(CHIKUMA in 1941 - colorized by Irotooko, Jr)

IJN CHIKUMA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2016 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 19

1 October 1935:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi's shipyard.

19 March 1938:
Launched and named CHIKUMA.

18 May 1938:
Captain Ryuzaki Tomekichi (40) is appointed the first Chief Equipping Officer (joint duty).

1 November 1938:
Captain Tomonari Saichiro (38)(current CO of HAGURO) is appointed the second Chief Equipping Officer (joint duty).

10 December 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nishio Hidehiko (41) is posted Chief Equipping Officer.

20 December 1938:
Captain Nishio assumes "paper" command of fleet oiler SATA as an additional duty.

28 January 1939:
Captain Nishio assumes sole duty as Chief Equipping Officer of CHIKUMA.

20 May 1939:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Captain Nishio is the Commanding Officer.

10 October 1939:
Captain Hara Teizo (41)(joint duty as CO of TONE) assumes command.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro (41) assumes command.

1 November 1940:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kogure Gunji (former CO of SETTSU)(41) assumes command.

20 August 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Komura Keizo (45) assumes command.

26 November 1941:
CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE depart Hitokappu (Tankan) Bay, Etorofu Island, Kuriles with Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's Support Force: BatDiv 3, Section 1's HIEI and KIRISHIMA DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA, destroyers and Supply Groups Nos. 1 and 2. Mikawa's Force accompanies Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) First Air Fleet Striking Force's (Kido Butai) CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU.

2 December 1941:
940 miles north of Midway Island. CruDiv 8 receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet's flagship NAGATO. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). (Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), was then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.)

7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
At 0500, CHIKUMA and TONE each launch one Type 0, Aichi E13A1 Jake floatplanes for a final weather reconnaissance. TONE's Jake (coded JI-1) piloted by WO Narukawa Ryozo flies to Lahaina, but finds no American fleet units present.

At 0630, CHIKUMA and TONE each launch short range Type 95, Nakajima E8N Dave two-seat float planes to act as pickets and patrol south of the Striking Force. HIEI and KIRISHIMA also launch picket floatplanes to maintain a surface search between the "Kido Butai" and Pearl Harbor 230 miles away and for ASW patrols around the carriers.

At 0755, the Striking Force's first wave of 189 aircraft (90 Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 Kate attack planes, 54 Type 99 Aichi D3A1 Val dive-bombers and 45 Type 0 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeke fighters) led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and other military installations on Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.

About 0840, they are followed by a second wave of 171 aircraft (54 Kates, 81 Vals and 36 Zekes) led by LtCdr Shimazaki Shigekazu. By 0945, they retire towards their carriers.

During the attacks, the Striking Force sinks battleships USS ARIZONA (BB-39), CALIFORNIA (BB-44), OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and WEST VIRGINIA (BB-49) and damages MARYLAND (BB-46), NEVADA (BB-36), PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38) and TENNESSEE (BB-43) and other smaller ships. 2,335 American servicemen die in the attack, most on ARIZONA. After recovering all but 29 of its aircraft lost in the attack, the Striking Force departs Hawaiian waters towards Japan.

16 December 1941: The Second Invasion of Wake Island:
CruDiv 8, CarDiv 2 and destroyers URAKAZE and TANIKAZE are detached from the Striking and Support forces to participate in the second invasion.

23 December 1941:
TONE's plane reports that fighting on Wake Island has ceased. CHIKUMA's plane, damaged by AA fire, ditches, but the crew is rescued.

After the capture of Wake, CruDiv 8 returns to Kure.

29 December 1941:
Arrives at Kure and enters overhaul.

10 January 1942:
Departs Kure.

14 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

17-27 January 1942: Operation "R" - The Invasion of Rabaul:
CruDiv 8 departs Truk with the Carrier Striking Force's CarDivs 1 and 5, BatDiv 3/1 and DesRon 1 for an area N of New Ireland.

20-22 January 1942:
Supports air attacks on Rabaul, New Britain and CarDiv 5's attacks on Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea.

22 January 1942:
Departs the New Ireland area.

24 January 1942:
CHIKUMA's floatplanes attack the Admiralties.

29 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk. CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU is detached for Japan.

1 February 1942: Air Raid on Kwajalein:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 8's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje in the Marshall Islands. Submarine I-23, submarine depot ship YASUKUNI MARU and several other important ships are also damaged in the raid.

CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA depart Truk with the Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 1, CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/1 and DesRon 1 in an unsuccessful pursuit of Halsey.

4 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 and the Carrier Striking Force group are ordered to Palau. CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU is detached via Truk for Japan to join SHOKAKU.

8 February 1942:
CruDiv 8, BatDiv 3/1, CarDiv 1 and DesRon 1 arrive at Palau.

15 February 1942:
CruDiv 8 departs Palau with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU and DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE and DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI and ARIAKE.

17 February 1942:
CruDiv 8, CarDiv 1 and DesRon 1 arrive at Staring Bay, Celebes. That night, they depart for a high-speed crossing of the Banda Sea.

19 February 1942: The Attack on Port Darwin, Australia:
Timor Sea. 220 miles NNW of Darwin. At 0752 (local) the Carrier Striking Force launches 81 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" attack planes, 72 Aichi D3 "Val" dive-bombers and 36 Mitsubishi A6M A6M "Zeke " fighters. Led by Cdr Fuchida (of Pearl Harbor) the Striking Force attacks Darwin followed later by a strike of 54 twin engine land-based G3M2 "Nell and G4M1 "Betty" bombers of the Takao and the 1st Kokutai's of the 1st Air Attack Force from Ambonia and Kendari, Celebes. The raids destroy 30 aircraft including 12 American Curtiss P-40 "Kittyhawk" fighters, sink 11 ships including destroyer USS PEARY (DD-226) and large Army transport GENERAL M.C. MEIGS and damage 13 ships including seaplane tender (WW1 destroyer conversion) USS WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD-7).

