IJN Battleship HIEI:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2000-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg
10 September 1941:
Captain Nishida Masao (former CO of TONE) is appointed CO. Captain Arima is reassigned as the Equipping Officer (later CO) of MUSASHI under construction at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding at Nagasaki.
HIEI is assigned to Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (former CO of ISUZU) First Fleet at the Combined Fleet's anchorage at Hashirajima in Hiroshima Bay in Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) BatDiv 3 with HARUNA, KONGO and KIRISHIMA.1 October 1941:
18 November 1941:
Departs Kisarazu Naval Base on Tokyo Bay
22 November 1941:
Arrives at Hitokappu Bay, Etorofu Island, Kuriles.
HIEI serves as the task force's communications center, but to prevent accidental signals HIEI's radio transmission equipment is dismantled. HIEI and sister-ship KIRISHIMA take up position to the rear of the "Kido Butai" and steam eastward at 13 knots.2 December 1941:
7 December 1941: The
Attack on Pearl Harbor:
At 0630, BatDiv 3/1 launches Type 95 Nakajima E8N "Dave" two-seat reconnaissance floatplanes to patrol south of the Striking Force. CruDiv 8 also launches picket floatplanes.
At 0755, the Striking Force's first wave of 183 aircraft (89 Type 97 Nakajima B5N2 Kate attack planes, 51 Type 99 Aichi D3A1 Val dive-bombers and 43 Type 0 Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeke fighters led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo attack the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and other military installations on Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.
About 0840, they are followed by a second wave of 167 aircraft (54 "Kates", 78 "Vals" and 35 "Zekes") led by LtCdr Shimazaki Shigekazu. By 0945, they retire towards their carriers.
During the attacks, the Striking Force sinks battleships USS ARIZONA (BB-39), CALIFORNIA (BB-44), OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and WEST VIRGINIA (BB-49) and damages MARYLAND (BB-46), NEVADA (BB-36), PENNSYLVANIA (BB-38), TENNESSEE (BB-43) and other smaller ships. 2,335 American servicemen die in the attack, most on ARIZONA. After recovering all but 29 of its aircraft lost in the attack, the Striking Force departs Hawaiian waters towards Japan.
16 December 1941: The Second Invasion of Wake Island:
CarDiv 2, CruDiv 8, and destroyers URAKAZE and TANIKAZE detach from the Striking and Support forces to participate in the second invasion.
23 December 1941:
HIEI and the remainder of the Striking Force arrive at Hashirajima.
8 January 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 departs Hashirajima for Truk with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDivs 1, 5, CruDiv 8 and DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA and destroyers.
14 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
17 January 1942: - Operation "R" - The Invasions of Rabaul and
BatDiv 3/1 departs Truk with the Carrier Striking Force, CruDiv 8 and DesRon 1 for an area north of New Ireland. BatDiv 3/1 provides cover for the Striking Force's air attacks and distant support of the invasion forces.
23 January 1942:
Departs New Ireland area.
27 January 1942:
Returns to Truk. CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU is detached for Japan.
1 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 departs Truk with the Carrier Striking Force: CarDiv 1, CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and DesRon 1 in pursuit of Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. "Bull" Halsey's (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3) Task Force 8 (ENTERPRISE, CV-6) and Rear Admiral (MOH '14/later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's (former CO of VERMONT, BB-20) Task Force 17 (YORKTOWN, CV-5) reported to be attacking Wotje, Kwajalein, Jaluit, Makin and Mili in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
4 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1 and the Carrier Striking Force group are ordered to Palau. CarDiv 5's ZUIKAKU is detached via Truk for Japan to join SHOKAKU.
8 February 1942:
BatDiv 3/1, CarDiv 1, CHIKUMA and DesRon 1 arrive at Palau.
18 February 1942:
Bat Div 3 departs Palau for Staring (Teluk) Bay, near Kendari, Celebes (now Sulwasei).
