JUNYOKAN!


(YAHAGI by Mizuno Yukio)

IJN YAHAGI: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp:
Revision 5


29 December 1943:
Completed at Sasebo Navy Yard and registered in the IJN. Captain Yoshimura Matake (former ComDesDivs 27,10) is the Commanding Officer. Assigned to Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Third Fleet as flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10.

4 February 1944:
Departs Kure. Arrives at Iwakuni.

5 February 1944:
Departs Iwakuni. Arrives at Sumoto, Awaji Shima.

6 February 1944:
Departs Awaji Shima via the Kii Suido to the eastern South China Sea, then through the Spratley Islands with carrier SHOKAKU, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and DesDiv 10's AKIGUMO and KAZAGUMO and DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI and WAKATSUKI.

13 February 1944:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore.

18 February 1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga Roads.

18 February 1944:
At Lingga. Training.

11 May 1944:
Departs Lingga for Tawi Tawi anchorage with Vice Admiral Ozawa's First Carrier Striking Force, First Mobile Fleet, Force "A" CarDiv 1's TAIHO, ZUIKAKU and the SHOKAKU, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE, DesDiv 22's MINAZUKI and DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI, WAKATSUKI, AKIZUKI and SHIMOTSUKI.

15 May 1944:
At Tawi Tawi. Training duties.

27 May 1944: American Operation "Horlicks" - The Invasion of Biak:
New Guinea. Rear Admiral (later Admiral) William M. Fechteler's Task Force 77 lands MajGen Horace H. Fuller's 41st Division on Biak.

8 June 1944:
Tawi Tawi. YAHAGI receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of Saipan:
Marianas. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA '04) Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion of Saipan begins.

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.

Departs Tawi Tawi with the Mobile Fleet to oppose the American Fifth Fleet in a "decisive battle" off Saipan. Force A sorties with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Joshima Takatsugu's Force "B' CarDiv 2's JUNYO, HIYO and RYUHO, BatDiv 1's NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, DesRon 2's AKISHIMO, DesDiv 4's MICHISHIO, NOWAKI and YAMAGUMO, DesDiv 27's SAMIDARE, SHIGURE and SHIRATSUYU.

The Mobile Fleet is sighted departing Tawi Tawi by USS REDFIN (SS-272).

14 June 1944:
At Guimaras, Philippines. Refuels with the Main Body from the 2nd Supply Force oilers GENYO and AZUSA MARUs.

15 June 1944:
At 0800, the Mobile Fleet departs Guimaras and sails through the Visayan Sea and the San Bernardino Strait into the Philippine Sea headed towards Saipan.

San Bernardino Strait. At 1622, the Mobile Fleet is spotted by LtCdr Robert D. Risser's (USNA '34) USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) exiting the strait. At sunset, he surfaces and reports the contact.

Philippine Sea. 200 miles E of Surigao. At about the same time as Risser's sighting, LtCdr (later Captain) Slade D. Cutter's (USNA '35) USS SEAHORSE (SS-304) sights Vice Admiral Ukagi Matome's (former CO of HYUGA) "Kon" Task Force's BatDiv's 1 YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral posthumously) Hayakawa Mikio's (former CO of NAGATO) DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and destroyer SHIMAKAZE, with DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and YAMAGUMO, DesDiv 10's MICHISHIO, DesDiv 31's OKINAMI . The "Kon" operation, intended to relieve Japanese forces at Biak, has to be aborted because of the invasion of Saipan.

16 June 1944:
At 1650, Ugaki's Task Force joins Ozawa's Force A CarDiv 1's TAIHO, ZUIKAKU and SHOKAKU, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI, DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE, DesDiv 61's WAKATSUKI, HATSUZUKI, AKIZUKI and SHIMOTSUKI and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Jojima Takatsugu's (former CO of SHOKAKU) Force B.

Ozawa's forces refuel from the 1st Supply Force oilers HAYUSUI and NICHIEI, KOKUYO and SEIYO MARUs.

Forces A and B deploy 100 miles behind Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) Vanguard Force "C" CarDiv 3's CHITOSE, CHIYODA and ZUIHO, BatDiv 1, BatDiv 3's HARUNA, KONGO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and the CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO with destroyer SHIMAKAZE, DesDiv 31's ASASHIMO, KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, DesDiv 32's TAMANAMI, FUJINAMI and HAYANAMI.

