(YUBARI in 1932 - Colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2019 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 13

5 June 1922:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard.

1 March 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sugiura Masao (30)(former CO of YAMAKAZE) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

5 March 1923:
Launched and named YUBARI.

31 July 1923:
Completed at the Sasebo Navy Yard. Attached to the Sasebo Naval District. Captain Sugiura is the CO.

1 September 1923:
Following the Great Kanto Earthquake, YUBARI ferries refugees from Yokohama to other areas.

10 September 1923:
Crown Prince Hirohito embarks YUBARI for an tour in Yokosuka area.

1 December 1923:
Reassigned to CruDiv 3, First Fleet. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Nobuichi (31) assumes command.

Summer 1924:
Rebuild at Sasebo. YUBARI’s funnel is elevated by about 6 feet.

10 November 1924:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Tomioka Aijiro (32)(former CO of IRO) assumes command.

1 December 1924:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo. Cdr Tomioka is promoted captain.

6 April 1925:
Departs Yokosuka for an extended cruise in the western Pacific, refueling from Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nagai Minoru’s (32)oiler SATA en route.

Late April 1925:
US Navy Fleet Problem V (Grand Joint Exercise 3) in Hawaiian waters. Off Oahu, YUBARI briefly shadows the "Blue Fleet“ under Admiral Samuel Robinson (USNA ‘03). Reportedly, three American destroyers give chase, but fail to overtake the Japanese cruiser.

23 June 1925:
Returns to Sasebo.

4 August 1925:
Temporarily attached to Mako (Makung) Naval Station, Pescadores.

20 October 1925:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Anno Kiyoshi (33)(former CO of KAMOI)) assumes command. Reassigned as flagship of Rear Admiral Sakamoto Teiji’s (28)(former CO of KITAKAMI) DesRon 2.

1 December 1925:
Reattached to Sasebo Naval District.

1 November 1926:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kida Shinpei (32)(former CO of TENRYU) assumes command.

1 December 1927:
Captain Morita Shigefusa (33) assumes command.

30 November 1929:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kawana Takeo (34)(former CO of TATSUTA) assumes command of YUBARI with additional duty as CO "on paper" of IZUMO.

5 February 1930:
Captain Kawana assumes command of YUBARI and relinquishes paper command of IZUMO.

15 November 1930:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Hara Seitaro (35)(former CO of HAYATOMO) assumes command.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Saito Jiro (36)(former CO of KIKUZUKI) assumes command. Reassigned as flagship of Captain (later Vice Admiral) Arichi Jugoro’s (33)(former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 1.

4 September 1931 to 23 January 1932:
Refit and modernization at Kure Navy Yard.

8 February 1932:
Shanghai. At noon, two Japanese river steamers proceed up the Whangpoo, escorted past the forts by three destroyers and disembarks a Japanese mixed brigade. At 1400, light cruiser YUBARI opens fire on Woosung village from the Whangpoo, and the bombardment of Woosung by YUBARI and eight destroyers at practically point blank range continues through the afternoon, while at the same time the mixed brigade attacks Woosung village and forts from the south. Eventually a defensive position on the south bank is occupied. The Woosung forts make no reply, except with machine-gun fire. At about 1900 the firing on Woosung ceases. YUBARI, light cruiser TATSUTA and destroyers keep up the bombardment of Woosung, and there is more or less continual bombardment and bombing in the Chapei-Hongkew area. Ex-Armored cruiser IZUMO, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Nomura, comes up river and takes gunboat ATAKA's place alongside the Japanese consulate-general. ATAKA shifts alongside ex-Armored cruiser TOKIWA at the Japanese naval buoys.

9 February 1932:
The bombardment of Woosung by YUBARI and destroyers, the fighting in the Chapei-Hongkew area, and aerial bombing continues throughout the day.

22 March 1932 to 31 January 1933:
Repair and refit at Sasebo Navy Yard. The 8-cm HA gun mount is landed and torpedo mounts are fitted with spray shields.

13 November 1933:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo.

15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kiyomiya Ko (39)(former CO of ERIMO) assumes command. Placed in reserve at Sasebo.

11 December 1933:
Attached to Sasebo Guard Squadron.

17 May to 20 July 1934:
Rebuild at Sasebo Navy Yard. The mine shed is removed and additional ballast fitted.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral), the Marquis, Daigo Tadashige (40) assumes command. Reassigned to Yokosuka Naval District.

