(ATAGO in 1932 - colorized photo by Irotokoo, Jr
IJN ATAGO: Tabular Record of
© 1997-2019 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
28 April 1927:
Kure Navy Yard. Laid down as A class heavy cruiser No. 10.
23 June 1927:
16 June 1930:
20 June 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sada Kenichi (35)(former
CO of NATORI) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
30 March 1932:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to
Yokosuka Naval District, initially placed in 1st reserve. Captain Sada Kenichi
is the CO.
16 April 1932:
Several government officials including Japan's elderly
Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi tour Tokyo Bay aboard ATAGO.
1 December 1932:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Takahashi Ibo
(36)(former ADC to the chief of the Navy Ministry) is appointed the CO.
26 August 1933:
Participates in annual Naval Review held off Yokohama.
15 November 1933:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Miyata Giichi
(36)(former chief of the Navy Ministry Education Bureau's 2nd Section) is
appointed the CO.
2 December 1933:
Dry-docked at Yokosuka Navy Yard to embark Type 91
22 October-30 December 1934:
Refit at Yokosuka Navy Yard to upgrade
the steering gear.
1 November 1934:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Sonoda Shigeru
(37)(former CO of NAKA) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1935:
Placed in 1st reserve at Yokosuka. Reassigned to
Yokosuka Guard Squadron. Captain Suzukida Kozo (37)(former CO of MIKUMA) is
appointed the CO.
16 December 1935-10 March 1936:
Reassigned to CruDiv 5 as the
flagship of ComCruDiv 5/Second Fleet.
15 April 1936:
Captain (Admiral, posthumously), Ito Seiichi
(39)(former CO of MOGAMI) is appointed the CO.
14 June-31 July 1936:
Dry-docked at Yokosuka Navy Yard for hull
26 October 1936:
Kobe. ATAGO embarks Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and
departs for Etajima.
28 October 1936:
ATAGO returns to Kobe. The next day, the Emperor
participates in the annual Imperial Naval Review held off Kobe.
1 December 1936:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo
(38)(former CO of NAKA) is appointed the CO.
12 July 1937:
Captain Okumoto Takeo (38)(former CO of CHOKAI) is
appointed the CO.
1 December 1937:
Captain Sakano Minbu (38)(former CO of Chinkai
Defense Unit) is appointed the CO.
Start of hull and superstructure modernization at
Maizuru Navy Yard, later continued at Yokosuka Navy Yard, where armament
and fire control systems are upgraded until 30 October 1939.
10 August 1938:
Captain Minowa Chugo (38)(former supervisor of
KOTOKU MARU) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takatsuka Seigo
(38)(former CO of Yokosuka Defense Unit) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kono Chimaki
(42)(former CO of NAKA) is appointed the CO.
15 October 1940:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Koyanagi Tomiji
(42)(former Naval Torpedo School instructor) is appointed the CO.
11 August 1941:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously), the Baron
(the son of Fleet Admiral Ijuin Goro), Ijuin Matsuji (43)(former CO of NAKA)
is appointed the CO.
29 November 1941:
ATAGO is the flagship of Vice Admiral (later
Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's Second Fleet/CruDiv 4 with TAKAO and MAYA. Departs
Saeki Bay with Kondo's Second Fleet, Southern Force, Malay Force, Main
Body's BatDiv 3's HARUNA and KONGO and destroyers ARASHI, HAGIKAZE,
AKATSUKI, HATAKAZE, NOWAKI, MAIKAZE, MICHISHIO and HIBIKI.
2 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadore Islands. The Main Body
receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the
Combined Fleet. This signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8
December (Japan time). 
4 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Mako for the South China Sea
to provide distant support for the invasion forces.
9 December 1941:
The Pursuit of the Royal Navy's "Force Z":
At 1415, LtCdr Harada
Hakue's submarine I-65 reports sighting a British force steaming NNW at 14
kts. This is Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips who sorties from Singapore to find
and attack the Malaya invasion transports with his "Force Z": Captain J. C.
