(MYOKO in 1941- digitally colorized by Irotooko, Jr)

IJN MYOKO: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2018 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 26

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.

10 December 1928:
Captain Fujisawa Takuo (33)(former CO of the protected cruiser TONE) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

31 July 1929:
Completed and attached to Kure Naval District. Captain Fujisawa Takuo is the Commanding Officer.

1 November 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Niiyama Yoshiyuki (32)(current CO of NACHI) is appointed the CO of MYOKO as additional duty.

30 November 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Uematsu Toma (33)(former Naval Torpedo School instructor) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Chonan (34)(former member of the Navy General Staff Technical Council) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Izawa Haruma (35)(former CO of JINTSU) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takahashi Hideo (36)(former NGS staff officer) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1934:
Attached to Sasebo Naval District. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ukita Hidehiko (37)(former Naval Submarine School instructor) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Goga Keijiro (38)(former CO of AOBA) is appointed the CO.

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

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 the 5th Company of the 68th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Infantry Brigade HQ.

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:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro (38)(former CO of ABUKUMA) is appointed the CO.

25 April 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hoshina Zenshiro (41)(former China Area Fleet staff officer) is appointed the CO.

10 May 1938:
MYOKO participates in an amphibious assault on Amoy (Xiamen) with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Koichi Shiozawa's 5th Fleet, consisting of CruDiv 9's MYOKO (F) and light cruiser TAMA, CarDiv 1's KAGA, 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, 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 SHURI, CHOJU, DELHI, EIKO, IKUTA, KAZAN, KURI, HAYA MARUs and DAIICHI MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 8, NANSHIN MARU No. 31, TAIKO, YODACHI and auxiliary minelayers ENOSHIMA and ENTO.

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), IJN 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) Ito Kenzo (41)(former Imperial General Headquarters staff officer) is appointed the CO.

20 July 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso (40)(former CO of MIKUMA) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Itagaki Sakan (39)(former CO of the 5th Defense Unit) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1940:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Yano Hideo (43)(former chief of the Naval Affairs Bureau's 1st section) is appointed the CO.

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

11 August 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamazumi Teijiro (44)(former CO of NATORI) is appointed the CO.

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 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 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. At 1800 MYOKO departs the area to refuel at Palau.

25 December 1941:
HAGURO is detached; MYOKO rendezvouses with NACHI. Continues to operate S of Jolo Island.

28 December 1941:
Arrives at Palau, refuels.

29 December 1941:
Departs Palau for Davao.

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 Hr.Ms. DE RUYTER with guns and Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes.

At 1843, HAGURO sinks Lt t.z.1 Antoine Kroese's destroyer Hr.Ms. 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 Hr.Ms. 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 yds. 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 20-cm rounds.

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.

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. [2]

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 en route to Exmouth, Australia, escorting LtCdr Jacob W. Britt's gunboat USS ASHEVILLE (PG-21). ASHEVILLE is also sunk with 164 hands KIA; 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 undergo a refit.

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" 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, DesDiv 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.

23 May 1942:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Miyoshi Teruhiko (43)(former CO YURA) is appointed the CO.

27 May-7 June 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
CruDiv 5 departs Hashirajima in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's Second Fleet, Strike Force, Support Force, Main Body: Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Mikawa Gunichi's BatDiv 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 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 counterattack 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 Advance 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 Vanguard Force: BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, the Support Force's CHITOSE, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and 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 BatDiv 11, CruDiv 7 and DesRon 10 to an area north of the Solomon Islands.

14 September 1942:
250 miles north of Santa Cruz. Attacked by ten B-17E "Flying Fortresses" of the 11th Bomb Group (H). Suffers slight damage to a 25-mm AA gun mount as a result of a near miss.

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 BatDiv 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 is appointed ComCruDiv 5.

27 November 1942:
MYOKO and HAGURO depart Saesbo.

29 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Embarks the elements of the 6th Kure SNLF.

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

5 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk, then departs for Rabaul.

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

10 December 1942:
Arrives 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 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 (promoted Rear Admiral 1 November) Nakamura Katsuhei (45)(former CO of CM OKINOSHIMA) is appointed the CO.

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 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 heavily damaged by a torpedo.

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.