21 February 1942:
CruDiv 8, CarDiv 1 and DesRon 1 arrive back at Staring Bay for refueling. They join Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's HEI, KIRISHIMA, KONGO and HARUNA and CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO and six destroyers that also arrived from Palau that day to refuel. light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE and DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI and ARIAKE arrives from their stike on Darwin, Australia and refuels.

25 February 1942: Operation "J" -The Invasion of the Netherlands East Indies:
Vice Admiral Kondo, the overall invasion fleet commander, detaches BatDiv 3/2's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO and destroyers ARASHI and NOWAKI from the Main Body. Kondo's force departs Staring Bay to hunt for shipping escaping from Java. They are joined later by DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO from Timor. The remainder of the Kondo's force departs Staring Bay following the Carrier Striking Force, CruDiv 8, DesRon 1 and six tankers. Supports carrier attacks on Java.

27 February 1942:
Seaplane tender USS LANGLEY (AV-3) and her escorts, the old flush deck, four-stackers WHIPPLE (DD-217) and EDSALL (DD-219) are attacked by 16 twin-engined Mitsubishi GM41 "Betty" bombers of the Takao Kokutai based at Denpasar, Bali, six Mitsubishi A6M fighters and one Mitsubishi C5M Type 98 ("Babs") reconnaissance aircraft of the 3rd Kokutai and nine A6Ms and one Type 98 from the Tainan Kokutai. They damage LANGLEY so severely that she is abandoned. EDSALL picks up 177 survivors and WHIPPLE 308. The next day, the destroyers rendezvous with USS PECOS (AO-6) off Christmas Island. EDSALL begins transferring LANGLEY's survivors to PECOS, but more bombers arrive and force the EDSALL to depart.

1 March 1942:
Indian Ocean. In the morning, Lt Joshua J. Nix's EDSALL completes transferring LANGLEY's survivors to PECOS, then heads towards Tjilatjap. [1]

At 0700, per KdB signal order no. 46, CHIKUMA and TONE each launch one Type 0 Aichi E13A1 Jake recon floatplane to search the waters around Christmas Island and to the west. The planes find merchant shipping, but no warships.

CHIKUMA's floatplane locates an Allied ship. At 1130, CruDiv 8 and destroyers KASUMI and SHIRANUHI intercept Dutch freighter MODJOKERTO attempting to escape from Tjilatjap to Australia. CHIKUMA opens fire and sinks MODJOKERTO before noon at 12-40S, 106-40E.

At about 1400, the floatplanes return to the ships.

250 miles SSE of Christmas Island. At 1550 (local), the Mobile Force is steaming at 16 knots at 14-25S, 106-50E, when one of AKAGI’s combat air patrol fighters sights a "MARBLEHEAD-class" light cruiser (actually, EDSALL) steaming behind the force about 30 kilometers away.

At 1552, Vice Admiral Nagumo orders BatDiv 3/2 and CruDiv 8 to intercept the "cruiser" and destroy it. Vice Admiral Mikawa leads the chase from HIEI, flanked by heavy cruisers CHIKUMA (port) and TONE (starboard), leading KIRISHIMA.

At 1602, EDSALL is sighted 16 miles away, heading north. At 1603, CHIKUMA opens fire with her 8-inch guns at extremely long range. All her shots miss. EDSALL, damaged earlier by one of her depth charges, lays down a smokescreen and begins evasive maneuvers.

At 1616, HIEI opens fire with her forward 14-inch guns at a range of 27,900 yards, straddling the target, but not hitting it. After 1619, she launches all her floatplanes.

At 1620, HIEI signals: "All forces, charge!" The target is soon identified as a destroyer by HIEI and CHIKUMA. At 1639, Admiral Mikawa orders flank speed. At 1655, HIEI and the heavy cruisers check fire without having scored a single direct hit. At 1800, CHIKUMA ceases firing when she enters a rain squall.

CruDiv 8 expends 844 8-inch and 62 5-inch rounds at the old destroyer. Finally, at 1835, TONE scores a direct hit on EDSALL.

EDSALL is attacked by twenty-six D3A "Val" dive bombers from carriers HIRYU, KAGA and SORYU. They hit EDSALL with 550-lb bombs and set her afire. She goes dead in the water. [2]

CHIKUMA moves in and destroys stationary EDSALL with her secondary armament. At 1730, the battered old "four piper"sinks by the stern at 13-45S, 106-47E. CHIKUMA picks up five or more survivors. [3]

4 March 1942:
CHIKUMA and destroyer URAKAZE sink Dutch merchant ENGGANO bombed and set afire by a floatplane from CruDiv 4's TAKAO on 1 March.

5 March 1942:
CHIKUMA and TONE's floatplanes take part in the strike on Tjilatjap.

11 March 1942:
After the surrender of the Dutch East Indies, arrives at Staring Bay, at Kendari, Celebes and disembarks EDSALL's survivors as POWs.[4]

26 March 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Carrier Striking Force sorties from Staring Bay via Timor Sea into the Indian Ocean with CarDiv 1's AKAGI, CarDiv 2’s SORYU and HIRYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3's KONGO, HIEI, HARUNA HEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI, ARARE and KAGERO, DesDiv 4's MAIKAZE and HAGIKAZE, CarDiv 5's AKIGUMO and fleet oiler SHINKOKU MARU.

