JUNYOKAN!

(Sister HAGURO by Takeshi Yuki)

IJN MYOKO: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 21


25 October 1924:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Laid down.

16 April 1927:
Designated MYOKO. Launched in the presence of Emperor Hirohito (Showa) and some 150,000 spectators.

31 July 1929:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District. An unknown officer is the Commanding Officer.

1 November 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Niiyama Yoshiyuki (32)(CO of NACHI) assumes command as an additional duty.

29 November 1929:
An unknown officer assumes command.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ukita Hidehiko (37) assumes command.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Goga Keijiro (38) (former CO of AOBA) assumes command.

29 June 1936:
MYOKO's first reconstruction is completed at the Sasebo Navy Yard.

20 August 1937:
MYOKO departs Atsuta (near Nagoya) with cruisers ASHIGARA, HAGURO, MAYA and NACHI, light cruiser JINTSU and destroyers AKEBONO, AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI, AYANAMI, ISONAMI, OBORO, SHIKINAMI and YUGIRI. MYOKO is carrying 5th Infantry Brigade HQ and 5th Company of the 68th Infantry Regiment.

21 August 1937:
Arrives at the Saddle (Ma'an) Islands, NE Zhoushan archipelago, China. Troops are transferred to JINTSU and destroyers AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI, MURASAME, OBORO, SAMIDARE, USHIO, YUDACHI and YUGIRI.

1 December 1936:
An unknown officer assumes command.

25 April 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hoshina Zenshiro (41) assumes command.

10 May 1938:
MYOKO participates in an amphibious assault on Amoy (Xiamen) with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Koichi Shiozawa’s (32)(former CO of FURUTAKA) 5th Fleet consisting of CruDiv 9's MYOKO (F) and light cruiser TAMA, CruDiv 10's light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, DesRon 5's light cruiser NAGARA, DesDiv 3’s NADAKAZE, SHIMAKAZE, SHIOKAZE and DesDiv 16’s FUYO, ASAGAO and KARUKAYA, CarDiv 1's KAGA, DesDiv 29’s HAYATE and OITE, SORYU with DesDiv 30’s YAYOI and KISARAGI, auxiliary seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, collier MUROTO, CarDiv 3's KAMOI, auxiliaries SYURI, CHOJU, DELHI, EIKO, IKUTA, KAZAN, KURI, HAYA MARUs and DAIICHI MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 31, TAIKO, YODATI and auxiliary minelayers ENOSHIMA and ENTO (MAROSHIMA).

At dawn, the 5th Fleet’s warships, including DesDiv 16, bombard Ho-tsu, Ni-chin, and Wu-tung and cover an amphibious assault landing by more than 2,000 troops of the Yokosuka, Kure and Sasebo Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF). At the same time, NE of Xiamen (Amoy), Japanese aircraft from KAMOI and KAMIKAWA MARU bomb bridges, roads, ferries and ships. The poorly equipped Nationalist Chinese 75th Division defenders suffer heavy casualties, are overrun by the SNLFs and withdraw.

12 May 1938:
That night, Chinese forces abandon Amoy to the Japanese.

15 November 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral)(41) Ito Kenzo (former CO of SUNOSAKI) assumes command.

20 July 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso (40)(former CO of MIKUMA) assumes command.

15 November 1939:
An unknown officer assumes command.

15 November 1940:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously)(43) Yano Hideo (former CO of NAGARA) assumes command.

28 April 1941:
MYOKO's second reconstruction is completed at the Kure Navy Yard.

11 August 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamazumi Teijiro (former CO of NATORI) assumes command.

2 December 1941:
MYOKO is in Rear Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 5 with HAGURO and NACHI.

CruDiv 5 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).[1]

6 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO and NACHI depart Palau to provide cover for the planned landings at Davao and Legaspi in Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Philippine Seizure Force, Southern Force.

The Cover Force includes the light carrier RYUJO with the destroyer SHIOKAZE, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU and DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO, NATSUSHIO, OYASHIO and the KUROSHIO and DesDiv 16's YUKIKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE and AMATSUKAZE.

CruDiv 5 supports Rear Admiral Kubo Kyuji's (former CO of MIKUMA) Fourth Surprise Attack Force: seaplane tenders CHITOSE and MIZUHO, light cruisers NAGARA (F) and NAKA, five destroyers and seven transports.

11 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 covers the landings at Legaspi.

15 December 1941:
Returns to Palau.

17 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 departs Palau with Rear Admiral Tanaka's Southern Philippines Attack Force's RYUJO, CHITOSE, NAGARA, DesRon 2 and twelve transports.

