© 1998-2003 Bob Hackett
7 December 1941: Operation Z – The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
BatDiv 2 sorties from the Combined Fleet's anchorage at Hashirajima in Hiroshima Bay to the Bonin Islands with the First Fleet's BatDiv 1: NAGATO, MUTSU and the light carrier HOSHO escorted by light cruisers (probably the guardships OI, KITAKAMI) and eight destroyers.
13 December 1941:
Returns to Hashirajima.
13 December 1941-February 1942:
At Hashirajima. BatDiv 2 maintains 'standby alert' and conducts training in the Inland Sea.
20 February 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuda Chiaki of the Naval General Staff's Third Bureau (Intelligence) assumes command. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ishizaki is reassigned to command SubRon 8 at Penang, occupied Malaya.
The HYUGA's crew, like most of the IJN crews berthed at Hashirajima, grows listless under the boredom of the continuous 'standby alert' routine. Captain Matsuda explains the "fleet-in-being" defensive concept to his crew to help raise their morale.
5 March 1942:
Thirty-eight aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's Task Force 16: USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25) and the NORTHAMPTON (CA-28) make a dawn raid on Marcus Island, located between Midway and the Bonin Islands - about 1,000 miles from Tokyo.
6 March 1942:
Headquarters, Combined Fleet orders CarDiv 5: SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, which has just left port for Truk, to divert to Chichi Jima in the Bonins to intercept Halsey's force if it approaches Japan.
11 March 1942:
The First Fleet's HYUGA and the ISE sortie from Hashirajima to join the search for Halsey. The next day, the light cruisers TAMA and KISO and destroyers also sortie from Yokosuka in response to the alarm.
15 March 1942:
The IJN warships find nothing and are ordered to return to their ports.
16 March 1942:
The HYUGA and the ISE arrive at Ise Bay.
20 March 1942:
Departs Ise Bay.
21 March 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima, two days before the ISE. Maintains 'standby alert'.
18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Halsey's Task Force 16.2: USS HORNET (CV-8), VINCENNES (CA-44), NASHVILLE (CL-43), oiler CIMARRON (AO-22) and the destroyers GWIN (DD-433), MEREDITH (DD-434), GRAYSON (DD-435) and the MONSSEN (DD-436) accompanied by Task Force 16.1: USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), NORTHAMPTON (CA-26), the oiler SABINE (AO-25) and the destroyers BALCH (DD-363), BENHAM (DD-397), ELLET (DD-398) and the FANNING (DD-385) approach to within 668 nautical miles of Japan.
Led by Lt Col (later General/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe. At Yokosuka, a B-25 damages the light carrier RYUHO in a drydock while undergoing conversion from the former submarine depot ship TAIGEI.
Bat Div 2 and ten destroyers depart Hashirajima in pursuit of Halsey's ships.
19 April 1942:
At 30-00N, 135-20E, one of Bat Div 2's Type 95 Nakajima E8N "Dave" two-seat reconnaissance floatplanes, armed with two bombs, sights a cargo ship. The biplane drops a message with an order to stop. About 1000, the BatDiv 2 group heading NE encounters the neutral Russian merchant ANGARSTROI. A destroyer sends a boarding party to search the Russian ship. The ship is found to be carrying 7,555 metric tons of sugar and 10 tons of other products from San Francisco to Vladivostok. The Japanese order the merchant to proceed with the destroyer to Kushimoto on Honshu for a further search. The BatDiv 2 group turns SE and departs in a further unsuccessful pursuit of the Americans. Later, they return to Hashirajima.
22 April 1942:
The HYUGA returns to Hashirajima, again two days before the ISE.
5 May 1942:
BatDiv 2 departs Hashirajima for gunnery practice in the Iyo Nada with BatDiv 1's MUTSU and the NAGATO. The HYUGA's left gun breech in No. 5 turret blows up. Her two aft magazines are flooded to save the ship. Fifty-one crewmen are killed. The HYUGA makes for Kure escorted by the FUSO. The other battleships return to Hashirajima.
