(Kongo in 1934 - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr.)

IJN Battleship KONGO:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 1996-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg
Revision 22

20 March 1908:
Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. The 17,250-ton Dreadnought armored cruiser HMS INVINCIBLE is completed at Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co., Ltd's shipyard and commissioned in the Royal Navy. INVINCIBLE mounts eight 12-inch (305-mm) guns (4x2) and can make 26 knots. Britain's new capital ships render all of the Imperial Japanese Navy's (IJN) warships, both those operational and those under design, obsolete.

1910: Naval Expansion Bill:
Tokyo. The Japanese Diet passes and funds the 1911 Naval Emergency Expansion bill received from the cabinet that authorizes the design and construction of a battleship and four armored cruisers. The battleship is FUSO and KONGO is the first of the four armored cruisers.

17 January 1911:
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Yard No. 414, a 32,200 ton battlecruiser designed by Sir George Thurston of Vickers-Armstrong, is laid down at Vicker's shipyard for the IJN.

18 May 1912:
Launched and named KONGO

1 December 1912:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nakano Naoe (former CO of AC YAKUMO) is appointed Equipping Officer .

16 August 1913:
Completed and registered (commissioned) in the IJN. Captain Nakano is the Commanding Officer.

28 August 1913:
Departs Portsmouth, England for Japan.

20 October 1913:
Arrives at Singapore.

27 October 1913:
Departs Singapore.

5 November 1913:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Placed in first reserve.

1 December 1913:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yamanaka Shibakichi (former CO of BB SETTSU) assumes command.

12-27 January 1914:
Docked at Kure for inspection of turret rangefinders. .

27 January 1914:

12 February 1914:
Departs Koniya.

18 February 1914:
Arrives at Chinhae, Korea.

3 August 1914: World War I Begins:
Germany declares war on France and invades Belgium. Britain then declares war on Germany and Austria.

15 August 1914:
Japanese Prime Minister Count Okuma Shigenobu issues an ultimatum to Kaiser Wilhelm in Berlin. He demands that German naval vessels at Kiaochow (Tsingtao), China either leave or surrender and that Germany allow the destruction of their fortifications there. He further demands that Germany’s colonial possessions in China and their islands in the Pacific be turned over to Japan.

16 August 1914:
Departs Yokosuka.

19 August 1914:
Arrives at Sasebo.

21 August 1914:
Departs Sasebo.

23 August 1914:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

The Germans do not respond. Japan formally declares war on the German Empire. Thereafter, the IJN occupies the former German colonies (purchased from Spain by Germany) in the Carolines, Palau, Marianas and the Marshall Islands.

At the outbreak of the war, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Yamaya Tamin (former CO of CA CHITOSE), ComBatDiv 1, First Fleet, sends KONGO, now under Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yamanaka Shibakichi (former CO of BB SETTSU), towards Midway to patrol the sea lines of communication.

24 August 1914:
Attached to BatDiv 3, First Fleet.

26 August 1914:
Departs Yokosuka for the area around Midway in an attempt to intercept German light cruiser NÜRNBERG. .

2 September 1914:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral/Baron) Kato Sadakichi’s (former CO of BB IWAMI, ex-Russian GALERNII) Second Fleet transports Japanese troops and a small number of British troops to conduct a siege of the German-leased port of Tsingtao, China. The initial Japanese landing is at Lungkow.

12 September 1914:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

1 October 1914:
Attached to BatDiv 1, First Fleet.

The 2nd Southern Detached Force under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Matsumura Tatsuo (former CO of BB AKI) captures the German port of Rabaul, New Britain. Thereafter, the IJN occupies the former German colonies (purchased from Spain) in the Carolines, Palau, Marianas and the Marshall Islands:

4 October 1914:
Vice Admiral Yamaya’s First Fleet seizes the German colony at Jaluit, Marshall Islands.

12 October 1914:
The IJN captures Truk, Carolines.

25 October 1914:
Sasebo. 90cm searchlights nos. 7 and 8 replaced by 110cm searchlights.

7 November 1914:
Tsingtao, China. After a siege of over two months, the outnumbered German garrison surrenders the colony and its harbor to the Japanese.

 1 December 1914:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Matsuoka Shuzo
(former CO of BB TANGO) assumes command.

15 July 1915:
90-cm searchlights nos. 1 and 2 are replaced by 110-cm searchlights.

13 December, 1915:
Second reserve ship at Yokosuka. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Arakawa Chugo
(former CO of BB ASAHI) assumes command.

15 September 1916:
First reserve ship at Yokosuka.

1 December 1916:
Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yoshioka Hansaku
(former CO of BC TSUKUBA) assumes command.

9 January 1917:
Conducts experiments to handle planes.

1 April 1917:
Depart Sasebo for operations off China districts.

11 April 1917:
Arrives at Sasebo.

1 June 1917:
Yokosuka. Drydocked. A gun director control tower is fitted.

6 June 1917:

19 June 1917:
Off Sagami. Gun director sight is adjusted.

30 November 1917:
Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet.

1 December 1917:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kanemaru Kiyotsugu (former CO of CL HIRATO) assumes command.

8 January 1918:
The President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, proposes “Fourteen Points” for the end of the war to the Congress that are later communicated to the warring powers.

4 March 1918:
Old short 80-mm guns removed and four new 80-mm AA guns are fitted.

1 April 1918:
Departs Sasebo for operations off Tsingtao, China.

9 April 1918:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shimanouchi Kanta (former CO of BB SATSUMA) assumes command.

17 April 1918:
Arrives at Inchon, Korea.

12 May 1918:
Four 110-cm searchlight replaced by 90-cm Sperry searchlights as an experiment.

28 July 1918:
The newly installed 90-cm Sperry searchlights are removed and the previously installed 110-cm searchlights are reinstalled.

14 August 1918:
Kure. A landing force is sent to quell riots in the city.

11 November 1918: Armistice:
An Armistice, based on Wilson’s Fourteen Points, is signed and takes effect at 1100. World War I is over.

1 December 1918:
Second reserve ship at Yokosuka.

1 April 1919:
Docked at Yokosuka for installation of an improved drenching sprinkler system for the main gun turret magazines. A Caquot-type kite balloon is embarked. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nozaki Kojuro (former CO of BC IKOMA) assumes command.

28 June 1919: The Treaty of Versailles:
After the defeat of Germany, Japan is given a mandate over the ex-German colonies in the Pacific with the exception of Tsingtao.

20 August 1919:
Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet.

20 November 1919:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Tajiri Tadatsugu (former CO of CL CHIKUMA) assumes command.

30 January 1920:
Second reserve ship at Yokosuka.

12 November 1920:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Muta Kametaro (former CO of CL CHIKUMA) assumes command.

1 December 1920:
Attached to BatDiv 3, Second Fleet.

17 August 1921:
Planes taken aboard.

19 August 1921:
Departs Sasebo for operations off Tsingtao and Dairen, China.

30 August 1921:
Arrives at Ariake Bay.

20 November 1921:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takemitsu Kazu (former CO of BB SETTSU) assumes command.

1 December 1921:
Attached to BatDiv 2, First Fleet.

6 February 1922: The Washington Treaty:
Washington, DC. Japan, United States, Britain, France and Italy agree to limit the displacement and main armament of their capital ships, aircraft carriers and cruisers and to limit the total tonnage and age of their capital ships and carriers. Battleships and aircraft carriers are set at a ratio of 5:5:3 for the navies of Great Britain, the United States and Japan. Japan's Plenipotentiary at the conference is her Minister of the Navy, Admiral (later Fleet Admiral/Prime Minister), the Baron, Kato Tomosaburo.

19 June 1922:
Departs Sasebo for operations off Tsingtao and Dairen, China.

4 July 1922:
Arrives at Chinhae, Korea.

30 August 1922:
Departs Sasebo for operations off St. Vladimir, Russia.

10 September 1922:
Arrives at Otaru.

1 December 1922:
Attached to BatDiv 4, First Fleet. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Seki Tateki (former CO of CL TONE) assumes command.

