JUNYOKAN!

(ISUZU by Takeshi Yuki)

IJN Light Cruiser ISUZU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2013 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 14


10 August 1920:
Toyko. Laid down at the Uraga Dock Company shipyard as a NAGARA-class light cruiser.

29 October 1921:
Launched and named ISUZU. Captain Ishiwata Takenori (28) is posted Chief Equipping Officer.

15 August 1923:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Capain Ishiwata is the Commanding Officer (CO).

20 November 1923:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Hori Teikichi (32) assumes acting command.

1 December 1923:
Cdr Hori is promoted Captain and assumes command.

3 March 1924:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ichimura Hisao (31)(former CO of TATSUTA) is appointed CO.

1 December 1924:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsuyama Shigeru (30) assumes command.

20 November 1925:
Captain Tamura Shigehiko (32) (former CO of SAWAKAZE) is appointed CO.

25 April 1926:
Captain Nakahara Ichisuke (31) is appointed CO.

1 December 1926:
Captain Tsudome Takemi (30) is appointed CO.

20 August 1928:
Captain (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (32)(former XO of KITAKAMI) is appointed CO.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hani Rokuro (33) is appointed CO.

26 September 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikenaka Kenichi (31), CO of KONGO, assumes "paper" command as an additional duty.

27 November 1929:
Captain (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro (35)(former XO of IWATE) is appointed CO.

1 December 1930:
Captain Goto Terumichi (35) is appointed CO.

14 September 1931:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Horie Rokuro (36) (current CO of KITAKAMI) is posted CO as an additional duty. Captain Goto is posted CO of SENDAI.

14 November 1931:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Aihara Aritaka (38) (former XO of YAKUMO) is appointed CO. Captain Horie is posted CO of HOSHO.

1 December 1931:
Cdr Aihara is promoted Captain.

16 February 1932:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Masaki Katsuji (34) (current CO of YAMASHIRO) is posted CO as an additional duty. Captain Aihara is posted CO of NOJIMA.

20 June 1932:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Yamada Seizo (37) (former CO of KOMAHASHI) is appointed CO. Captain Masaki resumes full-time command of YAMASHIRO.

15 November 1932:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Minoru (36) (former CO of TAMA) is appointed CO.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamada Mitsuru (37) (former CO of MUROTO) is appointed CO. Captain Yamaguchi is posted CO of HAGURO.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Makita Kakusaburo (38) (former Staff, Naval General Staff) is appointed CO.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Chiba Keizo (38) (former CO of YAKUMO) is appointed CO. Captain Makita is posted Chief Instructor of the Naval Communications School.

7 January 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kenzaburo (37)(current CO of TAKAO) is posted CO as an additional duty.

25 April 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsunaga Sadaichi (41)(former CO of SUNOSAKI) is appointed CO. Captain Hara resumes full-time command of TAKAO.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nakamura Motoji (39) (former CO of NAKA) is posted CO. Captain Yamaguchi is posted CO of ISE.

1 December 1936:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Yamaguchi Tamon (40)(former XO of YURA) is appointed CO.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nakamura Motoji (39) (former CO of NAKA) is posted CO. Captain Yamaguchi is posted CO of ISE.

20 November 1938:
Captain Hashimoto Aiji (39) (current CO of KAMOI) is posted CO as an additional duty. Captain Nakamura is posted ComGunboatDiv 5.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tsuruoka Nobumichi (43) (former ComSubDiv 11) is posted CO. Captain Hashimoto is posted CO of KINU.

1 September 1941:
Captain Ura Koichi (46) is appointed CO.

6 December 1941: Operation "C" - The Invasion of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong:
ISUZU is assigned to the 15th Escort Squadron in Vice Admiral Hara Kiyoshi’s (38)(former CO of OCA IWATE) Second China Expeditionary Fleet with gunboats HASHIDATE and SAGA and torpedo boats HIYODORI and KASASAGI.

