JUNYOKAN!

IJN Light Cruiser KISO:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2012 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 6


6 June 1919:
Nagasaki. A KUMA-class light cruiser is laid down at Mitsubishi Zosen Kaisha's shipyard.

14 December 1920:
Launched and named KISO.

15 January 1921:
Captain (later Vice Admiral), Tateno Tokujiro (28)(former XO of HYUGA) is posted Chief Equipping Officer.

30 April 1921:
Captain Tateno assumes command.

4 May 1921:
Completed and registered in the IJN.

10 May 1922:
An unknown officer assumes command.

1 December 1926:
Captain (later Vice Admiral), Hamada Kichijiro (33) assumes command.

10 June 1927:
Captain (later Vice Admiral), Arima Yutaka (33) assumes command.

15 November 1927:
An unknown officer assumes command.

14 November 1931:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Okawachi Denshichi (37) (former CO of ONDO) assumes command.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Vice Admiral), the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa (37) (former CO of JINGEI) assumes command.

15 November 1933:
Captain (Admiral, posthumously) Ito Seiichi (39) assumes command.

10 March 1934:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji (39) assumes command.

15 November 1934:
An unknown officer assumes command.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Oka Arata (3?)(former CO of AS TAKASAKI) assumes command.

10 November 1936:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kudo Kyuhachi (39)(former CO of TENRYU) assumes command.

15 June 1938:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi (39)(former CO of NAGARA) assumes command.

15 December 1938:
An unknown officer assumes command.

17 April 1939:
Yokohama. Accompanied by destroyers HIBIKI, SAGIRI, AKATSUKI, Captain (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner’s USS ASTORIA (CA-34) arrives via the Panama Canal and Hawaii from Annapolis, Maryland carrying the remains of the former Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Saito Hirosi. ASTORIA steams into harbor with the United States ensign at half-staff. KISO returns a 21-gun salute fired by ASTORIA.

That afternoon, American sailors carry Ambassador Saito's ceremonial ashes urn ashore. After a state funeral the next day, the Japanese host a tea party for Captain Turner and his officers at Foreign Minister Arita Hachiro’s residence attended by the U. S. Ambassador Joseph C. Grew, naval attache Captain Harold M. Bemis and the Vice Minister of the Navy, Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku. [1]

10 November 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ono Takeji (former CO of AS TAKASAKI) assumes command. KISO is in Vice Admiral Hosogaya Boshiro's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 21 with flagship, light cruiser TAMA in Hosogaya's Fifth Fleet.

2 December 1941:
Akkeshi, Hokkaido Island. KISO and TAMA are camouflaged for operations in Northern waters. White patches are added to their superstructures and their bows and sterns are painted white. The remainder of the ships' superstructures and hulls retain their original colors: Maizuru Arsenal dark gray for KISO and Yokosuka Arsenal dark gray for TAMA.

4 December 1941:
KISO and TAMA depart Akkeshi.

8 December 1941: Operation "Z" - The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Kuriles. KISO and TAMA depart Masua Shima to patrol the area. Both cruisers' hulls are damaged by heavy weather.

21 December 1941:
KISO and TAMA arrive at Ominato, Japan.

25 December 1941:
KISO and TAMA depart Ominato.

26 December 1941:
KISO and TAMA arrive at Yokosuka.

27 December 1941:
Yokosuka. KISO and TAMA are docked together in No. 5 drydock. Their hulls are repaired.

16 January 1942:
Undocked.

21 January 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Yokosuka.

26 January 1942:
CruDiv 21 arrives at Akkeshi.

1 February 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Akkeshi. Patrols in Northern waters.

20 February 1942:
CruDiv 21 arrives at Akkeshi.

4 March 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Akkeshi.

4 March 1942:
Thirty-eight aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) escorted by SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25) and NORTHAMPTON (CA-28) make a dawn raid on Marcus Island, located between Midway and the Bonin Islands, about 1,000 miles from Tokyo.

9 March 1942:
KISO and TAMA arrive at Yokosuka.

10 March 1942:
Drydocked. Refit.

11 March 1942:
Hashirajima. In response to an alarm that an enemy fleet is closing the homeland, the First Fleet's battleships HYUGA and ISE sortie to search for Halsey.

12 March 1942:
Yokosuka. Undocked. KISO, TAMA and destroyers also sortie to search for Halsey, but find nothing.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 March 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Yokosuka.

