© 1998 Anthony P. Tully
© (Revised June 2007)
© (Revised July 2010)
Contact queries to:
tullyfleet - gmail.com
Note: All times Tokyo JST standard (Item 9) time unless noted otherwise in parenthesis.
Note 2: Linked flagships lead to related TROMS that give more in-depth information about that unit's activities.
12 December 1937
Laid down at Yokosuka Navy Yard.
1 June 1939
15 October 1940:
Captain Jojima Takatsugu (class-40) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer.
15 November 1940:
Capt. Jojima assumes dual role as CEO of TSURUGIzAKI.(The future light carrier SHOHO, then under conversion from this seaplane tender).
17 April 1941:
Capt. Jojima's duel executive role is formalized as CO of both SHOKAKU and TSURUGIZAKI.
Initial Command Structure:
8 August 1941:
Commissioned at Yokosuka, assigned as Special Duty Ship. Captain Jojima Takatsugu assigned as Commanding Officer. Attached to Kure Naval District.
23 August 1941:
Departs Yokosuka on her shakedown voyage for Ariake Bay, Kyushu.
25 August 1941:
Arrive at Ariake; becomes flagship of 1st Air Fleet, and assigned to 1st Air Fleet, CarDiv 5.
1 September 1941:
Assigned to CarDiv 5, First Air Fleet, along with KASUGA MARU (future TAIYO).
6 September 1941:
Departs Ariake for Yokosuka.
8 September 1941:
Arrive at Yokosuka, Commander First Air Fleet leaves the ship.
10 September 1941:
Becomes flagship of ComCarDiv 5. Remains at Yokosuka for the rest of the month.
4 October 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for Oita Bay.
6 October 1941:
Arrives at Oita.
8 October 1941:
Arriving at Kure, join new sister-carrier ZUIKAKU for the first time. Remainder of month spent moving around in Kure, Oita, Saeki area.
Arrives at Saeki Bay.
Arrives at Sukumo Bay.
Arrives at Terajima Strait.
Arrives at Sasebo.
Departs Sasebo for Oita Bay, stopping at Ariake Bay.
Arrives at Oita.
Arrives at Ariake Bay.
Arrives at Oita Bay.
Departs Oita for Kure, arrives on that same day.
14 November 1941:
Flag of ComCarDiv 5 shifts to ZUIKAKU.
17 November 1941:
Departs Kure for Saeki Bay, arrives on that same day.
18 November 1941:
Departs Saeki for Oita Bay; arriving same day.
19 November 1941:
Departs Oita in Inland Sea with ZUIKAKU for Hittokappu Bay at Etorofu Island in the Kuriles to join the ships massing for the "Hawaii Operation".
22 November 1941:
CarDiv 5 arrives at Hittokapu Bay as part of a last-minute addition to the Carrier Striking Force.
26 November: 1941
With VADM Nagumo Chuichi's First Air Fleet, departs Hittokappu Bay in the "Hawaii Operation" the attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Composition: CarDiv 1 AKAGI and KAGA; CarDiv 2 HIRYU and SORYU; CarDiv 5 SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU; BatDiv 3 first section HIEI and KIRISHIMA; CruDiv 8 TONE and CHIKUMA; and DesRon 1 ABUKUMA, Desdiv 17 ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE; DesDiv 18 ARARE, KAGERO, and SHIRANUHI.
8 December 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor ("Hawaii Operation")
Two strike waves launched against Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii at 0600 on Dec 7th local date. SHOKAKU's first strike: 26 dive-bombers led by Lt.Cdr. Takahashi Kakuichi and 5 fighters led by Lt. Kaneko TAdashi; one dive bomber is lost. Second strike at 0715 local is comprised of 27 torpedo planes armed with bombs led by Lt. Tatsuo Ichihara; no losses incurred.
Nagumo orders a withdrawal following recovery of the second attack wave.
23 December 1941:
Return with AKAGI, KAGA, and ZUIKAKU to Hashirajima. (CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU had detached to hit Wake Island).
25 December 1941:
CarDiv 5 returns to Kure Naval Base after stopover at Saeki.
3 January 1942:
Undocked at Kure, proceeds to Hiroshima Bay on the 5th.
5 January 1942:
Departs Kure for Hiroshima Bay in company with ZUIKAKU.
7 January 1942:
Departs Hiroshima Bay for Hashirajima anchorage.
8 January 1942:
Depart Hashirajima for Truk with Nagumo's Striking Force.
14 January 1942:
Arrive at Truk.
16 January 1942:
Depart Truk assigned to "R" Operations from the 14th to 24th.
20 January 1942:
Kido Butai launches strikes totalling 90 planes against Rabaul. SHOKAKU's share is 19 dive-bombers. No loss of own, but KAGA loses one dive-bomber.
21 January 1942:
SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, with CHIKUMA detached with four destroyers (AKIGUMO, KASUMI,KAGERO, SHIRANUHI) to launch separate raids today on airfields in New Guinea, including Lae, Salamaua, Bulolo, and Madang.
25 January 1942:
Operating 100 miles south of Truk, embarks sixteen Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" fighters from Chitose NAG.
27 January 1942:
Fly-in aircraft to stock the newly captured air base at Rabaul. Then proceed to Truk.
29 January 1942:
CarDiv 5 returns to Truk. SHOKAKU departs again within a day.
30 January 1942:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka to pick-up aircraft from the homeland, while the following day sister-ship ZUIKAKU departs with the rest of the Striking Force (AKAGI and KAGA) for the pursuit of the enemy carrier force raiding the Marshall Islands. (SHOKAKU's departure from Truk the day prior was coincidental and unrelated-- the Marshalls had not yet been raided of course.)
3 February 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka, and generally remains in its environs for the remainder of the month.
11 February 1942:
Arrives at Tateyama Bay.
12 February 1942:
Arrives at Shirako Bay.
14 February 1942:
Arrives at Mikawa Bay.
24 February 1942:
Departs Mikawa Bay; arrives at Yokosuka same day.
27 February 1942:
Enter drydock at Yokosuka.
5 March 1942:
7 March 1942:
Depart Yokosuka to intercept VADM W.F. Halsey's TF 16 (USS ENTERPRISE) after the American raid on Marcus Island (Minami-Torishima). However, no force is located.
11 March 1942:
With sister ZUIKAKU, accompany ComFirstFleet VADM Shiro Takasu's ISE and HYUGA on a sortie to sweep for enemy believed to approaching the homeland.
