(Noshiro prewar -colorized by Irootoko Jr.)
IJN NOSHIRO: Tabular Record of Movement
© 1997-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
1 May 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Tawara Yoshioki (former CO of NAGARA) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer for an AGANO-class cruiser under construction at Yokosuka.
30 June 1943:
Completed at the Yokosuka Navy Yard as NOSHIRO. Captain Tawara is appointed Commanding Officer. NOSHIRO is assigned to the First Fleet for training.
15 July 1943:
16 July 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
15 August 1943:
NOSHIRO is reassigned to Vice Admiral Kurita Takao's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet as flagship of DesRon 2, replacing JINTSU that was sunk one month earlier at the Battle of Kolombangara.
18 September 1943:
The Combined Fleet sorties to Brown Island, Eniwetok in response to air raids on Tarawa, Makin and Abemama Atolls launched from Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Charles A. Pownall's 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 of BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU (followed by ZUIHO on 19 September), CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 2's NOSHIRO and her destroyers with DesRon 10's AGANO and her destroyers.
Vice Admiral Kurita leads the second section with his Advance Force of CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO.
Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Koga Mineichi (former CO of ISE), CINC, Combined Fleet, remains at Truk with the fleet's flagship MUSASHI with BatDiv 2's FUSO and BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA. No contact is made with Task Force 15.
25 September 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.
5-6 October 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's Task Force 14's carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and COWPENS (CVL-25) launch air raids on Wake Island and the Marshall Islands.
17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests the Americans are planning another air raid on Wake. This time, Admiral Koga sorties from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok to intercept the enemy task force with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, TONE, DesRon 2's NOSHIRO, DesRon 10's AGANO and light cruiser OYODO and their destroyers.
20 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island, Eniwetok.
23 October 1943:
Departs Brown and sorties to a position 250 miles south of Wake. Returns after no contact is made with enemy forces.
26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.
1 November 1943: American Operation "Shoestring II": The Invasion of Bougainville:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Theodore S. Wilkinson's Third Amphibious Force, TF 31, lands LtGen (later General/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Amphibious Corps at Cape Torokina, Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomons.
2 November 1943: The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay:
Vice Admiral Omori Sentaro (former CO of ISE) departs Rabaul to escort 1,000 IJA troops to Empress Augusta Bay to oppose the American invasion at Cape Torokina, Bougainville. Omori's force includes CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO with six destroyers. Omori is intercepted by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) A. S. Merrill's (former CO of INDIANA, BB-58) Task Force 39 with four light cruisers and DesDivs 45 and 46's eight destroyers. Merrill's cruisers sink SENDAI and destroyer HATSUKAZE. Omori withdraws with the remaining Japanese forces.
3 November 1943:
NOSHIRO departs Truk with CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and the MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and four destroyers to attack the American forces off Bougainville.
5 November 1943: The Carrier Raid on Rabaul:
The cruiser force arrives at Rabaul. About noon, while refueling in Simpson Harbor from oiler KOKUYO MARU, the cruisers are attacked by 97 planes from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's (former CO of LEXINGTON (CV-2) Task Force 38's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23). They bomb and damage ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA, MOGAMI and CHIKUMA, light cruiser AGANO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI. NOSHIRO is hit by a dud Mark 13 aerial torpedo.
11 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk with MAYA, submarine tender CHOGEI and destroyers KAZAGUMO, SAMIDARE, WAKATSUKI, HAYANAMI and FUJINAMI.
12 November 1943:
NOSHIRO and the destroyers detach to tow AGANO after she is torpedoed by (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Walter G. Ebert's USS SCAMP (SS-277).
13 November 1943:
NOSHIRO takes AGANO in tow, escorted by light cruiser NAGARA and destroyer URAKAZE.
14 November 1943:
The tow line parts. NAGARA takes over, escorted by the URAKAZE. NOSHIRO departs for Truk where she arrives later that day.
20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the Gilberts:
Forces under Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance (former CO of MISSISSIPPI, BB-41), Commander, Central Pacific, invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.
24 November 1943:
Departs Truk with the cruisers SUZUYA, KUMANO and CHOKAI, destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI, HAMAKAZE, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI in response to American invasion of Tarawa. Fleet tanker NIPPON MARU, escorted by YAMAGUMO, MAIKAZE and NOWAKI, provides support.
26 November 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.
27 November 1943:
28 November 1943:
Arrives at Eniwetok.
29 November 1943:
30 November 1943:
Arrives at Roi.
