(Revised 2 November 2007)

IJN Zuiho: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2007 Anthony P. Tully

Initial Command Structure:
Commanding Officer: Captain Nomoto Tameki.

27 December 1940:
Conversion from submarine tender to aircraft carrier completed at Yokosuka. Remains at Yokosuka.


20 September 1941:
Captain Nomoto relieved by Captain Obayashi Sueo as commanding officer.

30 September 1941:
Became flagship of CarDiv 3.

13 October 1941:
Comes under tactical command of 11th Air Fleet.

14 October 1941:
Arrive at Takao, remains in Formosa region till end of month.

5 November 1941:
Reassigned from 11th Air Fleet to CarDiv 3, 1st Fleet. Depart Takao.

6 November 1941:
Arrive Mako. Depart.

9 November 1941:
Arrive at Sasebo.

15 November 1941:
Enter drydock.

25 November 1941:
Leave drydock.

28 November 1941:
Depart Sasebo for Inland Sea.

29 November 1941:
Arrive at Hashirajima. Remain there in general area through January 1942.

5 December 1941
- Arrived Tokuyama.

6 December 1941
- Depart; arrive at Hashirajima.

7 December 1941:
Tactical assignment: Main Body Air Force.
Midnight: HOSHO and ZUIHO with Main Body of 8 BBs (including NAGATO flying the flag of CinC Yamamoto Isoroku), 7 cruisers, and twenty-eight DDs departs the Inland Sea "for the purpose of providing protection for Nagumo unit returning home." (Note 1). ZUIHO has embarked twelve B5N attack planes and sixteen A5M fighters.

8 December 1941:
0830 With Main Body, pass through Bungo Strait and enter the Pacific for purposes of standing by to meet Kido Butai at sea upon its return and offer any support if needed.

14 December 1941
- Arrive at Kasatoura.

15 December 1941:
- Depart, return to Hashirajima.

12 February 1942:
Assignment to CarDiv 3, 1st Air Fleet, charged with ferrying Zero type fighters for 11th Air Fleet.

17 February 1942:
Depart Yokosuka.

22 February 1942:
Arrive at Davao.

25 February 1942:
Depart Davao for the homeland.

March through May 1942:
In Inland Sea or Kure area throughout, attached to 1st Fleet.

1 April 1942:
Removed along with HOSHO from Cardiv 3 which is de-activated; and both carriers attached directly to 1st Fleet.

29 May 1942: Depart for Battle of Midway.
Assigned to Midway Invasion Force, Second Fleet under VADM Nobutake Kondo. Composition: Crudiv 4: ATAGO (flag), CHOKAI; Crudiv 5 MYOKO, HAGURO; Batdiv 3 KONGO, HIEI; Desron 4: YURA with Desdiv 2 MURASAME, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME, YUDACHI; Desdiv 9 ASAGUMO, NATSUGUMO, and MINEGUMO; ZUIHO and close escort plane guard MIKAZUKI. (ZUIHO had embarked six A5M, six A6M and twelve B5N attack planes.)

5 June 1942:
0900: In position 175'E, 28'N Received word of attack on KdB [the June 4 1020 local time bombing of KAGA, SORYU, and AKAGI], then bearing northeast, about 160 miles. Increases speed to 28 knots and with Kondo's forces rushes northeast.
2200: In position 179-40'We, 30-40'N ZUIHO and Kondo's forces directed to abandon the chase and reverse course for a rendezvous with Main Body next day.

6 June 1942:
0300: CinC Combined Fleet Yamamoto orders Nagumo and Kondo's forces, and the NISSHIN, to close to join Main Body this morning.
1500: By this time Mobile Fleet and Kondo's force have closed Main Body. ZUIHO's aircraft chase off enemy snoopers.
2115: Kondo radios that ZUIHO and HARUSAME are in position TO-AR-UU 00 [31-50'N, 179-50'W] and ordered to prepare to carry out dawn attack on enemy carriers. (Word had arrived of enemy pursuing the crippled MIKUMA and MOGAMI.)[2]

7 June 1942:
0015: ZUIHO detached from Invasion Force with assigned guard destroyer to advance to be in an attack position in the morning to cover and support Crudiv 7's retirement.
1040: ZUIHO ordered to complete preparations to attack enemy carriers. All available seaplanes (from NISSHIN and others) will assist by carrying two SAP bombs.
1250: Yamamoto orders Main Body to also proceed south to support Kondo's counter-attack and protect the retiring Invasion Force.

8 June 1942:
Morning: ZUIHO has strike ready, pending updates on enemy position and planning to coordinate with land-based air from Wake Island. However, the MIKUMA has been reported lost and MOGAMI moving out of danger; no reliable reports are received before the order is rescinded. The MI Operation is cancelled, and ZUIHO assigned to the reinforcements deploying to the Aleutians.

