IJN KIRISHIMA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2006 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg

Revision 7

20 March 1908:
Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. The 17,250-ton Dreadnought armored cruiser HMS INVINCIBLE is completed at Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd's shipyard and commissioned in the Royal Navy. INVINCIBLE mounts eight 12-inch (305-mm) guns (4x2) and can make 26 knots. Britain's new capital ships render all of the Imperial Japanese Navy's warships, both those operational and those under design, obsolete.

1910: Naval Expansion Bill:
Tokyo. The Japanese Diet passes and funds the 1911 Naval Emergency Expansion bill received from the cabinet that authorizes the design and construction of a battleship and four armored cruisers. The battleship is FUSO and KIRISHIMA is the fourth of the four armored cruisers, after KONGO, HIEI and HARUNA.

17 March 1912:
Nagasaki. The battlecruiser KIRISHIMA is laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha's ship yard. KIRISHIMA will be built based on plans for KONGO designed by Sir George Thurston of the British shipbuilding firm of Vickers-Armstrong. Most of the parts used in her construction are manufactured in Japan.

1 December 1913:
Nagasaki. KIRISHIMA is launched.

3 August 1914: War War I Begins:
Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium. Britain then declares war on Germany and Austria.

7 August 1914:
Russia invades East Prussia.

15 August 1914:
Japanese Prime Minister Count Okuma Shigenobu issues an ultimatum to Germany. He demands that Kaiser Wilhelm cede Germany’s colonial possessions in China to Japan. The Kaiser refuses.

23 August 1914:
Japan declares war on Germany. Thereafter, the IJN occupies the former German colonies (purchased from Spain) in the Carolines, Palau, Marianas and the Marshall Islands.

7 November 1914:
Tsingtao, China. After a siege of over two months, the outnumbered German garrison surrenders the colony and its harbor to the Japanese.

15 December 1914:
Nagasaki. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kamaya Rokuro (former CO of BB AKI) is appointed the Supervisor for Construction and Ordnance for KIRISHIMA.

19 April 1915:
KIRISHIMA is completed and commissioned in the IJN. Captain Kamaya is her first Commanding Officer.

13 December 1915:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shima Takeshi (former CO of BB AKI) assumes command. Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet.

9 April 1916:
Departs Sasebo for operations off China.

19 April 1916:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 December 1916:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsumura Junichi (former CO of BC IKOMA) assumes command.

1 April 1917:
Departs Sasebo.

16 July 1917:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nakamura Masaki (former CO of CL CHITOSE) assumes command.

1 December 1917:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mimura Kinzaburô (former CO of BB KASHIMA) assumes command.

17 April 1918:
Arrives at Inchon, Korea.

10 July 1918:
Departs Miyajima and operates off North American coast.

24 August 1918:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

10 November 1918:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Katsuki Genjirô (former CO of BC IKOMA) assumes command.

25 March 1919:
Departs Shibushi Bay.

9 April 1919:
Arrives at Sasebo.

28 June 1919 - The Treaty of Versailles:
After the defeat of Germany, Japan is given a mandate over the ex-German islands in the Pacific with the exception of Tsingtao.

20 November 1919:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yokoo Hisashi (former CO of DD NOWAKI) assumes command.

8 January 1920:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yasumura Sukeichi (former CO of BB KASHIMA) assumes command.

1 December 1920:
Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet.

During minor modification the elevation of the 14-inch guns is increased from 20 degrees to 33 degrees.

19 August 1921:
Depart Sasebo and operates off Lushun (Port Arthur) and Dairen, China.

30 August 1921:
Arrives Ariake Bay.

1 December 1921:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Teraoka Heigo (former CO of BC KURAMA) assumes command.

6 February 1922: The Washington Treaty:
Washington, DC. Japan, United States, Britain, France and Italy agree to limit the displacement and main armament of their capital ships, aircraft carriers and cruisers and to limit the total tonnage and age of their capital ships and carriers. Battleships and aircraft carriers are set at a ratio of 5:5:3 for the navies of Great Britain, the United States and Japan. Japan's Plenipotentiary at the conference is her Minister of the Navy, Admiral (later Fleet Admiral/Prime Minister), the Baron, Kato Tomosaburo.

19 June 1922:
Depart Sasebo and operates off Tsingtao and Dairen, China.

4 July 1922:
Arrives at Chinhe, Korea.

30 August 1922:
Departs Sasebo for operations off Siberia.

10 September 1922:
Arrives at Otaru.

1 December 1922:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Andô Masataka (former CO of DD UZUKI) assumes command.

18 February 1923:
Departs Kure and operates in the South Seas.

15 March 1923:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 August 1923:
Departs Yokosuka and operates off China coast.

5 September 1923:
Arrives at Kure.

6 November 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sakamoto Teiji (former CO of CL KITAKAMI) assumes command.

1 December 1923:
Reserve ship.

1 September 1924:
Attached to BatDiv 4, Second Fleet.

1 December 1924:
Captain (later Admiral) Fujita Hisanori (former CO of CL SUMA) assumes command.

1 December 1924:
Captain (later Admiral) Fujita Hisanori assumes command.

30 March 1925:
Departs Nagasaki for operations off Chefoo, China.

5 April 1925:
Arrives at Lushun (Port Arthur), China.

14 April 1925:
Departs Dairen, China.

23 April 1925:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 October 1925:
Captain (later Admiral/Viscount) Katô Takayoshi (former ADC to Crown Prince Hirohito) assumes command.

