JUNYOKAN!

IJN SUZUYA:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 12


11 December 1933:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Laid down.

20 November 1934:
Launched and named SUZUYA.

1 January 1936:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Completed, then placed in Reserve for reconstruction.

31 October 1937:
Registered in the IJN.

1 December 1937:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Shibata Yaichiro (40)(former CO of SETA) assumes command.

15 November 1938 Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji (41)(former CO of TOKIWA) assumes command.

20 July 1939:
Captain Kubo assumes "paper" command of MIKUMA as an additional duty.

30 September 1939:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Reconstruction completed.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Takayanagi Gihachi (41)(former CO of TATSUTA) assumes command.

22 September 1940:
Vichy France cedes airfields and agrees to admission of Japanese troops into northern Indochina (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam). The United States responds by placing a ban on the export of steel, scrap metal and aviation fuel to Japan.

15 October 1940:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Masatomi (former CO of JINTSU) assumes command.

16 July 1941:
CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, MIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA depart Kure.

22 July 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China.

23 July 1941: Operation "FU"- The Occupation of South Indochina (Cochinchina) :
Japanese and Vichy French authorities arrive at an "understanding" regarding the use of air facilities and harbors in Southern Indochina. From the next day on, Japanese forces occupy the country.

25 July 1941:
CruDiv 7 departs Samah escorting an army convoy, perhaps also with ASHIGARA and CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU.

30 July 1941:
Arrives at Saigon.

31 July 1941:
Departs Saigon.

7 August 1941:
Arrives at Sukomo Bay, Japan.

19 August 1941:
Departs Sukomo Bay.

20 August 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

20 November 1941:
SUZUYA is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (former CO of HIEI) Fourth Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) CruDiv 7 with MIKUMA, MOGAMI and the flagship KUMANO. That day, CruDiv 7 (except KUMANO) and CHOKAI depart Kure for Samah, Hainan Island, Occupied China.

23 November 1941:
KUMANO, with Admiral Kurita embarked, departs Kure.

26 November 1941:
CruDiv 7 and CHOKAI arrive at Samah.

29 November 1941:
KUMANO arrives at Samah.

2 December 1941:
CruDiv 7 receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that X-Day hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).[1]

4 December 1941:
CruDiv 7 departs Samah southward in Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) First Southern Expeditionary Fleet with CHOKAI, light cruiser YURA, FUBUKI, SHIRAKUMO, AYANAMI, ISONAMI, SHIKINAMI, MURAKUMO, SHIRAYUKI and HATSUYUKI.

8 December 1941: Operation "E" - The Invasion of Malaya:
CruDiv 7's operates off Cap Camau during the landings at Singora, Patani and Kota Bharu. Provides close support.

9 December 1941:
SE of Indochina near Poulo Condore Island. At 1415, submarine I-65 reports she has spotted "two enemy battleships, course 340, speed 14 knots". This is Vice Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips' Force Z that sorties from Singapore to find and attack the Malaya invasion transports with Captain J. C. Leach's new battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES, Captain (later Vice Admiral) W. G. Tennant's old battlecruiser HMS REPULSE, destroyers HMS ELECTRA, EXPRESS, TENEDOS and Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE. LtCdr Harada's report is is wrong about Force Z's course and creates confusion.

I-65 surfaces and starts a tail chase but a sudden squall cloaks the British ships. While Harada continues the chase, a Kawanishi E7K Alf from KINU buzzes I-65, mistaking it for an enemy submarine. Harada crash-dives. When he surfaces 30 minutes later, the contact with Phillips' force is lost.

Two Aichi E13A1 Jake floatplanes from SUZUYA and KUMANO arrive and shadow Force Z, but both are forced to ditch due to lack of fuel. Only SUZUYA's crew is recovered.

Cru Div 7 and DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 19's AYANAMI, ISONAMI. SHIKINAMI and the URANAMI are ordered to make night attack on new battleship HMS PRINCE OF WALES and old battlecruiser REPULSE.