16 March 1942:
Return to Yokosuka, no enemy contacts made.
17 March 1942:
Depart Yokosuka for Staring Bay to join "C" Operations.
24 March 1942:
Arrive at Staring Bay with destroyers ARARE, KAGERO and AKIGUMO, joining ZUIKAKU.
26 March 1942:
Depart Staring Bay for "C" Operations against the British in the Indian Ocean. Assignment, First Air Fleet, CarDiv 5, Striking Force, air attack force. Sortie with AKAGI, HIRYU, SORYU, ZUIKAKU; battleships KONGO, HIEI, HARUNA, KIRISHIMA; cruisers TONE, CHIKUMA, ABUKUMA and eleven destroyers: Desdiv 4 HAGIKAZE, MAIKAZE; Desdiv 17 URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE; Desdiv 18 KASUMI, SHIRANUHI, ARARE, KAGERO, with AKIGUMO;and fleet oiler SHINKOKU MARU.
3 April 1942:
Enters the Indian Ocean.
5 April 1942:
Launch strike of 19 dive bombers against Colombo. One dive bomber is lost.
9 April 1942:
SHOKAKU launches strike of nineteen torpedo planes and ten fighers against Trincomalee, Ceylon. One fighter is lost. Later that day, launches eighteen dive bombers against carrier HMS HERMES and participate in her sinking, claiming thirteen hits out of the forty reported.
18 April 1942:
While passing Formosa, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU detach from Kido Butai with destroyers HAGIKAZE and MAIKAZE. Arriving at Mako the carriers embark provisions, while the destroyers are sent back to rejoin Nagumo.
19 April 1942:
Depart Mako to participate in "MO" Operation - the invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea slated for 10 May - in the Coral Sea officially commencing 20 April. Screened by Desdiv 27 (ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU).
25 April 1942:
Arrive at Truk.
1 May 1942:
Depart Truk with ZUIKAKU to participate in "MO" Operation as part of the The MO Striking Force. The force is under overall command of VADM Takagi Takeo ComCruDiv 5 aboard MYOKO with HAGURO, with CarDiv 5 (RADM Hara Chuichi), six destroyers (Desdiv 27 ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU; Desdiv 7 USHIO, AKEBONO) and oiler TOHO MARU. The MO Striking Force's primary assignment is neutralize Australian air bases and to cover the Port Moresby invasion convoy's run-in. Takagi is also expected to deal with any U.S. carrier forces that might show up, but none were expected till CarDiv 5 was in stationed in the center of the Coral Sea.
7-8 May 1942:
Battle of the Coral Sea.
- 0610 Having reached a position some 300 miles southwest of Tulagi, and received sighting reports at 0522 and 0545 of enemy ships - including a carrier and cruiser -- well south of his position just where he expected them, Hara launches a full strike from his CarDiv 5 of 18 fighters, 36 dive-bombers and 24 torpedo planes under commmand of LtCdr. Takahashi Kikuichi. Yet the strike is barely away when starting at 0620 and onwards the cruiser search planes begin sighting reports of forces south of Rossel Island and southwest of MO Striking Force, including enemy carriers. But these don't start reaching CarDiv 5 until about 0700 and Hara is not in a position to act on it yet. For logistical reasons it is undesirable to try to divert a mass strike in flight, and the original target is just as promsing as the new ones.
- 0915 Having reached the location of the supposed enemy task force and searched for two hours, but seeing only an oiler and destroyer reported earlier, LtCdr Takahashi gradually realize this is the "carrier and cruiser" reported Earlier. Resigned, Takahashi decides to attack it with his dive-bombers and sends the torpedo planes back to the carriers. At 0926 the Japanese dive bombers attack, sinking destoyer SIMs with three direct hits and gravely wounding the oiler, NEOSHO, with seven more, leaving her dead in the water and listing sharply to starboard.( Subsequently the embattled survivors of both NEOSHO and SIMs will endure a harrowing drift aboard a supposedly sinking vessel that nonetheless stays stubbornly afloat all the way to afternoon of May 11 when finally discovered by search flights and destroyer HENLEY reaches her. She then scuttles the gallant tanker. Others who abandoned ship too hastily on May 7 are never found, save for four picked up three days later).
- (Ironically, in this same time frame, the U.S. commander RADM Frank Fletcher in command of TF 17 with USS LEXINGTON and USS YORKTOWN had fallen into a similar, but more rewarding version of such an error. Acting on a mistaken report of the Japanese Louisiades invasion force as containing two carriers, both carriers of TF 17 had starting at 0725 launching a massive strike. By great fortune, on the way to the target one of the LEXINGTON planes happened to spot the Covering Force of RADM Goto Aritomo and the light carrier SHOHO first. Both waves pounced on the unlucky carrier, and the overwhelmed SHOHO went down at 0935. Furthermore, the carrier's sinking had another surprising effect. Earlier for a thrust westward, Fletcher had detached a three cruiser and three destroyer force of American, Australian and British ships under British Admiral J.C. Crace. This force managed to spectacularly beat off combined air attacks by the Japanese forces at Rabaul and Buna, and so disheartened Admiral VADM Inoue Shigeyoshi (CinC 4th Fleet and in overall charge) that at 0700 he gave the order for nothing less than the temporary suspension of the Port Moresby invasion operation. When news of SHOHO's sinking reached him a few hours later, it removed all doubt. His covering carrier lost, Inoue also lost all resolve. He even late that evening stripped the convoy of its escort, confirming his decision. Unaware the whole point of the contest had been decided, the Japanese and American carriers proceeded into grand action, the first carrier-to-carrier battle in history).
- 1430 CarDiv 5 launches to make a bold and risky nightfall attack on the reported American carriers. Admirals Takagi and Hara had made the decision in an effort to regain initiative, and selected their most night flying skilled pilots to participate. Sacrificing fighter cover (the Zeros aboard were not suited for night-flying escort) the 12 dive-bombers and 15 torpedo planes gamely fly to the very limits of their operational radius and well after twilight, only to find nothing and have to start back. Ironically, they had overflown TF 17, and ran into its CAP. Several are shot down, and even more amazingly, about six come within minutes of actually landing by mistake on YORKTOWN, only to spooked by gunfire at the last moment. To aid their return, Admiral Hara courageously orders CarDiv 5's searchlights switched on to give the planes a chance to land safely. But some are running out of fuel even then, and eleven crash or are damaged while landing. Only six of the strike lands intact. The rest shot down or operational losses.