19-20 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 supports the invasion landings at Davao.

24 December 1941:
CruDiv 5 supports the invasion landings at Jolo then returns to Palau.

29 December 1941:
Departs Palau.

31 December 1941:
Arrives in the Davao Gulf.

4 January 1942:
Malalag Bay, Davao Gulf. CruDiv 5 is with the Attack Force at the former U.S. Navy anchorage. At 1210, while anchored, they are attacked by B-17D ''Flying Fortresses" from Java. The bombers approach to the anchorage is difficult to detect due to the high mountains nearby. MYOKO is hit by one bomb. Rear Admiral Takagi's flag is transferred from MYOKO to NACHI.

5 January 1942:
MYOKO departs Malalag Bay. HAGURO and NACHI remain in Davao Gulf.

9 January 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo. Drydocked for battle damage repairs.

20 February:
Undocked. Departs Sasebo for Makassar with destroyer INAZUMA.

26 February 1942:
MYOKO and INAZUMA arrive at Makassar and join ASHIGARA, IKAZUCHI and AKEBONO All sortie the same day into the Java Sea.

27 February 1942: The Battle of the Java Sea:
NACHI and HAGURO engage cruisers HMS EXETER and USS HOUSTON (CA-30) and the Allied Force Commander Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Willem Frederick Marie Doorman's light cruiser HNMS DE RUYTER with guns and Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes.

At 1843, HAGURO sinks Lt t.z.1 Antoine Kroese's destroyer HNMS KORTENAER with torpedoes. 57 men are KIA. 113 men are rescued of whom 57 become POWs.

28 February 1942:
NACHI sinks Capt-Lt t.z. Philippus Bernardus Maria van Straelen's light cruiser HNMS JAVA with a torpedo. 515 men are KIA and 43 are rescued to become POWs.

HAGURO sinks Capt-Lt t.z. Eugne Edouard Bernard Lacomblé's DE RUYTER with torpedoes. 344 are KIA. 142 men are rescued of which 140 become POWs.

HOUSTON and HMAS PERTH retire to Batavia (Djakarta), Java.

At 1900, after refueling, HOUSTON and PERTH sortie for Tjilatjap via the Sunda Strait. At 2215 HOUSTON and PERTH attack Japanese troop transports screened only by destroyers HARUKAZE, HATAKAZE and FUBUKI. The destroyers make smoke to mask the transports. FUBUKI charges HOUSTON and PERTH and launches torpedoes.

At 2300, the Western Support Force's cruisers MIKUMA and MOGAMI, destroyer SHIKINAMI and Third Escort Force's light cruiser NATORI, destroyers SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI, ASAKAZE arrive and engage HOUSTON and PERTH with gunfire and torpedoes. At 2308, torpedoes strike both HOUSTON and PERTH.

At 2342, Captain Hector MacDonald Law Waller's PERTH sinks. 353 men are KIA and four die of wounds. 328 men are rescued to become POWs.

1 March 1942:
At 0030, Captain Albert Harold Rooks' HOUSTON sinks. 645 men are KIA and 367 are rescued to become POWs. Captain Rooks is awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

At 0850, CruDiv 5's NACHI and HAGURO with destroyers YAMAKAZE and KAWAKAZE sight damaged cruiser HMS EXETER and destroyers HMS ENCOUNTER and USS POPE (DD-225) enroute to the Sunda Strait from Surabaya.

At 1150, the Support Force's ASHIGARA and MYOKO with destroyers AKEBONO and INAZUMA also sight and exchange fire with the EXETER group at about 25,700 yards. At 1245, NACHI and HAGURO also open fire on Captain Oliver L. Gordon's EXETER.

At 1250, EXETER is hit by shells, set afire and goes dead in water. AKEBONO and INAZUMA launch 18 torpedoes. At 1330, EXETER sinks. 43 crewmen are KIA and 716 rescued to become POWs. During the engagement, the Main Force expends 1,171 7.9-inch/20-cm rounds. [2]

MYOKO and ASHIGARA damage LtCdr Eric Vernon St. John Morgan's destroyer HMS ENCOUNTER by a near miss from an 8-inch salvo. ENCOUNTER's Chief Engineer reports that repairs will take two hours. Surrounded and motionless with only one gun firing, Morgan orders his ship scuttled and her crew to abandon ship. At 1335, ENCOUNTER rolls over and sinks. Eight men are KIA and 121 rescued to become POWs.[2]

LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Welford Charles Blinn's old destroyer USS POPE escapes the engagement with the cruisers, only to be sunk at 1540 in attacks by dive-bombers from CHITOSE, MIZUHO and RYUJO. One man is KIA and 151 rescued to become POWs. [3][4]

MYOKO departs the area with ASHIGARA for Makassar.

