(FURUTAKA in 1939 after modernization -colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

IJN FURUTAKA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2016 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 7

25 February 1925:
Nagasaki. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

15 May 1925:
Launched and named FURUTAKA. Captain (later Admiral) Shiozawa Koichi (32) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

31 March 1926:
Nagasaki. Completed and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District. Captain Shiozawa is the Commanding Officer (CO). The ship was designed for scouting purposes and was fitted to operate aircraft, but at the time of their design there was no catapult available. Instead, a flying-off platform ias fitted to the roof of No. 4 turret, but the platform proved unsatisfactory and when embarked, the seaplane had to be handled by crane and launched from the water. A hangar was fitted abaft the funnel.

1 December 1926:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kikui Nobuyoshi (31) is appointed CO.

Winter 1926/27:
FURUTAKA's funnels are heightened and their caps altered to reduce smoke interference on the bridge and control platforms.

15 November 1927:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Arima Yutaka (33) is appointed CO.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Onishi Jiro (34) is appointed CO.

30 November 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral)Tajiri Toshiro (33) is appointed CO.

FURUTAKA's flying-off platforms are removed.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Machida Shinichiro (35) is appointed CO.

1 December 1931:
Captain Inoue Katsuzumi (34) is appointed CO.

Kure Navy Yard. Reconstruction work is carried out. FURUTAKA's heavy AA armament is completely revised. Her 3.14 inch guns are landed and replaced by four 4.7 inch 10 Nendo Shiki 12 cm guns in single shielded mountlgs. This gun fires a 45lb shell with a maximum vertical range of 32,800 ft. A catapult is fitted between No. 4 gun and the hangar, and an E4N2 Nakajima Type 90-2-3 reconnaissance seaplane is embarked.

1 December 1932:
Captain Takayama Chuzo (35) is appointed CO.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Saito Jiro (36) is appointed CO.

15 November 1934:
Captain Kakuta Kakuji (39) is appointed CO.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral)Mizuno Junichi (37) is appointed CO.

1 December 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Otsuka Miki (39) is appointed CO.

1 April 1937:
Kure Navy Yard. FURUTAKA begins a major reconstruction. Her main armament of six single 20-cm. (7.9-inch) main gun turrets are replaced by three 20.32-cm.(8-inch) twin turrets with a maximum elevation of 5 degrees. The fire control and bridge arrangements are also modified. The secondary battery is not altered, except the gun positions are modified. Four twin 25mm AAA mgs are added and two twin 13mm mgs. The fixed tubes are landed and replaced by two quadruple 24 inch trainable banks with four reserve torpedoes on each beam.

A heavier catapult, an aircraft handling boom and facilities for operatng two E7K2 E7K2 "Alf" reconnaissance floatplanes. FURUTAKA is completely re-boilered with ten oil-fired units, and the machinery is overhauled. Her beam is increased to 55 ft 7 inches by addition of wider bulges to improve stability and compensate for the added weight, but stability is still a problem.

1 December 1937:
Captain(later Rear Admiral) Tomonari Saichiro (38) is appointed CO.

20 April 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Okamura Masao (38)is appointed CO.

15 December 1938:
Captain Ito Akira (39) is appointed CO.

30 April 1939:
Reconstruction is completed.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Shiraishi Kazutaka (42) is appointed CO.

19 October 1940:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nakagawa Ko (42) is appointed CO.

28 November 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsutau (former CO of KITAKAMI) is appointed CO. FURUTAKA is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (former CO of ISUZU) First Fleet in Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6 with the AOBA (F), KAKO and KINUGASA.

2 December 1941:
Hahajima, Bonin Islands. FURUTAKA 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).[1]

4 December 1941:
CruDiv 6 departs Hahajima in support of the invasion of Guam.

8 December 1941: The Invasion of Wake Island:
Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (former CO of NAGARA) DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, eight destroyers, two transports and three submarines assault Wake Island. The United States Marines beat back the first attack. Kajioka loses LtCdr Takatsuka Minoru's destroyer HAYATE to Lt John A. McAlister's 5-inch Battery "L" on Wilkes Island and LtCdr Ogawa Yoichiro's destroyer KISARAGI to Marine Grumman F4F-3 "Wildcats" of VMF-211.

10 December 1941: The Invasion of Guam:
The Invasion Force lands 5,500 troops of MajGen Horii Tomitara's South Seas Detachment. CruDiv 6 departs for Truk arriving that same day.

12 December 1941:
CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU are detached from Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Striking Force returning from Pearl Harbor to reinforce Kajioka, as are Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's CruDiv 8's TONE, CHIKUMA and two destroyers. Seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU and two destroyers also reinforce Kajioka. Rear Admiral Abe, the senior officer present, is in overall command.