25 May 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Seiichi Harada (39)(former CO of ERIMO) assumes command.

9 July to 15 November 1935:
Refit at Yokosuka Navy Yard. Two 13.2-mm Type 93 twin AA machine guns are installed and both 5-cm Yamanouchi type saluting guns resited. Powerplant is repaired.

31 October 1935:
Captain Yamamoto Masao (38) assumes command.

15 November 1935:
Reassigned as flagship of DesRon 5 replacing TATSUTA.

18 November 1935:
Departs Mako to patrol off Shanghai with DesDiv 13 and 16.

1 December 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto (39)(former CO of AMAGIRI) assumes command.

July 1937:
Patrols off Shanghai.

August 1937: The Evacuation of Japanese residents in South China:
Japanese residents in South China are under the protection of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Okuma Masakichi's (37) DesRon 5 composed of flagship YUBARI, destroyer ASAGAO, DesDiv 16's MAWEI, DesDiv 13's SWATOW and SANAE at Canton. DesRon 5 is assigned to protect about 12,000 Japanese residents in Fuchow, Amoy, Swatow and Canton. With the outbreak of the North China Incident, DesDiv 16 is dispatched to the north. DesDiv 5 from Mako and DesDiv 29 from Japan are put under the command of Rear Admiral Okuma.

12 August 1937:
The situation in South China shows a drastic change for the worse. Residents in Swatow start evacuation that day. After the clash in Shanghai, residents in Canton begin evacuating on 15 August and those in Fuchow on 17 August. All of them reach Formosa safely. The evacuation of residents from Amoy, delayed for various reasons, is completed in late August.

14 September 1937:
YUBARI is standing into the Pearl River estuary with destroyers HAYATE and OITE. They encounter two Chinese warships leaving Fort Ta Chiao for patrol andattack. The result is what might be the only surface action between the Chinese and Imperial Japanese Navy in the whole war. [2]

The Japanese also engage shore batteries and the Chinese cruiser CHAO HO and revenue cutter HAI CHOU of the Canton (Guangzhou) Navy. Both Chinese ships are damaged and HAI CHOU is hit three times and loses steering control. This causes her for a short time to be heading directly at the Japanese fleet, as if on a charge. Just as it seems the cutter will be blown out of the water, three Chinese planes arrive and attack, and HAI CHOU regains control. The more powerful CHAO HO inexplicably fights only intermittently, and her captain soon orders a retreat. HAI CHOU manages to escape upriver as well. Ironically, CHAO HO's leaving the battle does her little good: she runs aground after a short time. Though she is later freed, her skipper Fiang Nianzu is tried and shot for ordering the retreat. Though the Japanese warships are not hit, other than a dud that bounces off YUBARI’s stack, AMA MARU (2,450 tons) is hit by some shells when attempting to disembark troops to capture Fort Humen. AMA MARU weighs anchor and retreats, pursued by four Chinese torpedo boats which attack it but miss. With torpedo boats and Chinese planes arriving, the Japanese ships retire. This skirmish, brisk while it lasts, does not long hold the attention of the Japanese. Their focus zeroes in instead on the main Chinese squadron. Japanese air recon has not missed the concentration of First Fleet vessels at the JiangYin blockade line.

20 October 1937:
Supports the landing at Hanzhou with DesRon 5.

15 November 1937:
Captain (later RearAdmiral) Hori Yugoro (41)(former CO of NARUTO) assumes command.

1 December 1937:
Reassigned as the flagship of DesRon 5 replacing NAGARA.

7 December 1937:
Placed in reserve at Yokosuka.

14 January to 31 March 1938:
Refit at Yokosuka.

20 July 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Miyazato Shutoku (40)(former CO of ODOMARI) assumes command.

15 November 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Koda Takero (41)(former CO of JINGEI) assumes command.

15 December 1938:
Captain Koda assumes additional duty as "paper" CO of NARUTO.

4 March 1939:
Reattached to Ominato Naval District.

20 July 1939:
Departs Ominato for Sakhalin waters.

4 October 1939:
Returns to Ominato.

10 October 1939:
Reassigned to Yokosuka Naval District as a special-service vessel.

1 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kamata Michiaki (40), CO of ASHIGARA, assumes command of YUBARI "on paper".