25 December 1941:
Hong Kong surrenders.

27 December 1941:
Enters the harbor and remains as a guard ship.

15 January 1942:
Departs Hong Kong for Mako, Pescadores.

16 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako.

26 January 1942:
Departs Mako escorting an army convoy carrying reinforcements for the 25th Army.

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Singora, Malaya. Departs that same day.

5 February 1942:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Occupied French Indochina.

6 February 1942:
Departs Camranh Bay.

8 February-March 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong. Remains as a guard ship.

31 March-8 April 1942:
Drydocked at No. 2 Navy Repair Facility, Hong Kong.

10 April 1942:
The 15th Escort Squadron is deactivated. ISUZU is reassigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kenzaburo’s (37)(former CO of TAKAO) CruDiv 16 of Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (35)(former CO of ISE) Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet with light cruisers NATORI and KINU.

11 April 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

15 April 1942:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

23 April 1942:
Departs Makassar.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

26 April 1942:
Departs Balikpapan.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.

28 April 1942:
Departs Makassar.

29 April 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java.

1 May 1942:
Flagship of CruDiv 16.

8 May 1942:
Departs Surabaya to support occupation operations in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

9 June 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

10 June 1942:
Arrives at Batavia, Java.

12 June 1942:
Departs Batavia.

14 June 1942:
Arrives at Surabaya.

20 June 1942:
Departs Surabaya.

28 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka for repairs and overhaul.

30 June 1942:
Drydocked.

8 July 1942:
Undocked.

18 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

26 July 1942: Operation "T" - The Banda Sea Operation:
Arrives at Amboina. Departs that same day and supports landing operations on the Tanimbar Islands.

31 July 1942:
Arrives at Amboina.

1 August 1942: Operation "B" - The Indian Ocean Operations:
Departs Amboina.

5 August 1942:
Arrives at Singapore, Malaya.

6 August 1942:
Departs Singapore.

8 August 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

9 August 1942:
Departs Mergui.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Sabang Harbor, Sumatra.

11 August 1942:
Departs Sabang.

12 August 1942:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya.

24 August 1942:
Departs Penang for Makassar.

28 August 1942:
Arrives at Makassar. Guard ship.

8-9 September 1942:
Departs Makassar for Surabaya.

9 September 1942:
Departs Surabaya carrying 460 men of the 2nd Army Division's 3rd Battalion (less one company), 16th Infantry Regiment.

12 September 1942:
Arrives at Batavia, Java (Jakarta, Indonesia).

13 September 1942:
Departs Batavia with light cruiser KINU. Escorts the first wave of transports from the Dutch East Indies to the Solomons carrying LtGen Maruyama Masao's 2nd Infantry Division’s advance party consisting of the 16th Infantry Regiment HQ and the 3rd Battalion, half of the AT [rapid fire artillery] Gun Company and half of the Regimental Gun Unit.

16 September 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, Celebes (Sulawasei, Indonesia).

20 September 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, New Britain.

21 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

22 September 1942:
Arrives at Shortland Island, Bougainville. Disembarks troops.

25 September 1942:
Departs Shortland for Truk. Replaces damaged JINTSU as flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo’s (41)(former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2's DesDivs 15, 24 and 31 (9 destroyers).

11-12 October 1942:
Departs Truk with DesDiv 31's NAGANAMI, TAKANAMI and MAKINAMI in the Combined Fleet's sortie against Guadalcanal with Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo’s (38)(former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's HARUNA, KONGO, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji’s (39)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) CarDiv 2's HIYO and JUNYO, Rear Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo’s (39)(former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 4's MAYA and CruDiv 5's MYOKO.

12 October 1942:
Vice Admiral Kurita detaches with KONGO and HARUNA, Rear Admiral Tanaka's DesRon 2's ISUZU, DesDiv 31's MAKINAMI, DesDiv 32's NAGANAMI and TAKANAMI. Joined DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO, KAGERO, KUROSHIO and the OYASHIO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE and UMIKAZE, all out of Shortland.