29 March 1926:
Departs Tokuyama for operations off Tsingtao, China.

9 April 1926:
Arrives at Lushun, China.

1 December 1926:
Reserve ship. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Honshuku Naojirô (former CO of CL KISO) assumes command.

March 1927: First Reconstruction:
Kure. The thickness of KIRISHIMA’s horizontal armor over her magazines and machinery spaces is increased. Torpedo-bulges are added. The elevation of her 14-inch guns is increased to 43 degrees. Equipment is also fitted to accommodate three Type 90 model 0 floatplanes, but no catapult is fitted. All of her 36 Yarrow boilers are removed and replaced with 10 newer type boilers. The number of KIRISHIMA’s funnels is reduced from three to two and four torpedo tubes are removed.

1 December 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Iwamura Kanekoto former CO of CL TATSUTA) assumes command.

10 March 1928:
Captain Furukawa Yoshikazu assumes command.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Inoue Choji (former CO of CA AOBA) assumes command.

2 August 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hirota Minoru (former CO of AC IZUMO) assumes command.

1 November 1929:
Captain Fujisawa Takuo assumes command.

31 March 1930:
Kure. KIRISHIMA's First Reconstruction is completed. She is re-rated a battleship.

22 April 1930: The London Treaty:
London. The Treaty for the Limitation and Reduction of Naval Armament is signed by Japan, Great Britain and the United States. It is an extension of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. The signatories agree not to build new capital ships until 1937. A number of existing capital ships are to be scrapped.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kikuno Shigeru (former CO of CL TENRYU) assumes command. Attached to BatDiv 1, First Fleet.

September 1931: The Manchurian Incident:
Manchuria. Japan claims Chinese soldiers sabotaged the Japanese-controlled Manchurian railway. The Japanese Kwantung army attacks the Chinese Army and soon conquer all of Manchuria. They set up the puppet state of Manchukuo headed by the former Emperor of China, Henry Pu-Yi. China appeals to the League of Nations. The League sends V. A. G. R. Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton, to Manchuria to lead a Commission to investigate.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Uno Sekizô (former CO of CV KAGA) assumes command.

27 March 1932:
Departs Sasebo and participated in the Shanghai, China, incident.

3 April 1932:
Arrives at Dairen, China.

1 December 1932:
Reserve ship. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kitaoka Haruo (former CO of AC TOKIWA) assumes command.

25 February 1933:
Geneva, Switzerland. The League of Nations. The Lytton Commission reports that Japan violated Chinese sovereignty and should return Manchuria to China. At a Special Assembly, 40 nations vote that Japan should withdraw. Only Japan votes against it. Instead of returning Manchuria, Japan instructs its representative Yosuke Matsuoka (later Foreign Minister), to walk out of the League. After withdrawing from the League, Japan also decides that she will no longer abide by restrictions such as the Washington of 1922 and the London Treaty of 1930 that impose limitations on the number and size of her warships.

Early 1933:
3-inch AA replaced by four twin 5-inch HA guns.

16 August 1933:
Departs Tateyama and operates in the South Sea districts.

21 August 1933:
Arrives off Kisarazu.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Takahashi Ibo (former CO of CA ATAGO) assumes command. Attached to BatDiv 1, First Fleet.

27 September 1934:
Departs Lushun, China, for operations off Tsingtao, China.

5 October 1934:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 November 1934:
Reserve ship. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tange Kunji (former CO of AC KASUGA) assumes command.

18 November 1934: Second Reconstruction:
Sasebo. Unfettered by the former Washington Treaty's restrictions, KIRISHIMA is reconstructed to transform her into a fast battleship, capable of escorting the IJN's fleet carriers. Her stern is lengthened by 26-feet. Her bridge is rebuilt in a pagoda style. All boilers are removed and replaced with 8 Kampon boilers and she receives new geared turbines. Her speed is increased to 30 knots. The elevation of the 14-inch guns is increased to 43 degrees and the elevation of the 6-inch guns to 30 degrees. A catapult and rails for three floatplanes are installed aft of her No. 3 turret. She is reequipped with two Nakajima E8N1 Type 95 ("Dave") and one Kawanishi E7K1 Type 94 ("Alf") floatplanes.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mikawa Gunichi (former CO of CHOKAI) assumes command.

1 June 1936:
Attached to BatDiv 3, First Fleet.

8 June 1936:
The second reconstruction is completed.

4 August 1936:
Departs Keelung, Formosa, for operations off Amoy, China.

7 August 1936:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

1 December 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Makita Kakusaburô (former CO of CL ISUZU) assumes command.

27 March 1937:
Departs Sasebo and operates off Tsingtao, China.

6 April 1937:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 August 1937:
Departs Atsuta with army troops for central China districts.

24 August 1937:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 September 1937:
Departs Sasebo for operations off northern China.

23 September 1937:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kanazawa Masao (former CO of CL TENRYU) assumes command.

