JUNYOKAN!

(YURA in 1938 camoflague))

IJN YURA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 7


21 May 1920:
Laid down at Sasebo Dock Yard.

15 February 1922:
Launched and named YURA.

20 March 1923:
Completed and registered in the IJN. An unknown officer is the CO.

1 November 1926:
Captain (later Admiral) Toyoda Soemu (33)(former XO of KUMA) assumes command.

15 November 1927:
An unknown officer assumes command.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Otagaki Tomisaburo (34)(former CO of SHIRIYA) assumes command.

1 November 1929:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Wada Senzo (34)(former CO of CHOGEI) assumes command.

1 December 1930:
An unknown officer assumes command.

1 December 1931:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Tanimoto Umataro (35)(former XO of HIEI) assumes command.

1 December 1932:
An unknown officer assumes command.

4 February 1932:
YURA and light cruisers NAKA and ABUKUMA bombard the batteries of Wusong Fort near Shanghai..

13 February 1932:
YURA and light cruiser YUBARI support 9th Division attacks and bombard the batteries of Wusong Fort. Both cruisers suffer minor structural damage from the recoil of their own guns.

15 June 1933:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sugiyama Rokuzo (38) assumes command.

15 November 1933:
An unknown officer assumes command.

1 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Wakabayashi Seisaku (39)(former CO of TSURUMI) assumes command.

25 October 1935:
An unknown officer assumes command.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident ("First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) troops on night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops across the river think they are under attack. They fire live rounds back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Peiping (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city. An undeclared war on China begins.

11 July 1937:
The IJA and IJN agree to operational jurisdictions in the event of a full-scale war with China. The IJA takes responsibility for northern China and the IJN assumes assumes responsibility for central and southern China.

11 August 1937:
China. Rear Admiral (later Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi’s (36)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) 8th Cruiser Division consisting of YURA, NATORI and KINU is in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Hasegawa Kiyoshi 's (31)(former CO of NAGATO) Third Fleet's initial naval forces at Shanghai. The Third Fleet is assigned over-all operations in China.

15 November 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Ichioka Hisashi (42) assumes command of YURA.

1 November 1939:
An unknown officer assumes command.

1 September 1941:
Captain Miyoshi Teruhiko (former CO of RO-32) assumes command. YURA is flagship of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Daigo Tadashige's (former CO of ASHIGARA) SubRon 5.

26 November 1941:
YURA departs Sasebo for Palau with SubRon 5's SubDiv 29 submarines I-62 and I-64. Enroute, SubRon 5 is assigned to the Malay Force/South Area Force and diverted to Samah harbor, Hainan Island, Occupied China.

2 December 1941: Operation "Z":
The coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" is received from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).[1]

3 December 1941:
Arrives at Samah.

5 December 1941:
SubRon 5 departs Samah to cover the first wave of the Malaya Invasion Force with ComSubRon 5 embarked.

8 December 1941: Operation "E" - The Invasion of Malaya:
SubRon 5's submarines detach and deploy N of Anambas Island. YURA deploys S of Cape Camau, Indochina (Vietnam).

9 December 1941: The Pursuit of the Royal Navy's "Force Z":
SE of Indochina, near Poulo Condore Island. At 1415, the SubRon 5 staff aboard YURA receives a report from the I-65 that she has spotted "two Repulse-type enemy battleships, course 340, speed 14 knots", but due to poor wireless reception the YURA suffers a one and a half hour delay in receiving the signal. This is Vice Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips who sorties from Singapore to find and attack the Malaya invasion transports with his Force Z consisting of 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. Phillips had sortied from Singapore to find and attack the Malaya invasion transports. YURA participates in the search for the British W of Poulo Condoro, Indochina.

10 December 1941:
In the afternoon, Force Z is overwhelmed by torpedo-bombers of the 22nd Air Flotilla from bases in Indochina. Both British capital ships are sunk.

11 December 1941:
After receiving the report of the sinking of Force Z’s battleships, YURA returns to Camranh Bay, Indochina. She is assigned to the Borneo Seizure Force.

