© 1997-2018 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
16 March 1925:
Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Nagasaki Yard (hull No.
420), No. 2 slipway.
24 March 1928:
Launched and named HAGURO.
1 October 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hara Keitaro (33)(former
Naval Gunnery School instructor) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
25 April 1929:
Nagasaki. Completed and attached to Sasebo Naval
District. Captain Hara is the Commanding Officer.
30 November 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Uno Sekizo (34) (former
CO of the transport vessel TAKASAKI/ex-DUNCAN) is appointed the CO.
22 October 1930:
Kobe. Emperor Hirohito (Showa) and his entourage
embark aboard HAGURO.
25 October 1930:
Kobe. Emperor Hirohito and his entourage return to
1 December 1930:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kobayashi Sonosuke
(35)(former CO of NAGARA) is appointed the CO.
10 October 1931:
Captain (later Admiral) Nomura Naokuni (35)(former
attendant to Plenipotentiary during the London Naval Treaty talks) is appointed
14 February 1933
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Morimoto Jo (35)(former
CO of MAYA) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Minoru
(36)(former CO of ISUZU) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Samejima Tomoshige
(37)(former CO of MOGAMI) is appointed the CO.
29 June 1936:
Sasebo Navy Yard. The first reconstruction is completed.
During this reconstruction, among other things accomplished, HAGURO's 200-mm
Type 3 No. 1 main guns are replaced by Type 3 No. 2 guns with a 203-mm bore.
20 August 1937:
HAGURO departs Atsuta (near Nagoya) with cruisers
ASHIGARA, NACHI, MYOKO and MAYA, light cruiser JINTSU and destroyers AKEBONO,
AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI, AYANAMI, ISONAMI, OBORO, SHIKINAMI and YUGIRI. HAGURO is
carrying the 3rd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division.
21 August 1937:
Arrives at the Saddle (Ma'an) Islands, NE Zhoushan
archipelago, China. Troops are transferred to JINTSU and destroyers AMAGIRI,
ASAGIRI, MURASAME, OBORO, SAMIDARE, USHIO, YUDACHI and YUGIRI.
1 December 1936:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Aoyagi Muneshige
(37)(former CO of TOKIWA) is appointed the CO.
1 December 1937:
Captain Yamamoto Masao (38)(former CO of SENDAI) is
appointed the CO.
20 April 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tomonari Saichiro
(38)(former CO of FURUTAKA) is appointed the CO.
1 November-10 December 1938:
Captain Tomonari is appointed the CEO of
CHIKUMA as additional duty.
27 December 1939:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ogata Masaki
(41)(former CO of IWATE) is appointed the CO.
15 October 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hamada Kiyoshi
(42)(former Naval Navigation School instructor) is appointed the CO.
28 April 1941:
Kure Naval Arsenal. HAGURO's second reconstruction is
25 July 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mori Tomokazu (42)(former
CO of AOBA) is appointed the CO.
2 December 1941:
HAGURO is in Rear Admiral (Admiral, posthumously)
Takagi Takeo's (39) CruDiv 5 with MYOKO and NACHI.
CruDiv 5 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).
6 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern
CruDiv 5 departs Palau to provide cover for the planned landings
at Davao and Legaspi in Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's Third Fleet, Southern
Force, Philippine Seizure Force.
The Cover Force includes light carrier RYUJO with destroyer SHIOKAZE,
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's DesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU
and DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's
YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE.
CruDiv 5 supports Rear Admiral Kubo Kyuji's Fourth Surprise Attack
Force's seaplane tenders CHITOSE and MIZUHO, light cruisers NAGARA (F) and NAKA,
five destroyers and seven transports.
11 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 covers the landings at Legaspi.
15 December 1941:
Returns to Palau.
17 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 departs Palau with Rear Admiral Tanaka's
Southern Philippines Attack Force's RYUJO, CHITOSE, NAGARA, DesRon 2 and twelve
19-20 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 supports the invasion landings at Davao.
24 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 supports the invasion landings at Jolo,
then returns to Palau.
25 December 1941:
At 1200 HAGURO is detached to investigate the
sighting of an enemy cruiser, then heads for Palau.
27 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau at 1030.
28 December 1941:
MYOKO arrives at Palau. HAGURO departs Palau to
rendezvous with the aircraft transport KOMAKI MARU.
31 December 1941:
Joins MYOKO in the Davao Gulf.
4 January 1942:
CruDiv 5 is with Attack Force at the former U.S. Navy
anchorage at Malalag Bay, Davao Gulf. The Japanese are attacked by B-17D "Flying
Fortresses" from Java while anchored. While MYOKO is hit, HAGURO is not damaged.
5 January 1942:
MYOKO departs for Sasebo for repairs. HAGURO and NACHI
remain at Davao.
9 January 1942: Operation "H" - The Invasion of the Celebes:
HAGURO and NACHI provide close support.
11-14 January 1942:
HAGURO and NACHI cover the landings at Menado and
24 January 1942:
HAGURO and NACHI cover the landings at Kendari.
26 January 1942:
S of Davao. LtCdr (later Captain) Richard G. Voge's
USS SAILFISH (SS-192) sights what Voge identifies as a "NACHI-class cruiser" and
a destroyer. Voge sets up and makes a submerged attack. At about noon, he fires
four Mk.14 torpedoes at the cruiser and hears an explosion. Voge's soundman
thinks he hears the target's propellers stop. Although Voge is credited with
damaging a cruiser, postwar neither HAGURO or NACHI are found to have been
damaged at that time and place.
29-31 January 1942:
HAGURO and NACHI depart Davao for Bangka Roads,
Celebes. Supports the seizure of Ambon.
5-10 February 1942:
Departs Bangka for Staring Bay, Celebes. Supports
the landings at Makassar.
17-20 February 1942:
Supports the landings at Dili and Kupang, Timor.
24 February 1942:
CruDiv 5 departs Staring Bay to rendezvous with the
East Java invasion convoy.
26 February 1942:
NACHI and HAGURO launch their Aichi E13A1 Type 0
"Jake" floatplanes to reconnoiter Surabaya harbor. In the area S of Bawean
Island the "Jake" from HAGURO encounters an Allied seaplane identified as
Consolidated "Catalina" and claims it as destroyed. One pilot is wounded in the
battle and the floatplane is damaged beyond repair when hoisted aboard.