9 April 1938:
Departs Sasebo for operations off southern China.

17 October 1938:
Departs Sasebo and operates off southern China.

23 October 1938:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

15 November 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Tada Takeo (former CO of AO TSURUMI) assumes command.

22 March 1939:
Departs Kagoshima for operations off northern China.

2 April 1939:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 November 1939:
Reserve ship. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyûji, CO of CV KAGA, assumes temporary command.

27 December 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tomonari Saichirô (former CO of CA HAGURO) assumes command.

19 October 1940:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Shiraishi Kazutaka (former CO of CA FURUTAKA) assumes command.

15 November 1940:
Attached to BatDiv 3, First Fleet.

25 February 1941:
Departs Sasebo for operations off southern China.

3 March 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

7 March 1941:
Departs Mako.

11 March 1941:
Arrives at Shibushi Bay.

28 March 1941:
Departs Shibushi Bay.

29 March 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 April 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

27 April 1941:
Arrives at Sukumo Bay.

13 May 1941:
Departs Sukumo Bay.

14 May 1941:
Arrives at Beppu Bay.

18 May 1941:
Departs Beppu Bay.

19 May 1941:
Arrives at Sukumo Bay.

3 June 1941:
Departs Sukumo Bay.

5 June 1941:
Arrives at Yokka-ichi.

9 June 1941:
Departs Yokka-ichi and arrives at Ise Jinja (Ise Shrine).

23 June 1941:
Arrives at Ariake Bay.

27 June 1941:
Departs Ariake Bay.

30 June 1941:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

8 July 1941:
Departs Yokosuka.

11 July 1941:
Arrives at Ariake Bay.

16 July 1941:
Departs Ariake Bay.

17 July 1941:
Arrives at Komatsujima.

20 July 1941:
Departs Komatsujima.

22 July 1941:
Arrives at Sukumo Bay.

27 July 1941:
Departs Sukumo Bay.

28 July 1941:
Arrives at Beppu.

1 August 1941:
Departs Beppu and arrives at Saiki.

11 August 1941:
Departs Saiki.

14 August 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 August 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Jihei (former CO of CA TAKAO) is posted as the Commanding Officer.

4 October 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

5 October 1941:
Arrives off Murozeki.

17 October 1941:
Departs Murozeki and arrives at Saiki.

2 November 1941:
Departs Saiki and arrives at Ariake Bay.

4 November 1941:
Departs Ariake Bay.

6 November 1941:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

7 November 1941:
Departs Kagoshima.

9 November 1941:
Arrives at Saiki Bay.

10 November 1941:
Departs Saiki Bay.

11 November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo and prepares for war.

17 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

22 November 1941:
Arrives at Hitokappu Bay.

KIRISHIMA is assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (former CO of CL ISUZU) First Fleet at the Combined Fleet's anchorage at Hashirajima in Hiroshima Bay in Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) BatDiv 3 with her sisters HIEI, HARUNA and KONGO. KIRISHIMA is home-ported at Sasebo Naval Base.

26 November 1941: Operation "Z":
BatDiv 3, Section 1's HIEI and KIRISHIMA departs Hitokappu (Tankan) Bay, Etorofu Island in the Kuriles with Vice Admiral Mikawa's Support Force: CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA, destroyers and Supply Groups Nos. 1 and 2. Mikawa's Force accompanies Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) First Air Fleet Striking Force ("Kido Butai"): CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU and CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU.

KIRISHIMA and HIEI take up position to the rear of Kido Butai and steam eastward at 13 knots. HIEI serves as the task force's communications center, but to prevent accidental signals her radio transmission equipment is disabled.

2 December 1941:
940 miles north of Midway Island. HIEI receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).*

4 December 1941:
The Striking Force reaches the rendezvous point (42N, 170E) and the warships refuel to capacity from the Supply Group's oilers.

7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
At 0630, BatDiv 3/1 launches their E8N Dave two-seat reconnaissance floatplanes to patrol south of the Striking Force. CruDiv 8 also launches picket floatplanes.

At 0755, the Striking Force's first wave of 189 aircraft (90 Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" attack planes, 54 Type 99 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive-bombers and 45 Type 0 Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zeke" fighters led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and other military installations on Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.

About 0840, they are followed by a second wave of 171 aircraft (54 Kates, 81 Vals and 36 Zekes) led by LtCdr Shimazaki Shigekazu. By 0945, they retire towards their carriers.

During the attacks, the Striking Force sinks the battleships USS ARIZONA (BB-39), OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and CALIFORNIA (BB-44) and damage the NEVADA (BB-36), PENNSLYVANIA (BB-38), TENNESSEE (BB-43), MARYLAND (BB-46), WEST VIRGINIA (BB-49) and other smaller ships. 2,335 American servicemen die in the attack, most on ARIZONA. After recovering all but 29 of its aircraft lost in the attack, the Striking Force departs Hawaiian waters towards Japan.

16 December 1941: The Second Invasion of Wake Island:
CarDiv 2, CruDiv 8, and the destroyers URAKAZE and TANIKAZE detach from the Striking and Support forces to participate in the second invasion.

24 December 1941:
KIRISHIMA arrives at Kure.

27 December 1941:
At Kure. Drydocked.

30 December 1941:
Undocked. Returns to Hashirajima.

8 January 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 departs Hashirajima for Truk with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDivs 1 and 5, CruDiv 8 and DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and destroyers.

