1 April 1942:
Meanwhile, at 1100, Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Second Expeditionary Fleet, Mobile Force departs Mergui and steams into the Bay of Bengal to attack merchant shipping with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI and CruDiv 7's SUZUYA,
KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruiser YURA and destroyers AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE. YURA and CHOKAI support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.
2 April 1942:
Oiler NIPPON MARU refuels KONGO with 700 metric tons of fuel oil.
4 April 1942:
350 nms S of Ceylon. About 1600, the carrier Striking Force is located by a Consolidated PBY "Catalina" QL-A seaplane of 413 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flown by squadron leader Leonard Birchall, out
of Koggala. Birchall manages to radio in the position of the Japanese fleet and alert Colombo about the impending attack before his Catalina is shot down by six A6M2 Zeke fighters from carrier HIRYU. Birchall is one of the six survivors of the crew of nine.
5 April 1942, Easter Sunday: The Attack on the British naval base at Columbo:
At 0730, 127 aircraft from the Striking Force (53 Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” dive-bombers [18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 17 from AKAGI], 38 Aichi D3A1 “Val” torpedo-bombers [19 each from
SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU] and 36 Mitsubishi A6M “Zeke” fighters (9 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU and ZUIKAKU) of the "Kido Butai's" aircraft, led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo (of Pearl Harbor), attack the British naval base at
Columbo, Ceylon(now Sri Lanka).
The planes damage the base's facilities, destroy at least 26 aircraft (6 Fairey "Swordfish", 4 Fairey "Fulmars" and at least 16 Hawker "Hurricanes") and sink destroyer HMS TENEDOS undergoing refit, armed merchant cruiser HMS HECTOR
and 5834-ton Norwegian tanker SOLI. The planes also damage submarine TRUSTY, submarine tender LUCIA, 5,943-ton British freighter BENLEDI and British freighter CLAN MUROCH. 81 civilians and 56 RN personnel are killed at Colombo (TENEDOS 33, HECTOR 4, LUCIA 2, TRUSTY 1, FAA
aircrew and ground crew 12. The Japanese lose seven aircraft (6 D3A Vals, 1 A6M Zeke).
A Kawanishi E7K "Alf" three-seat float biplane from cruiser TONE finds Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet Sir) James Somerville's (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE at
sea - without air cover. Between 1338-1400, 53 D3A Val dive-bombers (17 from AKAGI, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SORYU, led by LtCdr Egusa Takashige (SORYU’s Air Group Commander), sink both ships. 424 RN personnel are killed (DORSETSHIRE
234, CORNWALL 190). After the attack, the Striking Force withdraws to the SE and searches unsuccessfully for the rest of Somerville's fleet.
Meanwhile, at 2030, Ozawa's Mobile Force separates into three groups to attack merchant shipping in the Bay of Bengal. CruDiv 7/1's KUMANO and SUZUYA, under Rear Admiral Kurita, form the Northern Group with destroyer SHIRAKUMO.
Carrier RYUJO, 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. 14 miles E of Calingapatam. YURA and YUGIRI sink 1,279-ton Dutch merchant BATAVIA enroute from Calcutta to Karachi. YURA and YUGIRI also sink 1,279-ton Dutch freighter BANJOEWANGI and 3,471-tonBritish steamer TAKSANG.
Bay of Bengal. After 0730, KUMANO and SUZUYA and destroyer SHIRAKUMO attack a six-ship 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.
25 miles S of Vizagapatam, northern Indian coast. CHOKAI’s floatplanes bomb and sink 5,686-ton American freighter SELMA CITY and 6,426-ton British cargo ship GANGES.
Bay of Bengal. RYUJO's aircraft bomb 5,491-ton American freighter BIENVILLE. She is finished off by a torpedo from CHOKAI.
That same day, CHOKAI sinks 6,426-ton British cargo ship GANGES and RYUJO launches strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam. RYUJO's aircraft bomb and sink 2,441 ton British steamship SINKIANG and damage 2,073-ton Dutch freighter
VAN DER CAPELLEN that sinks two days later. RYUJO's aircraft also damage 5,268-ton British freighter ANGLO CANADIAN and 3,827-ton British merchant MARION MOLLER.
