JUNYOKAN!

(KITAKAMI in 1945 - colorized by Irotooko, Jr)

IJN KITAKAMI: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2018 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 8


1 September 1919:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard.

11 June 1920:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sakamoto Teiji (28) (former CO of MISHIMA) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

3 July 1920:
Launched and named KITAKAMI.

15 April 1921:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Captain Sakamoto is the Commanding Officer.

15 March 1922:
Captain Yamazaki Shosaku (27)(former CO of TSUGARU) is appointed the CO. Captain Sakamoto is later reassigned as the CO of battleship KIRISHIMA.

1 December 1922:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takahashi Ritsuto (28)(former ComDesDiv 1) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1923:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kawano Togo (31)(former Military Attaché to Brazil) is appointed the CO. Captain Takahashi is reassigned as the CO of battleship YAMASHIRO.

1 November 1924:
Cdr (promoted Captain 1 December) Yoshikawa Masakiyo (32)(former CO of SATA) is appointed the CO. Captain Kawano is reassigned as NGS staff officer with joint duty as instructor at Naval Academy.

15 April 1925:
Cdr (later Captain) Matsui Risaburo (34)(former CO of KATSURIKI) is appointed the CO of KITAKAMI and fleet oiler SUNOSAKI as additional duty.

15 June 1925:
Captain Hirayama Sakae (31)(former CO of NARUTO) is appointed the CO.

20 November 1925:
Captain Furukawa Ryoichi (31)(former ComSubDiv 26) is appointed the CO. Cdr Matsui (by then promoted to Captain) is later reassigned as the CO of TAMA.

1 December 1926:
Captain Seimiya Yoshitaka (33)(former XO of NAGATO) is appointed the CO of KITAKAMI and ASO as additional duty.

1 December 1927:
Captain Kohiyama Shinji (33)(former CO of KAMOI) is appointed the CO. Captain Seimiya is reassigned as the CO of TAMA.

4 December 1928:
Cdr (promoted Captain 10 December; later Vice Admiral) Shimomura Shosuke (35)(former XO of ISUZU) is appointed the CO.

5 October 1929:
Captain Saito Naohiko (34)(former ComDesDiv 22) is appointed the CO.

5 December 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral), the Baron, Sonoda Minoru (34)(former staff officer at NGS Third Division/Intelligence) is appointed the CO.

20 October 1930: IJN Special Great Maneuvers:
S of Daio Zaki. During the night, ABUKUMA collides with KITAKAMI between her Nos. 2 and 3 funnels. ABUKUMA loses her bow up to the fore turret. KITAKAMI sustains only limited damage above the waterline.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Horie Rokuro (36)(former CO of NOJIMA) is appointed the CO. Captain Sonoda is later reassigned as the CO of battleship HARUNA.

14 September 1931:
Captain Horie is appointed the CO of ISUZU as additional duty.

14 November 1931:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kusaka Jinichi (37)(former NGS staff officer) is appointed the CO. Captain Horie is reassigned as the CO of light carrier HOSHO.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Samejima Tomoshige (37)(former Third Fleet staff officer) is appointed the CO. Captain Kusaka is later reassigned as the CO of battleship FUSO.

1934:
The IJN's development of long-range oxygen-propelled Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes causes a revision of their Night Battle Tactics. The Naval General Staff now plans to commence battle with the presumed enemy - the American fleet - by launching night torpedo attacks followed by a decisive daylight gunnery action by the IJN's main battle line.

To whittle down the opposing American fleet's numbers, the NGS plans for a special Night Battle Force to carry out these attacks. This force is to be made up by destroyer squadrons, heavy cruiser squadrons, a torpedo-cruiser squadron, and a battlecruiser squadron. The Night Battle Force will have the firepower of several hundred Type 93 torpedoes that outrange the American battleships' main guns. The next day, after the previous night's attacks have delivered crippling blows, the IJN's battleships will attack the remnants of the American fleet.

14 March 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Takeda Moriji (38)(former CO of the Ad Hoc Defense Unit) is appointed the CO. Captain Samejima is reassigned as the CEO of MOGAMI.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Inoue Yasuo (38)(former staff officer of the Makung Guard District) is appointed the CO. Captain Takeda is reassigned as the CO of heavy cruiser KINUGASA.

10 October 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuyama Mitsuharu (40)(former CO of SUNOSAKI) is appointed the CO. Captain Inoue (by then promoted Rear Admiral) is later assigned as CoS of the Hainan Guard District.