Leach's new battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain (later Vice Admiral) W. G.
Tennant's old battlecruiser HMS REPULSE, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, EXPRESS,
TENEDOS and Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE. The Main Body sorties south for a
night attack against "Force Z".
10 December 1941:
At dawn, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kurita
Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) CruDiv 7's KUMANO, MOGAMI, MIKUMA and SUZUYA with
DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and four destroyers join the Main Body. Kondo
also orders Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA) to join in the
hunt with cruiser CHOKAI.
In the afternoon, all ships depart the search area after receiving
reports that both British capital ships were sunk off Kuantan, Malaya. "Force
Z" was overwhelmed by 88 torpedo-bombers (Mitsubishi G3M Type 96
"Nell" and G4M Type 1
"Betty") of the Genzan,
Kanoya and Mihoro Kokutais of Rear Admiral Matsunaga Sadaichi's (former CO of
ISUZU) 22nd Air Flotilla based at Saigon and Thudaumot in French Indochina. 840
British seamen are lost including Admiral Phillips.
11 December 1941:
The Main Body arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.
Nakajima E8N2 "Dave"
floatplanes from ATAGO and TAKAO provide anti-submarine cover during the
14 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Camranh to cover the Second
Malaya Convoy, northeast of Natuna Besar Island.
That same day, LtCdr Tyrell D. Jacobs in USS SARGO (SS-188) receives an
"Ultra" message providing data about three cruisers - probably including ATAGO
- leaving Camranh. The cruisers are sighted at the designated intercept point,
but Jacobs is unable to gain an attack position and the cruisers pass by safely.
17 December 1941:
The Main Body returns to Camranh.
20 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Camranh to cover the invasion
landings at Lingayen Gulf, Philippines.
21-23 December 1941:
The Main Body lies off the coast of Luzon.
24 December 1941:
The Main Body returns to Camranh.
8 January 1942:
The Main Body departs Camranh for Mako.
11 January 1942:
The Main Body arrives at Mako.
14 January 1942:
The Main Body departs Mako for the Palau Islands in
18 January 1942:
The Main Body arrives at Palau and splits into two
groups to provide distant support of air attacks on Ambon Island. HARUNA, CarDiv
2, CruDiv 4's MAYA and four destroyers operate out of Palau to the east of
Mindanao, Philippines. KONGO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO and four destroyers
operate south of Palau.
18 February 1942:
Departs Palau for Staring (Teluk) Bay in company of
KONGO, HIEI, HARUNA and KIRISHIMA.
21 February 1942:
The Main Body arrives at Staring Bay near Kendari,
Celebes. Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi (former CO of
YAMASHIRO) also arrives from his 19 February attack on Darwin with his Striking
Force's CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, BatDiv 3/1's
HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 1's light cruiser
ABUKUMA and seven destroyers. The Main Body and the Carrier Striking Force
25 February 1942:
CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO depart Staring
Bay with DesDiv 4's ARASHI and NOWAKI under Vice Admiral Kondo to hunt for
shipping escaping from Java.
1 March 1942:
300 miles from Tjilatjap. At 0518 (JST), ARASHI and
NOWAKI attack the Dutch merchant PARIGI and sink her at 0528. ARASHI and NOWAKI
later sink the 981-ton Dutch motorship TORADJA and 620-ton auxiliary minesweeper
HMS SCOTT HARLEY and capture the 1,020-ton Dutch steamship BINTOEHAN.
