(KUMANO in 1939 - colorized by Irotooko, Jr)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2018 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 16

5 April 1934:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki's shipyard.

15 October 1936:
Launched and named KUMANO. Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, a second cousin to Emperor Hirohito, represents the Imperial family at the ceremony, led by Navy Minister, Admiral Nagano Osami (28).

1 Decembber 1936:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Suga Hikojiro (38)(former ComDesDiv 27) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

31 October 1937:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to Kure Naval District. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (39)(former ComDesDiv 19) is the Commanding Officer.

1 December 1937:
Reassigned to the reorganized CruDiv 7 with MIKUMA and SUZUYA.

6 December 1937:
Designated the flagship of ComCruDiv 7, Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Sawamoto Yorio (36).

15 November-15 December 1938:
Captain Nishimura is appointed the CO of HYUGA, retaining his post as the CO of KUMANO as additional duty.

18 May 1939:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Yatsushiro Sukeyoshi (40)(former CO of KUMA) is appointed the CO.

20 October 1939:
Kure Navy Yard. Reconstruction is completed.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Arima Kaoru (42)(former chief of the Navy Ministry Education Bureau's 2nd Section) is appointed the CO.

15 October 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Obata Chozaemon (43)(former CO of OKINOSHIMA) is appointed the CO.

22 September 1940:
Vichy France cedes airfields and agrees to admission of Japanese troops into northern Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam). The United States responds by placing a ban on the export of steel, scrap metal and aviation fuel to Japan.

24 May 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tanaka Kikumatsu (43)(former Naval Gunnery School instructor) is appointed the CO.

16 July 1941:
CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, MIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA depart Kure.

22 July 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

23 July 1941: Operation "FU"- The Occupation of South Indochina (Cochinchina) :
Japanese and Vichy French authorities arrive at an "understanding" regarding the use of air facilities and harbors in Southern Indochina. From the next day on, Japanese forces occupy the country.

25 July 1941:
CruDiv 7 departs Samah escorting an army convoy, perhaps also with ASHIGARA and CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU.

30 July 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

31 July 1941:
Departs Saigon.

7 August 1941:
Arrives at Sukumo Bay, Japan.

19 August 1941:
Departs Sukumo Bay.

20 August 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

20 November 1941:
KUMANO is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (former CO of HIEI) Fourth Fleet as flagship of Rear Admiral (promoted Vice Admiral 1 May 1942) Kurita Takeo's CruDiv 7 with MIKUMA, MOGAMI and SUZUYA.

That day, CruDiv 7 (except KUMANO) and CHOKAI depart Kure for Samah, Hainan Island, Occupied China.

23 November 1941:
KUMANO departs Kure.

26 November 1941:
CruDiv 7 and CHOKAI arrive at Samah.

29 November 1941:
KUMANO arrives at Samah.

2 December 1941:
CruDiv 7 receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that the X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). [1]

4 December 1941:
CruDiv 7 departs Samah southward in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) First Southern Expeditionary Fleet with CHOKAI, light cruiser YURA, FUBUKI, SHIRAKUMO, AYANAMI, ISONAMI, SHIKINAMI, MURAKUMO, SHIRAYUKI and HATSUYUKI.

8 December 1941: Operation "E" - The Invasion of Malaya:
CruDiv 7's operates off Cap Camau during the landings at Singora, Patani and Kota Bharu. Provides close support.

9 December 1941:
SE of Indochina near Poulo Condore Island, Indochina. At 1415, the submarine I-65 reports that she has spotted "two enemy battleships, course 340, speed 14 knots". This is Vice Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips' Force Z: Captain J. C. Leach's new battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain (later Vice Admiral) W. G. Tennant's old battlecruiser HMS REPULSE, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, EXPRESS, TENEDOS and Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE. Phillips had sortied from Singapore to find and attack the Malaya invasion transports.

Several Kawanishi E7K2 "Alf" floatplanes shadow Force Z until sundown. After 2050 (JST) the E7K2 No. 2 from KUMANO goes MIA with its 3-strong crew.

CruDiv 7 and DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 19's AYANAMI, ISONAMI, SHIKINAMI and URANAMI are ordered to make night attack on Force Z.

10 December 1941:
At dawn, CruDiv 7 and DesRon 3 join BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO. After the British ships are reported sunk by aircraft, CruDiv 7 departs the area for Poulo Condore.