10 December 1941:
At dawn, Cru Div 7 and DesRon 3 join BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO. After the British ships are reported sunk by aircraft, CruDiv 7 departs the area for Poulo Condore, Indochina.

11 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh.

13 December 1941:
Departs Camranh Bay with KUMANO.

16 December 1941:
Provides cover for the invasion landing at Miri, northern Borneo.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh.

5-10 January 1942:
Escorts convoys with KUMANO.

16 January 1942:
Cru Div 7 departs Camranh with CHOKAI, light cruisers SENDAI and YURA and destroyers to intercept British units out of Singapore. The orders are later cancelled.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Camranh.

23 January 1942:
Departs Camranh with KUMANO, DesDiv 19’s AYANAMI and ISONAMI to cover landings on Anambas Island.

26 January 1942:
Joins the light cruiser YURA from Cap St Jacques to cover the landings on Endau.

30 January 1942:
Returns to Camranh with KUMANO and DesDiv 19’s destroyers.

10 February 1942:
In the morning, CruDiv 7 departs Camranh Bay with CHOKAI to escort 25 invasion transports.

That same day, LtCdr Theodore Aylward's USS SEARAVEN (SS-196) receives an “Ultra” message from Captain (later Vice Admiral) John Wilkes, ComSubAsia in Java alerting SEARAVEN that a convoy departed Camranh Bay heading towards Sumatra. Aylward races to the position given, submerges and waits.

11 February 1942:
In the morning, in heavy seas, the convoy appears on the horizon. Aylward sets up on two heavy cruisers and at close range fires two torpedoes at each cruiser, but all four unreliable USN Mark-14 torpedoes miss.

13 February 1942: Operation "L" - The Invasion of Borneo and Sumatra:
Cru Div 7 covers the invasion landings at Palembang and Banka Island, Sumatra.

17 February 1942 :
Cru Div 7 detaches for refueling and resupply at Anambas Island.

24 February 1942:
Cru Div 7 departs Anambas Island for the invasion of Java.

24 February 1942:
Detaches with KUMANO to cover the landings at Indramaju.

1 March 1942:
Cru Div 7 at Java.

4 March 1942:
Cru Div 7 departs Java.

5 March 1942:
Arrives at the Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

9 March 1942:
Cru Div 7 and CHOKAI depart Singapore.

12 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Invasion of Northern Sumatra:
Covers the landings at Sabang and Iri.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

20 March 1942:
CruDiv 7 and CHOKAI depart Singapore to support the seizure of Andaman Islands.

26 March 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

1 April 1942: Operation "C "– The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
At 1100, At 1100, Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malay Force's CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI, CruDiv 4's CHOKAI, light cruiser YURA and destroyers AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE depart Mergui and steam into the Bay of Bengal to attack merchant shipping. CHOKAI and YURA support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.

4 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. After 0730, Ozawa's cruisers intercept a convoy and sink merchants AUTOCYCUS, INDORA, EXMOOR, SILKSWORTH, SHIINKUANG and MALDA.

5 April 1942:
At 2030, the Mobile Force separates into three groups to attack merchant shipping in the Bay of Bengal. CruDiv 7/1's SUZUYA and KUMANO, under Rear Admiral Kurita, form the Northern Group with destroyer SHIRAKUMO. CHOKAI, SubRon 5's light cruiser YURA, Des Div 20's YUGIRI and ASAGIRI form the Center Group under Admiral Ozawa. MOGAMI, MIKUMA and destroyer AMAGIRI form the Southern Group.

6 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. After 0730, KUMANO and SUZUYA and destroyer SHIRAKUMO attack a convoy and sink 4,986-ton American Export Line’s EXMOOR (ex-CITY OF ST. JOSEPH), 9,066-ton British freighter MALDA, 7,621-ton British freighter AUTOCLYCUS and 2,441-ton British freighter SHINKUANG at 19N, 86E. Ozawa's cruisers also sink 6,622-ton British freighter INDORA and Captain J. H. Gregory’s British India Line’s 4,921-ton cargo ship SILKSWORTH. About 50 of SILKSWORTH's mostly Chinese crewmen survive.