6-25 May 1942:
Repairs are performed at Kure but do not include making the damaged turret operational. Both 14-inch guns in turret No. 5 are non-working. The turret is removed and replaced with a circular armor plate placed on top of the barbette. It supports the twelve new 25-mm AA guns (four triple-mounts) that are installed.
20-28 May 1942:
A Type 22 surface search radar is installed. HYUGA tests the set in detecting the ISE in the Inland Sea, but it is deemed unsatisfactory by Captain Matsuda and is removed.
29 May 1942: Operation MI - The Battle of Midway:
BatDiv 2 sorties as screen for the Aleutian Force with CruDiv 9: light cruisers KITAKAMI, OOI, 12 destroyers and the 2nd Supply Unit's oilers.
14 June 1942:
BatDiv 2 returns to Hashirajima. BatDiv 2 resumes 'standby alert'.
17 June 1942:
The HYUGA and the ISE return to Yokosuka.
22 June 1942:
24 June 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Resumes 'standby alert'.
To partially compensate for the loss of carrier strength at Midway, plans are begun to convert the ISE-class battleships to hybrid battleship/carriers.
14 July 1942:
The First Fleet is reorganized. The MUTSU and the NAGATO are transferred to BatDiv 2 with the YAMASHIRO and the FUSO. The ISE and the HYUGA are detached and assigned to the Combined Fleet for conversion.
26 October 1942:
At Kure. Enters drydock.
1 November 1942:
10 December 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Obayashi Sueo (former CO of CVL ZUIHO) assumes command. Captain Matsuda is reassigned to command the Combined Fleet's flagship, the YAMATO, at Truk.
10 December 1942-30 June 1943:
At Hashirajima. Continues 'standby alert' and conducts training missions in the Inland Sea.
11 April 1943:
At Kure. The first of the HYUGA's 140-mm. (5.5-in.) secondary casemate armament is removed.
28 April 1943:
29 April 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.
1 May 1943: Second Rebuild:
Captain Obayashi is promoted to Rear Admiral. The HYUGA is attached to the Sasebo Navy Yard and registered as a 4th rank Reserve ship. This date marks the official start of the rebuild.
1 July 1943:
The Port Master, Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsutau (former CO of CA FURUTAKA) assumes "paper" command of the HYUGA in the dockyard. (Captain Araki is already also the "paper" skipper of the seaplane carrier CHITOSE concurrently undergoing conversion to an aircraft carrier at Sasebo.) Rear Admiral Obayashi is reassigned as Commander of the 51st Air Flotilla that is engaged in aircrew training.
The HYUGA is drydocked and begins conversion to a battleship/carrier. Her aft 36-cm. (14-in.) turret No. 6 and its barbette are removed.
The plan calls for the converted HYUGA to carry 22 aircraft. A hangar surmounted by a flight deck is added. Nine planes are to be carried inside the hangar, 11 on deck and two on each catapult. The designers realize that a single faulty aircraft engine can ruin the whole concept. To prevent jams, the deck is fitted with 12 turntables, rails, trolleys and tie-downs.
The enclosed hangar is 6 meters high, 40 meters long, and tapers from 28 meters wide forward to 11 meters aft. A "T"-shaped 6 metric-ton elevator is fitted in the center of the flight deck. Two sets of rails run around the flight deck for maneuvering the aircraft to the 25-meter Type 1, No. 2, Model 11 catapults that are installed on tall supports on the HYUGA's port and starboard sides forward of the flight deck. A collapsible 4-ton derrick crane is fitted port abaft.
The new deck is covered with 200-mm. of concrete to compensate for the unbalanced condition created after removal of the aft armament. Steering rooms are protected with a 1-meter thick layer of concrete poured into adjacent compartments and the steering rooms' horizontal armor protection is improved.