13 December 1941: Operation "B" - The Invasion of British Borneo (Sarawak):
Ten troop transports depart Camranh. YURA, DesDiv 11’s FUBUKI, DesDiv 12's MURAKUMO, SHINONOME and SHIRAKUMO and DesDiv 20’s SAGIRI cover the invasion from Camranh with CruDiv 7’s KUMANO and SUZUYA.

16 December 1941:
The first landings in northern Borneo take place in Sarawak and Brunei.

17 December 1941:
Provides cover for the invasion landing at Miri, northern Borneo with KUMANO and SUZUYA, light cruiser KINU, seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, DesDiv 12's SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO and SHINONOME, subchaser CH-7 and minesweepers W-6 and W-7. Also present are DesDiv 11's FUBUKI and DesDiv 20's ASAGIRI.

N of Miri, near Seria. In the darkness, SHINONOME completes escorting minesweeper W-7 and troop transport HIYOSHI MARU to this landing site. Just after dawn, steaming alone off shore, SHINONOME is attacked by Dutch Dornier Do-24 K-1 flying-boat X-32 of Aircraft Group GVT-7 based at Tarakan, E Borneo. Of five 200-kg bombs she drops, the X-32 scores two direct hits and a near-miss. An explosion severs SHINONOME's stern and she sinks quickly with all hands - the first FUBUKI-class destroyer sunk in WWII. [2]

The invasion force goes ashore almost unopposed at Miri, Seria and Lutong. The 2,500 men of MajGen Kawaguchi Kiyotake's "Kawaguchi Detachment" and the No. 2 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) quickly capture Miri's airfield and oil fields.

22 December 1941:
YURA and DesDiv 12's MURAKUMO and SHIRAKUMO depart Miri escorting six troop transports.

23-24 December 1941:
Provides cover for the landing of the Kawaguchi Detachment and the No. 2 Yokosuka SNLF at Kuching, Sarawak (British Borneo) with KUMANO and SUZUYA, KINU, KAMIKAWA MARU and destroyers FUBUKI and SAGIRI. Also present are DesDiv 12's SHIRAKUMO, MURAKUMO and USUGUMO and minesweepers W-3 and W-6. West of the Covering Force is CruDiv 7/2's MIKUMA and MOGAMI with destroyer HATSUYUKI.

25 December 1941:
Departs Kuching.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay. Begins refit.

16 January 1942:
The refit is completed. YURA departs Camranh with ComSubRon 5 Admiral Daigo embarked.

19 January 1942:
Arrives at Singora. Disembarks Rear Admiral Daigo.

20 January 1942:
Departs Singora.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Cap St. Jacques, Indochina.

24 January 1942:
Departs Cap St. Jacques.

26 January 1942:
Joins CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, DesDiv 19’s AYANAMI and ISONAMI to cover the landings on Endau.

3 February 1942:
Arrives at Camranh.

10 February 1942: Operation "L" - The Invasions of Palembang and Banka Island, Sumatra.
YURA, CruDiv 4's CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's MOGAMI, MIKUMA, SUZUYA and KUMANO depart Camranh Bay escorting 25 transports.

14 February 1942:
The two-pronged advance on Java continues with airborne landings on Palembang, Sumatra. 330 paratroopers of the IJA's No. 2 Parachute Regiment of Colonel Kume Seiichi's 1st Parachute Brigade are dropped from IJAA Kawasaki Ki-56 "Thalia" and Ki-57 "Topsy" transport aircraft to capture Palembang's airfield P1. The transports are accompanied by 18 Kawasaki type 97 Ki-21 "Sally" bombers and escorted by Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" fighters. Kume's paratroops take very heavy casualties and fail to capture the airfield that day.

15 February 1942:
One hundred more paratroops are dropped in the Palembang area. The airborne landings are followed by landings from the sea by forces carried from Indochina.

