IJN Battleship KONGO:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 1996-2016 Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp and Lars Ahlberg
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
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.
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.
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.
6 April 1942:
Bay of Bengal. At about 0600, the three ships of Ozawa’s Northern Group attack and sink the 5,381-ton Norwegian tanker ELSA. After 0730, KUMANO and SUZUYA and destroyer SHIRAKUMO attack a six-ship convoy and sink 4,986-ton American Export Line’s EXMOOR (ex-CITY OF ST. JOSEPH), 9,066-ton British freighter MALDA, 7,718-ton British freighter AUTOCLYCUS and 2,441-ton British freighter SHINKUANG at 19N, 86E. Ozawa's cruisers also sink 6,622-ton British freighter INDORA and Captain J. H. Gregory’s British India Line’s 4,921-ton cargo ship SILKSWORTH. About 50 of SILKSWORTH's mostly Chinese crewmen survive.
13 April 1942:
By nightfall, the fleet passes Singapore and enters the South China Sea, bound for Japan.
15 April 1942:
Oiler KOKUYO MARU refuels KONGO with 1,045 metric tons of fuel oil.
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.
6 June 1942: Operation "AL" - The Invasion of the
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.
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.
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
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.
Departs Yokosuka with fleet on maneuvers.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Returns to Lingga.
18 October 1944:
BatDiv 3 departs Lingga with fleet for Brunei Bay, Borneo.
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:
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.
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