31 March 1942:
Auxiliary tankers KYOKUTO MARU, KENYO MARU and NIPPON MARU join Nagumo's Force.

1 April 1942:
Meanwhile, at 1100, Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malaya Force departs Mergui and steams into the Bay of Bengal to attack merchant shipping with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI (F) and CruDiv 7 's SUZUYA, KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruiser YURA and destroyers FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI and MURAKUMA, which are replaced on 3 April by AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE. YURA and CHOKAI support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.

2 April 1942:
After refueling Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force, SHINKOKU MARU, KYOKUTO MARU, KENYO MARU and NIPPON MARU are detached.

4 April 1942:
350 nms S of Ceylon. About 1600, the carrier Striking Force is located by Consolidated PBY "Catalina" flying boat QL-A of 413 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flown by squadron leader Squadron Leader Leonard Birchall, out of Koggala. Birchall manages to radio in the position of the Japanese fleet and alert Colombo about the impending attack before his Catalina is shot down by six A6M2 Zeke fighters from carrier HIRYU. Birchall is one of the six survivors of the crew of nine picked up by ISOKAZE.

5 April 1942, Easter Sunday: The Attack on the British naval base at Colombo:
At 0730, 127 aircraft from the Striking Force (53 Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” dive-bombers [18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 17 from AKAGI], 38 Aichi D3A1 “Val” torpedo-bombers [19 each from SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU] and 36 Mitsubishi A6M “Zeke” fighters (9 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU and ZUIKAKU) of the "Kido Butai's" aircraft, led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo (of Pearl Harbor), attack the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

The planes damage the base's facilities, destroy at least 26 aircraft (6 Fairey "Swordfish", 4 Fairey "Fulmars" and at least 16 Hawker "Hurricanes") and sink destroyer HMS TENEDOS undergoing refit, armed merchant cruiser HMS HECTOR and 5834-ton Norwegian tanker SOLI. The planes also damage submarine tender HMS LUCIA, 5,943-ton British freighter BENLEDI and 5,950-ton British freighter CLAN MUROCH. 81 civilians and 56 RN personnel are killed at Colombo (TENEDOS 33, HECTOR 4, LUCIA 2, FAA aircrew and ground crew 12.

A Kawanishi E7K "Alf" three-seat float biplane from cruiser TONE finds Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet Sir) James Somerville's (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE at sea - without air cover. Between 1338-1400, 53 D3A Val dive-bombers (17 from AKAGI, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SORYU, led by LtCdr Egusa Takashige (SORYU’s Air Group Commander), sink both ships. 424 RN personnel are killed (DORSETSHIRE 234, CORNWALL 190). After the attack, the Striking Force withdraws to the SE and searches unsuccessfully for the rest of Somerville's fleet.

Meanwhile, during the afternoon aircraft from RYUJO sink the 5,082-ton British cargo vessel HARPASA and damage two other merchantmen, the 7,823-ton British ship DARDANUS and 4,839-ton US-built Greek ship POINT CLEAR. At 2030, Ozawa's Mobile Force separates into three groups to attack merchant shipping in the Bay of Bengal. CruDiv 7/1's KUMANO and SUZUYA, under Rear Admiral Kurita, form the Northern Group with destroyer SHIRAKUMO. Carrier RYUJO, CHOKAI, SubRon 5's light cruiser YURA, Des Div 20's YUGIRI and ASAGIRI form the Center Group under Admiral Ozawa. MOGAMI, MIKUMA and destroyer AMAGIRI form the Southern Group.

(Tracks of Nagumo and Ozawa's Forces)

6 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. At about 0600, the three ships of Ozawa’s Northern Group attack and sink the 5,381-ton Norwegian tanker ELSA. After 0730, KUMANO and SUZUYA and destroyer SHIRAKUMO attack a six-ship convoy and sink 4,986-ton American Export Line’s EXMOOR (ex-CITY OF ST. JOSEPH), 9,066-ton British freighter MALDA, 7,718-ton British freighter AUTOCLYCUS and 2,441-ton British freighter SHINKUANG at 19N, 86E. Ozawa's cruisers also sink 6,622-ton British freighter INDORA and Captain J. H. Gregory’s British India Line’s 4,921-ton cargo ship SILKSWORTH. About 50 of SILKSWORTH's mostly Chinese crewmen survive.

Temporarily detached from the rest of Ozawa’s Center Group, YURA and YUGIRI sink 1,279-ton Dutch merchant BATAVIA en route from Calcutta to Karachi. YURA and YUGIRI also sink 1,279-ton Dutch freighter BANJOEWANGI and 3,471-ton British steamer TAKSANG.

The rest of the Center Group, RYUJO, CHOKAI and ASAGIRI, sink five ships:
5,491-ton American freighter BIENVILLE is bombed by RYUJO's aircraft. She is finished off by gunfire from CHOKAI, and reportedly also from RYUJO, and then by a torpedo from CHOKAI.
6,426-ton British cargo ship GANGES is attacked by one of CHOKAI’s floatplanes and two of RYUJO’s aircraft, and is then sunk by gunfire from the surface ships, including gunfire from RYUJO.
2,646-ton British ship SINKIANG is attacked by aircraft and then likewise sunk by gunfire.
5,686-ton American freighter SELMA CITY is bombed by CHOKAI’s floatplanes. She is also attacked and hit by two aircraft from RYUJO, but by then is already sinking and abandoned.
2,073-ton Dutch freighter VAN DER CAPELLEN is bombed and damaged by RYUJO's aircraft and sinks two days later.

That same day, 5,268-ton British freighter ANGLO-CANADIAN is attacked by five aircraft from RYUJO, including two armed with torpedoes, and score one hit, a bomb which does not explode but which starts a fire. Also that day, RYUJO launches strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam. 3,827-ton British merchant MARION MOLLER is damaged at Vizagapatam.