21 February 1942:
BatDiv 3 arrives at Staring Bay with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (former CO of KONGO) CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO and six destroyers and refuels. Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) First Air Fleet Striking Force ("Kido Butai") CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA, CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU and CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 1's light cruiser ABUKUMA with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE and DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI and ARIAKE also arrives from their stike on Darwin, Australia and refuels.
25 February 1942:
BatDiv 3 departs Staring Bayin support of the Carrier Striking Force's attacks on Java.
1 March 1942:
250 miles SSE of Christmas Island. At 1550 (local), the Mobile Force is steaming at 16 knots at 14-25S, 106-50E, when one of AKAGI’s combat air patrol fighters sights a "MARBLEHEAD-class" light cruiser (actually, Lt Joshua J. Nix's USS EDSALL (DD-219) steaming behind the force about 30 kilometers away.
At 1552, Vice Admiral Nagumo orders BatDiv 3/2 and CruDiv 8 to intercept the "cruiser" and destroy it. Vice Admiral Mikawa leads the chase from HIEI, flanked by heavy cruisers CHIKUMA (port) and TONE (starboard), leading KIRISHIMA.
At 1602, EDSALL is sighted off HIEI’s port bow, 16 miles away, heading north. At 1603, CHIKUMA opens fire with her 8-inch guns at extremely long range. All her shots miss. EDSALL, damaged earlier by one of her depth charges, lays down a smokescreen and begins evasive maneuvers.
At 1616, HIEI opens fire with her forward 14-inch guns at a range of 27,900 yards, straddling the target, but not hitting it. After 1619, she launches all her floatplanes.
At 1620, HIEI signals: "All forces, charge!" The target is soon identified as a destroyer by HIEI and CHIKUMA. At 1639, Admiral Mikawa orders flank speed.
At 1655, HIEI and the heavy cruisers check fire without having scored a single direct hit. KAGA, SORYU and HIRYU launch a number of D3A1 "Val" dive bombers against EDSALL. Between 1657 and 1720, EDSALL is hit by several bombs that slow her down and set her afire. EDSALL, slowly circling clockwise, is enveloped in white smoke. 
At 1720, HIEI, now heading NNE, opens fire from her main and secondary guns from the range of 19,400 yards. At 1730, both battleships are ordered to check fire. In all, HIEI fires 210 14-inch and 70 6-inch shells at EDSALL and KIRISHIMA fires 87 14-in and 62 6-in shells. At 1731, battered old destroyer EDSALL sinks by the stern at 13-45S, 106-47E.
By 1820, HIEI recovers her floatplanes and departs the area. During the engagement she fires 210 14-inch and 70 6-inch shells.
2 March 1942:
At 0328 BatDiv 3/2 rejoins the Mobile Force.
11 March 1942:
Bat Div 3 returns to Staring Bay after the surrender of the Dutch East Indies. BatDiv 3 assumes 'standby alert'. After more than three months of continuous operations, the crews are allowed some rest and relaxation.
15 March 1942:
Staring Bay. Tanker KENYO MARU refuels HIEI with 1,500 tons of fuel oil.
6 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. At about 0600, the three ships of Ozawa’s Northern Group attack and sink the 5,381-ton Norwegian tanker ELSA. 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, 7,718-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.
13 April 1942:
By nightfall, the fleet passes Singapore and enters the South China Sea, bound for Japan.
15 April 1942:
Oiler SHINKOKU MARU refuels HIEI with 599 metric tons of fuel oil. That same day, oiler KENYO MARU refuels HIEI with 1,500 metric tons.
23 April 1942:
The fleet arrives at Hashirajima.
19 May 1942:
Departs Hashirajima with the First and Third Fleets for maneuvers at sea.
23 May 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima.
27 May 1942: Operation
"MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Departs Hashirajima in Vice Admiral Kondo's Main Body: Bat Div 3/1's KONGO and HIEI, CruDiv 4/1's ATAGO and CHOKAI, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO and DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA with her seven destroyers.