2 March 1942:
S of Java. At 2102, TAKAO and ATAGO overhaul and sink LtCdr Harold C. Pound's USS PILLSBURY (DD-227) by gunfire at 15-38S, 113-13E with all 178 hands while she is enroute to Exmouth, Australia, escorting LtCdr Jacob W. Britt's gunboat USS ASHEVILLE (PG-21). ASHEVILLE is also sunk with 164 hands KIA and one man is rescued to become a POW and die in captivity.

3 March 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, then departs for Makassar.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at Makassar. Flagship of CruDiv 5.

13 March 1942:
MYOKO, HAGURO and NACHI depart Makassar for Sasebo.

17 March 1942:
NACHI is detached.

20 March 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo. MYOKO and HAGURO are refit. Captain Miyoshi Teruhiko (former CO of RO-32 and YURA) assumes command of MYOKO. Captain Yamazumi is later reassigned as CO of battleship MUTSU.

8 April 1942:
MYOKO and HAGURO depart Sasebo.

9 April 1942:
Arrive at Hashirajima.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. "Bull" Halsey's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 16.2's USS HORNET (CV-8), VINCENNES (CA-44), NASHVILLE (CL-43), oiler CIMARRON (AO-22) and destroyers GWIN (DD-433), MEREDITH (DD-434), GRAYSON (DD-435) and MONSSEN (DD-436) accompanied by Task Force 16.1's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), SALT LAKE CITY (CA-25), NORTHAMPTON (CA-28), oiler SABINE (AO-25) and destroyers BALCH (DD-363), BENHAM (DD-397), ELLET (DD-398) and FANNING (DD-385) approach the Japanese home islands. The carriers and cruisers come to within 668 nautical miles of Japan.

Led by Lt Col (later General/MOH) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe. At Yokosuka, a B-25 damages light carrier RYUHO in a drydock undergoing conversion from submarine depot ship TAIGEI.

Following Doolittle's raid, MYOKO and HAGURO depart Hashirajima in an unsuccessful pursuit of Halsey.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

23 April 1942:
CruDiv 5 departs Yokosuka with DesDiv 7's AKEBONO and USHIO.

27 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

1 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasion of Port Moresby:
ComCruDiv 5 Takagi Takeo is promoted to Vice Admiral. CruDiv 5 sorties from Truk in support of the invasion of Tulagi with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Chuichi's (39)(former CO of TATSUTA) Carrier Striking Force's ZUIKAKU and SHOKAKU, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, Des Div 8's USHIO and AKEBONO.

13 May 1942:
CruDiv 5, ARIAKE, SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU provide distant cover to the Ocean-Nauru occupation force until the operation is suspended due to the presence of an American carrier force in the area.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Departs that day with ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU.

22 May 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

27 May-7 June 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
CruDiv 5 departs Hashirajima in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Strike Force, Support Force, Main Body: Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Bat Div 3/1's KONGO and HIEI, Vice Admiral Kondo's CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA, DesDiv 2's MURASAME, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME and YUDACHI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.

13 June 1942:
CruDiv 5 is attached to the Northern Force.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Sendai, Japan.

28 June 1942:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO, HAGURO and NACHI depart Sendai to support the invasion of Attu and Kiska, Aleutians with CruDiv 21's light cruisers KISO, TAMA and ABUKUMA, DesDiv 4's ARASHI, MAIKAZE, HAGIKAZE and NOWAKI, DesDiv 7's USHIO and SAZANAMI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO and YUGUMO.

The cruiser force joins Rear Admiral Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Second Mobile Force's CarDiv 4's JUNYO and RYUJO that has been augmented by CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU and CarDiv 3's ZUIHO escorted by CruDiv 4/2's TAKAO and MAYA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE and the Fifth Fleet's destroyer SHIOKAZE. Covers the second reinforcement convoy to Kiska, then patrols SW of Kiska in anticipation of an American counter-attack that does not materialize.

7 July 1942:
Departs the Aleutians.

12 July 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

11 August 1942:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO depart Hashirajima for Truk with Vice Admiral Kondo's Advanced Force: CruDiv 4's ATAGO (F), TAKAO and MAYA, seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO, NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, SUZUKAZE, UMIKAZE, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and the Support Force's battleship MUTSU.