18 February 1923:
Departs Kure for operations in the South Seas.

15 March 1923:
Arrives at Sasebo.

12 April 1923:
Yokosuka. Becomes the Imperial ship during the Prince Regent's visit to Formosa. Crown Prince Hirohito accompanied by Prince Hiroyoshi Fushimi embarks on KONGO to tour the Japanese colony of Formosa.

23 April 1923:
Hirohito departs Takao aboard KONGO to make an inspection of the naval base at Mako, in the Pescadores (Peng-hu).

24 April 1923:
Returns to Taipei.

26 April 1923:
Departs Keelung.

1 May 1923:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

15 August 1923:
Departs Yokosuka and operates off China.

4 September 1923:
Arrives at Sasebo.

20 November 1923:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kishii Koichi (former CO of DD KAWAKAZE) assumes command.

1 May 1924:
Starts foremast rebuild. New observation mirrors are fitted.

4 September 1924:
Becomes the Imperial ship of the Prince Regent.

1 November 1924:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Yasumi Saburo (former CO of AC IWATE) assumes command.
Modification started at Yokosuka.
The KONGO's fire control is improved and her main armament's elevation is increased from 25 degrees to 33 degrees.

1 June 1925:
A new 4.5m rangefinder is fitted on the conning tower (3.5m removed).

1 December 1925:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsushita Hajime (former CO of CL TENRYÛ) assumes command.

June 1926:
The number of 80-mm AA guns increased to seven.

28 June 1926:
Carries out AA gunnery trials.

1 December 1926:
Attached to BatDiv 4, Second Fleet.

Yokosuka. To meet the growing demands of various control and aiming systems the foremast is changed into a 'pagoda' style bridge mast.

27 March 1927:
Departs Saiki and operates off Amoy, China.

5 April 1927:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

1 December 1927:
Captain (later Admiral) Yoshida Zengo (former CO of CL HIRATO) assumes command.

29 March 1928:
Departs Ariake Bay and operates off Tsingtao, China.

9 April 1928:
Arrives at Lushun (Port Artur), China.

1-31 May 1928:
Yokosuka. Steering equipment is converted.

1 December 1928:
Yokosuka. Reserve ship.

1 December 1928-15 September 1931: First Reconstruction:
Yokosuka. Unable to construct new battleships under the terms of the Washington Treaty, Japan is forced to modernize her old battlecruisers. The thickness of KONGO’s horizontal armor over her magazines and machinery spaces is increased. Torpedo-bulges are added to her hull. Equipment is also fitted to accommodate three Yokosho E1Y3 Type 14 floatplanes. All of her 36 Yarrow boilers are removed and replaced with 10 newer type boilers. The number of KONGO’s funnels is reduced from three to two and four torpedo tubes are removed.

10 December 1928:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikenaka Kenichi (former CO of CL YAHAGI) assumes command.

22 April 1930: The London Treaty:
London. The Treaty for the Limitation and Reduction of Naval Armament is signed by Japan, Great Britain and the United States. It is an extension of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. The signatories agree not to build new capital ships until 1937. A number of existing capital ships are to be scrapped.

1 December 1930:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikeda Keinosuke (former XO of CL ABUKUMA) assumes command.

31 March 1931:
Yokosuka. KONGO's first reconstruction is completed although works are still carried out after 31 March. She is re-rated a battleship.

21-22 July 1931:
8m rangefinders are installed on main gun turrets nos. 2 and 3.

September 1931: The Manchurian Incident:
Manchuria. Japan claims Chinese soldiers sabotaged the Japanese-controlled Manchurian railway. The Japanese Kwantung army attacks the Chinese Army and soon conquer all of Manchuria. They set up the puppet state of Manchukuo headed by the former Emperor of China, Henry Pu-Yi. China appeals to the League of Nations. The League sends V. A. G. R. Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton, to Manchuria to lead a Commission to investigate.

1 December 1931:
Attached to First Fleet as flagship of the Combined Fleet. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Higurashi Toshiu (former CO of CA AOBA) assumes command. Type 14 Model 3 reconnaissance planes are taken aboard.

25 January 1932:
Type 88 and Type 90 tracking boards are fitted.

30 January 1932:
Two 150-cm searchlights. 80-mm AA guns replaced by four twin 127-mm HA guns installed during 1932.

27 March 1932:
Departs Sasebo and operates off China.

3 April 1932:
Arrives at Dairen, China.

2 May 1932:
Eight 12.7cm/40 Type 89 (4x2) and four 40mm Vickers AA guns (2x2) are installed. A Kure Type No. 2 Model 3 catapult is added to the port side aft of No. 3 main gun turret.

1 December 1932:
Captain (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (former CO of CA KAKO) assumes command.

26 January 1933:
Catapult is tested.

3 February 1933:
The flag of the Combined Fleet is transferred from KONGO to MUTSU.

25 February 1933:
Geneva, Switzerland. The League of Nations. The Lytton Commission reports that Japan violated Chinese sovereignty and should return Manchuria to China. At a Special Assembly, 40 nations vote that Japan should withdraw. Only Japan votes against it. Instead of returning Manchuria, Japan instructs its representative Yosuke Matsuoka (later Foreign Minister), to walk out of the League. After withdrawing from the League, Japan also decides that she will no longer abide by restrictions such as the Washington of 1922 and the London Treaty of 1930 that impose limitations on the number and size of her warships.

11 May 1933:
Becomes flagship of the Combined Fleet.

13 June 1933:
Flag transferred to MUTSU.

29 June 1933:
Departs Sasebo and operates off Maan Islands.

4 July 1933:
Arrives at Keelung, Formosa.

13 July 1933:
Departs Mako, Pescadores, and operates in the South Sea.

21 August 1933:
Arrives off Kisarazu.

3 October 1933:
Becomes flagship of the Combined Fleet.
15 November 1933:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Miki Taichi (former CO of CA CHÔKAI) assumes command.

31 January 1934:
Undocked at Yokosuka.

8 July 1934:
The Combined Fleet passes through the Shimonoseki Channel.

27 September 1934:
Departs Lushun, China.

5 October 1934:
Arrives at Sasebo.

15 November 1934:
Flag transferred to YAMASHIRO and KONGO becomes a second reserve ship. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kishimoto Kaneji (former CO of CL SENDAI) assumes command.

10 January 1935:
Yokosuka. The German naval attaché in Tokyo, Captain (later Admiral) Paul Wenneker is invited by Admiral Suetsugu Nobumasa, CINC, Yokosuka Naval District, to tour KONGO, light cruiser TAMA and the submarine I-2. Wenneker, a former gunnery officer, is unimpressed with Japanese artillery technology.

1 June 1935: Second reconstruction:
Transferred from Yokosuka Naval District to Sasebo Naval District. Reconstruction is started at Yokosuka. Unfettered by the former Washington and London Treaty restrictions, KONGO is reconstructed to transform her into a fast battleship, capable of escorting the IJN's fleet carriers. Her stern is lengthened by 25-feet. Her bridge is rebuilt pagoda style. All boilers are are removed and replaced with eight oil-fired Kampon boilers and she receives new Parsons geared turbines. Her speed is increased to 30 knots. A catapult and rails for three floatplanes are installed aft and to port of her No. 3 turret. The aircraft she now carries are Nakajima E8N1 Type 95 ("Dave") and Kawanishi E7K1 Type 94 ("Alf") floatplanes.

Elevation of KONGO's main armament is increased from 33 degrees to 43 degrees. Elevation of her secondary armament is increased from 15 degrees to 30 degrees. 40-mm MGs removed and ten twin 25-mm MGs installed. Torpedo tubes removed. 10-m base rangefinder fitted on top of pagoda.

20 June 1935:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. KONGO is alongside cruiser SUZUYA that is fitting out.

15 November 1935:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sukigara Tamazo (former CO of AS TAIGEI) assumes command.