15 November 1939:
Captain(Vice Admiral, posthumously) Edo Heitaro (40)(former CO of KAKO) assumes command.

1 November 1940:
Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Ban Masami (42)(former CO of DD HIBIKI) assumes command.

15 November 1940:
Reassigned as flagship of DesRon 6.

2 February 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for a cruise in Saipan, Palau, Truk and Kwajalein areas.

14 April 1941:
Returns to Yokosuka.

20 April to 1 May 1941:
Drydocked at Yokosuka. External degaussing coil is fitted.

25 May 1941:
Departs Yokosuka for a cruise in Mandates Islands area.

25 October 1941:
Arrives at Truk.

29 November 1941:
Truk. YUBARI is the flagship of Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39)(former CO of KISO) DesRon 6.

Departs Truk for Kwajalein with DesDiv 29's ASANAGI, OITE, YUNAGI and HAYATE and DesDiv 30's KISARAGI, MUTSUKI, YAYOI and MOCHIZUKI.

2 December 1941: Operation "Z":
DesRon 6 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]

3 December 1941:
DesRon 6 arrives at Roi-Namur, Kwajalein.

8 December 1941: The Invasion of Wake Island:
DesRon 6 departs Roi-Namur with Rear Admiral Kajioka's Wake Island Attack Force's CruDiv 18 light cruisers TATSUTA and TENRYU, DesDiv 29's OITE and HAYATE, DesDiv 30, two converted destroyer transports, submarine depot ship JINGEI, armed merchant cruiser KONGO MARU and transport KINRYU MARU.

11 December 1941:
Captain Ban's YUBARI and three destroyers close to within 4,500 yards of Wake Island to bombard American positions. At 0615, Marine 1st Lt Clarence A. Barninger's Battery "A" 5-inch guns open fire. YUBARI is straddled, but not hit. She opens the range to 5,700 yards and is straddled twice more, but not hit.

Two miles SW of Wake Island. HAYATE, OITE and ASANAGI close to bombard Wilkes Island, but HAYATE takes three direct hits from salvos of Marine 2nd Lt John A. McAlister's Battery "L" 5-inch guns. At 0652, HAYATE blows up and sinks with her entire 168-man crew at 19-16 N, 166-37 E. Battery "L" also scores a near-miss that damages OITE.

DesDiv 30's YAYOI, MUTSUKI and KISARAGI close to bombard both Wilkes and Peale Islands. 1st Lt Woodrow W. Kessler's Battery "B" 5-inch guns on Peale open fire and score a hit on YAYOI.

30 miles SW of Wake. At 0724, four Marine Grumman F4F -3"Wildcats" strafe TENRYU and damage three torpedoes on her deck. A Wildcat strafes TATSUTA and hits her radio shack with machine-gun fire.

Captain Henry T. Elrod, USMC, hits KISARAGI with a 100-lb. bomb that probably detonates her depth charges. At 0731, she blows up and sinks with her entire crew of 150 at 18-55 N, 166-17 E. [2]

That morning, a dejected Rear Admiral Kajioka orders his Attack Force to return to Kwajalein.

13 December 1941:
Arrives at Roi.

21 December 1941: The Second Invasion of Wake Island:
Departs Roi with the rest of Attack Force. The Attack Force is joined by CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (39) (former CO of FUSO) CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE and TANIKAZE detach from Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Pearl Harbor Striking Force enroute to Japan.

The Attack Force is also joined by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (38) ((former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA, CruDiv 18's KIYOKAWA MARU and DesDiv 29's ASANAGI and YUNAGI.

The greatly reinforced Attack Force now consisting of two fleet carriers, a seaplane tender, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and 11 destroyers sorties from Roi in support of the second invasion's troop transports.

23 December 1941:
After a magnificent, but hopeless stand, Wake's grossly outnumbered American garrison is overwhelmed and forced to surrender.

29 December 1941:
YUBARI arrives at Kwajalein.

31 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein with the Attack Force.

3 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk. One 13.2-mm Type 93 twin AA machine gun in a provisional mounting is fitted to each side of the bridge. Two 5-cm Yamanouchi type saluting guns from amidships are landed.

14 February 1942:
Rear Admiral Kajioka's YUBARI departs Truk with seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU and four destroyers.

15 January 1942:
Arrives at Lamotrek Atoll.

17 January 1942:
Departs Lamotrek. Enroute, the YUBARI group joins MineDiv 19’s minelayers OKINOSHIMA and TSUGARU and two destroyers escorting transports that left Guam on 14 January.