17 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

20 August 1942 - Operation "KA": The reinforcement of Guadalcanal:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk in Kondo's Second Fleet with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Vanguard Force: BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, the Support Force's CHITOSE, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and the MAYA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA with KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, MAKIGUMO, AKIGUMO, HATSUKAZE, AKIZUKI, AMATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, NOWAKI, TANIKAZE and MAIKAZE.

Kondo's Second Fleet joins Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet, reorganized Mobile Force, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

9 September 1942:
CruDiv 5 sorties from Truk with the Carrier Strike Force and Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard Bat Div 11, CruDiv 7 and DesRon 10 to an area north of the Solomon Islands.

14 September 1942:
Attacked by ten B-17-E "Flying Fortresses" of the 11th Bomb Group. Suffers slight damage to a 25-mm AA gun mount.

15-17 September 1942:
Refuels at sea.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

11 October 1942:
MYOKO and CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA sortie from Truk in Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet, Advance Force with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's DesRon 2's light cruiser ISUZU with destroyers KAWAKAZE, MAKINAMI, SUZUKAZE, TAKANAMI, UMIKAZE and NAGANAMI. They accompany Vice Admiral Kurita Takao's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Close Support Force's Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, destroyers HARUSAME, KAGERO, MURASAME, SAMIDARE, OYASHIO and YUDACHI followed by Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force.

15-16 October 1942: Naval Bombardment of Henderson Field, Guadalcanal:
MYOKO (flying Rear Admiral Takagi's flag) and MAYA detach from DesRon 2 and bombard Henderson Field, Guadalcanal.

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

26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
The Carrier Strike Force engages Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Task Force 17's USS HORNET (CV-8) in air battle. HORNET is sunk.

30 October 1942:
The Second and Third Fleets return to Truk.

4 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Sasebo with carrier ZUIKAKU and destroyer TOKITSUKAZE.

10 November 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo for refit. Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro (former CO of ISE) assumes command of CruDiv 5. Vice Admiral Takagi is later reassigned as CINC of the Naval Guard District at Mako, Pescadores.

27 November 1942:
MYOKO and HAGURO depart Saesbo.

29 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Embarks a Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF).

30 November 1942:
MYOKO and HAGURO depart Yokosuka with destroyer HAMAKAZE.

5 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, disembarks SNLF troops and departs.

10 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

10 December-31 January 1943:
CruDiv 5 is at Truk.

31 January - 9 February 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
MYOKO and HAGURO steam N of the Solomons with a task force of units of the Second and Third Fleets from Truk including the carriers ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO and JUNYO, BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO, DesRon 4's light cruiser NAGARA, DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO and destroyers as a feint to cover Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul. The Japanese successfully evacuate 11,700 troops from Guadalcanal.

9 February 1943:
CruDiv 5 is at Truk.

2 March 1943:
At Truk. Captain Nakamura Katsuhei (former CO of CM OKINOSHIMA) assumes command. Captain Miyoshi is reassigned as CO of battleship MUTSU (KIA in Jun '43).

8 May 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk for Yokosuka with destroyers SAMIDARE, NAGANAMI and YUGURE.

11 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab" - The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) 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 command of Maj Gen Eugene M. Landrum at Holtz Bay and Massacre Bay that later capture the island.

13 May 1943:
CruDiv 5 arrives at Yokosuka.

15 May 1943:
MYOKO and HAGURO are assigned to the Northern Force in response to the invasion of Attu. Departs Yokosuka for Paramushiro with destroyers SAMIDARE and NAGANAMI.

19 May 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

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

12 June 1943:
Departs Paramushiro for Sasebo.

16 June 1943:
MYOKO and HAGURO arrive at Sasebo for an overhaul, refit and modification. Four twin Type 96 25-mm AA guns and a Type 21 air-search radar are fitted.

18 July 1943:
Dockyard work is completed. MYOKO and HAGURO depart Sasebo.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

30 July 1943:
MYOKO and HAGURO depart Hashirajima for Nagahama. There they embark IJA troops and supplies.

31 July 1943:
Departs Nagahama.

5 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

6 August 1943:
Depart Truk with destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI and ISOKAZE.

9 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul, disembarks troops and departs.

10 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

18 September 1943:
The fleet sorties to Brown Island, Eniwetok in response to raids on Tarawa, Makin and Abemama Atolls launched by Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 15's carriers USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), PRINCETON (CVL-23) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24).

Vice Admiral Ozawa Jizaburo (former CO of HARUNA), in tactical command, leads the fleet's first section: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU (followed by ZUIHO on 19 September), CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, light cruisers AGANO and NOSHIRO and destroyers.