6-9 April 1942:
Ozawa's commerce raiding detachment sinks over twenty ships during their brief foray in the Bay of Bengal.

11 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

13 April 1942:
Departs Singapore.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Camranh.

17 April 1942:
Departs Camranh.

22 April 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

1 May 1942:
Rear Admiral Kurita is promoted Vice Admiral.

4 May 1942:
In drydock at Kure.

15 May 1942:
CruDiv 7 Departs Kure for three days of exercises with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, NAGATO and MUTSU in the area around Hashirajima.

18 May 1942:
Arrives back at Kure.

22 May 1942:
CruDiv7 departs Hashirajima that night.

26 May 1942:
CruDiv 7 arrives at Guam (renamed Omiyajima) to provide close support for Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) Midway Invasion Transport Group's oiler AKEBONO MARU and transports KIYOSUMI, ZENYO, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AZUMA, KEIYO, GOSHU, KANO, HOKURIKU, KIRISHIMA and NANKAI MARUs and TOA MARU No. 2. The transports carry an airfield construction unit, LtCol Ichiki Kiyonao's IJA detachment and two battalions of Special Naval Landing Forces.

SUZUYA refuels from AKEBONO MARU.

28 May 1942:
Departs Guam with the Close Support Group.

30 May 1942:
Makes a rendezvous with the Transport Group with ARASHIO, ASASHIO and oiler NICHIEI MARU.

5 June 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI), CINC, Combined Fleet, orders Midway to be shelled. CruDiv 7 is tasked to accomplish the shelling at 1050 (I). CruDiv 7 and DesDiv 8 are 410 miles away from the island, so they make a high-speed dash at 35 knots. The sea is choppy and the destroyers lag behind. At 2120, the order is canceled.

At 2138, flagship KUMANO spots surfaced submarine USS TAMBOR (SS-198). KUMANO signals a 45° simultaneous turn to starboard to avoid possible torpedoes. The emergency turn is correctly executed by flagship and SUZUYA, but the third ship in the line, MIKUMA, erroneously makes a 90° turn. Behind her, MOGAMI turns 45° as commanded. MOGAMI's navigator, LtCdr (later Captain) Yamauchi Masaki, watching SUZUYA does not see MIKUMA's movement. This results in a collision in which MOGAMI rams MIKUMA´s portside below the bridge. MOGAMI's bow caves in and she is badly damaged. MIKUMA's portside oil tanks rupture and she begins to spill oil, but otherwise her damage is slight.

After learning about the collision, the Commander of the Second Fleet, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (former CO of KONGO) orders Admiral Kurita to have DesDiv 8's ARASHIO and ASASHIO stay behind and escort MOGAMI and MIKUMA. Flagship KUMANO and SUZUYA detach. The MOGAMI group proceeds westward at reduced speed. [2]

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

17-23 June 1942:
Departs Truk with KUMANO and destroyers ARARE and KASUMI.

20 June 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji (former CO of HARUNA) assumes command of CruDiv 7. Vice Admiral Kurita later assumes command of BatDiv 3.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

14 July 1942:
CruDiv 7 is transferred from the Second Fleet (Cruisers) to the Third Fleet (Carriers).

17 July 1942:
CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and KUMANO depart Hashirajima.

25 July 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

28 July 1942: Operation "B" - The Invasion of Burma:
CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and KUMANO depart Singapore.

29 July 1942:
W of Poeloe Perak, Straits of Malacca, Malaya. Dutch LtCdr Albertus M. Valkenburg's submarine O-23 sights two zig-zagging MOGAMI-class cruisers (KUMANO and SUZUYA) protected by four destroyers at a distance of about 7 miles. At 0600, Valkenburg fires four German G7 AD type bow torpedoes at a distance of about 5,500 meters, but all the torpedoes miss. The Japanese counter attack with depth charges. A cruiser and a destroyer heads towards the O-23. More depth charges are dropped. Valkenburg finds a thermal layer and slips away running silently. The IJN ships continue hunting for the O-23 for another six hours.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, Solomons:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take the island.