That same day, Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi’s Carrier Striking Force departs Truk consisting of CarDiv 1’s AKAGI and KAGA, CruDiv 5’s SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3/1 HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8’s TONE and CHIKUMA and DesRon 1’s light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's ISOKAZE, URAKAZE, TANIKAZE, HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's ARARE, KASUMI, KAGERO, SHIRANUHI and unattached AKIGUMO.

20 January 1942: - Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul and Kavieng:
N of New Ireland. CarDivs 1 and 5 launch 100 bombers and fighters to attack Rabaul, New Britain and Kavieng, New Ireland. That evening, CarDiv 5 is detached and moves to a position in the Bismarck Sea.

20 January 1942:
CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA launch air strikes against Rabaul and Kavieng.

21 January 1942:
CarDiv 1 launches another strike on Rabaul and CarDiv 5 launches attacks on Madang, Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea. After CarDiv 5 recovers her aircraft, she departs the Bismarck Sea area that evening to rendevous with CarDiv 1.

22 January 1942:
CarDiv 1 launches a 45-plane strike against Rabaul. After the launch, CarDiv 5 rendevouses with CarDiv 1. When CarDiv 1 completes recovery of her strike aircraft, Nagumo heads north to Truk.

22/23 January 1942:
New Britain. Soon after midnight, OKINOSHIMA lands invasion troops at Blanche Bay, Rabaul. The invasion forces swiftly overcome light Australian opposition and occupy both Rabaul and Kavieng.

27 January 1942:
After the seizure of the harbor, YUBARI arrives at Rabaul.

8 February 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

14 February 1942:
Arrives back at Rabaul.

20 February 1942:
Departs Rabaul in an attempt to intercept Vice Admiral Wilson Brown’s (USNA ‘02) Task Force 11.

23 February 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

27 February 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

1 March 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul with CruDiv 6.

5 March 1942:
YUBARI departs Rabaul at 1300 with DesDiv 29's OITE, ASANAGI and YUNAGI and DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI, YAYOI and MOCHIZUKI. They join Rear Admiral Goto's CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA, and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Marumo Kunimori's (40) (former CO of ASHIGARA) CruDiv 18's TENRYU and TATSUTA and KIYOKAWA MARU.

8 March 1942: Operation "SR" - The Invasion of Lae-Salamaua:
Provides cover for the invasion while cruising off Salamaua.

10 March 1942:
The anchored invasion task group is attacked by 90 aircraft from Rear Admiral (MOH/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's (USNA ‘06) Task Force 17's USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) and LEXINGTON (CV-2). Fletcher's planes have flown from the Coral Sea over New Guinea's Owen Stanley mountains to make the attack. Armed merchant cruiser KONGO MARU, transport YOKOHAMA MARU and auxiliary minelayer TENYO MARU are sunk. Transport KOKAI MARU, minelayers TSUGARU and OKINOSHIMA, seaplane tender KIYOKAWA MARU, destroyers ASANAGI and YUNAGI and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 2 are damaged in the raid.

At the start of attack YUBARI patrols between Lae and Salamaua, later heading out for Huon Gulf. She is first attacked by two SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive-bombers from LEXINGTON’s VS-2, claiming one hit, but actually score several near misses to port while bomb fragments cut down several 13.2-mm AA machine-gun crews. YUBARI is next strafed by four F4F-3 fighters from VF-3, approaching from port bow. The XO, Cdr Tanaka Mitsuo and several bridge lookouts are killed.

After 0950 (local), YUBARI is attacked by SBD-3s from USS YORKTOWN’s VB-5. No. 2 turret ready-use powder bags detonate as a result of strafing, igniting the mattresses fitted to the bridge for anti-splinter protection. The next strafing attack from the bow direction ignites the port lifeboat gasoline drums stowage, resulting in a serious fire amidships. One 13.2-mm machine gun is disabled by strafing. Firefighting teams dump most of the burning drums overboard, but their hoses do not cover the entire danger area and the fire reaches the forward torpedo mount. The CO orders the torpedoes jettisoned, but the mount cannot be trained outboard as a result of a power failure. The rescue crews manage to rotate the mount manually and extract the torpedoes using a pulley. The reserve torpedoes are dumped in the same fashion.