Vice Admiral Kurita leads the second section with his Advance Force: CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI.

Admiral Koga Mineichi (former CO of ISE), CINC, Combined Fleet, remains at Truk in the fleet's flagship MUSASHI with BatDiv 2's FUSO and BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA.

25 September 1943:
No contact is made with Task Force 15. The fleet arrives back at Truk.

11 October 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk with destroyers NAGANAMI and SUZUKAZE escorting a convoy to Rabaul.

13 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

1 November 1943: American Operation "Shoestring II" - The Invasion of Bougainville:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Theodore S. Wilkinson's (former XO of INDIANOPLIS, CA-35) Third Amphibious Force, TF 31, lands Lt Gen (later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Amphibious Corps at Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomons.

That day, the MYOKO's Captain Nakamura is promoted to Rear Admiral.

At 1520, Rear Admiral Omori departs Rabaul to escort 1,000 IJA troops to oppose the American invasion at Bougainville. Omori's force includes CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, Rear Admiral Osugi Morikazu's DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO, destroyers WAKATSUKI and HATSUKAZE, Rear Admiral, the Baron, Ijuin Matsuji's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI, destroyers SHIGURE, SAMIDARE and SHIRATSUYU, and DesRon 2's NAGANAMI with destroyer-transports AMAGIRI, YUNAGI, UZUKI and YUZUKI.

Omori's ten warships rendezvous with the transports in St. George Channel, but he obtains permission to continue without them.

At 1945, SENDAI is bombed unsuccessfully several times by an SB-24 of the 5th Bombardment Group.

2 November 1943: The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay:
The Japanese force is intercepted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Aaron S. Merrill's (former CO of INDIANA, BB-58) Task Force 39's radar-equipped CruDiv 12's USS CLEVELAND (CL-55), COLUMBIA (CL-56), MONTPELIER (CL-57) and DENVER (CL-58). Captain (later Admiral/CNO) Arleigh Burke's destroyers USS STANLY (DD-478), CHARLES F. AUSBURNE (DD-570), CLAXTON (DD-571) and DYSON (DD-572) and Cdr B. L Austin's destroyers USS CONVERSE (DD-509), FOOTE (DD-511), SPENCE (DD-512) and THATCHER (DD-514).

At 0050, all four of Merrill's cruisers take SENDAI under 6-inch fire and set her afire. She soon sinks with most of her crew. While avoiding the American fire, SAMIDARE collides with SHIRATSUYU and MYOKO collides with destroyer HATSUKAZE. HAGURO receives minor damage in the action.

As SENDAI sinks, ComDesRon 3 Rear Admiral Ijuin abandons ship and takes to the water. Burke's destroyers finish off and HATSUKAZE with gunfire. Admiral Omori withdraws with the remaining Japanese forces.

USS FOOTE is hit by a torpedo and damaged heavily.

CruDiv 5 returns to Rabaul. That same morning, Rabaul is attacked by 75 North American B-25 "Mitchell" medium bombers and 80 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighters of the 5th Air Force's 3rd Bomb Group, but CruDiv 5 is not damaged in the attack.

3 November 1943:
Rear Admiral Ijuin and some other SENDAI crewmen are rescued by submarine RO-104.

4 November 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Rabaul.

7 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

12 November 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk with DesDiv 27's SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU.

17 November 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo for an overhaul, refit and modification. Eight single-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed bringing her total suite to 24 barrels.

25 November 1943:
Rear Admiral Omori is relieved of command of CruDiv 5 by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro. (former CO of HYUGA).

5 December 1943:
Captain Ishihara Itsu (former Div Off of YAMASHIRO) assumes command of MYOKO.

16 December 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Sasebo.

16 December 1943:
CruDiv 5 departs Sasebo. Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot to refuel and load distilled water.

17 December 1943:
Departs Tokuyama. Arrives at Kure.

23 December 1943:
CruDiv 5 and CruDiv 8's TONE depart Kure for Truk.

29 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

2 January 1944:
CruDiv 5, TONE and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI and DesDiv 27's SHIRATSUYU depart Truk on a transport run to Kavieng and back.

4 January 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng.

5 January 1944:
Arrives back at Truk.

10 February 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Truk for Palau with CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI and destroyers. At 2100, the cruiser force is attacked by USS PERMIT (SS-178) on the surface at 08-27N, 149-24E, but she misses with four torpedoes.