14 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

17 January 1942: - Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
BatDiv 3/1 departs Truk with the Carrier Striking Force, CruDiv 8 and DesRon 1 for an area north of New Ireland. BatDiv 3/1 provides cover for the Striking Force's air attacks and distant support of the invasion forces.

23 January 1942:
Departs New Ireland area.

27 January 1942:
Returns to Truk. CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU detaches from the Carrier Striking Force for Japan.

1 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 departs Truk with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDiv 1, CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and DesRon 1 in pursuit of Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. "Bull" Halsey's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 8 (ENTERPRISE, CV-6) and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 17 (YORKTOWN, CV-5) reported to be attacking Wotje, Kwajalein, Jaluit, Makin, and Mili in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

4 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 and the Carrier Striking Force group are ordered to Palau. CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU detaches via Truk for Japan to join SHOKAKU.

8 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1, CarDiv 1, CHIKUMA and DesRon 1 arrive at Palau.

15 February 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 departs Palau with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDivs 1, 2's HIRYU and SORYU, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and the HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI and ARIAKE.

19 February 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 supports the Striking Force's raid on Port Darwin, Australia. Seventy-one Kate attack planes, 81 Val dive-bombers and 36 Zeke fighters led by Cdr Fuchida (of Pearl Harbor) attack the base. They destroy 15 aircraft including 9 American Curtiss P-40E "Warhawk" fighters, sink eight ships including destroyer USS PEARY (DD-226) and Army transport GENERAL M.C. MEIGS, damage nine ships including the seaplane tender (WW1 destroyer conversion) WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD-7).

The carrier strike is followed by a strike of 54 twin engine land-based bombers (G3M2 "Nells" and G4M1 "Bettys") of the Takao and the 1st Kokutai's of the 1st Air Attack Force from Kendari on the island of Sulawesi, Celebes. 243 Australians and Americans are killed in the raids.

21 February 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 and the Striking Force arrive at Staring (Teluk) Bay, near Kendari and refuel. Vice Admiral Kondo (former CO of KONGO) also arrives from Palau with BatDiv 3/2's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO and six destroyers.

25 February-1 March 1942:
BatDiv 3 departs Staring Bay in support of the Carrier Striking Force's attacks on Java.

1 March 1942: The Battle of the Java Sea:
In the morning, KIRISHIMA launches her E8N floatplane that drops two 60-kg bombs on a fleeing Allied merchant.

250 miles SSE of Christmas Island. CruDiv 8's TONE spots Lt J. J. Nix's EDSALL (DD-219) 15 miles to the NW. At 1730, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA opens fire with her 8-inch guns at the extremely long range of 11 miles. All of her shots miss. EDSALL, damaged earlier by one of her depth charges while attacking a submarine, lays down a smokescreen and begins evasive maneuvers.

At 1747, HIEI and KIRISHIMA open fire with their 14-inch guns at a range of 14.5 miles. All of their shots also miss. At 1756, Lt Nix turns his ship directly toward CHIKUMA and closes the range so as to fire his 4-inch guns, but his shots fall short. At 1800, CHIKUMA ceases firing when she enters a rain squall.

During the engagement, BatDiv 3/1 fires 297 14-inch, 132 6-inch shells, CruDiv 8 expends 844 8-inch and 62 5-inch rounds at the old destroyer. Finally, at 1824, HIEI scores a direct hit on the EDSALL, followed by another from TONE at 1835.

An air strike on EDSALL by the nearby Carrier Striking Force is requested. SORYU launches nine D3A "Val" dive bombers and AKAGI launches eight. Between 1827 and 1850 they hit EDSALL with 550-lb and 1,100 -lb. bombs and set her afire. She goes dead in the water. CHIKUMA moves in and destroys stationary EDSALL with her secondary armament. At 1900 hours, the battered old destroyer sinks by the stern at 13-45S, 106-47E.

11 March 1942:
After the surrender of the Dutch East Indies, returns to Staring Bay.

11-25 March 1942:
At Staring Bay. BatDiv 3 refuels, then assumes 'standby alert'. After more than three months of continuous operations, the crews are allowed some rest and relaxation.

26 March 1942:
BatDiv 3 sorties from Staring Bay via Timor Sea into Indian Ocean with Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force: CarDiv 1's AKAGI (KAGA is forced to return to Japan for repairs to her hull after hitting an uncharted reef), CarDiv 3's SORYU and HIRYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, Supply Units Nos. 1 and 2, DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and destroyers.

1 April 1942:
South of Sumatra.

5 April 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
BatDiv 3 supports the Striking Force's attack on Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). At 0800, 315 of the "Kido Butai's" aircraft led by Cdr Fuchida (of Pearl Harbor) attack the British naval base. They wreck the base's facilities, destroy 27 aircraft and sink destroyer HMS TENEDOS and armed merchant cruiser HMS HECTOR. Five hundred sailors are killed.

A floatplane from cruiser TONE finds Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet, Sir) James Somerville's (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and DORSETSHIRE at sea - without air cover. Between 1338-1400, 88 aircraft from AKAGI, HIRYU and SORYU sink both ships. After the attack, BatDiv 3 and the Striking Force withdraw to the SE and search unsuccessfully for the rest of Somerville's fleet.