2 March 1942:
A reconnaissance aircraft of the Bali-based 22nd Air
Flotilla reports the sighting of two destroyers 300 miles SW and a light
cruiser S of Bali. At 1743, MAYA, DesDiv 4's ARASHI and NOWAKI overhaul LtCdr
G. R. Pretor-Pinney's old destroyer-minelayer HMS STRONGHOLD. At 2028,
immobilized and afire, she blows up and sinks at 12-20S, 112E. About 50
survivors take to Carley floats, but Pretor-Pinney and 74 other crewmen are
At 2207, ATAGO and TAKAO overhaul LtCdr H. C. Pound's four-stack USS
PILLSBURY (DD-227), briefly misidentified as a friendly destroyer. After a
short exchange of signals she turns toward the attackers, targeting PILLSBURY
from a distance of 6,600 yds. Around 2226 the destroyer receives several
direct hits and a fire breaks out forward. With steering lost and an
increasing list to starboard, the crippled destroyer returns fire with her
3-in gun, scoring several near misses. At 2232 PILLSBURY goes down by the stern
with all hands at 15-38S, 113-15E.
ATAGO expends fifty-four 20-cm and fifteen 12.7-cm rounds during that action.
3 March 1942:
In the morning, survivors from STRONGHOLD are picked up
by small steamer BINTOEHAN captured by the Japanese on 1 March. MAYA arrives
while the rescue is in process, and BINTOEHAN suspends rescue operations. The
survivors are transferred to MAYA. The steamer is sent to Bali without a prize
crew. BINTOEHAN's crew scuttles the ship close to the Java coast.
LtCdr J. W. Britt's gunboat USS ASHEVILLE (PG-21), slowed by engine
troubles, is steaming S towards Australia unescorted. At 0906, ARASHI and NOWAKI
overhaul her and after a 30-minute gun battle sink ASHEVILLE. Only one member of
the gunboat's 160-man crew survives, only to die later in a Japanese POW camp.
That same day, LtCdr Robert Rankin's sloop HMAS YARRA picks up 40
survivors of Dutch PARIGI two days after she had been sunk.
4 March 1942:
280 miles SSE of Tjilatjap, Java. At sunrise, ATAGO,
MAYA and TAKAO and DesDiv 4's ARASHI and NOWAKI attack a convoy en route from
Tjilatjap for Fremantle, Australia. For more than an hour-and-a-half, LtCdr
Robert Rankin's 1,060-ton Australian sloop HMAS YARRA puts up an heroic defense
against impossible odds, but is smothered by 5- and 8-inch shells and finally
sinks a blazing wreck. Rankin is killed on the bridge. Thirty four survivors of
YARRA's crew of 151 take to two Carley floats. 
The cruisers sink the 2,623-ton British tanker FRANCOL, British Motor
Minesweeper 51 and the 3,470-ton British depot ship ANKING. The Japanese pick
up one lifeboat of survivors from FRANCOL, then depart to the NNE.
That same day, ATAGO captures the 1,030-ton Dutch passenger-cargo
steamer DUYMAER VAN TWIST, later placed in Japanese service as DAI MARU. The
Japanese also capture the 7,089-ton Dutch passenger-cargo steamer TJISAROEA,
later put in service as CHIHAYA MARU.
7 March 1942:
At 1305, returns to Staring Bay. During their sortie,
Kondo's force sinks eight British, Dutch and American ships.
8 March 1942:
Liutenant ter Zee I Kl (LtCdr) A.H. Deketh's Dutch
submarine K-XI picks up 17 survivors of YARRA, and one survivor of PARIGI that
had been rescued by YARRA. One YARRA survivor dies before K-XI arrives at
Colombo, Ceylon. Dutch freighter TAWALI picks up 57 survivors of ANKING.
18 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay on Vice Admiral Kondo's
inspection cruise, escorted by destroyer ARASHI.
20 March 1942:
Arrives at Tarakan, Borneo, departs for Balikpapan
21 March 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan.
22 March 1942:
Departs Balikpapan for Makassar, Celebes.
23 March 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.
24 March 1942:
Departs Makassar for Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.
27 March 1942:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base.
2 April 1942:
Departs Seletar for Penang, Malaya.
3 April 1942:
Arrives at Penang.