13 February 1944:
The cruiser force arrives at Palau.

9 March 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Palau with destroyer SHIRATSUYU and a tanker convoy.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

March 1944:
Departs Balikpapan for Palau.

29 March-4 April 1944:
CruDiv 5 sorties from Palau to Davao with CruDiv 4, light cruiser NOSHIRO and the destroyer HARUSAME.

1 April 1944:
MYOKO receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

6 April 1944:
The cruiser group is attacked by USS DACE (SS-247), but she misses with six bow torpedoes. The cruiser force is also sighted by USS DARTER (SS-227), but the submarine is unable to attack.

7 April 1944:
The cruiser group departs Davao for Lingga (south of Singapore). Thet are sighted coming out of Davao Bay by USS SCAMP (SS-277), but the submarine is unable to attack.

9 April 1944:
The cruiser group arrives at Lingga (south of Singapore).

12 May 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Lingga.

15 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi, then departs for Tarakan, Borneo to refuel.

18 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.

30 May 1944: Operation "Kon" - The Reinforcement of Biak:
At noon, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO depart Tawi Tawi for Davao with battleship FUSO and six destroyers. The FUSO group is sighted leaving the anchorage by USS CABRILLA (SS-288) and BLUEFISH (SS-222) but neither submarine is able to close to attack. The FUSO group provides distant cover for the "Kon" troop transport force CruDiv 16's cruiser AOBA, light cruiser KINU, minelayers TSUGARU, ITSUKUSHIMA, transport T. 127, several freighters, DesDiv 19's SHIKINAMI, URANAMI, DesDiv 27's SHIGURE and subchasers CH-36 and CH-37.

31 May 1944:
The FUSO group arrives safely at Davao, Philippines.

2 June 1944:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, the transport group and their destroyers depart Davao for Biak.

3 June 1944:
Around the noon, the "Kon" troop movement is detected by a Seventh Fleet B-24 "Liberator" aircraft. USS RASHER (SS-269) also sights CruDiv 5 making 22 knots towards Karakelong Island, but the submarine is unable to close to attack. At 2025, since surprise is lost, the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu (former CO of HYUGA), cancels Operation Kon. CruDiv 5 retires towards Davao

4 June 1944:
The Combined Fleet orders CruDiv 5 and FUSO to Palau as a diversion, but that evening the order is cancelled and Operation Kon is resumed..

5 June 1944:
Near Davao either MYOKO or her sister HAGURO is spotted again by RASHER, but the submarine is still unable to attack. The FUSO group arrives at Davao and refuels.

7 June 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Davao for Batjan, Halmahera as distant cover for the Biak troop transport operations with destroyers ASAGUMO and KAZAGUMO.

8 June 1944:
The mouth of Davao Bay. At about 0200, KAZAGUMO is torpedoed and sunk by LtCdr John C. Broach's USS HAKE (SS-256) at 06-03 N, 124-57 E. ASAGUMO rescues 133 survivors and continues to Batjan.

That same day, MYOKO is refueled by oiler NICHIEI MARU.

11 June 1944:
CruDiv 5 and ASAGUMO arrive at Batjan.

12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of Saipan:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (former CO of ASTORIA, CA-34) Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps on Saipan. After the invasion begins, Operation Kon is "postponed".

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.

Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome's (former CO of HYUGA) Operation KON Task Force's arrives at Batjan with Bat Div 1’s YAMATO and MUSASHI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE.

At 2200, Ugaki's Task Force departs Batjan to rendezvous with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet.

15 June 1944:
E of Mindanao. At 1622, Ugaki's Task Force is sighted by USS SEAHORSE (SS-304).

At 1650, Ugaki's Task Force rejoins Ozawa's Force "A": CarDiv 1's TAIHO, ZUIKAKU and SHOKAKU, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI, DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE, DesDiv 61's WAKATSUKI, HATSUYUKI, AKIZUKI, SHIMOTSUKI and MINAZUKI and Rear Admiral Joshima Takatsugu's (former CO of SHOKAKU) Force "B": CarDiv 2's JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO, BatDiv 1's NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, DesDiv 2's AKISHIMO, DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, NOWAKI and YAMAGUMO, DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SAMIDARE and SHIRATSUYU.

Forces A and B deploy 100 miles behind Vice Admiral Kurita's Vanguard Force "C": CarDiv 3, BatDivs 1 and 3, CruDivs 4 and 7 and Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's (former CO of NAGATO) DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO with DesDivs 31 and 32.

At 2000, the Mobile Fleet is sighted by USS CAVALLA (SS-244) in the Philippine Sea.