That same day, CruDiv 7 departs Mergui for the South Pacific.

14-16 August 1942:
CruDiv 7 refuels at Balikpapan, Borneo.

20 August 1942: Operation "KA" - The Recapture of Guadalcanal and the Destruction of the American Fleet:
Kondo's Advanced Force departs Truk to reinforce Guadalcanal with Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU and CarDiv 2's RYUJO, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroki's (former CO of FUSO) BatDiv 11's HIEI, KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and destroyers.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and KUMANO arrive and join Vice Admiral (later Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDivs 1, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) CarDiv 1, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and Desron 10. The Main Body cruises NE of Guadalcanal.

Detached light carrier RYUJO is sunk by aircraft from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Group 11's USS SARATOGA (CV-3).

25 August 1942:
At 1455, CarDiv 1 launches an air attack on Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's Task Force 16's USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6). ENTERPRISE is hit by three bombs, but is not sunk.

5 September 1942:
CruDiv 7 arrives at at Truk.

9 September 1942:
CruDiv 7 sorties from Truk with the Carrier Strike Force, BatDiv 11 and DesRon 10 to an area N of the Solomon Islands.

14 September 1942:
Attacked by 10 Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses".

23 September 1942:
Returns to Truk.

11 October 1942:
CruDiv 7 sorties from Truk with Nagumo's Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO and destroyers AMATSUKAZE, HATSUKAZE, TOKITSUKAZE, YUKIAKAZE, ARASHI, MAIKAZE, TERUZUKI and YAMAKAZE.

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

26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
Engages Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE and Task Force 17's HORNET (CV-8) in an air battle. The Carrier Strike Force sinks HORNET and damages SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57) and SAN JUAN (CL-54).

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

1 November 1942:
Captain Kimura is promoted Rear Admiral.

3-5 November 1942:
SUZUYA departs Truk with CruDiv 4's MAYA to reinforce Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's Eighth Fleet at Shortland.

13 November 1942:
SUZUYA departs Shortland for Guadalcanal in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (former CO of HARUNA) Bombardment Unit's CruDiv 7's MAYA, light cruiser TENRYU, destroyers KAZAGUMO, MAKIGUMO, MICHISHIO and YUGUMO. Accompanied by Vice Admiral Mikawa’s Main Body's CruDiv 4's CHOKAI (F) and KINUGASA, light cruiser ISUZU, destroyers ARASHIO and ASASHIO. Launches scout planes to drop magenesium parachute flares and light targets for Henderson Field bombardment.

14 November 1942:
From 0130-0200, Nishimura’s unit bombards Henderson Field with 989 8-inch shells, then retires towards Shortland. Enroute, USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) attacks a heavy cruiser, but misses with six torpedoes.

Later, the task force is attacked by torpedo-bombers from ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and Marine Grumman TBM "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from Guadalcanal. SUZUYA is not damaged, but KINUGASA is sunk and CHOKAI slightly damaged by a near-miss. An SBD dive-bomber crashes into MAYA. The task force returns to Shortland.

17-18 November 1942:
Departs Shortlands for Kavieng.

18 November 1942:
At Kavieng.

24 November 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ono Takeji (former CO of KISO) assumes command. Rear Admiral Kimura is reassigned as ComDesRon 3.

2 December 1942:
Departs Kavieng for Shortland, then to Rabaul.

5 December 1942:
CruDiv 7 departs Rabaul for Kavieng.

12 December 1942:
Cru Div 7 makes a troop transport run to Lorengau.

13 December 1942:
Arrives at Kavieng. Remains there for almost a month.

4 January 1943:
Departs Kavieng.

6 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

7 January 1943:
SUZUYA departs Truk via Saipan with battleship MUTSU, carrier ZUIKAKU and DesDiv 6’s INAZUMA, DesDiv 19’s ISONAMI, DesDiv 27’s ARIAKE. At Saipan, the escort is joined by DesDiv 20’s AMAGIRI.