1 December 1936:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Matsuura Eijiro (former CO of AC KASUGA) assumes command.

8 January 1937:
Yokosuka. KONGO's second reconstruction is completed.

10 February 1937:
Arrives at Sasebo. Attached to Sasebo Guard Squadron.

1 December 1937:
Attached to BatDiv 3, First Fleet. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kurita Takeo (former CO of CL ABUKUMA) assumes command.

9 April 1938:
Departs Terajima Channel and operates in the South Sea.

13 April 1938:
Two planes from KONGO bomb Foochow, China.

14 April 1938:
Arrives at Keelung, Formosa.

17 October 1938:
Departs Terajima Channel and operates off south China districts.

23 October 1938:
Arrives at Mako, Pescadores.

15 November 1938:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Suzuki Yoshio (former CO of CA MAYA) assumes command.

22 March 1939:
Departs Kagoshima and operates off north China coast.

2 April 1939:
Arrives at Terajima Channel.

20 October 1939:
Slight modification started at Sasebo. Captain (later Vice Admiral) Nishimura Shôji (also CO of BB HARUNA) assumes temporary command.

15 November 1939:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Tanaka Raizo (former CO of CL JINTSÛ) assumes command.

28 December 1939:
Sasebo. Undocked.

26 March 1940:
Departs Ariake Bay and operates off south China districts.

2 April 1940:
Arrives at Takao, Formosa.

15 November 1940:
Sasebo. Becomes a special service ship and modification started. Armor is added to her barbettes and ammunition tubes, ventilation and firefighting equipment are improved.

10 April 1941:
Sasebo. Modifications are completed.

15 April 1941:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Osugi Morikazu (former CO of CA MAYA) assumes command.

5 May 1941:
Barrels of gun turret no. 2 are replaced.

July 1941:
The KONGO's starboard cruising turbine is damaged. Turbine repaired.

15 August 1941:
Captain (later Vice Admiral) Koyanagi Tomiji (former CO of CA ATAGO) assumes command. KONGO 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 her sisters the HARUNA, HIEI and KIRISHIMA.

13 September 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo, preparing for battle.

3 October 1941:
Docked at Sasebo. Degaussing coils are added.

10 October 1941:

14 October 1941:
Departs Sasebo for training off Saiki.

14 November 1941:
Arrives at Sasebo, war preparations.

21 November 1941:
Departs Sasebo.

22 November 1941:
Arrives at Hashirajima, supplies loaded.

29 November 1941:
BatDiv 3's section 2, KONGO and HARUNA, is attached to Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Southern (Malay) Force's Main Body: BatDiv 3/2, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and eight destroyers. The Main Body departs Saeki for Mako, Pescadores.

2 December 1941:
The Main Body arrives at Mako. The Main Body receives the signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" from the Combined Fleet. This signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time).*

4 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Mako for the South China Sea to provide distant support for the invasion forces.

8 December 1941: The Invasions of Malaya and the Philippines:
Cruiser MAYA detaches from the Main Body to support the landings at Appari and Vigan in the Philippines.

9 December 1941: The Pursuit of the Royal Navy's "Force Z":
The Main Body is southeast of Indochina near Poulo Condore Island. At 1415, LtCdr Harada Tamae's
submarine I-65 reports sighting a British force steaming NNW at 14 knots. This is Admiral Sir Tom S. V. Phillips who sorties from Singapore to find and attack the Malaya invasion transports with his Force Z: 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. The Main Body sorties south for a night attack against Force Z, but no contact is made.

10 December 1941:
At dawn, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kurita Takeo's (former CO of KONGO) CruDiv 7's KUMANO, MOGAMI, MIKUMA and SUZUYA with DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI and four destroyers join the Main Body. Kondo also orders Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA) to join in the hunt with cruiser CHOKAI.

A Mitsubishi Ki-15/C5M2 Karigane (Wild Goose) ("Babs") reconnaissance plane of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Matsunaga Sadaichi's (former CO of ISUZU) 22nd Koku Sentai (Air Flotilla) spots the British force off the Malayan coast.

In the afternoon, the Main Body and all other ships depart the search area after receiving reports that both British capital ships were sunk off Kuantan, Malaya. Force Z was overwhelmed by 88 torpedo-bombers (Type 96 Mitsubishi G3M "Nells" and Type 1 G4M "Bettys") of the Genzan, Kanoya and Mihoro Kokutais of 22nd Air Flotilla based at Saigon and Thudaumot in French Indochina. 840 British seamen are lost including Admiral Phillips.

11 December 1941:
The Main Body arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

14 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Camranh to cover the Second Malaya Convoy, northeast of Natuna Besar Island.

17 December 1941:
The Main Body returns to Camranh.

20 December 1941:
The Main Body departs Camranh to cover the invasion landings at Lingayen Gulf, Philippines.

21-23 December 1941:
The Main Body lies off the coast of Luzon in the vicinity of Macclesfield Bank.

24 December 1941:
The Main Body returns to Camranh.

8 January 1942:
The Main Body departs Camranh for Mako.

11 January 1942:
The Main Body arrives at Mako.

14 January 1942:
The Main Body departs Mako for the Palau Islands in the Carolines.

18 January 1942:
The Main Body arrives at Palau. Provides distant cover for the Dutch East Indies invasion forces.

21-25 January 1942:
The Main Body splits into two groups to provide distant support of air attacks on Ambon Island. KONGO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO and four destroyers operate S of Palau while HARUNA, CruDiv 4's MAYA and four destroyers operate out of Palau to the east of Mindanao.

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. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake (former CO of KONGO) CruDiv 4's ATAGO, MAYA and TAKAO and six destroyers also arrive and refuel. 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 arrives from their stike on Darwin, Australia and refuels.

25 February 1942: Operation "J" -The Invasion of the Netherlands East Indies:
Vice Admiral Kondo, the overall invasion fleet commander, detaches BatDiv 3/2's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO and destroyers ARASHI and NOWAKI from the Main Body. Kondo's force departs Staring Bay to hunt for shipping escaping from Java. They are joined later by DesDiv 15's HAYASHIO from Timor.

The remainder of the Main Body departs Staring Bay following the Carrier Striking Force, CruDiv 8, DesRon 1 and six tankers. Later, the Main Body supports air attacks on Java.

7 March 1942:
BatDiv 3/2 bombards Christmas Island (190 miles south of Java) with DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, HAMAKAZE, ISOKAZE and TANIKAZE.

9 March 1942:
After the surrender of the Dutch East Indies, BatDiv 3/2 returns to Staring Bay. During their sortie, Kondo's force sinks eight British, Dutch and American ships.

10-25 March 1942:
Staring Bay. BatDiv 3's HARUNA, HIEI, KONGO and KIRISHIMA refuel. Although on standby alert, after more than three months of continuous operations, the crews are allowed some rest and relaxation.

26 March 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's Carrier Striking Force sorties from Staring Bay via Timor Sea into the Indian Ocean with CarDiv 1's AKAGI, CarDiv 2’s SORYU and HIRYU, CarDiv 5's SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, BatDiv 3's KONGO, HIEI, HARUNA HEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA, DesDiv 17's URAKAZE, ISOKAZE, TANIKAZE and HAMAKAZE, DesDiv 18's KASUMI, SHIRANUHI, ARARE and KAGERO, DesDiv 4's MAIKAZE and HAGIKAZE, CarDiv 5's AKIGUMO and fleet oiler SHINKOKU MARU.

31 March 1942:
Auxiliary tankers KYOKUTO MARU, KENYO MARU and NIPPON MARU join Nagumo's Force.

1 April 1942:
Meanwhile, at 1100, Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Second Expeditionary Fleet, Malaya Force departs Mergui and steams into the Bay of Bengal to attack merchant shipping with CruDiv 4's CHOKAI (F) and CruDiv 7 's SUZUYA, KUMANO, MIKUMA and MOGAMI, light cruiser YURA and destroyers FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, HATSUYUKI and MURAKUMA, which are replaced on 3 April by AYANAMI, YUGIRI, ASAGIRI and SHIOKAZE. YURA and CHOKAI support CarDiv 4's light carrier RYUJO.