In all, YUBARI evades 67 bombs and 12 torpedoes while receiving five near misses that cause splinter damage in 3,000 locations. A total of thirteen sailors are KIA and 49 wounded.

13 March 1942:
Departs Salamaua for Rabaul.

14 March 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

20 March 1942:
Rabaul. After 0745, YUBARI is bombed by four Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses". Four near misses off her stern open three splinter holes about 8 inches wide in her hull plating and damage two smoke generators, one of which is later repaired.

22 March 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Truk with DesDiv 29's ASANAGI, OITE and YUNAGI.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk for battle-damage repairs and refit. Additional armor is fitted to compass bridge sides and overhead. One anchor (amidships), one 20-foot dinghy and two depth-charge throwers are landed. A fresh coat of paint is also applied.

10 April 1942:
Refit is completed.

30 April 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

2 May 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

4 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasion of Tulagi and Port Moresby:
DesRon 6's YUBARI is flagship of Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi’s (39)(former CO of KISO) Port Moresby Invasion Group with DesDiv 29's OITE and ASANAGI, DesDiv 30's MUTSUKI and YAYOI and destroyers UZUKI and MOCHIZUKI and unidentified patrol boats. Departs Rabaul with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso’s (40)(former CO of HIEI) Transport Unit consisting of minelayer TSUGARU, IJN transports MOGAMIGAWA, AKIHASAN, CHOWA, GOYO AND SHOKAI MARUs and IJA transports CHINA, DAIFUKU, ASAKASAN, MARSUE (MATSUE), MITO and NICHIBI MARUs repair ship OJIMA and oilers HOYO MARU and IRO escorted by five minesweepers. Steams toward the Jomard Pass, Louisiade Archipelago, to an area off Misima Island.

Solomons. That same day, Fletcher's Task Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (39) Tulagi Invasion Force. SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers and TBD "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from YORKTOWN sink a destroyer, three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

5 May 1942:
Fletcher's force turns N to engage Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (39) Carrier Strike Force. SBDs and TBDs from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON sink Rear Admiral Goto's light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink destroyer SIMS (DD-409).

6 May 1942:
Port Moresby, New Guinea. RAAF Consoldated PBY “Catalina” flying boat No. A24-20, piloted by Squadron Leader Geoff Hemsworth and his 8-man crew, takes off on a daylight reconnaissance mission.

Off Misima Island, 3 miles S of Cape Ebola. A 0422 Zulu, Hemsworth signals that he has “sighted two Japanese destroyers and is being attacked by Japanese aircraft at 10-40S, 152-29E.” Nothing further is received from the PBY. Most probably, the aircraft were Mitsubishi F1M2 “Pete” biplane float fighters from seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU. [3]

7 May 1942:
Rear Admiral Kajioka takes most of the escort away from the convoy to try to find and attack Allied forces believed to be near Jomard Passage. Kajioka turns over direct command of the convoy to Captain Inagaki Yoshiaki (CO of TSUGARU), who leads it north out of danger.

At 1550, YUBARI is attacked by three B-17 bombers. They drop 4 bombs, but all miss. Later that evening, she discovers a small group of survivors from SHOHO and takes them aboard.

8 May 1942:The Battle of the Coral Sea:
Scout reconnaisance aircraft from LEXINGTON sight the Strike Force's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU. SBDs from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON damage SHOKAKU and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU's air group suffers heavy losses. Carrier bombers and attack planes attack Task Force 17 and damage YORKTOWN. LEXINGTON is further damaged and has to be scuttled. The Battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese thrust toward Port Moresby and they are forced to cancel Operation MO.

13 May 1942:
After cancellation of Operation MO, YUBARI arrives at Kieta anchorage.

15 May 1942:
Departs Kieta.

17 May 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

19 May 1942:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Drydocked until 15 June. Additional armor is fitted for reserve torpedoes. The crew is rotated.

19 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

23 June 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

29 June 1942:
Departs Truk with the DesDiv 30's UZUKI escorting AZUMA MARU, AZUMASAN MARU and HOKUROKU MARU to Guadalcanal. YUBARI carries a Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) and an airfield construction unit.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Guadalcanal. Disembarks SNLF and an airfield construction unit. Departs for Truk the same day.

10 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk. DesRon 6 is deactivated. YUBARI is assigned to the Fourth Fleet, No. 2 Surface Escort Force with DesDiv 29's ASANAGI, OITE, YUNAGI and YUZUKI.