13 October 1942: The Naval Bombardment of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal:
At 0133, BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA bombard Henderson Field. They fire 918 14-in. Type 3 shells. More than 40 American aircraft are destroyed on the ground in the attack. ISUZU provides cover with DesDivs 15 and 31 and fires on Marine batteries on Tulagi Island. Kurita's destroyer screen is attacked with torpedoes by four PT boats from Motor TB Squadron 3, but no hits are scored. At 0230, BatDiv 3 and DesRon 2 retire up the "Slot" at 29 knots.

17-18 October 1942:
DesRon 2 refuels N of the equator.

24-25 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
ISUZU is not damaged.

30 October 1942:
Returns to Truk.

3-5 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Shortland with DesDivs 15, 24, 31 to escort transports carrying reinforcement elements of the 38th Infantry Division.

13 November 1942: Naval Bombardment of Guadalcanal:
Departs Shortland for Guadalcanal in Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi’s (38)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) Main Body: CruDiv 4's CHOKAI and CruDiv 6's KINUGASA, DesDiv 8's ARASHIO and ASASHIO accompanied by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji’s (39)(former CO of HARUNA) Bombardment Unit: CruDiv 4's MAYA and CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, light cruiser TENRYU, DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, DesDiv 10's KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO. Retires towards Shortland.

14 November 1942:
USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) attacks the task force and misses a heavy cruiser with six torpedoes. The task Force is attacked by Grumman TBF "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Marine TBFs from Guadalcanal. A Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bomber crashes into MAYA. Later, KINUGASA is sunk. CHOKAI is slightly damaged by a near-miss.

At 0800, S of Rendova, ISUZU sustains two near misses from Marine SBD dive-bombers. Her No. 3 boiler room floods and her speed is reduced to 15 knots. She is assisted by destroyer ASASHIO and returns to Shortland to begin emergency repairs, probably by the repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

16 November 1942:
Departs Shortlands, escorted by destroyer MOCHIZUKI.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Additional repairs, probably performed by repair ship AKASHI.

8 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

14 December 1942:
At Yokosuka.

11 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka. Arrives at Mitsubishi's Yokohama yard the same day.

19 January 1943:
Yokohama. Enters drydock and begins refit, battle-damage repairs and modifications. A Type 21 air-search radar is installed. The No. 7 140-mm. mount is replaced by an unshielded twin 12.7-cm/40-cal HA-gun mount. The No. 5 gun is removed. Two triple 25-mm mounts are added bringing the light AA suite to ten 25-mm. AA mounts and one quadruple 13-mm in front of bridge.

30 January 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Shinoda Kiyohiko (39)(former CO of HIE MARU) assumes command.

31 January 1943:
Undocked.

15 March 1943:
Drydocked.

1 April 1943:
Attached to the Fourth Fleet. Transfers to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ito Kenzo’s (41)(former CO of MYOKO) new CruDiv 14 with NAKA.

1 May 1943:
Undocked.

7 May 1943:
Refit, repairs and modifications are completed. Departs Yokohama. Arrives at Yokosuka that day and begins trials.

21 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima, then training in western Inland Sea.

11 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka to tow CarDiv 2's HIYO, torpedoed the night before by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Roy S. Benson's (USNA ’29) USS TRIGGER (SS-237). HIYO was hit by two torpedoes in the starboard bow and boiler rooms, but by the time ISUZU arrives the carrier has restored power. HIYO returns to Tateyama that night using two screws with ISUZU and HIYO's escorts, destroyers ARIAKE and YUGURE.

16 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka with supplies and troop reinforcements consisting of 453 men of the No. 2 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF)

21 June 1943:
At 0241 (K), lookouts on Cdr George A. Sharp's (USNA '29) USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) spot an approaching convoy of "11 to 14" ships including three carriers, probably a battleship, an AOBA-class cruiser and a TENRYU-class cruiser. The remaining ships are probably criosers and destroyers. Sharp starts an approach on the cruiser, then shifts to the carrier. At 0337 (K), he fires four torpedoes, but all miss. [2]

ISUZU arrives safely at Truk.

