Editorial Notes by Anthony Tully - Managing Editor, CombinedFleet.com


[1] Note: It is one of the ironies of Matsu's tragic last stand that the presence of the carrier Zuiho contributed more to the convoy's destruction then its protection. Why? Because TF 58 had been informed by Ultra a Japanese carrier was at sea in the vicinity, and had hurried to possibly destroy it. As a result, the forces attacking Matsu's convoy were considerable, comprised of three carriers and their screen: TG 58.1 (RADM James J. Clark): Hornet (flag), Franklin, and Cabot. At 0830 4 August TG 58.1 moved to launch strikes both on Chichi-Jima and attack the convoy.

[2] This surface group TG 58.1.6 (RADM Laurence T. DuBose) was part of TF 58.1's screen, detached at 1151 for the purpose of destroying Matsu and her consorts which had been reported at 1116 by TG 58.1 planes as a convoy 15 miles northwest of of NW tip of Chichi-Jima. It comprised light cruisers Santa Fe (flag), Mobile, Biloxi, and Oakland; with four destroyers of DesRon 46: DesDiv 91 (Capt. C.F.Espe): Izard (flag), Charette, Burns, and Brown. They were to be joined and relieved by three more destroyers of DesDiv 100 (Cdr. C.F. Chillingworth) initially 18 miles astern: Cogswell (flag),Ingersoll, and Knapp. At 1811 Cogswell made radar contact on Matsu at a range of 19,000 yards at 1820 Izard sighted Matsu bearing 44 degrees to starboard, 15,000 yds. The chase commmenced, with the reinforcements of DesDiv 100 fast catching up to DuBose's cruisers. In fact, just as fired was opened on Matsu, at 1830 DesDiv 100 arrived and fell in astern of the cruisers. Given this timing, Desdiv 91 thus remained on the scene while Desdiv 100 joined the firing on Matsu. In fact, at one point, every ship in the force was firing on her.

[3] The last stand of the Matsu sufficiently impressed her enemies that they over-estimated her size. Despite the close range at the end, the Americans identified her variously as "either a Fubuki-class destroyer or a Katori-class light cruiser." (DesDiv 100 Action Report). It is unclear who rescued the six Matsu survivors; it does not appear to be DuBose's force. It appears they and the only survivor of Tonegawa Maru was picked up by a U.S. submarine a few days later.

[4] Takeshi, Akemura. "The Fighting Captains of the Matsus", Gakken No. 43 Matsu-Tachibana Class. Translated by Gernot Hassenpflug RASC, Kyoto University, 2003.

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