YUSOSEN!



(NARUTO in 1932)

IJN NARUTO:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2005-2016 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.
Revision 7


11 April 1922:
Laid down at Yokosuka Navy Yard.

30 January 1923:
Launched and named NARUTO.

1 July 1924:
Cdr (later Capt) Hirayama Sakae (31)(former CO of KAMOI) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

30 October 1924:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Cdr Hirayama is the Commanding Officer.

1 April 1925:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Niiyama Yoshiyuki (32) assumes command.

1 December 1925:
Captain Hayashi Sueki (32)(former CO of NOJIMA) is appointed Commanding Officer.

1 May 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kuragano Akira (33) assumes command.

1 December 1927:
Captain Shimomura Keisaburo (33)(former XO of OI) is appointed Commanding Officer.

10 December 1928:
Captain Masushima Tadao (34) is appointed Commanding Officer.

30 November 1929:
Cdr Sakamoto Masataka (35) is appointed Commanding Officer.

1 December 1930:
Captain Yamauchi Taizo (36) is appointed Commanding Officer.

1 December 1931:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Goga Keijiro (38) assumes command.

1 November 1932:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Oshima Kenshiro (39) assumes command.

1 December 1932:
Cdr Oshima is promoted Captain.

1 April 1933:
Captain Izawa Toru (36) is appointed Commanding Officer.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mizuno Junichi (42) assumes command.

15 November 1934:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi (39) assumes command.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ishikawa Shigeru (40) assumes command.

2 November 1936:
Cdr Hori Yugoro (later Rear Admiral)(41) assumes command.

1 December 1936:
Cdr Hori is promoted Captain.

11 July 1937:
Kure. The 21st Naval Air Group (NAG) is formed and attached to the Second Fleet.

7 August 1937:
NARUTO departs Kure with the 21st NAG embarked to participate in the Tianjin (Tientsin) northern China operations.

30 September 1937:
Lushun (Port Arthur). The 21st Sea Scout Unit, disembarked from NARUTO, waits for seaplane tender KINUGASA MARU.

15 November 1937:
An unknown officer assumes command.

25 November 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Suzuki Chozo (40) assumes command.

20 July 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kiyota Takahiko (42) assumes command.

15 December 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kouda Takero (41)(current CO of YUBARI) assumes joint command of NARUTO until 20 December.

20 December 1938:
An unknown officer assumes command.

20 October 1939:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Seki Ikuya (43) assumes command.

15 November 1939:
Cdr Seki is promoted Captain.

28 November 1940:
Captain Sasaki Seigo (45)(former XO of YURA) is appointed Commanding Officer.

28 July 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigeyasu (40) assumes command.

17 November 1941:
Departs Kure.

6 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi.

7 December 1941:
Departs Roi.

8 December 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

13 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein.

17 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi.

20 December 1941:
Departs Roi.

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Hashirajima and later transfers to Kure.

8 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

18 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao.

12 March 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

14 March 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

18 March 1942:
Arrives at Ise Wan.

19 March 1942:
Departs Ise Wan.

22 March 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Later that day transfers from Hashirajima to Kure.

24 March 1942:
Departs Kure.

31 March 1942:
Arrives at Subic Bay.

4 April 1942:
Olongapo. Provides fuel oil to auxiliary seaplane tender SANUKI MARU. Later that day departs Subic Bay.

7 April 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

8 April 1942:
Departs Mako.

12 April 1942:
Enters Bungo Suido (Strait) heading north.

13 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

20 April 1942:
Departs Kure.

23 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

3 May 1942:
Departs Hiro.

4 May 1942:
Arrives at Kanokawa.

8 May 1942:
Departs Kanokawa.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

11 May 1942:
Departs Hashirajima.

15 May 1942:
Arrives at Kanokawa.

16 May 1942:
Transfers to Kure.

25 May 1942:
Departs Kanokawa.

26 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

29 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
At 0600, departs Sukumo Bay with the CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku's (32)(former CO of AKAGI) Main Body and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (41) DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI with DesDiv 11's FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, MURAKUMO and HATSUYUKI, DesDiv 19's URANAMI, SHIKANAMI, AYANAMI, ISONAMI and YUKAZE. Screens BatDiv 1's YAMATO, NAGATO and MUTSU, escort carrier HOSHO, seaplane tenders CHIYODA and NISSHIN and Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigesayu's (40) Supply Group No. 1's oilers NARUTO and TOEI MARU.

The Main Body remains 600 miles behind Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) First Carrier Striking Force and does not engage American forces.