13 December 1941:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk for Wake.

23 December 1941- The Second Invasion of Wake:
After a magnificent stand, Wake's small garrison is overwhelmed and forced to surrender.

10 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Truk.

18 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk.

23 January: Operation "O"- The Invasion of Rabaul and Kavieng:
CruDiv 6 covers the invasion landings.

30 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Rabaul.

1 February 1942:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr's (former CO of USS SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 8 (USS ENTERPRISE, CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje in the Marshall Islands. USS ENTERPRISE's Douglas "Dauntless" SBDs of VB-6 and VS-6 and TBD "Devastators" of VT-6 sink a transport and damage light cruiser KATORI, submarine I-23, submarine depot ship YASUKUNI MARU and several other ships.

CruDiv 6 departs Rabaul that day in response to the American raids.

4 February 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Roi.

6 February 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Kwajalein.

10 February 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Truk.

20 February 1942: Aborted Raid on Rabaul:
Rear Admiral Wilson Brown's (later President Roosevelt's Naval Aide) Task Force 11 (USS LEXINGTON, CV-2), is en route to attack Rabaul. The task force is spotted by a Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" flying boat of the Yokohama Naval Air Group (NAG). Since surprise is lost, the American attack is cancelled. TF-11 is attacked off Bougainville by the 4th NAG's land-based bombers, but the Japanese are beaten off with heavy losses.

That same day, FURUTAKA, KAKO and KINUGASA sortie from Truk in an unsuccessful pursuit of the Americans.

23 February 1942:
FURUTAKA, KAKO and KINUGASA arrive back at Truk.

2 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk.

5 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Rabaul.

8 March 1942: Operation "SR" - The Invasion of Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA support the invasions.

9 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Buka, Bougainville.

11 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Rabaul.

14 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart Rabaul.

15 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Buka.

17 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart Buka.

18 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at the Moewe Passage, near Kavieng, New Ireland.

26 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart the Moewe Passage.

27 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Rabaul.

28 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart Rabaul.

30 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 cover the invasion landings at Shortland.

31 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 cover the invasion landings at Kieta, Bougainville.

1 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Rabaul. Refuel and depart that same day.

2 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at the Moewe Passage.

5 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart the Moewe Passage.

7 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Manus, Admirality Islands.

8 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 depart Manus.

10 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 arrive at Truk. Refit.

30 April 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasions of Tulagi, Solomons and Port Moresby, New Guinea:
CruDiv 6 and light carrier SHOHO sortie from Truk in Vice Admiral Inoue Shigeyoshi's (former CO of HIEI) Fourth Fleet's Main Body Support Force.

3 May 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at the Queen Carola anchorage near Buka and provides distant cover for the landings at Tulagi.

4 May 1942:
Rabaul, New Britain. Rear Admiral Kajioka's Port Moresby Attack Force departs with DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, four destroyers and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of 12 transports, 3 oilers, minelayer TSUGARU and three mine-sweepers towards the Jomard Pass, Louisiade Archipelago.

Tulagi, Solomons. That same day, Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank Jack Fletcher's (former CO of USS VERMONT, BB-20) Task Force 17's USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), cruisers USS CHESTER (CA-27), USS PORTLAND (CA-33) and USS ASTORIA (CA-34) with six destroyers launches three strikes, comprising 99 planes, at Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (former CO of OI). Tulagi Invasion Force. YORKTOWN's TBD torpedo planes and SBD dive-bombers sink destroyer KIKUZUKI and three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

Queen Carola. CruDiv 6 departs towards Guadalcanal that day in response to reports of YORKTOWN's raids on Tulagi.

5 May 1942:
Fletcher's force turns to engage Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (former CO of MUTSU) Carrier Strike Force: Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Chuichi's (former CO of TATSUTA) CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, Takagi's CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, six destroyers and an oiler.

CruDiv 6 arrives at the Shortland anchorage that day and refuels from oiler IRO.

6 May 1942:
At Shortland. CruDiv 6 is attacked unsuccessfully by four USAAF Boeing B-17s "Flying Fortresses".

7 May 1942:The Battle of the Coral Sea:
CruDiv 6 departs Shortland and effects a rendezvous at sea with light carrier SHOHO.

Rear Admiral Hara's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch a 78-plane strike against a reported American carrier and cruiser sighted to the south. An hour later, another report advises that an American carrier and about ten other ships were sighted 280 miles NW. CarDiv 5's planes do not find "a carrier and cruiser", but find two other American ships. They damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink her escort, destroyer SIMS (DD-409).

N of Tagula Island. At 1100, SHOHO is attacked by 93 SBD dive-bombers and TBD torpedo-bombers from Fletcher's YORKTOWN and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Aubrey W. Fitch's (former CO of USS LEXINGTON (CV-2)Task Force 11's USS LEXINGTON, USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36), USS NEW ORLEANS (CA-32) and five destroyers. SHOHO is sunk off Misima Island.