27 February 1942: The Battle of the Java Sea:
At 1615 (local), DesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU with DesDiv 16's
YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, AMATSUKAZE and HATSUKAZE and DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI,
YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE engage Dutch Rear Admiral Karel W.F. M. Doorman's Combined
Striking Force's light cruiser Hr.Ms. DE RUYTER (F), heavy cruisers HMS EXETER
and USS HOUSTON (CA-30), light cruisers HMAS PERTH and Hr.Ms. JAVA, destroyers
HMS ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, JUPITER, Hr.Ms. KORTENAER and WITTE de WITH and old
destroyers USS ALDEN (DD-211), JOHN D. EDWARDS (DD-216), JOHN D. FORD (DD-228)
and PAUL JONES (DD-230).
Lt (later General, JASDF) Utsunomiya Michio (63) takes off in one of
HAGURO's Nakajima E8N2 Type 95 "Dave" floatplanes to spot the IJN salvos.
Closely followed by the second floatplane from HAGURO he climbs to 2,000-meter
altitude, observing two other floatplanes (from NACHI and JINTSU) positioning
themselves over the Combined Striking Force.
At 1617, NACHI and HAGURO, steaming parallel to the Allied cruiser
column, join the action from an initial distance of 28,400 yds, targeting DE
RUYTER. She is hit twice; both 8-in shells are duds. HOUSTON, EXETER and PERTH
all claim multiple hits on HAGURO, which is reported to burst in flames and
At 1658 HAGURO launches a salvo of 8 torpedoes from a distance of 22,000
yds; all miss. At 1708 HAGURO scores a 8-in hit on EXETER, reducing her speed to
At 1713, Lt t.z.1 Antoine Kroese's Hr.Ms. KORTENAER is hit by a torpedo
from HAGURO, explodes and sinks at 06-29S, 112-57 men are KIA. 103 men are
rescued of whom 57 become POWs.
At 1754 HAGURO and NACHI target EXETER with eight torpedoes each.
HAGURO's two floatplanes continue to fly until after dark. During their
recovery at 1922, HAGURO and NACHI are surprised by the Combined Striking Force,
but manage to make a swift and narrow escape.
At 2332, Dutch Captain Capt-Lt t.z. Philippus Bernardus Maria van
Straelen's light cruiser JAVA is hit by a torpedo from NACHI. Soon thereafter,
her stern breaks off.
At 2332, the Allied flagship, Dutch Capt-Lt t.z. Eugene Edouard Bernard
Lacomblé's Hr.Ms. DE RUYTER is hit by a torpedo from HAGURO and set afire aft.
As a result of a complete power failure, the fire cannot be extinguished, but DE
RUYTER remains afloat for several hours.
At 2345, JAVA sinks, taking down 515 crewmembers including Captain van
Straelen. 43 are rescued to become POWs.
HOUSTON and PERTH retire to Batavia (Jakarta), Java. JINTSU departs the
area. After the battle, LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's submarine USS
S-38 surfaces and rescues 58 ELECTRA crewmen from the water.
During the battle two of HAGURO's main gun shell magazine handlers are
lost as a result of heat stroke.
28 February 1942:
DE RUYTER sinks in the early hours, but the exact
time remains unknown. Rear Admiral Doorman and 344 crewmen are killed. 142 men
are rescued of which 140 become POWs.
At 1900, after refueling, HOUSTON and PERTH sortie for Tjilatjap via the
Sunda Strait. At 2215, HOUSTON and PERTH attack Japanese troop transports
screened only by destroyers HARUKAZE, HATAKAZE and FUBUKI. The destroyers make
smoke to mask the transports. FUBUKI charges HOUSTON and PERTH and launches
At 2300, the Western Support Force's cruisers MIKUMA and MOGAMI and
destroyer SHIKINAMI with the Third Escort Force's light cruiser NATORI,
destroyers SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI and ASAKAZE arrive and
engage HOUSTON and PERTH with gunfire and torpedoes.
At 2308, torpedoes strike both HOUSTON and PERTH. At 2342, Captain Hector
MacDonald Law Waller's PERTH sinks. 353 men are KIA and four die of wounds. 328
men are rescued to become POWs.
1 March 1942:
At 0030, Captain Albert Harold Rooks' HOUSTON sinks. 645
men are KIA and 367 are rescued to become POWs. Captain Rooks is awarded the
Medal of Honor, posthumously.
At 0850, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and NACHI with destroyers YAMAKAZE, and
KAWAKAZE sight Captain Oliver L. Gordon's damaged cruiser HMS EXETER, destroyers
HMS ENCOUNTER and USS POPE (DD-225) en route to Sunda Strait from Surabaya.
HAGURO launches both of her E8N2 "Dave" spotter floatplanes.
At 1150, the Support Force's ASHIGARA and MYOKO with destroyers AKEBONO
and INAZUMA also sight and exchange fire with the EXETER group. At 1245, NACHI
and HAGURO also open fire on EXETER.
At 1250, EXETER is hit by shells, set afire and goes dead in water.
AKEBONO and INAZUMA launch 18 torpedoes. E8N2 pilot Lt Utsunomiya observes
EXETER firing almost to the end and that destroyer ENCOUNTER appears to
interpose herself between the stricken cruiser and her antagonists.
At 1330, EXETER sinks. 43 crewmen are KIA and 716 rescued to become POWs.
During the engagement, the Main Force expends 1,171 20-cm rounds.
At 1335, ASHIGARA and MYOKO damage LtCdr Eric Vernon St. John Morgan's
destroyer HMS ENCOUNTER by a near miss from an 8-inch salvo. ENCOUNTER's Chief
Engineer reports that repairs will take two hours. Surrounded and motionless
with only one gun firing, Morgan orders his ship scuttled and her crew to
abandon ship. At 1335, ENCOUNTER rolls over and sinks. Eight men are KIA and 121
rescued to become POWs.
Lt Utsunomiya shadows destroyer POPE as she flees the engagement, making
heavy black funnel smoke as she goes. At about 1540, POPE is attacked by
dive-bombers from CHITOSE, MIZUHO and RYUJO. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Welford
Charles Blinn's POPE is hit by bombs and comes to a halt. Her crew begins
lowering boats and abandoning the ship. One man is KIA and 151 rescued to become
POWs. At this point, Utsunomiya is ordered to return to HAGURO and departs the
HAGURO and NACHI recover their aircraft and depart the area.
3 March 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, then departs for Makassar.
13 March 1942:
HAGURO, MYOKO and NACHI depart Makassar.