8 May 1942
Carrier Battle of the Coral Sea.
- 0620 CarDiv 5 is sighted by a scout bomber from LEXINGTON. Only two minutes later, one of the Japanese float planes sights TF-17 (YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON). Though this report does not reach the Japanese till 0636, in anticipation of such, Hara had already had CarDiv 5 launch a strike at 0622 of 18 fighters, 33 bombers, and 18 torpedo planes commanded by Commander Takahashi Kakuichi.
- Just before 0900 the American strike closed on the southward steaming CarDiv 5. At the time ZUIKAKU was 9,000 meters ahead of SHOKAKU and by chance at that time with her screen of MYOKO and HAGURO and three destroyers found sanctuary in a rain squall. This left SHOKAKU and her two cruisers (KINUGASA and FURUTAKA) to bear the brunt of the attack. The YORKTOWN'S planes attack first, followed immediately by the LEXINGTON's.
- 0907-0916 severely damaged by two bomb hits from YORKTOWN bombers. One tore open the port bow and started a fire in the forecastle. The anchor chains are severed and the anchors go plunging to the bottom. The second struck the end of the flight deck to starboard, killing all gunners at No.11 25 mm mount. At 0940 in a second attack a third bomb hit is scored by a LEXINGTON bomber, hitting the starboard side of the rear of the island, damaging gun tubs and the main signal mast which is left leaning forward. Lt. Sugiyama Juro is among those killed by this hit. The shocks disable the forward elevator and large fires break out, but SHOKAKU evaded all twenty torpedoes dropped against her successfully. Yet the carrier is rendered incapable of operating aircraft and 108 officers and men are killed by the fires and explosions, and another 40 wounded. Ten aircraft reported lost.
- In the meantime, CarDiv 5's strike had attacked the American carriers at almost exactly the same time, starting runs at 0910. SHOKAKU's concentrated on LEXINGTON scoring two definite torpedo and bomb hits each and claiming more, while ZUIKAKU's went after YORKTOWN, hitting her with three bombs. Though LEXINGTON would later succumb to an unexpected series of induced av-gas vapor explosions, and SHOKAKU had taken out her target, for SHOKAKU the battle was over as well. After the attack, Captain Jojima made an urgent request to retire, and this was granted. SHOKAKU was immediately detached, and at 1010 turned northeast to evacuate the battle area at full speed, making 30 knots despite her damaged bow. (Her returning planes commenced landing on ZUIKAKU instead after 1030). Cruisers KINUGASA and FURUTAKA and destroyers USHIO and YUGURE were ordered to shepherd her clear of the battle field thoughout the day, while Combined Fleet deliberated on just where the jeaopardized carrier should go. At the same time, SHOKAKU was formally removed from order of battle plans for the upcoming Midway Operation. (Meantime, at 1345 Inoue ordered Takagi to suspend attacks and retire, and at 1420 the invasion of Port Moresby was called off. Ending the Battle of the Coral Sea for ZUIKAKU too.)
9 May 1942:
SHOKAKU reassigned to CarDiv 5, 1st Air Fleet. KINUGASA and FURUTAKA released, while (possibly) YUGURE and USHIO remain with the carrier. On detached status, SHOKAKU ordered to proceed immediately to the homeland at top speed. Now begins a dramatic dash past a cordon of American submarines alerted to intercept the cripple which Pearl Harbor aptly code-named "Wounded Bear."
10 May 1942:
- 2015 (King time) GREENLING rec'd two messages from CTF 7 that damaged warships were en route to Truk assigning new patrol area of 07-15'N, 153-23'E in hopes of intercepting damaged carrier believed headed for Japan.
11 May 1942
- 0150 (King time) GREENLING arrives at new patrol station off Truk, patrols submerged during daylight, then after dark, moves to Northeast Pass.
- USS DRUM received message from CTF 7 concerning damaged CV "Wounded Bear" and ordered to patrol Kii Suido.
- 2245 GREENLING Rec'd instruction to return to the station between Truk and Drlzuk? 4 miles off Northeast Pass and does so, arriving at 1000 (K time) May 13.
12 May 1942:
SHOKAKU rendevous with Desdiv 15's KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, and HAYASHIO in the Philippine Sea (If still with her, USHIO and YUGURE released.) Final leg home commences - successfully avoiding further submarines en-route; however, with the high speeds and gashed port bow, the ship takes on so much water she nearly capsizes en route.(Note: water entering the shattered bow apparently caused steep lists at speed, but the day or position of greatest crisis has not been found. Presumably in a time of heavy seas.)
14 May 1942:
Combined Fleet receives report that both CarDiv 5's carriers have suffered losses in air crews and wouldn't be available for the MI Operation.
16 May 1942
- 1523 Having anticipated the carrier's arrival, USS TRITON sights SHOKAKU and two Amagiri-class destroyers in position 29-05.5'N, 135-25'E making 16 knots or better on course 325. She tries to close but the zigzagging SHOKAKU proves too fast and the closest TRITON ever comes is 6,700 yards.
- 2200 USS GRENADIER forced to move southward from her intercept position off Bungo Suido by heavy fog bank setting down from that strait. Then takes up course to NE to in hopes of making sighting of "Wounded Bear" but makes no contacts.
17 May 1942:
- 0316 USS POLLACK arrives at SHOKAKU's track and begins surfaced patrol, but the carrier has already slipped past. Having evaded no less than eight submarines, SHOKAKU arrives at Kure in the evening today for repairs, and is immediately placed in the Reserve Unit of the Mobile Force. As a consequence of her damage, she cannot be moored and simply casts an anchor. CinC Yamamoto Isoroku and Ugaki Matome board to inspect her and praise the crew. (Note: if captions are correct, an impressive series of well-known photographs are taken of SHOKAKU's damage this afternoon, just after arrival. It seems more likely to be with a few days later, for SHOKAKU arrived in the evening.). Despite the impending MI operation, pre-MO Operation plans to transfer a number of CarDiv 5's air crews to other units proceeds as planned, as replacement aircraft are not available.
25 May 1942:
Captain Jojima relieved by Captain Masafumi Arima (Class-43).
16 June 1942:
Enter drydock at Kure Naval Yard for battle damage repairs.