14 July 1942:
The IJN undergoes a major reorganization. The Eighth Fleet is created under Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi (38) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) and based at Rabaul.

15 July 1942:
Departs Truk with DesDiv 29.

17 July 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Around that time her middle turbine develops blade trouble, limiting the maximum speed of YUBARI to 26 knots on two shafts.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA ‘08) Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral Fletcher's (USNA ‘06)Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (USNA ‘06) Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands MajGen (later Gen/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to retake the island.

YUBARI departs Rabaul through "Slot" towards Guadalcanal with TENRYU and DesDiv 29's YUNAGI. Joins CruDiv 6's AOBA, FURUTAKA, KINUGASA and KAKO and CruDiv 4's CHOKAI with Vice Admiral Mikawa and his staff embarked.

9 August 1942: The Battle of Savo Island.
St. George's Channel, New Britain. LtCdr (later Captain) Henry G. Munson's (USNA ‘32) USS SS-38 sights the cruiser force, but is unable to attack.

In a night gun and torpedo action off Savo Island, Captain William G. Greenman's ASTORIA (CA-34), Captain Samuel N. Moore's QUINCY (CA-39), Captain (later Rear Admiral) Frederick L. Riefkohl's VINCENNES (CA-44) and Captain Frank E. Getting's cruiser HMAS CANBERRA are sunk and Captain Howard D. Bode's CHICAGO (CA-29) is damaged. CHOKAI takes three hits, KINUGASA two and AOBA one hit. Enroute back to Kavieng, KAKO is sunk by LtCdr John R. Moore's USS SS-44. YUBARI is not damaged in the action.

During the action against Allied Northern Force YUBARI, FURUTAKA and TENRYU form the Japanese western group. YUBARI briefly engages USS RALPH TALBOT (DD-390), scoring several hits. At 0223, Vice Admiral Mikawa orders all his forces to withdraw. [4]

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

15 August 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hirai Yasuji (43)(former CO of DesDiv 24) assumes command. Captain Ban is reassigned as CO of ASHIGARA. He is KIA in Oct '44 as CO of FUSO.

18 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul.

20 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

26 August 1942: The capture of Ocean and Nauru islands:
Departs Truk for Nauru with YUNAGI, escorting converted transport HAKOZAKI MARU.

31 August 1942:
Following the landings at Nauru and Ocean islands, YUBARI proceeds to Jaluit.

3 September 1942:
Departs Jaluit for Truk.

5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

10 September 1942:
Departs Truk to patrol in Marshalls-Gilberts area.

24 September 1942:
Returns to Truk.

25 September 1942:
Departs Truk, escorting a convoy to Palau.

30 September 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

13 October 1942:
Departs Palau for Philippines with another convoy.

21 October 1942:
Returns to Palau.

22 October 1942:
Departs Palau for Truk.

26 October 1942:
Departs Truk for Tarawa.

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Tarawa. Temporarily reassigned as guardship at Tarawa.

30 November 1942:
Departs Tarawa for Japan.

5 December 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, refuels.

6 December 1942:
Departs Saipan for Yokosuka.

9 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16-26 February 1943:
Drydocked. The middle turbine set is repaired. Two 13.2-mm twin AA machine guns abreast the bridge are replaced by 25-mm Type 96 twin mounts. Probably all portholes and scuttles below middle deck level are sealed. An E27 radar detector probably is also installed.

22 March 1943:
Refit is completed. Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

28 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

29 March 1943:
Departs Truk escorting repaired seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU bombed at Shortland on 1 Feb '43.

1 April 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Attached to Vice Admiral, the Baron, Samejima Tomoshige's (37) (former CO of NAGATO) Eighth Fleet/Southeast Area Fleet at Rabaul. Guardship and training duties. Reassigned as flagship of Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Akiyama Teruo’s (41) (former CO of NAKA) DesRon 3.

3 May 1943:
Captain Funaki Morie (48) (former CO of TATSUTA) assumes command. Captain Hirai is later reassigned as CO of NOSHIRO.

30 June 1943: American Operation "Toenails" - The Invasion of New Georgia:
Rear Admiral Turner's Third Fleet Amphibious Force, supported by land-based aircraft, lands Marines and Army troops on Rendova and other islands in the New Georgia area, Solomons. That same day, YUBARI departs Rabaul.

