(NAGARA at Shanghai in 1936 - colorized photo by Irootoko
IJN NAGARA: Tabular Record of
© 1997-2018 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
9 September 1920:
Sasebo Navy Yard. Laid down.
25 April 1921:
Launched and named NAGARA.
15 June 1921:
Captain Kuroda Takijiro (28)(former CO of NOMA) is
appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
21 April 1922:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Captain Kuroda is
the Commanding Officer.
10 November 1922:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Fujii Kensuke (30)(former
CO of SHIRIYA) is appointed the CO.
1 November 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sato Minokichi (30)(former
CO of SATA) is appointed the CO.
1 November 1924:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hori Teikichi
(32)(former CO of ISUZU) is appointed the CO.
24 October 1925:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yoshitake Junzo (32)
(former CO of the transport vessel TAKASAKI (ex-British steamer ROSELEY) is
appointed the CO.
1 July 1926:
Captain Yanagisawa Kyosuke (32)(former CO of TSUSHIMA)
is appointed the CO. Captain Yoshitake is reassigned as the CoS, Mako Guard
1 December 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ban Jiro (33)(former CO
of TSURUMI) is appointed the CO.
21 December 1927:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sagara Tatsuo
(32)(former CO of SENDAI) is appointed the CO. In a change-of-command swap,
Captain Ban is appointed the CO of SENDAI.
10 December 1928:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sato Ichiro (36)
(former 1st Fleet/Combined Fleet staff officer) is appointed the CO. Captain
Sagara is reassigned as the CO of Sasebo Sailor Corps.
1 May 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mitsui Seizaburo
(34)(former CO of KISO) is appointed the CO. Captain Sato is reassigned to
the Naval General Staff.
30 November 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kobayashi Sonosuke
(35)(former CO of SHIMAKAZE) is appointed the CO. Captain Mitsui is
reassigned as the CoS, Mako Guard District.
1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Waki Kanae (36)(former
CO of SEITO) is appointed the CO. Captain Kobayashi is reassigned as the CO of
1 December 1931:
Captain Taniike Saburo (36)(former CO of Ominato
Naval District port office) is appointed the CO. Captain Waki is reassigned to
the 1st Bureau of Yokosuka Naval District Supply Section.
1 December 1932:
Captain Watanabe Tokushiro (37)(former ComSubDiv
29) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1933:
Captain (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo
(39)(former instructor at Naval Academy) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsunaga Jiro
(38)(former ADC to Prince Fushimi) is appointed the CO.
15 November 1935:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka
Sadamichi (39)(former CO of NARUTO) is appointed the CO.
1 December 1936:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuyama Mitsuharu
(40)(current CO of KITAKAMI) is appointed the CO of NAGARA as additional duty.
Captain Kajioka is reassigned as the CO of KASUGA.
20 February 1937:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Nakao Hachiro
(40)(former CO of SUNOSAKI) is appointed the CO.
7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops are on night maneuvers
at the Marco Polo Bridge bridge. They fire blank cartridges during their
maneuvers. Chinese troops across the river fire back, but do not cause injuries.
At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the
Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Beijing suburb of
Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell
the city. An undeclared war on China begins.
11 July 1937:
The IJA and IJN agree to operational jurisdictions in
the event of a full-scale war with China. The IJA takes responsibility for
northern China and the IJN assumes assumes responsibility for central and
southern China. At this time, the IJN's air power in-theater consists of only
about 80 planes carried by the carriers KAGA, RYUJO and HOSHO on station in the
East China Sea.
9 August 1937:
The Japanese bring in two divisions, several cruisers
and destroyers. This increases IJN strength in Shanghai waters to 30 warships.
14 August 1937:
Shanghai Reinforcement: Rear Admiral (later Vice
Admiral) Tanimoto Umataro's (35) CruDiv 8, consisting of NAGARA (F), JINTSU and
SENDAI take up position at Woosung Flats off Shanghai. NAGARA, targeting
Pootung, opens fire over the masts of the British sloop HMS FALMOUTH.
10 November 1937:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sawada Torao
(41)(former chief of Naval General Staff 2nd Section 3rd Bureau) is appointed
the CO. Captain Nakao is reassigned as the CO of NATORI.