13 December 1941:
Departs Camranh Bay, Indochina with SUZUYA.

16 December 1941:
Provides cover for the invasion landing at Miri, northern Borneo.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh.

5-10 January 1942:
Escorts convoys with SUZUYA.

16 January 1942:
CruDiv 7 departs Camranh with CHOKAI, light cruisers SENDAI and YURA and destroyers to intercept British units out of Singapore, Malaya. The orders are later cancelled.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Camranh.

23 January 1942:
Departs Camranh with SUZUYA, DesDiv 19's AYANAMI and ISONAMI to cover landings on Anambas Island.

26 January 1942:
Joins light cruiser YURA from Cap St Jacques to cover the landings on Endau, Malaya.

30 January 1942:
Returns to Camranh with SUZUYA and DesDiv 19's destroyers.

10 February 1942:
In the morning, CruDiv 7 departs Camranh Bay with CHOKAI to escort 25 invasion transports.

That same day, LtCdr Theodore Aylward's USS SEARAVEN (SS-196) receives an "Ultra" message from Captain (later Vice Admiral) John Wilkes, ComSubAsia in Java alerting SEARAVEN that a convoy departed Camranh Bay heading towards Sumatra. Aylward races to the position given, submerges and waits.

11 February 1942:
In the morning, in heavy seas, the convoy appears on the horizon. Aylward sets up on two heavy cruisers and at close range fires two torpedoes at each cruiser, but all four Mk.14 torpedoes miss.

13 February 1942: Operation "L" - The Invasion of Borneo and Sumatra:
Cru Div 7 covers the invasion landings at Palembang and Banka Island, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies.

17 February 1942:
CruDiv 7 detaches for refueling and resupply at Anambas Island.

24 February 1942:
CruDiv 7 departs Anambas Island for the invasion of Java, NEI.

24 February 1942:
Detaches with SUZUYA to cover the landings at Indramaju.

1 March 1942:
CruDiv 7 at Java.

4 March 1942:
CruDiv 7 departs Java.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at the Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

9 March 1942:
CruDiv 7 and CHOKAI depart Singapore.

12 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Invasion of Northern Sumatra, NEI:
Covers the landings at Sabang and Iri.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 March 1942:
CruDiv 7 and CHOKAI depart Singapore to support the seizure of Andaman Islands.

26 March 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
That same day, Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Carrier Striking Force sorties from Staring Bay via Timor Sea into the Indian Ocean with CarDiv 1's AKAGI, CarDiv 2's SORYU and HIRYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3's KONGO, HIEI, HARUNA HEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI, ARARE and KAGERO, DesDiv 4's MAIKAZE and HAGIKAZE, CarDiv 5's AKIGUMO and fleet oiler SHINKOKU MARU.

1 April 1942:
At 1100, Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malaya Force, departs Mergui and steams into the Bay of Bengal to attack merchant shipping with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI (F) and CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruiser YURA and destroyers FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI and MURAKUMO, which are replaced on 3 April by AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE. YURA and CHOKAI support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.

4 April 1942:
350 miles S of Ceylon. About 1600, the carrier Striking Force is located by the Consolidated PBY "Catalina" flying boat QL-A of 413 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flown by squadron leader Squadron Leader Leonard Birchall, out of Koggala. Birchall manages to radio in the position of the Japanese fleet before his "Catalina" is shot down by six A6M2 "Zeke" fighters from HIRYU. Birchall is one of the six survivors of the crew of nine picked up by ISOKAZE.

5 April 1942, Easter Sunday: The Attack on the British naval base at Colombo:
At 0730, 127 aircraft from the Striking Force (53 Nakajima B5N2 "Kate" dive-bombers [18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 17 from AKAGI], 38 Aichi D3A1 "Val" torpedo-bombers [19 each from SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU] and 36 Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" fighters (9 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU and ZUIKAKU) of the "Kido Butai's" aircraft, led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo, attack the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

The planes damage the base's facilities, destroy at least 26 aircraft and sink the destroyer HMS TENEDOS, undergoing refit, the armed merchant cruiser HMS HECTOR and the 5834-ton Norwegian tanker SOLI. The planes also damage the submarine tender HMS LUCIA, the 5,943-ton British freighter BENLEDI and the 5,950-ton British freighter CLAN MUROCH.