20 June 1942:
Operating off the Aleutians. Reassigned to Cardiv 5, Second Striking Force, 1st Air Fleet.

12 July 1942:
Arrived at Oita; flies off aircraft, then departed same day for Sasebo.

13 July 1942:
Arrived at Sasebo.

14 July 1942:
Assigned to 3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1.

20 July 1942:
Enter drydock at Sasebo.

12 August 1942:
Assigned to striking force, 3rd Fleet, CarDiv 2.

25 August 1942:
Depart Sasebo for Hashirajima.

28 August 1942:
Assigned to Support Force Striking Force (3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1). 1 September 1942:
Depart with main unit Support Force from Kure for Truk.

6 September 1942:
Arrive at Truk.

10 September 1942:
Depart Truk.

23 September 1942:
Return to Truk.

25 September 1942:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.

29 September 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

1 October 1942:
Depart Yokosuka. 8 October 1942:
Arrive at Truk.

11 October 1942:
Depart Truk for Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.

26 October 1942:
Battle of Santa Cruz: Launch strikes, but at 0830 hit by two bombs aft. Damage light, but flight operations incapicitated. Detached with also damaged SHOKAKU, and escorted by HATSUKAZE and MAIKAZE return to Truk.

28 October 1942:
Return to Truk.

2 November 1942:
Depart Truk with damaged SHOKAKU and CHIKUMA escorted by DesDiv 4 for Sasebo.

7 November 1942:
Arrive at Sasebo.

29 November 1942:
Enter drydock for repairs.

5 December 1942:
Captain Obayashi relieved by Captain Yamaguchi Bunjiro as commanding officer.

16 December 1942:
Leave drydock.

21 December 1942:
Depart Sasebo for Inland Sea.

17 January 1943:
Depart Kure.

23 January 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

29 January 1943:
Assigned to Forward Force Air Force, for Operation "KE", the evacuation of Guadalcanal.

31 January 1943 to 9 February 1943:
Depart Truk for operations in support "KE" operations.

9 February 1943:
Return to Truk. Assigned to Striking Force Main Unit. Remain at Truk through April.

3 May 1943:
Depart Truk for Sasebo.

9 May 1943:
Arrive at Sasebo.

16 May 1943:
Depart Sasebo for Yokosuka.

21 May 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

31 May 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Sasebo.

2 June 1943:
Return to Sasebo.

7 June 1943:
Enter drydock at Sasebo.

15 June 1943:
Leave drydock.

18 June 1943:
Depart Sasebo for Inland Sea. Remainder of month at Iwajima and Tokuyama.

5 July 1943:
Captain Bunjiro relieved by Captain Hattori Katsuji as commanding officer.

9 July 1943:
Depart Kure; arrive Yashima.

10 July 1943:
Depart Yashima for Truk.

15 July 1943:
Arrive at Truk. Remain throughout August and most of September.

21 September 1943:
Arrive at Brown Island (Eniwetok) from Truk.

23 September 1943:
Depart Brown Island to return to Truk.

17 October 1943:
As part of Striking Force Main unit (3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1) depart Truk for Brown Island.

19 October 1943:
Arrive at Brown Island; remain till 23 October.

27 October 1943:
Return to Truk.

5 November 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.

10 November 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

16 November 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

21 November 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

30 November 1943:
Depart Truk with CHUYO, UNYO, MAYA; escorted by destroyers SAZANAMI, AKEBONO, URAKAZE, and USHIO.

4 December 1943:
0005: CHUYO torpedoed by USS SAILFISH (SS-192) and falls out of formation, be be sunk in subsequent torpedo attacks at 0555 and 0942. ZUIHO proceeds to Yokosuka with UNYO.

12 December 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

17 December 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

29 December 1943:
Return to Yokosuka.

4 January 1944:
Depart Yokosuka.

9 January 1944:
Arrive at Truk.

18 January 1944:
Depart Truk for return to Yokosuka.

23 January 1944:
Arrive at Yokosuka.

29 January 1944:
Assigned to Striking Force Main Unit (3rd Fleet, CarDiv 3). Depart Yokosuka for Truk.

3 February 1944:
Arrive at Truk.

10 February 1944:
Depart Truk for Kure.

15 February 1944:
Captain Hattori relieved by Captain Sugiura Kuro as commanding officer.

16 February 1944:
Arrive at Kure.

22 February 1944:
Depart Kure for Aioi.

23 February 1944:
Enter drydock at Aioi.

10 March 1944:
Leave drydock; depart for Kure.

11 March 1944:
Arrive at Kure.

18 March 1944:
Depart Kure.

22 March 1944:
Arrive at Yokosuka via Tokuyama.

29 March 1944:
Depart Yokosuka on transport assignment to Guam.

1 April 1944:
Arrive at Guam.

3 April 1944:
Depart Guam for the homeland.

10 May 1944:
Depart Kure; arrive Saeki Bay.

11 May 1944:
Depart Saeki for Tawi Tawi, joining MUSASHI, JUNYO, HIYO, CHITOSE, and CHIYODA.

12 May 1944:
Arrive at Okinawa temporarily, depart again.

16 May 1944:
Arrive at Tawi Tawi.

20 May 1944:
"A-Go" Operation commences. At Tawi Tawi still.

Battle of Marianas data

13 June 1944:
Depart Tawitawi for Guimaras, to escape the mounting submarine danger to the former, and respond to the attacks on Saipan on 11-12 June.