22 June 1943:
Departs Truk with NAKA and destroyers HAMAKAZE and TANIKAZE.

25 June 1943:
Arrives at Nauru. Disembarks SNLF troops.

28 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

16 July 1943:
Departs Truk on a second transport run to Nauru.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Nauru. Unloads and departs.

22 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

24-28 July 1943:
Departs Truk with destroyer ASANAGI to protect oiler TONAN MARU No. 3 that was heavily damaged earlier in the day by USS TINOSA (SS-283) W of Truk. TINOSA fired 15 Mark-14 torpedoes at the oiler, but 11 were duds. ISUZU takes the tanker in tow.

28 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

15 August 1943:
Departs Truk.

17 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, unloads and departs.

19 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

5 September 1943:
Loads troops and supplies. Departs Truk with NAKA.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein. Unloads.

19 September 1943:
Departs Kwajalein with NAKA on a troop transport mission.

20 September 1943:
Arrives at Mili.

21 September 1943:
Departs Mili.

22 September 1943:
Arrives at Wotje.

23 September 1943:
Departs Wotje.

24 September 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

25 September 1943:
Departs Kwajalein.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Jaluit.

29 September 1943:
Departs Jaluit.

3 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 October 1943:
Departs Truk.

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Tokushima.

16 October 1943:
Departs Tokushima.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai, China where she is joined by NAKA. Both embark troops.

21 October 1943:
NAKA and light cruiser ISUZU depart Shanghai with destroyer YAMAGUMO escorting the second echelon of convoy "Tei No. 4" (T4-GO Transportation Strategy) consisting of troop transports (ex-AMC) KIYOSUMI and GOKOKU MARUs. KIYOSUMI MARU, carries 1,342 troops of the IJA 17th Division, ISUZU carries 471 troops of the division and NAKA carries 485 troops.

East China Sea. That same day, Captain (later Vice Admiral) Charles B. "Swede" Momsen's (USNA ’19) Task Group 17.14's USS CERO (SS-225), GRAYBACK (SS-208) and SHAD (SS-235) receive an "Ultra" message from the codebreakers at Pearl alerting them of the transit of the troop convoy through their patrol area.

23 October 1943:
East China Sea. At 2320, LtCdr - (later Captain) Edgar J. MacGregor's (USNA ’30) USS SHAD picks up two targets on her SJ radar at 15,000 yards. It takes MacGregor two hours to gain an attack position. At 0145, when the convoy is at 11,000 yards, he submerges to radar depth. At 0212, at 28-40N, 124-10E, MacGregor begins firing his torpedoes at ISUZU, NAKA and the fast troop transports. He fires ten torpedoes from shallow water, then is forced to head for deeper water to evade a depth-charge counter-attack. Although MacGregor claims damaging both light cruisers, neither is hit.

28 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

1 November 1943:
In the afternoon the the second echelon of convoy "Tei No. 4" is reorganized and depart Truk. Entering dangerous waters, executed embarkation training.

3 November 1943:
60 miles N of Kavieng, New Ireland. At 1129, the convoy is attacked by 19 B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers of the USAAF 13th Air Force. NAKA and GOKOKU MARU suffer near-misses. Transport (ex-AMC) KIYOZUMI MARU is damaged. At 1500, ISUZU takes her in tow.

4 November 1943:
Light cruiser YUBARI departs with destroyers MINAZUKI and ISOKAZE to assist KIYOSUMI MARU under tow by ISUZU escorted by light cruiser NAKA and destroyer ISOKAZE.

NAKA removes 166 men and four rapid fire antitank guns from KIYOSUMI MARU. YUBARI removes another 196 troops and three field guns. ISUZU removes 196 troops and four regimental guns from the transport. Destroyer MINAZUKI removes 267 troops and ISOKAZE removes 236 troops and two mountain guns. Ammunition and supplies are also off loaded from KIYOSUMI MARU.