17 March 1942:
NACHI is detached.
20 March 1942:
HAGURO and MYOKO arrive at Sasebo for refit.
8 April 1942:
HAGURO and MYOKO depart Sasebo.
9 April 1942:
Arrive at Hashirajima.
18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet
Admiral) William F. Halsey's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 16.2's
HORNET (CV-8), VINCENNES (CA-44), NASHVILLE (CL-43), oiler CIMARRON (AO-22) and
destroyers GWIN (DD-433), MEREDITH (DD-434), GRAYSON (DD-435) and MONSSEN
(DD-436) accompanied by Task Force 16.1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), SALT LAKE CITY
(CA-25), NORTHAMPTON (CA-28), oiler SABINE (AO-25) and destroyers BALCH
(DD-363), BENHAM (DD-397), ELLET (DD-398) and FANNING (DD-385) approach the
Japanese home islands. The 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" bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off from Captain (later Admiral)
Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka,
Nagoya and Kobe. At Yokosuka, a B-25 damages light carrier RYUHO in a drydock
undergoing conversion from submarine depot ship TAIGEI.
HAGURO and MYOKO depart Hashirajima in an unsuccessful pursuit of Halsey.
22 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokusuka.
23 April 1942:
CruDiv 5 departs Yokosuka with DesDiv 7's AKEBONO and
27 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
1 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasion of Port Moresby:
5 Takagi Takeo is promoted Vice Admiral. CruDiv 5 sorties from Truk in support
of the invasion of Tulagi with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Chuichi's
Carrier Striking Force's ZUIKAKU and SHOKAKU, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO,
DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, DesDiv 8's USHIO and AKEBONO.
13 May 1942:
CruDiv 5, ARIAKE, SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU provide distant
cover to the Ocean-Nauru occupation force until the operation is suspended due
to the detection of an American carrier force in the area.
17 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Departs that day with ARIAKE, YUGURE,
SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU.
22 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure.
27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle
CruDiv 5 departs Hashirajima in Vice Admiral (later
Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet Strike Force's Rear
Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) BatDiv
3/1's KONGO and HIEI, Kondo's CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI, DesRon 4's light
cruiser YURA, DesDiv 2's MURASAME, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME and YUDACHI, DesDiv 9's
ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.
13 June 1942:
CruDiv 5 is attached to the Northern Force.
23 June 1942:
Arrives at Sendai, Japan.
28 June 1942:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO, HAGURO and NACHI depart Sendai to
support the invasion of Attu and Kiska, Aleutians with CruDiv 21's light
cruisers KISO, TAMA and ABUKUMA, DesDiv 4's ARASHI, MAIKAZE, HAGIKAZE and
NOWAKI, DesDiv 7's USHIO and SAZANAMI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and
NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO.
The cruiser force joins Rear Admiral Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of
YAMASHIRO) Second Mobile Force's CarDiv 4's JUNYO and RYUJO, augmented by CarDiv
5's ZUIKAKU and CarDiv 3's ZUIHO, escorted by CruDiv 4/2's TAKAO and MAYA,
DesDiv 17's URAKAZE and the Fifth Fleet's destroyer SHIOKAZE. Covers the second
reinforcement convoy to Kiska, then patrols SW of Kiska in anticipation of an
American counterattack that does not materialize.
7 July 1942:
Departs the Aleutians.
12 July 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
11 August 1942:
CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO depart Hashirajima for
Truk with Vice Admiral Kondo's Advanced Force's CruDiv 4's ATAGO (F), TAKAO and
MAYA, seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA, DesDiv 9's
ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE, UMIKAZE, DesDiv
27's ARIAKE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and the Support Force's battleship
17 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
20 August 1942: Operation "KA" - The Reinforcement of
CruDiv 5 departs Truk in Kondo's Second Fleet with Rear Admiral
(later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Vanguard Force's BatDiv
11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, the Support Force's CHITOSE, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO
and MAYA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA with
KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, MAKIGUMO, AKIGUMO, HATSUKAZE, AKIZUKI, AMATSUKAZE,
TOKITSUKAZE, NOWAKI, TANIKAZE and MAIKAZE.
Kondo's Second Fleet joins Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet, reorganized
Mobile Force, Carrier Strike Force's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO,
CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA.
5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
9 September 1942:
CruDiv 5 sorties from Truk with the Carrier Strike
Force and Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard BatDiv 11, CruDiv 7 and DesRon 10 to an
area north of the Solomon Islands.
14 September 1942:
250 miles north of Santa Cruz. Attacked by seven
B-17E "Flying Fortresses" of the 11th Bomb Group (H). HAGURO is not damaged.
15-17 September 1942:
Refuels at sea.
23 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
29 September 1942:
Departs Truk for Sasebo.
5 October 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo for an overhaul and refit.
20 October 1942:
Captain (promoted Rear Admiral 1 November 1943)
Uozumi Jisaku (42)(former CO of IZUMO) is appointed the CO. Captain Mori is
later reassigned as ComDesRon 1.
10 November 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro
(41)(former ComDesRon 1) is appointed the ComCruDiv 5. Vice Admiral Takagi is
later reassigned as the CO of the Mako (Makung) Guard District, Pescadores.
27 November 1942:
HAGURO and MYOKO depart Sasebo.
29 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Embarks a Special Naval Landing
30 November 1942:
HAGURO and MYOKO depart Yokosuka.
5 December 1942:
Arrive at Truk.
8 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, disembarks SNLF troops and
10 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
10 December-31 January 1943:
CruDiv 5 is at Truk.
31 January 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of
HAGURO and MYOKO steam N of the Solomons with a task force of
units of the Second and Third Fleets from Truk including carriers ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO
and JUNYO, BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO, DesRon 4's
light cruiser NAGARA, DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO and destroyers as a feint
to cover Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of
HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul. The Japanese successfully evacuate 11,700
troops from Guadalcanal.
9 February 1943:
CruDiv 5 arrives at Truk.
8 May 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk for Yokosuka with destroyers
SAMIDARE, NAGANAMI and YUGURE.
11 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab" - The Invasion of Attu,
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of
INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W.
Rockwell's (former CO of THATCHER, DD-162) Task Force 51, lands elements of the
Army's 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions under command of Maj Gen Eugene M. Landrum
at Holtz Bay and Massacre Bay that later capture the island.
13 May 1943:
CruDiv 5 arrives at Yokosuka.
