(CHITOSE by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Seaplane Carrier CHITOSE:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998-2012 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 6


26 November 1934:
Kure Navy Yard. Laid down as a seaplane carrier/tender and named CHITOSE.

29 November 1936:
Launched.

1 March 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikeuchi Masamichi is posted as the Chief Equipping Officer.

25 July 1938:
Kure. Completed and commissioned in the IJN. Registered in the Sasebo Naval District. Captain Ikeuchi is the Commanding Officer. CHITOSE is equipped with four catapults and carries a complement of Type 94 Kawanishi E7K2 “Alf” and Type 95 Nakajima E8N2 Dave floatplanes. Her aircraft are coded "3-xx"

7 September 1938:
An Imperial Conference authorizes the IJA 21st Army to conduct a landing at Canton.

19 September 1938:
The list of participating units is approved.

2 October 1938:
The HQ of the 21st Army arrives at Makung (Mako), Pescadores.

10 October 1938:
The IJN finishes preparations for the landing.

12 October 1938: Operation "Z":
Ta-Ya (Bias Bay), 35 miles NE of Hong Kong. At dawn, Vice Admiral Shiozawa’s 5th Fleet assaults Canton in a surprise landing. Koichi’s forces consist of CruDiv 9's cruiser MYOKO (F), light cruisers KINU, JINTSU and TAMA, DesRon 5's light cruiser NAGARA and DesDiv 16's ASAGAO, YUGAO, FUYO and KARUKAYA, DesDiv 23's KIKUZUKI, MIKAZUKI, MOCHIZUKI and YUZUKI, DesDiv 28's YUNAGI and ASANAGI. The total number of the ships participacing in the landing is about 100 including attached Army Landing Craft Depot Ship IJA SHINSHU MARU. The naval force lands LtGen Furusho Motoo’s 21st Army comprised of LtGen Ando Rikichi’s 5th Division, LtGen Kuno Seiichi’s 18th Division and LtGen Miyake Toshio’s 104th Division.

The naval force lands LtGen Furusho Motoo’s 21st Army comprised of LtGen Ando Rikichi’s 5th Division, LtGen Kunou Seiichi’s 18th Division and LtGen Toshio Miyake’s 104th Division. Additional air cover is provided by Formosa-based aircraft and 21st Army’s MajGen Fujita Tomo’s 4th Flight Group. Thereafter, Japanese forces continue their advance with little or no resistance.

15 December 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mizui Seiji (former CEO of CHIYODA) assumes command of CHITOSE.

15 November 1939:
Vice Admiral Katagiri Eikichi’s (former CO of HARUNA) Fourth Fleet is established at Truk. CHITOSE is assigned as flagship with tenders KAMOI and KINUGASA MARU of the 17th Sentai of the new fleet.

Captain Nishida Masao (former CO of SHIMAKAZE) assumes command.

December 1939:
CHITOSE, KINUGASA MARU and 24 Type 97 Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" flying boats of the Yokohama Air Group are stationed at Truk.

1939-1940:
CHITOSE, KAMOI and KINUGASA MARU depart carrying construction crews and technicians to build seaplane/flying boat ramps at Dublon Island (Truk), Malakal (Palau), Roi and Eyebe (Kwajalein) and at Saipan. The tenders also make several trips to and from Japan to replenish construction supplies.

3 June 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nomoto Tameki (former CO of 14th Air Group) assumes command.

11 October 1940: Imperial Naval Review:
Yokohama Bay. An Imperial Naval Review is held to celebrate the 2,600th anniversary of Emperor Jimmu’s enthronement. Ninety-eight IJN warships are present. That day many new IJN warships are shown publicly for the first time, including CHITOSE, seaplane carriers CHIYODA and MIZUHO and cruisers TONE and CHIKUMA.

15 October 1940:
Arrives at Sasebo. CHITOSE undergoes overhaul and repairs. The CO of battleship KONGO, Captain (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo, assumes temporary command of CHITOSE as an additional duty.

15 November 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamamoto Chikao (former CO 15th Air Group) assumes command.