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 (promoted Vice Admiral 15 October 1944) Hashimoto Shintaro is appointed ComCruDiv 5.

5 December 1943:
Captain (promoted Rear Admiral 15 October 1944) Ishihara Itsu (46)(former chief of the Navy Ministry Education Bureau's 1st and 2nd sections) is appointed the CO.

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: Operation BO-2-GO (BO No. 2):
CruDiv 5 and CruDiv 8's TONE depart Kure for a fast supply run to Kavieng via Truk. MYOKO, Rear Admiral Hashimoto Shintaro's flagship, is carrying 566 IJA troops, two Daihatsu barges and 68 pieces of ordnance.

29 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

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

4 January 1944:
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 DesDiv 17's TANIKAZE, ISOKAZE, URAZAZE and HAMAKAZE. At 2100, the cruiser force is unsuccessfully attacked by USS PERMIT (SS-178) at 08-27N, 149-24E.

13 February 1944:
The cruiser force arrives at Palau.

9 March 1944:
CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO depart Palau with destroyer SHIRATSUYU, escorting a tanker convoy consisting of OSE (ex-Dutch GENOTA) and IRO.

12 March 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan, Borneo.

13 March 1944:
Departs Balikpapan.

14 March 1944:
Arrives at Tarakan, Borneo.

20 March 1944:
Departs Tarakan for Palau.

22 March 1944:
Arrives at 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 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). They 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 CinC 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 BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE.

At 2200, Ugaki's force departs Batjan to rendezvous with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's 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 and 16 single 25-mm AA guns 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.

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

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-1-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 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, YAMATO, NAGATO and cruiser TONE are damaged.

At 1029, MYOKO is hit starboard aft by a Mk.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 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 kaibokans ETOROFU, SHONAN, KUME, CD-9 and CD-19.

13 December 1944:
At 2135 hours, en route 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. 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 kaibokan 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 (48)(current CO of TAKAO) is appointed the CO of MYOKO as additional duty.

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.

4 March 1945:
On that day, the USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) provides the following information:
"A heavy cruiser (MYOKO or HAGURO) will be in dry dock at Singapore from 8th-11th April. From 11th-15th April the other one of these cruisers will go into drydock at Singapore."

22 March 1945:
Singapore. Captain Kagayama Hokao (45)(former CO of the hydrographic survey ship HAKUSA) is appointed the CO.

7 April 1945:
On that day, FRUMEL decodes the following message from Tokyo Personnel Bureau, timed 1100 on 1 April:
"Commander 5th Cruiser Division is to arrange for HAGURO and MYOKO to dock for repairs at Singapore Yard as follows:
MYOKO from 8th to 11 April; HAGURO from 11th to 15th April."

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 XE-3 towards Singapore. HMS SPARK tows HMS XE-1, under Lt Jack E. Smart who is assigned to attack MYOKO.

31 July 1945:
Fraser's XE-3 penetrates the Strait of Johore and sets charges under TAKAO, but Smart's XE-1, delayed by Japanese patrol craft, fails to reach MYOKO moored about two miles east of TAKAO. Lt Smart drops XE-1's side cargo of explosives alongside TAKAO and departs. Hours later, the charges explode and damage TAKAO, 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:
Surrendered at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. British forces discover that MYOKO has ammunition for her AA guns, but none aboard for her eight-inch main armament.

(MYOKO in camouflage colors at Seletar, postwar)

25 September 1945:
Seletar. Captain (later Admiral Sir) Manley L. Power, RN, (CO 26th Destroyer Flotilla) and victor over MYOKO's sister IJN HAGURO, inspects MYOKO.


LEFT: Captain Power (r) inspects damage to MYOKO's stern caused by a torpedo fired by USS BERGALL (SS-320) on 13 Dec 1944.
RIGHT: Power departs MYOKO shown with IJN subs I-501 and I-502)(ex-German U-181 and U-182) tied up starboardside.

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.

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.

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 and to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts. Thanks go to Randy Stone of the USA and "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands and to Brian Seward of Canada.

Thanks also go to the late John Whitman and to Fontessa-san of Japan for info about 1937 troop movement and to John Whitman 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.

Photo credit of MYOKO at Seletar goes to the British Imperial War Museum via J-air reader "Steve C".

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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