1 July 1943:
Arrives at Buin, Bougainville.

2-3 July 1943:
YUBARI bombards the American landing beachead at Rendova Island with destroyers NIIZUKI, MIKAZUKI, YUNAGI, MOCHIZUKI, NAGATSUKI, HATSUYUKI, SATSUKI and AMAGIRI. The bombardment achieves little effect. The beachead is also attacked by IJN and IJA aircraft.

The bombardment group is engaged by motor torpedo boats USS PT-156, PT-157 and PT-161, but they inflict no damage. Comdesron 3 Rear Admiral Akiyama's flagship NIIZUKI and three other destroyers counter-attack and take the PT-boats under fire, but the PTs escape under a smoke screen. The destroyers suffer no damage in the engagement.

5 July 1943:
When arriving at Buin, YUBARI strikes a Mark-12 aerial mine dropped by a Grumman TBF "Avenger" torpedo-bomber. Her forward food store and fresh water tank are flooded. 26 sailors are wounded. YUBARI’s speed is limited to 22 knots thereafter.

6 July 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Undergoes temporary repairs by repair ship YAMABIKO MARU.

10 July 1943:
Reattached to Eight Fleet HQ for the duration of repairs.

16 July 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Japan, making stops at Truk and Saipan.

19 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Undergoes more temporary repairs. Concrete is poured to damaged compartment for hull strengthening.

24 July 1943:
Departs Truk.

27 July 1943:
Arrives at Saipan, then departs for Yokosuka.

30 July 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 August-16 October 1943:
At Yokosuka. Repairs and refit.

1-12 September 1943:
Drydocked at Yokosuka. The aft 140-mm single mount is replaced by a triple 25-mm Type 96 AA mount. One 90-cm Sperry type searchlight on the bridge is replaced by a Type 22 surface search radar. A Type 93 Mk. 4 sonar and a Type 93 hydrophone are installed.

18 October 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Hashirajima-Kure area for working up.

27 October 1943:
Departs Kure for Rabaul.

3 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

4 November 1943:
Departs with destroyers MINAZUKI and ISOKAZE to assist transport KIYOSUMI MARU damaged the day before in an attack by 19 USAAF 13th Air Force B-24 "Liberator" bombers on convoy "Tei No. 4" inbound from Shanghai. KIYOSUMI MARU, carrying 1,342 reinforcement troops of the IJA 17th Division, is under tow by light cruiser ISUZU escorted by light cruiser NAKA and destroyer ISOKAZE.

YUBARI removes 196 troops and three field guns from KIYOSUMI MARU. ISUZU removes 196 troops and four regimental guns and NAKA removes another 166 men and four rapid fire antitank guns the transport. Destroyer MINAZUKI removes 267 troops from the transport and ISOKAZE removes 236 troops and two mountain guns. All the troops are landed at Rabaul. Ammunition and supplies are also off loaded from KIYOSUMI MARU.

YUBARI departs Rabaul for Kavieng escorting convoy "Tei No. 4".

5 November 1943:
At 0453, arrives at Kavieng. That same day, YUBARI is designated flagship of DesRon 3, replacing light cruiser SENDAI, sunk 2 Nov '42 at Empress Augusta Bay.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. Departs Rabaul that same night with destroyer SHIGURE on a troop transport run to Buka, Bougainville. Disembarks 700 soldiers of the IJA's 17th Division and 25-tons of supplies.

7 November 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

11 November 1943: Carrier Attack on Rabaul.
Aircraft from Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman's (USNA ‘10) (former CO of LEXINGTON (CV-2) Task Force 38's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and PRINCETON (CVL-23) and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's (USNA ‘12) TG 50.3 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), BUNKER HILL (CV-17) and INDEPENDENCE (CVL-22) attack Rabaul. They sink destroyer SUZUNAMI and damage light cruiser AGANO and destroyers NAGANAMI, URAKAZE and WAKATSUKI. YUBARI is damaged slightly by a strafing attack.

14 November 1943:
Receives slight damage during another air attack.

18 November 1943:
Departs Rabaul on a troop transport run to Garove Island, New Britain. While enroute to Garove, YUBARI is attacked by USAAF Consolidated B-24 "Liberators" at 04-20S, 150-00E and later by USN Consolidated PBY "Catalinas" at 03-41S, 150-15E. Damage to the ship from these attacks causes her mission to be aborted.