4 April 1942:
Departs Penang for Camranh Bay.
10 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay.
11 April 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay for Yokosuka.
17 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka to commence a refit.
18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Halsey's Task Force 16.2's
USS HORNET (CV-8), VINCENNES (CA-44), NASHVILLE (CL-43), oiler CIMARRON (AO-22)
and destroyers GWIN (DD-433), MEREDITH (DD-434), GRAYSON (DD-435) and MONSSEN
(DD-436) accompanied by Task Force 16.1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), SALT LAKE CITY
(CA-25), NORTHAMPTON (CA-28), oiler SABINE (AO-25) and destroyers BALCH
(DD-363), BENHAM (DD-397), ELLET (DD-398) and FANNING (DD-385) approach the
Japanese home islands. The cruisers and the carriers come to within 668 miles
Led by Lt Col (later General/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army
B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off from Captain
(later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo,
Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe. At Yokosuka, a B-25 damages light carrier
RYUHO in a drydock undergoing conversion from the submarine depot ship TAIGEI.
After the raid, ATAGO puts to sea with TAKAO, joined later by MAYA in an
unsuccessful pursuit of Doolittle's Force.
23 April 1942:
Returns to Yokosuka Navy Yard. Refit. During a refit the
120-mm (4.7-in) single AA guns are replaced by 12.7-cm (5-in) twin AA mounts.
3-4 May 1942:
Dry-docked at Yokosuka.
13-27 May 1942:
During ATAGO's refit CHOKAI is designated the
temporary flagship of the Second Fleet.
13-21 May 1942:
Dry-docked at No. 1 Drydock in Yokohama.
21 May 1942:
The refit is completed.
24 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Hashirajima.
25 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle
Departs Hashirajima in Kondo's Second Fleet, Strike Force,
Support Force, Main Body with BatDiv 3/1's HIEI and KONGO, CruDiv 4/1's
ATAGO and CHOKAI, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA,
DesDiv 2's MURASAME, SAMDARE, HARUSAME and YUDACHI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO
14 June 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima.
7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's
(former CO of ASTORIA, CA-34) Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral
(MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20) Task
Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (former CO of
RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later
General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on
Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take
11 August 1942:
At 1700 CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA depart
Hashirajima with Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet, Advanced Force's CruDiv 5
HAGURO and MYOKO, seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA,
DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE,
UMIKAZE, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and battleship MUTSU.
17 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
20 August 1942 - Operation "KA": The Reinforcement of
CruDiv 4 departs Truk in Kondo's Second Fleet with Rear Admiral
(later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Vanguard Force's BatDiv
11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, the Support Force's CHITOSE, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and
HAGURO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA with
KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, MAKIGUMO, AKIGUMO, HATSUKAZE, AKIZUKI, AMATSUKAZE,
TOKITSUKAZE, NOWAKI, TANIKAZE and MAIKAZE.
Kondo's Second Fleet joins Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo
Chuichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main
Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA
24 August 1942: The
Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Cruises NE of Guadalcanal with the
Carrier Strike Force, Main Body. Vice Admiral Fletcher's Task Force 61's
SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6) launch aircraft that find and sink light
carrier RYUJO. In turn, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find
and hit ENTERPRISE with three bombs. That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage
the seaplane carrier CHITOSE.
5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
10 September 1942:
Nagumo sorties from Truk with the Third Fleet's
CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv
7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and
The Third Fleet accompanies Kondo's Second Fleet's BatDiv 3's KONGO and
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.
11 September 1942:
In the afternoon, destroyer MURASAME picks up the
8-strong crew of VP-11's Lt Carlton H. Clark's PBY-5 "Catalina" seaplane shot
down earlier that day by Mitsubishi F1M2 "Pete" reconnaissance floatplanes from
KUNIKAWA MARU. The PoWs are next transferred to HARUSAME and on the following
day to ATAGO.
15-17 September 1942:
At sea. The fleet refuels destroyers.
