JUNYOKAN!

(KAKO in 1926 at Kure prior to modernization -colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

IJN KAKO: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2019 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 5


17 November 1922:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding.

10 April 1925:
Launched and named KAKO.

18 September 1925:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Goto Akira (31)(former ComDesDiv 1) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

20 July 1926:
Completed and registered in the IJN, attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Captain Goto Akira is the Commanding Officer (CO).

1 August 1926:
The flag of CruDiv 5 is transferred to KAKO.

15 November 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yoshitake Junzo (32)(former chief of staff of Makung Guard District) is appointed the CO.

June 1928:
For scouting purposes a Heinkel-designed flying-off platform is fitted to the roof of No. 4 turret for a Navy Type 2 floatplane (the IJN version of Heinkel HD 25).

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Akiyama Toraroku (33)(former CO of JINTSU) is appointed the CO.

6 July 1929-10 May 1930:
Refit at Yokosuka Navy Yard. Turbines are repaired and upgraded. The ventilation of the gasoline storage room is improved.

30 November 1929:
Captain (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (35)(former Naval Academy instructor) is appointed the CO.

18 June 1930:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nakamura Kamezaburo (33)(former chief of Naval General Staff 2nd Section 1st Bureau) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1930:
Placed in reserve at Yokosuka. Captain Inoue Katsuzumi (34)(former CO of IWATE) is appointed the CO.

6 May 1931:
Visited by crewmembers of the German light cruiser EMDEN, stopping at Yokosuka during her fourth long-range training cruise.

15 May-29 September 1931:
Dry-docked at Yokosuka for a refit of the condensers.

1 October 1931:
Attached to Kure Naval District.

1 December 1931:
Captain Koga Shichisaburo (36)(former CO of ABUKUMA) is appointed the CO.

1 November 1931-31 May 1932:
AA and aircraft installation upgrade at Kure Navy Yard. The existing 76-mm 3rd Year Type AA guns are replaced by four 12-cm 10th Year Type AA guns in single mounts and four 13.2-mm Hotchkiss Type/Type 93 machine guns in two twin mounts. A Kure Type No. 2 Mod. 1 catapult is fitted between No. 4 gun and the floatplane hangar, and a Nakajima E4N2 Type 90 No. 2 Mod. 2 reconnaissance floatplane is embarked.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Mito Shunzo (36)(former chief of staff of Makung Guard District) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yokoyama Tokujiro (36)(former chief of staff of Dairen Guard District) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1934:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kashiwagi Ei (36)(chief of Maizuru Naval base port office) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Aihara Aritaka (38)(former CO of KUMA) is appointed the CO.

1 July 1936:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Oshima Kenshiro (39)(former naval attaché to the Empire of Manchukuo) is appointed the CO.

4 July 1936-27 December 1937:
Modernization at Sasebo Navy Yard. The main armament of six single 20-cm (7.9-in) 3rd Year Type No. 1 main guns in Mod. A single turrets is replaced by six 20.32-cm (8-in) 3rd Year Type No. 2 guns in three Mod. E2 twin turrets, firing the new Type 91 "diving" shells. The 12-cm AA guns are resited and eight 25-mm Type 96 AA guns (in four twin mounts) and four 13.2-mm Type 93 AA machine guns (in two twin mounts) are added. The fixed Type 12 torpedo tubes are landed and replaced by two quadruple 24-in Type 92 Mod. 1 trainable mounts.

A heavier Kure Type No. 2 Mod. 1 catapult, an aircraft handling boom and facilities for operating two Kawanishi E7K1/2 "Alf" reconnaissance floatplanes are fitted. KAKO is completely reboilered and her machinery is upgraded. The beam is increased by addition of anti-torpedo bulges to improve stability and compensate for the added weight, but stability is still a problem.

1 December 1936:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Okamura Masao (38)(former CO of NATORI) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kamata Michiaki (39)(former CO of IZUMO) is appointed the CO.

20 October 1938:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ogata Masaki (41)(formerly attached to Fifth Fleet staff) is appointed the CO.

1 May 1939:
Captain Ito Akira (39)(current CO of FURUTAKA) is appointed the CO of KAKO as additional duty.

1 July 1939:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Edo Heitaro (40)(former CO of NAGARA) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Horie Giichiro (43)(former CO of IRO) is appointed the CO.

15 October 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kinoshita Mitsuo (43)(former CO of SHIRIYA) is appointed the CO.

15 September 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takahashi Yuji (44)(former CO of TENRYU) is appointed the CO. KAKO 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 AOBA (F), FURUTAKA and KINUGASA.

2 December 1941:
Haha Jima, Bonin Islands. CruDiv 6 receives the coded 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 Haha Jima 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 4,886 troops of MajGen Horii Tomitaro's South Seas Detachment. CruDiv 6 departs for Truk, arriving that same day.

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

13 December 1941:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk for Wake via Kwajalein.

21 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein for Wake area.

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 1942: 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, damage the light cruiser KATORI, 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:
Vice 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 Kokutai. Since surprise is lost, the American attack is cancelled. TF 11 is later attacked off Bougainville by the 4th Kokutai's naval land-based bombers, but the Japanese are beaten off with heavy losses.

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

23 February 1942:
KAKO, FURUTAKA and KINUGASA return to 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.

7 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Manus, Admirality Islands.

8 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Manus.

10 April 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Truk.

10-30 April 1942:
Refit at Truk.

30 April 1942: Operation "MO-Go" - The Invasions of Tulagi, Solomons and Port Moresby, New Guinea:
CruDiv 6, light carrier SHOHO and destroyer SAZANAMI sortie from Truk in Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo's MO Main Force, providing close cover for the invasion convoy. CruDiv 6 operates in two sections, 6/1 with AOBA (F) and KAKO, and 6/2 with KINUGASA and FURUTAKA.