6 April 1942:
At 0500, Vice Admiral Nagumo orders the Striking Force with BatDiv 3 to reverse course to the NW.

9 April 1942:
At 0600, the Striking Force launches 91 Val dive-bombers and 41 Zeke fighters, led by Cdr Fuchida, to attack the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon. They find the harbor empty, but wreck the base's facilities and shoot down nine planes. HARUNA launches a "Dave" floatplane that spots an enemy carrier 65 miles south of the base.

The fleet swings through 180°, turning SE. At 0900, the Striking Force launches 90 aircraft that sink old light carrier HMS HERMES and Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink the corvette HMS HOLLYHOCK, depot ship HMS ATHELSTANE and oiler BRITISH SERGEANT.

During the day, nine of the Royal Air Force’s No. 11 Squadron’s Bristol "Blenheim" bombers attack KONGO, but score no hits and lose five of their number to Nagumo's Combat Air Patrol’s "Zekes".BatDiv3 and the Striking Force continue heading SE.

10 April 1942:
At about midnight, the fleet changes course to the NE. During the next 36 hours, BatDiv 3 and the Striking Force gradually bear southwards again and pass through the Andaman Sea entering the Straits of Malacca

13 April 1942:
By nightfall, the fleet passes Singapore and enters the South China Sea, bound for Japan.

20 April 1942:
Early naval aviator Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Iwabuchi Sanji (former CO of KASHII) is posted as the Commanding Officer. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi is reassigned as the Chief of Staff of Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's First Southern Expeditionary Fleet (Malay Force) based at Singapore.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo. Maintains standby alert.

11 May 1942:
At Sasebo. Drydocked. 25-mm AA guns Nos. 7 and 8 are relocated from the upper deck to the vicinity of the forward funnel to provide better arcs of fire.

20 May 1942:

21 May 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima, then conducts battle training.

27 May 1942:
Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Support Group, BatDiv 3, Section 2's KIRISHIMA and HARUNA depart Hashirajima with Vice Admiral Nagumo's First Mobile Force, Carrier Strike Force Force's CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE and DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers.

4 June 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
At 0817, HARUNA is attacked by 11 obsolete Marine SB2U-3 "Vindicator" dive-bombers of VMSB-241 from Midway, but they only score near-misses.

KIRISHIMA is steaming abreast with AKAGI on her starboard beam when the Strike Force is attacked by four USAAF torpedo-carrying Martin B-26 "Marauders" of the 69th Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group. Ten A6M "Zeke" fighters are sent to intercept them. KIRISHIMA helps to repel the attack, firing her main caliber guns. Two of the B-26s are shot down.

0825: LtCdr William H. Brockman in USS NAUTILUS (SS-168) fires a Mark 14 steam torpedo at KIRISHIMA from 4,500 yards but misses. He attempts to fire another torpedo but it malfunctions and never leaves the tube. The KIRISHIMA opens fire with her starboard batteries unsuccessfully at the submarine's periscope. Light cruiser NAGARA counter-attacks NAUTILUS unsuccessfully with depth charges. KIRISHIMA departs the area at 25 knots.

Destroyer ARASHI is left behind to sink NAUTILUS. ARASHI gives up the search and heads back towards the fleet at flank speed. USS ENTERPRISE's (CV-6) Commander (later Rear Admiral) C. Wade McCluskey, Jr. and his SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers spot ARASHI's wake and follow her projected track to intercept the "Kido Butai".

1025: KIRISHIMA's main batteries open fire unsuccessfully at the aircraft attacking the carrier AKAGI. KIRISHIMA is dive-bombed unsuccessfully by planes from USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), but during the next few minutes the carriers AKAGI, KAGA and SORYU are all hit and set afire by SBD dive-bombers from YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE. Detached and north of the Kido Butai, undamaged carrier HIRYU launches 24 aircraft to attack the American carriers.

1220: HIRYU's D3A1 Val dive-bombers find and hit Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20) flagship, the USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), with two bombs that stop her dead in the water. After about an hour, YORKTOWN's damage control teams restore her power.

1442: A second strike by the last ten of HIRYU's B5N2 Kates sends two torpedoes into the YORKTOWN and she again loses power. Later she is torpedoed by the submarine I-168 and finally sinks on 7 June.

1658: Twenty-four SBD dive-bombers launched from ENTERPRISE, including 10 recovered from abandoned YORKTOWN, find HIRYU, hit her with four bombs and set her ablaze.

1730: Captain Iwabuchi is ordered to standby to tow HIRYU with KIRISHIMA. As night falls and the HIRYU blazes, Iwabuchi grows concerned about the possibility of a submarine attack on his now illuminated battleship. He radios Nagumo for permission to abandon HIRYU.

1837: Nagumo orders Iwabuchi to rejoin NAGARA now the flagship after AKAGI was sunk.

5 June 1942:
That night, KIRISHIMA takes aboard an unknown number of survivors from carriers AKAGI, KAGA, SORYU and HIRYU who were rescued earlier by DesRon 10's destroyers.

14 June 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima.

9 July 1942:
Moves to Kure. Maintains standby alert.

14 July 1942:
KIRISHIMA and HIEI (F) are reassigned from the First Fleet to Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet in Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki's new BatDiv 11.