8 May 1942:
Forty-six SBDs, 21 TBDs and 15 Grumman F4F "Wildcats" from USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON find Hara's CarDiv 5. They damage SHOKAKU severely above the waterline and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU's air group also suffers heavy losses.

Thirty-six of CarDiv 5's Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" attack planes with 24 Type 99 Aichi D3A1 "Val" dive-bombers covered by 36 Type 0 Mitsubishi A6M "Zekes" damage YORKTOWN. LEXINGTON, hit by at least five torpedoes and several bombs, is further damaged when gasoline vapors ignite and trigger massive explosions that cause her to be abandoned. Later she is scuttled by destroyer PHELPS (DD-360).

FURUTAKA and KINUGASA, undamaged in the battle, detach from CruDiv 6 to escort SHOKAKU back to Truk. AOBA and KAKO cover the withdrawing Port Moresby invasion convoy.

9 May 1942:
Refuels at Shortland.

10 May 1942:
The Battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese thrust toward Port Moresby and they cancel Operation MO. FURUTAKA and KINUGASA arrive at Kieta.

13 May 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA arrive at Shortland and refuel.

15 May 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA depart Shortland.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

31 May 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA depart Truk.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 June 1942:
In dock.

15 June 1942:

28 June 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA depart Kure.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

7 July 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA depart Truk.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Kieta and refuels.

14 July 1942:
The IJN undergoes a major reorganization. The Eighth Fleet is created under Vice Admiral Mikawa Gun'ichi (former CO of KIRISHIMA) and based at Rabaul.

14-26 July 1942:
FURUTAKA and KINUGASA pay calls at various IJN bases in the Solomons, New Britain and New Ireland arriving at the Mowe Passage, near Kavieng.

27 July 1942:
CruDiv 6 is reassigned to the Eighth Fleet.

7 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CHOKAI depart the Mowe Passage through the "Slot" towards Guadalcanal with the light cruisers TENRYU and YUBARI and destroyer YUNAGI. At Rabaul, CHOKAI embarks the Commander of the Eighth Fleet, Vice Admiral Mikawa and his staff.

9 August 1942: The Battle of Savo Island.
Rear Admiral (VC-'18/later Admiral Sir) Victor A. Crutchley's, RN, (former CO of HMS WARSPITE), Task Group 62.6 of cruisers and destroyers is screening the invasion transports at Savo Island off Guadalcanal. Crutchley is ordered to attend a meeting with ComTaskFor 62 Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner, (former CO of USS ASTORIA, CA-34). Before detaching to Guadalcanal with his flagship, cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA, Crutchley approves the disposition of his screen around the entrances to Savo, but provides no battle plan for the Senior Officer Present, Captain Howard D. "Ping" Bode of USS CHICAGO (CA-29) to follow in the event of an attack. [2]

CruDiv 6, CHOKAI, light cruisers TENRYU and YUBARI and destroyer YUNAGI prepare to engage the Allied Forces in a night gun and torpedo action. At about 2300, CHOKAI, FURUTAKA and KAKO all launch their spotter float planes. At 0138, CHOKAI launches a salvo of Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the Allied force from only 5,000 yards. The circling float planes then drop flares to illuminate the targets and all the Japanese ships open fire. Captain William G. Greenman's ASTORIA (CA-34), Captain Samuel N. Moore's USS QUINCY (CA-39), Captain (later Rear Admiral) Frederick L. Riefkohl's USS VINCENNES (CA-44) and Captain Frank E. Getting's (former CO of AMC HMAS KANIMBLA) cruiser HMAS CANBERRA are sunk. Captain Bode's USS CHICAGO is damaged as are USS RALPH TALBOT (DD-390) and USS PATTERSON (DD-392).

On the Japanese side, CHOKAI is hit three times, KINUGASA is hit twice, AOBA once and FURUTAKA is not damaged. Now the heavily-laden American invasion transports off Guadalcanal are virtually unprotected and in harm's way. Admiral Mikawa, unaware that Admiral Fletcher has withdrawn his carriers covering the invasion, fears an air attack at daybreak. He orders a retirement and leaves Admiral Turner's transports untouched.

10 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 retires towards Kavieng. On the way, LtCdr John R. Moore's USS S-44 sets up on the last cruiser in the line. Moore fires four Mark 10 torpedoes at 700 yards. Three torpedoes hit KAKO in her boiler rooms. She blows up and sinks.

FURUTAKA and the remainder of CruDiv 6 arrive at Mowe Passage, Kavieng for emergency repairs and refit.

17 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs the Mowe Passage.

19 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at the seaplane base at Rekata Bay, San Ysabel.

20 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Rekata Bay.

22 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Shortland.