18 June 1944:
At 2100, Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces A and B proceeds southward. The Vanguard Force C proceeds due east.

19 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack Task Force 58, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot". MYOKO retires with the Mobile Fleet to Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa to refuel its destroyers, then to Hashirajima and Kure.

24 June 1944:
Arrives at Kure for refit. Four triple-mount and 16 single-mount 25-mm. AA are installed bringing MYOKO's AA suite to a total of 52 barrels. A Type 13 air-search radar and a Type 22 surface-search radar are also fitted.

30 June 1944:
CruDiv 5 departs Kure.

1 July 1944:
CruDiv 5 arrives at Hashirajima. Embarks IJA troops and supplies and departs for Manila with the destroyers AKISHIMO and HAYASHIMO.

4 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Disembarks troops and supplies. 3,027-tons of oil are then transferred by lighters from torpedo-damaged oiler ITSUKUSHIMA MARU to MYOKO and oiler HAYASUI.

8 July 1944:
Arrives at Zamboanga, Philippines.

8 July 1944:
Departs Zamboanga for Singapore.

13 July 1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga.

13 July 1944:
Training at Lingga.

1 October 1944:
Lingga anchorage. MYOKO receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

15 October 1944:
Captain Ishiwara is promoted Rear Admiral.

18-20 October 1944:
Departs Lingga (near Singapore) with the fleet for Brunei, Borneo.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO sortie in Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force (Center Force) Force "A"'s First Section: BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO with DesDiv 2's HAYASHIMO, AKISHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, ASASHIMO and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, NAGANAMI, HAMANAMI and destroyer SHIMAKAZE.

The first section is followed by the second section: BatDiv 3's KONGO, HARUNA, Vice Admiral Shiraishi Kazutaka's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.

23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
At 0633, Force A is attacked by Cdr (later Captain) David McClintock's USS DARTER (SS-227) and LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247). Vice Admiral Kurita's flagship ATAGO and MAYA are sunk and TAKAO damaged. Kurita is picked up by destroyer KISHINAMI, but it is not until 1620, that he transfers to the YAMATO and resumes command of Force A from Vice Admiral Ugaki.

24 October 1944:- The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
Force A endures eleven raids by over 250 Task Force 38 carrier aircraft from USS ESSEX (CV-9), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INTREPID (CV-11), CABOT, (CVL-28), FRANKLIN (CV-13), ENTERPRISE (CV-6). Battleship MUSASHI is sunk, bombs hit YAMATO and NAGATO and HARUNA is damaged by near misses. Bombs hit cruiser TONE.

At 1029, MYOKO is hit starboard aft by a Mark 13 torpedo from one of INTREPID's Avengers. The torpedo puts MYOKO's starboard screws out of action, her speed falls off to 15 knots and she drops out of formation. Vice Admiral Hashimoto transfers to the undamaged HAGURO. MYOKO, escorted by KISHINAMI, makes for Coron.

27 October 1944:
Arrives at Coron. KISHINAMI refuels.

29 October 1944:
Arrives at Brunei.

30 October 1944:
MYOKO departs Brunei with KISHINAMI and a minesweeper.

3 November 1944:
Arrives at Singapore. Begins temporary repairs at the Seletar Naval Base.

5 November 1944:
53 USAAF B-29s from Calcutta, India attack Seletar, but MYOKO is not further damaged in this raid. She continues undergoing temporary repairs.

12 December 1944:
Departs Singapore for Japan with destroyer USHIO. The warships fall in with convoy HI-82 consisting of tankers OMUROSAN, OTOWASAN, ARITA and PALEMBANG MARUs escorted by kaibokan ETOROFU, SHONAN, KUME, CD-9 and CD-19.

13 December 1944:
At 2135 hours, enroute to Camranh Bay, MYOKO is hit by one of six torpedoes fired by USS BERGALL (SS-320) at 8-10N, 105-31E. She is set afire and goes dead in the water. Towed on one engine by USHIO towards Singapore.

At 2150, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from MYOKO that reads: “At 2140 was hit by torpedo(es) in position 08-09N, 105-40 E.” Additional data say she was with Convoy HI-82 and could proceed back to Singapore at 6 knots.

15 December 1944:
Subchasers KAIKO and TATEBE MARUs and two minesweepers of the 21st Special Base Force arrive. The TATEBE MARU commences towing MYOKO.

17 December 1944:
Destroyers KASUMI and HATSUSHIMO are ordered from Indochina to assist in towing MYOKO.

18 December 1944:
Vice Admiral Hashimoto departs Singapore in his flagship HAGURO to tow MYOKO back to port. KASUMI and HATSUSHIMO arrive alongside MYOKO and commence towing operations.