18-20 September 1942:
The Second and the Third fleets sortie towards
20 September 1942:
The fleets are ordered to return to Truk.
23 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
11 October 1942:
ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA sortie from Truk with Kondo's
Second Fleet, Advance Force's CruDiv 5's MYOKO, Rear Admiral (later Vice
Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2's light cruiser ISUZU with
destroyers KAWAKAZE, MAKINAMI, SUZUKAZE, TAKANAMI, UMIKAZE and NAGANAMI and
Vice Admiral Kurita's Second Fleet, Close Support Force's BatDiv 3's KONGO and
HARUNA, destroyers HARUSAME, KAGERO, MURASAME, SAMIDARE, OYASHIO and YUDACHI
followed by Nagumo's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force.
17-18 October 1942:
The fleet refuels at sea.
26 October 1942: The
Battle of Santa Cruz:
The Carrier Strike Force engages Task Force
16's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Task Force 17's USS HORNET (CV-8) in an air battle.
HORNET is sunk.
30 October 1942:
The Second and Third Fleets return to Truk.
9 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Kondo departs Truk for Ontong Java area
with his Main Body: CruDiv 4's ATAGO (F) and TAKAO, Air Striking Unit's carrier
JUNYO, Screen's BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 8's TONE, DesRon 3's light
cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 19's URANAMI, SHIKINAMI and AYANAMI and DesDiv 11's
HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI.
The Main Body also includes Vice Admiral Abe's Bombardment Unit's BatDiv
11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA accompanied by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura
Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) Close Screen of DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA
with DesDiv 6's IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA and AKATSUKI, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and
YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 61's TERUZUKI.
The Main Body supports air attacks on USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) south of
Guadalcanal; however, the strike force fails to locate the American carrier.
10 November 1942:
DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU and YUGURE depart
the Shortland Islands, 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) Tanaka 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,
Guadalcanal. 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 Kimura's DesRon 10 and her destroyers. BatDiv 11 and DesRon 10 detach
to bombard Henderson Field.
At 1030, a USAAF B-17 heading towards Savo Island spots Abe's force. At
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.
13 November 1942: The First Naval Battle of
CruDiv 4 cruises off Ontong Java with Kondo's fleet.
Abe's force engages an American cruiser-destroyer force off Guadalcanal. HIEI is
damaged heavily by gunfire and later sunk off Savo Island.
14 November 1942:
After the loss of HIEI, Vice Admiral Kondo forms an
Emergency Bombardment Force's BatDiv 11's KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO
screened by Rear Admiral Kimura's DesRon 10's NAGARA with her destroyers.
The Emergency Bombardment Force follows Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral)
Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) Ahead Sweeping Unit's DesRon 3's light
cruiser SENDAI with DesDiv 19's AYANAMI, SHIKINAMI and URANAMI.
The Emergency Bombardment Force departs Ontong Java for Henderson Field.
En route, KIRISHIMA is attacked unsuccessfully by USS TROUT (SS-202). While
passing NE of Santa Isabel Island, the task force is attacked by LtCdr (later
Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229). Donaho misses ATAGO
with six Mk.14 steam torpedoes at 06-51S, 159-59E.
15 November 1942: The Second Naval Battle of
In a night gun battle with USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57),
WASHINGTON (BB-56) and destroyers, ATAGO and TAKAO hit SOUTH DAKOTA with
seventeen 8-in, five 6-in and one 5-in shells. SOUTH DAKOTA is damaged but not
sunk. Early in the battle, ATAGO and TAKAO each launch eight Type 93 "Long
Lance" torpedoes at WASHINGTON, but they all miss.
KIRISHIMA and destroyer AYANAMI are sunk as a result of the action. ATAGO
receives one "12-cm" shell hit to her soybean store, causing slight damage.
ATAGO, TAKAO and URANAMI retire northward to rendezvous with KONGO and HARUNA at
18 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
1 December 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Nakaoka Nobuki
(45)(former CO of KATORI) is appointed the CO.