Ozawa’s Southern Group sinks four ships. They first encounter disabled DARDANUS, under tow by the 5,281-ton British ship GANDARA. The three Japanese ships promptly open fire on the two merchantmen, which are finished off with torpedoes from AMAGIRI. Two Norwegian vessels are then sunk, 4,434-ton DAGFRED and 1,515-ton HERMOD.

In all Ozawa's commerce raiding detachment sinks twenty ships of about 93,247 tons during their brief foray in the Bay of Bengal.

9 April 1942: The Attack on the British naval base at Trincomalee:
At 0600, Nagumo's Striking Force launches 132 aircraft led by Cdr Fuchida to attack the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon (91 B5N2 Kate dive-bombers [18 from AKAGI, 18 from SORYU and 18 from HIRYU, 19 from SHOKAKU and 18 from ZUIKAKU] and 41 A6M2 Zeke fighters [6 from AKAGI, 9 from SORYU, 6 from HIRYU, 10 from SHOKAKU and 10 from ZUIKAKU]).

The Japanese find the harbor almost empty of warships, but sink 9,066-ton British merchant SAGAING and a "Walrus" amphibian and three crated Fairey “Albacore” aircraft she was carrying, and damage old 15-inch monitor HMS EREBUS. Non-operational Dutch light cruiser SUMATRA is also hit, but the 800 kg bomb does not explode. Outside the harbor, southbound 4,784-ton Greek MARIONGA D. THERMIOTIS is damaged by strafing and seven men are wounded.

HARUNA launches an E8N2 “Dave” floatplane. At 0755, it spots an enemy carrier 65 miles south of the base. Between 0843 and 0853, the Striking Force launches 85 D3A Vals, (18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SHOKAKU, 17 from AKAGI and 14 from ZUIKAKU), escorted by 9 A6M Zekes (3 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU) which sink old light carrier HMS HERMES. 306 RN personnel are KIA, but hospital ship HMHS VITA, en route from Trincomalee to Colombo, arrives and picks up over 600 survivors.

Other sailors are rescued by local craft or swim to shore. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE, 8 KIA, corvette HMS HOLLYHOCK, 53 KIA, oilers ATHELSTANE and BRITISH SERGEANT and Norwegian merchant ship NORVIKEN.

During the day, nine of the Royal Air Force’s No. 11 Squadron’s Bristol "Blenheim" bombers attack KONGO, but score no hits and lose five four of their number to Nagumo's Combat Air Patrol "Zekes" and another is lost during the return flight when they encounter three Zekes from HIRYU returning from the attack on HERMES. BatDiv3 and the Striking Force continue heading SE.

10 April 1942:
About midnight, the fleet changes course to the NE. During the next 36 hours, BatDiv 3 and the Striking Force gradually bear southwards again and pass through the Andaman Sea entering the Straits of Malacca.

13 April 1942:
By nightfall, the fleet passes Singapore and enters the South China Sea, bound for Japan.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral Halsey's Task Force 16.2's HORNET (CV-8), VINCENNES (CA-44), NASHVILLE (CL-43), oiler CIMARRON (AO-22) and the destroyers GWIN (DD-433), MEREDITH (DD-434), GRAYSON (DD-435) and MONSSEN (DD-436) accompanied by Task Force 16.1's 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 carriers and cruisers come to within 668 nautical miles of Japan.

Led by Lt Col (later General/MOH) 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 carrier RYUHO in a drydock while undergoing conversion from former submarine depot ship TAIGEI.

After passing through the Bashi Channel, upon receipt of message about Doolittle's Raid, the Striking Force is ordered to chase the enemy carriers and proceeds toward the Marshall Islands, but is unable to encounter the enemy force.

23 April 1942:
Returns to Maizuru Naval Base.

25 April-3 May 1942:
Refit and drydocked at Maizuru.

16 May 1942:
Departs Maizuru with TONE.

17 May 1942:
Participates in a large scale exercise off Tosaz, Shikoku. CHIKUMA is hit by three dummy torpedoes. 18 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima, then transfers to Kure Naval Yard for repairs.

27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Abe's CruDiv 8 departs Hashirajima with Vice Admiral (later Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force: CarDivs 1 and 2, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Support Group: Captain Koma Tomatsu's BatDiv 3/2's HARUNA and KIRISHIMA, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA with DesDiv 4's NOWAKI, ARASHIO, HAGIKAZE and the MAIKAZE, DesDiv 10's KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO and MAKIGUMO, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMIKAZE.

4 June 1942:
Between 0435-0500, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE each launch two E13A1 "Jake" long-range reconnaissance floatplanes to search out 300 miles for American carriers from NNE thru S.

CHIKUMA and TONE also each launch one E8N "Dave" floatplanes on ASW patrol. Each cruiser holds another "Dave" for later use on another ASW mission.

At 0728, TONE's No. 4 Jake discovers the American's enemy ships, which later materialize as a carrier group. The observer does not identify the carriers at the outset, which proves to be a crucial mistake.

At 1045, CHIKUMA's No. 5 floatplane, an E13A1 piloted by PO3c Hara Hisashi, finds USS YORKTOWN discovered earlier by TONE's floatplane. Hara shadows the carrier for the next three hours and guides the carrier bombers that attacking YORKTOWN. Two other CHIKUMA floatplanes observe YORKTOWN until that night.

During the battle, CHIKUMA losses her No. 5 Jake piloted by PO Hara, evidently downed by VF-6’s MM William H. Warden and Lt (j.g.) Ronald J. Hoyle at 1409.

