(KITAKAMI in 1945 - colorized by Irotooko, Jr)

IJN KITAKAMI: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1997-2016 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 7

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 Chief Equipping Officer.

3 July 1920:
Launched and named KITAKAMI.

15 April 1921:
Completed and registered in the IJN. Captain Sakamoto is the Commanding Officer.

15 March 1922:
Captain Yamazaki Masashi (27) is appointed CO. Captain Sakamoto is later assigned as CO of battleship KIRISHIMA.

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

1 December 1923:
Captain Kawano Togo (31) (later Vice Admiral) is appointed CO. Captain Takahashi is reassigned as CO of battleship YAMASHIRO.

1 November 1924:
Captain Yoshikawa Makoto (32) is appointed CO.

20 November 1925:
Captain Furukawa Ryoichi (31) (former CO of KOMAHASHI) is appointed CO.

1 December 1926:
Captain Kiyomiya Yoshitake (33) is appointed CO.

1 December 1927: Captain Kohiyama Shinji (33) (former CO of KAMOI) is appointed CO. Captain Kiyomiya is posted CO of TAMA.

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

10 December 1928:
Cdr Shimomura is promoted captain.

5 October 1929:
Captain Saito Naohiko (34) is appointed CO.

5 December 1929:
Captain (later Rear Admiral), the Baron, Sonoda Minoru (34) is appointed CO.

20 October 1930: IJN Special Great Maneuvers:
S of Daio Zali. During the night, ABUKUMA collides with the portside of light cruiser KITAKAMI between her No 2 and No. 3 funnels. ABUKUMA loses her bow up to No. 1 140-mm turret. KITAKAMI sustains only limited damage above the waterline. Battleship MUTSU tows ABUKUMA to Tateyama and from there she is towed by tugs to Yokosuka.

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

14 September 1931:
Captain Horie assigned additional duty as CO of ISUZU.

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

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Samejima Tomoshige (37)(former XO of HYUGA) is appointed CO. Captain Kusaka is later assigned as CO of battleship FUSO.

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 battle-cruiser squadron. The Night Battle Force will have the fire power 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 XO of KIRISHIMA) is appointed CO. Captain Samejima is reassigned as Chief Equipping Officer of heavy cruiser MOGAMI.

15 November 1934:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Inoue Yasuo (38)(former CO of YAHAGI) is appointed CO. Captain Takeda is reassigned as CO of heavy cruiser KINUGASA.

10 October 1935:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuyama Mitsuharu (40) (former CO of fleet oiler SUNOSAKI) is appointed CO. Captain Inoue is promoted Rear Admiral on 1 December 1937 and is later assigned as Chief-of-Staff of the Hainan Guard District.

1 December 1936:
Captain Matsuyama assigned additional duty as CO of light cruiser NAGARA.

20 February 1937:
Captain Matsuyama resumes full-time command of KITAKAMI.

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

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

19 October 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigesayu (40)(former ComDesDiv 23) is appointed CO.

1 November 1940:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nabeshima Shunsaku (42)(former CEO/CO KASHIMA) is appointed CO. Captain Nishioka is later assigned as CO of fleet oiler NARUTO.

15 March 1941:
Captain Nabeshima assigned additional duty as CO of KINU.

11 August 1941:
Captain Nabeshima is assigned additional duty as CO of heavy cruiser MAYA.

25 August 1941:
KITAKAMI is ordered to Sasebo for conversion to a "torpedo cruiser" with eleven Type 92 quadruple 61-cm torpedo tube (TT) mounts, a total of 44 tubes.

1 September 1941:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Araki Tsutau (45)(CO heavy cruiser FURUTAKA) assumes command of KITAKAMI as an additional duty. Captain Nabeshima assumes full-time command of MAYA.

30 September 1941:
Sasebo. The modifications are completed, but only ten sets of TT 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 (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Norimitsu Saiji (46)(former ComDesDiv 12) is appointed CO. Captain Araki resumes full-time command of FURUTAKA.

25 December 1941:
Sasebo. Modifications are completed.

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

December 1941:
Western Inland Sea. Guard ship 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:

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 TT 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) assumes command. Captain Norimitsu later becomes CO of CHIKUMA.

9 September 1942:
KITAKAMI and OI depart Kure.

10 September 1942:
Arrive at Yokosuka. KITAKAMI and OI embark the No. 4 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.

6 December 1942:
KITAKAMI and OI are sighted enroute to Truk 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 HEI-ICHI GO (HEI-GO 1) 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:

4 January 1943:
Departs Sasebo. Arrives the same day at Chinkai, China.

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 Fusan with ex-seaplane tenders SANUKI and SAGARA MARUs. Their first transport echelon in operation "HEI No. 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 "HEI No. 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 1944:
KITAKAMI departs Makassar.

17 May 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nomura Tomekichi (46)(former Communications Div Chief, NGS) assumes command. 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:

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. That same day, Captain Tanaka Jo (47)(former CO of MAMIYA) assumes command. Captain Nomura later becomes CO of HYUGA.

3 November 1943:
Departs Penang.

4 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore. Unload supplies.

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

26 November 1943:
Departs Lingga. Arrive at Singapore.

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

23 December 1943:

4 January 1944:
Departs Singapore. Arrives at Lingga for training with the 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 SHIKANAMI 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 D. J. B. Beckley's submarine HMS TEMPLAR 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) Uehara Yoshio's (45)(former CO of AO ERIMO) KINU takes KITAKAMI in tow, escorted by SHIKANAMI.

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

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.

6 June 1944:
Captain Tanaka assigned additional duty as CO of heavy cruiser CHOKAI.

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

21 June 1944:
Repairs are completed.

2 July 1944:
Departs Singapore escorting repaired tanker KYOKUTO MARU. Enroute, 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 by the No. 103 Repair Facility.

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

30 July 1944:
Drydocked again.

6 August 1944:

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) is appointed CO. Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kase is reassigned as CO of supply ship MAMIYA and is KIA aboard her on 4 Dec '44.

15 November 1944:
Assigned directly to the Combined Fleet.

1 December 1944:
Captain Kanaoka Kunizo (48) (former ComDesDiv 22) is appointed CO.

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 units 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 fitted.

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.

2 September 1945: The Surrender of Japan:
Kagoshima. After the war, KITAKAMI is assigned to the Allied Repatriation Service as a repair tender for ships on repatriation duties. Captain Kanaoka is later assigned as CO of light carrier HOSHO.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

10 August 1946 - 31 March 1947:
Nanao. Scrapped.

Authors' Note:
KITAKAMI was also known as KITAGAMI.

[1]The second of the three planned movements, Operation HEI-NI-GO (Hei-2), the transport of the 208th Air Group was cancelled.

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

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 for assistance in researching the COs in Revisions 3 and 6 go to Matt Jones of the USA and for information about the 1930 collision in Rev 6. Thanks also go to Don Kehn, Jr.

Thanks also go to the late John Whitman for CNO info.

Special thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for his assistance concerning Operation C (HEI-GO).

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

Back to Cruiser Page