16 August 1942:
BatDiv 11's KIRISHIMA and HIEI depart Kure via Yokosuka towards Truk with a task group: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, CarDiv 2's light carrier RYUJO, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers.

20-23 August 1942:
The CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI) cancels a planned stop at Truk. The fleet refuels at sea from oilers while enroute towards Guadalcanal.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
BatDiv 11 cruises northeast of Guadalcanal with the Carrier Strike Force, Mobile Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, Desron 10. Detached light carrier RYUJO is sunk by aircraft from Task Group 11's USS SARATOGA (CV-3). CarDiv 1 launches an air attack against Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) which is hit by three bombs but is not sunk. Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" bomb CarDiv 1. The SHOKAKU is slightly damaged by bomb fragments. KIRISHIMA is not damaged.

28 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Maintains standby alert.

30 August 1942:
BatDiv 11 arrives at Truk. Refuels from oiler TATEKAWA MARU.

10 September 1942:
BatDiv 11 sorties from Truk with Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's Third Fleet: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers. The Third Fleet accompanies Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet: Bat Div 3's KONGO, HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO and DesRon 2 to an area north of the Solomon Islands.

15-17 September 1942:
At sea. The fleets refuel destroyers.

18-20 September 1942:
The Second and Third Fleets sortie towards the Solomons.

20 September 1942:
The fleets are ordered to return to Truk.

23 September 1942:
BatDiv 11 arrives at Truk. Maintains standby alert.

11 October 1942:
BatDiv 11 departs Truk to attack U.S. forces off Guadalcanal with Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard Force: CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light Cruiser NAGARA and eight destroyers. The Vanguard Force accompanies Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of NAGATO) Air Group Force: CarDiv 2's HIYO, JUNYO, destroyers HAYASHIO and KUROSHIO. Abe and Kakuta's forces are followed by Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, cruiser KUMANO and eight destroyers.

12 October 1942:
East of the Solomon Islands. BatDiv 11's KIRISHIMA and HIEI and the Second and Third Fleets take up position to provide distant cover for Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA that is detached with DesRon 2's light cruiser ISUZU and destroyers and proceeds to Guadalcanal.

14-15 October 1942:
BatDiv 11 maintains distant cover while KONGO and HARUNA bombard Henderson Field. The next night, Vice Admiral Mikawa's Eighth Fleet cruisers CHOKAI and KINUGASA bombard the airfield again.

23 October 1942:
650 miles north of Espirtu Santo. The Vanguard Force is sighted by a PBY "Catalina" patrol plane based in the Santa Cruz Islands.

25 October 1942:
0940: The Vanguard Force is sighted by another PBY that attacks a battleship with two 500-lb. depth charges. Both miss. KIRISHIMA launches two Mitsublishi Type F1M2 "Pete" floatplanes that attack the PBY. The patrol plane is damaged but escapes.

1450: The Vanguard Force is sighted heading north at 25 knots by six B-17s of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Espirtu Santo.

1510. The six B-17s bomb KIRISHIMA but score no hits.

26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
0630: The Vanguard Force making 20 knots is reported by two Douglas "Dauntless" SDB dive-bombers of Air Group 10 from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6).

0740: Kondo orders Abe's Vanguard Force to forego screening Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force and to close on an American carrier force sighted earlier by a Nakajima B5N Kate from ZUIKAKU.

The Vanguard Force is attacked by dive-bombers and torpedo planes from ENTERPRISE and the USS HORNET (CV-8). Three SDB dive-bombers attack KIRISHIMA. She is not damaged, but several 1,000-lb. bombs hit CHIKUMA.

Nagumo and Kakuta launch air attacks that mortally damage HORNET. They also damage ENTERPRISE and light anti-aircraft cruiser SAN JUAN (CLAA-54). A 550-lb bomb hits new battleship SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57). It jams her No. 1 turret in train and disables two of the three 16-inch rifles in her No. 2 turret.

30 October 1942:
The Vanguard Force returns to Truk, then maintains 'standby alert'.

1 November 1942:
BatDiv 11's Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki is promoted to Vice Admiral.

2 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA) assumes command of the Third Fleet. Vice Admiral Nagumo is reassigned as the Commandant of the Sasebo Naval Station. Vice Admiral Kondo, Commander of the Second Fleet, is appointed the Deputy Commander of the Combined Fleet.

9 November 1942:
Departs Truk.

10 November 1942:
BatDiv 11 and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU and YUGURE depart the Shortland anchorage off Bougainville to execute Vice Admiral Kondo's planned landing of 14,500 men, heavy weapons and supplies of the IJA's 38th "Hiroshima" Infantry Division and the 8th Special Naval Landing Force on Guadalcanal. The twelve destroyers of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2 will escort an 11-ship high-speed reinforcement convoy. The landing is to be preceded by another bombardment of Henderson Field. Part of Kondo's plan calls for DesDiv 27's destroyers to act as picket ships between Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands.

12 November 1942:
In the early morning, BatDiv 11 is joined by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA (F) and the destroyers AKATSUKI, AMATSUKAZE, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, TERUZUKI and YUKIKAZE that arrive from Truk.