5 April 1942:
CruDiv 21 arrives at Akkeshi.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Halsey's Task Force 16 USS HORNET (CV-8), cruisers, destroyers and an oiler accompanied by ENTERPRISE (CV-6), cruisers, destroyers and another oiler approach Japan. The carriers and cruisers come to within 668 nautical miles of the mainland.

Discovery of his force by guardboat No. 23 NITTO MARU compels Halsey to order the HORNET to launch LtCol (later Gen/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle's 16 Army North American B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group earlier than planned from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's HORNET.

ENTERPRISE's VB-3 and VB-6's Douglas "Dauntless" SBD dive-bombers and VF-6's Grumman "Wildcat" F4F fighters attack the "picket" boats encountered near Task Force 16. They damage armed merchant cruiser AWATA MARU and guardboats No. 1 IWATE MARU, CHOKYU MARU, No. 2 ASAMI MARU, KAIJIN MARU, No. 3 CHINYO MARU, EIKICHII MARU, KOWA MARU, NAGATO MARU and No. 26 NANSHIN MARU.

Guardboats No. 23 NITTO MARU and NAGATO MARU, damaged by SBDs and F4Fs, are sunk by the gunfire of NASHVILLE (CL-43).

Doolittle's planes strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe. KISO and TAMA depart Akkeshi in pursuit of Halsey.

19 April 1942:
Guardboat No. 1 IWATE MARU sinks as the result of damage inflicted by ENTERPRISE's planes. Submarine I-74 rescues her crew.

KISO scuttles by gunfire guardboat No. 26 NANSHIN MARU that also was damaged by ENTERPRISE's planes.

22 April 1942:
The I-74 transfers No. 1 IWATE MARU's crew to KISO.

24 April 1942:
KISO arrives at Akkeshi.

25 April 1942:
Departs Akkeshi.

26 April 1942:
Arrives at Muroran.

30 April 1942:
Departs Muroran.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Akkeshi.

6 May 1942:
Departs Akkeshi Bay for the Kiska and Adak, Aleutians areas escorting converted seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU.

12 May 1942:
150 miles S of Kiska. KIMIKAWA MARU launches seaplanes for photo-reconnnaisance of Adak and Kiska. The Adak mission is successful, but Kiska is obscured by weather.

15 May 1942:
Arrives at Ominato. During her stay, KISO's camouflage white patches are painted over and the ship is restored to her orignal dark gray color.

28 May 1942: Operation "AL" - The Seizure of Attu and Kiska:
Departs Mutsu Bay, Kawauchi in Vice Admiral Hosogaya's Northern Force with Captain Ono Takeji's Kiska Invasion Force: CruDiv 21, destroyers HIBIKI, AKATSUKI and HOKAZE, auxiliary cruiser ASAKA MARU, seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU and transports HAKUSAN and KUMAKAWA MARUs.

CruDiv 21 accompanies Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (former CO of ISE) Attu Invasion Force: DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA, DesDiv 21's HATSUHARU, HATSUSHIMO, WAKABA and NENOHI, transport KINUGASA MARU and minelayer MAGANE MARU with the Main Body's CruDiv 5's NACHI, destroyers INAZUMA and IKAZUCHI, oilers FUJISAN and NISSAN MARUs, three cargo ships and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of NAGATO) Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 4's JUNYO and RYUJO, CruDiv 4/2's TAKAO and MAYA, DesDiv 3's SHIOKAZE and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, SAZANAMI and USHIO.

1 June 1942:
The Invasion Force arrives at Paramushiro.

1 June 1942:
Departs Paramushiro.

7 June 1942:
The Invasion Force lands troops on Kiska.

10 June 1942:
Kiska. KISO, several other ships and a few destroyers are attacked by a formation of six B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers. They come through the pass W of Kiska Harbor under a 1,500 foot overcast and drop their bombs. The leading plane is hit by anti-aircraft fire from the ships and disintegrates. KISO is undamaged.

14 June 1942:
KISO is attacked by Consolidated PBY "Catalina" flying boats and sustains near misses.

18 June 1942:
Departs Kiska.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Mutsu Bay.

28 June 1942:
CruDiv 21's KISO and TAMA depart for the Aleutians with DesRon 1's ABUKUMA and Rear Admiral Kakuta's Second Mobile Force: CarDiv 4's JUNYO and RYUJO reinforced by CruDiv 5's HAGURO, MYOKO and NACHI, DesDiv 4's ARASHI, MAIKAZE, HAGIKAZE and NOWAKI, DesDiv 7's USHIO, SAZANAMI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE.