12 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Kure.
17 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure.
20 January 1943:
Departs Kure for Truk.
25 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
31 January 1943: Operation "KE" - Evacuation of Guadalcanal.
4 and 5 depart Truk and cruise N of the Solomons as distant support.
9 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Remains until July.
21 July 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka in company of TAKAO.
26 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Refit and modification. Two 25-mm
Type 96 triple AA guns are installed bringing their total to 18 barrels.
17 August 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in a task group with
battleships YAMATO, NAGATO and FUSO, cruisers TAKAO and NOSHIRO, DesDiv 10's
AKIGUMO, YUGUMO, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, DesDiv 24's SUZUKAZE,
UMIKAZE and DesDiv 61's WAKATSUKI. Off Yokosuka the escort carrier
TAIYO and DesDiv 7's USHIO
join Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's force.
23 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
25 August 1943:
27 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Disembarks the troops and departs.
29 August 1943:
Arrives back at Truk.
18 September 1943:
Truk. The fleet sorties to Brown Island, Eniwetok
in response to raids on Tarawa, Makin and Abemama Atolls launched by Rear
Admiral Charles A. Pownall's Task Force 15 carriers USS LEXINGTON (CV-16),
PRINCETON (CVL-23) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24).
Vice Admiral Ozawa Jizaburo (former CO of HARUNA), in tactical command,
leads the fleet's first section's BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO, CarDiv 1's
SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU (followed by ZUIHO on 19 September), CruDiv 5's MYOKO and
HAGURO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, light cruisers AGANO
and NOSHIRO and destroyers.
Vice Admiral Kurita leads the second section with his Advance Force's
ATAGO and TAKAO.
Admiral Koga Mineichi (former CO of ISE), CinC, Combined Fleet, remains
at Truk in the fleet's flagship MUSASHI with BatDiv 2's FUSO and BatDiv 3's
KONGO and HARUNA.
25 September 1943:
No contact is made with Task Force 15. The fleet
arrives back at Truk.
5-6 October 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E.
Montgomery's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 14's carriers ESSEX (CV-9),
YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24)
and COWPENS (CVL-25) launch raids on Wake Island and the Marshall Islands.
17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests
the Americans are planning another raid on Wake. Admiral Koga sorties from Truk
to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok to intercept the enemy task force with the fleet:
BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, BatDiv 3's KONGO and
HARUNA, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and
CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, light
cruisers AGANO and OYODO and many destroyers.
20 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island, Eniwetok.
23 October 1943:
Departs Brown and sorties to a position 250 miles S
of Wake. Returns after no contact is made with enemy forces.
26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.
1 November 1943: American Operation "Shoestring II"- The Invasion of
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Theodore S. Wilkinson's
(former XO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35). Third Amphibious Force, TF 31, lands LtGen
(later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Amphibious
Corps at Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomons.
2 November 1943: The Battle of Empress Augusta
Vice Admiral Omori Sentaro (former CO of KIOKAWA MARU) departs
Rabaul to escort 1,000 IJA troops to Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville to oppose
the American invasion at Cape Torokina. Omori's force includes heavy cruisers
MYOKO and HAGURO and light cruisers SENDAI and AGANO with six destroyers. The
Japanese force is intercepted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) A. S.
Merrill's (former CO of INDIANA, BB-58) TF 39 with four radar-equipped light
cruisers and eight destroyers. At 0150, all four of Merrill's cruisers take
SENDAI under 6-inch fire and set her afire. She soon sinks with most of her
crew. Admiral Omori withdraws with the remaining Japanese forces.