1030: A B-17 heading towards Savo Island spots Abe's force. Two covering Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" fighters, launched from a holding position north of Malaita Island by Vice Admiral Kakuta's carrier JUNYO, attempt unsuccessfully to intercept the bomber.

1530: Abe's force rendezvous with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takama Tamotsu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 4 sweeping unit's ASAGUMO (F), HARUSAME, MURASAME, SAMIDARE and YUDACHI. Abe orders the destroyers to form a tight double half-ring formation as an anti-submarine measure. NAGARA follows with BatDiv 11 in column behind. The force proceeds south down the "Slot" at 18 knots.

HIEI catapults an E8N2 Dave reconnaissance floatplane. A heavy rainstorm begins that lasts several hours. The plane reports more than a dozen enemy warships off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal.

13 November 1942:The First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
0000: Abe orders his force to reverse course and slow to 12 knots because of the weather.

0040: The rain squall finally ends. Abe orders his force to again reverse course and proceed towards Savo Island, Guadalcanal.

0110: Abe orders BatDiv 11 to make their 14-inch main batteries ready to fire thousand pound HE Type 3 shells. Each shell contains 470 individual incendiary submunitions.

0142: Off Savo Island. Destroyer YUDACHI reports: "Enemy sighted!" Abe quickly orders BatDiv 11's gunnery officers to replace the Type 3 incendiary shells with Type 0 armor piercing shells.

0150: Abe's force commences a night gun battle with U.S. cruisers and destroyers.

During the ensuing action, Abe's force sinks ATLANTA and kills Rear Admiral Norman Scott. The destroyers CUSHING, MONSSEN, (DD-436) and the BARTON (DD-599) are also sunk. KIRISHIMA damages the cruiser SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38) and kills her skipper Captain Cassin Young (MOH at PH) and Rear Admiral Daniel T. Callaghan (former naval aide to President Roosevelt), Commander, Task Group 67.4. Both Callaghan and Scott are awarded Medals of Honor posthumously.

Aboard HIEI, both Vice Admiral Abe and her skipper Captain Nishida are wounded. The Americans sink the destroyers AKATSUKI and YUDACHI and damage AMATSUKAZE and IKAZUCHI. KIRISHIMA is hit by an 8-inch that kills seven crewmen.

Abe abandons the bombardment mission and retires westward around Savo Island with HIEI, NAGARA and DesRon 10's destroyers. That night, KIRISHIMA takes HIEI in tow and retires westward around Savo Island with the NAGARA and DesRon 10's destroyers.

Admiral Yamamoto relieves Abe of tactical command and orders his deputy Vice Admiral Kondo to shell Henderson Field the next night. For this tasking, Kondo orders his battle worthy forces to rendezvous north of Guadalcanal. **

0630: Vice Admiral Mikawa, CINC, Eighth Fleet, sorties from the Shortland Islands for Guadalcanal in the heavy cruiser CHOKAI (F) with KINUGASA, light cruiser ISUZU and the destroyers ARASHIO and the ASASHIO. Mikawa's mission is to carry out Kondo's original plan and bombard Henderson Field with his cruisers where Abe failed with his battleships. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (former CO of HARUNA) Bombardment Unit, heavy cruisers MAYA, SUZUYA, light cruiser TENRYU and destroyers KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO, MICHISHIO and YUGUMO accompany Mikawa.

1652: 360 miles south of Guadalcanal. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Thomas L. Gatch's USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) escorting Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) from Noumea, New Caledonia to Guadalcanal, joins Captain Glenn B. Davis' new battleship WASHINGTON (BB-56) and destroyers PRESTON (DD-379), BENHAM (DD-397), WALKE (DD-416) and GWIN (DD-433) at sea. As ordered by Vice Admiral W. F. "Bull" Halsey, ComSoPac, they form Task Force 64 under the command of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Willis A. Lee (former CO of CONCORD, CL-10) aboard WASHINGTON.

1915: TF 64 detaches from ENTERPRISE group and heads north at 26 knots.

1900-0100: HIEI, crippled by shell and torpedo hits from the previous night's battle and devastated by bomb and torpedo attacks that day, is abandoned and scuttled.

2210: Kondo's Force gathers at the rendezvous point at Ontong Java. He forms an Emergency Bombardment (Volunteer Attack) Force composed of KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO (F) and TAKAO. DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and six destroyers form a Screening Unit while DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and three destroyers form a Sweeping Unit. Carrier JUNYO, battleships KONGO and HARUNA and the remainder of Kondo's Second Fleet Advanced Force are to hold station as distant cover.

14 November 1942:
0010: Mikawa's cruisers launch float planes to drop magnesium parachute flares and light targets on Henderson Field.

0130-0200: CHOKAI, MAYA and SUZUYA bombard Henderson Field with 1, 370 8-inch shells, then retire towards Shortlands.

0530: Vice Admiral Kondo's Bombardment Force detaches from the Advanced Force and proceeds slowly southeastward while KIRISHIMA, KONGO and HARUNA refuel the destroyers. After refueling, KONGO and HARUNA detach and take up station with the covering force.

0739: LtCdr (later Vice Admiral/Medal of Honor) Lawson P. "Red" Ramage's USS TROUT (SS-202) sights KIRISHIMA but the submarine is unable to gain an attack position.