CruDiv 21 covers the second reinforcement convoy to Kiska, then patrols SW of Kiska in anticipation of an American counter-attack.

7 July 1942:
Departs the area.

16 July 1942:
CruDiv 21 arrives at Yokosuka.

16 July-2 August 1942:
Refit at Yokosuka.

2 August 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

16 August 1942.
CruDiv 21 arrives at Ominato.

20 August 1942:
Departs Ominato. Patrols S of Kiska thereafter. Covers the transfer of the Attu garrison to Kiska.

18 September 1942:
KISO, ABUKUMA and NACHI arrive at Ominato.

20 September 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kawai Iwao (former Chief Gunnery Officer of NAKA) assumes command. Captain Ono is reassigned as CO of SUZUYA and the following year as CO of YAMATO.

21 October 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Ominato.

23 October 1942:
Kakumabetsu Bay, Paramushiro. Oiler TEIYO MARU refuels KISO.

25 October 1942:
CruDiv 21 enters Kashiwabara, Paramushiro Island to embark part of the Yonekawa Force.

27 October 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Paramushiro with ABUKUMA, escorted by DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO and WAKABA carrying the Yonekawa Detachment to Attu.

29 October 1942:
Arrives at Attu. Disembarks troops.

30 October 1942:
CruDiv 21 departs Attu for Paramushiro.

1 November 1942:
At Paramushiro as guard ship.

14 November 1942:
Departs Paramushiro.

17 November 1942:
Embarks an army detachment at Otaru with ABUKUMA.

20 November 1942:
At 0830, departs Otaru with ABUKUMA.

23 November 1942:
At 0615, arrives at Kakumabetsu Bay, Paramushiro Island. Refuels from auxiliary oiler TEIYO MARU. At 1400, departs for Attu with ABUKUMA and destroyer WAKABA. 25 November 1942:
At 1810, arrives at Attu. Disembarks troops, then departs.

28 November 1942:
Arrives at Kakumabetsu. Both cruisers refuel and embark supplies.

30 November 1942:
Departs Paramushiro with ABUKUMA.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Kiska, delivers supplies and departs.

7 December 1942:
Arrives at Kataoka Bay, Paramushiro. Refuels from auxiliary oiler TEIYO MARU. Departs that same day.

10 December 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

11 December 1942:
Departs Ominato.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru. Refit.

16 December 1942:
Drydocked.

22 December 1942:
Undocked.

30 December 1942:
Departs Maizuru.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

2 January 1943:
Departs Ominato.

5 January 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

5-18 January 1943:
Loads supplies.

7 January 1943:
Kataoka Bay. Refuels from auxiliary oiler TEIYO MARU. 13 January 1943: American Occupation of Amchitka Island, Aleutians.
90 miles from Kiska. The Alaska Defense Command's Army BrigGen Lloyd E. Jones' troops land at Constantine Harbor covered by Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 8. The landing is unopposed. Jones' troops occupy the island. A fighter strip is constructed in the next few weeks and is operational the next month.

16 January 1943:
Refuels from auxiliary oiler TEIYO MARU.

18 January 1943:
Departs Paramushiro for Kiska on a resupply mission with destroyer WAKABA.

23 January 1943:
En route to Kiska, KISO and WAKABA spot an "enemy" submarine. Later, they learn that LtCdr Yamamoto Hideo's I-35 was patrolling in the same area. They are recalled before reaching Kiska because of American landings on Amchitka.

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Kabutosan, Paramushiro and unloads supplies. Refuels from auxiliary oiler TEIYO MARU.

2 February 1943:
Refuels from TEIYO MARU.

7 February 1943:
Refuels from TEIYO MARU.

13 February 1943:
Departs Paramushiro with converted transport SAKITO MARU on a supply run to Kiska. The transport's speed is slowed because of the presence of an American squadron off Kiska.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Kiska. KISO and the transport unload supplies.

22 February 1943:
KISO arrives at Kashiwabara, Paramushiro.

23 February 1943:
Refuels from TEIYO MARU.

4 March 1943:
Kashiwabara Bay. Refuels from TEIYO MARU.

7 March 1943:
Embarks more supplies. Departs Paramushiro with converted armed merchant cruiser ASAKA MARU and transport SAKITO MARU bound for Attu. Escorted by the Fifth Fleet's cruisers NACHI and the MAYA, light cruisers TAMA and ABUKUMA and destroyers IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, USUGUMO, HATSUSHIMO and WAKABA.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Attu. KISO and the transports land supplies, while the other units patrol.

