IJN Musashi: Tabular Record of Movement
© 2000-2001 Bob Hackett
20 May 1938: The Sino-Japanese War:
Near Hankow, China. At dawn, six Soviet Tupolev TB-3 long-range bombers, with Chinese markings but manned by Russian crews, take off and fly to Kyushu, Japan. The Russians overfly Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Sasebo, drop leaflets and take pictures. Over Nagasaki’s Mitsubishi Shipbuilding they photograph a battleship under construction in the No. 2 slipway. This is Japan’s second super-battleship, the unnamed "Battleship No. 2", laid down on 29 March 1938.
5 August 1942: Initial World War II Command Structure:
Battleship No. 2 is completed and named the MUSASHI. She is commissioned in the IJN three months late because of the requirement to be fitted as a flagship with additional communications gear. Her Equipping Officer, Captain (later Vice Admiral) Arima Kaoru (former CO of HIEI) is assigned as the Commanding Officer. She is moved from Nagasaki to Kure for final fitting out.
The MUSASHI is assigned to the Combined Fleet's BatDiv 1 with the YAMATO, the NAGATO and the MUTSU. The MUSASHI is home based at the Yokosuka Naval Base for crew rotations and repairs.
10 August 1942:
The MUSASHI arrives at Hashirajima where she carries out additional tests, such as full speed trials and maneuvering in the Iyo Nada, mooring and aircraft launch drills.
3-28 September 1942:
Final fitting out at Kure. The MUSASHI’s initial AA suite is twelve 127-mm guns (6 twin mounts), twenty-four 25-mm guns (8 triple mounts) and four 13.2-mm machine guns (2 twin mounts). Twelve additional 25-mm guns (4 triple mounts) and a Type 21 radar are installed during this period.
28 September 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima for trials.
Training, gunnery practice in the western Inland Sea.
1 November 1942:
Captain Arima is promoted to Rear Admiral.
In the western Inland Sea. Conducts air training exercises with the carrier ZUIKAKU.
18 January 1943:
22 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
11 February 1943:
At Truk. Relieves her sister-ship, the YAMATO, as flagship of Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku's (former CO of CV AKAGI) Combined Fleet.
3 April 1943:
Admiral Yamamoto and his staff depart Truk for Rabaul on two Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boats to supervise Operation "I-Go" from 7 to 14 April. They are expected to return to the MUSASHI on 19 April.
18 April 1943:
Acting on "Ultra" codebreaker's deciphers and authorized by President Roosevelt, 18 Army Air Force P-38s take off from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, intercept and kill Admiral Yamamoto over Bougainville while his Mitsubishi GM4 "Betty" bomber is enroute from Rabaul to an IJN air base on Ballale Island. A second "Betty" carrying Yamamoto's Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome is also shot down, but Ugaki survives.
23 April 1943:
In the evening, a flying boat arrives carrying the ashes of Yamamoto and six of his staff officers. Yamamoto's ashes are secretly transferred to the Admiral's sea cabin under the supervision of senior staff officer Captain Kuroshima Kameto.
25 April 1943:
At Truk. At 1500, Admiral Koga Mineichi (former CO of ISE) arrives on an "Emily" from Yokosuka, ostensibly for an inspection tour. It is not made public until May that Koga, the former CINC of the little China Area Fleet, is the new CINC of the Combined Fleet.
11 May 1943: American Operation "Sandcrab"- The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell's Task Force 51, lands the Army's 7th Division that captures Attu Island.
17 May 1943:
Admiral Koga sorties from Truk for Yokosuka in response to the Attu invasion with a task force: BatDiv 1's MUSASHI, CarDiv 2: JUNYO, HIYO, CruDiv 8: TONE, CHIKUMA and nine destroyers. The MUSASHI also carries Admiral Yamamoto's ashes to Tokyo for a state funeral.
20 May 1943:
Alerted by Ultras, the USS SAWFISH (SS-276) picks up the task force on radar but the submarine is unable to attack.