1 December 1936-20 February 1937:
Captain Matsuyama is appointed the CO of light cruiser NAGARA as additional duty.

1 December 1937:
Captain Horiuchi Kaoru (40)(former CO of MUROTO) is appointed the CO. Captain Matsuyama is reassigned as the CO of heavy cruiser KINUGASA.

15 December 1938:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Count Ueno Masao (40)(former CO of SAGA) is appointed the CO. Captain Horiuchi is reassigned as the CO of NIPPONKAI MARU.

19 October 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigeyasu (40)(former ComDesDiv 22) is appointed the CO. Captain Ueno is later reassigned as the chief of supply section at Chinkai (Jinhae) Guard District.

1 November 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nabeshima Shunsaku (42)(former CO of KASHIMA) is appointed the CO. Captain Nishioka is later reassigned as the CO of gunboat FUTTSU MARU.

15 March 1941:
Captain Ura Koichi (46)(former staff officer of Port Arthur Guard District) is appointed the CO. Captain Nabeshima is reassigned as the CO of KINU.

25 August 1941:
KITAKAMI is ordered to Sasebo for conversion to a "torpedo cruiser" with eleven quadruple 61-cm torpedo tube mounts, a total of 44 tubes.

1 September 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsutau (45)(former ComDesDiv 18) is appointed the CO.

30 September 1941:
Sasebo. The modifications are completed, but only ten sets of Type 92 Model 3 quadriple mounts were available for installation, a total of 40 tubes.

20 November 1941:
Assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kishi Fukuji's (40)(former CO of FUSO) CruDiv 9 attached to the First Fleet.

28 November 1941:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Norimitsu Saiji (46)(former ComDesDiv 12) is appointed the CO. Captain Araki is reassigned as the CO of FURUTAKA.

25 December 1941:
Sasebo. Modifications are completed.

27 December 1941:
Departs Sasebo for Kure. Undergoes training.

December 1941:
Western Inland Sea. Guardship for the battleship force.

16 January 1942:
Departs Kure escorting transports.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

1 February 1942:
Departs Mako.

4 February 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Remains in training for the next two months.

22 March 1942:
At Kure. Refit.

27 March 1942:
Refit completed.

14 April 1942:
Departs Hashirajima.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 April 1942:
Drydocked at Sasebo.

3 May 1942:
Undocked.

11 May 1942: Operation "MI":
CruDiv 9 is assigned to the Guard Force of the Main Body.

29 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
CruDiv 9's KITAKAMI and the OI sortie with Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (35)(former CO of ISUZU) Aleutian Screening Force's BatDiv 2's HYUGA, ISE, FUSO and YAMASHIRO, DesDiv 20's AMAGIRI, ASAGIRI, YUGIRI and SHIRAKUMO, DesDiv 24's KAWAKAZE, YAMAKAZE, SUZUKAZE and UMIKAZE, DesDiv 27's ARIAKE, YUGURE, SHIGURE and the SHIRATSUYU and the 2nd Supply Unit's oilers SAN CLEMENTE and TOA MARUs.

17 June 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

22 June 1942:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Yokosuka.

24 June 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

9 July 1942:
At Kure Navy Yard for work.

24 July 1942:
Yard work is completed.

August - September 1942:
Kure and Yokosuka. KITAKAMI and OI are converted to fast transports. Their ten quadruple mounts are reduced to six, for a total of 24 tubes. They are equipped with two "Daihatsu" barges and fitted with two triple mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns. Depth charge launching rails are also installed.

5 September 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Tsuruoka Nobumichi (43)(former CO of ISUZU) is appointed the CO. Captain Norimitsu is later reassigned as the CO of CHIKUMA.

9 September 1942:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Kure.

10 September 1942:
CruDiv 9 arrives at Yokosuka to embark the 4th Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force.

12 September 1942:
Depart Yokosuka.

17 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

4 October 1942:
KITAKAMI departs Truk.

6 October 1942:
Arrives at Shortland. Disembarks troops and departs.

9 October 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

21 November 1942:
CruDiv 9 is disbanded. KITAKAMI and OI are assigned directly to the Combined Fleet. That day they depart Truk.

26 November 1942:
Arrive at Manila. Embarks troops.

27 November 1942:
Departs Manila.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Disembarks some of the troops.

4 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Truk.