6 June 1942: Operation "AL" - The Invasion of the Aleutians:
At 2330, Yamamoto orders Bat Div 3/1, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, light carrier ZUIHO, seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU, DesDiv 4's ARASHI, NOWAKI, HAGIKAZE and MAIKAZE, DesDiv 10's MAKIGUMO, KAZAGUMO and YUGUMO, SubRon 2 and SubDiv 13 to detach from the Second Fleet and proceed northward to join Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) Second Mobile Force's carriers JUNYO and RYUJO later reinforced by ZUIKAKU. They patrol 600 miles SW of Kiska in anticipation of an American counter-attack that does not materialize.
9 June 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 is reassigned to Hosogaya's Northern Force, Support Group.
24 June 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 arrives at Sendai Bay.
28 June 1942:
Departs Sendai Bay.
10 July 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 is reassigned to the Second Fleet.
11 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. HIEI is refit and drydocked. She remains at Yokosuka for a month.
14 July 1942:
HIEI (F) and KIRISHIMA are reassigned from the First Fleet to Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (former CO of FUSO) new BatDiv 11. HIEI and KIRISHIMA's aircraft complement is upgraded: they receive one Aichi E13A1 "Jake" reconnaissance floatplane and two Mitsubishi Type F1M2 "Pete" floatplanes, tail codes CIV-x (in red).
16 August 1942:
BatDiv 11 departs Yokosuka towards Truk with CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, CarDiv 2's light carrier RYUJO, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers.
20-23 August 1942:
Admiral Yamamoto cancels the fleet's planned stop at Truk. Refuels at sea from oilers enroute towards Guadalcanal.
24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
BatDiv 11 cruises NE of Guadalcanal with the Carrier Strike Force's CarDiv 1, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and Desron 10. Detached light carrier RYUJO is sunk by aircraft from Task Group 11's USS SARATOGA (CV-3). CarDiv 1 launches an air attack against Task Force 16's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) which is hit by three bombs but is not sunk.
28 August 1942:
BatDiv 11 departs for Truk with the Carrier Strike Force.
30 August 1942:
BatDiv 11 arrives at Truk. Refuels from oiler TATEKAWA MARU.
10 September 1942:
BatDiv 11 sorties from Truk with Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers. The Third Fleet accompanies Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet's Bat Div 3 KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO and DesRon 2 to an area north of the Solomon Islands.
15-17 September 1942:
At sea. The fleet refuels destroyers.
18-20 September 1942:
The Second and Third Fleets sortie towards the Solomons.
20 September 1942:
The fleets are ordered to return to Truk.
23 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Undergoes maintenance and conducts training. Maintains standby alert. Two floatplanes are landed, one Jake and one Pete.
11 October 1942:
BatDiv 11 departs Truk to attack American forces off Guadalcanal with Rear Admiral Abe's Vanguard Force's CruDiv 7's SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and eight destroyers. The Vanguard Force accompanies Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kakuta Kakuji's (former CO of NAGATO) Air Group Force's CarDiv 2's HIYO and JUNYO and destroyers HAYASHIO and KUROSHIO. Abe and Kakuta's forces are followed by Nagumo's Carrier Strike Force, Main Body: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and eight destroyers.
12 October 1942:
East of the Solomon Islands. BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA and the Second and Third Fleets take up position to provide distant cover for Vice Admiral Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA which detaches with DesRon 2's light cruiser ISUZU and destroyers and proceeds to Guadalcanal.
14-15 October 1942:
BatDiv 11 maintains distant cover while KONGO and HARUNA bombard Henderson Field. The next night, Vice Admiral Mikawa's Eighth Fleet cruisers CHOKAI and KINUGASA bombard the airfield again.
23 October 1942:
650 miles north of Espirtu Santo. The Vanguard Force is sighted by a PBY "Catalina" patrol plane based in the Santa Cruz Islands.