6 June 1942: Operation "AL" - The Invasion of the Aleutian Islands:
At 0652, CHIKUMA's floatplane No. 2 discovers damaged YORKTOWN and signls its position. With this information the I-168 is able to find and sink the carrier. CHIKUMA and TONE are ordered to support Vice Admiral Hosogawa Boshiro's Fifth Fleet for the Aleutians invasion. CruDiv 8 joins BatDiv 3/1, carrier ZUIHO, seaplane carrier KAMIKAWA MARU escorted by DesDiv 4's MAIKAZE, HAGIKAZE and NOWAKI that are also detached to join Rear Admiral Kakuta Kakuji's Second Mobile Force. An anticipated American counter-attack fails to materialize. CruDiv 8 cruises northern waters uneventfully.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

28 June July 1942:
CruDiv 8 departs Ominato.

14 July 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Chuichi assumes command of CruDiv 8 from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe who is reassigned as the Commanding Officer of the new BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA.

12 July 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

15 July 1942:
Departs Hashirajima.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru for repairs.

6 August 1942:
Departs Maizuru for Kure.

7 August 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

16 August 1942: Operation "KA" - The Reinforcement of Guadalcanal:
CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE depart Kure with Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU and CarDiv 2's RYUJO.

The Carrier Strike Force joins Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet: Rear Admiral Abe's BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, the Support Force's seaplane tender CHITOSE, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, Rear Admiral Kimura Susumu's DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 4's HATSUKAZE, MAIKAZE and NOWAKI, DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE, DesDiv 17's TANIKAZE and DesDiv 61's AKIZUKI.

20-23 August 1942:
The CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI) cancels a planned stop at Truk. The fleet refuels at sea from oilers and continues on towards Guadalcanal.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
The Carrier Strike Force, Mobile Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and Desron 10 cruises NE of Guadalcanal. CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA and MOGAMI arrive from Burma and join the Main Body.

At 0400, Rear Admiral Hara's TONE, light carrier RYUJO and DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE are detached from the Main Body.

At 0935, a Consolidated PBY "Catalina" seaplane spots RYUJO. RYUJO is located and attacked unsuccessfully by two TBFs at 1428 and 1440 by two SBDs from Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6).

At 1100, CHIKUMA and TONE of the Vanguard Force launch seven floatplanes on a late morning search for American ships.

At 1400, CHIKUMA's No. 2 Jake piloted by Special Duty Ensign Fukuyama Kazutoshi discovers the American task force, but is shot down by USN fighters. Its report and subsequent messages sent by HIEI's F1M2 Pete as well as CHIKUMA's No. 5 floatplane are not picked up by the leader of carrier bomber group.

At 1430, a CHIKUMA floatplane reports the location of Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid’s (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6). At 1445, CarDiv 1 launches an air attack against Task Group 16. At 1550, RYUJO is located, attacked and sunk by five TBFs and 21 SBDs from Task Group 11's USS SARATOGA (CV-3). TONE is attacked unsuccessfully by two TBFs whose Mark 13 torpedoes miss the cruiser.

At 1600, CarDiv 1 launches a second strike against Task Group 16, but it fails to locate ENTERPRISE group. At 1642, ENTERPRISE is attacked by CarDiv 1's first strike. She is hit by three bombs and her wooden flight deck is set afire, but she evades further damage at 24 knots.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

9 September 1942:
Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard Force sorties from Truk with Carrier Strike Force to area N of the Solomon Islands.

23 September 1942:
Arrives back at Truk.

11 October 1942:
CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE sortie from Truk with Abe's Vanguard Force's BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7’s SUZUYA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO, MAKIGUMO, KAZEGUMO, YUGUMO and DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and URAKAZE to an area N of Solomon Islands.

Vice Admiral Kondo also sorties from Truk with his Second Fleet, Advance Force's CruDiv 5's MYOKO, CruDiv 7's TAKAO, ATAGO and MAYA, 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 Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, destroyers HARUSAME, KAGERO, MURASAME, SAMIDARE, OYASHIO and YUDACHI.

The Second Fleet is followed by Nagumo's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force. The fleets take up position in an area N of the Solomon Islands.

17-18 October 1942:
Refuels at sea with the fleet.

18-26 October 1942:
Deploys NE of Guadalcanal awaiting the recapture of Henderson Field by Japanese forces.

23 October 1942:
CHIKUMA and destroyer TERUZUKI thrust eastward of the Vanguard Force and the cruiser's planes canvass the ocean.

26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
250 miles NE of Guadalcanal. At 0415, Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki's Vanguard Force catapults off seven floatplanes to scout south of the island.

At 0445, 13 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" torpedo planes take off from CarDiv 1's decks, followed at 0500 by floatplanes of the Advanced Force.

The Carrier Strike Force launches attacks against USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and HORNET (CV-8). The Strike Force's planes sinks HORNET, damage SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and SAN JUAN (CL-54).

CHIKUMA jettisons her torpedoes before a 500-lb. bomb dropped by a Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive-bomber from HORNET hits her starboard forward torpedo room. She is also hit by two other bombs. She loses one E13A1 Jake on the catapult. Her crew suffers 190 killed and 154 wounded including Captain Komura.

CHIKUMA proceeds to Truk with the maximum available speed of 23 knots escorted by URAKAZE and TANIKAZE.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Undergoes temporary repairs by repair ship AKASHI.

2 November 1942:
CHIKUMA and KUMANO depart Truk with damaged carrier ZUIHO, DesDiv 4's ARASHI and HAGIKAZE, DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE and destroyer AKIZUKI.

7 November 1942:
CHIKUMA arrives at Kure.

10 November 1942:
The Commanding Officer of AOBA, Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsutau (former CO of FURUTAKA) assumes "paper" command of CHIKUMA while both ships undergo repairs. Captain Komura is later reassigned as CO of FUSO.

CHIKUMA is repaired and refit. Two additional twin Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed and a Type 21 air-search radar is fitted.