2 April 1942:
After refueling Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force, SHINKOKU MARU, KYOKUTO MARU, KENYO MARU and NIPPON MARU are detached.

4 April 1942:
350 nms S of Ceylon. About 1600, the carrier Striking Force is located by Consolidated PBY "Catalina" flying boat QL-A of 413 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) flown by squadron leader Squadron Leader Leonard Birchall, out of Koggala. Birchall manages to radio in the position of the Japanese fleet and alert Colombo about the impending attack before his Catalina is shot down by six A6M2 Zeke fighters from carrier HIRYU. Birchall is one of the six survivors of the crew of nine picked up by ISOKAZE.

5 April 1942, Easter Sunday: The Attack on the British naval base at Colombo:
At 0730, 127 aircraft from the Striking Force (53 Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” dive-bombers [18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 17 from AKAGI], 38 Aichi D3A1 “Val” torpedo-bombers [19 each from SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU] and 36 Mitsubishi A6M “Zeke” fighters (9 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU and ZUIKAKU) of the "Kido Butai's" aircraft, led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Mitsuo (of Pearl Harbor), attack the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

The planes damage the base's facilities, destroy at least 26 aircraft (6 Fairey "Swordfish", 4 Fairey "Fulmars" and at least 16 Hawker "Hurricanes") and sink destroyer HMS TENEDOS undergoing refit, armed merchant cruiser HMS HECTOR and 5834-ton Norwegian tanker SOLI. The planes also damage submarine tender HMS LUCIA, 5,943-ton British freighter BENLEDI and 5,950-ton British freighter CLAN MUROCH. 81 civilians and 56 RN personnel are killed at Colombo (TENEDOS 33, HECTOR 4, LUCIA 2, FAA aircrew and ground crew 12.

A Kawanishi E7K "Alf" three-seat float biplane from cruiser TONE finds Vice Admiral (later Admiral of the Fleet Sir) James Somerville's (former CO of HMS NORFOLK) British Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE at sea - without air cover. Between 1338-1400, 53 D3A Val dive-bombers (17 from AKAGI, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SORYU, led by LtCdr Egusa Takashige (SORYU’s Air Group Commander), sink both ships. 424 RN personnel are killed (DORSETSHIRE 234, CORNWALL 190). After the attack, the Striking Force withdraws to the SE and searches unsuccessfully for the rest of Somerville's fleet.

Meanwhile, during the afternoon aircraft from RYUJO sink the 5,082-ton British cargo vessel HARPASA and damage two other merchantmen, the 7,823-ton British ship DARDANUS and 4,839-ton US-built Greek ship POINT CLEAR. At 2030, Ozawa's Mobile Force separates into three groups to attack merchant shipping in the Bay of Bengal. CruDiv 7/1's KUMANO and SUZUYA, under Rear Admiral Kurita, form the Northern Group with destroyer SHIRAKUMO. Carrier RYUJO, CHOKAI, SubRon 5's light cruiser YURA, Des Div 20's YUGIRI and ASAGIRI form the Center Group under Admiral Ozawa. MOGAMI, MIKUMA and destroyer AMAGIRI form the Southern Group.

(Tracks of Nagumo and Ozawa's Forces)

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.

Temporarily detached from the rest of Ozawa’s Center Group, YURA and YUGIRI sink 1,279-ton Dutch merchant BATAVIA en route from Calcutta to Karachi. YURA and YUGIRI also sink 1,279-ton Dutch freighter BANJOEWANGI and 3,471-ton British steamer TAKSANG.

The rest of the Center Group, RYUJO, CHOKAI and ASAGIRI, sink five ships:
5,491-ton American freighter BIENVILLE is bombed by RYUJO's aircraft. She is finished off by gunfire from CHOKAI, and reportedly also from RYUJO, and then by a torpedo from CHOKAI.
6,426-ton British cargo ship GANGES is attacked by one of CHOKAI’s floatplanes and two of RYUJO’s aircraft, and is then sunk by gunfire from the surface ships, including gunfire from RYUJO.
2,646-ton British ship SINKIANG is attacked by aircraft and then likewise sunk by gunfire.
5,686-ton American freighter SELMA CITY is bombed by CHOKAI’s floatplanes. She is also attacked and hit by two aircraft from RYUJO, but by then is already sinking and abandoned.
2,073-ton Dutch freighter VAN DER CAPELLEN is bombed and damaged by RYUJO's aircraft and sinks two days later.

That same day, 5,268-ton British freighter ANGLO-CANADIAN is attacked by five aircraft from RYUJO, including two armed with torpedoes, and score one hit, a bomb which does not explode but which starts a fire. Also that day, RYUJO launches strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam. 3,827-ton British merchant MARION MOLLER is damaged at Vizagapatam.

Ozawa’s Southern Group sinks four ships. They first encounter disabled DARDANUS, under tow by the 5,281-ton British ship GANDARA. The three Japanese ships promptly open fire on the two merchantmen, which are finished off with torpedoes from AMAGIRI. Two Norwegian vessels are then sunk, 4,434-ton DAGFRED and 1,515-ton HERMOD.

In all Ozawa's commerce raiding detachment sinks twenty ships of about 93,247 tons during their brief foray in the Bay of Bengal.

9 April 1942: The Attack on the British naval base at Trincomalee:
At 0600, Nagumo's Striking Force launches 132 aircraft led by Cdr Fuchida to attack the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon (91 B5N2 Kate dive-bombers [18 from AKAGI, 18 from SORYU and 18 from HIRYU, 19 from SHOKAKU and 18 from ZUIKAKU] and 41 A6M2 Zeke fighters [6 from AKAGI, 9 from SORYU, 6 from HIRYU, 10 from SHOKAKU and 10 from ZUIKAKU]).

The Japanese find the harbor almost empty of warships, but sink 9,066-ton British merchant SAGAING and a "Walrus" amphibian and three crated Fairey “Albacore” aircraft she was carrying, and damage old 15-inch monitor HMS EREBUS. Non-operational Dutch light cruiser SUMATRA is also hit, but the 800 kg bomb does not explode. Outside the harbor, southbound 4,784-ton Greek MARIONGA D. THERMIOTIS is damaged by strafing and seven men are wounded.

HARUNA launches an E8N2 “Dave” floatplane. At 0755, it spots an enemy carrier 65 miles south of the base. Between 0843 and 0853, the Striking Force launches 85 D3A Vals, (18 from SORYU, 18 from HIRYU and 18 from SHOKAKU, 17 from AKAGI and 14 from ZUIKAKU), escorted by 9 A6M Zekes (3 each from AKAGI, SORYU, HIRYU) which sink old light carrier HMS HERMES. 306 RN personnel are KIA, but hospital ship HMHS VITA, en route from Trincomalee to Colombo, arrives and picks up over 600 survivors.

Other sailors are rescued by local craft or swim to shore. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE, 8 KIA, corvette HMS HOLLYHOCK, 53 KIA, oilers ATHELSTANE and BRITISH SERGEANT and Norwegian merchant ship NORVIKEN.

During the day, nine of the Royal Air Force’s No. 11 Squadron’s Bristol "Blenheim" bombers attack KONGO, but score no hits and lose five four of their number to Nagumo's Combat Air Patrol "Zekes" and another is lost during the return flight when they encounter three Zekes from HIRYU returning from the attack on HERMES. BatDiv3 and the Striking Force continue heading SE.

10 April 1942:
About midnight, the fleet changes course to the NE. During the next 36 hours, BatDiv 3 and the Striking Force gradually bear southwards again and pass through the Andaman Sea entering the Straits of Malacca.