12 January 1943:
Arrives at Kure. Refit and drydocked. Additional AA and a Type 21 air search radar installed.

5 February 1943:
Departs Kure.

10 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

24 March 1943:
Departs Truk with KUMANO.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

6 April 1943:
Drydocked. SUZUYA's dual 13-mm machine guns are removed and replaced by two triple-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns bringing her total 25-mm suite to 20 barrels (4x3, 4x2). A Type 21 air-search radar is fitted and most of her mid and lower deck scuttles are welded over.

15 April 1943:
Undocked, then training in the Inland Sea with KUMANO. 12 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab":
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (former CO of INDIANAPOLIS, CA-35) Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell's (former CO of THATCHER, DD-162) Task Force 51, lands the Army's 7th Division that captures Attu Island, Aleutians.

20 May 1943:
CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO and MOGAMI depart Tokuyama.

21 May 1943:
Arrives at Tokyo Bay.

31 May 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Tokyo Bay.

2 June 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

11 June 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Kure for Yokosuka. Embarks troops.

16 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka with BatDiv 3's KONGO, HARUNA, escort carriers RYUHO, UNYO and CHUYO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA and DesDiv 7's AKEBONO, USHIO, DesDiv 24's SUZUKAZE, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, SHIGURE, YUGURE, DesDiv 31's KIYONAMI.

17 June 1943:
The task group, making 20 knots, is sighted by USS FLYING FISH (SS-229), but the submarine is unable to gain an attack position.

21 June 1943:
USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) attacks a carrier but misses with four torpedoes. The task group arrives at Truk.

23 June 1943:
CruDiv7 departs Truk with destroyer NIIZUKI.

25 June 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul and disembarks troops.

27 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

9 July 1943:
CruDiv7 departs Truk for Rabaul.

18 July 1943:
CruDiv 7 departs Rabaul for the Vella Gulf with CHOKAI, light cruiser SENDAI, four destroyers to cover destroyers carrying troop reinforcements. Off Kolombangara they are attacked by Guadalcanal-based Marine "Avenger" torpedo-bombers.

21 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

21 July-October 1943:
At Rabaul.

7 September 1943:
Captain Takahashi Yuji (former CO of the KAKO) assumes command. Captain Ono later assumes command of the YAMATO.

5-6 October 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 14's carriers ESSEX (CV-9), YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and COWPENS (CVL-25) launch raids on Wake Island and the Marshall Islands.

8 October 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

10 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests the Americans are planning another raid on Wake. Admiral Koga sorties from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok to intercept the enemy task force with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and the NAGATO, Bat Div 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 and TONE, light cruisers AGANO and OYODO and many destroyers.

20 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island, Eniwetok.

23 October 1943:
Departs Brown and sorties to a position 250 miles S of Wake. Returns after no contact is made with enemy forces.

26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.

3 November 1943:
CruDiv 4, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and MOGAMI and CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA depart Truk to attack American forces that landed on 1 November at Empress Augusta Bay, 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 SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23). They bomb and damage CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA and CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, light cruisers AGANO and NOSHIRO and destroyers AMAGIRI and FUJINAMI. SUZUYA is not hit.

6 November 1943:
SUZUYA departs Rabaul escorting MOGAMI that was hit by a 500-lb. bomb and set afire.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

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:
CruDiv 7 departs Truk with DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyers HATSUZUKI, SUZUTSUKI, HAMAKAZE, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI in response to the invasion of Tarawa. Fleet tanker NIPPON MARU provides support escorted by destroyers YAMAGUMO, MAIKAZE and NOWAKI.

26-27 November 1943:
At Kwajalein

28-29 November 1943:
At Eniwetok.