20 January 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shigenaga Kazue (former CO of KASHII) assumes command.

27 February 1943:
The refit is completed. Training in Inland Sea.

15 March 1943:
Rear Admiral Kishi Fukuji (former CO of FUSO) assumes command of CruDiv 8.

22 March 1943:
Joins TONE at Saeki, then departs for Truk.

27 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

17 May 1943:
CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE depart Truk for Yokosuka with Admiral Koga embarked on MUSASHI accompanied by Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CarDiv 2's HIYO, DesDiv 24's UMIKAZE and DesDiv 27's ARIAKE and SHIGURE, DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI and SUZUTSUKI. MUSASHI carries Admiral Yamamoto's ashes to Tokyo for a state funeral.

20 May 1943:
Alerted by "Ultra", USS SAWFISH's (SS-276) radar picks up the task force, but the submarine is unable to attack.

22 May 1943:
The task force is sighted off Tokyo Bay by USS TRIGGER (SS-237), but the submarine is also unable to attack. The task force arrives safely at Yokosuka.

30 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

1 June 1943:
At Hashirajima. Training in the Inland Sea.

8 July 1943:
Embarks Army troops and stores at Shinagawa.

9 July 1943:
CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE with CruDiv 7's MOGAMI depart Shinagawa for Truk with CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, escort carrier CHUYO, seaplane carrier NISSHIN, light cruisers AGANO and the OYODO, DesDiv 4's ARASHI and HAGIKAZE, DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI and SUZUTSUKI and unattached destroyer TAMANAMI.

11 July 1943:
The task force is sighted by USS STURGEON (SS-187) and SEARAVEN (SS-196), but neither submarine is able to attack.

15 July 1943:
ZUIHO is attacked unsuccessfully by USS TINOSA (SS-283) that misses with four torpedoes. The task force is also spotted by USS POGY (SS-266), but she is unable to attack. The task force makes port at Truk unharmed.

19 July 1943:
CHIKUMA, TONE and MOGAMI depart Truk on a troop transport run with seaplane tender NISSHIN, light cruisers OYODO and AGANO, and destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI, ARASHI, HAGIKAZE and ISOKAZE.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Disembarks troops.

24 July 1943:
CruDiv 8 departs Rabaul with OYODO, AGANO, HATSUZUKI and SUZUTSUKI.

26 July 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 launched by Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) 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: 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 CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI.

Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) 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. CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE sortie from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok to intercept the enemy task force with Admiral Koga's fleet: BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, Bat Div 2's FUSO, Bat Div 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, light cruisers AGANO and the 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.

3 November 1943:
CruDivs 4, 7 and CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA depart Truk to attack American forces off Bougainville.

5 November 1943: The Carrier Raid on Rabaul:
The cruiser force arrives at Rabaul. About noon, while 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) Task Force 38's SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23). They bomb and damage CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA and CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, light cruisers AGANO and NOSHIRO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI. CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA is attacked by an SDB dive-bomber from SARATOGA. She suffers only near-misses that cause slight damage to her hull, armaments and machinery and departs that evening for Truk.

7 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

20 November 1943:
Departs Truk on a troop transport run to the Marshalls.

21-22 November 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island, Eniwetok.

23-27 November 1943:
At Roi.

28-29 November 1943:
At Eniwetok.

30 November-3 December 1943:
At Roi.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

7 December 1943:
Departs Truk.

12 December 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Begins refit. The forward twin 25-mm. AA mounts are replaced by four triple mounts bringing the total 25-mm. AA barrels to 20 (4 x 3 and 4 x 2).

1 January 1944:
CruDiv 8 is disbanded. CHIKUMA and TONE are assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (former CO of HARUNA) CruDiv 7 with KUMANO and SUZUYA.

7 January 1944:
Captain Norimitsu Saiji (former CO of KITAKAMI) assumes command. Captain Shigenaga is reassigned as the CO of HARUNA.

1 February 1944:
At Kure. The refit is completed.

6 February 1944:
Departs Kure carrying army troops and supplies with carriers SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, light cruiser YAHAGI, destroyers AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, HATSUZUKI and WAKATSUKI.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. Departs for Lingga (S of Singapore). Arrives that same day.

27 February 1944:
Departs Lingga with the TONE, AOBA and destroyer URANAMI.

1 March 1944: Operation "SA No. 1"
Arrives at Bangka then departs for commerce raiding in the Indian Ocean.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at at Batavia.

18 March 1944:
Departs Batavia.

20 March 1944:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shiraishi Kazutaka (former CO of KIRISHIMA) assumes command of CruDiv 7.

24 March-7 April 1944:
Flagship of CruDiv 7.

1 April 1944:
Departs Singapore with TONE for Sumbawa and Tengah Islands carrying materials for the 601st NAG that is readying to embark on CarDiv 1's ships.

4 April 1944:
Arrives at Singapore.

5 April 1944:
Arrives at Lingga.

11 May 1944:
At 0300, the Mobile Fleet (except CarDiv 1, CruDiv 5 and DesRon 10) redeploys from Lingga.

12-13 May 1944:
At sea. Fleet deployment, firing practice.

14 May 1944:
Arrives at the old American anchorage at Tawi Tawi in the Sulu Sea.

15 May 1944:
Departs Tawi Tawi for Tarakan, Borneo to refuel.

17 May 1944:
Arrives back at Tawi Tawi. Battle Training.

8 June 1944:
At Tawi Tawi. CHIKUMA refuels from MUSASHI. TONE refuels from YAMATO.

10 June 1944: Operation "KON" - The Relief of Biak:
Vice Admiral Ugaki's KON task group is detached from the fleet with Bat Div 1’s YAMATO and MUSASHI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE. The KON task group departs Tawi Tawi for Batjan.

