Battle of the Komandorski Islands | Nihon Kaigun

Battle of the Komandorski Islands
(March 26, 1943)

By March, 1943, the Americans were beginning to get serious about retaking the islands of Attu and Kiska, which had been captured by the Japanese in 1942. Consequently, they placed a squadron in the area tasked with interdicting any Japanese resupply convoys to the area. On March 26, 1943, this task group found what they were seeking, but got more than they bargained for. A Japanese convoy of two transports was coming north, escorted by eight warships, including two heavy and two light cruisers. What followed was one of the more 'pure' long-range naval gunfire engagements of the war.

The Americans, with heavy cruiser Salt Lake City and light cruiser Richmond, were at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, they gamely gave battle, and paid the price. Although Salt Lake City drew first blood against Nachi, she was in turn hit repeatedly. Finally one engine room flooded, and she began to lose way. Only a quick smokescreen laid by US destroyers saved her from further harm. At this point the Japanese broke off the attack, and retired to rejoin the two transports who had been detached at the beginning of the fight. The Japanese commander, Boshiro Hosogaya, was retired from naval service shortly thereafter as a result of his rather under-aggressive performance.

Battle of the Komandorski IslandsJapanAllied
Starting Forces x2
x2
x4
x1
x1
x4

Losses x1 lightly damaged (Nachi) x1 heavily damaged (Salt Lake City)
x1 lightly damaged (Bailey)

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WW2DB article on Aleutian Islands Campaign


PBY-5A Catalina patrol plane flying past Segula Island (just east of Kiska), Aleutians, Summer 1942.G3M bombers in flight in the Aleutian islands, 1942-1943Japanese officers at the Aleutian Islands, circa 1942-1943LCVPs disembarking US Marines during an amphibious assault exercise in US Territory of Alaska, 1942-1943US Navy Lt Fred Hunter piloting an OS2U-3 Kingfisher of Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1 as it is catapulted off the cruiser USS Detroit in the Aleutians, 1943-44
PBY-5A Catalina patrol plane flying past Segula Island (just east of Kiska), Aleutians, Summer 1942.G3M bombers in flight in the Aleutian islands, 1942-1943Japanese officers at the Aleutian Islands, circa 1942-1943LCVPs disembarking US Marines during an amphibious assault exercise in US Territory of Alaska, 1942-1943US Navy Lt Fred Hunter piloting an OS2U-3 Kingfisher of Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1 as it is catapulted off the cruiser USS Detroit in the Aleutians, 1943-44
US Navy Lt Steve Corneliussen piloting an OS2U-3 Kingfisher of Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1 with his observer, Petty Officer Paul Proffer, as they are catapulted off the cruiser USS Detroit in the Aleutians, 1943-44US Navy personnel freeing a PBY-5A Catalina aircraft from frozen waters in the Aleutian Islands at Kodiak Bay, US Territory of Alaska, May 1942-Jan 1943PBY-5 Catalinas from Fleet Air Wing 4 in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Jan 11, 1943. Note four Mk-37 aerial depth charges under wings, with two more and one 500-pound general purpose bomb on bomb cart.Heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City in action during Battle of the Komandorski Islands, 26 Mar 1943Louisville steamed out of Kulak Bay, Adak, Aleutian Islands, bound for operations against Attu, 25 Apr 1943; note Sweepers Cove in background
US Navy Lt Steve Corneliussen piloting an OS2U-3 Kingfisher of Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1 with his observer, Petty Officer Paul Proffer, as they are catapulted off the cruiser USS Detroit in the Aleutians, 1943-44US Navy personnel freeing a PBY-5A Catalina aircraft from frozen waters in the Aleutian Islands at Kodiak Bay, US Territory of Alaska, May 1942-Jan 1943PBY-5 Catalinas from Fleet Air Wing 4 in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Jan 11, 1943. Note four Mk-37 aerial depth charges under wings, with two more and one 500-pound general purpose bomb on bomb cart.Heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City in action during Battle of the Komandorski Islands, 26 Mar 1943Louisville steamed out of Kulak Bay, Adak, Aleutian Islands, bound for operations against Attu, 25 Apr 1943; note Sweepers Cove in background

See all 34 photos of Aleutian Islands Campaign on WW2DB


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