25 October 1942:
After 1000, an AirSoPac PBY-5A "Catalina" spots the Vanguard Force. It is intercepted by two F1M2 Pete floatplanes from KIRISHIMA and chased away, receiving over 70 hits. The patrol plane is damaged, but finally escapes.
1450: The Vanguard Force is sighted heading north at 25 knots by six B-17s of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Espiritu Santo.
1510: The six B-17s bomb KIRISHIMA but score no hits.
26 October 1942: The
Battle of Santa Cruz:
0630: The Vanguard Force making 20 knots is reported by two Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers of Air Group 10 from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6).
0740: Kondo orders Abe's Vanguard Force to forego screening Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force and to close on an American carrier force sighted earlier by a Nakajima B5N "Kate" from ZUIKAKU.
The Vanguard Force is attacked by dive-bombers and torpedo planes from ENTERPRISE and HORNET (CV-8). Three SDB dive-bombers attack KIRISHIMA. She is not damaged, but several 1,000-lb. bombs hit CHIKUMA.
Nagumo and Kakuta launch air attacks that mortally damage HORNET. They also damage ENTERPRISE and light anti-aircraft cruiser SAN JUAN (CLAA-54). A 550-lb bomb hits new battleship SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57). It jams her No. 1 turret in train and disables two of the three 16-inch rifles in her No. 2 turret.
30 October 1942:
The Vanguard Force returns to Truk, then maintains standby alert.
1 November 1942:
BatDiv 11's Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki is promoted to Vice Admiral.
2 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA) assumes command of the Third Fleet. Vice Admiral Nagumo is reassigned as the Commandant of the Sasebo Naval Station. Vice Admiral Kondo, Commander of the Second Fleet, is appointed the Deputy Commander of the Combined Fleet.
9 November 1942:
10 November 1942:
BatDiv 11 and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU and YUGURE depart the Shortland anchorage off Bougainville to execute Vice Admiral Kondo's planned landing of 14,500 men, heavy weapons and supplies of the IJA's 38th "Hiroshima" Infantry Division and the 8th Special Naval Landing Force on Guadalcanal. The twelve destroyers of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2 will escort an 11-ship high-speed reinforcement convoy. The landing is to be preceded by another bombardment of Henderson Field. Part of Kondo's plan calls for DesDiv 27's destroyers to act as picket ships between Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands.
12 November 1942:
In the early morning, BatDiv 11 is joined by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA (F) and the destroyers AKATSUKI, AMATSUKAZE, IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, TERUZUKI and YUKIKAZE that arrive from Truk
1030: A B-17 heading towards Savo Island spots Abe's force. Two covering Mitsubishi A6M "Zeke" fighters, launched from a holding position north of Malaita Island by Vice Admiral Kakuta's carrier JUNYO, attempt unsuccessfully to intercept the bomber.
1530: Abe's force rendezvous with Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Takama Tamotsu's (former CO of HARUNA) DesRon 4 sweeping unit's ASAGUMO (F), HARUSAME, MURASAME, SAMIDARE and YUDACHI. Abe orders the destroyers to form a tight double half-ring formation as an anti-submarine measure. NAGARA follows with BatDiv 11 in column behind. The force proceeds south down the "Slot" at 18 knots.
HIEI catapults an F1M2 "Pete" reconnaissance floatplane. A heavy rainstorm begins that lasts several hours. The plane reports more than a dozen enemy warships off Lunga Point, Guadalcanal. The floatplane is unable to return to HIEI because of the blinding rain, but lands safely at Bougainville.
13 November 1942:The
First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
0000: Abe orders his force to reverse course and slow to 12 knots because of the weather.
0040: The rain squall finally ends. Abe orders his force to again reverse course and proceed towards Savo Island, Guadalcanal.
0110: Abe orders BatDiv 11 to make their 14-inch main batteries ready to fire HE Type 3 shells.