3 November 1943:
CruDiv 4, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, MOGAMI and CruDiv
8's CHIKUMA depart Truk to attack the American forces that landed at Empress
5 November 1943: The Carrier Raid on
The cruiser force arrives at Rabaul. About noon, while
ATAGO is refueling in Simpson Harbor from oiler KOKUYO MARU, the cruisers are
attacked by 97 planes from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's
(former CO of LEXINGTON, CV-2) TF 38's SARATOGA and PRINCETON (CVL-23). CruDiv
4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA and CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, light cruisers AGANO and
NOSHIRO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI are damaged. ATAGO sustains
three near misses with 500-lb bombs off her port side that flood several
compartments near boiler rooms Nos. 3-9 and engine room No. 1. A total of 22
crewmen are killed including her skipper Captain Nakaoka who is hit by a bomb
splinter while on the bridge; 64 are wounded. Later that day, ATAGO departs
Rabaul with TAKAO.
7 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
11 November 1943:
15 November 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka for repairs and AA suite refit.
Eight 25-mm single AA guns are installed and a Type 22 surface-search radar is
fitted. Captain (promoted Rear Admiral 15 October 1944) Araki Tsutau
(45)(former chief of Sasebo Naval base port office) is appointed the CO.
26-30 December 1943:
Repairs are completed. Then training cruises out
4 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk with MAIKAZE and NOWAKI.
7 January 1944:
Sighted by LtCdr (Rear Admiral) I. J. Galantin's USS
HALIBUT (SS-232), but the submarine is unable to attack.
9 January 1944:
Arrives at Truk.
10 February 1944:
CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI depart Truk for Palau
with CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO and destroyers. About 2100, at 08-27N, 149-24E,
the cruiser force is attacked by USS PERMIT (SS-178) in a night surface attack,
missing her targets with four torpedoes.
13 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.
19 February 1944:
Palau. ATAGO receives fresh provisions from stores
ship KITAKAMI MARU.
1 March 1944:
CruDiv 4 is reassigned to Vice Admiral Ozawa's First
11 March 1944:
Palau. ATAGO receives fresh provisions from KITAKAMI
29 March 1944:
CruDivs 4 and 5, light cruiser NOSHIRO and DesDiv 27's
HARUSAME sortie from Palau.
1-4 April 1944:
At Davao, Philippines. ATAGO receives fresh provisions
from KITAKAMI MARU.
6 April 1944:
The cruiser force is attacked by LtCdr (later Captain)
Bladen Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247), but he misses with six improperly set bow
torpedoes. The cruiser force is also sighted by Cdr William S. Stovall's DARTER
(SS-227), but he is unable to attack.
7 April 1944:
The cruiser force is sighted coming out of Davao Bay by
USS SCAMP (SS-277), but she is also unable to attack.
9 April 1944:
The cruiser force arrives at Lingga (S of Singapore).
11 May 1944:
CruDiv 4 departs Lingga with Vice Admiral Ozawa's First
12-13 May 1944:
At sea. Fleet deployment, firing practice.
13 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.
27 May 1944: American Operation "Horlicks" - The Invasion of Biak:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral/CNO) William M. Fechteler's (former CO of INDIANA,
BB-58) Task Force 77 lands Maj Gen Horace H. Fuller's 41st Division on Biak off
8 June 1944:
Tawi Tawi. ATAGO receives fresh provisions replenishment
from supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of Saipan:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (former CO of AUGUSTA, CA-31)
TF 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion
of Saipan begins.
13 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The
Battle of the Philippine Sea:
In Tokyo, the CINC, Combined
Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu, (former CO of HYUGA), sends out a signal that
activates the "A-Go" plan for the Defense of the Marianas.
That same day, Vice Admiral Kurita's Mobile Force Vanguard ("C" Force)
departs Tawi Tawi to oppose the American Fifth Fleet in a decisive battle off
Saipan with BatDiv 3's HARUNA, KONGO, CarDiv 3's CHITOSE, CHIYODA and ZUIHO,
CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv
8’s TONE and CHIKUMA with DesDiv 31's ASASHIMO and KISHINAMI, DesDiv 32's
TAMANAMI and FUJINAMI.