A Kawanishi E7K2 "Alf" floatplane from TONE locates Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet Sir) James Somerville's (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE - without air cover. Between 1338-1400, 53 D3A1 "Val" dive-bombers, led by LtCdr Egusa Takashige (SORYU's Air Group Commander), sink both ships. 424 RN personnel are killed. After the attack, the Striking Force withdraws to the SE and searches unsuccessfully for the rest of Somerville's fleet.

Meanwhile, during the afternoon aircraft from RYUJO sink the 5,082-ton British cargo vessel HARPASA and damage two other merchantmen, the 7,823-ton British ship DARDANUS and the 4,839-ton US-built Greek ship POINT CLEAR. At 2030, Ozawa's Mobile Force separates into three groups to attack merchant shipping in the Bay of Bengal. CruDiv 7/1's KUMANO and SUZUYA, under Rear Admiral Kurita, form the Northern Group with destroyer SHIRAKUMO. Carrier RYUJO, CHOKAI, SubRon 5's light cruiser YURA, DesDiv 20's YUGIRI and ASAGIRI form the Center Group under Admiral Ozawa. MOGAMI, MIKUMA and destroyer AMAGIRI form the Southern Group.

(Tracks of Nagumo and Ozawa's Forces)

6 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. At about 0600, the three ships of Ozawa's Northern Group attack and sink the 5,381-ton Norwegian tanker ELSA. After 0730, KUMANO, SUZUYA and destroyer SHIRAKUMO intercept a six-ship convoy and sink the 4,986-ton American Export Line's EXMOOR (ex-CITY OF ST. JOSEPH), the 9,066-ton British freighter MALDA, the 7,718-ton British freighter AUTOLYCUS and the 2,441-ton British freighter SHINKUANG at 19N, 86E. Ozawa's cruisers also sink the 6,622-ton British freighter INDORA and Captain J. H. Gregory's British India Line's 4,921-ton cargo ship SILKSWORTH. About 50 of SILKSWORTH's mostly Chinese crewmen survive.

Temporarily detached from the rest of Ozawa's Center Group, YURA and YUGIRI sink the 1,279-ton Dutch merchant BATAVIA en route from Calcutta to Karachi. YURA and YUGIRI also sink the 1,279-ton Dutch freighter BANJOEWANGI and the 3,471-ton British steamer TAKSANG.

The rest of the Center Group, RYUJO, CHOKAI and ASAGIRI, sink five ships:
The 5,491-ton American freighter BIENVILLE is bombed by RYUJO's aircraft, finished off by gunfire from CHOKAI (reportedly also from RYUJO), and then scuttled a torpedo from CHOKAI.
The 6,426-ton British cargo ship GANGES is attacked by one of CHOKAI's floatplanes and two of RYUJO's aircraft, and is then sunk by gunfire from the surface ships, including gunfire from RYUJO.
The 2,646-ton British ship SINKIANG is attacked by aircraft and then likewise sunk by gunfire.
The 5,686-ton American freighter SELMA CITY is bombed by CHOKAI's floatplanes. She is also attacked and hit by two aircraft from RYUJO, but by then is already sinking and abandoned.
The 2,073-ton Dutch freighter VAN DER CAPELLEN is bombed and damaged by RYUJO's aircraft and sinks two days later.

That same day, the 5,268-ton British freighter ANGLO-CANADIAN is attacked by five aircraft from RYUJO, including two armed with torpedoes, score one bomb hit, which does not explode but which starts a fire. Also that day, RYUJO launches strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam. The 3,827-ton British merchant MARION MOLLER is damaged at Vizagapatam.

Ozawa's Southern Group sinks four ships. They first encounter disabled DARDANUS, under tow by the 5,281-ton British ship GANDARA. The three Japanese ships promptly open fire on the two merchantmen, which are finished off with torpedoes from AMAGIRI. Two Norwegian vessels the 4,434-ton DAGFRED and the 1,515-ton HERMOD are then sunk.

In all Ozawa's commerce raiding detachment sinks twenty ships of about 93,247 tons during their brief foray in the Bay of Bengal.