20 August 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Furukawa Tamotsu (former CO of KAMOI) assumes command.

November 1941:
CHITOSE is in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro's (former CO of FUSO) 11th Seaplane Tender Division with MIZUHO. CHITOSE's aircraft are coded "YI-xx".

2 December 1941:
At Palau.

8 December 1941: Operation “M” - The Invasion of the Southern Philippines:
CHITOSE and MIZUHO are attached to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji's (former CO of MIKUMA) Second Fleet, Fourth Surprise Attack Force to provide air cover for the invasion landings at Legaspi, Philippines. Kubo's seven troop transports are escorted by DesRon 10’s light cruiser NAGARA, and DesDiv 24’s KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE, UMIKAZE and YAMAKAZE. Departs Palau.

11-12 December 1941:
Covers the landing of troops at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippines.

14 December 1941:
Catanduanes Island, off Legaspi, Philippines. A Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress”from Del Monte on an anti-shipping mission passes over the island and is unsuccessfully attacked by a Mitsubishi F1M2 ‘Pete’ from CHITOSE.

19 December 1941:
200 miles E of Davao, Philippines. CHITOSE launches planes to reconnoiter Davao. Light carrier RYUJO launches six planes to attack the radio station at Cape San Augustin.

20-25 December 1941: The Seizure of Davao and Jolo, Philippines:
CHITOSE is attached to Rear Admiral Tanka Raizo's Attack Force with RYUJO and CruDiv 5’s NACHI, HAGURO and MYOKO. Supports the invasion landings at Davao and Jolo.

26 December 1941:
Transferred to 2nd Air Force, Netherlands Indies Force, Eastern Occupation Forces.

2 January 1942:
Departs Davao.

4 January 1942:
Malalag Bay, Davao Gulf. While anchored, the Attack Force is bombed by B-17Ds from Java. Bomb splinters from a hit on nearby MYOKO damage five of CHITOSE’s floatplanes.

January-February 1942: The Seizure of the Netherlands East Indies:
The 11th Seaplane Tender Division’s CHITOSE and MIZUHO are assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's Second Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Force with Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's Eastern Invasion Support Force, Main Body. They cover the invasions of Bangka Roads, Kema, Menado, Kendari and later Ambon.

11 January 1942:
A convoy of Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) marines lands on Kema, Northern Celebes. CHITOSE arrives at Bangka anchorage that same day. At Menado, seven Dutch and American PBY “Catalinas” oppose the landing. CHITOSE’s F1M2 ‘Pete’ biplane scouts attack the flying boats and shoot down Dutch PBY No. Y-58 of GVT-17. [1]

21 January 1942:
Departs Bangka for Kendari, Celebes with MIZUHO.

23-24 January 1942: The Invasion of Kendari, Celebes:
The 11th Seaplane Tender Division’s CHITOSE and MIZUHO provide distant support for the Kendari Invasion Force under Rear Admiral Kubo consisting of six troop transports carrying Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo’s Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) escorted by DesRon 10’s light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16’s TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, Minesweeper Div 21’s W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 and Subchaser Div 1’s CH-1 and CH-2.

24 January 1942:
Arrives at Sarabanka Bay, Celebes.

29 January 1942:
Departs Sarabanka Bay for Ceram.

31 January 1942: The Invasion of Ambon Island, Netherlands East Indies:
CHITOSE and MIZUHO arrive at Ceram and provide air cover for the invasion convoy. The convoy includes ten transports carrying 820 men of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hatakeyama Koichiro's (former CO of KINUGASA) Kure No. 1 SNLF, elements of the Sasebo SNLF and the 228th Infantry Regiment escorted by Rear Admiral Tanaka's DesRon 2’s light cruiser JINTSU, DesDiv 8’s ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 16’s TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, Minesweeper Div 21’s W-7, W-8, W-9, W-11 and W-12 and Subchaser Div 1’s CH-1, CH-2 and CH-3.

