of Inazuma, no word about her exploration or discovery currently exists, though there’s a wreckage of a Japanese plane in the vicinity.
Sunken by a compendium of aircrafts from various US Navy ships (that would be USS Manila Bay, Marcus Island, Natoma Bay, and Petrof Bay), amounting to around 80, on the noon of October 26. She was already under attack as early as morning, and succumbed to the damage inflicted.
A curious case about Uranami is that Kinu is just nearby. And Kinu was already explored before, putting their depths in the range reachable to divers, but with some caveats.
Ambushed and torpedoed December 12, 1944, by several US PT boats, west of Palompon, Leyte. Possibly unexplored yet, but other wreck in the vicinity are more prominently explored, particularly the controversial MV Doña Paz.
Wakaba was sunk by aircraft from USS Franklin (CV-13), struck by one or two bombs off the west coast of Panay, on October 24, 1944. Wreckage coordinates were found to be near the shores of Sibay Island, south of Semirara, and in close proximity to Boracay Island. Puzzlingly, no word about her wreckage is mentioned.
Wakaba reincarnates from one vessel of a fellow IJN ship, Nashi, to be one of the JMSDF’s starting ships. Nashi was earlier sunk in 1945, but was salvaged and refitted to become the newer JDS Wakaba in 1954, and re-enters service in 1956. Her newer incarnation sees her as one of the largest ship in the newly-reorganized naval arm until her decommissioning on March 31, 1971, and scrapping a year later.
She was part of Admiral Shōji Nishimura’s “Southern Force”. On October 25, 1944, in the Battle of Surigao Strait, she was hit by torpedoes fired by USS McDermut (DD-677), and exploded, sinking with all hands. Her location too is an enigma along with Fusou and Yamashiro, and even her wreck site spot is a mere estimate.
Yamashiro’s wreck, along with Fuso, remains an enigma among warship connoisseurs, and their precise location on the seabed, remains unknown. Even their timeline on who sunk first is still being fiercely debated. There’s growing interest in the two sister ships, as several attempts have been already been done to find the wreckage and did find a silhouette and affirmative radar scans that would confirm her location. The most recent was by John Bennet, who have gone close to Yamashiro. Unfortunately, the would-be discoverer mysteriously disappeared while in a routine diving in South Korea. In his disappearance, the interest for the unlucky sister ships intensified, piquing the interest of many divers, among them, Cedric Verdier. Wreckage visuals are yet to be established, and only Verdier has seen either her or Fusou with his own two eyes, so far the only mortal to set sight on Yamashiro since her sinking.
The quest to learn the truth about Fusou and particularly, Yamashiro continues inside and out of the diving scene, history, and even Kantai Collection and World of Warships.
And there you have it, lists of the shipgirls that are in generally considered to be Philippine sovereign waters. Stick around for part 2, for those that are beyond sovereign waters but are within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Reactions, comments, corrections and updates are welcome.
REFERENCES AND SOURCES:
Cover Image: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=49075527
Wreckage Information: http://www.combinedfleet.com, http://deeptecthailand.com/the_yamashiro_project/.htm and others
Illustrations: http://kancolle.wikia.com and others
4-17-2017: Added Yuugumo-class destroyer Fujinami. She was implemented months ago. Also updated Musashi’s wreck coordinates based on approximation from Paul Allen’s information. Updated Satsuki’s and Akebono’s damaged art and damage quote, while tweaking her’s, Choukai’s (as Fujinami scuttled her) and Michishio’s description.
11-28-2016: Added newly-implemented Kamikaze-class Destroyer Asakaze. She has another sister ship who also sank in Luzon, but still unimplemented.
9-18-2016: Added new potato-class… err Fubuki-class ship Uranami, who sunk in Masbate along with Kinu. Also Suzuya’s caption disappeared, and was restored.
5-12-2016: Hibiki, in her final incarnation as an Akatsuki-class destroyer, as Decembrist, is confirmed to have been sunken instead of scrapped, and thus, her note in Inazuma’s description is updated to reflect this information.
2-15-2016: Matched damage quotes to reflect official ones.
2-11-2016: Added newly-implemented Yuugumo destroyer Okinami, and tweaked Hatsuharu and Akigumo’s description.
8-11-2015: Added newly-implemented Oil Tanker Hayasui, alerted by a reader. Reworded Akitsushima’s caption to reflect her role, as well as add the fact Irako is among the shipwrecks in Coron.
8-10-2015: Added newly-implemented Destroyer Kazagumo.
6-24-2015: Rewrote Fusou’s caption and updated her image.
4-28-2015: Added newly-implemented Seatender Akitsushima.