10 May 1938:
At dawn, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Shiozawa Koichi's
(32)(former CO of FURUTAKA) Fifth Fleet's warships, including DesRon 5's
flagship NAGARA and her destroyers, 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 tenders 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
12 May 1938:
That night, Chinese forces abandon Amoy to the Japanese.
15 July 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ichise Shinichi
(41)(former CO of IWATE) is appointed the CO.
15 December 1938:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Edo Heitaro
(40)(former ComDesDiv 5, 6 and 45) is appointed the CO.
1 July 1939:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Yano Hideo
(43)(formerly assigned to the Naval Affairs Bureau of the Navy Ministry) is
appointed the CO. Captain Edo is reassigned as the CO of KAKO.
1 September 1939:
Captain Nakazato Takaharu (39)(former CEO of
TAKASAKI) is appointed the CO. Captain Yano is reassigned as the chief of
the 1st section of the Naval Affairs Bureau.
1 November 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sone Akira (44)(former
CO of SHIRETOKO) is appointed the CO. Captain Nakazato is reassigned as the CO
of the 4th Defense Unit.
10 September 1941:
Captain Naoi Toshio (47)(former instructor at
Naval Academy) is appointed the CO. Captain Sone is reassigned as the CO of
NAGARA is in Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36)(former CO of KIRISHIMA)
CruDiv 16 of Ibo's Third Fleet with ASHIGARA (F), light cruisers KUMA and NATORI
and DesRon 5.
26 November 1941:
NAGARA is flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice
Admiral) Kubo Kyuji's (35)(former CO of SUZUYA) Fourth Surprise Attack Unit.
Departs the Terashima Strait, Japan.
1 December 1941:
Arrives at Kossol Roads, Palau.
2 December 1941:
NAGARA receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore
(Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities
will commence on 8 December (Japan time). Mt. Niitaka, Formosa, is the highest
point in the Japanese Empire.
8 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
Rear Admiral Kubo's Fourth Surprise Attack Force's seven troop transports
depart Palau with NAGARA (F) and DesDiv 24's four destroyers. Seaplane tenders
CHITOSE and MIZUHO provide air cover.
11-12 December 1941:
Covers the landing of troops at Legaspi, Luzon,
13 December 1941:
15 December 1941:
Arrives at Amami-Oshima.
17 December 1941:
Departs Amami-Oshima with DesDiv 24, escorting 24
24 December 1941:
The transports disembark troops at several points
on SE Luzon.
30 December 1941:
Departs Lamon Bay, Luzon.
2 January 1942:
Arrives at Malalag Bay, near Davao.
9 January 1942:
Departs Davao with light cruiser JINTSU and the No. 2
Escort Unit, escorting ten transports carrying the 1st Sasebo Special Naval
Landing Force (SNLF).
11 January 1942:
Covers the landing of the 1st Sasebo SNLF at Menado
and Kema, Celebes.
16 January 1942:
Arrives at Bangka Roads.
21 January 1942:
Departs Bangka Roads with six transports carrying
troops of the 1st Sasebo SNLF, escorted by DesDivs 15 and 16.
24 January 1942:
Lands troops at Kendari, Celebes.
25 January 1942:
Kendari. DesDiv 21's HATSUHARU collides with NAGARA
in the harbor, damaging the cruiser's hull; two sailors are injured. Rear
Admiral Kubo transfers his flag to DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO. NAGARA departs
27 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao. Begins hull repairs.
1 February 1942:
4 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes. Rear Admiral Kubo
transfers his flag back to NAGARA.
6 February 1942: The Invasion of Makassar, Celebes:
Staring Bay with the Makassar Occupation Force, consisting of IJN transports
KINAI, NANKAI, HOKUROKU, MATSUE, MONTEVIDEO and YAMASHIMO MARUs. The transports
are accompanied by auxiliary oiler SAN CLEMENTE MARU, acting as a replenishing
Escort is provided by DesDiv 8's ASASHIO, MICHISHIO, ARASHIO and OSHIO,
DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO, KUROSHIO, OYASHIO and NATSUSHIO, DesDiv 21's WAKABA,
HATSUSHIMO and NENOHI, 21st Minesweeper Div's W-7, W-8, 2nd Subchaser Div's
CH-13, CH-14 and CH-15.