13 March 1943:
All units arrive safely at Kashiwabara, Paramushiro.

15 March 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

18 March 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

20 March 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru. Refit.

28 March 1943:
Vice Admiral Kawase Shiro (former XO of KIRISHIMA) assumes command of the Fifth Fleet.

4 April 1943:
Drydocked. During refit the KISO's 900-mm searchlights are replaced by three Type 96 1100-mm searchlights. Two Type 96 twin-mount 25-mm AA guns are added at port and starboard above the aft torpedo-tube mounts. She is also fitted with a No. 21 air-search radar.

17 April 1943:
The KISO hoists the flag of DesRon 1.

20 April 1943:
Undocked.

28 April 1943:
Departs Maizuru.

3 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

11 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab" - The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral Kinkaid's 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 MajGen Eugene M. Landrum at Holtz Bay and Massacre Bay who later capture the island.

That same day, the KISO departs Paramushiro with DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO and WAKABA to escort the converted seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU transporting eight Mitsubishi F1M2 ("Pete") Type 0 observation seaplanes and two Nakajima A6M2-N (“Rufe”) fighter seaplanes of the No. 452 Kaigun Kokutai to Attu. After the American landings on Attu, KIMIKAWA MARU and her escorts are ordered to return to Paramushiro.

15 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

16 May 1943:
Kataoka Bay. Refuels from oiler TEIYO MARU.

19 May 1943:
The flag of DesRon 1 shifted back to ABUKUMA.

21 May 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Kiska:
The Imperial General Headquarters decides to evacuate the garrison at Kiska Island, Aleutians.

25 May 1943:
Departs Kataoka Bay, Paramushiro with ABUKUMA, four destroyers to land supplies and to evacuate some officers from Attu. The units wait for more favorable weather 150 miles SW of Attu.

29 May 1943:
Since Attu's fall is imminent, the operation is canceled.

31 May 1943:
KISO returns to Kataoka Bay.

10 June 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi (former CO of SUZUYA) assumes command of DesRon 1.

18 June 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

27 June 1943:
Departs Ominato.

30 June 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

7 July 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Kiska:
KISO and TAMA depart Paramushiro with the Evacuation Task Force consisting of Rear Admiral Kimura's DesRon 1's ABUKUMA with DesDiv 6's HIBIKI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, USUGUMO, DesDiv 10's YUGUMO, KAZAGUMO and AKIGUMO, Guard Unit No. 1's DesDiv 21's WAKABA and HATSUSHIMO, DesDiv 32's NAGANAMI and Guard Unit No. 2's DesDiv 11's SHIMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's SAMIDARE with the Supply Force's converted cruiser AWATA MARU, oiler NIPPON MARU and kaibokan KUNASHIRI.

The mission is aborted due to weather.

18 July 1943:
Returns to Paramushiro.

19 July 1943:
Refuels from oiler TEIYO MARU.

22 July 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

26 July 1943:
At 1745, while steaming in column, KUNASHIRI collides with ABUKUMA, hitting her starboard quarter. WAKABA veers to starboard and is hit by HATSUSHIMO on her starboard quarter. HATSUSHIMO ricochets against the NAGANAMI. WAKABA and KUNASHIRI are sent back to Paramushiro.

29 July 1943:
Kiska. KISO and the remaining units anchor in Trout Lagoon.

29 July 1943:
Departs Kiska in the No. 2 Transport Unit with ABUKUMA (No. 1 Transport Unit) and DesDiv 10. The KISO evacuates 1,189 personnel from Kiska.

31 July 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

3 August 1943:
Departs Paramushiro.

6 August 1943:
Arrives at Otaru.

10 August 1943:
Departs Otaru.

11 August 1943:
Arrives at Ominato.

6 September 1943:
Departs Ominato.

9 September 1943:
The KISO arrives at Kure.

14 September 1943:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Ujina.

15 September 1943:
Embarks troops of the IJA's 17th Infantry Division's 107th Infantry and departs Ujina with TAMA in troop movment "Tei No. 1".

