Japanese cruiser Kinu

Japanese cruiser Kinu

nihongo|IJN" Kinu"|鬼怒 軽巡洋艦|Kinu keijunyōkan was a "Nagara"-class light cruiser in the Imperial Japanese Navy, named after the Kinu River in Tochigi prefecture Japan.


"Kinu" was the fifth vessel completed in the "Nagara"-class of light cruisers, and like other vessels of her class, she was intended for use as the flagship of a destroyer flotilla.

ervice career

Early career

"Kinu" was completed on 10 November 1922 at Kawasaki Heavy Industries's Kobe yards. From 1934-1935 it was largely used as a training vessel. As the Second Sino-Japanese War began to escalate, it supported landings of Japanese troops in central and southern China, and patrolled the China coast from 1937-1938.

On 20 November 1941, "Kinu" was flagship of Rear Admiral Setsuzo Yoshitomi's SubRon 4, based at Iwakuni, Yamaguchi, with SubDiv 18's "I-53", "I-54" and the "I-55" and SubDiv 19's "I-56", "I-57" and the "I-58". It was engaged in covering landings of Japanese forces in the invasion of Malaya at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Hunt for Force Z

On 9 December 1941, "I-65" reported sighting of Royal Navy Force Z (the Royal Navy battleship "HMS Prince of Wales", battlecruiser "HMS Repulse" and supporting destroyers). The report was received by "Kinu", Yura and the 81th Naval Communications Unit in Saigon. The reception was poor and it took another 90 minutes to decode and relay the message to Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa aboard his flagship, "Chokai". However, the "I-65s" report was incorrect about the heading of Force Z, throwing the Japanese fleet into confusion. A Kawanishi E7K "Alf" from "Kinu" buzzed "I-65", its pilot mistaking her for an enemy submarine. The following day, Force Z was overwhelmed by torpedo bombers of the 22nd Air Flotilla from Indochina.

Invasion of Malaya and Dutch East Indies

On 13 December 1941, "Kinu" departed Camranh Bay, Indochina with "Chokai", "Mogami" and "Mikuma" and destroyers "Hatsuyuki" and "Shirayuki" to provides cover for invasion landing at Kuantan, Malaya, and from 17 - 24 December 1941, to cover landings in Brunei and Miri, Seria, Lutong and Kuching in Sarawak. The 2500 men of the "Kawaguchi Detachment" and the No. 2 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) quickly capture Miri's airfield and oil fields. The operation was completed, and "Kinu" returned to its base at Camranh Bay, Indochina by the end of the year.

From January through March, 1942, "Kinu" continued to provide coverage for Japanese landings in Malaya, Sarawak and Java. On 1 March 1942, "Kinu’s" convoy was attacked in the Java Sea 90 miles west of Surabaya by ten obsolete Vickers Vildebeest bi-plane bombers and 15 fighters of the Australian and New Zealand Air Forces. "Kinu" was slightly damaged by near-misses and three men were killed by shrapnel. The following day, north of Surabaya, "Kinu" was attacked by the submarine "S-38", which launched four torpedoes, all of which missed.

From 10 March 1942, "Kinu" was assigned to CruDiv 16 and was based at Makassar, Celebes and then Ambon.

The New Guinea campaigns

From 29 March23 April 1942, "Kinu" was assigned to Rear Admiral Ruitaro Fujita's "N" Expeditionary Force for the invasion of Dutch New Guinea, which included the seaplane carrier "Chitose", destroyers "Yukikaze" and "Tokitsukaze", torpedo boats "Tomozuru", "Hatsukari", transports and a Naval Landing Force. Afterwards, for most of the month of May, "Kinu" returned to Kure, Hiroshima for an overhaul. After returning to the southern front, "Kinu" was assigned to patrols of the Java Sea from June through September.

On 13 September 1942, "Kinu" embarked the 2nd Infantry Division at Batavia with the light cruiser "Isuzu" for the Solomon Islands. It disembarked the troops at Shortland Island and Bougainville on 22 September 1942 and remained on patrol in the Timor Sea and eastern Dutch East Indies through January 1943.