9 April 1942: The Attack on the British naval base at Trincomalee:
At 0600, Nagumo's Striking Force launches 132 aircraft led by Cdr Fuchida to attack the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon (91 B5N2 Kate dive-bombers [18 from AKAGI, 18 from SORYU and 18 from HIRYU, 19 from SHOKAKU and 18 from ZUIKAKU] and 41 A6M2 "Zeke" fighters [6 from AKAGI, 9 from SORYU, 6 from HIRYU, 10 from SHOKAKU and 10 from ZUIKAKU]).

The Japanese find the harbor almost empty of warships, but sink the 9,066-ton British merchant SAGAING, carrying three crated Fairey "Albacore" torpedo bombers and a "Walrus" amphibian, and damage the old 15-inch monitor HMS EREBUS. The non-operational Dutch light cruiser SUMATRA is also hit, but the 800 kg bomb does not explode. Outside the harbor, the southbound 4,784-ton Greek MARIONGA D. THERMIOTIS is damaged by strafing and seven men are wounded.

HARUNA launches an E8N2 "Dave" floatplane. At 0755, it spots an enemy carrier 65 miles south of the base. Between 0843 and 0853, the Striking Force launches 85 D3A Vals, (18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SHOKAKU, 17 from AKAGI and 14 from ZUIKAKU), escorted by 9 A6M Zekes (3 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU) which sink old light carrier HMS HERMES. 306 RN personnel are KIA, but hospital ship HMHS VITA, en route from Trincomalee to Colombo, arrives and picks up over 600 survivors.

Other sailors are rescued by local craft or swim to shore. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE, 8 KIA, corvette HMS HOLLYHOCK, 53 KIA, oilers ATHELSTANE and BRITISH SERGEANT and Norwegian merchant ship NORVIKEN.

11 April 1942:
Ozawa's Force arrives at Singapore.

13 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh.

17 April 1942:
Departs Camranh.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 April 1942:
Kure. Drydocked.

4 May 1942:

15 May 1942:
CruDiv 7 departs Kure for three days of exercises with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, NAGATO and MUTSU in the area around Hashirajima.

18 May 1942:
Arrives back at Kure.

22 May 1942:
CruDiv7 departs Hashirajima that night.

26 May 1942:
CruDiv 7 arrives at Guam to provide close support for Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) Midway Invasion Transport Group's oiler AKEBONO MARU and transports KIYOSUMI, ZENYO, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AZUMA, KEIYO, GOSHU, KANO, HOKURIKU, KIRISHIMA and NANKAI MARUs and TOA MARU No. 2. The transports carry an airfield construction unit, LtCol Ichiki Kiyonao's IJA detachment and two battalions of Special Naval Landing Forces.

KUMANO refuels from an oiler.

28 May 1942:
Departs Guam with the Close Support Group.

30 May 1942:
Makes a rendezvous with the Transport Group with ARASHI, ASASHIO and oiler NICHIEI MARU.

5 June 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
CruDiv 7 is ordered to bombard Midway, but the orders are later canceled.

At 2138, flagship KUMANO spots surfaced submarine USS TAMBOR (SS-198). KUMANO signals a 45-degree simultaneous turn to starboard to avoid possible torpedoes. The emergency turn is correctly executed by the flagship and SUZUYA, but the third ship in the line, MIKUMA, erroneously makes a 90-degree turn. Behind her, MOGAMI turns 45 degrees as ordered. MOGAMI's navigator, LtCdr (later Captain) Yamauchi Masaki (51), watching SUZUYA does not see MIKUMA's movement. This results in a collision in which MOGAMI rams MIKUMA's portside below the bridge. MOGAMI's bow caves in and she is badly damaged. MIKUMA's portside oil tanks rupture and she begins to spill oil, but otherwise her damage is slight.

Admiral Kurita orders MIKUMA and DesDiv 8's ARASHIO and ASASHIO to stay behind and escort MOGAMI. Flagship KUMANO and SUZUYA are detached from damaged MOGAMI and MIKUMA. The MOGAMI group proceeds westward at a reduced speed of 17 knots.

13 June 1942:
Arrive at Truk.

17-23 June 1942:
Departs Truk with SUZUYA, and destroyers ARARE and KASUMI.

20 June 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (former CO of HARUNA) is appointed CO of CruDiv 7. Vice Admiral Kurita is later appointed ComBatDiv 3.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 July 1942:
CruDiv 7 is transferred from the Second Fleet (Cruisers) to the Third Fleet (Carriers).