4 November 1943:
At 1700, ISUZU arrives at Kavieng. Disembarks troops.

8 miles SW of Kavieng. That same day, ISUZU hits a mine laid by USS SILVERSIDES (SS-236). ISUZU sustains hull damage forward and two gun mounts are also damaged. Survey ship TSUKUSHI and converted auxiliary RYUSEI MARU are sunk in the same mine field. DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE is also damaged by a mine. ISUZU departs Kavieng for Rabaul.

5 November 1943: The Carrier Raid on Rabaul:
Aircraft from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's (USNA ’10)(former CO of LEXINGTON (CV-2) Task Force 38 attack Rabaul. Dive bombers from the USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23) damage CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA and CruDiv 7's CHIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruisers AGANO and NOSHIRO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI. ISUZU is strafed.

6 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk for emergency repairs.

20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the Gilberts:
Forces under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance, (USNA ’06) Commander, Central Pacific, invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.

21 November 1943:
Departs Truk with NAKA after the American landings in the Gilberts.

22 November 1943:
Arrives at Ponape. Both cruisers load about 1,500 army troops.

23 November 1943:
Departs Ponape.

25 November 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein. Waits for an opportunity to disembark troops at Tarawa, but the island falls to the Americans.

30 November 1943:
Departs Kwajalein.

1 December 1943:
Arrives at Mili. Disembarks troops at Mili (Mille) instead of the now captured Gilberts.

2 December 1943:
Departs Mili for Kwajalein.

4 December 1943:
Departs Kwajalein and arrives at Roi.

5 December 1943:
At 0455, Roi is attacked by SBD dive-bombers and TBF torpedo-bombers from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Charles A. Pownall's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) TG 50.1's new carriers USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) and LEXINGTON (CV-16).

During the raid, ISUZU’s No. 6 main turret is hit by a bomb starboard side. A fire starts and the rear ammunition storehouse is flooded as a precaution. A bomb hit near the ward room also renders the aft telegraph room unserviceable. A near-miss bomb so damages the starboard rudder compartment's external wall that the propeller shaft is unuseable. ISUZU’s speed is thus decreased to 12 knots and she reverts to manual power steering.

TG 50.1's planes also strafe the cruiser. During the attacks, 20 crewmen are KIA and another 40 WIA. The converted coal and oil transport ASAKAZE MARU is also sunk.

7 December 1943:
Departs Roi for Kwajalein. Undergoes emergency repairs.

9 December 1943:
Departs Kwajalein.

12 December 1944:
Arrives at Truk. Begins temporary repairs by repair ship AKASHI.

17 January 1944:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

23 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Begins permanent repairs and modification.

23 January 1944:
Drydocked.

31 January 1944:
Undocked.

1 May 1944:
Yokohama. ISUZU begins conversion to an anti-aircraft cruiser at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. All of her 14-cm gun mounts are removed. Two twin 12.7-cm guns are installed. Her Type 96 25-mm AA suite is increased to 38 barrels. The catapult and seaplane equipment are removed. Type 13 air-search, Type 21 air-search and Type 22 surface-search radars are fitted or modified. Sonar and depth charge rails are added.

20 June 1944:
Captain Matsuda Gengo (former gunnery officer of YAMATO) is appointed CO.

20 August 1944:
ISUZU becomes the flagship of Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Edo Heitaro’s (40)(former CO of KAKO) CruDiv 31 (Antisubmarine).

14 September 1944:
Conversion to an AA cruiser is completed.

5 October 1944:
Departs Yokohama for Yokosuka.

6 October 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

8 October 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

8-20 October 1944:
Inland Sea. Training.

20 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
At 1700, departs Yashima anchorage towards the Philippines in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo’s (37)(former CO of HARUNA) Northern Mobile ("Decoy") Force: CruDiv 31's ISUZU, DesDiv 41's KUWA and SUGI, DesDiv 43's MAKI and the KIRI, DesDiv 61's AKIZUKI, HATSUZUKI, WAKATSUKI and SHIMOTSUKI.