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro's (former CO of FUSO)
CarDiv 11's CHITOSE, MIZUHO and SANUKI MARU provide distant support for the
The convoy is organized in two echelons:
The first echelon, with KINAI, NANKAI and HOKUROKU MARUs carries Captain
(later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo's Makassar Occupation Force, consisting of his
Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force.
The second echelon, with MATSUE, MONTEVIDEO and YAMASHIMO MARUs
carries the 5th and 6th Naval Construction Units (Setsueihan).
SE of Wowoni Island. Just before midnight, the Occupation Force is
sighted by LtCdr Lucius H. Chappell's USS SCULPIN (SS-191) running on the
surface in heavy rainstorms. Chappell misidentifies one of the ships as a
HOSHO-class carrier and NAGARA as a TENRYU-class cruiser. He fires two Mk.14
steam torpedoes at NAGARA; one prematures and the other misses.
9 February 1942:
Makassar Strait. During the landing of the Sasebo
Combined SNLF invasion force, DesDiv 15's NATSUSHIO is torpedoed and sunk by Lt
(later Rear Admiral) James C. Dempsey's old submarine USS S-37. NATSUSHIO is the
only IJN loss in that action.
11 February 1942:
Anchors at Makassar.
17 February 1942:
That night, troop-transports SASAGO MARU, SAGAMI
MARU, with part of the IJA's 48th Infantry Division embarked, and the close
escort DesDiv 8's ASASHIO, OSHIO, ARASHIO and MICHISHIO depart Makassar for
NAGARA, with Rear-Admiral Kubo embarked, and DesDiv 21's HATSUSHIMO,
NENOHI and WAKABA provide distant cover. During the invasion force's crossing of
the Flores Sea, air cover is provided by Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zeke" fighters of the
3rd Air Group and the Tainan Air Group, based at Makassar.
19 February 1942: The Invasion of Bali.
Badung Strait. At 0200, in
Sanur Roads, the invasion force begins to disembark with little to no
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Frederick B. Warder's (USNA '25) USS SEAWOLF
(SS-197), on patrol at the north entrance by the Flores Sea, sights the main
force disembarking and attempts a surface attack. He fires two Mk.14 torpedoes
each at SASAGO MARU and SAGAMI MARU, but they miss or premature. Warder is
spotted by the destroyers and forced to dive. The destroyers depth charge
SEAWOLF unsucessfully. Warder runs aground in the strait, but finally breaks
free and surfaces. The escorts again spot SEAWOLF and charge in to attack.
Warder retreats at full speed and fires two torpedoes from his stern tubes
at his pursuers, but they miss and explode against the shore. SEAWOLF makes
good her escape.
By 1030, the Bali airfield complex is captured completely intact.
21 February 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.
23 February 1942:
Departs Makassar to cover a convoy to Bali.
24 February 1942:
N of Bali. British LtCdr Hugh A. V. Haggard's
submarine HMS TRUANT arrives and makes an approach on Rear Admiral Kubo's force.
Haggard fires six torpedoes at NAGARA and gets two hits, but they are duds. The
others miss. TRUANT is discovered and pursued by NAGARA's escorts, but escapes
26 February 1942:
Arrives at Makassar.
10 March 1942:
The Third Fleet is disbanded and replaced by the Second
Southern Expeditionary Fleet under Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo (36). NAGARA
remains in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hara Kenzaburo's (37)(former CO of
TAKAO) CruDiv 16 with light cruisers KINU and NATORI (F).
29 March 1942: Operation "X" - The Invasion of Christmas Island:
Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet's Occupation Force under ComDesRon 4 Rear
Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (39)(former CO of HARUNA) departs
Bantam Bay, Java. It consists of DesRon 4's flagship NAKA, CruDiv 16's NAGARA
and NATORI, DesDiv 9's MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and
HATSUKAZE, DesDiv 22's SATSUKI, MINAZUKI, FUMITSUKI and NAGATSUKI, oiler AKEBONO
MARU and transports KIMISHIMA MARU and KUMAGAWA MARU carrying about 850 men of
the 21st and 24th Special Base Forces and the 102nd Construction Unit.
31 March 1942:
Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island. At 0945, Nishimura
lands the Special Base Forces and the Construction Unit who occupy the island.
The small British-Indian garrison surrenders immediately. The phosphate-rich
island is too small on which to build a port or an airstrip.
At 0949, LtCdr Frederick B. Warder's USS SEAWOLF (SS-197) enters the deep
Flying Fish Cove and Warder fires four torpedoes at NAKA; all miss.