The concept of operations calls for the modified ISE-class BB/CVs to accompany the Carrier Striking Force and catapult their complement of Yokosuka D4Y2 Suisei ("Judy") dive-bombers and Aichi E16A Zuiun ("Paul") seaplanes (capable of diving attacks). These will add another 44 dive-bombers to the Striking Force. The aircraft cannot not take off from, or land on, the small flight deck; rather, they are to be catapult-launched and land either on conventional carriers or land bases. The HYUGA's final aircraft allowance calls for eight E16A and 14 D4Y2.
The HYUGA's suite of eight 127-mm. (5-inch) AA guns is increased to 16 (8 twin mounts). Her twenty (10 twin-mount) 25-mm (1-in.) AA guns are removed and replaced by 57 (19 triple-mount) 25-mm. AA guns. One Type 21 air-search radar is installed on the bridge. Two Type 22 surface-search radars are also installed.
Bombs and munitions are stowed in former turret No. 5's magazine. It accommodates 44 GP 500kg and 22 GP 250kg bombs, for a total of three strikes. Avgas and oil stores are located in the old turret No. 6 area. Two each 46-foot Daihatsu landing barges are substituted for some lifeboats.
During the rebuild additional fuel tanks are installed that give the HYUGA a range of 9,500 n. miles at 16 knots. The HYUGA, as modified, now displaces 38,676-tons and carries a crew of 1,463.
1 September 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nakagawa Ko (former CO of CL AGANO) assumes command "on paper" from Captain Araki who is selected to command the cruiser ATAGO. Captain Nakagawa does not actually arrive at Sasebo until mid-November.
1 October 1943:
1 November 1943:
Captain Nakagawa is promoted to Rear Admiral.
18 November 1943:
The rebuild is officially completed.
19 November 1943:
Departs Sasebo for Tokuyama.
20 November 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama, probably to refuel.
22 November 1943:
Begins four-day trials in the Iyo Nada.
30 November 1943:
Reassigned to BatDiv 2, First Fleet.
1 December 1943:
Battle training in the Kure-Hashirajima area.
5 December 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nomura Tomekichi (former CO of CL KITAKAMI) assumes command. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral posthumously) Nakagawa is attached temporarily to the SW Area Fleet HQ, then assumes command of DesRon 3 (later KIA on Saipan.)
December 1943-June 1944:
At Japan. The HYUGA begins workup, then performs training duties. During this period, additional 127-mm. (5-inch) HA are installed and eleven (single-mount) 25-mm. AA guns are fitted on the "flight deck".
25 February 1944:
BatDiv 2, First Fleet is deactivated, then reactivated as BatDiv 2, Combined Fleet.
1 May 1944:
At Kure. Assigned to the Third Fleet in Rear Admiral Matsuda Chiaki's (former CO of YAMATO) new CarDiv 4: ISE and HYUGA. Captain Amagai Takahisa's (former Air Officer of CV KAGA) Air Group 634 is attached to CarDiv 4.
24 May 1944: :
At Kure. Drydocked. Twenty-four 25-mm. AA guns (8 triple-mount) are fitted bringing their final total to 104.
7 June 1944:
At Kure. Drydocked. Two improved Type 22 surface search radars are fitted. A pair of Type 13 air-search radars and E27 radar detectors are probably also installed at this time.
23 June 1944:
In Hiroshima Bay. Air Group 634's first catapult takeoff exercises from the HYUGA are held using Aichi E16A Zuiun ("Paul") reconnaissance seaplanes.
25 June 1944:
The HYUGA is the flagship of CarDiv 4.
27 June 1944:
At Hashirajima. Visited by Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome, (former CO of HYUGA) ComBatDiv1 who tours his former ship accompanied by Captain Nomura and Rear Admiral Matsuda.
10 July 1944:
The carrier JUNYO is assigned to CarDiv 4 with the ISE and the HYUGA
10 August 1944:
The light carrier RYUHO is assigned to CarDiv 4 with the ISE, HYUGA and the JUNYO.