27 June 1942:
Leave drydock at Kure, repairs complete. During this tenure an early Type 21 radar was installed, placed directly atop her island's director.
14 July 1942:
Reassigned to Striking Force, 3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1 with ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO. In Hashirajima-Kure area.
18 July 1942:
Departs Kure for Hashirajima anchorage.
19 July 1942:
21 July 1942:
Depart Hashirajima for a training cruise.
31 July 1942:
Return to Hashirajima.
Arrives at Kure.
Departs Kure for Hashirajima.
Arrives at Hashirajima, rejoining ZUIKAKU.
16 August 1942:
- Assigned to Main Body, Striking Force, 3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1. Flagship of ComThirdFleet VADM Nagumo Chuichi.
- 1800 Depart Hashirajima to support ground offensive operations on Guadalcanal (invaded by the allies on August 7) and interdict enemy carrier forces in the area with carriers ZUIKAKU and RYUJO; BatDiv 11 (HIEI and KIRISHIMA); CruDiv 7 (KUMANO and SUZUYA); CruDiv 8 (TONE, CHIKUMA, NAGARA and destroyers of Desron 10's Desdiv 10 (MAKIGUMO, YUGUMO, KAZAGUMO, AKIGUMO; Desdiv 16 (AMATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, ) and attached (AKIZUKI).
21 August 1942:
- Scheduled stopover at Truk is canceled by CinC Yamamoto who instructs that Nagumo refuel at sea from oilers in order to hasten on directly toward Guadalcanal.
- 0500 Nagumo fleet rendezvous temporarily with Kondo's Advanced Force, then they divide to advance to their assigned positions. Their mission is primarily to draw out into batle the three covering U.S. carriers of Admiral Fletcher's TF-61 known to be somewhere east or southeast of Guadalcanal. Secondarily, Kido Butai and the Advanced Force were to support the large three-transport reinforcement convoy bound for Guadalcanal led by ComDesRon 2 Tanaka Raizo aboard JINTSU.
23 August 1942:
- 0750 Tanaka's convoy is sighted by a Catalina, and Tanaka requests direct air cover. Combined Fleet demurs; Nagumo's carriers must be held in reserve in case the US carriers are found and a launch will betray their position. As compromise, it is agreed that if no American carriers were sighted in the morning of August 24, then Nagumo's carriers would launch protection for the convoy. The timing proves prescient.
- 1625 Having rec'd report of Kondo's Advanced Force being sighted, to avoid further detection Nagumo swings Kido Butai north for the night, and Kondo's follows the Main Body's lead.
24 August 1942:
Carrier Battle of the Eastern Solomons (IJN -"Second Solomons Sea Battle")
- 0200 No American carriers having been sighted yet, Nagumo detaches RYUJO, TONE and destroyers AMATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKZE under RADM Hara Chuichi in TONE to proceed independently due south to conduct direct support operations from a position ahead of it for Tanaka's inbound convoy scheduled to land the next day.
- 0400 The Main Body and Advanced Force set course 150 degrees and increase speed to 20 knots to close the anticipated location where enemy carriers will be sighted.
- 0415 CarDiv 1 launches 19 torpedo bombers for search, augmented by 7 seaplanes from Kondo's cruisers. Nagumo orders a standby ready strike prepared comprised of dive-bombers. Torpedo armed planes are to be held in reserve till follow-up strikes.
- 1250 Upon receiving a CHIKUMA search plane sighting report of TF-61's carriers (SARATOGA and ENTERPRISE; TF-18's WASP had been detached south to refuel at 1623 23 August) CarDiv 1 launches a strike. Though the floatplane had been shot down before it could give a position, Nagumo's staff was able to accurately estimate the location from the search schedule. SHOKAKU puts up 18 dive-bombers and four fighters led by LtCdr. Seki Mamoru, joining nine div-bombers and six fighters from ZUIKAKU.
- 1315 While still launching the strike wave, SHOKAKU is suddenly dive-bombed by two ENTERPRISE search bombers. Though the new radar room had detected them and sent warning to the bridge in a radar "first" for Kido Butai, it is not received in time. But lookouts spot them at the last minute and Captain Arima turns full right and just evades the bombs, which score very near-misses (one only ten meters away) which cause slight damage to the starboard side, but six crewemn are killed. Because of this close-call as soon as the strike is away, SHOKAKU immediately commits her last 11 fighters to reinforce the CAP.
- 1400 CarDiv 1 launches a second strike. SHOKAKU sends 9 dive-bombers and three fighters, joining eighteeen div-bombers and six fighters from ZUIKAKU. The strike is led by Lt. Takahashi Sadamu.
- 1440 CarDiv 1's first strike reaches the US carriers. Though the Japanese sighted and intended to atack both carriers, confusion results in all the strike attacking the ENTERPRISE's TF-16 group. Three bomb hits damage the carrier, but no torpedoes hit and the Japanese lose 18 dive-bombers and 6 fighters in the strike. A fair number of them downed by the massed AA batteries of the new battleship NORTH CAROLINA.
- 1630 Following an erroneous contact position, CarDiv 1's second strike led by Lt. Takahashi fails to locate the temporarily crippled ENTERPRISE or the SARATOGA and at this time reaches its closest point. Thereupon they are forced to make their way back to CarDiv 1 for a dangerous landing after sunset. Gamely, Admiral Nagumo orders searchlights turned on, and all but five dive-bombers return safely; one of those dive-bombers crew is at least rescued. After that, Nagumo orders a retirement to refuel, and the battle winds down. In this action SHOKAKU had lost 10 dive-bombers and 3 fighters in action; with two more fighters having to ditch.
- (In the overall sense, though they believed they had set afire and badly damaged two carriers, the Battle of Eastern Solomons was a clear defeat for the Japanese. The detached RYUJO had been pounced upon at 1400 and dispatched by SARATOGA's planes and throughout the battle and after Tanaka's hapless convoy was left almost to its own devices, and after air attacks at 0800 next morning mauled his flagship JINTSU and sank a transport, Combined Fleet canceled the reinforcement landing at 0730 August 25.)
28 August 1942:
Air group is dispatched to Kavieng until 4 September.
Assigned to Support force, Striking force main body (3rd Fleet, CarDiv 1). At Truk or at sea throughout.
4 September 1942:
- 1040 Air Group returns aboard.
5 September 1942:
- 1330 Return to Truk from the Eastern Solomons action.