23 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CHOKAI depart Shortland to provide distant cover for the Guadalcanal reinforcement convoys. That same day, a Consolidated PBY "Catalina" patrol plane of VP-23's "Black Cats" boldly, but unsucessfully, attacks FURUTAKA in broad daylight.

26 August 1942:
FURUTAKA is detached from CruDiv 6. Arrives at Kieta. During the next month, FURUTAKA shuttles between Kieta and Rabaul as needed to refuel and resupply.

12 September 1942:
S of New Ireland. Lt James W. Davis' S-47 (SS-158) attacks unsuccessfully an "AOBA-class heavy cruiser (7,100-tons)" that he identifies from the Navy's Recognition Manual, ONI-41-42, but this is probably FURUTAKA. [3]

1 October 1942:
CruDiv 6 is at Shortlands.

11 October 1942: The Battle of Cape Esperance:
Rear Admiral Goto's 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 a troop reinforcement convoy by shelling Henderson Field.

Rear Admiral Joshima Takatsugu's (former CO of SHOKAKU) convoy of seaplane carriers CHITOSE and NISSHIN and six destroyers, reaches Tassafaronga, Guadalcanal and lands the IJA's 2nd Infantry Division, tanks and artillery.

A report is received that a B-17 of the 11th Bomb Group (H) has sighted a Japanese force approaching Guadalcanal. ComTaskFor 64's Rear Admiral Norman Scott (MOH posthumously), who has just completed escorting 6,000 troops of the Army's Americal Division from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal, launches two Vought OS2U "Kingfisher" reconnaissance planes. They spot and report Goto's force coming down the "Slot" at 30 knots. So alerted, 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 USS HELENA's radar. Scott reverses course to cross the Japanese "T". Both fleets open fire. ComCruDiv 6, Rear Admiral Goto, thinking that he is under "friendly-fire", orders a 180-degree turn that exposes each of his ships to the Americans' broadsides.

Flagship AOBA is damaged heavily. Admiral Goto is mortally wounded on her bridge. After AOBA is crippled, Captain Araki turns FURUTAKA out of the line to engage Captain (later Vice Admiral) C. H. McMorris' USS SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25). LtCdr E. B. Taylor's USS DUNCAN (DD-485) launches two torpedoes toward FURUTAKA that either miss or fail to detonate. She continues firing at the cruiser until she is put out of action by numerous shell hits. At 2354, FURUTAKA is hit by a torpedo that floods her forward engine room.

Destroyer FUBUKI is sunk and HATSUYUKI damaged. Captain E. J. Moran's USS BOISE (CL-47), USS SALT LAKE CITY and USS FARENHOLT (DD-491) are damaged.

About 90 shells hit FURUTAKA and some ignite her Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes that start heavy fires. The fires draw more gunfire.

12 October 1942:
At 0228, FURUTAKA sinks stern first at 09-02N, 159-33 E. Thirty-three crewmen are killed. Captain Araki and 514 survivors are rescued by HATSUYUKI and by DesDiv 11's MURAKUMO and SHIRAYUKI of Admiral Joshima's Reinforcement Group. One hundred-ten of FURUTAKA's crew are later counted as missing.

That morning, Lt Cdr W. G. Cooper's USS McCALLA (DD-488) attempts to salvage USS DUNCAN. Despite her efforts, USS DUNCAN sinks about 6 miles N of Savo Island. While McCALLA is engaged in rescuing American and Japanese survivors from the water, Cdr Inada Hiroshi's submarine I-2 makes an approach and fires a torpedo at her, but misses. The Americans take 115 of FURUTAKA's crew as prisoners of war.

90 miles WNW of Savo Island, MURAKUMO is retiring up the Slot when she is attacked and set afire by planes from Henderson Field. Destroyer NATSUGUMO is also sunk while assisting MURAKUMO. SHIRAYUKI rescues MURAKUMO's survivors, then scuttles her with a torpedo. ASAGUMO rescues the survivors of ATSUGUMO.

Rear Admiral Goto dies aboard AOBA. He is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously. KINUGASA and AOBA return to Shortland that day.

10 November 1942:
Removed from Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), was the highest point in the Japanese Empire at the time.

[2] The unlucky Captain Bode, also CO of USS OKLAHOMA (BB-37) sunk at Pearl Harbor, broods over the Savo disaster, one of the greatest in American naval history. In 1943, while CO of Balboa Naval Station, Canal Zone, he takes his own life.

[3] Davis claimed he sank a cruiser at 05-29S, 152-17E at 2100 with three of four torpedoes fired in a night surface visual attack, but FURUTAKA was not damaged. The sounds heard by the submariners may have been prematures or end-of-run explosions of S-47's old Mark 10 torpedoes.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada, Matthew Jones of USA and Fontessa-san of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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