Six racks of 30-tube (180) 127mm. (4.7-inch) AA phosphorous rocket launchers are mounted in sponsons on each beam far aft. The rockets are armed with multiple incendiary shrapnel charges and a time fuze. The launching crews must wear special protective suits and withdraw prior to each launch.
5 October 1944:
The HYUGA is reassigned to the Combined Fleet in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Force, Main Body: CarDiv 4 (HYUGA and the ISE), CarDiv: 3: ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CHITOSE, CHIYODA; Escort Squadron 31: light cruisers ISUZU, OYODO, TAMA, destroyers HATSUZUKI, AKITSUKI, WAKATSUKI and SHIMOTSUKI and destroyer escorts MAKI, KIRI, KUWA and SUGI.
15 October 1944:
Captain Nomura is promoted to Rear Admiral.
20 October 1944: Operation SHO-I-GO ("Victory") – The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
CarDiv 4’s HYUGA and the ISE depart the Yashima anchorage towards the Philippines with Admiral Ozawa 's Northern "decoy" Mobile Force, Main Body and a Supply Force: oilers TAKANE MARU and JINEI MARU and kaibokans CD 22, 29, 31, 33, 43 and 132. CarDiv 3 carries but 108 planes and CarDiv 4 carries no planes since Air Group 634 was sent to Formosa and decimated in sorties against TF 38.
At 1800, Ozawa's force departs the Inland Sea via the unguarded eastern channel of the Bungo Suido. Ozawa's radar detectors pick up an enemy submarine's radar emissions. The fleet takes evasive action eastwards. About ten aircraft are kept airborne to conduct antisubmarine patrols.
21 October 1944:
About 1200, torpedo noises are heard and the destroyers drop depth charges. Ozawa's force again turns eastwards.
22 October 1944:
The HYUGA's communications-intelligence unit intercepts a possible American task force's voice transmission. The signal is also intercepted by Base Force 31 at Manila. Direction-finding measures locate the American force south of Ozawa's Main Body, heading NNW.
Ozawa's force is refueling at sea. Sound contact is made with a submarine. At 2010 the ZUIKAKU and the cruiser TAMA spot torpedo tracks and make a sharp turn to port. The WAKATSUKI is detached to repel the sub. Ozawa is forced to cancel the refueling after receiving only one third of the required amount.
24 October 1944:
The ISE, HYUGA and the HATSUTSUKI, AKIZUKI, WAKATSUKI and the SHIMOTSUKI form the Vanguard of the Northern Mobile Force under Rear Admiral Matsuda.
1515: Admiral Ozawa orders CarDiv 4 southward as an advance force to screen ahead of the Main Body. Matsuda's battleships are about 50 miles south of the Main Body when they are spotted by a Task Force 38 scout plane at 18-10N, 124-30E. The scout reports mistakenly that Matsuda's force includes not two, but four battleships, one with a flight deck aft, plus five to six cruisers and six destroyers on course 210 degrees, speed 15 knots.
1700: Ozawa's Main Body is also spotted by another of TF 38's scouts and reported to the Third Fleet's commander, Admiral Halsey aboard his flagship, the USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62), 190 miles away and heading northeastward to engage. It is too late in the day for the Americans to launch and recover a carrier strike before dark.
2230: Matsuda's Vanguard Force turns back towards Ozawa's Main Body.
25 October 1944: The Battle off Cape Engano:
0713: The HYUGA's air search radar picks up enemy aircraft at 105 miles out.
0739: The ISE's radar picks up incoming aircraft, bearing 230, range 125 miles.
0807: The HYUGA's air search radar picks up another group of enemy aircraft 56 miles out.
0820-1750: Ozawa's force is attacked by Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher's Task Force 38 carrier planes from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), FRANKLIN (CV-13), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24), LANGLEY (CVL-27), CABOT (CVL-28) and the SAN JACINTO (CVL-30). TF 38 launches 527 sorties in five strikes against the Northern Force.