17 July 1942:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA depart Hashirajima.

25 July 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

28 July 1942: Operation "B" - The Invasion of Burma:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA depart Singapore.

29 July 1942:
W of Poeloe Perak, Straits of Malacca, Malaya. Dutch LtCdr Albertus M. Valkenburg's submarine Hr.Ms. O-23 sights two zig-zagging MOGAMI-class cruisers (KUMANO and SUZUYA), protected by four destroyers at a distance of about 7 miles. At 0600, Valkenburg fires four German G7 AD type torpedoes, but all miss. The Japanese counter-attack with depth charges. A cruiser and a destroyer head towards O-23. More depth charges are dropped. Valkenburg finds a thermal layer and slips away running silently. The IJN ships continue hunting for the O-23 for another six hours.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, Solomons:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (former CO of ASTORIA, CA-34) Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (MOH-'14/later Admiral) Frank J.Fletcher's (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20)Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take the island.

That same day, CruDiv 7 departs Mergui for the South Pacific.

14-16 August 1942:
CruDiv 7 refuels at Balikpapan, Borneo.

20 August 1942: Operation "KA" - The Recapture of Guadalcanal and the Destruction of the American Fleet:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(former CO of KONGO) Advanced Force departs Truk to reinforce Guadalcanal with Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU and CarDiv 2's RYUJO, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) BatDiv 11's HIEI, KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and destroyers.

24 August 1942: The Battle of Eastern Solomons:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA arrive and join CarDiv 1, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and DesRon 10. The Main Body cruises NE of Guadalcanal.

Detached light carrier RYUJO is sunk by aircraft from Rear Admiral Fletcher's Task Force 11 (USS SARATOGA, CV-3).

Around 1750 a flight of four B-17s of 11th Bombardment Group (H) from Espiritu Santo arrives, targeting the battleship KIRISHIMA. KUMANO provides AA support, firing her main battery Type 3 AA shells.

25 August 1942:
At 1455, CarDiv 1 launches an air attack on Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16's (ENTERPRISE, CV-6). ENTERPRISE is hit by three bombs, but is not sunk.

5 September 1942:
CruDiv 7 arrives at at Truk.

9 September 1942:
CruDiv 7 sorties from Truk with the Carrier Strike Force, BatDiv 11 and DesRon 10 to an area N of the Solomon Islands.

14 September 1942:
CruDiv 7 is attacked by 10 Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses". KUMANO suffers slight damage to a 25-mm AA gun mount.

23 September 1942:
Returns to Truk.

11 October 1942:
KUMANO sorties from Truk with Nagumo's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1 SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO and destroyers AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, ARASHI, MAIKAZE, TERUZUKI and YAMAKAZE.

17-18 October 1942:
The fleet refuels at sea.

26 October 1942:
One Kawanishi E7K2 "Alf" floatplane from KUMANO is temporarily transferred to KIRISHIMA.

26 October 1942:The Battle of Santa Cruz:
Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force engages Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE and TF 17's HORNET (CV-8). Nagumo's planes sink HORNET and damage SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and SAN JUAN (CL-54).

30 October 1942:
Returns to Truk where the E7K2 floatplane is returned to KUMANO.

2 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Kure.

7 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

15 November 1942:

20 November 1942:

22 November 1942:
Departs Kure.

27 November 1942:
Arrrives at Manila.

29 November-4 December 1942:
Embarks army troops and departs.

4 December 1942:
Arrrives at Rabaul. Disembarked troops.

5-6 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Kavieng. Flagship of Rear Admiral Nishimura.

12-13 December 1942:
Troop transport run to Lorengau.

13 December-11 February 1943:
At Kavieng.

11-13 February 1943:
Departed Kavieng for Truk.

13 February 1943:
At Truk with SUZUYA.

17 February 1943:
Captain Fujita Toshizo (42)(former CO of JINTSU) is appointed the CO.

24 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Kure with SUZUYA.

6-15 April 1943:
In drydock at Kure. KUMANO's twin 13-mm machine guns are removed and replaced by two triple mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns bringing their suite to 20 barrels (4x3, 4x2). A Type 21 air-search radar is fitted and most of her middle and lower deck scuttles are welded over.