3 December 1943:
5 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
15 December 1943:
Captain Kajiwara Sueyoshi (former CO of KASHIMA) assumes command. Captain Tawara is reassigned as CO of YAMASHIRO. In May '44, he is promoted Rear Admiral, but dies a few days later of natural causes.
30 December 1943:
Departs Truk on troop transport run with light cruiser OYODO and destroyers AKIKAZE and YAMAGUMO.
1 January 1944:
The light cruiser group is attacked by aircraft from Rear Admiral Sherman's new carrier Task Group 37.2's USS BUNKER HILL (CVL-17) and MONTEREY (CVL-26). One of NOSHIRO's turrets is put out of action temporarily and ten men are killed. OYODO loses two men. YAMAGUMO is damaged. Arrives at Kavieng that day.
4 January 1944:
Departs Kavieng for Truk.
18-19 January 1944:
Dispatched from Truk to assist carrier UNYO torpedoed by USS HADDOCK (SS-231). NOSHIRO and HATSUSHIMO assist UNYO being towed by cruiser TAKAO to Saipan.
21 January 1944:
24 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
1 February 1944:
Drydocked for refit, battle-damage repairs and modifications. Six triple-mount and eight single-mount Type 96 25-mm.AA guns are fitted. This brings NATORI's 25-mm suite to 32 barrels (8x3) (8x1).
19 March 1944:
28 March 1944:
3 April 1944:
Arrives at Davao.
5 April 1944:
Departs Davao for Lingga (near Singapore) with CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and CHOKAI, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO and DesDiv 27's HARUSAME. The cruiser group is attacked by USS DACE (SS-247), but she misses with six bow torpedoes. The cruisers are also sighted by USS DARTER (SS-227), but she is unable to attack.
7 April 1944:
The cruiser group is sighted coming out of Davao Bay by USS SCAMP (SS-277), but she is also unable to attack.
9 April 1944:
Arrives at Lingga.
5 May 1944:
Departs Lingga. Arrives at Singapore.
7 May 1944:
Departs Singapore. Arrives at Lingga.
11 May 1944:
Steams from Lingga with the Mobile Force (except CarDiv 1, CruDiv 5 and DesRon 10).
15 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.
16 May 1944:
Departs Tawi Tawi for Davao with DesDiv 31's OKINAMI and another destroyer on a transport mission.
17 May 1944:
Arrives at Davao.
18 May 1944:
Departs Davao. LtCdr Charles H. Andrews' USS GURNARD (SS-254) patrolling off the approaches to Davao Gulf sights NOSHIRO. In poor visibility conditions, Andrews misidentifies NOSHIRO as "either a large cruiser or a battleship" zigzagging at high speed and escorted by two destroyers. Just as Andrews is about to fire, he experiences a malfunction, but fires a full salvo of six bow torpedoes. Andrews has to flood the negative buoyancy tank to keep GURNARD from broaching in full view of the Japanese. He goes deep. GURNARD's crew hear torpedo explosions. The destroyers drop 32 depth charges, but GURNARD is not damaged.
19 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi.
27 May 1944: American Operation "Horlicks" - The Invasion of Biak:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) William M. Fechteler's Task Force 77 lands MajGen Horace H. Fuller's 41st Division on Biak off New Guinea.
8 June 1944:
Tawi Tawi. NOSHIRO receives fresh provisions replenishment from supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
10 June 1944: Operation "Kon" - The Relief of Biak:
At 1600, DesRon 2's NOSHIRO and destroyers OKINAMI and SHIMAKAZE depart Tawi Tawi for Batjan with BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI. On station nearby, Cdr (MOH, posthumously) Sam Dealey's USS HARDER (SS-257) reports the Kon Force leaving Tawi Tawi. Shortly after departure, as a result of a submarine alert and subsequent maneuvering, MUSASHI nearly rams YAMATO.
12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of Saipan:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion of Saipan begins. That day, NOSHIRO arrives at Batjan where joined by CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, but Operation Kon is "postponed".
13 June 1944:
At 2200, departs Batjan.
15 June 1944:
E of Mindanao. The YAMATO group is sighted and reported by LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's USS SEAHORSE (SS-304).
17 June 1944:
At 1000, refuels from the 1st Supply Force's oilers HAYUSUI, NICHIEI, KOKUYO MARU and SEIYO MARU.