10 September 1942:
Early morning depart Truk with Second and Third Fleets to operate north of Guadalcanal in support of operations.
23 September 1942:
Return to Truk, no attacks launched.
11 October 1942:
- 1000 As flagship of VADM Nagumo Chuichi's Main Body, Third Fleet (CarDiv 1: SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO; cruiser KUMANO; DesDiv 16: AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIKAZE;DesDiv 4: ARASHI, MAIKAZE; and Attached: TERUZUKI and HAMAKAZE) SHOKAKU departs Truk with the Second and Third Fleets for an extended sortie. The mission was to cover a major Guadalcanal convoy reinforcement and then in the following week, a projected major ground operations by the Imperial Japanese Army aimed at recapturing Henderson Field.(Note: For clarity - Not till after the end of the month and after the Battle of Santa Cruz would these units return to Truk). These forces were under the collective command as "Support Force" of VADM Kondo Nobutake, whose flagship was ATAGO. The Support Force was comprised two main sections: Kondo's own Second Fleet Advanced Force which included CarDiv 2 with the new carriers JUNYO and HIYO, and Admiral Nagumo's Kido Butai, CarDiv 1 (SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO). Operating at distances as great as 100 miles ahead of Nagumo's carriers, was the Vanguard Force of RADM Abe Hiroaki in HIEI. These three powerful formations took up long-term station northeast of the Solomons and north of the Santa Cruz Islands as any US carrier thrust was expected from the east.
15 October 1942
- 0937 Having received a sighting report of a small U.S. convoy to the east of Guadalcanal identified as a light cruiser and a 300-ton tugboat towing what looked like a floating dock, SHOKAKU launches a strike of 8 fighters, 21 dive-bombers, joined by 9 ZUIKAKU torpedo bombers. (ZUIHO did not participate). At 1025 they swarm upon the little force, comprised of destroyer MEREDITH and fleet tug VIREO towing a gasoline barge. The Japanese focus on the destroyer, sinking MEREDITH within ten minutes by multiple bomb and three torpedo hits for the loss of one dive-bomber and two torpedo planes. SHOKAKU loses one dive-bomber in this foray.
25 October 1942:
- 1918 The Support Force received notice and instruction from CinC Yamamoto aboard YAMATO at Truk that allied forces including carriers would appear in the area northeast of the Solomons and that the fleet was to seek to destroy it on the 26th.(This notice was correct: in the forenoon on Oct 24 a powerful US fleet comprised of two carrier task forces (TF-16 ENTERPRISE and TF 17 HORNET) under tactical command of RADM Thomas Kinkaid as TF-61 aboard ENTERPRISE had been ordered by W.F. Halsey to conduct a bold sweep north around the Santa Cruz Islands and then ending up in the Coral Sea. This put the Japanese and American carrier forces on a collision course and the result was the Battle of Santa Cruz.)
26 October 1942:
Carrier Battle of Santa Cruz (IJN - "Naval Battle of the South Pacific"):
- 0050 A PBY makes a surprise attack on Kido Butai, dropping four 500 lb bombs 300 meters to starboard of ZUIKAKU. No damage to either CarDiv 1 carrier, but Nagumo orders the second wave planes in the hangars degassed and disarmed and for Kido Butai to reverse course north at 0130 for the time being.
- 0210 A message from the Japanese Army on Guadalcanal dashes hopes that they have re-taken Henderson Field. But though it seems the Army's effort has failed, by now Kido Butai is seeking battle with enemy carriers.
- 0245 Nagumo launches nine torpedo bombers on assigned search mission, four of them from SHOKAKU. He then takes the precaution of keeping his pilots on flight deck beside a spotted and ready first strike on CarDiv 1's flight decks, awaiting word from his searches.
- 0450 But lookouts having detected enemy scout bombers, expecting attack, SHOKAKU is forced to launch immediately nine fighters including four detached from the strike to join the three already on CAP duty. ZUIKAKU also added eight as well.(The guess was correct - Two scouts from ENTERPRISE had sighted and reported Nagumo's position at this time. This drew other scout bombers to the area.).
- 0458 Nagumo receives sighting report from a SHOKAKU search plane of one Saratoga-class CV and 15 other ships bearing 125 degrees, distance 210 miles from Kido Butai. He orders immediate launch of the spotted strike, and also sends SHOKAKU's fast scout plane aloft to double-check the sighting.
- 0510 SHOKAKU launches 4 fighters and 20 torpedo planes under command of Lt. Murata Shigeharu. Nagumo recovers some CAP, then orders the armed second-wave raised from the hangars to the flight decks for launch. At the same time Kondo's Advanced Force and the Vanguard Force of Abe turn hard eastward to close the enemy for surface battle. This puts them in the path to be attacked first by approaching American attacks.
- 0540 Kido Butai is suddenly bombed by two ENTERPRISE search bombers which attack ZUIHO then 8,000 meters abeam of SHOKAKU's port side. They score a remarkably effective 500 pound bomb hit on ZUIHO's fantail which makes her unable to recover aircraft. Her strike wave already aloft won't be able to return to their mother ship. This complicates CarDiv 1's flight operations load. Fearing a repeat of the Midway disaster, the Japanese expedite launch preparations for the second wave; fuel carts being simply rolled overboard to lessen danger while even aviators assist the deck personnel in loading torpedoes faster.
- 0610 SHOKAKU launches 3 CAP and her second strike wave of 5 fighters and 20 dive-bombers under command of Lt. Seki Mamoru. One dive bomber has to turn back, and SHOKAKU takes it aboard along with two of its search torpedo planes returning. Though ZUIKAKU was not ready to launch yet, Nagumo decided to split the strike, bearing the lessons of Midway in mind. (In the event ZUIKAKU would not launch her second wave for almost an hour more).
- 0640 SHOKAKU's radar detects inbound enemy strike, 78 miles away. A CAP of twenty-three fighters is readied over the carriers. (This early example of IJN carrier using radar had detected USS HORNET's first strike wave of 15 dive-bombers with 8 fighters and 6 torpedo planes launched at 0530).
- 0650 Nagumo orders Kido Butai to turn and speed north, to open range, with the exception of ZUIKAKU which has to turn southeast into the wind to launch her strike and is detached for this purpose.
- 0700 As the HORNET strike approaches Kido Butai, the ZUIKAKU quickly begins launching her share of the second wave, then veers for the cover of low clouds.