13 April 1942:
By nightfall, the fleet passes Singapore and enters the South China Sea, bound for Japan.

15 April 1942:
Oiler KOKUYO MARU refuels KONGO with 1,045 metric tons of fuel oil.

22 April 1942:
KONGO arrives at Sasebo.

23 April-2 May 1942:
Sasebo. Drydocked. KONGO's initial AA suite in WWII is eight 127-mm. and twenty 25-mm. AA guns in ten twin mounts. During this refit, two 25mm twin mounts around the forward funnel are relocated to provide better arcs of fire.

15 May 1942:
Reassigned from the Carrier Striking Force to the Second Fleet, Strike Force, Occupation Force.

21 May 1942:
Departs Sasebo for Hashirajima.

27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Bat Div 3, section 1's KONGO and HIEI depart Hashirajima in the Second Fleet's Strike Force, Support Force, Main Body: CruDiv 4's ATAGO and CHOKAI, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA and seven destroyers.

4 June 1942:
At 0545, a Consolidated PBY "Catalina" patrol plane of VP-44 from Midway spots and reports a "carrier bearing 320, distance 180." At 0715, ComSubPac Rear Admiral Robert H. English relays this contact report to his submarines. At 0842, LtCdr H. B. Lyon's USS GUDGEON (SS-211) spots the "pagoda masts" of two battleships, most probably HIEI and KONGO, on the horizon. Lyon closes on the surface, but is forced to dive by Japanese planes. He continues to close submerged, but when he raises his periscope the battleships are gone.

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 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 Kawauchi, Mutsu Bay.

28 June 1942:
Departs Sendai Bay.

10 July 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 is reassigned to the Second Fleet.

11 July 1942:
Bat Div 3/1 arrives at Yokosuka. HIEI is refit and drydocked.

14 July 1942:
Reassigned in Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet. KONGO becomes flagship of the resized BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA. Vice Admiral Kurita assumes command of the division. Vice Admiral Mikawa is reassigned as the Commander of the new Eighth Fleet (Outer South Seas) activated at Rabaul. HIEI and KIRISHIMA are reassigned to the new BatDiv 11.

18 July 1942:
KONGO departs Yokosuka. Her floatplane complement is now one Aichi E13A Type 0 and two Mitsubishi F1M Type 0, tail codes CI-x (in yellow).

19 July 1942:
Arrives at Hashirajima. Battle training.

1 August 1942:
KONGO is transferred to Kure. Overhaul and refit. A Type 21 air and surface detection radar set is installed on the foretop rangefinder.

21 August 1942:
Returns to Hashirajima for battle training and maneuvers.

6 September 1942:
Bat Div 3 departs Kure for Truk with DesDiv 31's MAKINAMI and DesDiv 32's NAGANAMI.

8 September 1942:
Bat Div 3 is reassigned to the Advanced Force, Vanguard Group.

10 September 1942:
Bat Div 3 arrives at Truk.

11 September 1942:
KONGO sorties with Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet, Advanced Force: BatDiv 3, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO and MAYA, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO and DesRon 2. The Second Fleet accompanies Vice Admiral Nagumo's Third Fleet: CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA and 11 destroyers to an area north of the Solomon Islands.

14 September 1942:
KONGO is attacked by seven enemy heavy bombers, but not damaged.

15-17 September 1942:
At sea. The fleet refuels its 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:
The fleets arrive at Truk. Bat Div 3 provides distant support for operations in the Solomon Islands.

5 October 1942:
Assigned to the Emergency Bombardment Force.

11 October 1942:
Vice Admiral Kurita's Bat Div 3 departs Truk for Guadalcanal with the Second and Third Fleets.

12 October 1942:
Bat Div 3 detaches from Kondo and Nagumo's fleets with Rear Admiral Tanaka Raizo's (former CO of KONGO) DesRon 2's light cruiser ISUZU and three destroyers. Six destroyers from Shortland join Kurita's force. All head towards the Solomon Islands.

13 October 1942:
Kurita launches recce floatplanes to mark the target area with flares. Beginning at 0137, Kurita's force bombards Henderson Field, at Lunga Point Guadalcanal. KONGO fires first followed shortly thereafter by the HARUNA. KONGO and HARUNA pass by Lunga Point on an easterly course with their main armament firing to starboard. Then they make a 180-degree turn and come back, firing to port. Shore batteries fire on the battleships which answer with their 6-inchers but the HARUNA and KONGO are far out of range of the shore batteries.

KONGO fires 435 14-in. shells (104 Type 3, 331 Type 1) and twenty-seven 6-in shells. HARUNA fires 433 14-in. shells (189 Type 0, 294 Type 1) and twenty-one 6-in shells.

The 1,378-lb HE Type 3 "Sanshikidan" is used by KONGO for the first time in action. Only KONGO receives them before departure because there are not enough available for both battleships. Originally designed as anti-aircraft rounds, each time-fused shell contains 480 incendiary (rubber thermite) tubes and 192 steel stays. The older Type 0 is similar to the Type 3, but their 1,000 incendiary tubes are filled with a mix of rosin, magnesium, barium and sulphuric acid. Some 1,485-lb. Type 1 AP shells are also fired.

More than 40 U.S. aircraft are destroyed on the ground. Light cruiser ISUZU also fires on Marine batteries on Tulagi Island. Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3's PT-38, PT-46, PT-48 and PT-60 attack Kurita's destroyer screen, but destroyer NAGANAMI drives off the PTs and no hits are scored. At 0230, BatDiv 3 retires up the "Slot" at 29 knots.

14 Oct 1942:
Reassigned to the Advanced Force.

17-18 October 1942:
BatDiv 3, DesDiv 15's KAGERO and OYASHIO refuel at sea with Kondo's Advanced Force.

25 October 1942:
525 miles northwest of Espirtu Santo. The Advanced Force is sighted by a B-17 of the 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Espirtu Santo.

26 October 1942: The Battle of Santa Cruz:
KONGO is attacked by four Grumman TBF "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) but is not damaged.

30 October 1942:
BatDiv 3 returns to Truk.

1 November 1942:
Captain Koyanagi is promoted to Rear Admiral.

9 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Kondo departs Truk for Ontong Java area with his Main Body: CruDiv 4's ATAGO (FF) and TAKAO, Air Striking Unit: carrier JUNYO, Screen: BatDiv 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 8's TONE, DesRon 3's light cruiser SENDAI, DesDiv 19's URANAMI, SHIKINAMI and AYANAMI and DesDiv 11's HATSUYUKI and SHIRAYUKI.

The Main Body also includes Vice Admiral Abe's Bombardment Unit: BatDiv 11's HIEI and KIRISHIMA accompanied by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kimura Susumu's (former CO of HARUNA) Close Screen of DesRon 10's light cruiser NAGARA with DesDiv 6's IKAZUCHI, INAZUMA, and the AKATSUKI, DesDiv 16's AMATSUKAZE and YUKIKAZE, DesDiv 61's TERUZUKI.

The Main Body supports air attacks on USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) south of Guadalcanal; however, the strike force fails to locate the American carrier.

13 November 1942: The First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
BatDiv 3, cruising near Ontong Java Atoll, provides distant support for Kondo's Emergency Bombardment Force against Henderson Field.

15 November 1942:
The Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal:
After the loss of BatDiv 11's KIRISHIMA off Savo Island, BatDiv 3 departs the area for Truk.

18 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk. Resumes battle training. Reassigned to the Main Body.

16 December 1942:
Truk. Captain (Vice Admiral, posthumously), the Baron, Ijûin Matsuji (former CO of CA ATAGO and son of Fleet Admiral Ijuin Goro, former CINC, Combined Fleet) assumes command. Rear Admiral Koyanagi is reassigned as ComDesRon 2 at Rabaul.

24 December 1942:
Reassigned to the Third Fleet, BatDiv 3.

30 January 1943: Operation "KE" – The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
BatDiv 3 departs Truk with units of the Second and Third Fleet: carriers ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO and JUNYO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, DesRon 4's light cruiser NAGARA, DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO and destroyers. The task force steams north of the Solomons as a feint to cover the evacuation of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal by destroyers from Rabaul.