20 May 1943:
After refueling, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA and MOGAMI depart the Tokuyama Fuel Depot.

21 May 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay.

31 May 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Tokyo Bay.

2 June 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

11 June 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Kure for Yokosuka. Embarks the 28th airfield defense unit to be transferred to Rabaul.

16 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk with Vice Admiral Kurita's Vanguard Force: CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, escort carriers RYUHO, UNYO and CHUYO, DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, USHIO, DesDiv 24's SUZUKAZE, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, SHIGURE, YUGURE and DesDiv 31's KIYONAMI.

17 June 1943:
A lookout in LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Frank T. Watkins' USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) sights the task group making 20 knots. Watkins is unable to gain an attack position, but reports the sighting.

21 June 1943:
LtCdr George A. Sharp's USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) intercepts and attacks one of the escort carriers, but he misses with four torpedoes. The Vanguard Force arrives safely at Truk at 1300 (JST) that same day.

23 June 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Truk with destroyer NIIZUKI.

25 June 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul and disembarks the airfield defense unit.

27 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

9 July 1943:
CruDiv7 departs Truk for Rabaul.

18 July 1943:
CruDiv7 departs Rabaul for the Vella Gulf with CHOKAI, DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and her four destroyers to cover other destroyer-transports carrying troop reinforcements.

Off Kolombangara, the force is attacked by Guadalcanal-based Marine "Avenger" TBM torpedo-bombers. A near-miss damages KUMANO's aft hull plates.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

21-29 July 1943:
Undergoes emergency repairs by repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

29 July 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

31 July-28 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Undergoes further repairs by repair ship AKASHI.

28 August-2 September 1943:
Departs Truk for Kure.

2 September-31 October 1943:
Repaired at Kure.

3 November 1943:
Departs Kure.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the Gilberts:
Forces under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance (former CO of MISSISSIPPI, BB-41), Commander, Central Pacific, invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. Spruance's invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.

24 November 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Truk with DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI, HAMAKAZE, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI in response to the invasion of Tarawa. Fleet tanker NIPPON MARU, escorted by destroyers YAMAGUMO, MAIKAZE and NOWAKI, provides support.

26-27 November 1943:
At Kwajalein.

28-29 November 1943:
At Eniwetok.

30 November-3 December 1943:
At Roi.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 December 1943:
Flagship of CruDiv 7.

26 December 1943:
Departs Truk with SUZUYA on a transport run to Kavieng, but they are sighted by American aircraft so the mission is aborted.

28 December 1943:
Arrives back at Truk.

29 December 1944:
Departs Truk with SUZUYA and destroyer MICHISHIO on another transport run to Kavieng.

1 January 1944:
Arrives back at Truk. That day, CruDiv 8 is disbanded. TONE and CHIKUMA are assigned to CruDiv 7.

1 February 1944: The Evacuation of Truk:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA and TONE depart Truk with BatDiv 1's NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and URAKAZE and DesDiv 61's AKIZUKI. At 1000, a lookout aboard LtCdr Carter L. Bennett's USS PERMIT (SS-178) sights the task group leaving Truk, but Bennett is unable to attack.

4 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

16 February 1944:
Departs Palau with the task group in anticipation of an air raid. An enemy submarine is sighted at 08-00N, 131-00E.

17 February 1944:
Another enemy submarine is sighted at 05-30N, 125-40E.

20 February 1944:
South China Sea. N of Singapore. After sunset, a lookout aboard LtCdr Frank G. Selby's USS PUFFER (SS-268) sights the 10-ship task group, but Selby is unable to attack.

Lookouts in NAGATO group sight an enemy submarine, probably PUFFER, at 04-16N, 108-40 E.

21 February 1944:
Arrives at Lingga (near Singapore). Participates in battle exercises thereafter.

1 March 1944:
The Combined Fleet is reorganized as the First Mobile Fleet.

21 March-11 May 1944:
At Lingga with SUZUYA. Training.

24 March-7 April 1944:
Eight single-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed at Singapore. This brings KUMANO's AA suite to a total of 28 barrels (4x3, 4x2 and 8x1).

25 March 1944:
Rear Admiral (promoted Vice Admiral 15 October) Shiraishi Kazutaka (42)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) is appointed ComCruDiv 7.