0124: Captain Gilbert C. Hoover's USS HELENA's (CL-50) SG radar picks up a return at 28,000 yards, probably light cruiser NAGARA.
0125: Lookouts aboard HIEI sight Cape Esperance. Admiral Abe orders that preparations begin for the shelling of Henderson Field. Unknown to Abe, HELENA's radar picks up HIEI and battleship KIRISHIMA at 32,000 yards.
HELENA alerts Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan's (a former naval aide to President Roosevelt), Task Group 67.4 consisting of cruisers USS SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38)(F), PORTLAND (CA-33), ATLANTA (CL-51), JUNEAU (CL-52) and destroyers CUSHING (DD-376), LAFFEY (DD-459), STERETT (DD-407), MONSSEN (DD-436), FLETCHER (DD-445), O'BANNON (DD-450), AARON WARD (DD-483) and BARTON (DD-599).
0131: HELENA's radar picks up smaller returns, most probably Abe's destroyers.
Admiral Callaghan orders a northward turn in an attempt to cross the Japanese formation's "T", but the maneuver is executed too late.
0142: Cdr Kikkawa Kiyoshi's lead destroyer YUDACHI and HIEI's lookouts report sighting enemy warships only 9,000 meters away. Abe quickly orders BatDiv 11's gunnery officers to replace the Type 3 incendiary shells with Type 1 armor piercing shells.
YUDACHI almost collides with LtCdr Edward N. Parker's destroyer CUSHING (DD-376), in the van of the American force, but not equipped with radar. YUDACHI goes full left rudder and veers off to port.
0150: HIEI and Cdr Takasuka Osamu's destroyer AKATSUKI switch on their searchlights and illuminate Captain Samuel P. Jenkins' ATLANTA. Abe's force commences a night gun battle with American cruisers and destroyers. ATLANTA and Captain Gilbert C. Hoover's HELENA quickly shoot out AKATSUKI’s probing searchlight. AKATSUKI is also hit by gunfire from Captain Cassin Young's (MOH at Pearl Harbor) SAN FRANCISCO and sinks with heavy loss of life. 
0151: Captain (later Admiral) Laurance T. DuBose's PORTLAND is hit by a 14-inch HE shell in the starboard aircraft hangar. PORTLAND scores a hit on a battleship, probably HIEI.
Return fire from HIEI and other Japanese warships rains down on ATLANTA. In the confusion of the battle, SAN FRANCISCO mistakenly also fires on ATLANTA and hits her with about nineteen 8-inch shells. Rear Admiral Norman Scott, most of his staff, and many other crewmen are KIA. ATLANTA is then hit port side in the forward engine room by a torpedo, probably fired by destroyer INAZUMA. She loses all but auxiliary diesel power. Without primary power, ATLANTA loses her ability to train and fire her guns and drifts out of control. She is forced to shift steering control to her steering engine room aft. 
Almost immediately after the action starts, Cdr Nakamura Noboru’s  destroyer SAMIDARE and destroyer MURASAME get separated from the rest of Abe's force. After YUDACHI reports a successful attack, they try to rejoin the formation. SAMIDARE’s lookouts report an enemy vessel dead ahead and her 25 mm AA battery officer orders his gunners to target it. Cdr Nakamura already at SAMIDARE’s main battery director identifies it as HIEI and orders cease fire. In the heat of the battle his order is not heard and the 25 mm guns score several hits on the battleship's mainmast (or after command station). HIEI then fires what seems to be a tracer shell that passes overhead.
Cdr Nakamura of SAMIDARE orders the recognition signal flashed, which that night was one red light on the mainmast. No return fire is observed from HIEI and the 25 mm finally ceases firing. Immediately thereafter SAMIDARE’s lookouts report an enemy destroyer attacking HIEI. 
LtCdr Orville F. Gregor's destroyer AARON WARD opens fire on HIEI. In the next four minutes her four radar-directed 5-inch guns get off ten salvos.