6 December 1942:
En route to Truk KITAKAMI and OI are sighted by LtCdr Lucius H. Chappell's (USNA '27) USS SCULPIN (SS-191), but Chappell is unable to gain an attack position. The fast moving cruisers arrive safely at Truk.

19 December 1942: Operation "C" (HEI-GO) - The Reinforcement of New Guinea:
Orders for Operation "C" (HEI-GO) are issued. The objective of this transport operation is to rush the 20th and 41st Army Division to Wewak. The operation consists of three separate operations, two of them divided into sub-echelons sailing at different dates: The first operation "C-1" (HEI-ICHI-GO) is to land the main strength of the 20th Army Division consisting of 9,443 men, 82 vehicles, arms and 12,267 bundles of provisions at Wewak. [1]

That same day, KITAKAMI and OI depart Truk.

24 December 1942:
KITAKAMI arrives at Sasebo.

28 December 1942:
Drydocked at Sasebo.

2 January 1943:
Undocked. On that day, codebreakers at the USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne (FRUMEL), Australia, provide the translation of a radio message transmitted by an unidentified unit at 1850 on 31 December 1942:

"Request arrangements be made for installation of radar in KUMA, OI, KITAGAMI and 19th Destroyer Division (URANAMI and SHIKINAMI). Perhaps this could be done at Singapore."

4 January 1943:
Departs Sasebo. Arrives the same day at Chinkai (now Jinhae), Korea.

5 January 1943:
OI joins KITAKAMI at Chinkai.

7 January 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI arrive at Fusan (Pusan), Korea.

9 January 1943: Operation "C" (HEI-GO) - The Reinforcement of New Guinea:
At 0800, KITAKAMI and OI depart Pusan with ex-seaplane tenders SANUKI and SAGARA MARUs. Their first transport echelon in operation "C-1" embarks the IJA's 20th Infantry division.

14 January 1943:
At 1030, arrives at Palau.

16 January 1943:
At 1600, departs Palau.

19 January 1943:
At 1530, arrives at Wewak, New Guinea. Disembarks troops.

20 January 1943:
At 0200, KITAKAMI and OI and the convoy depart Wewak.

23 January 1943:
Arrive at Palau.

24 January 1943:
Departs Palau.

31 January 1943:
Arrives at Tsingtao, China. Embarks the IJA's 41st Infantry Division.

4 February 1943:
At 1600, KITAKAMI and OI depart Tsingtao with SANUKI and SAGARA MARUs in the first transport echelon transport echelon of operation "C-3".

10 February 1943:
At 1100, arrive at Palau.

17 February 1943:
Depart Palau.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Wewak. Disembarks troops.

21 February 1943:
At 0100, KITAKAMI and OI depart Wewak followed at 0200 by the two transports.

24 February 1943:
At 0800, arrives at Palau.

28 February 1943:
Depart Palau.

3 March 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

15 March 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI are attached to Admiral Takasu's Southwest Area Fleet.

20 March 1943:
Departs Truk.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

3 April 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Surabaya on a troop transport run.

7 April 1943:
Arrive at Kaimana, New Guinea. Disembark troops and supplies.

12 April 1943:
Arrive at Surabaya.

19 April 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Surabaya on a second transport run.

20 April 1943:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes (modern Sulawesi).Refuels.

24 April 1943:
Departs Makassar.

27 April 1943:
Arrive sat Kaimana, New Guinea. Disembarks troops and supplies.

2 May 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

7 May 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Surabaya on a third transport run.

11 May 1943:
Arrive at Ambon. Disembarks troops and supplies and departs.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Kaimana, New Guinea. Disembarks troops and supplies.

15 May 1943:
Arrive at Makassar.

16 May 1943:
KITAKAMI departs Makassar.

17 May 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nomura Tomekichi (46)(former staff officer at Sasabo Naval District) is appointed the CO. Captain Tsuruoka is reassigned as CO of battleship FUSO.

21 May 1943:
KITAKAMI departs Surabaya.

22 May 1943:
Arrives at Makassar.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Makassar from Surabaya.

23 June 1943:
Makassar. KITAKAMI, OI, KINU and KUMA are bombed by 18 Consolidated B-24 "Liberators" of the 5th Air Force's 90th and 380th Bomb Groups based at Fenton, Australia. None of the cruisers is hit, but KINU sustains slight hull damage from near-misses. KITAKAMI and OI depart that day.