On 21 January 1943, "Kinu" was ordered to proceed to Makassar to assist its sister ship, light cruiser "Natori" which had been damaged by a single USAAF B-24 Liberator bomber at Amboina harbor on Ambon Island, and escorted the injured cruiser back to Singapore. "Kinu" continued to patrol from Makassar through June, with an occasional troop and resupply run to New Guinea.

On 23 June 1943, while at Makassar Roads. "Kinu" and "Kuma" were anchored at Juliana Quay alongside the Oi"" and "Kitakami". The cruisers were attacked by 17 B-24 Liberator bombers of the 319th Squadron/90th Bomb Group (H) of the 5th Air Force. All four were straddled by near-misses, but suffered only slight damage. "Kinu" was ordered back to Japan for refit and modifications, arriving at Kure on 2 August 1943.

While at Kure, "Kinu’s" No. 5 and No.7 140-mm guns were removed as were her catapult and derrick. A twin 127-mm HA gun was fitted as were two triple mount Type 96 25-mm AA guns. This brought the "Kinu’s" 25-mm AA gun total to ten barrels (2x3, 2x2). A type 21 air search radar was also fitted and depth charge rails were added to her stern. Refit and modifications are completed 14 October 1943, and "Kinu" immediately departed back for Singapore with troops and supplies. "Kinu" remained in Singapore, or Malacca or Penang in Malaya or at Batavia in the Dutch East Indies through January 1944.

On 23 January 1944, "Kinu" with "Aoba" accompanied by the "Oi" and "Kitakami", and escorted by the destroyer "Shikinami" made a troop transport run from Singapore to Port Blair, Andaman Islands. On its return voyage to Singapore, "Kinu" towed the "Kitakami", which was damaged by a submarine attack. "Kinu" remained on patrol in the western Dutch East Indies through April.

From April, "Kinu" starting escorting transport runs from Saipan via Palau to the Celebes and other locations in the Dutch East Indies.

On 27 May 1944, the United States begins "Operation Horlicks" to retake Biak. "Kinu", "Aoba", and destroyers "Shikinami", "Uranami" and "Shigure" departed Tarakan to reinforce Biak with 2,300 troops from Zamboanga on Mindanao; however, after being sighted by B-24 bombers and receiving word of the American invasion of Saipan, the operation was canceled and the troops were disembarked at Sorong instead.

On 6 June 1944, while anchored off Weigo Island, Vogelkop, New Guinea, "Kinu" and "Aoba" were attacked unsuccessfully by B-24 bombers of the Fifth Air Force's 380th Group. "Kinu" remained on station for a week, and then returned to her patrol area in the western Dutch East Indies through the end of August.

In the Philippines

On 25 September 1944, during Japanese "Operation Sho-I-Go" to boost the defenses the Philippines, "Kinu", "Aoba" and the destroyer "Uranami" were assigned to Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita's First Raiding Force. On 11 October 1944 "Aoba" collided with "Kinu" in a training accident off Lingga. Both ships were slightly damaged.

On 21 October 1944 Crudiv 16 was detached from Vice Admiral Kurita's Force to assist the Southwest Area Fleet's transport of 2,500 soldiers of the IJA 41st Regiment from Cagayan, Mindanao to Ormoc, Leyte. The convoy was spotted by "USS Bream" (SS-243) on 23 October 1944. The "Bream" fired six torpedoes at "Aoba", one of which hit her No. 2 engine room. Rear Admiral Sakonjo transferred to the "Kinu", which towed "Aoba" to the Cavite Navy Yard near Manila for emergency repairs. The following day, as "Kinu" and "Uranami" sortied from Cavite for Cagayan, they were attacked by aircraft from Task Group 38.3's carriers "USS Essex" (CV-9) and "USS Lexington" (CV-16). Near misses caused light structural damage, but strafing killed 47 crewmen aboard the "Kinu" and 25 crewmen on the "Uranami".