The HYUGA and the light cruiser TAMA attempt to provide AA cover for the carriers CHIYODA and the CHITOSE. Near-misses by bombs rupture a hull plate and spray the HYUGA's upper works with splinters. She takes on water and develops a five-degree list due to holes in her anti-torpedo blister that is corrected quickly. The ISE is hit outboard of her port catapult mount and also takes on water. The CHIYODA is set afire and her engines are disabled. Rear Admiral Matsuda orders the HYUGA and the light cruiser ISUZU to attempt to tow the crippled CHIYODA. Their efforts are unsuccessful and they depart.
1100: Vice Admiral Ozawa leaves the sinking carrier ZUIKAKU and transfers his flag to the former Combined Fleet flagship, the light cruiser OYODO. Ozawa orders his force to retire northward.
During the day's action, the carriers ZUIHO and the CHITOSE and the destroyer AKIZUKI are sunk.
1630: Ozawa's force is located 20-08'N, 126-28'E and moved north, heading 010 at 22 knots. The HYUGA and the SHIMOTSUKI are steaming south of the main group. They are also attacked and receive minor damage from near misses.
1742: LtCdr (later Admiral) I. J. "Pete" Galantin in the USS HALIBUT (SS-232) sights the distinctive pagoda superstructure of a Japanese battleship at 31, 000 yards through his high periscope. (The HALIBUT, HADDOCK (SS-231) and the TUNA (SS-203) are part of a scouting line put in place by ComSubPac to intercept crippled IJN warships escaping from the day's battles.) The HALIBUT's radar also tracks the destroyers SHIMOTSUKI and the WAKATSUKI.
1830: The HYUGA and the SHIMOTSUKI rejoin the Main Body.
1843: Galantin fires six bow Mark-18 electric torpedoes at an ISE-class battleship, but they all miss. The HYUGA's lookouts spot two approaching torpedo wakes to port, bearing 135. The torpedoes pass aft.
The ISE's lookouts spot a submarine, bearing 160. The HADDOCK sights the HYUGA and the ISE and pursues them all night, but is unable to get within torpedo range.
1900: Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Laurence T. Du Bose's CruDiv 13: USS SANTA FE (CL-60), BIRMINGHAM (CL-62), MOBILE (CL-63) and the RENO (CL-96) and destroyers arrive at the scene of the earlier sinkings where the destroyers WAKATSUKI and KUWA are rescuing survivors of the ZUIKAKU and the ZUIHO covered by the destroyer HATSUZUKI. The Americans chase off the WAKATSUKI and the KUWA and then sink the stationary CHIYODA with all hands.
The HATSUZUKI radios Admiral Ozawa, who transfers to the light cruiser OYODO after the ZUIKAKU sinks, that an American cruiser-destroyer force is attacking the destroyers left behind to assist the CHIYODA. Ozawa orders the OYODO, Rear Admiral Matsuda's CarDiv 4 and their destroyers to engage the Americans. They reverse course to 185 degrees, and set off at 16 knots. Shortly thereafter, the HATSUZUKI is sunk with all hands.
2132: The ISE is attacked by another submarine. Three torpedoes pass between the HYUGA and the ISE.
2300: The CarDiv 4 group is again picked up by the HALIBUT and tracked, but LtCdr Galantin is unable to gain position for another attack.
2330: The CarDiv 4 group is unable to make contact with American cruiser force. Ozawa orders the CarDiv 4 group to reverse course northward and make port at Amami-Oshima.
The CarDiv 4 group is located and tracked by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Frederick J. Harlfinger in the USS TRIGGER (SS-237), but he is unable to attack.
26 October 1944:
At 0610, the HYUGA's lookouts spot torpedo tracks to port, bearing 110. A submarine alert is put into effect immediately. The torpedoes pass 50 yards ahead of the HYUGA's bow.