1 April 1942:
Off Christmas Island. At 0650, SEAWOLF fires three
torpedoes at NATORI, but they also miss. At 1804, SEAWOLF fires two torpedoes
at NAKA. One hits to starboard near her No. 1 boiler.
2 April 1942:
NAGARA arrives at Bantam Bay. She departs that same
day for Japan.
10 April 1942:
NAGARA is assigned as flagship of Rear Admiral (later
Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (40)(former CO of HARUNA) new DesRon 10 with
DesDiv 7's NOWAKI, ARASHI, HAGIKAZE and MAIKAZE, DesDiv 10's MAKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO
and YUGUMO and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, HAMAKAZE and TANIKAZE. DesRon 10 is
assigned to Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of
YAMASHIRO) First Air Fleet.
11 April 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru. Refit. Two twin Type 93 13-mm
machine guns are installed.
12 April 1942:
24 April 1942:
4 May 1942:
4 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Training with her destroyers
27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle
NAGARA departs Hashirajima with DesDiv 7, DesDiv 10 and
DesDiv 17 and Vice Admiral Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force's CarDiv 1's AKAGI
and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe
Hiroaki's (39)(former CO of FUSO) Support Group's CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA,
BatDiv 3/2's HARUNA and KIRISHIMA, Captain Oto Masanao's Supply Group No. 1's
oilers KYOKUTO MARU (F), KENYO MARU, KOKUYO MARU, SHINKOKU MARU and NIPPON
4 June 1942:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) William H. Brockman's (USNA
'27) USS NAUTILUS (SS-168) fires a Mk.14 torpedo at KIRISHIMA but misses. He
attempts to fire another torpedo but it malfunctions and never leaves the tube.
NAGARA counter-attacks NAUTILUS unsuccessfully with depth charges. KIRISHIMA
departs the area.
Destroyer ARASHI is left behind to find and sink NAUTILUS. Finally,
ARASHI gives up the search and heads back towards the fleet at flank speed.
Overhead, USS ENTERPRISE's (CV-6) Commander (later Rear Admiral) C. Wade
McCluskey, Jr. (USNA '26) and his Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive-bombers spot
ARASHI's wake and follow her projected track to intercept the "Kido Butai".
At 1047, after flagship AKAGI is hit and set afire by dive-bombers from
ENTERPRISE, Vice Admiral Nagumo transfers his flag to destroyer NOWAKI. At 1130,
Nagumo transfers to NAGARA.
9 June 1942:
The Chief of Staff of the First Air Fleet, Rear Admiral
(later Vice Admiral) Kusaka Ryunosuke (41)(former CO of AKAGI) and staff
officers Captain Oishi Tamotsu and Cdr (later Gen/CINC JSDF) Genda Minoru (52)
board YAMATO from NAGARA. 
13 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.
14 June 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Transfers 338 men wounded at
the Battle of Midway to hospital ship TALASAGO MARU and 280 wounded men to
hospital ship HIKAWA MARU.
21 June 1942:
22 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
23 June 1942:
24 June 1942:
Arrives at Imbari.
25 June 1942:
Departs Imbari. Arrives at Hashirajima. Training in the
Inland Sea thereafter.
10 July 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tawara Yoshioki (43)(former
CO of NAKA) is appointed the CO.
14 July 1942:
DesRon 10 and NAGARA are reassigned to the Third
10 August 1942:
At Kure. Drydocked.
14 August 1942:
16 August 1942: Operation "KA" - The Recapture of Guadalcanal:
DesRon 10's NAGARA departs Kure towards Truk with CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and
ZUIKAKU, light carrier RYUHO, BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's TONE
and CHIKUMA and destroyers AKIGUMO, MAKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, AKIZUKI,
HATSUKAZE, NOWAKI, AMATSUKAZE, MAIKAZE, TANIKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE.
20-23 August 1942:
The Combined Fleet's CinC Admiral (Fleet Admiral,
posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (32)(former CO of AKAGI) cancels a planned stop
at Truk. The fleet refuels at sea from oilers while en route towards
25 August 1942: The
Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Desron 10 cruises NE of Guadalcanal
with the Carrier Strike Force, Mobile Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1, BatDiv 11,
CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA. Detached RYUJO is sunk by
aircraft from Task Group 11's USS SARATOGA (CV-3). CarDiv 1 launches an air
attack against Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE that is hit by three bombs but not
5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
10 September 1942:
The NAGARA and 11 destroyers sortie from Truk with
Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, BatDiv
11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA and CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA.