0153: Destroyer CUSHING launches six torpedoes. LtCdr William E. Hank's LAFFEY, 500 yards behind CUSHING, launches six torpedoes. One of the 11 torpedoes hits HIEI, but fails to explode. The others either miss or are too close to arm and fail to explode. Captain Tawara Yoshioki's light cruiser NAGARA then fires salvo after salvo into CUSHING knocking out her guns, power and steering.
LAFFEY opens fire on HIEI's bridge with 5-inch and machine-guns. Vice Admiral Abe and skipper Captain Nishida are wounded and Chief of Staff Captain Suzuki Masakane is killed.
Destroyers ASAGUMO, MURASAME and SAMIDARE engage LAFFEY and score numerous hits. Then the American destroyer takes a torpedo up her fantail, probably from ASAGUMO that blows off both propellers and part of her rudder. Finally, LAFFEY is hit by a 14-inch shell, perhaps from KIRISHIMA. Unnavigable, without steering and without power, LAFFEY sinks. LtCdr Hank and most of LAFFEY's crew are KIA. Hank is awarded the Navy Cross (First Gold Star), posthumously.
0154: HIEI, passing SAN FRANCISCO on an opposite course, opens fire at about 2,500 yards. Her main and secondary armament shatter SAN FRANCISCO’s superstructure. Rear Admiral Callaghan, three of his staff officers and skipper Captain Young are among those killed.
HIEI is only able to get off two salvos before she is hit by two 8-inch shells, most probably from SAN FRANCISCO. One shell is a dud, but the other penetrates HIEI’s hull on the starboard quarter and the resultant flooding disables HIEI’s steering gear. Vice Admiral Abe orders KIRISHIMA to detach from HIEI and head northward.
0156: HIEI's superstructure is engulfed in flames.
0157: Cdr Hara Tameichi's destroyer AMATSUKAZE launches eight torpedoes at LtCdr Douglas H. Fox's BARTON (DD-599). In turn, BARTON launches four port torpedoes at an unknown fast moving target.
0158: Cdr Kikkawa's destroyer YUDACHI launches torpedoes at an American cruiser. One hits PORTLAND on the starboard quarter and blows off both inboard propellers, jams the rudder five degrees right, and jams No. 3 turret in train and elevation. The cruiser's steering cannot be corrected and Captain DuBose is forced to steam in circles to starboard. At the end of the first circle, PORTLAND's forward turrets take HIEI, illuminated by burning ships and flares, under fire at 4,000 yards. HIEI returns fire, but her salvos pass over PORTLAND. DuBose's gunners get off four six-gun salvos that start fires on HIEI.
0159: Cdr Hara's destroyer AMATSUKAZE launches four torpedoes at Captain Lyman K. Swenson's JUNEAU (CLAA-52) steaming on a parallel course. The two warships trade 5-inch shells each scoring hits on the other. JUNEAU is hit low portside below her armor belt by a torpedo, loses speed and steering.
CUSHING is hit about seven times by destroyers ASAGUMO and MURASAME as they pass by to starboard. LtCdr Parker orders Abandon Ship.
During the battle, HIEI suffers thirty 8-inch shell hits from SAN FRANCISCO and PORTLAND. HIEI is also hit by many 5-inch shells from Cdr (later Captain) Jesse G. Coward's STERETT that launches four more torpedoes at HIEI. Coward claims two hits. HIEI's fire control systems for her main and secondary batteries are knocked out and her superstructure set afire.
0200: Abe abandons his bombardment mission and withdraws from battle.
Destroyer BARTON's propellers bring her to a halt to avoid a collision. Two of AMATSUKAZE's eight torpedoes narrowly miss LtCdr Charles E. McCombs' MONSSEN, but hit the stopped BARTON in the forward fire room and forward engine room. BARTON breaks in two and quickly sinks. The few survivors, almost all from topside positions aft, struggle in the water.