0630: 90 miles SE of Miyako Island. Ozawa's force turns NW towards Amami-O-Shima.
1734: East China Sea. The HYUGA's lookouts spot two approaching torpedoes on bearing 135 port. The ISE reports sighting a submarine on bearing 160.
2032: The ISE is attacked by another submarine. Three torpedoes pass between the ISE and the HYUGA.
27 October 1944:
At 1200, CarDiv 4 arrives arrives safely at Sakawa Bay, Amami-Oshima. Ozawa transfers the Combined Fleet's flag to the HYUGA from the OYODO. The OYODO detaches.
28 October 1944:
The CarDiv 4 group refuels from oilers at Amami-Oshima. CarDiv 4 and the destroyers depart for the Inland Sea. At 2120, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Vernon L. Lowrance in the USS SEA DOG (SS-401) attacks the CarDiv 4 group. He misses with six Mark 18 electric torpedoes.
29 October 1944:
CarDiv 4 and the destroyers depart Amami-Oshima for the Inland Sea. At 0415, the group is picked up at 24,000 yards and tracked on radar by LtCdr O. C. Robbins in the USS STERLET (SS-392). Robbins goes to full emergency power and closes to 12,000 yards but CarDiv 4, making 22 knots, outruns his submarine.
The CarDiv 4 group is picked up by radar then visually sighted by the USS BESUGO (SS-321) and the USS RONQUIL (SS-396) but neither submarine is able to close for an attack. CarDiv 4 arrives safely at Kure.
7 November 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo from Kure. The two Type 1 No. 2 Model 11 catapults aft are removed to improve the firing arcs of aft turrets No. 3 and No. 4.
8 November 1944:
11 November 1944:
CarDiv 4 departs Sasebo on troop transport and munitions run to Manila with DesDiv 43's KIRI, UME and DesDiv 61's SHIMOTSUKI. When nearing the Philippines, reports of heavy air raids on Manila cause CarDiv 4 to divert to the Spratly Islands.
15 November 1944:
The Mobile Fleet is disbanded. The HYUGA and the ISE are reassigned to CarDiv 4, Second Fleet. The carriers JUNYO and the RYUHO are reassigned to CarDiv 1, Combined Fleet.
16 November 1944:
CarDiv 4 arrives at the Spratlys. Troops, munitions and supplies are unloaded for transshipment to the Philippines. DesDiv 43 detaches and joins the escort of Vice Admiral Kurita's battleship group: YAMATO, KONGO and the NAGATO that is enroute from Brunei to Kure.
18-19 November 1944:
At the Spratlys. The battleship HARUNA, the cruisers ASHIGARA and the HAGURO and the light cruiser OYODO arrive from Brunei. Vice Admiral Shima Kiyohide (former CO of CL OOI), Commander of the Fifth Fleet, arrives from Manila aboard DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO accompanied by DesDiv 2's ASASHIMO and DesDiv 7's KASUMI and the USHIO. Shima transfers his Fifth Fleet flag to the cruiser ASHIGARA.
20 November 1944:
CarDiv 4 departs the Spratlys with a task group: HARUNA, ASHIGARA, HAGURO, OYODO and the destroyers.*
22 November 1944:
Arrives at Lingga (near Singapore).
22 November-10 December 1944:
CarDiv 4: HYUGA and ISE at Lingga.
12 December 1944:
CarDiv 4, the ASHIGARA and the OYODO depart Lingga.
14 December 1944:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina. Assumes 'standby alert' to intercept an American supply convoy heading for Mindanao. The USS BASHAW (SS-241) and the USS GUAVINA (SS-362) sight CarDiv 4 at Camranh, but neither submarine is able to attack.
Vice Admiral Shima transfers his Fifth Fleet flag from the ASHIGARA to the HYUGA. The ASHIGARA detaches.
16 December 1944:
The USS MINGO (SS-261) sights CarDiv 4 at Camranh, but the submarine is unable to attack.