22 September 1943:
Arrives at Ponape, Caroline Islands. Disembarks troops and departs.

23 September 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

29 September 1943:
Departs Truk with TAMA.

4 October 1943:
KISO arrives at Kure. Captain Sawa Isamu assumes command. Captain Kawai is reassigned to the Naval General Staff, Personnel.

9 October 1943:
Departs Kure.

11 October 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai, China.

12 October 1943:
Embarks 474 troops of the IJA's 17th Division 54th InfantryRegiment's 2nd Battalion and departs Wusong (Shanghai) with TAMA in the first convoy of movement "Tei No. 4".

13 October 1943:
East China Sea. Lookouts aboard LtCdr John A. Moore's USS GRAYBACK (SS-208) spot KISO and TAMA making 16 knots. One of the cruisers is correctly identified as one of the KUMA-class, but the other is misidentied as one of the NAGARA-class. Moore gives chase at flank speed for a few minutes, but then the cruisers zig towards him. Before he can set-up for an attack, they zag away.

18 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

19 October 1943:
Departs Truk with destroyer UZUKI.

21 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Disembarks troops and departs with TAMA. Destroyer SAMIDARE joins the convoy's escort.

53 miles from Cape St. George. The cruisers are attacked by RAAF Bristol "Beaufort" bombers from Guadalcanal. KISO sustains a direct hit by a 250-lb. bomb. TAMA's hull plates are damaged by near-misses. Both cruisers return to Rabaul. KISO undergoes emergency repairs. TAMA departs Rabaul later that day.

At 0020, USN codebreakers intercept a message from KISO that reads: “At 0020 in position 53 miles bearing 40 degrees from Cape St. George received bomb hit in starboard engine room. Can make half speed. ----. This ship is heading for Rabaul.”

At 1215, USN codebreakers intercept a message from CO of TAMA that reads: “In command of KISO , UZUKI proceeding to Rabaul at 24 knots. At 0004, 40 miles from Cape St. George attacked by enemy aircraft. KISO received hit in No. 2 ---- as a result of low altitude bombing which started fires and stopped her. This vessel stood by and while doing so, was attacked at 0036 by two monoplanes. Four near misses, but no damage. Eventually took KISO in tow and screened by UZUKI headed again for Rabaul. Between 0200 and 0300 received 2 more attacks with no further damage. KISO after emergency repairs at Rabaul will have to go to the Empire via Truk on repairs. ”

28 October 1943:
KISO departs Rabaul.

30 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Undergoes further temporary repairs.

4 November 1943:
Departs Truk.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels.

9 November 1943:
Departs Tokuyama.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru. Drydocked. Undergoes permanent repairs and modification. Two 140-mm gun mounts are removed and replaced by a dual 127-mm HA gun mount. Three triple mount and six single mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are also installed bringing their total to 19 (3x3, 2x2, 6x1).

24 February 1944:
Captain Imamura Ryonosuke assumes command.

27 February 1944:
Undocked.

3 March 1944:
Repairs and modification are completed. Departs Maizuru.

4 March 1944:
Arrives at Mutsu Bay. Remains there for the next three months.

11 March 1944:
Refuels from oiler TEIYO MARU.

9 May 1944:
Refuels from oiler TEIYO MARU.

28 May 1944:
Kawauchi Bay. Refuels from oiler TEIYO MARU.

19 June 1944:
Departs Ominato.

22 June 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 June 1944:
Departs Yokosuka with TAMA carrying army reinforcements to Ogasawara Gunto (Bonins).

1 July 1944:
Lands troops at Futami Harbor, Chichi-jima, Bonins.

2 July 1944:
Departs Chichi-jima.

3 July 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka with TAMA.

11 August 1944:
Departs Yokosuka.

12 August 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Guard and training duties.

September 1944:
Kure. Tests a new shipborne surface No. 215 fire-control radar, but it does not perform well and is removed.

20 October 1944: American Operation "KING TWO" - The Invasion of Leyte, Philippines:
Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet of 738 ships including 18 aircraft carriers, six battleships, 17 cruisers, 64 destroyers and over 600 support ships land the Army's X Corps (24th Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions) and the XXIV Corps (7th, 77th and 96th Infantry Divisions) that begin the campaign to retake Leyte.