22 May 1943:
The USS TRIGGER (SS-237) sights the task force off Tokyo Bay, but the submarine is unable to attack. The task force arrives safely. The MUSASHI drops anchor at the Kisarazu Bight. That evening, a Buddhist ceremony is held aboard. Yamamoto's ashes are sent ashore the next day aboard the destroyer YUGUMO.
The carriers ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU and the ZUIHO and the light cruisers AGANO and the OYODO join the task force at Yokosuka -Tokyo Bay. CruDiv 7: KUMANO, MOGAMI and the SUZUYA also arrives from Tokuyama. Before this powerful force can depart for a counterattack against the Aleutians, Attu falls to U.S. forces.
9 June 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Komura Keizo (former CO of FUSO) assumes command. Rear Admiral Arima is reassigned to the Etajima Naval Academy as a Senior Lecturer, later as Vice-President. The battle group puts to sea immediately thereafter.
23 June 1943:
Returns to Yokosuka for overhaul and overpainting (ostensibly preparing for an inspection tour by Yokosuka Navy Yard officials).
24 June 1943: Imperial Visit ("Gyoko"):
Between 1103 and 1425, the MUSASHI is visited by the Emperor and other officials. It is a top-secret event, but nevertheless the Imperial flag is hoisted. Admiral Koga hosts Hirohito and his brother (Navy Captain) Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal Marquis Kido Koichi, Navy minister Admiral Shimada Shigetaro, Chief of the Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano Osami, Commander of the Yokosuka Naval Base Admiral Toyoda Soemu, Commander of the Navy Technical Department (Kampon) Vice Admiral Sugiyama Toshisuke, IJN Air Force Chief of Staff Admiral Tsukahara Nishizo, Minister of the Interior Matsudaira Tsuneo, Hirohito's Chief Aide-de-Camp Hasunuma Shigeru and Aide-de-Camp Hyakutake. A festive dinner is enjoyed and later the Emperor visits the crew’s quarters and an AA defense station on the upper bridge. Most probably, the Emperor uses the MUSASHI’s elevator to reach it.
25 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure.
27 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
1 July 1943:
At Kure. Enters drydock. Type 22 Mod. 4 radars are installed on the bridge. The Type 22 provides limited fire control.
8 July 1943:
14 July 1943:
Departs Kure for trials, returns to Hashirajima that evening.
30 July 1943:
Departs Kure for Yokosuka, stops at Nagahama Bight overnight.
31 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka. 5 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
18 September 1943:
At Truk. The fleet sorties to Brown Island, Eniwetok in response to raids on Tarawa, Makin and Abemama Atolls by Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall's Task Force 15. Flagship MUSASHI remains at Truk with BatDiv 2's FUSO and BatDiv 3: KONGO and the HARUNA.
25 September 1943:
The fleet returns to Truk.
5-6 November 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's Task Force 14 carriers: USS ESSEX (CV-9), YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and the COWPENS (CVL-25) launch raids on Wake and the Marshall Islands.
17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests the Americans are planning another raid on Wake Island. Admiral Koga sorties from Truk to intercept the enemy carriers with the fleet: BatDiv 1: YAMATO, MUSASHI, NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, Bat Div 3: KONGO, HARUNA, CarDiv 1: SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CruDiv 4: ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA, CHOKAI, CruDiv 7: SUZUYA, MOGAMI, CruDiv 8: CHIKUMA, TONE and the light cruisers AGANO, NOSHIRO, OYODO and destroyers.
19-23 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Atoll, Eniwetok.
23 October 1943:
Departs Brown and sorties to a position 250 n. m. south of Wake. Returns after no contact is made with enemy forces.
26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.
1 November 1943:
Captain Komura is promoted to Rear Admiral.
7 December 1943:
Captain Asakura Bunji (former CO of CA TAKAO) assumes command. Rear Admiral Komura is reassigned as Chief of Staff of Vice Admiral Ozawa's Third (Mobile) Fleet.
4 February 1944:
The MUSASHI opens fire unsuccessfully on two USMC Consolidated PB4Y-1 (B-24) "Liberator" photo-reconnaissance planes that overfly Truk from Bougainville.
10-15 February 1944:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka with the light cruiser OYODO and the destroyers MICHISHIO and the TAMANAMI.