6 February 1942: The Invasion of Makassar, Celebes:
Kendari, Celebes. Rear Admiral Fujita's 11th Seaplane Tender Division’s CHITOSE, MIZUHO and SANUKI MARU provide distant support for the Makassar Occupation Force. That force, under Rear Admiral Kubo, departs Staring Bay anchorage with six troop transports carrying Captain Mori’s Sasebo Combined SNLF escorted by DesRon 10’s light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 8’s ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO, DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO, NATSUGUMO and MINEGUMO, DesDiv 15’s HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 21’s WAKABA, HATSUSHIMO, NENOHI and KAWAKAZE, DesDiv 24’s UMIKAZE, Minesweeper Div 21’s W-7, W-8 and Subchaser Div 2’s CH-13, -14 and CH-15.

10 February 1942:
Makassar Strait, S of Celebes. Three USAAF LB-30s ("Liberator II" ) of the 19th Bomb Group (H) based at Malang, Java bomb and damage CHITOSE.

14 February 1942:
CHITOSE supports operations against the principal Dutch naval base at Surabaya, Java.

22 February 1942:
At Balikpapan, Borneo.

24 February 1942:
Departs Balikpapan. Returns to Surabaja operations.

28 February 1942: Operation “J” - The Invasion of Java:
CHITOSE, MIZUHO and light carrier RYUJO cover the invasion of Batavia (now Jakarta) and the landings at Merak, Bantam Bay and Eretenwetan .

1 March 1942:
At 1230, a CHITOSE F1M2 “Pete” pilot spots the old destroyer USS POPE (DD-225). At 1300, ten CHITOSE Petes attack POPE with bombs. A near-miss causes flooding and knocks POPE’s port propeller shaft out of line. She is forced to shut down her forward engines. Later, six Type 97 B5N “Kate” bombers from RYUJO attack POPE. Cruisers ASHIGARA, MYOKO and POPE’s own scuttling charges then finish her off. [2]

14 March 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.

15 March 1942:
Assigned to Rear Admiral Fujita's "N" Occupation Force.

22 March 1942:
Departs Makassar.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas.

29 March 1942: Operation "N" – The Seizure of Dutch New Guinea:
CHITOSE is in Rear Admiral Fujita's "N" Expeditionary Force. Fujita's Force assembles at Ambon Island and includes CruDiv 16’s KINU, DesDiv 16/2's YUKIKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE, torpedo boats TOMOZURU, HATSUKARI, patrol boats Nos. 1, 2, 38 and No. 39, SubChasDiv 54's SHONAN MARU Nos. 5 and 17 and FUKUEI MARU No. 15, oiler SEIA MARU and transport HOKURIKU MARU plus a Naval Landing Force. The "N" Expeditionary Force departs Ambon.

31 March 1942:
Arrives at Boela, Ceram Island.

1 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Fak Fak, Dutch New Guinea.

2 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Babo.

4 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Sorong.

7 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Ternate, near Halmahera Island, Moluccas.

8 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Djailolo on Halmahera.

12 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Manokwari. Slight resistance is encountered.

15 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Moemi and Seroei on Japen Island.

17 April 1942:
At Nabire, Dutch New Guinea, 63 troops are offloaded from CHITOSE to auxiliary gunboat TAIKO MARU and landed on the east side of Yapen Island the following day.

19 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Sarmi/Wakde.

20 April 1942:
Provides cover for the invasion of Hollandia.

21 April 1942:
Departs Ambon.

23 April 1942:
Upon conclusion the New Guinea campaign, assigned to the Advance Force.

25 April 1942:
Overnight stop in Davao.

26 April 1942:
Departs Davao.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

9 May 1942:
In drydock.

16 May 1942:
Undocked. Refit is completed. Departs for Kure. During the month, CHITOSE becomes flagship of the 11th Seaplane Tender Division.