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.

The Mobile Fleet departs Tawi Tawi for Guimaras near Panay, Philippines with Force "B"'s NAGATO, CarDiv 2's JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO, cruiser MOGAMI and eight destroyers. Force B sorties with Force "A"'s Car Div 1's TAIHO, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and seven destroyers.

At 1000, on station nearby, LtCdr Marshall H. Austin's USS REDFIN (SS-272) sights and reports the Mobile Fleet departing the anchorage.

14 June 1944:
Guimaras, Philippines. Vice Admiral Ozawa's Mobile Fleet's Main Body arrives and the 2nd Supply Force's oilers GENYO and AZUSA MARUs begin refueling operations.

15 June 1944:
Guimaras. At 0800, refueling is completed and the Mobile Fleet's Main Body departs through the Visayan Sea. At 1622, LtCdr Robert Risser's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) sights the Mobile Fleet in the San Bernardino Strait.

16 June 1944:
Ozawa's force is joined by Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome's (former CO of HYUGA) aborted Operation "KON" (Relief of Biak) Task Force's YAMATO, MUSASHI and CruDiv 5 from Batjan.

18-19 June 1944:
Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces A and B proceed southward. Force C proceeds due east.

CHIKUMA launches one E13A1 floatplane in addition to 13 B5N2 that are in CarDiv 3's second wave of morning searches.

The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack elements of the American Fifth Fleet but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".

20 June 1944:
HARUNA, KONGO and carrier CHIYODA are attacked by Grumman "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS BUNKER HILL (CVL-17), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and the CABOT (CVL-28). That night, CHIKUMA retires with the Mobile Fleet to Okinawa .

24 June 1944:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

26 June 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Drydocked.

8-10 July 1944:
CruDiv 7's CHIKUMA, TONE, KUMANO and the SUZUYA depart Kure with Group "A"'s BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO with DesDiv 27's AKISHIMO and HAYASHIO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI and ASASHIMO, DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, HAMANAMI and SHIMAKAZE, DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SAMIDARE and Group "B"'s BatDiv 3's KONGO and NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, DesRon 10's YAHAGI with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, HAMAKAZE and YUKIKAZE. CHIKUMA carries Imperial Army troops and material to Okinawa.

10-20 July 1944:
Group A is detached from Group B, then departs Okinawa for Lingga (S of Singapore) to join the Mobile Fleet.

16 July 1944:
At 0530 hours, CruDivs 4, 7 and DesRon are detached from BatDiv 1 for Singapore.

19 July-3 August 1944:
Flagship of CruDiv 4 while ATAGO is in drydock at Singapore.

18-20 October 1944:
Departs Lingga for Brunei Bay, Borneo in Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's First Raiding Force with Vice Admiral Susuki Yoshio's Force "B" (Northern Force): BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, Vice Admiral Shirashi Kazutaka's CruDiv 7's KUMANO (F), SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
All ships in Kurita's First Raiding Force except those of BatDiv 1, send their floatplanes to San Jose on Mindoro Island. ASW patrols are to be conducted by 901 Kokutai, but this proves fatal for three of Kurita's cruisers.

At 0820, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA sortie from Brunei towards Philippines with Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force, Force "A's" (Center Force) BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, Kurita's CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, Vice Admiral Hashimoto Shintaro's CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's 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.

At 2100, Force A ceases zigzagging as it approaches the Palawan Passage.

23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
At 0633, Force A is attacked by two American submarines. Vice Admiral Kurita's flagship ATAGO is sunk by the USS DARTER (SS-227). Kurita and his staff slide overboard and are picked up by KISHINAMI. At 0656, CruDiv 4's MAYA is sunk by the USS DACE (SS-247). CruDiv 4's TAKAO is damaged by DARTER and retires towards Brunei with ASASHIMO, NAGANAMI and torpedo boat HIYODORI.

At 0830, Vice Admiral Ugaki on the YAMATO assumes command of the Mobile Force. At 1620, Kurita, his staff and flag transfer to the YAMATO. Vice Admiral Ugaki relinquishes command back to Kurita.

At 2330, Force "A" changes course from N to SE toward the Mindoro Straits.

24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
At 0630, Force A enters the Sibuyan Sea, heading north. By 0810, Force A is in the Tablas Strait E of Mindoro Island, heading 045 T. Three B-24 bombers are sighted reconnoitering the fleet.

Between 1020 and 1045, Force A is attacked by almost 50 aircraft from USS INTREPID (CV-11) of Task Group 38.2. MUSASHI is hit by a bomb, then takes a torpedo amidships on her starboard side. CruDiv 5's MYOKO is hit by aircraft torpedo. She drops out of formation and makes for Coron, Philippines with destroyer NAGANAMI.

At 1245, Force A is attacked by a second strike of more than 30 aircraft from Task Group 38. 2. MUSASHI is hit by three torpedoes and two bombs and slows to 22 knots.

At 1330, Force A is attacked by aircraft from the ESSEX (CV-9) and LEXINGTON (CV-16) of Task Group 38. 3. YAMATO is hit by armor-piercing bombs, ships water and is down by her bow. MUSASHI is hit by torpedoes and bombs and falls astern. Force A continues on course through the Sibuyan Sea.

At 1426, 50 aircraft of TG 38. 2 and TG 38. 3 attack Force A. Battleship NAGATO takes two bomb hits and HARUNA is damaged by near-misses.

At 1520, Force A is attacked by about 100 aircraft from Task Force 38's ENTERPRISE (CV-6), ESSEX, FRANKLIN (CV-13), LEXINGTON, INTREPID (CV-11) and CABOT (CVL-28).