18 December 1944:
Departs Camranh, arrives at Cap St. Jacques that day.
28 December 1944:
At Cap St. Jacques. CarDiv 4 is rejoined by the ASHIGARA and the light cruiser OYODO that arrive after participating with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi's (former CO of CA SUZUYA) Operation "REI-GO" force in the bombardment of the American beachhead at San Jose on Mindoro Island, the Philippines.
Ulithi Anchorage. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, CINCPAC, visits Admiral Halsey, Commander, Third Fleet, aboard his flagship the battleship USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62). Halsey asks for Nimitz's permission to take Task Force 38 into the South China Sea to pursue the HYUGA and the ISE. Nimitz consents, but orders Halsey not to move west of the Philippines until Task Force 38's fast carriers finish supporting General MacArthur and the Seventh Fleet's landings at Lingayen Gulf scheduled for 9 January 1945.
30 December 1944:
The 'standby alert' is canceled. CarDiv 4, the ASHIGARA, the OYODO, DesDiv 2's ASASHIMO and DesDiv 18's KASUMI depart Camranh via Cap St Jacques. Enroute south, they pass the escort carrier KAIYO accompanying convoy HI-84 northward from Singapore to Japan.
1 January 1945:
The CarDiv 4 group arrives at Singapore. Vice Admiral Shima transfers his flag from the HYUGA to the OYODO.* The ASHIGARA and the OYODO detach for repairs at the Seletar Naval Base at Singapore. CarDiv 4 then continues on to Lingga. CarDiv 4 is reassigned to the Southwest Expeditionary Fleet. Arrives at Lingga, assumes 'standby alert'.
1 January-5 February 1945:
At Lingga.CarDiv 4's departure for Japan is delayed by Vice Admiral McCain's Task Force 38 Operation "Gratitude"strike on Indochina. McCain's aircraft sink two tankers that were to have refueled CarDiv 4 off Saigon.
12 January 1945:
Halsey stands off Camranh Bay with the Third Fleet. Vice Admiral McCain flies off almost 1,500 sorties looking for the Japanese fleet. Task Force 38 bombs Indochina, Hong Kong and Southern Formosa and sinks 44 ships, but never locates the HYUGA and the ISE at their Lingga anchorage.
6 February 1945:
CarDiv 4, the OYODO and the KASUMI and DesDiv 21's ASASHIMO and HATSUSHIMO depart Lingga for Singapore.
6-9 February 1945: Operation Kita ("North"):
The HYUGA and the ISE are each loaded with over 5,000 drums of oil plus rubber and tin. The OYODO takes on 300 tons of rubber, zinc, mercury, tin and gasoline. Their destroyers take on 140 tons of rubber and tin. The ships also embark 1,150 oil field technical personnel.
10 February 1945:
The OYODO is attached to CarDiv 4. That evening, the "Completion Force": ISE, HYUGA, OYODO and the destroyers KASUMI, ASASHIMO and the HATSUSHIMO sorties from Singapore.
11 February 1945:
Lt (later Vice Admiral Sir) Hugh "Rufus" MacKenzie's submarine the HMS TANTALUS sights the "Completion Force". The TANTALUS tries an "end-around" but is bombed by an air escort and forced to go deep, unable to attack.
13 February 1945:
1213: South China Sea. LtCdr John M. Hyde in the USS BERGALL (SS-320) picks up the "Force" in poor weather conditions off Hainan Island at 15-34N, 110-50E. Hyde, submerged on the track, cannot get closer than 4,800 yards. He fires six torpedoes at a battleship, but they all miss. BERGALL is counter-attacked by the escorts with new, larger explosive depth-charges but escapes. The "Force" is also attacked the same day by LtCdr James H. Campbell in the USS BLOWER (SS-325). He fires five torpedoes at a battleship and one at the OYODO, but they all miss.