YURA, DesDiv 20's FUBUKI and ASAGIRI protect the landings and seek to destroy ships escaping through the Bangka Straits.

18 February 1942: Operation "J" - The Invasion of Java, Netherlands East Indies:
YURA is assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Third Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Force. YURA, light cruiser NATORI and seaplane tender SANYO MARU cover the Western Java Seizure Force from Camranh Bay consisting of 56 troop transports carrying the 2nd Infantry Division for the invasion of Bantam Bay and Merak.

19 February 1942:
YURA arrives at Anambas.

20 February 1942:
Departs the Anambas.

28 February 1942:
The invasion fleet divides into three groups. YURA with DesDiv 22's SATSUKI, MINATSUKI, FUMITSUKI and NAGATSUKI escort ten transports and steam for Ajner Lor, W of Sunda Strait.

1 March 1942:
Near Euretan Wetan. At 1200, Ltz. 1 Pieter A. Mulock van der Vlies Bik's Dutch submarine K-XIV is underway towards the expected landing area of Japanese forces when he makes visual contact with Pamanoekanclip and a Japanese cruiser with three funnels. At 1430, the cruiser is sighted again on a westerly course. The Dutch submariners also spot a floatplane flying near the cruiser. The cruiser then stops and takes the plane aboard. Ltz van der Vlies Bik estimates the distance to the cruiser at about 6 miles. He misidentifies YURA as a either a KUMA or NATORI-class cruiser.

At 1515, K-XIV attacks and launches two torpedos from 2500-3000 meters, but both either miss or are duds. Ltz van der Vlies Bik dives to 30 meters. Between 1522 and 1635, the Japanese make six depth charge attacks, dropping about 25 depth charges, but K-XIV survives. At 1800, Ltz van der Vlies Bik comes to periscope depth. Shortly after he raises his scope, three explosions are heard, probably airplane bombs. He dives back to 30 meters. Later, K-XIV finally escapes via Sunda Strait and proceeds to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

3 March 1942:
Departs Java.

4 March 1942:
YURA rescues the crew of oiler ERIMO that was torpedoed and sunk by submarine USS S-39.

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Singapore. Assigned to the No. 1 Escort Unit.

9 March 1942: Operation "T" - The Seizure of Northern Sumatra:
Departs Singapore with troop transports and the No. 1 Escort Unit's light cruiser KASHII and six destroyers of DesDiv 19 and 20.

12 March 1942:
Covers troops landings at Kutaradja and Sabang, Sumatra.

15 March 1942:
Arrives at Penang with the No. 1 Escort Unit.

20 March 1942:
Departs Penang with the No. 1 Escort Unit and troop transports.

23 March 1942:Operation "D" - The Invasion of the Andaman Islands:
Covers the unopposed landing of one battalion of the IJA 18th Infantry Division at Port Blair.

28 March 1942:
Arrives at Mergui, Burma.

1 April 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Assigned to Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malay Force.

At 1100, YURA and destroyers AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE depart Mergui and steam into the Bay of Bengal with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI and CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI to attack merchant shipping. YURA and CHOKAI support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.

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 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 Dutch merchant BATAVIA enroute from Calcutta to Karachi. YURA and YUGIRI also sink Dutch freighter BANJOEWANGI and British 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 American freighter SELMA CITY and British cargo ship GANGES.

Bay of Bengal. RYUJO's aircraft bomb American freighter BIENVILLE. She is finished off by a torpedo from CHOKAI.

That same day, CHOKAI sinks British cargo ship GANGES and RYUJO launches strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam. RYUJO's aircraft bomb and sink British steamship SINKIANG and damage Dutch freighter VAN DER CAPELLEN that sinks two days later. RYUJO's aircraft also damage British freighter ANGLO CANADIAN.

10 April 1942:
YURA arrives at Penang.

11 April 1942:
Departs Penang.

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:
Drydocked.

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:
Undocked.

19 May 1942:
The refit is completed. Departs Sasebo.

20 May 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

27 May 1942: 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.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

[2] 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 of Belgium.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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