15 May 1943:
HAGURO and MYOKO are assigned to the Northern Force in
response to the invasion of Attu. Departs Yokosuka for Paramushiro with
destroyers SAMIDARE and NAGANAMI.
19 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.
21 May 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Kiska:
General Headquarters decides to abandon Attu and to evacuate the garrison at
Kiska Island, Aleutians.
12 June 1943:
16 June 1943:
HAGURO and MYOKO arrive at Sasebo for an overhaul, refit
and modification. Four twin Type 96 25-mm AA mounts are installed and a Type 21
air-search radar is fitted.
18 July 1943:
Dockyard work is completed. HAGURO and MYOKO depart
19 July 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
30 July 1943:
HAGURO and MYOKO depart Hashirajima for Nagahama. There
they embark IJA troops and supplies and rendezvous with battleship MUSASHI, the
flagship of Admiral Koga Mineichi, CinC, Combined Fleet.
31 July 1943:
Departs Nagahama in company of MUSASHI and MYOKO,
escorted by destroyers HATSUKAZE (soon returning to Kure), NOWAKI and
5 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk
6 August 1943:
9 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, disembarks troops and departs.
10 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
18 September 1943:
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's BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO, CarDiv 1's
SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU (followed by ZUIHO on 19 September), CruDiv 5's MYOKO and the
HAGURO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, TONE, light cruisers AGANO and
NOSHIRO and destroyers.
Vice Admiral Kurita Takao leads the second section with his Advance
Force's CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI.
Admiral Koga 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.
11 October 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk with destroyers NAGANAMI and
SUZUKAZE, escorting a convoy to Rabaul.
13 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.
1 November 1943: American Operation "Shoestring II" - The Invasion of
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Theodore S. Wilkinson's
(former XO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Third Amphibious Force, TF 31, lands LtGen
(later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Amphibious
Corps at Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville.
At 1520, Rear Admiral Omori departs Rabaul to escort 1,000 IJA troops to
oppose the American invasion at Bougainville. Omori's force includes CruDiv 5's
MYOKO and HAGURO, Rear Admiral Matsubara Hiroshi's DesRon 10's light cruiser
AGANO, destroyers WAKATSUKI and HATSUKAZE, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral,
posthumously), the Baron, Ijuin Matsuji's DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI,
destroyers SHIGURE, SAMIDARE and SHIRATSUYU and DesRon 2's NAGANAMI with
destroyer-transports AMAGIRI, YUNAGI, UZUKI and YUZUKI.
Omori's ten warships rendezvous with the transports in St. George
Channel, but he obtains permission to continue without them.
At 1945, SENDAI is bombed unsuccessfully several times by an SB-24 of the
5th Bombardment Group.
2 November 1943: The Battle of Empress Augusta (Gazelle) Bay:
Japanese force is intercepted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Aaron S.
Merrill's (former CO of INDIANA, BB-58) Task Force 39's radar-equipped CruDiv
12's USS CLEVELAND (CL-55), COLUMBIA (CL-56), MONTPELIER (CL-57) and DENVER
(CL-58). Captain (later Admiral/CNO) Arleigh Burke's destroyers STANLY (DD-478),
CHARLES F. AUSBURNE (DD-570), CLAXTON (DD-571), DYSON (DD-572) and Cdr B. L
Austin's destroyers USS CONVERSE (DD-509), FOOTE (DD-511), SPENCE (DD-512) and
At 0050, all four of Merrill's cruisers take SENDAI under 6-inch fire and
set her afire. She soon sinks with most of her crew. While avoiding the American
fire, SAMIDARE collides with SHIRATSUYU and MYOKO collides with destroyer
HATSUKAZE. HAGURO receives minor damage in the action.
As SENDAI sinks, ComDesRon 3 Rear Admiral Ijuin abandons ship. Burke's
destroyers finish off HATSUKAZE with gunfire. Admiral Omori withdraws with the
remaining Japanese forces.
USS FOOTE is hit by a torpedo and damaged heavily.
CruDiv 5 returns to Rabaul. That same morning, Rabaul is attacked by 75
North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers and 80 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning"
fighters of the 5th Air Force's 3rd Bomb Group, but CruDiv 5 is not damaged in
3 November 1943:
At 1432, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a
message from the CO of HAGURO that reads: "Aircraft of this vessel missing since
the action of 1 November-----"
4 November 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Rabaul for Truk.
7 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
12 November 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk with DesDiv 27's SHIGURE and
17 November 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo for an overhaul, refit and
modification. Eight single-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed bringing
her total suite to 24 barrels.
25 November 1943:
Rear Admiral (promoted Vice Admiral 15 October 1944)
Hashimoto Shintaro is appointed ComCruDiv 5.
1 December 1943:
Captain (promoted Rear Admiral 1 May 1945; Vice
Admiral, posthumously) Sugiura Kaju (46)(former ComDesDiv 4) is appointed the
CO. Rear Admiral Uozumi is reassigned as the CO of the Kure Guard Force.
16 December 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Sasebo. Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel
Depot to refuel and load distilled water.
17 December 1943:
Departs Tokuyama. Arrives at Kure.
23 December 1943: Operation BO-2-GO (BO No. 2):
CruDiv 5 and CruDiv
8's TONE depart Kure for a fast supply run to Kavieng via Truk. HAGURO is
carrying 560 IJA troops, two Daihatsu barges and 65 pieces of ordnance.
29 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
2 January 1944:
CruDiv 5, TONE, and DesDiv 27's FUJINAMI and
SHIRATSUYU depart Truk on a fast transport run to Kavieng and back.
5 January 1944:
Returns to Truk.
10 February 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk for Palau with CruDiv 4's
ATAGO and CHOKAI and DesDiv 17's TANIKAZE, ISOKAZE, URAZAZE and HAMAKAZE. At
2100, the cruiser force is attacked by USS PERMIT (SS-178) at 08-27N, 149-24E,
but she misses with four torpedoes.
13 February 1944:
The cruiser force arrives at Palau.
19 February 1944:
HAGURO receives fresh provisions from the supply
ship KITAKAMI MARU.
9 March 1944:
CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO depart Palau with destroyer
SHIRATSUYU, escorting a tanker convoy, consisting of OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA) and
12 March 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.
13 March 1944:
Departs Balikpapan for Tarakan, Borneo.
14 March 1944:
Arrives at Tarakan.
20 March 1944:
Departs Tarakan for Palau.