21 May 1942:
Departs Kure for Saipan.

28 May 1942: Operation “MI” -The Battle of Midway:
Rear Admiral Fujita's 11th Seaplane Tender Division’s CHITOSE and KAMIKAWA MARU depart Saipan. CHITOSE carries 16 float fighters and four scout seaplanes. Fujita's Division is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's Midway Invasion Force with Rear Admiral Tanaka's Transport Group’s TOA MARU No. 2, KIYOSUMI, ZENYO, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AZUMA, GOSHU, HOKUROKU, KANO, KEIYO, KIRISHIMA and NANKAI MARUs, oiler AKEBONO MARU and Tanaka's DesRon 2’s light cruiser JINTSU with DesDiv 15’s KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, DesDiv 16’s AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE and DesDiv 18’s destroyer-transports ARARE, KASUMI and SHIRANUHI.

3 June 1942:
The convoy is bombed by nine B-17s. CHITOSE is undamaged. Then the convoy is attacked by torpedo-carrying PBY amphibious patrol planes. AKEBONO MARU is torpedoed and KIYOSUMI MARU is strafed. CHITOSE is undamaged.

4 June 1942:
The convoy is contacted by PBY P-12; one of eleven VP-44 launched from Midway that morning on a search/strike mission. CHITOSE launches three two-seat "Pete" fighter float biplanes to intercept the flying boat. They engage P-12 at 500 feet and shoot it down into the sea. Lt (j.g.) Robert Whitman and four of his ten-man aircrew are lost. [3]

7 June 1942:
Detaches to Wake Island with CruDiv 5’s HAGURO and MYOKO, DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.

18 June 1942:
Assigned to the "A" Air Group of the Occupation Force.

26 June 1942:
Departs Kure for Chichi-jima.

28-29 June 1942:
Arrives at Chichi-jima.

July 1942:
In the Tokyo Bay area.

14 July 1942:
Assigned as flagship of 11th Seaplane Tender Division with tender KAMIKAWA MARU. CHITOSE carries a complement of 14 F1M2 ‘Petes’ and 5 E13A1 "Jake"floatplanes, with two of each type in reserve.

20 July 1942:
At Yokosuka. Drydocked.

23 July 1942:
Undocked.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, Solomons:
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 MajGen (later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take the island.

9 August 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Yokosuka.

11 August 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Departs that same day for Truk with Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet, Support Force's battleship MUTSU, CruDiv 5’s HAGURO and MYOKO, CruDiv 4’s ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 4’s Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takama Tamotsu’s screen consisting of DesRon 4’s light cruiser YURA, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE and UMIKAZE and DesDiv 27’s ARIAKE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU and YUGURE.

17 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takaji Jojima's 11th Seaplane Tender Division with DesDiv 9’s NATSUGUMO.

23 August 1942:
Sorties from Truk with Kondo's Advanced Force with CruDiv 4 and CruDiv 5, DesRon 4’s YURA, DesDiv 9 and DesDiv 15 KUROSHIO, HAYASHIO and OYASHIO.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
About 1015, three of CHITOSE's F1M2 “Pete’ float biplanes attack a USN PBY flying boat trying to locate the IJN carrier force. Another three Petes chase off a PBY trying to locate Rear Admiral Tanaka's Reinforcement Group troop convoy. A CHITOSE float plane locates Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher's Task Force 61’s USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6).

At 1820, two SBD dive-bombers of VB-3 from SARATOGA attack CHITOSE. Her port engine and hull plates are damaged by a near miss of a 1,000-lb bomb. Three Petes on deck are set afire by near-misses. CHITOSE takes on a 30-degree list to port.

25-27 August 1942:
CHITOSE is towed to Truk by destroyer MINEGUMO. Enroute, they are attacked by seven USAAF B-17 bombers of Espiritu Santo's 11th Heavy Bombardment Group. CHITOSE is not further damaged in the attack.

28 August 1942:
Near Truk. CHITOSE, still under tow by MINEGUMO, is in an antisubmarine alert with Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku's Combined Fleet BatDiv 1’s YAMATO and DesDiv 7’s AKEBONO, SAZANAMI, USHIO, arriving from Japan. LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Glynn R. Donaho's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) attacks YAMATO, but misses with four torpedoes.