29 March 1944:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Hitomi Soichiro (47)(former chief of the Navy Ministry Education Bureau's 2nd Section) is appointed the CO.

11 May 1944:
Steams from Lingga to the old American anchorage at Tawi Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet.

13 May 1944:
KUMANO arrives at Tawi Tawi with Vice Admiral Kurita's Force "C" Vanguard: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, BatDiv 3, CarDiv 3's CHITOSE, CHIYODA and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's (former CO of NAGATO) DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO, DesDiv 31's ASASHIMO, KISHINAMI, OKINAMI and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, SHIMIKAZE and HAMAKAZE.

15-17 May 1944:
Departs Tawi Tawi with SUZUYA for Tarakan, Borneo to refuel. Returns to Tawi Tawi.

8 June 1944:
Tawi Tawi. KUMANO receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

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.

Ozawa's Mobile Fleet departs Tawi Tawi (less Operation "Kon's" BatDiv 1, CruDiv 5) for Guimaras near Panay Island, Philippines. At 1000, LtCdr Marshall H. Austin's USS REDFIN (SS-272) sights and reports the departing Mobile Fleet.

14 June 1944:
At Guimaras. Refuels from Supply Group No. 2's oilers.

15 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet departs Guimaras through the Visayan Sea. At 1622, the fleet is sighted in the San Bernardino Strait by lookouts aboard LtCdr Robert Risser's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229).

17 June 1944:
Lookouts aboard LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler's USS CAVALLA (SS-244) sight the fleet in the Philippine Sea. Kossler reports its movement after surfacing later that evening.

18-19 June 1944:
Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces "A" and "B" proceed southward. The Vanguard Force "C" proceeds due east in the Philippine Sea headed towards Saipan. The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack the U.S. Task Force 58 off Saipan, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".

20 June 1944:
At 1830, Curtiss SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers and TBM torpedo-bombers from USS BUNKER HILL (CVL-17), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and CABOT (CVL-28) attack BatDiv 3 and carrier CHIYODA. During the battle, air attacks sink carrier HIYO and damage battleship HARUNA, carriers ZUIKAKU, JUNYO, CHIYODA and RYUHO. Meanwhile, Kossler's CAVALLA sinks SHOKAKU and LtCdr James W. Blanchard's ALBACORE (SS-218) sinks new armored carrier TAIHO. The Mobile Fleet retires to Okinawa.

22 June 1944:
Arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa for refueling destroyers, then departs.

24 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet arrives at Hashirajima.

25 June 1944:
At Kure for refit. Additional 25-mm. AA installed. A Type 22 surface search radar and a Type 13 air search radar are installed.

8 July 1944:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA are loaded with troops and supplies. They depart Kure with Group "A": BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI and DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and her destroyers. Group "A" is accompanied by Group "B": BatDiv 1's NAGATO, BatDiv 3's KONGO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI and DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and her destroyers.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Okinawa. Group "A" detaches and departs Okinawa.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore, offloads troops and supplies.

17 July 1944:
Proceeds to Lingga (S of Singapore) to join the Mobile Fleet.

22 September 1944:
Lingga. KUMANO receives fresh provisions from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

5 October 1944:
Lingga. KUMANO receives fresh provisions from KITAKAMI MARU.

18 October 1944:
Vice Admiral Shirashi's CruDiv 7 departs Lingga in Vice Admiral Kurita's First Raiding Force with Vice Admiral Suzuki Yoshio's Force "B" (Northern Force): BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA and DesRon 10's YAHAGI and destroyers NOWAKI, URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.

20 October 1944:
Arrrives at Brunei Bay, Borneo.

22-26 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
Departs Brunei for Leyte Gulf via the San Bernardino Strait.

24 October 1944:
Tablas Strait. After 1024, KUMANO launches one of her two remaining floatplanes, the Aichi E13A1 "Jake" No. 1, heading for San Jose, Mindoro Island. During the ensuing air attacks KUMANO is attacked by 7 carrier planes (probably from USS ESSEX or LEXINGTON) and receives a bomb hit (a dud) to No. 4 turret roof. She expends around 70 main battery Type 3 AA rounds, over 200 12.7-cm and over 1,000 25-mm rounds.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
At 0724, when attacking TG 77.4.3's "Jeep" carriers, KUMANO is hit by a torpedo from destroyer USS JOHNSTON (DD-557). The Mk.15 tears a section of KUMANO's bow off. By 0830 Admiral Shiraishi and his staff are transferred to SUZUYA while KUMANO retires towards the San Bernardino Strait at 15 knots. Around noon she is mistakenly attacked by two Aichi E16A1 "Paul" floatplanes and soon thereafter by a Nakajima B6N2 "Jill" torpedo bomber, scoring no hits. A later attack by some 30 American torpedo and dive-bombers likewise produces no hits.