15-24 February 1944:
At Yokosuka. The MUSASHI is loaded with one Army battalion and one Special Naval Landing Force battalion, munitions, fuel and vehicles.
24 February 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Palau with the MICHISHIO, SHIRATSUYU and another destroyer. Enroute, the group encounters a Typhoon and most of the deck cargo of munitions is lost. During the storm, the MUSASHI has to reduce speed from 18 to six knots to allow her escorts to keep up.
25 February 1944:
BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI are reassigned from the First Fleet to the Second Fleet.
29 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau. Remains there for one month.
28 March 1944:
At Palau. The Combined Fleet's flag is "temporarily" moved ashore, as a result of anticipated air raids. Admiral Koga initially intends to return to MUSASHI once the attacks are over, but later decides to move his headquarters by plane to Davao in the Philippines.
29 March 1944:
The MUSASHI departs Palau after dark to avoid anticipated air raid screened by destroyers and moves towards the north of the island. At 1744, she has just cleared the western channel when she is hit in the port bow about 20 feet below the waterline by one of six torpedoes fired by LtCdr John A. Scott in the USS TUNNY (SS-282). The torpedo punches a hole about 19 feet in diameter in her bow. The forward windlass room and the Type O hydrophone compartment flood. There are 18 casualties including seven hydrophone operators killed in the bow. The MUSASHI ships 3,000-tons of water.
DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE counterattack the TUNNY unsuccessfully. Anticipating another air raid, Koga's staff forbids her to return to Palau after being hit. As soon as the damaged sections are shored up, the MUSASHI departs that night for Kure with DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, DesDiv 27's SHIRATSUYU and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI.
31 March 1944:
At 2200, Admiral Koga departs Palau by a Kawanishi Type 2 H8K2 "Emily" flying-boat of the 851st Naval Air Group to establish a new headquarters at Davao, the Philippines. His Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Fukudome Shigeru (former CO of NAGATO) also departs at the same time on board another "Emily" of the 802nd NAG. Both planes are lost in a typhoon off Cebu, the Philippines. Koga perishes, but Fukudome is later rescued by the IJA.
3 April-10 May 1944:
The MUSASHI arrives at Kure.
10-22 April 1944:
At Kure. In drydock No. 4. Repairs are made to the hull. Two beam triple 6.1-inch turrets are removed, each is replaced by three triple-mount 25-mm. AA guns. Twenty-one other triple-mount 25-mm. guns and 25 single 25-mm. guns are added. The MUSASHI's 150-cm searchlights Nos. 7 and 8 are removed to make room for the single mounts. The searchlights are later reinstalled for use by Sasebo's AA batteries. The MUSASHI's final AA suite is one hundred-thirty 25-mm AA guns (35 triple-mount, 25 single mount). Type 13 radar and new Type 22 radar-directed fire-control sets are fitted. Depth-charge rails are also installed on the fantail.
22 April 1944:
22-27 April 1944:
At Kure. Additional supplies are taken aboard.
Captain Asakura is promoted to Rear Admiral.
10 May 1944:
Departs Saeki for Okinawa. The MUSASHI joins CarDiv 2’s HIYO, JUNYO and the RYUHO and CarDiv 3’s ZUIHO, CHIYODA, CHITOSE and the destroyers AKISHIMO, MICHISHIO, SHIGURE and the TAMANAMI and heads for Okinawa.
12 May 1944:
Arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa. Departs for the Mobile Fleet operating base at Tawi Tawi.
16 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi anchorage, Sulu Sea.
16 May-10 June 1944:
At Tawi Tawi. In Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet with Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome's (former CO of HYUGA) BatDiv 1: YAMATO, MUSASHI. The MUSASHI and the YAMATO participate in joint gunnery drills at ranges of almost 22 miles.
10 June 1944: Operation "Kon" - The Relief of Biak:
Departs Tawi Tawi for Batjan with the YAMATO, CruDiv 5's HAGURO, MYOKO, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers. The USS HARDER (SS-257), on station nearby, reports the "Kon" Force leaving Tawi Tawi. Shortly after departure, as a result of a submarine alert and the subsequent maneuvering, the MUSASHI nearly rams the YAMATO.