9 April 1942: The Attack on the British naval base at Trincomalee:
At 0600, Nagumo's Striking Force launches 127 aircraft led by Cdr Fuchida to attack the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon (91 B5N2 Kate dive-bombers [18 from AKAGI, 18 from SORYU and 18 from HIRYU], 19 from SHOKAKU and 18 from
ZUIKAKU] and 41 A6M2 Zeke fighters [6 from AKAGI, 9 from SORYU, 6 from HIRYU, 10 from SHOKAKU and 10 from ZUIKAKU
The Japanese find the harbor almost empty, but sink 9,066-ton British merchant SAGAING and a "Walrus" amphibian and three crated Fairey “Albacore” aircraft she was carrying and damage old 15-inch monitor HMS EREBUS. They also seriously damage the dockyard and the RAF station at
China Bay, shoot down nine planes and destroy at least 14 aircraft on the ground. 20 military and 38 civilian personnel are killed at Trincomalee including EREBUS 9, naval dockyard personnel 17, 55th LAA Battery 2, and at China Bay 3. The Japanese lose seven aircraft (4 D3A Vals, 3 A6M Zekes).
HARUNA launches a E8N2 “Dave” floatplane. At 0755, it spots an enemy carrier 65 miles south of the base. At 0900, the Striking Force launches 85 D3A Vals, (18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SHOKAKU, 17 from AKAGI and 14
from ZUIKAKU),escorted by 9 A6M Zekes (3 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU) which sink old light carrier HMS HERMES. 306 RN personnel are KIA, but hospital ship VITA, en route from Trincomalee to Colombo, arrives and picks up over 600
Other sailors are rescued by local craft or swim to shore. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE, 8 KIA, corvette HMS HOLLYHOCK, 53 KIA, oilers ATHELSTANE and BRITISH SERGEANT and Norwegian merchant
During the day, nine of the Royal Air Force’s No. 11 Squadron’s Bristol "Blenheim" bombers attack KONGO, but score no hits and lose five of their number to Nagumo's Combat Air Patrol’s "Zekes". BatDiv3 and the Striking Force continue
6-9 April 1942:
10 April 1942:
Ozawa's commerce raiding detachment sinks twenty ships during their brief foray in the Bay of Bengal.
YURA arrives at Penang.
11 April 1942:
20 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sato Shiro (former CO of AS JINGEI) assumes command. Captain Miyoshi is later reassigned as CO of MUTSU and is lost with her in 1943.
That same day, YURA begins a refit.
3 May 1942:
10 May 1942:
YURA is transferred as flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shoji's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 4.
11 May 1942:
19 May 1942:
The refit is completed. Departs Sasebo.
20 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.
27 May 1942: “MI” Sakusen (Operation "MI") - The Battle of Midway:
DesRon 4's YURA departs Hashirajima with DesDivs 2 and 9's seven destroyers in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Strike Force, Main Body's Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) BatDiv 3/1's KONGO and HIEI, Kondo's CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI, Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesDiv 2's MURASAME, SAMIDARE, HARUSAME and YUDACHI, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO.
19 June 1942:
Arrives at Komatsushima harbor, Shikoku.
20 June 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takama Tamotsu (former CO of HARUNA) assumes command of DesRon 4. Rear Admiral Nishimura is reassigned as ComCruDiv 7.
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 MajGen (later Gen/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandergrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening a seven-month campaign to take the island.
11 August 1942:
The YURA departs Hashirajima for Truk with Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet, Support Force's BatDiv 1's MUTSU, CruDiv 5's HAGURO, MYOKO and NACHI, CruDiv 4's TAKAO and MAYA, seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesDiv 9's ASAGUMO, MINEGUMO and NATSUGUMO, DesDiv 24's UMIKAZE and SUZUKAZE and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, ARIAKE and YUGURE.
17 August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
20 August 1942 - Operation "KA": The Reinforcement of Guadalcanal:
Desron 4's YURA with destroyers KUROSHIO, OYASHIO, MINEGUMO, HAYASHIO, NATSUGUMO and ASAGUMO departs Truk in Kondo's Second Fleet, Support Force's CHITOSE, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) Vanguard Force's BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA with NOWAKI, TANIKAZE and MAIKAZE.
Kondo's Second Fleet joins Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Carrier Strike Force, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 8's TONE and destroyers KAZAGUMO, YUGUMO, MAKIGUMO, AKIGUMO, HATSUKAZE, AKIZUKI, AMATSUKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE.