30 June 1943:
Arrive at Balikpapan, Borneo.

1 July 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI are assigned to CruDiv 16, Southwest Area Fleet.

4 July 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Balikpapan.

5 July 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya, Java. Remain as guardships.

30 July 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Surabaya.

1 August 1943:
Arrive at Singapore.

10 August 1943:
Refit. Drydocked at the Seletar Naval Base.

24 August 1943:
Undocked.

30 August 1943:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Singapore on a troop transport run.

2 September 1943:
Arrives at the Nicobar Islands. Disembark troops.

3 September 1943:
Departs Nicobar Islands.

4 September 1943:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya and refuel.

6 September 1943:
Departs Penang.

7 September 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

11 September 1943:
Departs Singapore. Arrive at Lingga.

10 October 1943:
Departs Singapore.

20 October 1943:
Departs Penang. Embark troops.

22 October 1943:
Indian Ocean. Arrive at Port Blair, Andaman Islands. Disembark troops.

22 October 1943:
Depart Port Blair.

25 October 1943:
Arrive at Singapore.

29 October 1943:
Embarks troops. Depart Singapore.

31 October 1943:
Indian Ocean. Arrives at Port Blair. Disembarks troops.

2 November 1943:
Arrives at Penang. Loads supplies.

3 November 1943:
Departs Penang.

4 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore. Unload supplies.

7 November 1943:
Departs Singapore. Arrive at Lingga for training.

21 November 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Tanaka Jo (47)(former DesRon 1 staff officer) is appointed the CO. Captain Nomura is later reassigned as the CO of HYUGA.

26 November 1943:
Departs Lingga. Arrives at Singapore.

16 December 1943:
Refit. Drydocked at the Seletar Naval Base.

23 December 1943:
Undocked.

4 January 1944:
Departs Singapore. Arrives at Lingga for training with OI.

21 January 1944:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Lingga. Arrive at Singapore.

23 January 1944:
Embark troops. KITAKAMI and OI accompany AOBA and light cruiser KINU, escorted by destroyer SHIKINAMI, on a troop transport run to the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

25 January 1944:
Arrives at Port Blair. Disembarks troops.

27 January 1944:
Malacca Strait, SW of Penang, Malaya. KITAKAMI is hit aft by two torpedoes fired by Royal Navy Lt Denis J. B. Beckley's submarine HMS TEMPLAR (P316), based at Trincomalee, Ceylon. USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: "While heading north, KITAGAMI received torpedo attack from enemy SS 04-54N, 98-28E. Unable to make way, but no danger of sinking." [2]

Later, Captain (later Rear Admiral) Itakura Tokushi's (42) KINU takes KITAKAMI in tow, escorted by SHIKINAMI.

30 January 1944:
KITAKAMI puts into Angsa Bay, Malaya for emergency repairs.

On that day, codebreakers at the FRUMEL provide the translation of a radio message transmitted by KINU at 1341 on that day:

"Began towing at 1200, speed 12 knots. Expect to enter harbour at 1900 on 31st. Request arrangements for a tug to take over the tow outside harbour entrance."

Comment: H.M. Submarine P-316 reported 1 hit on a cruiser or a destroyer in North Malacca Strait on 27th. This is it.

31 January 1944:
Destroyer URANAMI arrives from Singapore to to help escorting KINU towing KITAKAMI.

1 February 1944:
KITAKAMI is towed into Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. Begins extensive emergency repairs at the No. 101 Repair Facility.

19 March 1944:
On that day, codebreakers at the FRUMEL provide the translation of an old radio message transmitted at 1345 on 27 January:

"At 0125 on 27th an enemy submarine hit KITAGAMI with 2 torpedoes in 4-54N, 098-28E. She is in no danger of sinking and temporary repairs are made 135 degrees 50 miles from Diamond Point."

10 June 1944:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kase Saburo (44)(former CO of GOSHU MARU) is appointed the CO. Captain Tanaka is reassigned as the CO of CHOKAI and is KIA aboard her off Samar on 25 October 1944.

21 June 1944:
Repairs are completed.

2 July 1944:
Departs Singapore, escorting the repaired tanker KYOKUTO MARU. En route, KITAKAMI begins to take on water in the area of her repairs.