12 June 1944:
The U.S. Invasion of Marianas begins. Operation Kon is "postponed".
13 June 1944:
Departs Batjan to rendezvous with the Mobile Fleet.
15 June 1944:
Ugaki's force is reported east of Mindanao by the USS SEAHORSE (SS-304).
16 June 1944:
Joins the the Mobile Fleet. At 2000 hours, the USS CAVALLA (SS-244) sights the Mobile Fleet in the Philippine Sea.
19 June 1944: Operation A-GO - The Battle of the Philippine Sea:
Vice Admiral Kurita's Second Fleet steams about 100 miles ahead of Vice Admiral Ozawa's carriers. At 0820, the YAMATO's lookouts spot aircraft approaching at 13,125 feet. This is the fighter unit of Air Group 601's second strike, but Kurita has not received any information about a friendly overflight. The cruiser TAKAO fires four starshells that mean "identify yourself". No reply is given and the planes keep approaching.
When the planes are nine miles distant, the YAMATO and the other ships execute a turn to port and open fire. Four ZEKEs are damaged. Another ditches. The YAMATO's main guns, loaded with "Sanshikidan" shells, may have damaged some of the planes. The MUSASHI is the only ship whose lookouts correctly identify the overflying planes in time, and she is the only ship that does not open fire.
The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack U.S. carrier Task Force 58 but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".
22 June 1944:
The MUSASHI retires to Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa to refuel the destroyer escort, then departs for Japan.
24 June 1944:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
9 July 1944:
Departs Kure for Okinawa with Group A: YAMATO, MUSASHI, CruDivs 4, 7, DesRon 2 and Group B: KONGO, NAGATO, cruiser MOGAMI and DesRon 10.
10 July 1944:
Group A detaches from Group B. Departs Okinawa.
17 July 1944:
Arrives at Lingga (near Singapore) to join the Mobile Fleet.
12 August 1944:
Captain Inoguchi Toshihira (former CO of CA TAKAO) assumes command. Rear Admiral Asakura is reassigned as Chief of Staff of the 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet based at Singapore.
Captain Inoguchi orders paint from the Singapore Naval Arsenal. The paint is furnished possibly from former Royal Navy stocks. Within a day, the MUSASHI's sides receive a new, dark coat.
15 October 1944:
Captain Inoguchi is promoted to Rear Admiral.
18 October 1944:
Black deck camouflage intended for the night breakthrough in the San Bernardino Strait is hastily applied to both the MUSASHI and the YAMATO. The main component is soot from the MUSASHI's stack.
18-20 October 1944:
Departs Lingga for Brunei Bay, Borneo.
22 October 1944: Operation SHO-I-GO ("Victory") - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
Sorties from Brunei towards the Philippines with Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) First Mobile Striking Force, Force "A" (Center Force): BatDiv 1: YAMATO, MUSASHI, NAGATO, CruDivs 4, 5, DesRon 2.
23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
Two American submarines attack Force "A". At 0534, LtCdr (later Captain) David H. McClintock's USS DARTER (SS-227) sinks Kurita's flagship, the cruiser ATAGO. He abandons ship and is picked from the water by the destroyer KISHINAMI. At 1550, ten hours later, Kurita transfers to the YAMATO and resumes command of the First Diversion Attack Force. The DARTER also damages the cruiser TAKAO.
LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen D. Claggett's USS DACE (SS-247) sinks the cruiser MAYA. The MAYA's surviving crewmen are picked up by the destroyer AKISHIMO and transferred to the MUSASHI that afternoon.
24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
The MUSASHI is trimmed slightly down by the stern.
0810: A search plane from the USS INTREPID (CV-11) is sighted. For the next hour, the MUSASHI attempts unsuccessfully to jam the plane's radio reports.
1018: Lookouts sight 30 enemy planes.
1025: The MUSASHI opens fire.
1027: The MUSASHI, making 24 knots, is attacked by eight Curtiss SB2C "Helldivers" from the INTREPID. Four near-misses around the bow cause minor leaks below the waterline. One 500-lb bomb hits turret No.1 but fails to penetrate its roof armor.