At 1530, Force A reverses course back through Sibuyan Sea until 1715 when Kurita again orders the course reversed. Finally, at 2330, Force A enters the San Bernadino Strait in single file.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
At 0030, Force A exits the San Bernardino Strait and proceeds eastward until 0300 when it turns SE towards Leyte Gulf.

At 0545, Force A detects the Seventh Fleet's Task Group 77. 4. In turn, Force A is spotted by USN aircraft.

At 0558, Force A opens fire at "Taffy 3"'s escort carriers: ST. LO (CVE-63), WHITE PLAINS (CVE-66), KALININ BAY (CVE-68), FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70) (F), KITKUN BAY (CVE-71), GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73). The carriers are screened by destroyers USS HEERMANN (DD-532), HOEL (DD-533) and JOHNSTON (DD-557) and destroyer escorts RAYMOND (DE-341), JOHN C. BUTLER (DE-339), DENNIS (DE-405) and SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE-413).

At 0603, Vice Admiral Kurita orders CruDivs 4, 5 and 7 to attack. At 0606, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Clifton Sprague orders his destroyers to attack Force A with torpedoes.

CruDiv 7 steers SE in a single column. They close the escort carriers on the port quarter at 33 knots. CruDiv 7 is attacked by destroyer JOHNSTON. At 18, 000 yards, JOHNSTON hits KUMANO's superstructure several times. CruDiv 7 returns fire, but misses JOHNSTON.

KITKUN BAY launches six TBM-1C torpedo bombers of Composite Squadron VC-5. At 0640, Force A is attacked by aircraft from TG 77. 4

At 0654, destroyer HEERMANN fires three torpedoes at HARUNA. They miss HARUNA, but YAMATO spots their tracks, turns to port away from the torpedoes and runs northward for 10 miles until the torpedoes run out of fuel. These maneuvers put YAMATO out of the battle with Vice Admiral Kurita aboard.

At 0750, escort carrier GAMBIER BAY, dead in water, is continually hit by 8-inch shells, set afire and floods. At 0805, CruDiv 4's CHOKAI, hit and set afire by numerous bombs from KITKUN BAY's aircraft, goes dead in the water. At 0807, GAMBIER BAY, capsizes and sinks. At 0814, Vice Admiral Kurita orders all ships to assemble and head north.

At 0850, CruDiv 7's CHIKUMA and TONE, followed by CruDiv 5's HAGURO and CHOKAI, pursue "Taffy Three's" escort carriers. At 0853, CHIKUMA is attacked by four TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers from "Taffy Two". She is hit in stern port quarter by a MK-13 aircraft torpedo that severs her stern and disables her port screw and rudder.

At 0907, CHIKUMA reports to YAMATO that she has been torpedoed and is unnnavigable. Then at 0920, CHIKUMA reports that she has lost a propeller, is making 18 knots, but is unsteerable. At 0930, CHIKUMA reports she is at 11-25N, 126-48E and making nine knots.

At 1020, Force A reverses course towards Leyte Gulf. At 1105, CHIKUMA is attacked by five TBMs from KITKUN BAY. She is hit portside amidships by two torpedoes and her engine rooms flood. Power is lost. She comes to a stop and takes on a list to portside. At 1110, destroyer NOWAKI is dispatched to assist her. [5]

After 1415, CHIKUMA is attacked by three TBMs from ORMANNEY BAY led by VC-75's CO, Lt Allen W. Smith. Three torpedoes hit her portside near amidships. NOWAKI takes off her survivors then scuttles her with torpedoes. At 1430, CHIKUMA capsizes and sinks by the stern at 11-25N, 126-36E.

26 October 1944: 65 miles SSE of Legaspi, Philippines. At 0054, NOWAKI is crippled and set afire by gunfire from Task Force 34.5's VINCENNES (CL-64), BILOXI (CL-80) and MIAMI (CL-89) and DesDiv 103's MILLER (DD-535), OWEN (DD-536) and LEWIS HANCOCK (DD-675). At 0149, NOWAKI, dead in the water, is sunk by gunfire and torpedoes from the destroyers at 13N, 124-54E. NOWAKI goes down with all hands, including CHIKUMA's survivors. [6]

20 April 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] On 1 March 1942, planes from carriers AKAGI, KAGA, HIRYU and SORYU launched strikes that sank PECOS. WHIPPLE rescued 232 survivors and took them to safety in Australia.

[2] Don Kehn, Jr's book "A Blue Sea of Blood" cites Japanese records that indicate that SORYU's Vals were not led by LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Egusa Takashige as alleged in many other works.

[3] Different numbers have been published for the survivors from USS EDSALL. BatDiv 3/2's combat diary suggests seven sailors were rescued.

[4] In 1952, investigators found five skeletons, identified by their ID tags as crewmen from EDSALL, in graves at Kendari, Celebes. The POWs had all been beheaded.

[5] A Japanese analysis of the Battle off Samar credited CHIKUMA with downing three enemy aircraft. [6] A Japanese source suggests there was one survivor, a sailor from CHIKUMA, picked up by much later by the Americans. Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Special thanks and credit goes to Andrew Obluski of Poland for providing details concerning CHIKUMA's floatplane operations during her wartime career. Thanks also go to "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands and Randy Stone of the United States and Don Kehn, Jr. of Texas.

Thanks also go to Gilbert Casse of France for info in Rev 15 and Don Kehn, Jr for aircraft info in Rev 18

Thanks go to Rob Stuart of Canada for additional info about "Operation C". For more info on "Operation C" please see Rob's splendid 20 Ships, Not 23: Ozawa’s Score, 5-6 April 1942. NB: Older map on this TROM page erroneously shows 23 ships sunk.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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