0202: Lookouts aboard LtCdr Edward N. Wilkinson's O'BANNON report BARTON's bow sticking up dead ahead, just as other lookouts spot two torpedoes heading straight for O'BANNON. Wilkinson takes evasive action, but in doing so O'BANNON runs over BARTON's survivors in the water. As she sinks, BARTON's depth charges detonate under the few survivors left. LtCdr Fox is awarded the Navy Cross (First Gold Star), posthumously.
0204: Cdr Suenaga Naoji’s destroyer MURASAME launches seven torpedoes at an American cruiser.
Destroyer MONSSEN launches five torpedoes at a Japanese destroyer, probably either IKAZUCHI or INAZUMA. MONSSEN then opens fire on the target with her 5-inch guns. Starshells burst over MONSSEN. LtCdr McCombs, thinking they are from a friendly ship, flashes MONSSEN's recognition lights - and promptly takes a hit that destroys his forward 5-inch mount. Another shell renders MONSSEN powerless. She then takes numerous hits from different directions by at least three attackers. LtCdr McCombs, his ship dead in the water and reduced to scrap, orders Abandon Ship.
0220: Destroyer STERETT opens fire on YUDACHI at only 1,000 yards and launches two torpedoes at the Japanese destroyer.
0226: At least one torpedo hits and disables YUDACHI.
During the battle, Cdr Hara’s destroyer AMATSUKAZE is damaged by gunfire from light cruiser HELENA that knocks out AMATSUKAZE’s guns, main director and jams her rudder. Destroyer IKAZUCHI's No. 1 mount is knocked out by gunfire and destroyer MURASAME is hit in the forward boiler room. On the American side, cruiser HELENA is damaged.
0430: At daybreak, cruiser PORTLAND, still steaming in circles, opens fire on a distant Japanese destroyer. On the sixth salvo, YUDACHI explodes, rolls over and sinks within five minutes. Cdr Nakamura Noboru’s destroyer SAMIDARE rescues 207 survivors from YUDACHI including Cdr Kikkawa.
1101: Cdr Yokota Minoru’s submarine I-26 fires three torpedoes at retiring SAN FRANCISCO. They miss, but one continues on and narrowly misses HELENA. Another continues on and hits JUNEAU port side amidships near where she was hit the previous night. A minute later, a magazine explosion blows JUNEAU in half. She sinks in about 20 seconds.
Task Group 67.4 does not stop to search for survivors because of the suddenness of JUNEAU's sinking and the risk of another submarine attack. About 115 of JUNEAU's crew of 600 survive the explosion, but clumsy rescue efforts do not begin for several days (an act repeated two years later after the sinking of cruiser INDIANAPOLIS). Eight days later, only 10 men are rescued, not including all five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo, Iowa assigned to JUNEAU. Captain Swenson is awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.
Rear Admirals Callaghan and Scott are awarded Medals of Honor (MOH) posthumously. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Bruce McCandless, who assumes command of SAN FRANCISCO and Cdr (later Rear Admiral-Ret) Herbert E. Schonland, SAN FRANCISCO's damage control officer, are also both awarded Medals of Honor.
During the night, KIRISHIMA takes HIEI in tow and retires westward around Savo Island with NAGARA and DesRon 10's destroyers. HIEI's aft steering compartment floods and her port rudder jams in the "full starboard" position.
0610: HIEI's spotters sight damaged destroyer AARON WARD 14 miles away under tow by tug BOBOLINK. HIEI fires several 14-inch salvoes from after turrets, straddling WARD repeatedly, but does not hit her.
0615: HIEI, unsteerable and circling at five knots, is attacked by six Marine Douglas SBD-3 "Dauntless" dive-bombers from Henderson Field. The battleship fires back from her AA guns, claiming one of its attackers. A near miss demolishes a launch, but no direct hits are scored.