30 November-3 December 1943:
At Roi.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

8 December 1943:
Flagship of CruDiv 7.

26 December 1943:
Departs Truk on a transport run to Kavieng with KUMANO, but they are sighted by American aircraft. The mission is aborted.

28 December 1943:
Arrives back at Truk.

29 December 1943:
Departs Truk on another transport run to Kavieng with KUMANO and destroyer MICHISHIO.

1 January 1944:
SUZUYA arrives at Truk. That day CruDiv 8 is disbanded. TONE and CHIKUMA are assigned to CruDiv 7.

31 January 1944: American Operation "Flintlock" - The Invasion of the Marshall Islands:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 58 lands the 4th Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division that soon capture the Kwajalein, Roi-Namur and Majuro atolls.

1 February 1944:
CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA and TONE evacuate Truk with BatDiv 1's NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and URAKAZE and DesDiv 61's AKIZUKI. At 1000, USS PERMIT (SS-178) sights the IJN force leaving Truk, but is unable to attack.

4 February 1944:
Arrives at Palau.

16 February 1944:
Departs Palau with the task group in anticipation of an air raid. An enemy submarine is sighted at 08-00N, 131-00E.

17 February 1944:
Another enemy submarine is sighted at 05-30N, 125-40E.

20 February 1944:
South China Sea. N of Singapore. After sunset, the 10-ship task group sights an enemy submarine, probably USS PUFFER (SS-268), at 04-16N, 108-40 E. The submarine is unable to gain an attack position.

21 February 1944:
Arrives at Lingga (near Singapore). Participates in battle exercises thereafter.

1 March 1944:
The Combined Fleet is reorganized as the First Mobile Fleet.

20 March 1944:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shiraishi Kazutaka (former CO of KIRISHIMA) assumes command of CruDiv 7.

21 March 1944:
At Lingga with KUMANO. Battle training thereafter.

24 March-7 April 1944:
Eight single-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed at Singapore. This brings SUZUYA's AA suite to a total of 28 barrels (4 x3, 4 x 2 and 8X1).

11 May 1944:
Steams from Lingga to the Tawi Tawi anchorage with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet.

13 May 1944:
Arrives at Tawi Tawi with Vice Admiral Kurita's Force "C" Vanguard: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, BatDiv 3, CarDiv 3's CHITOSE, CHIYODA and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and RADM Hayakawa Mikio's DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO, DesDiv 31's ASASHIMO, KISHINAMI and OKINAMI, DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, SHIMIKAZE and HAMAKAZE.

15-17 May 1944:
Departs Tawi Tawi with KUMANO for Tarakan, Borneo to refuel. Returns to Tawi Tawi.

13 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The Battle of the Philippine Sea:
In Tokyo, the CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu, (former CO of HYUGA), sends out a signal that activates the "A-Go" plan for the Defense of the Marianas.

Ozawa's Mobile Fleet departs Tawi Tawi (less Operation "KON's" BatDiv 1, CruDiv 5) for Guimaras near Panay Island, Philippines. At 1000, LtCdr Marshall H. Austin's USS REDFIN (SS-272) sights and reports the departing Mobile Fleet.

14 June 1944:
At Guimaras. Refuels from oilers.

15 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet departs Guimaras through the Visayan Sea. At 1622, the fleet is sighted in the San Bernardino Strait by LtCdr Robert Risser's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229).

16 June 1944:
At 1650, Vice Admiral Ugaki's aborted Operation KON task force from Batjan rejoins Ozawa's force. The 1st Supply Force's oilers HAYUSUI and NICHIEI, KOKUYO and SEIYO MARUs rendezvous with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) First Mobile Fleet's Main Body. The 1st Supply Force begins to refuel the Mobile Fleet.

17 June 1944:
KOKUYO refuels CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and TONE. By 2000, refueling of the First Mobile Fleet's Main Body is completed. At this time, the First Mobile Fleet is at 12-15N, 132-45E. The oilers depart the area for a designated standby point at 14-40N, 134-20E.