ISUZU and her destroyers screen CarDiv 1's ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO, CHITOSE and CHIYODA, CarDiv 4's HYUGA and ISE and light cruisers OYODO and TAMA.

25-26 October 1944: The Battle off Cape Engano:
Ozawa's force is attacked by TBM-1C aircraft of VT-21 from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ralph E. Davison's TG 38.4's USS BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and VT-51 from SAN JACINTO (CVL-30). At 0835, CHITOSE is hit portside forward. The carrier floods, begins to lose power and lists heavily to port. At 0925, ISUZU attempts to take her in tow, but this proves impossible. At 0937, CHITOSE rolls over to port and sinks by the bow. ISUZU rescues 480 men and SHIMOTSUKI rescues another 121 crewmen. At 0950, ISUZU escorts TAMA after she is hit by an aircraft torpedo.

Later, ISUZU and DesDiv 43's MAKI are ordered to protect CHIYODA that is damaged by a second strike by aircraft from LEXINGTON (CV-6) and FRANKLIN (CV-13). Battleship/carrier HYUGA attempts to tow CHIYODA, but is prevented by a third attack. ISUZU also attempts a tow but is unable. By 1530, navigation is impossible for CHIYODA. ISUZU goes to rescue survivors lined up on CHIYODA's flying-off deck with the ship's bugle blaring and her rising sun flag dipping into the sea, but black smoke is seen off the far right horizon signalling the imminent arrival of a large formation of American warships. ISUZU abandons her rescue attempt and hastily departs. CHIYODA sinks with all hands.

Later that evening, while rescuing personnel of other carriers, ISUZU and several destroyers come under fire from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Laurance T. DuBose's (USNA ’13) cruiser force. DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI is sunk. ISUZU is slightly damaged. Thirteen crewmen are killed.

26 October 1944:
Departs the Philippine Sea for Okinawa.

27 October 1944:
Arrives at Okinawa to refuel, then departs.

29 October-14 November 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Repaired and refitted.

14 November 1944:
Departs Kure with destroyer MOMO on a troop transport run.

18 November 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

19 November 1944:
Departs Manila with MOMO for Brunei, Borneo.

55 miles W of Corregidor. ISUZU is attacked by LtCdr Frank Haylor's (USNA ’36) USS HAKE (SS-256) and hit by one of six torpedoes he fires. ISUZU's stern is severely damaged and her rudder destroyed. After at-sea emergency repairs, ISUZU, escorted by MOMO, changes course to Singapore.

23 November 1944:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. Begins temporary repairs by the No. 101 Repair Facility.

10 December 1944:
Departs Singapore. Arrives at Surabaya that night.

12 December 1944:
Surabaya. Begins permanent repairs by the No. 112 Repair Facility.

4 April 1945:
Repairs are completed. Departs Surabaya to transport an army detachment from Kupang to Sumbawa Island escorted by torpedo boat KARI and minesweepers W-12 and W-34. The ISUZU group is sighted off Paternoster Island by a wolf pack led by Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Francis D. Boyle’s (USNA ’34) USS CHARR (SS-328) with LtCdr Herman E. Miller’s (USNA ’38) USS BESUGO (SS-32l) and LtCdr William B. Parham’s (USNA ’36) USS GABILAN (SS-252), but aircraft force the pack to dive and they are unable to attack.

April 1945:
RAAF "Mosquito" fighter-bombers from 87 Squadron shadow ISUZU and four smaller warships. One Mosquito is spotted by a Japanese aircraft. The pilot of the Mosquito accelerates and leaves the Japanese aircraft behind.

6 April 1945:
Boyle's wolf pack is alerted about the position of the Japanese ships by an "Ultra" signals-intelligence message from ComSubPac at Pearl and takes up position near Bima Bay. They are joined there by ComSubSoWestPac's British submarine HMS SPARK.