22 March 1944:
Arrives at Palau.
29 March 1944:
CruDiv 5 sorties from Palau to Davao with CruDivs 4's
light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyer HARUSAME.
2 April 1944:
Arrives at Palau. Receives fresh provisions from the
supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
6 April 1944:
LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247)
attacks the cruiser group but misses with six torpedoes. The cruiser force is
also sighted by Cdr (later Captain) David McClintock's USS DARTER (SS-227), but
he is unable to attack.
7 April 1944:
The cruiser group departs Davao. LtCdr (later Rear
Admiral) Walter G. Ebert's USS SCAMP (SS-277) sights the group coming out of the
bay, but is unable to gain an attack position.
9 April 1944:
The cruiser group arrives at Lingga (south of
12 May 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Lingga.
15 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi, then departs for Tarakan, Borneo to
18 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.
27 May 1944: American Operation "Horlicks" - The Invasion of
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) William M. Fechteler's Task Force 77 lands
Maj Gen Horace H. Fuller's 41st Division on Biak off New Guinea.
30 May 1944: Operation "KON" - The Reinforcement of Biak:
CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO depart Tawi Tawi for Davao with battleship FUSO and
six destroyers. The FUSO group is sighted leaving the anchorage by USS CABRILLA
(SS-288) and BLUEFISH (SS-222) but neither submarine is able to close to attack.
The FUSO group provides distant cover for the "Kon" troop transport force CruDiv
16's cruiser AOBA, light cruiser KINU, minelayers TSUGARU, ITSUKUSHIMA,
transport T.127, several freighters, DesDiv 19's SHIKINAMI, URANAMI, DesDiv 27's
SHIGURE and subchasers CH-36 and CH-37.
31 May 1944:
The FUSO group arrives safely at Davao, Philippines.
1 June 1944:
HAGURO receives fresh provisions replenishment from
supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
2 June 1944:
At 2030 CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO depart Davao for
Biak, following the transport group and their destroyers.
3 June 1944:
Around the noon, the "Kon" troop movement is detected by a
Seventh Fleet B-24 "Liberator" aircraft. LtCdr Willard R. Laughon's USS RASHER
(SS-269) also sights CruDiv 5, making 22 knots towards Karakelong Island, but is
unable to close to attack. At 2025, since surprise is lost, the CinC of the
Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu (former CO of HYUGA), cancels Operation
"Kon". CruDiv 5 retires towards Davao.
4 June 1944:5 June 1944:
The Combined Fleet orders CruDiv 5 and FUSO to Palau as a
diversion, but that evening the order is cancelled and Operation "Kon" is
Near Davao either HAGURO or her sister MYOKO is
spotted again by RASHER, but the submarine is still unable to attack. The FUSO
group arrives at Davao and refuels.
7 June 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Davao for Batjan, Halmahera as distant
cover for the Biak troop transport operations with destroyers ASAGUMO and
8 June 1944:
The mouth of Davao Bay. At about 0200, KAZAGUMO is
torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr John C. Broach's USS HAKE (SS-256) at 06-03 N,
124-57 E. ASAGUMO rescues 133 survivors and continues to Batjan.
11 June 1944:
CruDiv 5 and ASAGUMO arrive at Batjan.
12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (former CO of
ASTORIA, CA-34) Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious
Corps on Saipan. After the invasion begins, Operation Kon is "postponed".
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.
Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome's (former CO of HYUGA) Operation "Kon" Task
Force's arrives at Batjan with BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, DesRon 2's light
cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE.
At 2200, Ugaki's Task Force departs Batjan to rendezvous with Ozawa's
15 June 1944:
E of Mindanao. At 1622, Ugaki's Task Force is sighted by
LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's USS SEAHORSE (SS-304).
At 1650, Ugaki's Task Force joins Ozawa's Force "A": CarDiv 1's TAIHO,
ZUIKAKU and SHOKAKU, Rear Admiral Kimura Susumu's DesRon 10's light cruiser
YAHAGI, DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE, DesDiv 61's
WAKATSUKI, HATSUYUKI, AKIZUKI, SHIMOTSUKI and MINAZUKI and Rear Admiral Joshima
Takatsugu's Force "B": CarDiv 2's JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO, BatDiv 1's NAGATO,
CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, NOWAKI and YAMAGUMO, DesDiv 27's
SHIGURE, SAMIDARE, AKISHIMO and SHIRATSUYU.
Forces "A" and "B" deploy 100 miles behind Vice Admiral Kurita's "C"
Force (Vanguard): CarDiv 3, BatDivs 1, 3, CruDivs 4, 7, Rear Admiral (Vice
Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's DesRon 2: light cruiser NOSHIRO with
DesDivs 31, 32.
At 2000, the Mobile Fleet is sighted by USS CAVALLA (SS-244) in the
18 June 1944:
At 2100, Vice Admiral Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet.
Forces "A" and "B" proceed southward. The Vanguard Force "C" proceeds due east.
19 June 1944:
At 0810, Ozawa's flagship, new carrier TAIHO is hit by
one of six torpedoes fired by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) James W. Blanchard's
USS ALBACORE (SS-218). By 1500, she is a blazing wreck. Ozawa first transfers to
destroyer WAKATSUKI, but then quickly transfers to HAGURO, hoisting his flag at
1606. HAGURO, with limited communications gear, is incapable of performing the
duties of fleet flagship, so Ozawa again transfers his flag, this time to fleet
During the day, the Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack Task Force 58, but
suffer overwhelming losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot". That same day,
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler's USS CAVALLA (SS-244) torpedoes
and sinks fleet carrier SHOKAKU.
20 June 1944:
After 1730 HAGURO provides AA support for the retiring
carriers; claims 5 enemy planes shot down.
22 June 1944:
HAGURO arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa.
23 June 1944:
Departs Nakagusuku Bay for Hashirajima anchorage, then
proceeds to Kure.
24 June 1944:
Arrives at Kure Navy Yard for a refit. The aft torpedo
tubes are landed. Four triple and 16 single 25-mm AA mounts are installed,
bringing HAGURO's AA suite to a total of 52 barrels. A Type 13 air-search radar
and a Type 22 surface-search radar are also fitted.
30 June 1944:
HAGURO departs Kure, carrying IJA troops.
1 July 1944:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Embarks supplies and departs for
4 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.
8 July 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga, Philippines.
19 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore Naval Base. Drydocked.