14 June 1944:
Arrive at Guimaras and begin taking on supplies.

15 June 1944:
"A-GO" Operation activated. Depart Guimaras with rest of Mobile Fleet for the Battle of the Marianas (Battle of the Philippine Sea).

19 June 1944:
Launch air strikes in first day of the Battle of the Marianas. In the battle form part of the "Van Force" comprised of CHITOSE and CHIYODA screened by YAMATO, MUSASHI, HARUNA, KONGO, ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA, CHOKAI, NOSHIRO, ASASHIMO, KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, TAMANAMI, HAMAKAZE, FUJINAMI, and SHIMAKAZE.

20 June 1944:
Air attack: Engaged in anti-aircraft action during TF 58 attack on the Mobile Fleet at 1730. No damage received.

22 June 1944:
Anchor temporarily at Okinawa, depart next morning for the homeland.

1 July 1944:
Arrive Kure, remain there through July.

22 July 1944:
Depart Hashirajima.

27 July 1944:
Arrive at Yokosuka via Tokuyama.

29 July 1944:
Depart Yokosuka on escort duty for transport convoy.

4 August 1944:
Arrive at Kure.

6 August 1944:
Depart Kure, calling among various ports in Kyushu and southern Honshu.

21 August 1944:
Arrive at Oita; remain through early October.

20 October 1944:
Depart Oita with Ozawa's decoy Mobile Fleet (Third Fleet, CarDiv 3) for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Force comprised of ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CHITOSE, CHIYODA, screened by HYUGA, ISE, OYODO, TAMA, ISUZU, HATSUZUKI, AKIZUKI, WAKATSUKI, SHIMOTSUKI, MAKI, KIRI, KUWA and SUGI.

25 October 1944:
Battle off Cape Engano in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Air attack by planes from U.S. TF 38.
At 0835 three near-misses off stern and one direct hit 250kg bomb hit on aft section of flight deck. Rear elevator lifted and flight deck bulged. Small fire starts on lower hangar deck. Temporarily have to switch to direct steering, and take three-degree list to port. List is soon corrected, steering restored, and fire extinguished by 0855. A second attack at 0957 - 1010 is driven off with rocket batteries and dual-purpose guns. After 1300 a third wave attacks, and at 1317 one torpedo hits starboard bow directly under forward compass bridge. One 60kg bomb strikes aft elevator. At 1330 a massive attack begins, scoring one torpedo hit on starboard quarter under rocket batteries; one 60kg bomb penetrates starboard quarter at frame 160 and explodes in X-ray room. Seven close-near misses. Moments later, several tens more attack, and as many as sixty near-misses follow, inflicing great damage. Bomb fragments cut steam pipe and cause flooding of starboard engine room. No.2 boiler room on the port side is flooded, and there is slow flooding of the port engine room as well. By 1350 speed has dropped to 12 knots, using No.1 shaft and No.1 boiler only. At 1410 the attack is over, but flooding is gaining so that all free hands ordered to man the pumps. Takes on 13-degree list to starboard. By 1445 port engine room has also completely flooded, and all engines stop. ZUIHO goes dead in the water and ten minutes later yet a fourth attack is sustained, with another ten near-misses inflicting additional damage. At 1500 the list to starboard is 23-degrees and the Imperial Portrait is transferred; ten minutes later Captain Sugiura, who is wounded, gives the order to Abandon Ship.

Sunk: 1526 ZUIHO's stern dipped under, she tipped to starboard, then slid backwards out of sight with no fire or explosion in position 19-20'N, 125-15'E). Considering the punishment she had undergone, casualties are light but lost include Executive Officer Cdr. Eguchi Hozumi, 6 officers and 208 men. But thanks mostly to the energetic work of the escort destroyer KUWA with some assistance from battleship ISE, 58 officers including Captain Sugiura Kuro and 701 men are rescued.

20 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy list.

Note 1: Though a search of various sources revealed conflicting clues, and ZUIHO's TROM was ambiguous, that ZUIHO did accompany HOSHO and Main Body on this sortie has now been confirmed by translation (in Sept 2007) of the relevant passages (omitted due to paraphrasing of entry in the English edition) of the original Japanese version of Ugaki's Diary "Senso-roku". As it is virtually a "real-time" work in most cases, it is my opinion it is trustworthy on this matter.

Note 2: Though ZUIHO's direct escort had generally been MIKAZUKI, the order mentions HARUSAME on this date. It is not unlikely that it was decided that a destroyer of Desdiv 2 would be better suited for extended maneuvering and attack approaches against the enemy, but this is speculation and remains uncertain.


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