- 0710 Even as American planes begin to attack Kido Butai, word is received that the first strike wave is attacking their target carrier (HORNET).
- 0727 Ten SBDs from USS HORNET attack SHOKAKU from astern as she races north at full speed. Though three or four of the first dropped miss, nearly all of the remainder 1,000 pound bombs hit. She is heavily damaged. Four definite, possibly even six bombs struck the flight deck, one aft of the island and the rest all grouped around the amidships and the aft elevators to port of the flight deck centerline. Large fires are started, and the flight deck is completely buckled, shattered and burst by the blasts, left looking like an earthquake fault zone. The center elevator is folded and ruined. On the port quarter 12.7 cm AA guns No.6 and No.8 were completely destroyed and nearly all those nearby killed. The then fortunately nearly empty hangars are devastated by the exploding bombs. However, the strength deck holds and there is no significant damage below waterline and SHOKAKU is able to maintain 30 knots. No torpedoes are launched against her, for only the fifteen HORNET dive-bombers had found her; Nagumo's shift north had succeeded and all the rest of the American strike had missed Kido Butai and been drawn to attack the Advance Force of Kondo's two battleships and cruisers (From which the cruiser CHIKUMA would receive major damage). Since no aircraft were aboard SHOKAKU (with the exception of one torpedo plane destroyed by fire and a second at at the fantail which miraculously survived) no aviation fuel was active at the time and damage control is able to extinguish the fires after a hard fight in just under five hours and save the ship. Personnel losses, however, are extremely heavy, with more than fifty from the gunners on each side aft, and about 80 aicraft handlers and maintenance personnel in the hangars killed.
- While SHOKAKU continues to burn while maintaining full speed, word comes in of her own first strike wave's results. CarDiv 1's aircraft had attacked TF-17 at 0710, crippling HORNET with three bomb hits and two suicide crashes from ZUIKAKU dive-bombers and two torpedo hits from SHOKAKU torpedo planes that left her dead in the water. However, SHOKAKU lost 10 torpedo planes and one fighter in this strike.
- At 0908 SHOKAKU's second strike attacked TF-16, severely damaging ENTERPRISE with two bomb hits, but the nimble U.S. carrier avoided all subsequent torpedo attacks.
- At 0940 SHOKAKU and ZUIHO retire northwest at 28 knots guarded by ARASHI, MAIKAZE and HATSUKAZE, separating from ZUIKAKU which sets about landing "orphaned" aircraft at 0940. Of these, 5 SHOKAKU torpedo planes and 1 fighter are unable to do so, and ditch. In a reverse situation to Coral Sea, this time SHOKAKU's Captain (Arima) wishes to remain in the action and "absorb attacks"! Nagumo denies permission, but remains aboard rather than delay ZUIKAKU's joining JUNYO (ordered by Kondo at 0818 to join Nagumo) for a renewed assault as he simply orders both carriers to destroy the remaining American carrier. He also does not delay SHOKAKU's escape, by slowing to transfer to even a destroyer. But by 1230 the cripples are 300 miles from Guadalcanal and judged Safe. Yet not till 1307 does Nagumo ask Capt Arima to slow enough when opportune for him to transfer his flag to destroyer ARASHI from which he will then transfer to ZUIKAKU when time permits. At 1315 Nagumo officially places ZUIKAKU at the disposal of ComCardiv 2 RADM Kakuta Kakuji. (Not till 1730 would Nagumo be able to start south aboard ARASHI and not till 1332 the next day in fact, would ARASHI be able to transfer Nagumo's flag to ZUIKAKU -- the battle all but over). Then, with the also-bombed light carrier ZUIHO, the still burning SHOKAKU is detached and ordered home to Truk escorted by HATSUKAZE and MAIKAZE. By the time she left the battle, SHOKAKU had only 4 fighters and 1 torpedo plane left aboard.
28 October 1942:
- 1500 SHOKAKU returns to Truk with ZUIHO via North Pass for emergency repairs.
30 October 1942:
In the morning CinC Admiral Yamamoto visits SHOKAKU at Truk to inspect the damage and pay tribute to the dead.(Note - a well-known series of photographs of SHOKAKU's damage may have been taken this day, as a photographer was aboard at Santa Cruz, and the background looks like Truk more than it does Kure).
2 November 1942:
Depart Truk screened by DesDiv 4 (ARASHI, NOWAKI, MAIKAZE) with the also-damaged ZUIHO and CHIKUMA, for the homeland.
6 November 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka. Enters the navy yard immediately for a long period of extensive repairs and refit.
16 January 1943:
Assignment shifted from Main Unit, Mobile Force to the Maintenance Force, Mobile Force.
8 February 1942:
Enters drydock for further repairs and refit, and remains there through the month.
16 February 1943:
Capt. Masafumi relieved by Captain Okada Tametsugu (Class-45) as Commanding Officer.
28 February 1943:
19 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Kure.
21 March 1943:
SHOKAKU arrives at Tokuyama Bay.
23 March 1943:
Departs Tokuyama for a training voyage, stopping at Iwaishima Island, Beppu Bay, Tokuyama Bay, Kure, Tokuyama Bay, Beppu Bay and Oita Bay.
27 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure after layovers at Tokuyama, Iwaishima, Beppu, and Tokuyama again en route.
5 April 1943:
Depart Kure fore a series of round trips between Iwaishima and Tokuyama (3 times), Oita, and Beppu.
26 April 1943:
Return to Kure.
14 May 1943:
Depart Kure for another series of training trips, stopping at Oita, Iwashima, Tokuyama, and Oita Bay.
20 May 1943:
Depart Tokuyama for the Yokosuka region to prepare for Aleutians counter-attacks.
21 May 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka with CruDiv 7 MOGAMI, KUMANO, SUZUYA from Tokuyama. On 22 May joined by BatDiv 1's MUSASHI, Bat Div 3: KONGO, HARUNA, CarDiv 2: JUNYO, HIYO, CruDiv 8: TONE, CHIKUMA, all from Truk, then light cruisers AGANO and OYODO and 11 destroyers. Before force could sail to Aleutians, Attu fell to U.S. forces.
22 May 1943:
At Tokyo Bay.
25 May 1943:
At Kisarazu, joines AGANO and OYODO.
29 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
31 May 1943:
SHOKAKU departs Yokosuka for Oita and the Inland Sea.
Throughout this month, is in and around the Kure-Tokuyama area.
2 June 1943:
Arrive at Kure.
