The Yukikaze served as the vanguard ship for the UNCF fleet for Operation M, arriving moments before the fleet arrived. The ship sank a Garmillas Destroyer that was attempting to destroy the Kirishima. The Yukikaze served as bait so the flagship Kirishima could escape back to Earth, despite being ordered to return to Earth by Admiral Okita. The ship is badly damaged and crashes on Enceladus. The ships automated SOS signal begins transmitting, this alerted a Garmillas ship that arrived and captured the captain, Mamoru Kodai. The Yamato arrived a few weeks later to investigate the SOS signal, after the Yamato survived a Garmillas attack the crew placed a memorial to the 24 crew members of the Yukikaze ("Messenger of Iscandar", "Gravestone on a Frozen Field").
The Yukikaze seems to be really lucky or much more armored than ships of the same class. Though other UNCF torpedo assault ships exploded with a single shot from a Garmillas ship, the Yukikaze was hit dozens of times (Even with a Garmillas ship expolding from one hit in friendly fire while trying to hit the Yukikaze) but remained mostly intact. The luck my be subtle referance to the original Yukikaze in World War II where it emerged from the war virtually undamaged, though ships it was escourting tended to be destroyed or have heavy loss of life(such as the Battle at Pluto in SBY, or the Destruction of the Yamato WWII).
The Yukikaze is the first vessel to appear in the 2199 series.