14 June 1942:
The Main Body returns to Hashirajima.

19 June 1942:
Passes through Bungo Suido escorted by destroyer YUKAZE.

16 August 1942:
Passes through Bungo Suido unescorted.

23 September 1942:
Enters the Bungo Straits heading north in a convoy also composed of tanker KOKUYO MARU and transport NAGISAN MARU.

12 November 1942:
Off Shortland Island, Bougainville. NARUTO is damaged by Allied aircraft.

4 December 1942:
Passes through Bungo Suido escorted by subchaser CH-37 heading north. Off Fukajima, CH-37 is detached.

E 29 December 1942:
NARUTO is met off Fukajima by patrol boat PB-46 and heads south.

30 December 1942:
When 90 degrees off Toi Misaki, PB-46 is detached.

7 May 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Setoyama Yasuhide (45) assumes command.

10 May 1943:
Truk. At 1400, NARUTO and ammunition ship NARUTO MARU depart via the North channel escorted by torpedo boat OTORI.

21 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 June 1943:
Rabaul. NARUTO refuels submarine I-38.

E 27 June 1943:
Tanker NICHIEI MARU arrives at Rabaul from Truk escorted by destroyer MINAZUKI to offload fuel to NARUTO.

11 July 1943:
Rabaul. NARUTO refuels DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE and DesDiv 16's HAMAKAZE.

13 July 1943: The Battle of Kolombangara:

NARUTO receives a spare torpedo from TANIKAZE. At 0330, that day, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously)Isaki Shunji’s (42) ComDesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU departs Rabaul with DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's YUGURE, DesDiv 30's MIKAZUKI and DesDiv 31's KIYONAMI and destroyer-transports SATSUKI, MINAZUKI, YUNAGI and MATSUKAZE carrying 1,200 troops to be landed at Vila on Kolombangara Island, New Georgia.

JINTSU and YUKIKAZE detect Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Walden L. Ainsworth's (USNA ’10) (former CO of USS MISSISSIPPI, BB-38) Task Group 36.1 consisting of CruDiv 9's USS HONOLULU (F)(CL-48), USS ST LOUIS (CL-49), HMNZS LEANDER escorted by 10 destroyers.

At 2308, Rear Admiral Isaki’s warships launch 31 Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at TG 36.1. JINTSU snaps on her searchlight to illuminate Ainsworth's force.

At 2310, USS HONOLULU, USS ST LOUIS and HMNZS LEANDER open fire on JINTSU and Ainsworth's other warships launch torpedoes at Isaki's force. JINTSU is hit by at least ten 6-inch shells from the Allied cruisers and set afire. Rear Admiral Isaki, Captain Sato Torajiro (43) and Executive Officer Cdr Kondo Issei (50) are KIA.

Captain Shimai Zenjiro (48), ComDesDiv 16, aboard YUKIKAZE assumes command of the IJN force. Shimai launches torpedo attacks on the Allied force that sink LtCdr J. B. Fellows' destroyer USS GWIN (DD-433) and severely damages New Zealand light cruiser HMNZS LEANDER. USS ST LOUIS is hit by a torpedo that twists her bow. A torpedo strikes flagship USS HONOLULU's starboard side, and blows a hole in her hull.

At 2348, JINTSU breaks in two and sinks at 07-38S, 157-06E. The Transport Group successfully lands 1,200 men on Vila, so the Battle of Kolombangara is a major defeat for the Allies.

13 July 1943:
Rabaul. NARUTO refuels destroyer TANIKAZE that departs that same day for Truk.

15 July 1943:
Destroyers YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 31's KIYONAMI and DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE arrive back at Rabaul via the Shortlands after the Battle of Kolombangara and are refueled by NARUTO.

18 July 1943:
NARUTO refuels destroyer MINAZUKI.

20 July 1943:
Refuels destroyer MIKAZUKI.

21 July 1943:
Refuels destroyer MIKAZUKI again.

12 August 1943:
Rabaul. Provides lubricating oil to auxiliary storeship TAKUNAN MARU.

7 October 1943:
Rabaul. Provides provides bunker oil to auxiliary oiler KYOEI MARU.

12 October 1943: American Air Raid on Rabaul:
LtGen(later General) George C. Kenney's 5th Air Force hits Rabaul with the biggest raid made up to this time in the Pacific war. 349 aircraft, including 87 Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” and B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers, 114 North American B-25 “Mitchell” strafers, 12 RAAF Bristol "Beaufighters" and 125 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighters and others from New Guinea and Australia hit Rabaul's town, airfields and Simpson harbor.