The Third Fleet accompanies Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's
(former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet's BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's
ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO and DesRon 2 to an area N of
the Solomon Islands.
15-17 September 1942:
At sea. The fleets refuel destroyers.
18-20 September 1942:
The Second and Third Fleets sortie towards the
20 September 1942:
The fleets are ordered to return to Truk.
23 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Maintains standby alert.
11 October 1942:The Vanguard Force accompanies Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta
Kakuji's (39)(former CO of NAGATO) Air Group Force's CarDiv 2's HIYO and JUNYO,
destroyers HAYASHIO and the KUROSHIO. Abe and Kakuta's forces are followed by
Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv
7's KUMANO and destroyers AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE, ARASHI,
MAIKAZE, TERUZUKI and YAMAKAZE.
25-26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa
DesRon 10's NAGARA and eight destroyers depart Truk to
attack U.S. forces off Guadalcanal with Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard Force:
BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA.
The Vanguard Force is attacked by dive-bombers and torpedo
planes from ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and HORNET (CV-8). SHOKAKU is heavily damaged by
bombs and set afire. Vice Admiral Nagumo transfers his flag to destroyer
ARASHI. Light carrier ZUIHO and cruiser CHIKUMA are also hit by bombs.
Nagumo and Kakuta launch air attacks that mortally damage HORNET. They also
damage ENTERPRISE, the new battleship SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and the light
cruiser SAN JUAN (CLAA-54).
30 October 1942:
The Vanguard Force returns to Truk, then maintains
9 November 1942:
Truk. ComDesRon 10 Rear Admiral Kimura's NAGARA with
DesDiv 6's AKATSUKI, IKAZUCHI and INAZUMA, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE
and DesDiv 61's TERUZUKI sortie to screen Rear Admiral Abe's Bombardment Force's
HIEI and KIRISHIMA. Vice Admiral Kondo's reinforcement plan calls for landing
14,500 men, heavy weapons and supplies on Guadalcanal. The twelve destroyers of
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2
are to escort an 11-ship high-speed convoy. The landing is to be preceded by a
bombardment of Henderson Field by Abe's battleships.
10 November 1942:12 November 1942:
Bougainville. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Setoyama
Yasuhide's DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, YUGURE and SHIRATSUYU depart the Shortland
Island's anchorage. Part of Kondo's plan calls for DesDiv 27's destroyers to act
as picket ships in the passage between Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands.
At 1530, Abe's Bombardment Force and Kimura's DesRon 10
make a rendezvous with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takama Tamotsu's
(former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 4 sweeping unit: ASAGUMO (F), HARUSAME, MURASAME,
SAMIDARE and YUDACHI. Abe orders the destroyers to form a tight double half-ring
formation as an anti-submarine measure. NAGARA follows with BatDiv 11 in column
behind. The force proceeds south down the "Slot" at 18 knots.
13 November 1942:The First Naval Battle of
At 0150, Abe's force commences a night gun battle
with American cruisers and destroyers. During the ensuing action, Abe's force
sinks ATLANTA (CL-51) and destroyers CUSHING (DD-376), MONSSEN (DD-436), LAFFEY
(DD-459) and BARTON (DD-599). SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), PORTLAND (CA-33), HELENA
(CL-50), JUNEAU (CL-52) and STERETT (DD-407) are damaged.
In the engagement, the Americans sink the destroyers AKATSUKI and YUDACHI.
HIEI is damaged as are AMATSUKAZE, MURASAME and IKAZUCHI. NAGARA is straddled
by SAN FRANCISCO and hit by one 5-inch shell. Six men are killed, but the ship
sustains only minor hull damage.
Abe abandons the bombardment mission and retires westward around Savo Island
with HIEI, NAGARA and DesRon 10's destroyers. HIEI is later sunk by planes from
Henderson Field, ENTERPRISE and B-17 bombers from Espirtu Santo.
