Imperial Cruisers

JUNYOKAN!

HIJMS KINUGASA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2007 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

Revision 3


30 September 1927:
Kobe. KINUGASA is completed at Kawasaki's yard and commissioned in the IJN.

1 September 1937:
Saesbo Navy Yard. Reconstruction is completed.

20 August 1941:
Captain Sawa Masao (former CO of NOSHIMA) assumes command. KINUGASA is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (former CO of ISUZU) First Fleet as flagship of Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6 with AOBA, FURUTAKA and KAKO.

2 December 1941:
Hahajima, Bonin Islands. CruDiv 6 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).

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

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

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

12 December 1941:
CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU are detached from Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Striking Force returning from Pearl Harbor to reinforce Kajioka, as are Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (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.

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

10 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Truk.

18 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk.

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

30 January 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Rabaul.

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

CruDiv 6 departs Rabaul that day in response to Halsey's 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:
Vice Admiral Wilson Brown's (later President Roosevelt's Naval Aide) Task Force 11's 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.

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

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

2 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Truk.

5 March 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Rabaul.

8 March 1942: Operation "SR" - The Invasion of Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea:
CruDiv 6 and CruDiv 18 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 18depart Rabaul.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 May 1942:
Rabaul, New Britain. Rear Admiral Kajioka's Port Moresby Attack Force departs with DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, four destroyers and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of 12 transports, three oilers, minelayer TSUGARU and three mine-sweepers 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 YORKTOWN (CV-5), cruisers CHESTER (CA-27), PORTLAND (CA-33) and ASTORIA (CA-34) with six destroyers launches three strikes, comprising 99 planes, at Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (former CO of OI). Tulagi Invasion Force. YORKTOWN's TBD torpedo planes and SBD dive-bombers sink destroyer KIKUZUKI and three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 May 1942:
Refuels at Shortland.

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

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

15 May 1942:
KINUGASA and FURUTAKA depart Shortland.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

31 May 1942:
KINUGASA and FURUTAKA depart Truk.

5 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 June 1942:
In dock.

15 June 1942:
Undocked.

28 June 1942:
KINUGASA and FURUTAKA depart Kure.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

7 July 1942:
KINUGASA and FURUTAKA depart Truk.

9 July 1942:
Arrives at Kieta and refuels.

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

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

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

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

9 August 1942: The Battle of Savo Island.
Rear Admiral (VC-'18/later Admiral Sir) Victor A. Crutchley's, RN, (former CO of HMS WARSPITE), Task Group 62.6 of cruisers and destroyers is screening the invasion transports at Savo Island off Guadalcanal. Crutchley is ordered to attend a meeting with ComTaskFor 62 Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, (former CO of ASTORIA,CA-34). Before detaching to Guadalcanal with his flagship, cruiser AUSTRALIA, Crutchley approves the disposition of his screen around the entrances to Savo.

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

On the Japanese side, at 0156, KINUGASA is hit in her No. 1 Engine Room by a 5-inch shell from PATTERSON and later her port steering gear is hit by a shell from VINCENNES. CHOKAI is hit three times and AOBA once.

The heavily-laden American invasion transports off Guadalcanal are unprotected and in harm's way, but Admiral Mikawa, unaware that Admiral Fletcher has withdrawn his carriers covering the invasion, fears an air attack at daybreak. At 0220, Mikawa orders a retirement. Captain Sawa, frustrated, unleashes a spread of torpedoes from the KINUGASA's starboard tubes at Admiral Turner's transports that are 13 miles distant. They all miss.

10 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 retires towards Kavieng. On the way back, LtCdr John R. Moore's old S-44 sets up on the last cruiser in the line of ships. Moore sinks KAKO with three torpedoes. KINUGASA and the remainder of CruDiv 6 arrive at the Moewe Passage, Kavieng for emergency repairs and refit.

17 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs the Moewe Passage.

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

20 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 departs Rekata Bay.

22 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 arrives at Shortland.

23 August 1942:
CruDiv 6 and CHOKAI depart Shortland to provide distant cover for the Guadalcanal reinforcement convoys.

26 August 1942:
Returns to Rabaul with CHOKAI.

28 August 1942:
KINUGASA arrives at Shortland.

1 October 1942:
CruDiv 6 is at Shortland.

11 October 1942: The Battle of Cape Esperance:
Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6's AOBA (F), KINUGASA and FURUTAKA and DesDiv 11's FUBUKI and HATSUYUKI depart Shortland towards Guadalcanal. Goto's mission is to provide cover for a troop reinforcement convoy by shelling Henderson Field.