24 November 1943:
Arrives back at Rabaul. Undergoes repairs.

3 December 1943:
Departs Rabaul towing DesDiv 31's NAGANAMI damaged by an aerial torpedo in the 11 November raid on Rabaul. DesDiv 22's FUMIZUKI and MINAZUKI provide escort.

8 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

14 December 1943:
Departs Truk.

19 December 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Begins refit and modifications that last until 4 March 1944. During her refit, two triple mount and eight single mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns are fitted bringing YUBARI's total suite to 25 barrels (3x3, 4x2, 8x1). Her forward 140-mm mount is replaced by a single 120-mm/45 Type 10 HA gun and two depth charge rails are fitted at the stern.

26 December 1943:
Yokosuka. Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Ooe Ranji (47)(former ComDesDivs 3, 19 and 61) assumes command of MAYA undergoing repairs. He also assumes "paper" command of YUBARI on 20 Jan ’44 as an additional duty.

8 January 1944:

12 January 1944:

5 February 1944:

20 February 1944:
Captain Nara Takeo (49) assumes command.

25 February 1944:

22 March 1944:
Reassigned as flagship of ComDesRon 3 Rear Admiral Nakagawa Ko (former CO of HYUGA).

Tokyo Bay. Departs Kisarazu escorting Marianas troop reinforcement convoy Higashi Matsu "East Pine" No. 3" consisting of 11 transports, supply ship HAYASAKI, DesDiv 5's HATAKAZE, DesDiv 6's IKAZUCHI and DesDiv 32's TAMANAMI, torpedo boat OTORI, kaibokans HIRADO and NOMI and subchasers CH-48, CH-51 and CH-54.

25 March 1944:
The convoy is attacked by LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) B. E. Lewellen's (USNA ‘31) old USS POLLACK (SS-180). Lewellen sinks subchaser CH-54 and claims damage to several transports. YUBARI is not attacked.

30 March 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

23 April 1944:
Loads Army troops and supplies. Departs Saipan with light cruiser KINU and DesDiv 9's SAMIDARE and DesDiv 29's YUZUKI.

25 April 1944:
Arrives at Palau. Embarks 365 troops and supplies.

26 April 1944:
Departs Palau with transport T. 149 escorted by SAMIDARE and YUZUKI.

27 April 1944:
On her first war patrol, LtCdr (later Captain) Eric L. Barr's(USNA ‘34) USS BLUEGILL (SS-242) is reconnoitering the Sonsorol (now Dongosaro) Islands, SW of Palau when YUBARI arrives. BLUEGILL sights her and a destroyer, but YUBARI disappears behind the island. She proceeds to disembarks her troops and departs at 0942.

YUBARI suddenly reappears from behind the island at top speed. Barr quickly changes his set-up, swings BLUEGILL to the new firing course and fires six torpedoes. YUBARI evades four torpedoes of the first spread, but at 1004, she is hit starboard side in her No. 1 boiler room. All engines stop and the cruiser goes dead in the water. One officer and 16 sailors are killed in No. 1 boiler room as a result of the torpedo explosion. By 1030, boiler rooms Nos. 1 and 2 are totally flooded. After 1400, an attempt to get underway on her middle shaft fails.

At 1650, SAMIDARE attempts unsuccessfully to tow YUBARI.

28 April 1944:
At 0541, DesRon 3's flag is transferred to YUZUKI. At 0544, YUZUKI rescues survivors including Captain Nara. At 1015, almost 24-hours after she was torpedoed, YUBARI sinks by the bow at 05-38N, 131-45E. Nineteen crewmen are lost.

10 June 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]An encounter is also claimed for July 14, 1938.

[3] Captain Elrod is killed during the fighting on 23 Dec '41 in the final assault on Wake. He is awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, the first Marine to receive the medal in WW2.

[4] A captured diary indicates that on 6 May ‘42 an Allied flying boat crashed ahead of a Japanese convoy, probably Rear Admiral Sadamichi’s Port Moresby Invasion Group and Rear Admiral Koso’s Transport Unit. The diary furthers states that on 7 May YUBARI took the nine prisoners aboard, who were transferred to transport MATSUE MARU that returned to Rabaul on 9 May. No record exists of the POWs arriving at Rabaul.

[5] Some Japanese sources credit YUBARI with a torpedo hit on USS VINCENNES.

Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks also goes to Aldert Gritter/"Adm. Gurita" of the Netherlands and John Whitman of the USA.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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