On 25 October 1944, "Kinu" arrived at Cagayan. The naval transports "T.6", "T.9" and "T.10" each embarked 350 troops and the "T.101" and "T.102" each loaded 400 men, "Kinu" embarked 347 men and "Uranami" 150 men. On 26 October 1944 in the Visayan Sea "Kinu" and "Uranami" were attacked by 75-80 aircraft from two groups of Task Group 77.4's escort carriers. TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers from the "USS Natoma Bay" (CVE-62) and 12 Avengers and FM-2 Wildcat fighters of VC-21 from "USS Marcus Island" (CVE-77) made repeated bomb, rocket and strafing hits on "Kinu" and "Uranami". An Avenger from the "USS Manila Bay" (CVE-61) scored two direct bomb hits on "Kinu" and several rocket hits on "Uranami", which sank around noon. At 1130, two more waves of aircraft attacked. A third bomb hit the aft engine room and set "Kinu" on fire. The Japanese transports rescued most of the "Kinu's" crew of 813 men, including Captain Kawasaki. Rear Admiral Sakonjo transferred his flag to the transport "T.10" and made Manila the next day. At 1730, the "Kinu" sank by the stern in 150 feet of water 44 miles southwest of Masbate, Luzon.

"Kinu" was removed from the Navy List on 20 December 1944.

On 15 July 1945 divers from the "USS Chanticleer" (ASR-7) explored the sunken "Kinu" and recovered classified documents and several coding machines.

List of Captains

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Umakichi Yano - 10 May 1922 - 10 November 1922

Capt. Umakichi Yano - 10 November 1922 - 1 December 1923

Capt. Koshiro Oikawa - 1 December 1923 - 1 January 1924

Capt. Masashi Takeuchi - 1 January 1924 - 10 November 1924

Capt. Sunao Matsuzaki - 10 November 1924 - 1 December 1925

Capt. Nihei Sezaki - 1 December 1925 - 1 November 1926

Capt. Yaichi Ono - 1 November 1926 - 15 November 1927

Capt. Takashi Obata - 15 November 1927 - 10 December 1928

Capt. Toshiro Taijiri - 10 December 1928 - 30 November 1929

Capt. Ryukichi Nakajima - 30 November 1929 - 1 December 1930

Capt. Ikuta Sakamoto - 1 December 1930 - 1 December 1931

Capt. Takeo Sakura - 1 December 1931 - 15 November 1933

Capt. Tsuyoshi Kobata - 15 November 1933 - 15 November 1934

Capt. Yoshikazu Endo - 15 November 1934 - 15 November 1935

Capt. Shigeyoshi Miwa - 15 November 1935 - 1 December 1936

Capt. Shigeru Ishikawa - 1 December 1936 - 1 December 1937

Capt. Sohei Tashiro - 1 December 1937 - 15 December 1938

Capt. Seishichi Watanabe - 15 December 1938 - 19 October 1940

Capt. Tokugyo Ito - 19 October 1940 - 2 December 1940

Capt. Akira Yamaki - 2 December 1940 - 15 March 1941

Capt. Shunsaki Nabeshima - 15 March 1941 - 11 August 1941

Capt. Yoshiro Kato - 11 August 1941 - 22 March 1943

Capt. Yoshio Uehara - 22 March 1943 - 4 February 1944

Capt. Tokushi Itakura - 4 February 1944 - 11 June 1944

Capt. Harumi Kawasaki - 11 June 1944 - 26 October 1944



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year = 1990
title = Warship Losses of World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
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publisher = Naval Institute Press
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publisher = Naval Institute Press
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first = Stephen
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External links

*cite web
last = Parshall
first = Jon
coauthors = Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, & Allyn Nevitt
year =
url = http://www.combinedfleet.com/nagara_c.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Nagara" class
title = Imperial Japanese Navy Page (Combinedfleet.com)
work =
accessdate = 2006-06-14
tabular record: [http://www.combinedfleet.com/kinu_t.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Kinu" history]


ee also

*List of World War II ships

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