1530: The "Force" comes out of a rainsquall. One of its ships launches a floatplane. LtCdr H. S. Simpson's the USS BASHAW (SS-241) is sighted on the surface. A battleship opens fire with her main armament on the submarine. One 14-inch shell comes within a mile of the BASHAW. Simpson crash-dives and breaks off his attack.
16 February 1945:
Formosa Strait. The "Completion Force" departs Mako, Pescadores for Kure via the Korean coast and the Shimonoseki Strait. The destroyers NOKAZE and the KAMIKAZE join the escorts briefly, then detach southbound.
LtCdr (later Captain) Benjamin E. Adams, Jr's USS RASHER (SS-269) is alerted by Ultra to the movement of the "Completion Force". At 0507, the RASHER makes radar contact south of Wenchow, China at 26-55N, 122-03E. The RASHER picks up three escorts, range nine miles, heading 030 at 18 knots. In a driving rain, Adams targets the second ship. At 1,800 yards, he fires six Mark-18 electric torpedoes, but the "Force" changes course. All six torpedoes miss.
19 February 1945:
The "Completion Force" arrives at Moji. In all, the "Force" has escaped pursuit by 23 U.S. and Allied submarines.
20 February 1945:
Arrives at Kure.
20 February-September 1945:
At Kure. No fuel, aircraft or flight crews are available. During this period, the HYUGA is camouflaged dark gray with dark green curves on the turrets.
1 March 1945:
CarDiv 4 is disbanded. The HYUGA is designated as as a 1st rank Reserve Ship and moored at Ourazaki, at Nasake-Jima.
Rear Admiral Kusagawa Kiyoshi (former CO of OCA IZUMO), a recalled retiree, assumes command. Rear Admiral Nomura is reassigned to the Naval General Staff's Fourth Bureau (Communications).
19 March 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP (CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and the BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal. More than 240 aircraft attack the battleships HYUGA, ISE, YAMATO, HARUNA, the carriers AMAGI, KATSURAGI, RYUHO, KAIYO and other ships.
The fleet is defended vigorously but unsuccessfully by 54 Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden-Kai ("George") fighters of Captain (later General and CINC, JSDF*) Genda Minoru's (of AKAGI at PH) 343rd NAG based at Matsuyama airfield. The 343rd's pilots claim 52 aircraft shot down against 16 losses.
Aircraft of the USS WASP's (CV-18) Air Group 86 attack the HYUGA. A bomb explodes portside above the No. 6 boiler room and kills about 40 crewmen. There are also many near misses.
28 March 1945:
At Kure. The HYUGA is attacked unsuccessfully by Task Force 58 carrier aircraft.
20 April 1945:
At Kure. The HYUGA is registered as a Reserve Ship, 4th (lowest) rank.
20 April-24 July 1945:
1 June 1945:
The HYUGA, ISE, NAGATO and the HARUNA are assigned to the Special (Coast) Guard Fleet.
24 July 1945:
At Nasake-jima, south of Kure. From 0915 to 1630, about 200 aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 38's USS ESSEX (CV-9), TICONDEROGA (CV-14), RANDOLPH (CV-15), HANCOCK (CV-19), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and BATAAN (CVL-29) attack the Kure area. About 50 aircraft including SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers of TICONDEROGA's Air Group 87 and other groups attack the HYUGA. Ten bomb hits and many near misses open the HYUGA's seams and she takes on tons of water. One of the direct hits blows the anchor deck apart. Three others hit the bridge and demolish the right side of the conning tower. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously) Kusakawa is killed on the bridge.
Sunk: The HYUGA's crew runs the ship aground in shallow waters at 34-10N, 132-33E.
20 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
2 July 1946-4 July 1947:
Raised and scrapped by the Kure Drydock of Harima Zosen Yard.
Further thanks go to Mr. Aldert Gritter of the Netherlands for some information on the HYUGA's conversion and Mr. Anthony Tully for some data from his unpublished manuscript "Total Eclipse -The Last Battles of the IJN: 1944-1945".
- Bob Hackett.
Back to Battleship Page