That same day, the Eighth Fleet creates the"R" Area Air Force (R Homen Koku Butai) under Rear Admiral Jojima Takatsugu (former CO of SHOKAKU). CHITOSE is assigned to the No. 1 Group of the 11th Seaplane Tender Division with seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU. The seaplane unit's mission is to augment the IJN’s land-based aircraft in the Guadalcanal area. The unit uses E13A1 'Jake' monoplanes for long-range reconnaissance and anti-submarine missions, Type 2 Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe"single-seat float fighters and F1M2s for light bombing, convoy-escort duty and to complement the A6M2-Ns in the fighter role. The R-Area Air Force is based in Shortland Harbor, but Rekata Bay on Santa Isabel Island, 135 miles NW of Lunga Point on Guadalcanal, serves as the unit's forward staging base.

Truk. CHITOSE's planes are landed and transferred to the R-Area Air Force at Shortland. CHITOSE herself undergoes repairs, probably by repair ship AKASHI, then departs for Yokosuka.

September 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Undergoes further repairs.

14 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

20 September 1942:
Departs Truk.

22 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

24 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

25-27 September 1942:
At Shortland and Buin, Bougainville.

28 September 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng.

4 October 1942:
CHITOSE's PO (later WO) Katsuki Kiyomi, flying combat air patrol over the fleet in a F1M2 Pete, spots four enemy fighters and five B-17s. To prevent the bombers from hitting the seaplane carrier NISSHIN, Katsuki dives on the leading B-17E of the 72nd Bomb Squadron. He rams the bomber from below, tearing the right main wing and the vertical stabilizer off the B-17 and damaging the Pete’s right wing. Katsuki and his observer bale out. Destroyer AKITSUKI rescues both. The B-17’s crew is lost. [4]

6 October 1942:
CHITOSE is ordered to join the Eighth Fleet's Guadalcanal Reinforcement Unit with light cruiser TATSUTA.

7 October 1942:
Departs Kavieng. Arrives at Rabaul. Assigned to the Reinforcement Force, Outer South Seas Force.

8 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Shortland.

9 October 1942:
Arrives at Shortland.

11 October 1942: The Battle of Cape Esperance:
Rear Admiral Jojima's troop reinforcement convoy consisting of CHITOSE and NISSHIN departs Shortland for Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal. They carry 280 troops of the IJA's 2nd Infantry Division, four 150-mm howitzers with prime movers, two field guns, 14 caissons, one AA gun, ammunition, provisions and 675 men. The tenders are escorted by DesDiv 9’s ASAGUMO, NATSUGUMO and YAMAGUMO, DesDiv 11’s SHIRAYUKI and MURAKUMO and destroyer AKIZUKI. Four of the six destroyers bring in troops including 289 sailors of the No. 4 Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) and 410 soldiers, a regimental gun, two battalion guns, two rapid-fire guns and a mortar.

Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6's AOBA (F), FURUTAKA and KINUGASA and DesDiv 11's FUBUKI and HATSUYUKI depart Shortland towards Guadalcanal. Goto's mission is to provide cover for the convoy’s landing at Tassafaronga by shelling Henderson Field.

A B-17 of the 11th Bomb Group (H) sights and reports Goto’s group approaching Guadalcanal. ComTaskFor 64's Rear Admiral (MOH posthumously) Norman Scott (former CO of PENSACOLA, CA-24) launches two Curtiss SOC "Seagull" reconnaissance planes. They also spot and report Goto's force coming down the "Slot" at 30 knots. At 2020, CHITOSE and NISSHIN arrive at Tassafaronga and begin unloading, but Scott's radar-equipped Task Force 64's SAN FRANSCISCO (CA-38) (F), SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), light cruisers BOISE (CL-47), HELENA (CL-50) and five destroyers steam around the end of Guadalcanal to block the entrance to Savo Sound.

At 2235, Rear Admiral Goto's three cruisers and two destroyers are picked up by Captain Gilbert C. Hoover's HELENA's radar. Scott reverses course and crosses the Japanese "T". Both fleets open fire. Goto’s flagship AOBA is hit by up to forty 6-inch and 8-inch shells and damaged heavily and Goto is mortally wounded. FURUTAKA and FUBUKI are sunk and HATSUYUKI damaged. On the American side, BOISE, SALT LAKE CITY and FARENHOLT (DD-491) are damaged.