During the day, Rear Admiral Tanka's reinforcement convoy is attacked repeatedly by aircraft from the "Cactus Air Force" on Guadalcanal and ENTERPRISE's Air Group. Six of Tanaka's 11 troop transports are sunk or abandoned and one damaged so severely that she is forced to return to Shortland. Tanaka presses on with his four remaining transports.

1455: 100 miles south of Guadalcanal. A Japanese search plane sights Lee's TF 64, but misidentifies the ships as two "cruisers" and four destroyers.

1629: East of Santa Ysabel Island, TROUT again sights KIRISHIMA. This time the battleship is under air attack. While KIRISHIMA is so engaged, Ramage fires five Mark-14 torpedoes at her. One, a dud, hits the battleship. Another passes under a destroyer, and others narrowly miss Kondo's flagship, ATAGO.

2210: Lookouts aboard light cruiser SENDAI report sighting two enemy "cruisers" and four destroyers north of Savo Island. Admiral Kondo splits his force so that they can attack the Americans from several directions at once.

2045: Kondo receives a report from another search plane of a sighting of two enemy "cruisers" and four destroyers heading north at 25 knots.

15 November 1942: The Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
Iron Bottom Bay off Savo Island. TF 64 approaches Guadalcanal on a northerly course in a column formation. The destroyer WALKE leads, followed by BENHAM, PRESTON and GWIN, with WASHINGTON and SOUTH DAKOTA 5,000 yards behind.

At 0001, WASHINGTON makes radar contact at 18,000 yards, bearing to the east of Savo Island. At 0016, WASHINGTON opens fire on SENDAI with her 16-inch main battery. SENDAI makes smoke, puts about and retires undamaged. Light cruiser NAGARA and her destroyers engage the Americans with gunfire and "Long Lance" torpedoes. During the action, more than 30 torpedoes are launched at SOUTH DAKOTA. Amazingly, they all miss her, but the destroyers PRESTON and WALKE are sunk and BENHAM is so badly damaged that she must be scuttled the next evening by GWIN (by gunfire, after attempts with four Mark 15 torpedoes fail).

At 0043, KIRISHIMA and AYANAMI illuminate SOUTH DAKOTA (whose main forward armament has not been repaired fully since damaged at Santa Cruz) with their searchlights. It is not until this time that Admiral Kondo, studying the enemy vessel's superstructure, realizes that his force is up against new enemy battleships, not cruisers.

KIRISHIMA hits SOUTH DAKOTA with a single 14-inch round that explodes on her aft No. 3 turret's barbette. SOUTH DAKOTA also takes seventeen 8-inch hits from the ATAGO and TAKAO, plus five 6-inch and one 5-inch hits.The hits prove the worth of SOUTH DAKOTA's armor, but make a shambles of her superstructure, tear up radar and communications cables, shatter her radar plot, disable her gun directors and destroy four of her six fire-control radars.

Undetected, WASHINGTON approaches to within 5,800 yards of KIRISHIMA - point blank range. With radar-directed fire, WASHINGTON hits KIRISHIMA with nine of the seventy-five 16-inch AP shells she fires. These, and over forty 5-inch shells, set KIRISHIMA afire, disable two of her 14-inch turrets, destroy her rudder and hole her at the waterline. Flooding, KIRISHIMA lists to starboard and begins circling to port, smoking and ablaze. Five-inch rounds from SOUTH DAKOTA and WASHINGTON's secondary armament repeatedly hit the destroyer AYANAMI and she has to be scuttled by URANAMI. WASHINGTON is untouched.

Kondo orders Rear Admiral Tanka's reinforcement convoy to turn away (At dawn, Tanaka lands about 2,000 troops by running his four remaining transports aground on the beach near Tassafaronga). No attempt is made to save badly battered KIRISHIMA. The Emperor's and the Empress' portraits are removed to the destroyer ASAGUMO.

0325: Sunk: KIRISHIMA is scuttled, rolls over to starboard and capsizes seven miles NW of Savo Island at 9-10S, 159-55E. Over 300 crewmen are lost. Destroyers ASAGUMO, TERUZUKI and SAMIDARE rescue Captain Iwabuchi, his Executive Officer Captain Ono Koro and 1,125 survivors.

The first battleship vs. battleship encounter in the Pacific War is over, as is Admiral Yamamoto's "decisive naval battle" for Guadalcanal.

22 November 1942:
Captain Iwabuchi is formally relieved of command.***

20 December 1942:
BatDiv 11 is deactivated and KIRISHIMA is removed from the Navy List.

August 1992:
Oceanographer Dr. Robert D. Ballard discovers the wreck of KIRISHIMA in 4,000 feet of water, resting upside down with its bow blown off.

Authors' Notes:
*Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.)

**Vice Admiral Abe is reassigned to the Naval General Staff and retires on 20 March 1943.

***Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1943, Iwabuchi is in command of the 31st Naval Special Base Force at Manila defending the harbor when, on 25 February 1945, at Intramuros - the old Spanish walled city - Iwabuchi probably takes his own life as Manila falls to the Americans. He is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Messrs. Yutaka Iwasaki, Kazuo Kuroyama, Tsutomu Nakagawa, Misao Toyama and Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan, Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada and Mr. Matthew Jones of the United States.

– Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg.

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