From: Oregon, USA
November 30, 1944
Attached to: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
As we approach the second anniversary of this tale it seems like a good time to once again post a dramatis personae.
Lieutenant Commander Hagumu Ishii, Captain. He is from Hyogo Prefecture and has a granddaughter, Sachiko, born after the start of the war.
Lieutenant Sakamoto Miharu, Executive Officer. His home is in Kanazawa. Taught Japanese at Annapolis for a year in the 1930’s. Has a new baby daughter, Yuriko, born October 1944.
Lieutenant Sakati, Chief Engineer. Trained at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. A man who knows and appreciates fine liquor.
Lieutenant Sugiyura, Chief Torpedo Officer. Martial artist and the most aggressive of Hibiki’s officers.
Lieutenant Kuwaki, Chief Gunnery Officer. Promoted to full lieutenant since the start of the war.
Lieutenant JG Nakagawa, ship’s medical officer. A veterinarian before entering the navy.
Lieutenant JG Kataoka, paymaster. Slightly plump and perhaps just a bit of a rogue at heart.
Ensign Handa, small boat specialist. His war of practical jokes with Ensign Izu got out of hand for a while, but the two became good friends. Transferred to battleship Musashi in August 1943, killed in action November 1944.
Ensign Tomio Izu. Amateur ornithologist, his father is a colonel in the Army.
Ensign Konada. Handa’s uptight replacement, is learning that substance is more important than style.
Chief Petty Officer Shun. From Okinawa. Terror of the ship’s enlisted men. He and Captain Ishii go back a long ways.
Constructor Chief Petty Officer Shinoda. Baseball player and master of the machine shops.
Senior Petty Officer Toshio Aikawa. Appears in the narrative only occasionally but is respected by both officers and enlisted men.
Petty Officer First Class Okubo. A bully and all-around jerk.
Petty Officer First Class Taiki Takahashi. Began the war as an enlisted man. Remarkably intelligent. Has lost much of his naïveté during the war but not his sense of honor. Married Sayumi Komatsu in January 1944. He is currently the ship’s chief radar operator.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Yahama. Engineering. A remarkably squat and ugly man but one of Sakati’s best men.
Leading Seaman Riku Ariga. A former rogue and con man who tried very hard to reform after having the bad luck to fall hopelessly in love with Shun’s daughter. Finally married Nanami in 1944.
Leading Seaman Shiro Kuramata. A woodcarver and gentle soul from Tendo. Close friend to Riku and Taiki. We know he will one day write a book about his experiences during the war.
Leading Seaman Yoshitake. Bunks with Shoji, Shiro, Riku, and Oizuma. Can be a bit of a wise ass but is an okay guy.
Leading Seaman Hosogaya. Strongest man on the ship except for Shun. Torpedoman and baseball player. Joined the crew in 1943.
Seaman Senior Oizuma, “Snake Man.” Owner of Benzaiten. Hopes to become a biologist after the war.
Seaman Senior Kinsei. Torpedoman. Joined the crew in 1943, started out in Sugiyura’s doghouse but has since won approval.
Seaman Senior Chuyo. Torpedoman, friend of Kinsei and Hosogaya.
Senior Seaman Oka, radar operator.
Seaman First Class Itokawa. Cook and baseball player.
Seaman First Class Hikaru Shoji. Another bunkmate of Riku and Shiro, was plagued by bad luck until receiving a good luck charm from his friends.
Seaman First Class Konno. Plays second base for the ship’s baseball team.
Seaman Second Class Moshizuki. A heavy drinker and frequently in trouble.
Kojima Miharu, Lieutenant Miharu’s wife.
Morito Miharu, the lieutenant’s brother. A member of the Communist Party, which is a criminal activity in and of itself. Killed on Okinawa by Umeda.
Rin Shun, CPO Shun’s mother. A wise and tough old woman, seriously ill for a time but recovered. Shot and killed Umeda when he invaded the Shun home in an attempt to kill her son.
Nanami Shun, CPO Shun’s daughter. Beautiful but fiercely protected by her father. Now married to Riku, still lives on Okinawa with her grandmother.
Ensign Noboro Takahashi, Taiki’s brother. Serves aboard battleship Mutsu. Injured off Wake in ’42, has burn scars as a result.
Benzaiten, a Borneo blood python. The ship’s unofficial good luck charm.
Lieutenant Umeda of the Tokeitai. Held a grudge against Chief Shun and Captain Ishii, killed on Okinawa by Shun’s mother.
Sayumi Komatsu. War widow who attempted to continue running her family’s plastering business. Married Taiki in January 1944.
Captain Shimura of the Tokeitai. Has at different times worked both with and against Hibiki’s crew.
Frank Barnwell of the RAF, Blenheim gunner and radio operator. Picked up by Hibiki when his plane was shot down in the early days of the war. Escaped and after many adventures ended up in India with his unit. Was again shot down and wounded; is now in England and out of the war.
Nonaka, an old retired petty officer and former mentor of Shun. Can usually be found at Sugai’s bar in Osaka.
The Rickshaw Man. Assassin and agent of Big Ears Du, the crime lord of Shanghai. An old enemy of Shun’s.
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Marson of the Australian 7th Infantry Division. Appeared in the battles of Timor and Port Moresby.
Gordon McNair, merchant seaman. His tanker was torpedoed and he was left adrift by Kido Butai off New Zealand.
Ensign Mark Turnby of PT-62, son of a friend of Lieutenant Miharu’s. Rescued by Hibiki and now a resident of Kawasaki POW Camp 2-B.
Lieutenant Jack Kennedy, torpedo boat commander. Captured along with Ensign Turnby and also a resident of Kawasaki POW Camp 2-B.
Seaman Ralph Bethke. A crewman on the US destroyer La Valette. He writes messages and tosses them overboard in bottles, one of which gets Yoshitake into trouble.