1029: The MUSASHI is attacked by three of the INTREPID's Grumman TBF "Avengers". One torpedo hits starboard amidships slightly abaft the bridge and causes a 5. 5-degree list to starboard. She takes on 3,000-tons of water. After counterflooding, the list is reduced to one degree. A torpedo also hits the cruiser MYOKO. Two "Avengers" are shot down. An "Avenger" from the USS CABOT (CVL-28) fails to score because of the heavy flak.
The blast from the torpedo jams the MUSASHI's supposedly shockproof main armament director. This loss affects Rear Admiral Inoguchi's whole plan for the MUSASHI's AA defense. Prior to the battle, Inoguchi, known as the best gunnery theorist in the IJN, designs an elaborate AA scheme based on prolific use of "sanshikidans". The fact that the main director is knocked out so easily depresses him so much that he mentions it in his last letter to Admiral Toyoda, the Commanding Officer of the Combined Fleet.
During this attack, the MUSASHI fires forty-eight 155-mm (6.1-inch) and one hundred sixty 127-mm (5-inch) rounds at the American planes.
1047: Lookouts from the MUSASHI, YAMATO, cruisers CHOKAI, NOSHIRO and the destroyer KISHINAMI report periscope and torpedo wake sightings from that time on.
1154: The MUSASHI's Type 13 air-search radar detects approaching enemy planes on bearing 290, range 81 kilometers.
1157: Another contact is made with aircraft bearing 210, range 80 kilometers.
1203: Enemy planes are sighted. A second attack by eight "Helldivers" from the INTREPID scores two bomb hits and five near-misses. A dud penetrates two upper decks, demolishes the crew's head and exits above the waterline. A second bomb strikes portside ahead of 127-mm AA gun No. 4, penetrates two upper decks and explodes on the middle deck in crew space No. 10. Fragments rupture a steam pipe in engine room No. 2 directly below. This engine room and the adjacent boiler room No. 10 fill quickly with superheated steam and are abandoned. The damage results in the loss of the port inboard shaft. The MUSASHI's speed falls off to 22 knots. Two "Helldivers" are shot down.
1206: Nine TBM "Avengers" launch another "hammer and anvil"attack. One TBM is hit by flak and turns away. The eight remaining torpedo planes score three hits to the MUSASHI's portside amidships areas that cause a 5-degree list. The first torpedo hits abreast the main gun turret No. 1. The second floods hydraulic machinery compartment No. 2 and the third torpedo floods engine room No. 4. Nearby compartments are shored up and the main guns switch over to reserve hydraulic pumps. After immediate counter-flooding, the list is reduced to one degree port, but the MUSASHI is down about 6 feet by the bow. Her three remaining three propellers are throttled up for a maximum speed of 22 knots to keep pace with the rest of the fleet.
During this attack, the MUSASHI switches over to her second main armament director. She fires nine 460-mm Type 3 shells, seventeen 155-mm and over two hundred 25-mm rounds. After the first main gun salvo, a bomb fragment penetrates the muzzle of the middle 460-mm gun of turret No. 1 and detonates a Type 3 shell that has just been loaded. The resulting explosion disables the turret's elevating machinery, rendering it inoperable. After this turret is disabled, the remaining two turrets fire 45 "sanshikidans" for a total of 54 fired in the attack.
1312: Kurita orders fleet speed reduced to 22 knots so that the MUSASHI can keep up.
1331: The MUSASHI undergoes a third attack, this time by 29 aircraft from the USS ESSEX (CV-9) and the USS LEXINGTON (CV-2). The MUSASHI is strafed by two F6F "Hellcats". Then four SB2C "Helldivers" score two near hits starboard amidships and abreast the aft main gun turret No. 3 that cause casualties among the nearby AA gun crews.
Six TBM "Avengers" launch three more "hammer and anvil" attacks. They score four torpedo hits. The first torpedo hits starboard forward of the main gun turret No. 1. The blast from it penetrates fuel tanks, watertight compartments and wrecks the log and sounding rooms. A temporary hospital at the bow fills with carbon monoxide. There are many casualties.