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 (F), four destroyers and a patrol boat, escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's Transport Force of 12 transports, three oilers, minelayer TSUGARU and three minesweepers towards the Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago.

Tulagi, Solomons. That same day, Rear Admiral (MOH-'14/later Admiral) Frank Jack Fletcher's (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20) Task Force 17's USS YORKTOWN (CV-5), 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 Tulagi Invasion Force. USS YORKTOWN's TBD torpedo planes and SBD dive-bombers sink destroyer KIKUZUKI and three small minesweepers and damage two other ships.

Queen Carola. CruDiv 6 departs towards Guadalcanal 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) MO Carrier Striking 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 the oiler TOHO MARU.

CruDiv 6 arrives at the Shortland anchorage that day to refuel from oiler IRO.

6 May 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Shortland to rendezvous with SHOHO W of Bougainville. The cruisers are attacked unsuccessfully by three USAAF Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses". CruDiv 6/1 rendezvouses with SHOHO, 6/2 continues to operate independently.

7 May 1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea:
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).

NE of Misima Island, Louisiades. 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 as a result of the air attack. Both sides contemplate sending their surface ships out for a night attack on the opposing carrier force.

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 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 "Zeke" fighters damage USS YORKTOWN and USS LEXINGTON. Hit by torpedoes and several bombs, USS LEXINGTON is further damaged when gasoline vapors ignite and trigger massive explosions that cause her to be abandoned. Later she is scuttled by destroyer USS PHELPS (DD-360).

KAKO and AOBA cover the withdrawing Port Moresby invasion convoy.

9 May 1942:
Refuels at Shortland.

11 May 1942:
Departs Shortland with AOBA for the Queen Carola Harbor.

12 May 1942:
KAKO is stranded on a reef entering the harbor, but is refloated.

14 May 1942:
KAKO departs Queen Carola with AOBA.

22 May 1942:
Refit at Kure with AOBA.

16 June 1942:
Refit is completed. Departs Kure with AOBA. Joins CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA for training in the Bungo Suido (Strait), then departs for Truk.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 June 1942:
Departs Truk with AOBA.

5-6 July 1942:
Arrives at Kieta.

7-14 July 1942:
At the seaplane base at Rekata Bay, San Ysabel.

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

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

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

8 August 1942:
N of Guadalcanal. KAKO launches a three-seat Aichi Type 0 reconnaissance seaplane E13A1 "Jake" reconnaissance floatplane, but it is splashed by a Douglas SBD "Dauntless" of VS-72 from the USS WASP (CV-7).

9 August 1942: The Battle of Savo Island.
Rear Admiral (VC-'18/later Admiral Sir) Victor A. Crutchley's, RN, (former CO of 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 Richmond K. Turner (former CO of ASTORIA, CA-34) and detaches to Guadalcanal with his flagship, cruiser AUSTRALIA.

CruDiv 6, CHOKAI, light cruisers TENRYU and YUBARI and destroyer YUNAGI prepare to engage the Allied Forces. At about 2300, KAKO, CHOKAI and FURUTAKA launch spotter floatplanes. At 0138, CHOKAI launches a salvo of Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the Allied force. About the same time, KAKO launches a salvo of torpedoes at ASTORIA. The circling floatplanes then drop flares to illuminate the targets and all the Japanese ships open fire. KAKO's gunfire hits USS VINCENNES (CA-44) in the hangar and destroys all of her Curtiss SOC "Seagull" floatplanes. In the ensuing in a night gun and torpedo action, USS ASTORIA, USS QUINCY (CA-39), USS VINCENNES and Australian HMAS CANBERRA are sunk. USS CHICAGO (CA-29), USS RALPH TALBOT (DD-390) and USS PATTERSON (DD-392) are damaged.

On the Japanese side, CHOKAI is hit ten times, KINUGASA twice and AOBA once, but KAKO is not damaged. During the battle KAKO expends 192 main caliber rounds, 124 12-cm and 149 25-mm AA rounds as well as ten torpedoes.

The heavily-laden American invasion transports off Guadalcanal are now 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 for which he is later reprimanded.

10 August 1942:
In the morning, after no air attack is mounted against his ships, Vice Admiral Mikawa detaches CruDiv 6's four heavy cruisers unescorted to Kavieng, New Ireland. Mikawa returns to Rabaul with the remainder of his striking force.

At 0650, LtCdr John R. Moore's old S-44 sights CruDiv 6 on a track less than 900 yards away. At 0706, Moore fires four Mk.10 torpedoes from 700 yds at the rear ship in the group. The floatplane from AOBA, patrolling overhead, fails to send a timely warning and at 0708 three torpedoes hit KAKO. The first strikes to starboard abreast No. 1 turret. Water enters through open scuttles of the hull as the bow dips and twists further within three minutes of being hit. The other torpedoes hit further aft, in the vicinity of the forward magazines and boiler rooms Nos. 1 and 2. KAKO rolls over on her starboard side with white smoke and steam belching from her forward funnel. An enormous roar ensues as seawater reaches her boilers.

At 0712, the Japanese start depth charging the S-44, but without success. S-44 slips away.

At 0715, KAKO disappears bow first in the sea to the surprise and dismay of her squadron mates. She sinks off Simbari Island at 02-28S, 152-11E. Sixty-eight crewmen are killed, but Captain Takahashi and 649 of KAKO's crew are rescued by AOBA, FURUTAKA and KINUGASA.

15 September 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.


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

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. Special credit goes to Randy Stone and Tony Tully of the United States for providing information about the KAKO's last moments. Thanks for assistance also goes to "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands and Andrew Obluski of Poland.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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