14 June 1943:
SHOKAKU departs Kure for a training visit to naval bases in the western Inland Sea, then returns.
6 July 1943:
Departs Kure for Yashima Bay, Shikoku.
9 July 1943:
Depart Yashima Bay for Truk, followed by ZUIKAKU, the two sisters again re-united.
15 July 1943:
Arrive at Truk.
Remain at Truk throughout, except for two short sorties on Aug 3 and Aug 25.
15 September 1943:
Depart Truk, return the following afternoon.
18-25 September 1943:
As part of CarDiv 1 sortied from Truk to Brown Island (Eniwetok) with battleships YAMATO and NAGATO and cruisers TAKAO, ATAGO, MYOKO, HAGURO and destroyer screen. Fleet under VADM Ozawa Jisaburo's tactical command advancing in response to U.S. Task Force 15 carrier raids on Tarawa and Makin.
20 - 23 September 1943:
At Brown Island (Eniwetok Atoll), depart on the 23rd back for Truk.
25 September 1943:
Returned to Truk.
15 October 1943:
16 October 1943:
Return to Truk.
17-26 October 1943:
Sortied from Truk in a second advance to Brown Island (Eniwetok) with Combined Fleet under ADM Koga's command in response to U.S. Task Force 16 carrier raids on Wake Island. YAMATO, MUSASHI, FUSO, NAGATO, KONGO, HARUNA; cruisers TAKAO,, ATAGO, MAYA, CHOKAI, MOGAMI, SUZUYA, TONE, CHIKUMA, AGANO, OYODO and destroyer screen.
17 October 1943:
19 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island.
20 October 1943:
CinC Koga orders preparation for Operation RO; the reinforcement of the Rabaul and New Britain air forces with his carrier air groups.
22 October 1943:
Photograph taken of assembled fleet at Eniwetok on this day shows SHOKAKU to the right.
23 October 1943:
Departs Brown Island for Truk.
26 October 1943:
Returned to Truk.
30 October-13 November 1943 Operation RO - Reinforcement of Rabaul:
Transferred designated sections of air group ashore to Truk. They then departed the airfields commencing on 1 November and flew south to reinforce Rabaul's land-based units as required.
11 November 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka.
15 November 1943:
Arrive at Yokosuka.
17 November 1943:
Captain Okada relieved by Captain Matsubara Hiroshi (Class-45).
26 November 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Truk with CHITOSE and screen.
1 December 1943:
Arrive at Truk.
12 December 1943:
Depart Truk for Yokosuka with YAMATO escorted by AKIGUMO and KAZAGUMO.
17 December 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka with YAMATO.
27 December 1943:
Enter drydock at Yokosuka.
6 January 1944:
17 January 1944:
Depart Yokosuka for Tokuyama Bay to rejoin ZUIKAKU in the Inland Sea.
27 January 1944:
Departs Tokuyama for Kure, stopping over at Oita Bay.
6 February 1944:
Depart Inland Sea via Tokuyama with ZUIKAKU for Singapore. Accompanied by cruisers CHIKUMA and YAHAGI escorted by five destroyers (DesDiv 61 HATSUZUKI and WAKATSUKI) and Desdiv 10 (AKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO, and ASAGUMO).
13 February 1944:
Arrive at Singapore with ZUIKAKU. Singapore designated the new advance base of "decisive operations". Air Group is landed.
20 February 1944:
Depart Singapore for Lingga Roads.
Moving alternately between Singapore and Lingga throughout the month.
22 March 1944:
Evening: With ZUIKAKU and others including TONE, CHIKUMA, SUZUYA and MOGAMI arrives at Lingga.
25 March 1944:
At Lingga SHOKAKU becomes flagship of ComThirdFleet, Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, and his Mobile Fleet.
31 March 1944:
Arrive off Singapore naval yard.[Note - Flag ComThirdFleet may have transferred ashore at this time; see 4 April indicator.]
3 April 1944:
Arrive at Lingga.
4 April 1944:
SHOKAKU returns to Singapore naval arsenal. ComThirdFleet transfers flag to SHOKAKU from HQ ashore.
6 April 1944:
ComThirdFleet Ozawa transfers flag from SHOKAKU to TAIHO.(TAIHO had arrived with HATSUZUKI and WAKATSUKI at Lingga on April 4).
12 May 1944:
Departs Lingga with CarDiv 1 for Tawi Tawi anchorage.
13 May 1944:
- 0700 Off the western coast of Borneo the USS LAPON (ss-260) spots the Mobile Fleet and reports. A wolf-pack attempts to assemble.
14 May 1944:
- 1000 The Mobile Fleet is spotted 40 miles northwest of Tawi Tawi by USS BONEFISH (SS-223).
15 May 1944:
- 1030 Third Fleet arrives at TawiTawi.
13 June 1944:
- With raids on Saipan the past two days, Ozawa anticipates the situation and orders departure to start the trek toward the Philippine Sea and Saipan beyond.
- 0930 SHOKAKU departs Tawi Tawi as part of CarDiv 1 with TAIHO and ZUIKAKU screened by Crudiv 5 HAGURO, MYOKO; DesRon 10 YAHAGI, ASAGUMO, ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, HATSUZUKI, WAKATSUKI, AKIZUKI, and SHIMOTSUKI to go via stopover at Guimaras (Philippines) into the Philippine Sea to Saipan's defense.
- 1830 Combined Fleet orders "A-GO" preparations.
14 June 1944:
- 1627 The `Alert' for "A-GO" Operation is received as SHOKAKU enters Guimaras.
- 1630 SHOKAKU arrives at Guimaras; anchors temporarily for supplying and fueling, completing preparations for decisive battle.
15 June 1944:
- 0717 "A-GO" Operation activated.
- Depart Guimaras toward the Visayan Sea with Mobile Fleet for the Battle of the Marianas. ComBatDiv 1 VADM Ugaki Matome's "KON" Force has not yet overtaken and rejoined them.(See next entry).
- 1730 CarDiv 1 passes through San Bernardino Straits into the Philippine Sea headed for Saipan.
16 June 1944:
- 1550 BatDiv 1 and the cancelled third Kon Force from Batjan rejoins, and now complete, the Mobile Fleet immediately commences refueling operations. (BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSUASHI had departed Tawi Tawi at 1600 10 June for a third operation aimed at relieving Biak, only for the imminence of the invasion of Saipan itself to become clear, leading to A-GO's implementation and their recall.)