Admiral Yamamoto relieves Abe of tactical command and orders his deputy Vice
Admiral Kondo to shell Henderson Field the next night. For this tasking, Kondo
orders his battle worthy forces to rendezvous north of Guadalcanal. At 0630,
Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi (38)(former CO of KIRISHIMA), Commander, Eighth
Fleet, sorties from the Shortland Islands for Guadalcanal in CHOKAI (F) with
KINUGASA, light cruiser ISUZU and destroyers ARASHIO and ASASHIO. Mikawa's
mission is to carry out Kondo's original plan and bombard Henderson Field with
his cruisers where Abe failed with his battleships. Rear Admiral Nishimura's
Bombardment Unit, heavy cruisers MAYA, SUZUYA, light cruiser TENRYU and
destroyers KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO, MICHISHIO and YUGUMO accompany Mikawa.
360 miles south of Guadalcanal. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Thomas L.
Gatch's (USNA '12) USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) escorting Rear Admiral (later
Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (USNA ‘08) Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6)
from Noumea, New Caledonia to Guadalcanal, joins Captain (later Vice Admiral)
Glenn B. Davis' (USNA '13) new battleship WASHINGTON (BB-56) and destroyers
PRESTON (DD-379), BENHAM (DD-397), WALKE (DD-416) and GWIN (DD-433) at sea. As
ordered by Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr (USNA
‘04) ComSoPac, they form Task Force 64 under the command of Rear Admiral (later
Vice Admiral) Willis A. Lee (USNA '04) aboard WASHINGTON.
At 2210, Kondo's Force gathers at the rendezvous point at Ontong Java. He
forms an Emergency Bombardment (Volunteer Attack) Force, composed of KIRISHIMA,
CruDiv 4's ATAGO (F) and TAKAO. DesRon 10's NAGARA and six destroyers form a
Screening Unit while DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and three destroyers form a
Sweeping Unit. Carrier JUNYO, battleships KONGO and HARUNA and the remainder of
Kondo's Second Fleet Advanced Force are to hold station as distant cover.
14 November 1942:
Between 0130-0200, MAYA and SUZUYA bombard Henderson
Field, then retire towards Shortland.
During the day, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanka Raizo's (41)
reinforcement convoy is attacked repeatedly by aircraft from the "Cactus Air
Force" on Guadalcanal and ENTERPRISE's Air Group. Six of Tanaka's 11 troop
transports are sunk or abandoned and one damaged so severely that she is forced
to return to Shortland. Tanaka presses on with his four remaining transports.
15 November 1942: The Second Naval Battle of
Iron Bottom Bay off Savo Island. TF 64 approaches
Guadalcanal on a northerly course in a column formation. At 0016, WASHINGTON
opens fire on SENDAI with her 16-inch main battery. SENDAI makes smoke, puts
about and retires undamaged.
NAGARA and her destroyers engage the Americans with gunfire and "Long
Lance" torpedoes. During the action, more than 30 torpedoes are launched at
SOUTH DAKOTA. Amazingly, they all miss her, but destroyers PRESTON and WALKE are
sunk and BENHAM is so badly damaged that she must be scuttled the next evening
by GWIN (by gunfire, after attempts with four Mk.15 torpedoes fail).
KIRISHIMA, ATAGO and TAKAO target SOUTH DAKOTA, wrecking her superstructure.
Meanwhile, undetected, WASHINGTON approaches to within 8,450 yards of KIRISHIMA
and with radar-directed fire, sets her afire, disables two of her 14-inch
turrets and holes her at the waterline. SOUTH DAKOTA and WASHINGTON's secondary
guns hit destroyer AYANAMI and she has to be scuttled by URANAMI.
The badly battered KIRISHIMA sinks at 0325. At dawn, Tanaka lands about
2,000 troops by running his four remaining transports aground on the beach near
18 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
20 November 1942:
Flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral)
Takama Tamotsu's (41) DesRon 4, replacing YURA sunk on 25 October. The newly
commissioned AGANO replaces NAGARA as the flagship of DesRon 10. DesRon 4
then consists of three divisions of nine destroyers: DesDiv 2 with three
destroyers, DesDiv 9 with two and DesDiv 27 with four DDs. Guardship duties.
17 December 1942:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Shinoda
Katsukiyo (44)(former CO of AKATSUKI) is appointed the CO. Captain Tawara is
reassigned as the CO of AOBA.
20 December 1942:
27 December 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru. Refit.
28 December 1942:
Drydocked. No. 5 140-mm gun is removed.