Philippine Sea. At 2000, the Mobile Fleet is sighted by by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler's (USNA '34) USS CAVALLA (SS-244).

18 June 1944:
At 2100, Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces A and B proceed southward. The Vanguard Force C proceeds due east.

19 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack Task Force 58, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".

That same day, YAHAGI, with destroyer URAKAZE, rescues 570 cremen from carrier SHOKAKU torpedoed and sunk by Kossler's USS CAVALLA.

20 June 1944:
Retires with the Mobile Fleet to Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa for refueling.

24 June 1944:
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 YAHAGI'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:
The YAHAGI departs Kure carrying Imperial Army troops and material with Group "A" BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 2's NOSHIRO with destroyer SHIMAKAZE, DesDiv 27's AKISHIMO and HAYASHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI and ASASHIMO, DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, HAMANAMI and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE and SAMIDARE and Group "B" BatDiv 3's KONGO and BatDiv 1's NAGATO, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, HAMAKAZE and YUKIKAZE.

10 July 1944:
Group B arrives at Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa.

12 July 1944:
Group B departs Okinawa.

14 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

17 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

19 July 1944:
About midnight, Group B is attacked by an unknown submarine that fires four torpedoes at the KONGO, but misses.

Arrives at Singapore, then departs for Lingga.

20 July-18 October 1944:
Training at Lingga.

30 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. YAHAGI receives fresh provisions replenishment from stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

18-20 October 1944:
Steams with the fleet from Lingga to Brunei Bay, Borneo.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
At 0820, the YAHAGI sorties in the Second Section of Force "A" of Vice Admiral Kurita's First Mobile Striking Force: (Center Force): DesRon 10's DesDiv 4's NOWAKI and DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, YUKIKAZE, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE, Vice Admiral Suzuki Yoshio's (former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA and Vice Admiral Shiraishi's Kazutaka's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) CruDiv 7's TONE, CHIKUMA, KUMANO and SUZUYA.

The Second Section follows Force A's First Section's Vice Admiral Ugaki's BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, Kurita's CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, Vice Admiral Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, Rear Admiral Hayakawa 's DesRon 2's flagship light cruiser NOSHIRO and DesDiv 2's HAYASHIMO, AKISHIMO, KIYOSHIMO, DesDiv 31's KISHINAMI, OKINAMI, ASASHIMO and DesDiv 32's FUJINAMI, NAGANAMI, HAMANAMI and destroyer SHIMAKAZE.

23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
Force A is attacked by Cdr (later Captain) David McClintock's (USNA '35) USS DARTER (SS-227) and LtCdr (later Captain) Bladen Clagett's (USNA '35) DACE (SS-247). At 0551, Vice Admiral Kurita's flagship ATAGO is sunk by four torpedoes from DARTER. DARTER also heavily damages TAKAO. At 0605, CruDiv 4's MAYA is sunk by four torpedoes from DACE. Kurita is picked up by KISHINAMI and later transfers to YAMATO.

24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
Force A endures 11 raids by over 250 Task Force 38 carrier aircraft from the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), FRANKLIN (CV-13), LEXINGTON (CV-16) and CABOT (CVL-28). BatDiv 1's MUSASHI is sunk and YAMATO and NAGATO are hit. BatDiv 3's HARUNA is damaged by near-misses. CruDiv 5's MYOKO and CruDiv 7's TONE are hit.

At 1530, Force A reverses course back through Sibuyan Sea. At 1715, Force A reverses course again. At 2330 hours Force A enters the San Bernadino Strait in single file.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
Force A exits the San Bernardino Strait at 0030 and proceeds eastward until 0300, then turns SE towards Leyte Gulf. At 0558, YAMATO opens fire at Task Group 77. 4's escort carriers of "Taffy 3": USS ST. LO (CVE-63), WHITE PLAINS (CVE-66), KALININ BAY (CVE-68), FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70), KITKUN BAY (CVE-71), GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73). Force A sinks GAMBIER BAY, destroyers HOEL (DD-533), JOHNSTON, (DD-557) and destroyer escort ROBERTS (DE-413).