At sea, the Mobile Fleet is joined by Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome's (former
CO of HYUGA) canceled Operation "Kon" force: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI,
CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers
OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE.
19 June 1944:
Vice Admiral Kurita's Second Fleet steams about 100
miles ahead of Vice Admiral Ozawa's carriers. After 0920 ATAGO mistakenly opens
fire on the carrier aircraft of the IJN second strike of that day. The Mobile
Fleet's aircraft attack U.S. TF 58 off Saipan, but suffer overwhelming losses
in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".
22 June 1944:
At 1300, the Mobile Fleet arrives at Nakagusuku,
Okinawa. Refuels destroyers, departs.
24 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet arrives at Hashirajima.
26 June 1944:
Refit and modification at Kure. Four triple and 22
single 25-mm AA guns are installed bringing their total to 60 barrels. A Type
13 air-search radar is also fitted.
8 July 1944:
Departs Kure with TAKAO.
16 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.
22-30 July 1944:
Drydocked for a refit at Singapore.
26 August 1944:
Departs Lingga with TAKAO for Singapore. Arrives that
2 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. ATAGO receives fresh provisions
from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.
14 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. ATAGO receives fresh provisions
from KITAKAMI MARU.
23 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. ATAGO receives fresh provisions
from KITAKAMI MARU.
18 October 1944:
Departs Lingga with the fleet.
20 October 1944:
Arrives at Brunei, Borneo. Refuels.
22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO"(Victory) -
The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
ATAGO sorties with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI,
TAKAO and MAYA in Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force (Center
Force), Force "A "First Section: Vice Admiral Ugaki's BatDiv 1's YAMATO,
MUSASHI and NAGATO, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's
(former CO of NAGATO) DesRon 2's flagship light cruiser NOSHIRO and DesDiv 2's
HAYASHIMO, AKISHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, ASASHIMO and
DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, NAGANAMI, HAMANAMI and destroyer SHIMAKAZE
The first section is followed by the second section: Vice Admiral Suzuki
Yoshio's (former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, Vice Admiral
Shiraishi Kazutaka's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE
and CHIKUMA, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of
HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI, DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's
URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.
23 October 1944:
The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
At 0533, Kurita's flagship ATAGO
is hit by four torpedoes from Cdr (later Captain) David McClintock's USS DARTER
(SS-227). TAKAO is also hit by torpedoes from DARTER, set afire and goes dead in
the water. LtCdr Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247) sinks MAYA.
At 0553, ATAGO sinks bow first in about 1000 fathoms of water at 09-30N,
117-13E. 360 are killed, but 529 survivors including Vice Admiral Kurita, his
CoS Rear Admiral Koyanagi Tomiji and ATAGO's skipper Rear Admiral Araki Tsutau
are rescued by KISHINAMI. 171 other survivors are also rescued by ASASHIMO. 
20 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), was the
highest point in the Japanese Empire at the time.
 There have been 1354 recipients of the Victoria Cross since its
inception in 1856 through the Falklands War in 1981. For reasons known only
within the respective British and Australian naval bureaucracies, no member of
the Royal Australian Navy has ever been awarded a Victoria Cross, even though
the valor of its members, such as Rankin, seems at least comparable, or
superior, to other winners.
 All three Admirals aboard ATAGO at her sinking were later reassigned
to naval schools: Kurita to head the Etajima Naval Academy, Koyanagi as head of
the Torpedo School in August 1945 and Araki as Chief Instructor of the Torpedo
Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned
in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada and to Mr. Donald M. Kehn
Jr. of the United States for providing additional details concerning ATAGO's
movements in February-April 1942. Thanks also go to "Adm. Gurita" of the
Netherlands, Andrew Obluski of Poland and Randy Stone of the United States.
Thanks go to the late John Whitman and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info
about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU. Thanks also go to reader Larry McAneny for Rev
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.