13 January 1943:
20 January 1943:
21 January 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama, refuels.
22 January 1943:
24 January 1943:
Anatahan, 60 miles W of Saipan. During gunnery
exercises, NAGARA sustains damage to her superstructure after the accidental
explosion of a shell.
25 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
31 January 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
DesRon 4's NAGARA departs Truk with a task force consisting of units of the
Second and Third Fleets including carriers ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO and the JUNYO,
BatDiv 3's KONGO and the HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO, CruDiv 5's HAGURO
and MYOKO, DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO and destroyers. The task force steams
north of the Solomons as a feint to cover Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral)
Hashimoto Shintaro's (41)(former CO of HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul.
9 February 1943:
Arrives back at Truk. The Japanese successfully
evacuate 11,700 troops from Guadalcanal. Thereafter, training and waiting with
the Combined Fleet for an opportunity to engage the American Fleet.
23 June 1943:
Departs Truk carrying elements of the 2nd Yokosuka
26 June 1943:
Arrives at Nauru, disembarks troops and departs.
28 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
8 July 1943:
11 July 1943:
Arrives at Roi Island, Kwajalein. Departs that day,
escorting carrier JUNYO.
13 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk. JUNYO embarks more aircraft.
14 July 1943:
Departs Truk with JUNYO.
15 July 1943:
Arrives at Kavieng. JUNYO delivers the aircraft she is
ferrying. While mooring, NAGARA detonates a mine laid at night by Australian PBY
"Catalina" flying boats. The mine slightly damages her stern, but she is able
At 1635, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message from NAGARA
that reads: "The NAGARA temporarily anchored at Kavieng bearing 110 degrees
distance 1 kilometer from Suisatto Cape at 1210. At 1450, what appeared to be a
floating mine exploded. One landing craft which was alongside (carrying ----)
sunk, one slightly damaged. NAGARA unable to revolve No. 5 and No. 6 ----- (can
make temporary repairs); other damage very slight. ----. Will get underway from
here at 1730 and proceed to Rabaul."
16 July 1943:
17 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.
19 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk with JUNYO.
20 July 1943:
DesRon 4 is deactivated. NAGARA becomes flagship of Rear
Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Isaki Shunji's (42)(former CO of MAYA)
DesRon 2, replacing JINTSU sunk on 12 July. DesRon 2 is attached to Second Fleet
and consists of DesDivs 24, 27, 31, plus three attached destroyers.
21 July 1943:
26 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
31 July 1943:
Departs Yokosuka with escort carrier UNYO and the
destroyers AKEBONO, USHIO and SHIRATSUYU.
5 August 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
9 August 1943:
14 August 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
16 August 1943:
Arrives at Maizuru. That same day, Captain (Rear
Admiral, posthumously) Kitamura Masayuki (45)(former ComDesDiv 17) is appointed
the CO. Captain Shinoda is later reassigned as the CO of YAMASHIRO.
20 August 1943:
NAGARA is relieved as flagship of DesRon 2 by the
newly commissioned NOSHIRO. NAGARA is attached to Vice Admiral, the Baron,
Samejima Tomoshige's (37)(former CO of NAGATO) Eighth Fleet.
Drydocked and refitted. A Type 21 air-search radar set is fitted. Four
twin-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed.
7 October 1943:
9 October 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
18 October 1943:
23 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
24 October 1943:
27 October 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Departs that day.
29 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
1 November 1943:
NAGARA is transferred from the Eighth Fleet to Vice
Admiral Kobayashi Masami's (38)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Fourth Fleet. She
relieves KASHIMA as flagship of the Fourth Fleet.
12 November 1943:
Departs Truk to protect light cruiser AGANO
torpedoed by USS SKATE (SS-305). AGANO is first taken under tow by light cruiser
NOSHIRO that heads for Truk.
14 November 1943:
NAGARA and destroyer URAKAZE take over towing AGANO.
16 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk with the AGANO in tow.
20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the
Forces under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance (USNA
'06), Commander, Central Pacific, invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion
fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.
22 November 1943:
Departs Truk with CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO and
CHOKAI and destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI, HAMAKAZE, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI in
response to the invasion of Tarawa.