9 February 1943:
After the successful evacuation of 12,000 troops from Guadalcanal, the task force returns to Truk.

15 February 1943:
BatDiv 3 departs Truk for Kure with the seaplane carrier NISSHIN and DesDiv 27's SHIGURE.

20 February 1943: Arrives at Sasebo.

27 February - 13 March 1943:
Sasebo. Drydocked. After the loss of both HIEI and KIRISHIMA, concrete protection is added in the vicinity of the steering gear. The ventilation is also improved for the machinery spaces and new watertight bulkheads and diesel-powered emergency fuel oil pumps are installed. Six 25-mm AA guns (two triple mounts) are fitted in place of six 6-in. guns secondary guns (Nos. 7 and 8) and the aft 4.5m rangefinders.

19 March 1943:
Departs Sasebo for Hashirajima.

20 March 1943:
Arrives at Hashirajima.

22 March 1943:
Reassigned to the Carrier Striking Force, Support Group.

31 March 1943:
Reassigned directly to the Carrier Striking Force, Main Body.

1 April 1943:
Bat Div 3 departs Kure for Truk with DesDiv 4's HAGIKAZE. KONGO and HARUNA carry men of the Kure 7th Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF).

6 April 1943:
BatDiv 3 arrives at Truk. Disembarks SNLF troops.

12 May 1943: American Forces Invade Attu, Aleutians:
BatDiv 3 at Truk.

17 May 1943:
Reassigned to the Attu Task Force. Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA depart Truk for Yokosuka in response to the Attu invasion with BatDiv 1's MUSASHI, CarDiv 2's HIYO, CruDiv 8's TONE and CHIKUMA and DesDiv 24's UMIKAZE and DesDiv 27's ARIAKE and SHIGURE, DesDiv 61's HATSUZUKI and SUZUTSUKI. MUSASHI, with Admiral Koga aboard, also carries Admiral Yamamoto's ashes to Tokyo for a state funeral.

20 May 1943:
Alerted by Ultras, USS SAWFISH (SS-276) picks up the task force on radar but the submarine is unable to attack.

22 May 1943:
USS TRIGGER (SS-237) sights the task force off Tokyo Bay, but the submarine is unable to attack. The task force arrives safely. Carriers ZUIKAKU, SHOKAKU and ZUIHO and light cruisers AGANO and OYODO join the task force at Yokosuka -Tokyo Bay. CruDiv 7's KUMANO, MOGAMI and SUZUYA also arrive from Tokuyama. Before this powerful force can depart for a counterattack against the Aleutians, Attu falls to U.S. forces.

May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka with fleet on maneuvers.

June 1943:
Refit at Yokosuka.

16 June 1943:
BatDiv 3 departs Yokosuka for Truk with a task group: light carrier RYUHO, escort carriers UNYO and CHUYO, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA and seven destroyers.

17 June 1943:
USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) sights the task group making 20 knots, but the submarine is unable to attack.

21 June 1943:
USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) attacks one of the carriers in the task group, but misses with four torpedoes. The task group arrives safely at Truk.

17 July 1943:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Shimazaki Toshio (former CO of CL SENDAI) assumes command of KONGO. Captain Baron Ijuin, promoted to Rear Admiral, is reassigned as ComDesRon 3, Second Fleet.

9 August 1943:
Vice Admiral Kurita assumes command of the Second Fleet. Kondo, promoted to Admiral on 23 April 1943, is reassigned as Commander-in-Chief of the China Area Fleet.

18 September 1943:
Truk. BatDiv 3 remains at Truk as guardships with flagship MUSASHI and the FUSO during the fleet's sortie to Brown Island, Eniwetok in response to raids on Tarawa, Makin and Abemama Atolls by Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall's Task Force 15.

25 September 1943:
The fleet returns to Truk.

17 October 1943:
The Japanese intercept radio traffic that suggests the Americans are planning another raid on Wake Island. Admiral Koga sorties from Truk to intercept the enemy carriers with the fleet: BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, BatDiv 2's FUSO, Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's SUZUYA and MOGAMI, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE and light cruisers AGANO, NOSHIRO, OYODO and destroyers.

19 October 1943:
Arrives at Brown Island. Resumes standby alert.

23 October 1943:
Sorties from Brown Island to an area west of Wake Island. No contact is made with Task Force 14.

26 October 1943:
The fleet arrives back at Truk.

5-6 November 1943:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Alfred E. Montgomery's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) Task Force 14's carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), YORKTOWN (CV-10), LEXINGTON (CV-16), INDEPENDENCE (CV-22), BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) and COWPENS (CVL-25) launch raids on Wake and the Marshall Islands.

11 December 1943:
BatDiv 3 departs Truk for Sasebo with DesDiv 4's MAIKAZE and NOWAKI.

16 December 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

30 January 1944:
Sasebo. Drydocked. Four 152mm guns (Nos. 1, 2, 11, 12) and their directors and two 25mm twin mounts are removed. Four 127-mm. AA guns (two twin mounts) and twelve 25mm (four triple mounts) are installed in their place.

14 February 1944:

27 February 1944:
Departs Sasebo for sea trials; returns the same day.

29 February 1944:
Departs Sasebo for the western Inland Sea.

1 March 1944:
Reassigned to the Second Fleet, BatDiv 3. At Mutsure Bight; after a stop at Hesaki Bight arrives at Tokuyama. Refuels.

2 March 1944:
Departs Tokuyama for sea trials; stops at Yashima Bight overnight.

3 March 1944:
Departs Yashima for main and secondary gun trials; returns to Kure the same day.

6 March 1944:
Departs Kure for Lingga. Stops at Tokuyama. Refuels.

7 March 1944:
Moves from Tokuyama to Sumoto Bight, Awaji Island. Embarks troops.

8 March 1944:
BatDiv 3 departs Sumoto for Lingga (south of Singapore) with carrier ZUIKAKU, cruiser MOGAMI, DesDiv 10's ASAGUMO, AKIGUMO and KAZAGUMO. BatDiv 3 carries the 103rd Air Defense Unit (241 men in all).

11 March 1944:
At 1210, the task group is sighted by USS LAPON (SS-260), but the submarine is unable to attack. ZUIKAKU and MOGAMI are detached and put into Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. The remainder of the task group continues south to Lingga.

14 March-11 May 1944:
Lingga. Disembarks troops, then maneuvers at sea. Begins several months training with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet. Ozawa's fleet units are refueled by oil from the nearby supply at Palembang, Sumatra.

31 March 1944:
Departs Lingga for Singapore to take on supplies.

1 April 1944:
KONGO completed loading fuel at 0900.

2 April 1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga.

1 May 1944:
Captain Shimazaki is promoted to Rear Admiral.

5 May 1944:
Departs Lingga for Singapore.

7 May1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga.

11 May 1944:
Steams with Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo's (former CO of HARUNA) Mobile Fleet from Lingga to old U.S. anchorage at Tawi Tawi.

14 May-13 June 1944:
Tawi Tawi. In Vice Admiral Kurita's Force "C" Vanguard: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, BatDiv 3, CarDiv 3's CHITOSE, CHIYODA and ZUIHO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO and SUZUYA, CruDiv 8's CHIKUMA and TONE, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and six destroyers.

7 June 1944:
Bongao, Tawi Tawi. KONGO receives fresh provisions replenishment from supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.

13 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The Battle of the Philippine Sea:
In Tokyo, the CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu, (former CO of HYUGA), sends out a signal that activates the A-GO plan for the Defense of the Marianas.

Ozawa's Mobile Fleet departs Tawi Tawi (less Operation "Kon's" BatDiv 1, CruDiv 5) for Guimaras near Panay Island, Philippines. At 1000, LtCdr Marshall H. Austin's USS REDFIN (SS-272) on station outside the anchorage, sights and reports the fleet departing.