26 October 1944:
Tablas Strait, near the S tip of Mindoro Island. KUMANO is attacked by AG-7 aircraft from USS HANCOCK (CV-19) and receives two 1,000-lb bomb hits; a near miss causes flooding to No. 6 boiler room. Seven boilers are disabled and the starboard cruising turbine damaged; the cruiser goes dead in the water. After emergency repairs she can make 10 knots and proceeds to Coron Bay, rendezvousing with ASHIGARA and destroyer USHIO around 1330. ASHIGARA takes KUMANO in tow. Around 1630 KUMANO arrives at Coron Bay and refuels from the oiler NICHIEI MARU.

27 October 1944:
Around 0130 departs Coron for Manila, rendezvousing with OKINAMI en route.

28 October 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Emergency repairs are performed by the 103rd Naval Repair Unit (Cavite) on her bow and four boilers.

29 October 1944:
Manila. KUMANO and NACHI are attacked by Task Force 38's carrier planes.

3 November 1944:
Conducts a test run off Manila, developing a maximum speed of 15 knots.

4 November 1944:
At 0100, departs Manila for Takao, Formosa with AOBA in convoy MATA-31 with six freighters, two kaibokan frigates and five subchasers.

5 November 1944:
At 10,000-yards, convoy MATA-31 (15-ships with air cover) is spotted by lookouts aboard Cdr (later Rear Admiral) John K. Fyfe's USS BATFISH (SS-310). Fyfe makes a submerged approach on AOBA under the escorts, but when he comes to periscope depth, BATFISH is almost rammed by a destroyer. Fyfe aborts his approach and crash dives. Later, he fires six torpedoes at a large cargo ship, but they all miss.

6 November 1944:
Cape Bolinao, Luzon. The convoy is attacked by a wolf pack of composed of LtCdr (later Captain) Enrique D. Haskins' USS GUITARRO (SS-363), LtCdr W. G. Chapple's BREAM (SS-243), LtCdr Maurice W. Shea's RATON (SS-270) and LtCdr William T. Kinsella's RAY (SS-271). GUITARRO, BREAM and RAY share credit for sinking 6,800-ton transport KAGA MARU.

The four submarines fire 23 torpedoes at KUMANO. At 1052, she is hit by two torpedoes. One blows off her repaired bow section. The second hits near her starboard engine room. All four engine rooms are flooded. She takes on an 11-degree list to starboard and becomes unnavigable. At 1930, KUMANO is taken under tow by the 2,274-ton DORYO MARU and later arrives at Dasol Bay.

7 November 1944:
At 1500, arrives at Santa Cruz harbor, west coast of Luzon.

7-20 November 1944:
Santa Cruz harbor. Undergoes emergency repairs by personnel brought up from the Manila Repair Facility. Minesweeper W-11 keeps ASW lookout.

25 November 1944:
Santa Cruz harbor. KUMANO is attacked by aircraft from Task Force 38's USS TICONDEROGA (CV-14). She is hit by five Mk.13 torpedoes and four 500-lb. bombs. At 1515, KUMANO capsizes and sinks in 108 ft of water at 15-45N, 119-48E. 595 survivors are rescued, but Captain Hitomi and 398 sailors are killed. Captain Hitomi is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

20 January 1945:
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.

For more about KUMANO see Ship of Nine Lives: The long struggle of cruiser KUMANO.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Jean-François Masson of Canada and to Gilbert Casse of France.

Thanks also to the late John Whitman and to Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

Thanks go to Rob Stuart of Canada for additional info about "Operation C". For more info on "Operation C" please see Rob's splendid 20 Ships, Not 23: Ozawa's Score, 5-6 April 1942. NB: Older map on this TROM page erroneously shows 23 ships sunk.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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