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

A B-17 of the 11th Bomb Group (H) reports sighting a Japanese force approaching Guadalcanal. ComTaskFor 64's Rear Admiral Norman Scott (MOH posthumously), who has just completed escorting 6,000 troops of the Army's Americal Division from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal, launches two Curtiss SOC "Seagull" reconnaissance planes. They report Goto's force coming down the "Slot" at 30 knots. So alerted, Scott's radar-equipped Task Force 64: SAN FRANSCISCO (CA-38) (F), SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), light cruisers BOISE (CL-47), HELENA (CL-50) and five destroyers steams around the end of Guadalcanal to block the entrance to Savo Sound.

At 2235, Rear Admiral Goto's three cruisers and two destroyers are picked up by Captain Gilbert C. Hoover's HELENA's radar. Scott reverses course and crosses the Japanese "T". Both fleets open fire. ComCruDiv 6, Rear Admiral Goto, thinking that he is under "friendly-fire", orders a 180-degree turn that exposes each of his ships to the Americans' broadsides.

Flagship AOBA is damaged heavily. Admiral Goto is mortally wounded on her bridge. FURUTAKA is hit by a torpedo that floods her forward engine room. The destroyer FUBUKI is sunk and HATSUYUKI damaged.

KINUGASA straddles BOISE and SALT LAKE CITY with 8-inch salvos and then knocks out BOISE's No. 1 and 2 turrets. Then KINUGASA hits SALT LAKE CITY and causes her to lose speed. KINUGASA sustains four hits in the engagement.

FARENHOLT (DD-491) and DUNCAN (DD-485) are also damaged.

12 October 1942:
At 0228, wallowing FURUTAKA sinks. In the morning, Lt Cdr W. G. Cooper's McCALLA (DD-488) attempts to salvage DUNCAN. Despite her efforts, the DUNCAN sinks about 6 miles N of Savo Island. While McCALLA is engaged in rescuing American and Japanese survivors from the water, Cdr Inada Hiroshi's submarine I-2 makes an approach and fires a torpedo at her, but misses.

At 0700, KINUGASA is attacked by five American planes but is not damaged.

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

KINUGASA and AOBA arrive at Shortland.

13 October 1942:
Departs Shortland for Guadalcanal with the CHOKAI, DesDiv 20's AMAGIRI and DesDiv 30's MOCHIZUKI.

14 October 1942:
KINUGASA is designated the flagship of Crudiv 6.

15 October 1942:
KINUGASA and CHOKAI bombard Henderson Field, Guadalcanal with destroyers AMAGIRI and MOCHIZUKI. The cruisers fire a total of 752 8-inch (200-mm.) shells. Returns to Shortland.

24-26 October 1942:
Provides cover for the Guadalcanal reinforcement convoy with CHOKAI.

1-5 November 1942:
Provides cover for the Guadalcanal reinforcement convoy with CHOKAI.

13 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Mikawa departs Shortland for Guadalcanal with his Main Body: CHOKAI and KINUGASA, light cruiser ISUZU, destroyers ARASHIO and ASASHIO.

The Main Body accompanies Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (former CO of HARUNA) Bombardment Unit: MAYA and SUZUYA, light cruiser TENRYU, DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, DesDiv 10's KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO.

14 November 1942: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
From 0130-0200, MAYA and SUZUYA bombard Henderson Field. The task force retires towards Shortland. The task force is attacked by USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) that misses a heavy cruiser with six torpedoes.

The task force is attacked by Grumman TBM "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Marine Avengers from Guadalcanal. At 0915, Lt (j. g.) R. D. Gibson with 10 Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive-bombers of VB-10 from ENTERPRISE reports contact with Mikawa's force. At 0936, Gibson’s force attacks.

KINUGASA is hit in front of the bridge by 500-pound bombs. Captain Sawa and the Exceutive Officer are killed. KINUGASA takes on a 10-degree list to port. She is also hit by four or five torpedoes to port and starboard in a "hammer and anvil" attack. Near-misses cause additional fires and flooding. An SBD-3 crashes into MAYA.

At 1045, Gibson's report brings attacks by 17 more Dauntlesses. KINUGASA engines and rudder are knocked out by near-misses of 1, 000-lb. bombs that open more compartments to the sea. CHOKAI’s boiler room is flooded by near-misses and light cruiser ISUZU loses steering.

At 1122, KINUGASA capsizes and sinks SW of Rendova at 09-06S, 157-14 E. 511 crewmen are killed.

Captain Sawa is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

15 December 1942:
Removed from Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[12] 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.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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