14 June 1944:
Guimaras. Refuels from oilers.

15 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet departs Guimaras through the Visayan Sea. At 1622, LtCdr Robert Risser's USS FLYING FISH (SS-229) sights the Mobile Fleet in the San Bernardino Strait.

17 June 1944:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Herman J. Kossler's USS CAVALLA (SS-244) sights the Mobile Fleet in the Philippine Sea and reports its movement after surfacing later that evening.

18-19 June 1944:
Ozawa splits the Mobile Fleet. Forces "A" and "B" proceed southward. The Vanguard Force "C" proceeds due east in the Philippine Sea headed towards Saipan. The Mobile Fleet's aircraft attack the U.S. Task Force 58 off Saipan, but suffer overwhelming aircraft losses in the "Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot".

20 June 1944:
At 1830, BatDiv 3 and carrier CHIYODA are attacked by Curtiss SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers and Grumman TBM "Avenger" torpedo-bombers from USS BUNKER HILL (CVL-17), MONTEREY (CVL-26) and CABOT (CVL-28). Aircraft from the CABOT's VT-31 score hits on HARUNA, but KONGO remains undamaged. During the battle, air attacks sink carrier HIYO and damage the carriers ZUIKAKU, JUNYO, CHIYODA and RYUHO. Meanwhile, CAVALLA sinks carrier SHOKAKU and ALBACORE (SS-218) sinks new armored carrier TAIHO. KONGO retires with the Mobile Fleet to Okinawa.

22 June 1944:
Arrives at Nakagusuku Wan, Okinawa. KONGO refuels destroyers.

23 June 1944:
Departs Okinawa.

24 June 1944:
The Mobile Fleet arrives at Hashirajima.

29 June 1944:
Departs Hashirajima for Kure.

30 June 1944:
Kure Naval Yard. A Type 22 surface search/gunnery control radar set and Type 13 radars are fitted on the bridge and the mainmast respectively. Seventy-six 25mm AA guns (twelve triple and forty single mounts) are installed. KONGO's secondary and AA armament are eight 6-inch/50, six dual 5-inch/40 and one hundred 25-mm AA. She embarks two Mitsubishi F1M2 "Pete" floatplanes.

7 July 1944:
Undocked. KONGO is loaded with materials and embarks elements of the 36th Infantry Regiment, 28th Division for transport to Okinawa.

8 July 1944:
Departs Kure for Okinawa with Group B's NAGATO, cruiser MOGAMI, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI, destroyers. Accompanied by Group A's BatDiv 1's YAMATO and MUSASHI, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO, destroyers. Carries troops, material to Nakagusuku Wan (Bay), Okinawa.

10 July 1944:
Group A detaches from Group B and departs Okinawa directly for Lingga (near Singapore) to join Mobile Fleet, arriving 17 July.

12 July 1944:
KONGO with Group B departs Okinawa for Manila.

14 July 1944:
Group B arrives at Manila.

17 July 1944:
Departs Manila.

19 July 1944:
About midnight, an unknown submarine attacks and fires four torpedoes, but they all miss. Group B arrives safely at Singapore.

20 July 1944:
Departs Singapore for Lingga.

20 July - 21 August 1944:
Training at Lingga. Flagship of Vice Admiral Suzuki Yoshio's (former CO of KONGO, 1938) BatDiv 3.

21 August 1944:
HARUNA arrives from Sasebo and rejoins the division.

23 August 1944:
KONGO departs Lingga for Seletar, Naval Base, Singapore where electrical work is accomplished. Eighteen more 25 mm. AA are probably also added at this time to bring their final total to 118.

September 1944:
Returns to Lingga.

21 September 1944:
Lingga anchorage. KONGO receives fresh provisions replenishment from supply ship KITAKAMI MARU.

18 October 1944:
BatDiv 3 departs Lingga with fleet for Brunei Bay, Borneo.

20 October 1944:
Arrives at Brunei.

22 October 1944: Operation "SHO-I-GO"(Victory) - The Battle of Leyte Gulf:
KONGO sorties from Brunei as the flagship of the Second Section of Force A of Vice Admiral Kurita's First Striking Force: (Center Force): BatDiv 3, CruDiv 7's KUMANO, SUZUYA, TONE and CHIKUMA, DesRon 10's light cruiser YAHAGI and five destroyers. The Second Section sorties behind Force A's First Section: BatDiv 1's YAMATO, MUSASHI and NAGATO, CruDiv 4's ATAGO, TAKAO, MAYA and CHOKAI, CruDiv 5's MYOKO and HAGURO and DesRon 2's light cruiser NOSHIRO and 10 destroyers.

23 October 1944: The Battle of the Palawan Passage:
Two American submarines attack Force A. DARTER (SS-227) sinks Kurita's flagship, cruiser ATAGO. Destroyer KISHINAMI picks up Kurita. Ten hours later, he transfers to YAMATO. DARTER also damages TAKAO. USS DACE (SS-247) sinks MAYA. KONGO, in Force A's Second Section, is not damaged.

24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
Force A endures raids by over 250 U.S. carrier aircraft. MUSASHI, hit by numerous aircraft torpedoes and bombs, sinks in the Visayan Sea. YAMATO, hit by bombs, is down by the bow. Force A continues on course through the Sibuyan Sea. HARUNA is damaged by near misses. KONGO is not damaged. At 1530 hours, Force A reverses course back through the Sibuyan Sea. At 1715 hours, Kurita again reverses course. At 2330 hours, Force A enters the San Bernadino Strait in single file.

25 October 1944: The Battle off Samar:
At 0030, Force A exits the San Bernardino Strait and proceeds towards Leyte Gulf.

At 0544, Force A's lookouts spot four enemy destroyers, and shortly thereafter three carriers, three cruisers and two more destroyers at a range of 23 miles bearing 60 degrees to port.

BatDiv 3 is ordered eastwards to prevent the enemy from drawing away. HARUNA, her propellers not repaired after being damaged during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, can make only 26 knots and soon lags behind.

At 0558 Force A opens fire at the "jeep" escort carriers of "Taffy 3": USS ST. LO (CVE-63), WHITE PLAINS (CVE-66), KALININ BAY (CVE-68), FANSHAW BAY (CVE-70) (F), KITKUN BAY (CVE-71) and the GAMBIER BAY (CVE-73). Taffy 3's carriers are screened by destroyers USS HOEL (DD-533), JOHNSTON (DD-557), HEERMANN (DD-532) and destroyer escorts USS JOHN C. BUTLER (DE-339),DENNIS (DE-405), RAYMOND (DE-341),DENNIS (DE-405) and SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (DE-413).

At 0600, KONGO opens fire with her main 14-inch armament at 15 miles.

At 0622, KONGO is strafed repeatedly by F4F "Wildcats" and the rangefinder for her main guns is disabled.

At 0625, KONGO is taken under fire by the destroyer HOEL at 14,000 yards. In turn, HOEL is hit on the bridge by a 14-inch shell, but launches five torpedoes at 9,000 yards. About this time, KONGO ceases fire with her main armament because her turret rangefinders are situated too low for long-distance engagement. KONGO switches over to her secondary guns.

At 0630, KONGO's lookouts spot four of HOEL's torpedoes. KONGO turns hard to port to evade. All miss.

At 0654, destroyer HEERMANN fires three torpedoes at HARUNA. These torpedoes miss HARUNA but cause YAMATO and NAGATO to turn northward and steam for 10 miles until the torpedoes run out of fuel.

At 0655, KONGO spots GAMBIER BAY and scores numerous hits.

Between 0755 and 0910, Force A sinks the GAMBIER BAY, HOEL, ROBERTS and JOHNSTON.

By 0800, KONGO's main rangefinder is made functional again. She takes destroyer escort ROBERTS, already hit by 8-inch cruiser shells, under fire. ROBERTS is devastated by a salvo of KONGO's 14-inch shells and at 0912, the valiant little ship sinks.

At 0813, two torpedo tracks are spotted, but avoided.