9 July 1944:
Arrives at Manila.

12 July 1944:
Arrives at Cavite Navy Yard. Drydocked. Begins repairs at the No. 103 Repair Facility.

26 July 1944:
Undocked, but starts to flood again.

30 July 1944:
Drydocked again.

6 August 1944:
Undocked.

8 August 1944:
Departs Manila.

14 August 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo. Begins repairs and modification as a "kaiten" (human-torpedo) carrier with a capacity of eight "kaitens". A 30-ton crane, removed from seaplane tender CHITOSE during her conversion to a carrier, is fitted to handle the "kaitens". All of KITAKAMI's armament is removed and replaced by two Type 89 127-mm AA guns and 67 Type 96 25-mm (12x3 and 31x1) AA barrels. Two Type 13 air-search and a Type 22 surface-search radars are fitted. Two depth charge launching rails are installed at the stern and two depth charge throwers are also installed.

29 August 1944:
Captain Shimizu Masamoto (43)(current chief of Sasebo Navy Yard port office) is appointed the CO of KITAKAMI as additional duty. Captain Kase is reassigned as CO of supply ship MAMIYA and is KIA aboard her on 4 December 1944.

15 November 1944:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

1 December 1944:
Captain Kanaoka Kunizo (48)(former ComDesDiv 22) is appointed the CO. Captain Shimizu is later reassigned as the CEO of the aircraft carrier IBUKI.

20 January 1945:
Repairs and modifications are completed. Departs Sasebo.

21 January 1945:
Arrives at Kure. Later, operates in the Western Inland Sea training "kaiten" pilots but fuel shortages limit her sorties.

19 March 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA '10)(former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP (CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal. More than 240 aircraft (SB2C "Helldivers", F4U "Corsairs" and F6F "Hellcats") attack the battleships HYUGA, ISE, YAMATO, HARUNA, carriers AMAGI, KATSURAGI, RYUHO, KAIYO and other ships. KITAKAMI, moored in the Hayase Passage, sustains no damage.

July 1945:
Kurahashi Jima. KITAKAMI is moored near Kure. Twenty seven additional single mount Type 96 25-mm AA are installed.

24 July 1945: The Final Destruction of the Imperial Japanese Navy:
Kurahashi-jima. From 0915 to 1630, about 200 aircraft of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (USNA '06)(former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 38's USS ESSEX (CV-9), TICONDEROGA (CV-14), RANDOLPH (CV-15), HANCOCK (CV-19), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and BATAAN (CVL-29) attack the Kure area. KITAKAMI is damaged by strafing and near misses. Thirty-two crewmen are killed.

15 August 1945:
Captain Kanaoka is reassigned and later appointed the CO of the light carrier HOSHO. No new CO is appointed immediately thereafter.

2 September 1945: The Surrender of Japan:
Kure. After the war, KITAKAMI is assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service as a repair tender for ships on repatriation duties. By the end of the year she is transferred to Kagoshima.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

17 January 1946:
Ex-Captain Sakuma Hidechika (50)(former ComDesDiv 43) is appointed the CO.

1 February 1946:
Ex-Captain Onitsuka Takeji (47)(currently employed at Sasebo Repatriation Assistance Office) is appointed the CO.

10 February 1946:
Designated Special Service transport vessel, attached to Sasebo Repatriation Assistance Office. Continues service as repair tender.

21 April 1946:
Inspected at Kagoshima by Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito, a younger brother of Emperor Hirohito (Showa).

July 1946:
Towed to Nagasaki for scrapping.

22 August 1946:
Ex-Captain Inada Susumu (52)(former damage control officer of NAGATO) is appointed the CO.

October 1946-31 March 1947:
Scrapped at Mitsubishi's Nagasaki Shipyard. A section of her double bottom is later used as floating jetty. [3]


Authors' Notes:
KITAKAMI's name is misspelt in some sources as KITAGAMI.

[1] The second of the three planned movements, Operation "C-2" (HEI-NI-GO), the transport of the 208th (light bomber) Sentai, was cancelled.

[2] CNO developed that information saying: "While heading north, KITAGAMI (CL) received torpedo attack from enemy SS 04-54N, 98-28E. Unable to make way, but no danger of sinking." CNO noted that KITAGAMI was towed into Singapore on 31 January.

[3] According to older sources the hull of KITAKAMI was scrapped at Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Thanks for assistance also go to Aldert Gritter ("Adm. Gurita") of the Netherlands.

Thanks also go to the late John Whitman for CNO info and to Donald M. Kehn, Jr.

Special thanks go to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts and Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for his assistance concerning "Operation C".

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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