24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Cruises NE of Guadalcanal with the Carrier Strike Force, Main Body. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6) launch aircraft that find and sink light carrier RYUJO. In turn, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find and hit ENTERPRISE with three bombs. That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage seaplane carrier CHITOSE.
5 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
9 September 1942:
Departs Truk with the Combined Fleet. Cruises E of Guadalcanal.
22 September 1942:
Arrives at the Shortland Islands.
23 September 1942:
Departs Shortland for Rabaul.
24 September 1942:
Recalled to Shortland.
25 September 1942:
Shortland. Attacked by two Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" bombers of the 11th Bomb Group based at Espirtu Santo. Slightly damaged by a small bomb.
5 October 1942:
Departs Shortland for Kieta, Bougainville. Recalled to Shortland that same day.
11 October 1942:
LtCdr Lucius D. Chappell's USS SCULPIN (SS-192) claims a torpedo hit forward of YURA's bridge that inflicts minor damage. Chappell says SCULPIN is driven off by the cruiser's gunfire, but postwar analysis fails to confirm this attack and YURA is not damaged this day.
12 October 1942:
Departs Shortland. Escorts seaplane tenders NISSHIN and CHITOSE that are returning from a transport run to Guadalcanal.
14 October 1942:
At 2200, YURA, light cruiser SENDAI, tender NISSHIN and destroyers ASAGUMO, AKATSUKI, IKAZUCHI and SHIRAYUKI land 1,129 troops, four field guns, four rapid-fire guns, ammunitions and provisions on Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal.
15 October 1942:
Returns to Shortland.
17 October 1942:
YURA departs Shortland on a troop transport run to Guadalcanal with the “Tokyo Express” comprised by SENDAI, light cruiser TATSUTA and 15 destroyers. They carry 2,100 troops each way and deliver field artillery pieces and anti-tank guns.
18 October 1942:
Choiseul Island. Enroute back to Shortland, YURA is attacked by LtCdr John R. Craig's USS GRAMPUS (SS-207) at 07-47S, 157-19E. Craig fires four Mark-14 torpedoes at YURA. One hits but does not explode. YURA departs the area with just a dent in her port side.
23 October 1942:
Departs Shortland for Guadalcanal, but is recalled and returns the same day.
24 October 1942:
At 1500, YURA departs Shortland to bombard Guadalcanal with the No. 2 Attack Unit consisting of Rear Admiral Takama Tamotsu’s (former CO of HARUNA) flagship DesDiv 61's AKIZUKI, DesDiv 9’s HARUSAME, MURASAME and YUDACHI.
25 October 1942:
N entrance to Indispensable Strait, off Guadalcanal. At 1300, YURA is attacked by LtCdr John Eldridge’s five SBD dive-bombers of VS-71 and hit aft by two bombs near the engine room. She floods and settles by the stern. After receiving reports of the attack, Vice Admiral Mikawa, CINC, Eighth Fleet, cancels Rear Admiral Takama's bombardment mission. The No. 2 Attack Unit reverses course back towards Shortland.
At 1415, YURA is attacked by three Army Bell P-39 "Airacobras" and at 1530 by four Marine SBDs, but these attacks fail to damage YURA.
At 1700, Captain Sato attempts to beach YURA on Fara Island but she is attacked again by LtCdr Eldridge this time with four SBDs, three Grumman F4F "Wildcats" and four P-39s. Soon after this attack, the YURA is attacked by six USAAF B-17 bombers from Espiritu Santo. These attacks reignite YURA's fires.
At 1830, after her crew is taken off, destroyers HARUSAME and YUDACHI scuttle YURA with torpedoes. She breaks in two and the bow sinks. At 1900, the stern is sunk by gunfire from YUDACHI at 08-15S, 159-57E.
20 November 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.
 Original Dutch reaserch by Jan Visser of the "Royal Netherlands Navy Warships in World War II" website at http://leden.tref.nl/~jviss000/Default.htm
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" and Bram of the Netherlands.
Photo credit goes to Kaijnsha, History of Japanese Cruisers via reader Berend van der Wal of the Netherlands.
Thanks also go to Rob Stuart of Canada for additional info about "Operation C". For more info on "Operation C" please see Rob's splendid 20 Ships, Not 23: Ozawa’s Score, 5-6 April 1942.
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.