That same day, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler in USS CAVALLA (SS-244) sights the Mobile Fleet in the Philippine Sea and reports later that evening after surfacing.

18-19 June 1944:
Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces "A" and "B" proceed southward. The Vanguard Force "C" proceeds due east in the Philippine Sea headed towards Saipan. The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack the U.S. Task Force 58 off Saipan, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".

20 June 1944:
At 1830, BatDiv 3 and carrier CHIYODA are attacked by Curtiss SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers and Grumman TBM "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS BUNKER HILL (CVL-17), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and CABOT (CVL-28). During the battle, air attacks sink carrier HIYO and damage battleship HARUNA, carriers ZUIKAKU, JUNYO, CHIYODA and RYUHO while CAVALLA sinks SHOKAKU and USS ALBACORE (SS-218) sinks new armored carrier TAIHO. The Mobile Fleet retires to Okinawa.

22 June 1944:
Arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa for refueling destroyers, then departs.

24 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet arrives at Hashirajima.

25 June 1944:
At Kure for refit. Four triple-mount and 10 single-mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are installed. This brings SUZUYA's AA suite to a total of 50 barrels (8x3, 4 x 2 and 18X1). A Type 22 surface search radar and a Type 13 air-search radar are fitted. She is also fitted with a Type 2 infrared Identification Friend-or-Foe signaling device.

8 July 1944:
CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO, TONE and CHIKUMA, loaded with troops and supplies, depart Kure with Group "A"'s BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA, CHOKAI, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO, destroyers. Group A is accompanied by Group "B"'s KONGO, NAGATO, MOGAMI, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and her destroyers.

10 July 1944:
Arrives at Okinawa. Group A detaches from Group B and departs Okinawa.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Singapore, offloads troops and supplies.

17 July 1944:
Proceeds to Lingga (S of Singapore) to join the Mobile Fleet.

1 September 1944:
Lingga. Captain Teraoka Masao assumes command.

5 October 1944:
Lingga. SUZUYA receives fresh provisions replenishment from KITAKAMI MARU.

18 October 1944:
Vice Admiral Shirashi's CruDiv 7 departs Lingga in Vice Admiral Kurita's First Raiding Force with Vice Admiral Susuki Yoshio's (former CO of KONGO) Force “B”'s (Northern Force) BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and destroyers NOWAKI, URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE.

20 October 1944:
Arrrives at Brunei Bay, Borneo.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
Departs Brunei for Leyte Gulf via the San Bernardino Strait.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
SUZUYA engages Task Group 77. 4. 3's “Jeep” carriers, but is attacked by ten TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers. A near-miss by a bomb causes the loss of her port propeller and her speed falls off to 20 knots. At 0830, Vice Admiral Shiraishi transfers his flag to SUZUYA from KUMANO that was damaged heavily in earlier attacks by aircraft.

At 1050, SUZUYA is attacked by 30 other carrier aircraft. A near-miss to starboard by a bomb sets off SUZUYA's No. 1 torpedo tubes loaded with oxygen-propelled Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes. At 1100, additional torpedoes start to explode. The fire and blasts damage the starboard engine rooms and the No. 7 boiler room. SUZUYA becomes unnavigable. At 1105, destroyer OKINAMI is ordered to assist SUZUYA. At 1130, Vice Admiral Shiraishi again transfers his flag, this time to TONE.

At noon, SUZUYA's remaining torpedoes and ammunition explode. At 1150, Abandon Ship is ordered. At 1315, SUZUYA turns on her starboard side. At 1322, she sinks at 11-45.2N, 126-11.2E. Captain Teraoka and 401 officers and men are rescued by OKINAMI.

20 December 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:

[1] Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), was the highest point in the Japanese Empire at the time.

[2] It has been suggested, but not verified, that SUZUYA turned back and removed the remainder of MIKUMA's crew including Captain Sakiyama. Then SUZUYA scuttled MIKUMA with torpedoes.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks also to Tony Tully and Gilbert Casse of France.

Thanks go to John Whitman of Virginia and Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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