At 1650 hours, Vice Admiral Ugaki's Task Force joins Vice Admiral Ozawa's "A" Force: CarDiv 1's TAIHO, ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, DesDiv 61's WAKATSUKI, HATSUZUKI, AKIZUKI, SHIMOTSUKI and MINAZUKI and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Joshima Takatsugu's (former CO of SHOKAKU) "B" Force: CarDiv 2's JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO, BatDiv 1's NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI and DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, NOWAKI and YAMAGUMO and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SAMIDARE, AKISHIMO and SHIRATSUYU.
Forces A and B deploy 100 miles behind Vice Admiral Kurita's "C" Force (Vanguard): CarDiv 3, BatDivs 1, 3, CruDivs 4, 7, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's (former CO of NAGATO) DesRon 2's NOSHIRO with DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI and ASASHIMO, DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, HAMANAMI and SHIMAKAZE.
Philippine Sea. Later, the Mobile Fleet is sighted by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler's USS CAVALLA (SS-244).
18 June 1944:
At 2100 hours, Vice Admiral Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces A and B proceed southward. Kurita's Force C Vanguard proceeds due east.
19 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The Battle of the Philippine Sea:
Kurita's Second Fleet steams about 100 miles ahead of Ozawa's carriers. The Mobile Fleet launches 374 aircraft, including floatplanes, in four raids against Admiral Raymond A. Spruance's Task Force 58. In the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot", Ozawa loses 244 planes in the raids. Spruance loses 22 aircraft in the fighting including some to flak on Guam. NOSHIRO is undamaged.
22 June 1944:
Arrives with the Mobile Fleet at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa for refueling.
23 June 1944:
24 June 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
Late June-early July 1944:
Kure. Drydocked and refitted. Two triple-mount Type 96 25-mm AA gun mounts are installed amidships bringing NOSHIRO's total 25-mm AA suite to 48 barrels (10x3, 18x1). A Type 13 air-search and a Type 22 surface-search radar set are fitted.
8 July 1944:
NOSHIRO departs Kure with destroyer SHIMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's AKISHIMO and HAYASHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI and the ASASHIMO, DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI and HAMANAMI and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE and SAMIDARE carrying Imperial Army troops and material as part of Group "A": BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and the CHIKUMA and Group "B": BatDiv 3's KONGO and BatDiv 1's NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI and DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI with DesDiv 2's KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.
10 July 1944:
Group A detaches from Group B. Departs Okinawa for Lingga (south of Singapore) to join the Mobile Fleet.
16 July 1944:
CruDivs 4, 7, DesRon 2 detach from Group A for Singapore. BatDiv 1 and other escorts continue to Lingga Roads.
19 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore. Unloads.
20 July 1944:
Departs Singapore. Arrives at Lingga.
20 July-17 October 1944:
Remains in the vicinity of Lingga for three months conducting training with fleet units.
8 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. YAMATO receives fresh provisions replenishment from supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
1 October 1944:
Lingga anchorage. YAMATO receives fresh provisions replenishment from KITAKAMI MARU.
13 October 1944:
Admiral Toyoda Soemu, CINC, Combined Fleet, orders the SHO-I-GO plan activated.
18 October 1944:
NOSHIRO steams with the fleet from Lingga to Brunei Bay, Borneo.
20 October 1944: American Operation "King Two" - The Invasion of Leyte, Philippines:
Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey's Third Fleet of 738 ships including 18 aircraft carriers, six battleships, 17 cruisers, 64 destroyers and over 600 support ships land the Army's X Corps (24th Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions) and the XXIV Corps (7th, 77th and 96th Infantry Divisions) that begin the campaign to retake Leyte. That same day, the Mobile Fleet arrives at Brunei, Borneo and refuels.
22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
DesRon 2's flagship NOSHIRO and DesDiv 2's HAYASHIMO, AKISHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, ASASHIMO and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, NAGANAMI, HAMANAMI and destroyer SHIMAKAZE sortie with Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force, Force "A" (Center Force). Vice Admiral Ugaki Matome (former CO of HYUGA), aboard YAMATO, leads the first section of Force A's BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, CHOKAI and MAYA and CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO.
23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
At 0535, Vice Admiral Kurita's flagship ATAGO is hit by four torpedoes from Cdr David McClintock's USS DARTER (SS-227). TAKAO is also hit by torpedoes from DARTER, set afire and goes dead in the water. LtCdr Clagett's USS DACE (SS-247) sinks MAYA. At 0553, the ATAGO sinks by the bow. Vice Admiral Kurita and his CoS Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Koyanagi Tomichi (former CO of KONGO) are rescued from the water by KISHINAMI. ASASHIMO rescues other survivors.