Over 50 Japanese aircraft are destroyed. Submarines I-36, I-38, I-176, I-177, RO-105 and RO-108 are moored in deep water. When the harbor is bombed, most of the submarines submerge to safety, but transport KEISHO MARU (casualties unknown), seatrucks (cargo lighters) WAKAMATSU MARU No. 1 (six crewmen KIA) and KUROGANE MARU (casualties unknown) and guardboat MISHIMA MARU (casualties unknown) are sunk. Destroyers MOCHIZUKI, MINAZUKI and TACHIKAZE, submarines I-177, I-180 and RO-105 are damaged as is special service ship TSUKUSHI and auxiliary sailing vessels TENRYU MARU and KOAN MARU.

NARUTO is damaged and Captain Setoyama is KIA. He is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

13 October 1943:
An unknown officer, probably the XO, assumes command.

At 2049, USN codebreakers intercept and decode a message regarding events on the 12th that reads: “Southeastern Force Action Summary. (October 12th Rabaul Air Action). ----. Attacked from 1004 to 1022 by: 54 (Heavy bombers in 9 waves of three to ten planes covered by about 16 P-38s attacked vessels and Rabaul airdrome vicinity. ------. Losses. (a) Vessels Tsukushi and Naruto hit: slight damage and holes in hull. Mochizuki, damaged by near misses and holes. Gun #3 inoperative. Miyatzuki (sic), #2 ---- slight damage from near miss. Guns #1 and #2 out of commission. Tachikaze, ----- damage. I-180, as a result of a 60 kilo bomb hit unable to dive. I-177 and RO-105, holes from near misses.”

27 October 1943:
At 1234 minesweeper W-28 coals from NARUTO.

28 October 1943:
At 1030 W-28 again takes on coal and fresh water from NARUTO before returning to Rabaul port at 1402.

1 November 1943:
Captain Okano Keizaburo (40) (former CO of IRAKO) assumes command.

12 January 1944:
Rabaul. NARUTO refuels destroyers AKEBONO and SAZANAMI in the outer anchorage.

14 January 1944:
Rabaul. Douglas SBD “Dauntless dive-bombers and Grumman TBF “Avenger” torpedo-bombers, supported by Allied fighters, attack Simpson Harbor. The planes bomb and heavily damage NARUTO and strafe destroyer MATSUKAZE.

24 January 1944:
Rabaul. USMC TBFs, supported by USN, USMC, USAAF and RNZAF Curtiss P-40E "Kittyhawk" fighters, again attack shipping and sink LYONS (casualties unknown), YAMAYURI (three crewmen KIA), KOAN (47 crewmen and 13 passengers KIA) and TAISHO MARUs (four crewmen KIA) and damage NARUTO.

2 March 1944:
Karavia Bay, Rabaul. S of Vulcan Volcano. In a further air attack, NARUTO is hit by a bomb in the port side of the engine room killing all the engine room crew. She settles by the stern close to shore Later, her fuel oil is pumped out to a fuel dump ashore that is later bombed and destroyed.

13 March 1944:
Rabaul. Two 13th Air Force B-24s, with USN fighter escort, and 22 B-25s bomb the NW part of Rabaul’s harbor and waterfront. NARUTO is further damaged.

15 March 1944:
NARUTO is abandoned as a constuctive total loss.

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

16 September 1945:
NARUTO's wreck is inspected by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). HMAS CAMBRIAN SALVOR begins salvage using 140 Japanese POW's and divers. NARUTO is cleaned, bunker coal dumped overboard and leaks are plugged. Ex-Japanese salvage tug HOZU MARU assists.

13 October 1945:
NARUTO's hulk is raised. Now known as tanker 5301 (possibly after her military number) she is towed into Simpson Harbour and anchored. The RAN intend to take over the ship for use as a fleet replenishment oiler.

26 October 1945:
A further underwater inspection reveals severe hull buckling. The Secretary of the Australian Navy Department rejects the use of NARUTO. She is returned to Keravia Bay and beached.

22 October 1956:
Japanese salvors of the Okadigumi Salvage Co, in conjunction with Nayo Boeki Kaisha, are given approval to salvage wrecks in the Rabaul area.

1957:
Salvage commences.

1958:
NARUTO, by now sunk in shallow water, is re-raised and loaded with scrap from other vessels. The ship is sold to Hong Kong scrap dealers.

8 September 1958:
NARUTO departs Rabaul under tow to Singapore. Upon arrival, with world scrap prices having collapsed, the ship is abandoned. It is presumed that eventually the wreck is scrapped sometime later.


Many thanks for Mr. Gilbert Casse of France for reviewing this TROM and to the late John Whitman of Virginia for the USN codebreakers info.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.


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