20 December 1944:
KASUMI detaches for Saigon and is replaced by destroyer CHIBURI.

25 December 1944:
Arrives under tow at Singapore.

January 1945:
Deemed unrepairable at Singapore and impossible to tow to Japan. MYOKO and TAKAO are moored in Seletar harbor as floating AA batteries.

15 January 1945:
Captain Onoda Sutejiro, CO of TAKAO, is assigned additional duty as CO of MYOKO.

1 February 1945:
Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. MYOKO is anchored in the Johore Strait.

USAAF Twentieth Air Force on Tinian dispatches 113 B-29s (Mission 33) to hit Seletar. Sixty-seven aircraft bomb the Admiralty IX Floating Drydock (and oiler SHIRETOKO berthed in it). Twenty-one aircraft bomb the West Wall area of the base. MYOKO is near-missed astern by bombs.

Early February 1945:
Seletar. MYOKO is drydocked in the King George VI drydock.

10 February 1945:
Rear Admiral Ishiwara is reassigned as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Sasebo Naval District.

22 March 1945:
Singapore. Captain Onoda is relieved of command of MYOKO by Captain Kagayama Hokao.

26 July 1945: Operation "Struggle":
The British, after taking Rangoon, Burma move towards Singapore. MYOKO and TAKAO's eight-inch guns pose a threat to any forces that may try to cross the causeway from Johore, Malaya to Singapore Island. The cruisers can also wrek havoc with Allied shipping attacking from seaward.

Lt G. C. Clarabut's submarine HMS STYGIAN departs Brunei and tows Lt Ian Fraser’s midget submarine HMS XE3 towards Singapore. HMS SPARK tows HMS XE1, under Lt Jack E. Smart who is assigned to attack MYOKO.

31 July 1945:
Fraser’s XE3 penetrates the Strait of Johore and sets charges under TAKAO, but Smart’s XE1, delayed by Japanese patrol craft, fails to reach MYOKO moored about two miles east of TAKAO. Lt Smart drops XE1’s side cargo of explosives alongside TAKAO and departs. Hours later, the charges explode and blow out TAKAO’s bottom, but she does not sink. Lt Smart is awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO), a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and the U.S. Legion of Merit.

21 September 1945:
Surrenders at Seletar. British forces discover that MYOKO has ammunition for her AA guns, but none aboard for her eight-inch main armament.

2-8 July 1946:
Towed to the Straits of Malacca. Scuttled off Port Swettenham, Malaya (now Port Klang, Malaysia) at 03-05N, 100-40 E near ex-German submarines I-501 and I-502.

10 August 1946:
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.

[2] On 21 February 2007, a group of divers operating from MV EMPRESS out of Singapore, including Australian photo-journalist Kevin Denlay, locate the wrecks of British heavy cruiser HMS EXETER and destroyer HMS ENCOUNTER in the Java Sea. The two warships were found at a depth of about 60m/200ft, 90 miles north of Bawean Island, about 350 nautical miles from Sunda Strait. EXETER lays on her starboard. Her faithful consort ENCOUNTER rests about two miles away. About 50 of EXETER's crew were killed, while 650 were made prisoners of war. Of these, 152 died in Japanese PoW camps. About eight of ENCOUNTER's crew were killed and 149 were made PoWs, of whom 38 died in captivity.

[3] On 3 March 1942, destroyer INAZUMA returned to the scene and rescued 151 of POPE's crew from life rafts and a lone whaleboat. Only one of POPE's crewmen was lost in the battle. INAZUMA landed the POWs at Makassar, Celebes. Earlier, on 1 March, INAZUMA had rescued 376 of EXETER and ENCOUNTER's crewmen. [4] In December 2008, the remains of USS POPE (DD-225) was located in the Java Sea in approx 105 feet/32 meters of water by owner/skipper Vidar Skoglie’s dive vessel MV EMPRESS operating out of Singapore. The old destroyer appears to have been found earlier by Indonesian salvage divers and very little remains but a rusted iron ‘skeleton’. The wreck has been heavily damaged by the salvors using explosive charges.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks go to Randy Stone of the United States and "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands. Thanks also go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Brian Seward of Canada.

Thanks also go to John Whitman of Viginia and Fontessa-san of Japan for info about 1937 troop movement and to Johm Whitman of Virginia and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU. Thanks also go to Don Kehn, Jr. of Texas for info in Rev 21.

.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


Back to Cruiser Page