25 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO" - The Battle off Samar:
Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) First Diversion Attack Force (battleships YAMATO, NAGATO, HARUNA, KONGO and five heavy cruisers) surprises Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Clifton A. F. Sprague's (former CO of TANGIER, AV-8) Task Unit 77.4.3's "Taffy Three" of six escort carriers, three destroyers and four destroyer escorts. Kurita's force sinks GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73), HOEL (DD-533), JOHNSTON (DD-557) and the SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE-413) and damages FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70) and KALININ BAY (CVE-68).

27 October 1944:
Departs Kure for Sasebo with carrier JUNYO and DesDiv 30's UZUKI, YUZUKI and the AKIKAZE carrying a resupply of ammunition for Vice Admiral Kurita's fleet.

30 October 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

1 November 1944:
Arrives at Mako.

2 November 1944:
Departs Mako with JUNYO, UZUKI, YUZUKI and AKIKAZE.

3 November 1944:
160 miles W of Cape Bolinao, Luzon, Philippines. Lt Cdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey in USS PINTADO (SS-387) receives an "Ultra" signal from ComSubPac's codebreakers alerting him that a Japanese carrier, "a battleship or cruiser" and three destroyers are heading S through the Formosa Strait. Clarey's wolfpack of PINTADO, JALLAO (SS-368) and ATULE (SS-403) with LtCdr John P. Roach's pack of HADDOCK (SS-231), HALIBUT (SS-232) and TUNA (SS-203) form a picket line to intercept the carrier group.

At 2200, Clarey picks up the carrier flanked by two destroyers with another destroyer ahead and a light cruiser astern. Clarey notes the carrier has a small island forward of amidships. He sets up and fires all six of his bow torpedoes - four at the carrier and two at a destroyer. Suddenly, one of the destroyers comes between the torpedoes and the carrier. LtCdr Yamazaki Nitaro's AKIKAZE is hit by four torpedoes. She blows apart and sinks in four minutes with all hands. KISO, JUNYO, UZUKI and YUKUZI are not hit. They escape and are not located again by the wolfpacks.

6 November 1944:
Arrives at Brunei. Ammunition is unloaded.

8 November 1944:
Departs Brunei with JUNYO, cruisers TONE, HAGURO and ASHIGARA, DesDiv 30's UZUKI and YUZUKI following the battleships YAMATO, KONGO and NAGATO, light cruiser YAHAGI with DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and YUKIKAZE towards Pratas Island (near the Formosa Strait).

Later, KISO, JUNYO, TONE and DesDiv 30 are detached to Manila.

10 November 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Assigned as the flagship of DesRon 1, Fifth Fleet, replacing ABUKUMA, sunk on 26 October.

13 November 1944:
Manila Bay. Because of the threat of American carrier strikes on Luzon, KISO is ordered to return to Brunei that evening carrying Vice Admiral Shima Kiyohide (former CO of OI), CINC, Fifth Fleet.

That morning, before she can depart, while underway in the bay, the KISO and other shipping are attacked by more than 350 carrier planes of Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman’s (former CO of LEXINGTON, CV-2) Task Force 38’s carrier task groups 38.1's USS HORNET (CV-12), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and COWPENS (CVL-25), TG 38.3's ESSEX (CV-9), TICONDEROGA (CV-14) and LANGLEY (CVL-27) and TG 38.4's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and SAN JACINTO (CVL-30). [2]

Between 0800 and 0923, three bombs hit the KISO to starboard - one in the bow, one near her boiler rooms and one near her aft gun mounts. She loses all power and by 1330 her foredecks are awash. KISO sinks in shallow water eight miles W of Cavite at 14-35N, 120-50E.

TF 38's raid on Manila also sinks destroyers HATSUHARU and OKINAMI and seven merchant ships. Destroyers AKISHIMO and already damaged AKEBONO are hit while alongside a pier at nearby Cavite dockyard. They are set afire by bombs and sink the next day.

Eighty-nine men are lost and 105 wounded. The majority of these casualties are amongst the embarked Fifth Fleet staff personnel. Captain Imamura and most of KISO's crew survive.

20 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

15 December 1955:
Manila Bay. The Nippon Salvage Company refloats KISO's wreck.

30 January 1956:
The hulk of KISO is brought into Manila Harbor for breaking up.


Authors' Notes:
[1] This action reciprocated a similar action by the Japanese in 1925 when light cruiser TAMA returned the body of the late United States Ambassador to Japan, Edgar A. Bancroft.

[2] Sherman was in temporary command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's TF 38.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks for assistance also goes to "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands and diver Kevin Denlay of Australia. Thanks also go to John Whitman.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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