(YAHAGI at Sasebo in 1943 - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN YAHAGI: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2016 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp:
Revision 6

11 November 1941:
Sasebo. Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard as an AGANO class light cruiser No. 134.

20 August 1942:

25 October 1942:
Launched. Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito, the younger brother of Emperor Hirohito represents the Imperial family at the ceremony.

11 October 1943:
Captain Yoshimura Masatake (45)(former ComDesDiv 10) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

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

1-4 January 1944:
Conducts battle exercises in Suo Nada area, Inland Sea.

4-5 January 1944:
Drydocked at Sasebo Navy Yard.

6 January 1944:
Conducts Type 21 surface-search radar tests off Sasebo.

10 January 1944:
Departs Sasebo for Hashirajima anchorage, arrives at Tokuyama Bay to refuel at the 3rd Fuel Depot.

11 January 1944:
Departs Tokuyama Bay, arrives at Yashima anchorage.

13 January 1944:
Departs Yashima, arrives at Hashirajima anchorage. Continues battle exercises in Western Inland Sea until 27 January.

28 January-3 February 1944:
Undergoes an AA suite upgrade at Kure Navy Yard. The number of 25-mm barrels is increased to thirty-two (8x3, 8x1).

4 February 1944:
Departs Kure for Singapore. Arrives at Iwakuni.

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

6 February 1944:
Departs Awaji Shima via Kii Suido Strait 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, arriving that afternoon.

18 February 1944:
At Lingga. Resumes battle exercises in that area.

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 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, heading 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 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 over 100 survivors from the fleet carrier SHOKAKU, torpedoed and sunk by Kossler's USS CAVALLA, and from fleet carrier TAIHO, torpedoed by Cdr James W. Blanchard's (USNA '27) USS ALBACORE (SS-218).

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

22 June 1944:
At 1300, YAHAGI anchors at Nakagusuku Bay. Departs for Hashirajima on the 23rd.

24 June 1944:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

Late June-early July 1944:
Kure Navy Yard. 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:
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:
Arrives at Singapore, then departs for Lingga.

20 July-16 August 1944:
Training at Lingga.

17-28 August 1944:
Drydocked at Singapore No. 3 Dock for upkeep.

29 August 1944:
Departs Singapore for 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.

20 October 1944:
Refuels from MUSASHI. After 1300 launches her radar-equipped E13A1 "Jake" floatplane to locate the incoming tankers HAKKO and YUHO MARUs and provide anti-submarine cover.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-1-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
At 0820, 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:
At 0730 and at 0800 YAHAGI launches her E13A1 floatplanes Nos. 1 and 2 to search for enemy carriers in the northernmost and the southernmost sectors. At 1140 one of their pilots locates Rear Admiral Ralph E. Davison's TG 38.4, but mistakenly reports that it only includes battleships. Ens Sasaki's floatplane No. 1 is intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down.

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.

During the third attack after 1330, YAHAGI is attacked by bomb-carrying Grumman F6F "Hellcat" fighters and TBM-3 "Avenger" torpedo bombers from TG 38.3's USS LEXINGTON. She receives one direct hit to aft crew space. Another hit starts a small fire in the chain locker and opens a hole in her starboard bow. Her speed is temporarily limited to 22 knots.

At 1535, 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 in 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. Several existing 25-mm AA mounts are fitted with a remote power control system and Type 93 torpedoes with varying depth settings are embarked. [1][2]

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

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

23 February 1945:
Kure. DesRon 2's flag is transferred from KASUMI to YAHAGI.

27 March 1945:
Vice Admiral Ito's First Diversion Attack Force refuels in Akizuki Bight, Etajima Island. YAHAGI receives 1,000 tons of fuel.

29 March-6 April 1945:
Awaits sailing orders.

1 April 1945:
The E13A1 "Jake" floatplane from YAHAGI is dispatched to Tokuyama Bay to search and destroy acoustic mines laid there. Two mines are located and destroyed.

6 April 1945:Operation TEN-ICHI-GO - The Attack on American Invasion Forces at Okinawa:
At 1520, 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 conduct an anti-submarine sweep off 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); 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. Rear Admiral Komura and Captain Hara are among the survivors rescued by HATSUSHIMO and YUKIKAZE, but XO, Captain Uchino Nobuichi and 445 crewmen of her complement of about 1,000 are lost. YAMATO and destroyers ASASHIMO, HAMAKAZE, ISOKAZE and KASUMI 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:
[1] The English translation of Captain Hara's memoirs ("Japanese Destroyer Captain") somewhat surprisingly confuses remote power control with radar-controlled gunfire and variable depth torpedoes with homing ones.

[2] The U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School designated the varying depth version of Type 93 torpedo as Type 93 Model 3 with depth control gear.

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 the late John Whitman and to Gengoro Toda of Japan for info on stores ship KITAKAMI MARU.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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