0715: HIEI is attacked by four Grumman TBF-1 "Avenger" torpedo bombers from Henderson Field. Three A6M "Zeros" from JUNYO attempt to intercept the attackers, damaging one heavily.
After 0800, destroyers SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and TERUZUKI join HIEI to provide AA cover. Six "Zeros" from carrier JUNYO patrol in the area until 0915.
0815: Vice Admiral Abe signals KIRISHIMA to tow HIEI to Shortland that night and orders the rest of the Attack Force to retire. Then he transfers his flag to destroyer YUKIKAZE.
0915: HIEI is attacked by a combined strike of nine "Dauntlesses" and three "Avengers" from Henderson Field. Seven Grumman F4F-4 "Wildcats" provide escort and suppress the flak.
0930: Tug USS BOBOLINK (AT-131) arrives and takes ATLANTA under tow.
1020: HIEI is attacked by nine "Avengers" from USS ENTERPRISE. Abe abandons his towing plan and contacts Combined Fleet HQ, suggesting that HIEI be beached at Kamimbo, Guadalcanal.
1100: HIEI is attacked by three "Avengers" from Henderson Field.
1110: HIEI is hit by one of fifty-six 500-lb bombs dropped by 14 USAAF B-17 bombers of the 11th Heavy Bombardment Group from Espirtu Santo.
1120: HIEI is attacked by six Marine SBD dive-bombers from VMSB-132 at Henderson Field.
1130: HIEI is attacked by four TBF torpedo planes from SARATOGA's (CV-3) Torpedo Squadron 8 and two Marine TBFs from VMSB-131 at Henderson Field. Two torpedoes hit HIEI - one amidships and one on the port bow.
1230: Six "Zeros" from Rabaul-based 252nd NAG arrive and patrol over the ships until 1400. During that time the construction of an emergency rudder is completed and its launch started.
1235: Captain Nishida, rather than following Abe's beaching order, tries to save HIEI. Later, Abe cancels the order, but orders Nishida to send HIEI's crew off.
1400: HIEI is attacked by eight "Dauntlesses" and six "Avengers" from Henderson Field, escorted by fourteen "Wildcats". She receives one torpedo hit to starboard aft and another to starboard amidships. Two torpedoes are seen to strike the port side of the battleship and sink. During a violent evasive maneuver HIEI loses her emergency rudder. She takes on a list to starboard and goes down at the stern.
Flooding from the torpedo hit makes it clear that ATLANTA cannot be saved. Captain Jenkins orders her surviving crewmen taken off by Higgins boats sent from Guadalcanal. Jenkins and a demolition party remain until the scuttling charges explode, then leave the ship.
1435: HIEI is attacked by four TBFs from ENTERPRISE. One torpedo hits HIEI amidships on the starboard side. Another hits her stern and floods her steering gear.
1530: During the day, HIEI suffers 70 American sorties. Vice Admiral Abe orders Captain Nishida to Abandon Ship.
1745: HIEI is attacked by six "Dauntlesses" from Henderson Field, after some of her sailors were transferred. YUKIKAZE (identified as a light cruiser) receives a near miss.
Captain Nishida reluctantly orders HIEI scuttled. The Emperor's portrait is removed. Nishida and other survivors are rescued by DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and DesDiv 61's TERUZUKI. 188 crewmen are lost and 151 wounded.
1838: Admiral Yamamoto orders Abe not to scuttle HIEI, but the message is received too late.
1900-0100: HIEI sinks by the stern some 4.5 miles from Savo Island at about 09-04S, 159-45E. 188 crewmen are lost.
2015: ATLANTA sinks three miles west of Lunga Point in 180 feet of water.
14 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Abe is relieved of command. On their return to Japan, both he and Captain Nishida face a Board of Inquiry into the loss of HIEI.
20 December 1942:
Abe is reassigned to the Naval General Staff. Nishida is placed on the Reserve List. BatDiv 11 is deactivated and HIEI is removed from the Navy List.
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