Next, three flights of "Helldivers" score four bomb hits port side near main gun turret No. 1. Another torpedo hits the starboard bow area and floods storerooms and causes a further list to starboard. The third torpedo hits portside forward of the main gun turret No. 1 and the fourth hits port amidships.
1350: The third attack is over. Counter-flooding reduces the heavy list to starboard to one degree. The ship is now down 13 feet by the bow with almost all trim tanks and voids filled. The MUSASHI's speed drops to 20 knots and she starts to lag behind the First Section of "Force "A". During this attack, the MUSASHI fires thirty-five 460-mm Type 3 shells, seventy-nine 155-mm and over five hundred 25-mm AA rounds.
1412: The fourth attack by eight "Hellcats" and 12 "Helldivers" from the ESSEX is directed against the YAMATO and the NAGATO. The MUSASHI continues to steam behind her section. Rear Admiral Inoguchi reports to Admiral Kurita that, despite the damage to his ship, he is able to make 20 knots.
1445: Captain Mayuzumi Haruo, the skipper of the cruiser TONE, suggests that the entire Second Section of the First Striking Force provide fire support for the MUSASHI to defend her against further torpedo attacks.
1455: Sixty-nine aircraft from the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and the USS FRANKLIN (CV-13) begin the fifth attack of the day on Kurita's fleet. Pilots from the ENTERPRISE report the MUSASHI lagging behind the other ships, trailing oil and making but eight knots. The MUSASHI hoists the signal 'Enemy aircraft sighted'.
1515: Nine of the ENTERPRISE's SB2C "Helldivers" score four 1,000-lb AP bomb hits. The first three strike in the port bow area and cause damage below decks. The entire forward damage control team is annihilated. The fourth bomb wrecks the Chief Steward's office.
Eight "Avengers" launch a "hammer and anvil" attack and score three torpedo hits. The first two torpedoes hit the bow from both sides. The third hits starboard abreast the funnel, near the where the first attack's torpedo hit. Cooling machinery room No. 3 and starboard hydraulic machinery compartment flood. Leaks start in Damage Control Central that are shored up. The departing American pilots report the MUSASHI smoking, heavily down by the bow and dead in the water.
The MUSASHI is, in fact, down by the bow, but is making 16 knots on three shafts. After counter-flooding, her starboard list is reduced to 1-2 degrees, but her speed falls off to 13 knots.
Seventy-five aircraft from the INTREPID (34), FRANKLIN (30) and the CABOT (11) make the day's sixth attack on the fleet replacing the departing ENTERPRISE's planes. Thirty-seven planes attack the MUSASHI. (Note: Over 50 years later, the total number and location of all hits during this last attack is still under dispute. Most Japanese sources give 11 torpedo hits, 10 bomb hits and six near misses.)
1525: Three of the FRANKLIN's "Helldivers" claim two 500-lb AP bomb hits. Nine of her "Avengers" attack next. Two are shot down.
1530: Seven of the INTREPID's "Helldivers" attack, followed by two of her "Avengers". A 500-lb AP bomb penetrates the right wing of the air defense station and detonates on the first bridge. Both the bridge and the adjacent operations room are set afire. Fifty-two crewmen are killed and 20 wounded, including the MUSASHI's skipper, Admiral Inoguchi. After the fire is extinguished, Inoguchi assumes command from the second bridge.
Three bombs detonate in a row portside on the forecastle deck, abreast the forward main gun turrets. They knock out two single and one triple 25-mm AA gun mounts, the main communications room, telegraph room No. 1 and the telephone room. The blast penetrates boiler rooms Nos. 4 and 8.
The next two bombs explode on the forecastle deck starboard, abreast the superstructure. They wreck two single and one triple 25-mm AA mounts. The seventh bomb hits the middle AA gun crew shelter, causing extensive damage on the flag deck. The eight bomb explodes portside in crew's space No. 5 and demolishes the nearby hospital. The ninth bomb strikes the forward main gun turret No. 1. Finally, the tenth bomb explodes starboard in the officer's wardroom.