CHIKUMA, CHOKAI and SUZUYA are attacked by TG 77. 4's aircraft and subsequently sink. TONE and HAGURO are damaged. Force A retires through the San Bernardino Strait and the Sibuyan Sea.

26 October 1944:
At 0800, Force A is attacked by 30 carrier aircraft in the Tablas Strait off Panay and at 0834, by 50 more. KUMANO is damaged during the second attack. Force A is then attacked by torpedo planes and later by dive-bombers. At 1040, there is an attack by 30 USAAF B-24 heavy bombers. At 1045, Force A is attacked by 60 carrier-based aircraft the last attack of the day. Throughout these attacks YAHAGI is not hit.

The destroyers are detached for refueling at Coron Bay.

27 October 1944:
No attacks.

28 October 1944:
At Brunei.

8 November 1944:
Departs Brunei towards Pratas Islands with DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, and YUKIKAZE escorting BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO and BatDiv 3's HARUNA and KONGO. Carrier JUNYO, cruisers TONE, HAGURO and ASHIGARA, light cruiser KISO and DesDiv 30's UZUKI and YUZUKI follow.

ASHIGARA, delayed by refueling, detaches and returns to Brunei. TONE, JUNYO, KISO and DesDiv 30 are detached from the YAMATO group to Manila. The remainder of the YAMATO group returns to Brunei.

11 November 1944:
Arrives at Brunei.

16 November 1944:
At Brunei Bay, the YAMATO group is attacked by 34 B-24 bombers and 15 USAAF P-38 fighters.

That same day, DesRon 10 is deactivated. YAHAGI is assigned as the flagship of Rear Admiral Komura Keizo's (former CO of MUSASHI) new DesRon 2.

16 November 1944:
Departs Brunei at 1830 for Japan with DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and YUKIKAZE escorting YAMATO, KONGO and NAGATO. Joined by escorts KIRI and UME from the Spratly Islands.

21 November 1944:
KONGO and URAKAZE are sunk by LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli Reich's (USNA '35) USS SEALION II (SS-315).

24 November-18 December 1944:
At Sasebo. Refit.

20 December 1944:
At Sasebo. Captain Hara Tameichi (former CO of AMATSUKAZE, DesDivs 19, 27) assumes command of YAHAGI. That same day, Captain Yoshimura assumes command of HARUNA.

21 December 1944-29 March 1945:
Departs Kure for Hashirajima. At Hashirajima with YAMATO for the next three months. Conducts battle training.

29 March-6 April 1945:
Awaits sailing orders.

6 April 1945:Operation TEN-ICHI-GO - The Attack on American Invasion Forces at Okinawa:
At 1600, ComDesRon 2 Rear Admiral Komura's YAHAGI departs Tokuyama with battleship YAMATO's Surface Special Attack Force's DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, HAMAKAZE and YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 21's KASUMI, HATSUSHIMO and ASASHIMO, DesDiv 41's FUYUZUKI and SUZUTSUKI.

HANAZUKI, KAYA and MAKI join in escorting YAMATO until the Bungo Suido but are detached there.

Bungo Suido. At 2144, the Attack Force is reported by USS THREADFIN (SS-410) and later by USS HACKLEBACK (SS-295), but both submarines are unable to attack.

7 April 1945:
At 1220, the YAMATO force is attacked by waves of 386 aircraft (180 fighters, 75 bombers, 131 torpedo planes) from Task Force 58. YAHAGI is hit by an aircraft torpedo in the first wave's attack and goes dead in the water. ISOKAZE attempts to assist, but YAHAGI is hit by 12 bombs and six more torpedoes.

At 1405, YAHAGI capsizes to starboard. She sinks at 30-47N, 128-08E. Her XO, Captain Uchino Nobuichi and 445 crewmen of her complement of 1,000 are lost. Rear Admiral Komura and Captain Hara are among the survivors rescued by HATSUSHIMO and YUKIKAZE. YAMATO and destroyers KASUMI, ASASHIMO, HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE are also sunk in the day's action.

XO Captain Uchino is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously.

20 June 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
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 also go to John Whitman and Gengoro Toda for info on stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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