26 November 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.
4 December 1943:
Kwajalein. Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall's Task
Force 50 attacks Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls, Marshalls. Aircraft from LEXINGTON
(CV-16) and INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22) sink ASAKAZE and TATEYAMA MARUs, auxiliary
subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 7 and guardboat MIKUNI MARU No. 5. The planes also
damage light cruisers NAGARA and ISUZU, stores ship KINEZAKI, auxiliary vessel
FUJIKAWA MARU and transports EIKO, KENBU and MIKAGE MARU No. 18.
5 December 1943:
En route to Roi, the cruiser force is attacked by
TBF torpedo-bombers and SBD dive-bombers from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral)
Alfred E. Montgomery's (USNA '12) Task Group 50.3's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and
ESSEX (CV-9). NAGARA is damaged slightly by near misses. That same day, repair
ship YAMASHIMO MARU begins repairs on NAGARA.
9 December 1943:
NAGARA departs Kwajalein.
12 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Emergency repairs are carried out,
probably by the fully-equipped repair ship AKASHI.
13 December 1943:
At 1150, USN codebreakers at Fleet Radio Unit,
Melbourne, Australia (FRUMEL) intercept and decode a message that partially
reads "2 men killed and ? injured in NAGARA when bombed in Marshal1s at 0510 on
15 January 1944:
Departs Truk towing destroyer NAGANAMI whose stern
had been damaged by an aerial torpedo in the 11 November air attack on Rabaul.
25 January 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Detaches and departs.
26 January 1944:
Arrives at Maizuru. Refit. NAGARA's No. 7 140-mm gun
mount is removed and replaced by a 127-mm unshielded HA gun mount. The fore and
aft twin torpedo tubes are removed and replaced by two quadruple tube mounts
aft. The catapult is removed and replaced by two triple-mount Type 96 25-mm AA
gun mounts bringing NAGARA's total 25-mm AA suite to 22 barrels (2x3, 6x2, 4x1).
DC rails are installed in the stern and a Type 93 hydrophone set is fitted in
7 April 1944:
Captain Kondo Shinichi (49)(former Naval Gunnery School
instructor) is appointed the CO.
10 April 1944:
24 April 1944:
25 April 1944:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
8 May 1944:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Nakahara Giichiro
(48)(former ComDesDiv 32) is appointed the CO.
15 May 1944:
NAGARA becomes flagship of DesRon 11, Combined Fleet,
replacing TATSUTA, sunk on 14 March. Thereafter training with new destroyers in
the western Inland Sea.
19 June 1944:
21 June 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
29 June 1944:
Departs Yokosuka on a transport run.
30 June 1944:
Arrives at Chichi Jima. Unloads and departs.
2 July 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Begins refit. Ten single mount Type
96 25-mm AA guns are installed, bringing NAGARA's 25-mm suite to 32 barrels
(2x3, 6x2, 14x1). A Type 22 surface-search radar is fitted.
10 July 1944:
12 July 1944:
Arrives at Kure.
14 July 1944:
Departs Moji, transporting personnel of the Second Air
16 July 1944:
Arrives at Okinawa. Disembarks personnel.
21 July 1944:
Arrives at the Inland Sea.
30 July 1944:
Departs Kure for Sasebo.
2 August 1944:
Departs Sasebo for Kagoshima. Embarks personnel of the
Second Air Fleet.
3 August 1944:
Arrives at Kagoshima and departs.
5 August 1944:
Arrives at at Naha. Debarks 505 personnel and 20
tons of cargo.
7 August 1944:
Departs Kagoshima for Sasebo with a subchaser and two
floatplanes as aerial cover. NAGARA is spotted by veteran submariner LtCdr
(later Rear Admiral-Ret) John E. Lee's (USNA '30) new USS CROAKER (SS-246) on
her first war patrol. Lee lets NAGARA close to 1,300 yards and fires a salvo of
four stern torpedoes. At 1222, NAGARA is hit starboard aft by one of the
torpedoes. At 1240, she sinks by the stern off Amakusa Shoto at 32-09N, 129-53E.
Captain Nakahara and 348 crewmen are killed, but 237 other men are rescued.
Captain Nakahara is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.
10 October 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Japan Self Defense Force.
 Some sources credit the mine as being laid 4 June 1943 by USS
Thanks go to "Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands, the late John Whitman for
info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Hans Mcilveen of the
Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts. Thanks also go to Brian Corijn of uboat.net. for info on HMS TRUANT and to
Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.