28 July 1944:
31 July 1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga. Arrives that day. Training
9 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. HAGURO receives fresh provisions
from the stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.
29 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. HAGURO receives fresh provisions
from KITAKAMI MARU.
18 October 1944:
Departs Lingga with the fleet.
20 October 1944:
Arrives at Brunei, Borneo.
22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO"(Victory) -
The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO sortie from
Brunei in Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force (Center Force) Force
"A"'s First Section's BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO,
TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, DesRon 2's flagship light cruiser NOSHIRO and DesDiv 2's
HAYASHIMO, AKISHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, ASASHIMO and
DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, NAGANAMI, HAMANAMI and destroyer SHIMAKAZE.
The first section is followed by the second section: BatDiv 3's KONGO,
HARUNA, Vice Admiral Shiraishi Kazutaka's CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and
CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's
URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.
23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan
At 0633, Force "A" is attacked by Cdr David McClintock's
USS DARTER (SS-227) and Cdr Bladen Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247). Vice Admiral
Kurita's flagship ATAGO and MAYA are sunk and TAKAO damaged. At 1620, Kurita
transfers to YAMATO. HAGURO dodges two torpedoes without any damage.
24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan
Force "A" endures eleven raids by over 250 Task Force 38 carrier
aircraft from USS ESSEX (CV-9), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INTREPID (CV-11), CABOT
(CVL-28), FRANKLIN (CV-13), ENTERPRISE (CV-6). Battleship MUSASHI is sunk,
YAMATO, NAGATO and cruiser TONE damaged. After MYOKO is hit by a torpedo, Vice
Admiral Hashimoto transfers his flag to the undamaged HAGURO.
At 1530, Force "A" reverses course back through the Sibuyan Sea. At 1715,
Force "A" reverses course again and at 2330, enters the San Bernadino Strait in
25 October 1944 - The Battle off Samar:
At 0030, Force "A" exits the
San Bernardino Strait and proceeds eastward. Then at 0300, off Samar, Force "A"
turns SE towards Leyte Gulf. At 0558, Force "A" opens fire at US Seventh Fleet's
Task Group 77.4 ("Taffy 3") escort carriers: USS ST. LO (CVE-63), USS WHITE
PLAINS (CVE-66), KALININ BAY (CVE-68), FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70), KITKUN BAY
(CVE-71), GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73). GAMBIER BAY, destroyers HOEL (DD-533), JOHNSTON
(DD-557) and destroyer escort ROBERTS (DE-413) receive heavy damage and are
TG 77.4's aircraft attack cruisers CHIKUMA, CHOKAI and SUZUYA that
subsequently sink. TONE is damaged. Around 0825 HAGURO is hit by a 100-lb GP
bomb that knocks out her No. 2 gun turret, killing 30 gunners and injuring 12;
the survivors manage to flood the turret magazine, preventing an explosion. The
turret is jammed in position 30 degrees to port at a 20-degree elevation. During
a strafing attack one 4.5 meter bridge rangefinder is disabled. At 0912 HAGURO
ceases fire. Force "A" retires through San Bernardino Strait and the Sibuyan
26 October 1944:
At 0800, Force "A" is attacked by 30 aircraft in the
Tablas Strait off Panay. At 0834, they are attacked by 50 more aircraft. Cruiser
KUMANO is damaged. Force "A" is then attacked by torpedo planes and
dive-bombers. At 1040, Force "A" is attacked by 30 USAAF B-24 aircraft. At 1045,
Force "A" is attacked by 60 carrier-based aircraft. HAGURO is not hit in any of
these attacks. A total of 55 officers and sailors are killed during the battle.
28 October 1944:
At 2150 HAGURO arrives at Brunei.
29 October 1944:
Refuels from cruiser TONE.
6 November 1944:
Carrier JUNYO and light cruiser KISO, escorted by
DesDiv 30's YUZUKI and UZUKI arrive at Brunei from Sasebo with ammunition
resupply for Kurita's force.
8 November 1944:
At 0300, departs Brunei towards Pratas Islands (near
the Formosa Strait) with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, NAGATO, DesRon 10's light cruiser
YAHAGI, DesDiv 17's four destroyers. Carrier JUNYO, cruisers TONE, ASHIGARA,
light cruiser KISO and DesDiv 30 follow. JUNYO, TONE, KISO and DesDiv 30 detach
to Manila. The remainder of the task group makes a feint through the Balabac
Strait, then returns to Brunei.
11 November 1944:
At 1005 arrives at Brunei Bay. Refuels from oiler
16 November 1944:
At Brunei. Attacked by 40 USAAF Consolidated B-24
"Liberator" bombers and 15 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighters; receives splinter
damage from several near misses. At 1830, BatDiv 1's YAMATO departs for Kure
with BatDiv 3's KONGO, NAGATO, light cruiser YAHAGI and four destroyers. HAGURO
remains at Brunei.
17 November 1944:
At Brunei. At 0400, HARUNA, HAGURO, ASHIGARA and
light cruiser OYODO depart, escorted by ASASHIMO and HATSUSHIMO.
18 November 1944:
At 1157 HARUNA group arrives at Nagashima anchorage,
Spratly Islands. CarDiv 4's ISE and HYUGA and DesDiv 61's SHIMOTSUKI are
unloading troops and supplies after being diverted there because of carrier
attacks on Manila.
The CinC, Fifth Fleet, Vice Admiral Shima Kiyohide, arrives from Manila
aboard DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO, accompanied by DesDiv 2's ASASHIMO and DesDiv 7's
KASUMI and USHIO. Shima transfers his flag to ASHIGARA.
19 November 1944:
At 0700 HAGURO departs the Spratlys for Lingga with
CarDiv 4, HARUNA, ASHIGARA, OYODO and the destroyers.
22 November 1944:
Around 0800, HARUNA, steaming in line ahead
formation astern of HAGURO, runs aground and is seriously damaged. HAGURO
detaches for Singapore. At 1445 she arrives at the Seletar Naval Base.
5-16 December 1944:
Drydocked in Admiralty IX dry dock for hull
repairs. The guns from the damaged No. 2 turret are landed and a makeshift roof
18 December 1944:
HAGURO (with Vice Admiral Hashimoto aboard) is
dispatched to tow MYOKO, torpedoed on 13 December by LtCdr John M. Hyde's USS
BERGALL (SS-320), back to Singapore. She is escorted by kaibokan CHIBURI;
OKINAWA, CD-25 and CD-35 are likewise dispatched to escort the crippled cruiser.