24 October 1944:- The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
Force A endures 11 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) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6). YAMATO is hit by bombs and is down by the bow. NAGATO is hit and HARUNA damaged. Cruiser MYOKO is hit by an aircraft torpedo and TONE is hit by bombs. NOSHIRO is undamaged. After the first wave of planes departs, NOSHIRO reports sighting periscopes in the Sibuyan Sea.
25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
At 0558, Force A opens fire at "Taffy 3's" escort carriers' USS ST. LO (CVE-63), WHITE PLAINS (CVE-66), KALININ BAY (CVE-68), FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70) (F), KITKUN BAY (CVE-71) and GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73). The carriers are screened by destroyers USS HOEL (DD-533), JOHNSTON, (DD-557), HEERMANN (DD-532) and destroyer escorts USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE-413), DENNIS (DE-405), RAYMOND (DE-341) and JOHN C. BUTLER (DE-339).
At 0654, Cdr A. T. Hathaway's destroyer HEERMANN fires three torpedoes at BatDiv 3's HARUNA. The torpedoes miss HARUNA, but head toward YAMATO whose crew spots their tracks to starboard. At 0710, BatDiv 1 proceeds southward again after combing the wakes of HEERMANN’s torpedoes. BatDiv 1's run to the north costs them approximately 14,000 yards. NOSHIRO and DesRon 2's destroyers remain in the rear of the battleships as screen.
At 0741, Captain W. V. R. Vieweg's GAMBIER BAY is burning amidships and listing 20 degrees to port. CHIKUMA, TONE, HAGURO and CHOKAI concentrate their fire on GAMBIER BAY from her port side. On the starboard side, NOSHIRO and at least one destroyer join in, closing the range to under five miles.
At 0808, NOSHIRO hits escort carrier WHITE PLAINS with several 6-inch shells. At 0838, NOSHIRO is hit starboard side by a 5-inch shell from an American destroyer.
From 0855-1010, Force A sinks GAMBIER BAY and HOEL, ROBERTS and JOHNSTON. Between 1030-1320, the CHOKAI, CHIKUMA and SUZUYA are disabled by battle damage, drop out of formation, and are subsequently lost. At 2100, Force A reverses course northward and retires through the San Bernardino Strait.
26 October 1944:
W of Panay. At 0834, Kurita's force is attacked by the first wave of about 80 Grumman TBM-1C "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from Task Group 38.1's USS WASP (CV-18) and COWPENS (CVL-25). One bomb explodes in NOSHIRO's AA shell magazine. It starts a fire, but it is extinguished quickly.
Six Avengers attack NOSHIRO. She dodges their torpedoes, but at 0852, another Avenger launches a Mark 13 aerial torpedo that hits in her No. 3 boiler room. It instantly floods and her No. 1 boiler room floods shortly thereafter. The inrush of seawater throws all of NOSHIRO's boilers off line. She comes to a halt and takes on a 16-degree list to port.
While emergency repairs are carried out by NOSHIRO's crew, destroyer HAMANAMI comes alongside and removes ComDesRon 2, Rear Admiral Hayakawa. Later, he transfers to YAMATO. During the action, YAMATO is hit twice by bombs and HARUNA also receives several near misses.
At 1014, NOSHIRO is attacked by 28 TBMs and Grumman SB2C-3 "Helldiver" dive-bombers from TG 38.1's HORNET (CV-12). NOSHIRO's AA gunners claim six planes downed. At 1022, NOSHIRO, dead in the water, is hit by another torpedo to starboard beneath her No. 2 main turret.
At 1041, Captain Kajiwara orders the forward magazines flooded in an attempt to righten the ship. Five minutes later her forward deck is awash, with the list steadily increasing. At 1100, NOSHIRO resumes a 10-degree list to port that quickly starts to increase. At 1105, Kajiwara orders her battle flag lowered and then gives the order to abandon ship.
S of Mindoro. At 1113, NOSHIRO sinks by the bow at 11-42N, 121-41E. Destroyers AKISHIMO and HAMANAMI rescue Captain Kajiwara and 328 survivors.
20 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Captain Kajiwara is officially relieved of duty on 6 November 1944. On 1 December, he is appointed Commanding officer, 3rd Section, 2nd Division, Hydrographic Department at the Navy Ministry.
Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks also go to Aldert Gritter/"Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands.
Thanks to Johm Whitman and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.