At 0825, Kurita orders all ships to head north, but at 1020 he reverses course southward and again heads towards Leyte Gulf.

Between 1030 and 1320, CHOKAI, CHIKUMA and SUZUYA are disabled by battle damage and subsequently lost.

Between 1228 and 1248, KONGO is attacked by about 20 SB2C "Helldiver" dive-bombers from Vice Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (former CO of RANGER, CV-4) TF 38.1 The aircraft score five near-misses. One near-miss to starboard amidships dents KONGO's torpedo bulge and side plating. Sea water contaminates the fuel oil in the damaged tanks. At the stern, another near-miss bends both starboard propellers' blades slightly. Twelve crewmen are killed and 36 wounded in the attacks.

Force A reverses course northward and at 2100 retires through the San Bernardino Strait.

During the day's action, KONGO expends 310 14-in rounds (99 Type 3 and 211 Type 1), 347 6-in rounds (170 Type 0 and 177 Mark 4 as well as 2,128 5-in and 50,230 25-mm AA rounds.

26 October 1944:
Tablas Strait off Panay. At 0800, Force A is attacked by about 30 Grumman TBM "Avengers" from USS WASP (CV-19) and COWPENS (CVL-25). At 0834, the Force is attacked by about 50 Curtiss SB2C and TBM torpedo planes from HORNET (CV-12). Two bombs hit YAMATO.

At 1040, about thirty 13th Army Air Force Far Eastern Air Force B-24 "Liberators" of the "Long Rangers" based at Morotai attack the Force. At 1100, 60 aircraft from Task Groups 38.2 and 38.4 attack the Force. Light cruiser NOSHIRO is sunk. KONGO is not further damaged.

27 October 1944:
No attacks.

28 October 1944:
The remnants ofForce Aarrive at Brunei Bay, Borneo and refuel.

6 November 1944:
Carrier JUNYO and light cruiser KISO, escorted by DesDiv 30's YUZUKI and UZUKI arrive at Brunei from Sasebo with ammunition resupply for Kurita's force.

8 November 1944:
BatDiv 3 departs Brunei towards Pratas Islands (near the Formosa Strait) with a task group: BatDiv 1's YAMATO and NAGATO, BatDiv 3, light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 17's four destroyers. JUNYO, cruisers TONE and ASHIGARA, light cruiser KISO and DesDiv 30 follow. JUNYO, TONE and KISO and DesDiv 30 detach to Manila. The remainder of the task group makes a feint through the Balabac Strait, then returns to Brunei.

11 November 1944:
At 1000, arrives at Brunei Bay. Refuels from oiler HAKKO MARU.

15 November 1944:
NAGATO is reassigned to BatDiv 3 in Second Fleet with KONGO and HARUNA.

16 November 1944:
Brunei. Attacked by 40 USAAF Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" bombers and 15 Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" fighters. BatDiv 3 is not damaged. At 1830, KONGO departs for Kure with BatDiv 1's YAMATO, BatDiv 3'sKONGO, NAGATO, light cruiser YAHAGI and DesDiv 17's HAMAKAZE, URAKAZE, ISOKAZE and YUKIKAZE. DesDiv 43's KIRI and UME arrive from Spratly Island and join the task group's escort. HARUNA detaches and remains at Brunei with cruiser ASHIGARA and light cruiser OYODO.

20 November 1944:
The task group moves into the Formosa Strait, passes the Pescadores, then ceases zigzagging.

21 November 1944:
Formosa Strait. At 0020, LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Eli Reich's USS SEALION II (SS-315) makes radar contact at 44,000 yards. The sky is overcast with 1,500 yards visibility and the sea is calm. Reich begins an approach. He goes ahead flank on four engines. By 0043, he has four radar contacts at 35,000 yards. Reich identifies the targets as two battleships and two heavy cruisers. The targets are moving in column with the "cruiser" (actually, KONGO) ahead followed by two battleships (NAGATO and YAMATO) and a cruiser astern ( YAHAGI). All are on course 060 (T), speed 16 knots and not zigzagging.

At 0146, three escorts become visible on radar at 20,000 yards. The seas and the wind's speed increase. At 0245, SEALION turns in and slows for a surface attack. At 0256, Reich sets his Mark 18-1 electric torpedoes' depth at 8 feet to hit any destroyer that may pass in front of his target. From SEALION's bridge, KONGO's high pagoda superstructure is visible. At 3,000 yards, Reich fires his six bow tubes, then comes right full rudder to set up his stern tubes.

At 0300, after circling, SEALION stops and fires three stern torpedoes at the third ship in the column ( NAGATO) at 3,100 yards. At 0301, SEALION sees three hits on the KONGO. YAMATO's crew reports seeing two hits, flames and waterspouts. At 0304, SEALION observes a large explosion and sudden flames on the second "battleship", but these may be the hit(s) that sink destroyer URAKAZE (a veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor) with all hands.

0307: Boiler rooms Nos. 6 and 8 flood, but KONGO is able to make 16 knots. She eventually takes on a 15-degree list to port. SEALION goes to flank speed and opens to westward. At 0330, the battleship group is still making 16 knots on a straight course of 060 (T). At 0406, the battleship group resumes zigzagging. Reich goes to maximum overload speed. SEALION makes 17 knots, but the seas and the winds increase. SEALION's engine rooms take on water through her main induction valve.

East China Sea. At 0450, the battleship group splits into two formations. NAGATO, YAMATO and cruiser YAHAGI are in column with destroyer YUKIKAZE ahead. KONGO, with destroyers HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE, drops astern and slows to 11 knots. Reich begins another attack on KONGO. At 0512, SEALION slows and turns in to attack. KONGO further slows. At 0520, KONGO stops. SEALION's radar indicates the target's pip is getting smaller. Range 17,000 yards. At 0524, an explosion, probably one of KONGO's magazines detonating, illuminates the sky. The large pip on SEALION's radar shrinks and disappears. Only the two destroyers' pips remain.

KONGO sinks at 26-09 N, 121-23 E, 60 miles N of Keelung, Formosa in 348 feet of water. About 1,200 crewmen are lost including BatDiv 3's Vice Admiral Suzuki and KONGO's skipper Rear Admiral Shimazaki. Destroyers HAMAKAZE and ISOKAZE, fighting high seas, rescue 237 survivors and return to Kure. The Emperor's portrait is not recovered.

KONGO is the only IJN battleship sunk by a submarine during the war and the last battleship ever sunk by a submarine.

20 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

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

[2] In May 2007, Australian photo-journalist and wreck diver Kevin Denlay and a group of divers aboard MV EMPRESS out of Singapore explored the wrecks of PRINCE OF WALES and REPULSE. Both wrecks are virtually upside down. PRINCE OF WALES lies at 223 feet/68 meters deep, while REPULSE lies at 77 feet/54 meters. Attacking Japanese airmen reported hitting PRINCE OF WALES with seven of 14 torpedoes they launched. British sources reported six torpedo hits. The divers reported PRINCE OF WALES' hull had been hit by at least four torpedoes. Japanese airmen also reported hitting REPULSE with 13 of 35 torpedoes. while British sources reported five torpedo hits. The divers reported REPULSE's hull had been hit by at least two torpedoes, possibility more for REPULSE, but these, if any more, could not be confirmed by the divers.

Readers interested in more on KONGO's final hours should see "The Loss of Battleship KONGO" at

Thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mssrs. Yutaka Iwasaki, Nishida Hiroshi, Kuroyama Kazuo and Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan, Jean-François Masson of Canada and Matthew Jones of the United States.

Thanks go to Rob Stuart of Canada for information about Operation "C" in Revs 10 and 20. For more info see Rob's splendid "20 Ships, Not 23: Ozawa’s Score, 5-6 April 1942." NB: Older map on this TROM page erroneously shows 23 ships sunk.

Thanks to the late John Whitman and to Gengoro Toda of Japan for info about supply ship KITAKAMI MARU, and to Gilbert Casse for info for Rev 14..

- Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg.

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