19 December 1944:
At 1050 rendezvouses with MYOKO and her escorts in
position 05-14N, 107-47E. Rough seas prevent getting a tow line secured to
23 December 1944:
At 0900 HAGURO takes MYOKO in tow and proceeds to
24 December 1944:
The escorting kaibokans are detached.
25 December 1944:
At 0200 HAGURO arrives at Singapore, towing MYOKO.
1 January 1945:
Reassigned to Southwest Area Fleet.
22-30 January 1945:
Drydocked at Singapore for No. 3 light oil tank
30 January 1945:
Departs Seletar, Singapore.
31 January 1945:
Arrives at Lingga.
5 February 1945:
HAGURO and ASHIGARA are reassigned from the Southwest
Area Fleet to the Tenth Area Fleet in CruDiv 5.
24 February 1945:
Singapore. The USAAF's Twentieth Air Force's Mission
38, an all-incendiary attack by 105 Boeing B-29 "Superfortresses", hits the
Empire Dock area. The raid burns out about 40 per cent of the warehouse area.
One B-29 is lost.
4 March 1945:
On that day, the USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne,
Australia (FRUMEL) provides the following information:
"A heavy cruiser
(MYOKO or HAGURO) will be in dry dock at Singapore from 8th-11th April. From
11th-15th April the other one of these cruisers will go into drydock at
20 March 1945:
Seletar Naval Base. Around 1700 when HAGURO is
proceeding to a new anchorage, a mine explodes off her port side abreast the
catapult deck. There is no damage.
7 April 1945:
On that day, FRUMEL decodes the following message from
Tokyo Personnel Bureau, timed 1100 on 1 April:
"Commander 5th Cruiser
Division is to arrange for HAGURO and MYOKO to dock for repairs at Singapore
Yard as follows:
MYOKO from 8th to 11 April; HAGURO from 11th to 15th
9 April 1945:
Departs Singapore for a supply run to Jakarta (Batavia),
escorted by LtCdr Kasuga Hitoshi's destroyer KAMIKAZE. HAGURO is carrying 700
11 April 1945:
At 1800 arrives at Jakarta, unloads her cargo.
12 April 1945:
At 0600 departs Jakarta for Singapore.
14 April 1945:
Returns to Keppel Harbor.
16 April 1945:
On that day, FRUMEL provides the following information:
"HAGURO with destroyer KAMIKAZE leaves Singapore on morning of 15th [April],
arriving Batavia 16th. Leaves Batavia 17th and arrives Singapore evening of
3-7 May 1945:
Drydocked at Mitsubishi dry dock, Keppel Harbor to
commence preparations for a supply run to Port Blair, Andaman Islands. HAGURO's
torpedo tubes are removed by the personnel of 101st Naval Construction and
Repair Unit to make room for stowage of food and ammunition. Some 8-in
ammunition is likewise landed to embark the maximum amount of cargo. After the
return from the Andamans the IJN intends to use HAGURO as a floating battery.
7-9 May 1945:
Keppel Harbor. Embarks cargo for the garrison of the
Andaman Islands, including 1,200 fuel drums, ammunition, 1,100 tons of rice,
medical supplies and 200 bamboo poles, separately ordered by the IJA.
9 May 1945: British Operation "DUKEDOM" - The Hunt for HAGURO:
departs the Keppel Harbor, escorted by destroyer KAMIKAZE. Two subchasers and
three MAD-equipped E13A1 "Jakes" provide anti-submarine cover.
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) Sir Arthur Power's (former CO of ARK
ROYAL) Task Force 61, East Indies Fleet, arrives at Trincomalee, Ceylon. TF 61
includes battleships HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH (F) and the French RICHELIEU, escort
carriers HUNTER, KHEDIVE, EMPEROR and SHAH, cruiser CUMBERLAND, light cruisers
ROYALIST and Hr.Ms. TROMP and destroyers.
10 May 1945:
The HAGURO group is reported in the Straits of Malacca by
Lt R. G. P. Bulkeley's submarine HMS STATESMAN and Lt B. J. B. Andrew's
submarine SUBTLE. Andrew observes a NACHI-class cruiser, escorted by a destroyer
and two subchasers, and commences an approach, but his periscope is sighted.
HAGURO makes a full-rudder turn to port and opens fire with her 12.7-cm AA guns,
firing the ASW shells. Soon thereafter a recce aircraft reports the sighting of
an enemy task force within 400 miles and HAGURO receives the order to return to
Singapore. Off the One Fathom Bank Lighthouse (now Rumah Api Permatang Sedepa),
a lookout reports a torpedo wake.
11 May 1945:
Returns to Singapore.
14 May 1945:
At 0600 HAGURO, again flying the flag of ComCruDiv 5's
Vice Admiral Hashimoto, departs Singapore for the Andaman Islands in company of
KAMIKAZE. Two E13A1 floatplanes are embarked.
15 May 1945:
Indian Ocean, NE of Sabang. The HAGURO group is spotted
by aircraft from Task Force 61's escort carrier SHAH. At 1330, the group
observes a B-24 patrol bomber (probably from the RAF No. 222 Group) passing
overhead at 07-02N, 97-02E; HAGURO opens fire from main guns with Type 3 AA
rounds. Around 1541 the force is attacked by a flight of three Grumman TBF
"Avenger" Mk. Is of No. 851 Sqn. from Force 61's escort carrier EMPEROR,
claiming one 500-lb bomb hit and a near miss. Two "Avengers" receive flak
damage; the cruiser is not damaged.
At 1330 Rear Admiral Sugiura receives a signal from the CO of the 10th
Area Fleet, Vice Admiral Fukudome Shigeru (former CO of NAGATO), that aircraft
have sighted a heavy cruiser and two destroyers S of Sabang Island, heading SE
at 16 kts. Vice Admiral Hashimoto then orders a reversal of course.
After 1500 in position 07-10N, 96-24E, the HAGURO group sights the
auxiliary supply ship KUROSHIO MARU No. 2 (ex-T.149) and CH-57, carrying
evacuated troops from Nancowry Island in the Nicobars.
After 1700 HAGURO receives several sighting reports confirming that enemy
cruisers and destroyers are heading towards Malacca Strait. Vice Admiral
Hashimoto orders to proceed towards One Fathom Bank at 28 kts; later the speed
is reduced to 24 kts for an ETA 0530 the following morning. KAMIKAZE's skipper
is not informed about this decision.