17 June 1944:
- 1530 The full Mobile Fleet completes refueling operations and starts for the designated battle position.
- 1915 The USS CAVALLA (SS-244) sights the Mobile Fleet in the Philippine Sea. At 2125 she surfaces to transmit a contact report, then sets off in pursuit.
18-20 June 1944 Battle of the Philippine Sea (IJN - Battle of the Marianas)
In company with flagship TAIHO and sister ZUIKAKU participates as part of CarDiv 1 in the first two days of the Battle of the Marianas.
18 June 1944:
- 1100 Launches dive-bombers for search operations; no less than six fail to return, having apparently flown too far and run out of fuel.
- 1520 A SHOKAKU search plane reports and enemy task force 380 miles from Yap Island.
- 2000 Mobile Fleet splits up as planned, with the Vanguard Force pushing out ahead. Ozawa has also decided to wait till next morning to launch CarDiv 1's plane awaiting further clarification of the situation.
19 June 1944:
- Dawn: Has CAP/Search duty for CarDiv 1. Lanches seventeen A6Ms at 0430. (Another report says 11 "Judy" dive-bombers).
- 0756 CarDiv 1 commences launching a very large strike of 120 planes, 48 fighters, 53 dive bombers, and 27 torpedo planes.
- 0810 TAIHO steaming ahead is attacked and damaged by submarine briefly slowing down; seeing this SHOKAKU is temporarily forced to reduce speed and veers aside to clear the scene.
- 1052 CAVALLA (SS- ) sights SHOKAKU, a light cruiser, a heavy cruiser, and a destroyer off the submarine's port bow. Begins attack approach. (Note - it is not possible to identify with certainty the others, for while one of the cruisers is definitely YAHAGI, the other may be an Akizuki-class destroyer and not necessarily the MYOKO. The destroyer was URAKAZE, for CAVALLA approached the starboard side where she was located.).
- At 1110 Recovers ten A6Ms. As these flight landing operations are concluding, at 1122 hit by three torpedoes fired from USS CAVALLA (SS-244) in the starboard side; two forward and a third amidships. URAKAZE on starboard beam immediately turns right to depth-charge the submarine. The generator hit cuts half the electric lights in the ship, while large fuel fires are ignited in the hangar and No.1 boiler room goes off line. Though one screw is shut down SHOKAKU at first remains underway but begins to list to starboard. Counterflooding to port is carried out, but overcompensates, giving her a port list. YAHAGI steaming ahead notices the smoke column and reverses course to close and assist. The fire in the hangar grows worse, fed by fuel tanks and oxygen bottles on stored aircraft starting to explode along with machine-gun ammunition, hindering damage control efforts. It is found the fire-proof shutter screens dividing the hangar are breached or ineffective. Soon dead in the water, SHOKAKU continues to settle forward. Though damage control initially hoped to save her, and emergency lighting functions, the flooding forward and the fires intensify in the following hours cutting off crews at the ends of the ship from each other. At noon CarDiv 1 turns due north and SHOKAKU is now left well behind. Around 1210 fires detonate an aerial bomb on the hangar, setting off volatile gases from a cracked forward tank. Large induced explosions wrack the carrier, and hope begins to fade. The list to port and bow trim both increase and fire and smoke is now spouting openly from the elevator pits. At 1350 her strike planes return, but are ordered away, having to be directed to ZUIKAKU and TAIHO. At this time Captain Matsubara has ordered `Prepare to Abandon Ship' and crew musters on flight deck for flag lowering. Then `Abandon Ship' is ordered,and Captain Matsubara ties himself to his foundering carrier to share her fate. However , before the evacuation can proceed far, the bow dips under with the forward flight deck and water pours into No.1 elevator well, causing the carrier to corkscew to port with a sharp lurch and abruptly upend. (Note 3)
- Sunk: At 1401 SHOKAKU sinks head first, stern raised high with propellers visible. After she has gone under, four tremendous explosions rumble in her grave. Due to this sudden disaster, loss of life is very heavy: fifty-eight officers, 830 petty officers and men, in addition to 376 members of Air Group 601 and eight civilians share the fate of the vessel; a total of 1,272 dead. Light cruiser YAHAGI and destroyers URAKAZE and HATSUZUKI start rescue 570 survivors. Among them is Captain Matsubara himself - having been washed off the bridge, he orders away rescue boats while swimming in the water till all others rescued only to then be seized by a cutter that takes him to YAHAGI. Two positions for sinking are given; 12-00'N, 137-46'E, or sometimes 11-50'N, 137-57'E. The first position is more common, but may be more generic, but that is mere speculation. Nine bomber planes - 5 Judy, 2 Jills, and 2 Vals, reportedly went down with her.
22 June 1944:
At Nakagasaku Bay, Okinawa, the crowded destroyers transfer SHOKAKU survivors to heavy cruiser MAYA.
24 June 1944:
MAYA arrives with SHOKAKU's survivors at Hashirajima.
31 August 1945:
Removed from Navy List.
Note 2: There is some photographic evidence suggesting that around this time the Type 94 HA director originally on the island was relocated to a position further aft and across the flight deck on the port side behind the first Type 94 HA director on both SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU. This remains unverified, but seems apparent. It remains an alteration awaiting further research.
Note 3: After extensive research of Japanese sources, the conventional view having Shokaku sunk by blowing apart and sinking quickly needs some adjustment. The more detailed accounts all agree that the big explosions came earlier, frustrating salvage efforts, and she actually foundered more than exploded. Shokaku going down down by the bow just at 2.pm. (Yahagi sent notice giving position and time as 1401). It was as she went under, apparently and most likely after gone from sea level view, that the four terrific explosions felt by Cavalla at 1408-1411 took place. Something similar in this regard was reported after the time Soryu left the surface in her sinking at Midway.
Note 4: The casualty figures given above differ slightly from those quoted in the October 1998 analysis on the Shokaku's sinking. Since then, a fresh Japanese source giving details of the damage and loss breakdown has come to my attention. This opts for the second. Of interest, veteran Morinaga Takayoshi was among the airmen who survived. Regarding the two sinking positions, it is interesting to note that in October 1998 historian Richard Wolff calculated that if correct, in regards to the attack position, SHOKAKU travelled about 15 miles after being hit, implying at least twenty minutes at 25 knots. This does seem likely given the textual evidence.
- Anthony Tully.