12 October 1942:
Rear Admiral Goto dies aboard AOBA. Later, he is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously. CHITOSE and NISSHIN withdraw unmolested, but detach destroyers SHIRAYUKI and MURAKUMO to rescue survivors of FURUTAKA. ASAGUMO and NATSUGUMO are also detached to rendezvous with cruiser KINUGASA. Later that day, NATSUGUMO is sunk and MURAKUMO is disabled by air attacks. AOBA and KINUGASA return to Shortland. CHITOSE and NISSHIN are joined by light cruiser YURA from Shortland with DesDiv 19's SHIKINAMI and URANAMI, DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI and DesDiv 27's SHIRATSUYU and SHIGURE.

14 October 1942:
Returns to Shortland.

15 October 1942: The Naval Battles of Guadalcanal:
CHITOSE's aircraft spot an American supply convoy including destroyer MEREDITH (DD-434) approaching Guadalcanal. On receipt of CHITOSE's sighting report, carrier ZUIKAKU, N of the Solomons, launches 27 aircraft that find and sink MEREDITH off San Cristobal Island. The remainder of the American convoy turns back to Espritu Santo before the attack on MEREDITH.

27 October 1942:
Shortland Anchorage, Bougainville. CHITOSE is refueled by oiler OMUROSAN MARU.

3 November 1942:
Shortland. The flag of the 11th Seaplane Tender Division is transferred from CHITOSE to tender KAMIKAWA MARU. CHITOSE departs Shortland for Truk with sister CHIYODA escorted by DesDiv 6’s AKATSUKI and IKAZUCHI.

6 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

10 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Sasebo.

15 November 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 November 1942:
Sasebo. The CO of MOGAMI, Captain Sasaki Seigo (45) (former CO of NATORI) is posted as CO of CHITOSE. Captain Furukawa is reassigned. Later, he becomes CO of HIYO.

28 November 1942:
Drydocked.

26 January 1943- 1 January 1944:
Sasebo Navy Yard. Undergoes conversion to a conventional aircraft carrier.


Authors’ Notes:
Sources vary concerning the configuration of CHITOSE, CHIYODA, NISSHIN and MIZUHO. All were constructed as seaplane carriers capable of carrying 24 floatplanes. CHIYODA was later converted to enable her to carry 12 midget submarines. This modification reduced her floatplane capacity to 12 aircraft. NISSHIN, completed during wartime, was constructed as a seaplane/midget submarine carrier. While it has been suggested that CHITOSE and MIZUHO also carried midget submarines, Japanese sources do not support that assertion.

[1] Author Henry Sakaida credits PO Katsuki Kiyomi with the kill.

[2] In December 2008, the remains of USS POPE (DD-225) was located in the Java Sea in approx 105 feet/32 meters of water by owner/skipper Vidar Skoglie’s dive vessel MV EMPRESS operating out of Singapore. The old destroyer appears to have been found earlier by Indonesian salvage divers and very little remains but a rusted iron ‘skeleton’.

[3] Five surviving members of 44-P-12's aircrew were rescued at 1455 (local) 6 June by PBY-5 of VP 23. But unfortunately one of them died the next day, bringing the total KIA to six. PBY 44-P-12 was the only PBY lost in combat with Japanese forces during the battle of Midway.

[4] According to Sakaida, the B-17 was piloted by Lt David C. Everitt Jr. PO Katsuki survived the war. He became one of only two IJN floatplane aces in WW2. His final score was 16 aircraft shot down, seven while he was flying floatplanes including F1M2, A6M2-N and N1K1s.

Thanks go to Tony Tully of Texas and Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to reader Mr. R Estey for his input on PBY P-12 at Midway. Thanks go to Peter Cundall of Australia for input for Rev 5, Allan Alsleben of Oregon, John Whitman of Virginia and Mssrs Takizawa Akira (Taki) and Fontessa of Japan for input for Rev 6.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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