Malacca Strait. At 2240, Captain (later Admiral Sir) Manley L. Power's
26th Destroyer Flotilla, who has anticipated Hashimoto's change in course, makes
radar contact with the HAGURO group approaching from the north. The 26th's
destroyers, making 28 kts, are four miles apart in line abreast formation and
include Power's HMS SAUMAREZ, LtCdr D. H. R. Bromley's VERULAM, Cdr H. G. D. De
Chair's VENUS, LtCdr A. J. R. White's VIRAGO and LtCdr L. W. L. Argles'
16 May 1945:
At midnight, the range is 28,000 yds. HAGURO is in the
lead with KAMIKAZE close behind. The 26th Flotilla reverses course to the south
and slows to 12 kts. The destroyers, still in line abreast, are now arrayed in a
semi-circle from the NW through the S to the E. At 0054, the HAGURO group, still
unaware of the British, enters the semi-circle.
Alerted, the Japanese begin zigzagging, but remain on their southerly
course and enter the center of the semi-circle. The 26th Flotilla increases
speed and pursues. At 0105, the HAGURO group reverses course to the SE and the
range drops to 6,000 yds.
Between 0114-0202, the 26th Flotilla attacks from all sides. HAGURO opens
fire with main guns at 0218 and hits SAUMAREZ with an 8-in shell. All of the
British destroyers claim hits with their torpedoes at ranges from 1,200 to 2,500
yds. HAGURO is hit by 3-4 Mk.IX torpedoes. The first hit at 0120 floods the
forward generator room and ignites fuel drums carried as deck cargo around the
fore turrets. She slows and takes on a 15-degree list to port. The forward
magazines are flooded and the cruiser makes smoke. Most fuel drums carried on
the afterdeck can be jettisoned.
At 0135, the second torpedo hit floods the port forward engine room and
increases the list to 35 degrees so that most of the AA guns on that side are
disabled. The cruiser goes dead in the water. Captain Ono Itaru (50), the XO,
orders to flood the starboard engine rooms and to save the Emperor's portrait,
preserved in the lower communications room, which is found to be already
flooded. Vice Admiral Hashimoto, HAGURO's navigating officer LtCdr Ota Kazumichi
(59) and several staff officers are killed on the bridge by destroyer gunfire,
Captain Ono is wounded. Power failure disables the remaining main guns while a
few 12.7-cm and 25-mm mounts on the starboard side continue to fire.
One (possibly two) torpedo hit forward causes an increasing bow trim. At
0232, HAGURO sinks bow first 55 miles WSW of Penang at 04-49N, 99-42E. 751 men
are killed including Vice Admiral Hashimoto and Rear Admiral Sugiura (the latter
last seen in the water). KAMIKAZE, although damaged, escapes to Penang.
USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message with a call sign
Ho-Ro-Ne-2, timed 0631, probably from KAMIKAZE, that reads: "Action Summary. At
--- time in position 04-49N, 99-42E HAGURO and KAMIKAZE on course 150, speed 22
knots, encountered enemy task force made up of 2 (cruisers?) and 1 destroyer
heading southward. Engagement range was between 3 and 6 kilometers. At ---- time
HAGURO received a hit destroying ----- gun. ------. Damage incurred. Received 3
hits in 3 sections of the ship. 19 killed, 13 wounded."
17 May 1945:
Three E13A1 "Jake" floatplanes from Penang observe about
200 survivors in the water and drop life rafts and supplies. KAMIKAZE returns
and rescues 320 men, 10 of them seriously injured (six dying later).
Rear Admiral Sugiura is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously as of May 16.
20 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), was the
highest point in the Japanese Empire at the time.
 On 1 December 2002, a group of divers including the Australian
diver/photo-journalist Kevin Denlay operating off MV EMPRESS out of Singapore,
discover the wrecks of the cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA off Bawean Island in the
Java Sea at a depth of about 225 ft, using a side-scan sonar.
 On 21 February 2007, a group of divers operating from MV EMPRESS out
of Singapore, including Australian photo-journalist Kevin Denlay, locate the
wrecks of British heavy cruiser HMS EXETER and destroyer HMS ENCOUNTER in the
Java Sea, 350 miles from Sunda Strait. EXETER lays on her starboard side in
60m/200ft of water. Her faithful consort ENCOUNTER rests about two miles away.
 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. The old destroyer appears to have been found earlier by
Indonesian salvage divers and very little remains but a rusted skeleton.
 From early March to late April 1945 FRUMEL constantly confused HAGURO
with the heavy cruiser ASHIGARA, operating in the same area. On 27 April HAGURO
was reported as having been torpedoed by an Allied submarine; curiously enough
the attack on ASHIGARA (by the Dutch submarine Hr.Ms. O-19) during the same time
period was likewise reported.
 On 4 March 2003, a group of divers, again including Kevin Denlay,
operating off MV EMPRESS locate the wreck of HAGURO in about 220 ft/67 m of
water. She sits upright, covered in trawler nets, with her hull opposite her
forward turrets buried in the seabed to about her original waterline, but this
level gradually reduces until at the stern her outer propellers and shafts are
actually up above the seabed! HAGURO's foremast and the top half of the bridge
structure are missing/collapsed. Her mainmast is collapsed. Her funnels are
missing. British hits are visible in places. The bow section forward of No. 2
turret is decimated. HAGURO's No. 1 turret and barbette are completely uprooted
and now lay across the wreck, the rear of the turret on the starboard sea bed
and the barrels pointing towards the surface. Her No. 2 turret was observed
being trained to starboard at approximately the 1 o'clock position, with its
roof collapsed and both barrels missing. Her No. 3 turret's guns are askew and
trained to the port quarter, i.e. the 8 o'clock position. Both her stern main
turrets point almost directly astern. Just behind the No. 5 turret, the wreck is
broken completely in half, although the very stern section, heavily damaged on
the port side, is still partially attached.
In December 2010, Kevin Denlay and a group of divers returned to the
wreck of HAGURO. Diver Andrew Fock reports that they had the great visibility
and conditions on the site and that contrary to 2003 observations, No. 2 turret
is not pointing to starboard, but is facing towards the bow.
Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned
in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada and to Hans Mcilveen of
the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts. Thanks also go to John Whitman of
the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and troop movement in
1937. Thanks also go to John Whitman and Gengoro Toda for info on stores ship
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.