Three torpedoes strike to port and two strike to starboard almost simultaneously, causing extensive damage and flooding in starboard area. The first of these torpedoes hits port (near a previous hit from the second attack) abreast the main gun turret No. 1, flooding its lower powder handling room. The second torpedo slowly floods port boiler room No. 8 and soon thereafter the adjacent No. 12 abaft. Almost simultaneously, a bomb explodes over boiler room No. 8 and its blast penetrates that boiler room.
The next four torpedoes strike port, further flooding boiler room No. 8 and the aft 25-mm gun magazine. Three of those four torpedoes strike port amidships in the vicinity of engine room No. 4. A 30-foot long section of the ship's side is gouged out. The engine room floods causing the MUSASHI to lose her other portside shaft. Her speed drops to six knots.
The last two torpedoes strike port aft, flooding the 127-mm AA gun No. 6's magazine, the after gyro room and the port outboard shaft's tunnel. One of those two hits under the aft 155-mm. turret. The MUSASHI develops a 10 degree list to port. The crew counter-floods again and reduces the list to six degrees. The MUSASHI's main steering engine is shorted out temporarily and her main rudder jams 15 degrees left. She starts to swing to port, but the damage is repaired quickly and she resumes course. Another "Avenger" is shot down and three others damaged, as are three "Helldivers".
In all, Force "A" endures raids by 259 U.S. carrier aircraft during the day. The MUSASHI sustains a total of 19 torpedo (10 port, 9 starboard) and 17 bomb hits, as well as 18 near misses.
1530: Vice Admiral Kurita orders the fleet to assume course 290.
1621: Kurita's force again approaches the MUSASHI. She is heading north with a 10-degree list to port, down by the bow more than 26 feet, with her forecastle deck awash. Kurita dispatches the cruiser TONE and the destroyers SHIMAKAZE and KIYOSHIMO to escort her.
All free hands and the wounded are assembled topside starboard to counter the list. The port main anchor is dropped into the sea. Rice and other consumables from the storerooms, as well as timber used in damage control operations, are loaded on the starboard side. In a last attempt to reduce the list, the crew's spaces starboard aft, some boiler rooms and starboard outboard engine room No. 3 are flooded using the Kingston valves. As a result, the MUSASHI loses another shaft. Admiral Inoguchi attempts to beach the MUSASHI, but her engines stop before he can do so.
1915: When the list reaches 12 degrees, Inoguchi gives the order to "standby to abandon ship". The Executive Officer, Captain Kato Kenkichi (former XO of CA CHOKAI), assembles the crew on the afterdeck. The battle flag is lowered. Admiral Inoguchi retires to his cabin and is not seen again.
1930: After her list reaches 30 degrees to port, the MUSASHI slowly starts to turn over. Captain Kato gives the order to abandon ship. He orders the Emperor's portrait removed. The SHIMAKAZE removes 635 of 769 of the MAYA's survivors earlier taken aboard the MUSASHI.
Sunk: At 1936, the MUSASHI capsizes to port and sinks by the bow in 4,430 feet of water in the Visayan Sea at 13-07N, 122-32E. Two explosions are heard.
The destroyers KIYOSHIMO and the HAMAKAZE rescue 1,376 survivors including XO Captain Kato, but 1,023 of her 2,399 man crew are lost including her skipper, Rear Admiral Inoguchi.
The Americans lose 18 planes shot down.
The MUSASHI's survivors are taken to Manila then to Corregidor Island. Most are then sent home, about 200 on the carrier JUNYO and some on the YAMATO. Three hundred of the remaining 620 survivors are divided between IJN units defending the Cavite Naval Base, Fort Drum in Manila Bay, Clark Field, the Caraballo Mountains and the Cabaruan Hills. The remaining survivors are incorporated into the Special Landing Force of Rear Admiral Iwabuchi Sanji's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) 31st Naval Base Force and most are killed defending Manila.
31 August 1945:
Removed from Navy List.
Author's Note: Special thanks go to Mr. Sander Kingsepp of Estonia for his invaluable assistance in researching materials for this TROM. Thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM also go to Mr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada - Bob Hackett.
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