Kupang Harbor. At dawn, ISUZU embarks an army detachment and departs for Sumbawa. North of Sumbawa she is attacked by ten B-25 "Mitchell" bombers of the Dutch 18th Squadron based at Batchelor airfield S of Darwin, Australia. ISUZU is slightly damaged by near-misses off her starboard bow by some of the sixty 300-kg bombs dropped. Later, she lands troops at Bima Bay, on the NE coast of Sumbawa.

At 0910, USN codebreakers intercept a message Message from Isuzu: “I am being engaged by 10 enemy aircraft. (Position) of attack (----) degrees, 35 miles from Waingapoe.”

Near Flores Island, Netherlands East Indies. ISUZU is hit in the bow section by bombs from Consolidated B-24J "Liberator" bombers of the RAAF's No. 21 and No. 24 Squadrons based in Northern Australia. Two B-24's are shot down by Japanese aircraft. [1]

Sape Strait, between Sumbawa and Komodo islands. About 1600, Miller's BESUGO fires nine torpedoes at the ISUZU group. They miss ISUZU, but one sinks W-12.

7 April 1945:
At 0220, departs Bima with the KARI and W-34. CHARR makes radar contact at 14,000 yards and Boyle alerts GABILAN.

60 miles NW of Bima. At 0605, ISUZU is struck by one of five torpedoes fired by Parham's GABILAN. The torpedo hits portside below the bridge and causes flooding forward. ISUZU's speed falls below 10 knots, she takes on a list and is down by the bow.

At 0827, while her crew is performing emergency repairs, Boyle's CHARR fires four torpedoes at her from 1,200 yards. She is hit portside near the aft engine room by two torpedoes. Boyle fires two more torpedoes and gets another hit. At 0843, ISUZU's bow breaks off. Three minutes later she capsizes to port and sinks at 07-38S, 118-09E. HMS SPARK witnesses ISUZU's sinking. ISUZU's escorts counter-attack CHARR, but Boyle goes deep and evades them.

Captain Matsuda and 450 crewmen are rescued by the escorts, but 190 crewmen are lost.

The codebreakers intercept a message from torpedo boat KARI that reads: “Isuzu sank at 0846.” Then from Kari about 1453: “Discontinued rescue operations at 1340 and am returning. ----. 437 survivors rescued. Captain of Isuzu is aboard this vessel.”

8 April 1945:
At 0720, USN codebreakers intercept a garbled message from the CO of ISUZU, Captain Matsuda, about the 7 Apr event that reads: “At 0605 bearing 333, 65 miles from Bima this ship received one torpedo hit below the bridge from an enemy submarine flooded forward. Carried out emergency measures to utmost. Expecting to be able to proceed under own power. ------ and headed back but at 0827 was attacked a second time by enemy submarine and received two torpedo hits in the aft engine room. Since feared sinking, disposed of secret documents. At 0843, hull split near point of forward ----. At 0816 [sic on the times] finally sank. As the water in this area is about 1000 meters deep, it would appear that there is no danger of the previously disposed of documents falling into enemy hands.”

20 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Dutch sources claim the aircraft and the squadrons involved in the strike were: No. 18 Dutch Squadron - 10 B-25s, No. 2 RAAF Squadron - 10 B-25, and No. 82 RAAF Wing - 9 B-24s. Two of the B-24s that attacked about 20 minutes later were shot down by Japanese Army fighters (probably Nakajima KI-43 "Oscars" and/or Nakajima KI-44 "Tojos").

[2] The Japanese force consisted of BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, light carrier RYUHO, escort carriers UNYO and CHUYO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 14's NAKA and ISUZU and seven destroyers.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks also go to Aldert Gritter/"Adm. Gritter" of the Netherlands.

Thanks also go to Matthew Jones for additional CO info and to John Whitman of the USA for info on Japanese decrypts, the Dec '43 damage to ISUZU and for info in Revs 11-14.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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