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  Haguro 羽黒
IJN
Myoko Class Heavy Cruiser

13,300 Tons
661' 9" x 68' x 20' 9"
10 x 203mm guns
6 x 120mm guns
8 x 127mm guns
2 x 13mm MG
12 x torpedo tubes
two seaplanes

Click For Enlargement
3rd BG Nov 2, 1943
Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding at Nagasaki. Laid down March 16, 1925 as hull No. 420 on the no. 2 slipway as Myoko Class Heavy Cruiser. Launched March 24, 1928 as HIJMS Haguro 羽黒 named after Mount Haguro (Mt. Haguro) in Yamagata Prefecture in Japan armed with 200mm 50 cal Type 3 (No. 1) guns. On October 1, 1929 Captain Keitaro Hara was assigned as chief equipping officer. Commissioned April 25, 1929 into the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and attached to Sasebo Naval District with Captain Keitaro Hara in command.

On November 30, 1929 assigned to Captain Sekizo Uno. On October 22, 1930 embarked Emperor Hirohito and his entourage who spent two nights aboard then disembarked at Kirishima. On December 1, 1930 Captain Sonosuke Kobayashi assumes command. On October 10, 1931 Captain Naokuni Nomura assumes command. On February 14, 1933 Captain Jo Morimoto assumes command. On November 15, 1933 Captain Minoru Yamaguchi assumes command. On November 15, 1935 Captain ( Samejima Tomoshige assumes command.

During 1936 at Sasebo undergoes reconstruction at Sasebo Navy Yard with her her original main guns replaced with with 203mm guns (No. 2) with work completed by June 29, 1936.

A second reconstruction is completed at the Kure Naval Arsenal on April 28, 1941. Assigned to Captain M. Terado.

Wartime Service
On December 2, 1941 assigned to CruDiv 5 with Myoko and Nachi. On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War patriciated in "Operation M" the attack on the southern Luzon in the Philippines. On December 11, 1941 povided cover for the Japanese landing at Legaspi afterwards departed for Palau between December 15, 1941 until December 17, 1941. During December 19, 1941 until December 20, 1941 covered the Japanese landing at Davao. On December 24, 1941 covered the Japanese landing at Jolo then departed for Palau until December 29, 1941.

On December 31, 1941 arrived at Davao. On January 4, 1942 attacked the U. S. Navy anchorage in Malalag Bay off Davao Gulf. While anchored at Davao Gulf, a B-17 Flying Fortresses from Java bombed Haguro, but fail to cause any damage.

On January 9, 1941 departs Davao as part of "Operation H" the invasion of Celebes covering the Japanese landings at Menado and Kema on January 11, 1941 until January 14, 191 and Kendari on January 24, 1941. Two days later, USS Sailfish (SS-192) claims torpedo hits on Haguro, but the ship was not damaged.

On January 29-31 1942 depart Davao for Bangka Roads off Celebes to cover the landing at Ambon. Afterwards, supports the landings at Makassar February 5-10. Engaged the enemy off Makassar on February 8. Afterwards, landings at Dili and Kupang on February 17-20. Departs Staring Bay on February 24. Two days later, her E13 Jake is damaged while being lifted aboard and the pilot injured.

On February 27, 1942 participated in the Battle of the Java Sea and participated in the sinking of HMS Exeter and HMS Encounter. On March 1, 1942 engaged in another action off southern Borneo.

PARTIAL LIST

On May 7, 1942 participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Afterwards, took part in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942. In late January 1943, assisted with the the Japanese evacuation from Cape Esperence on Guadalcanal.

PARTIAL LIST

On November 2, 1943 in the morning during the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay and withdrew to Simpson Harbor off Rabaul sustained light damage and afterwards withdrew to Simpson Harbor off Rabaul and was attacked by U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) 5th Air Force B-25 Mitchells on "Black Tuesday" on a low level strike against Rabaul. During the air raid, Haguro was undamaged but a B-25 Mitchell from the 3rd Bomb Group (3rd BG) photograhed Haguro at low level.

PARTIAL LIST

On June 19, 1944 she survived the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

PARTIAL LIST

During the Battle of Leyte Gulf October 23–25, 1944 suffered light damage including damage to the no. 2 turret.

PARTIAL LIST

On May 14, 1945 at 6:00am departs Singapore with Vice Admiral Hashimoto and Rear Admiral Sugiura aboard and two E13A1 Jakes escorted by Kamikaze via the Malacca Strait bound for the Andaman Islands. On May 15, 1945 at 3:41pm spotted by a TBF Avenger from No. 851 Squadron from HMS Emperor that released two 500 bombs and claimed a hit, but Haguro is undamaged.

Meanwhile, destroyers from 26th Destroyer Flotilla are ordered to intercept including HMS Saumarez (G12), HMS Verulam, HMS Vigilant plus HMS Venus, HMS Virago. At 10:40pm the destroyers make radar contact with the Japanese warships.

Sinking History
On May 16, 1945 while in the Strait of Malacca (Malacca Strait) with Kamikaze to stern, the destroyers undetected close to a range of 28,000 yards and array themselves into a semi-circle spanning from the northwest to the east.

At 1:00am, Haguro spots the enemy only 12,000 yards away and begins zigzagging and begins turning to the northwest with the destroyers in pursuit. At 1:05am reverses course to the southeast with only 6,000 yards between the Japanese and British.

Starting at 1:14am until 2:02am the destroyers open fire with gunfire and release Mark IX torpedoes. Haguro returns fire straddling HMS Saumarez (G12) twice with main gun shells and claims a hit. At 1:20am hit by a torpedo that floods the forward generator room and causes fires in fuel cargo on deck and lost speed and develops a 15° list to port. Aboard, the forward magazine was flooded and generates smoke while fuel drums are tossed overboard.

At 1:35am a second torpedo hits the port flooding the forward engine room and causes the list to increase to 35° and dead in the water with anti-aircraft guns on the port side unable to fire due to the list angle. Aboard the bridge, Vice Admiral Hashimoto and other senior officers are killed and Captain Ono is injured by gunfire. The main guns are disabled from the power outage while a few anti-aircraft guns on the starboard side continue to return fire. Counterflooding is ordered to flood the starboard engine room. Another torpedo hit the forward section causing more damage.

At 2:32am, Haguro sank bow first at approximately Lat 4°  49N Long 99°  42E roughly 55 miles west-southwest of Penang. During the engagement and sinking, 900 crew are lost including Vice Admiral Hashimoto and Rear Admiral Sugiura (posthumously promoted Vice Admiral). During the same engagement, Kamikaze sustained light damage but escaped to Penang. On June 20, 1945 Haguro was officially removed from the Navy List.

Rescue
On May 17, 1945 three E13A1 Jakes from Penang spot survivors in the sea and release life rafts and supplies. Meanwhile, Kamikaze returns and rescued 320 crew, including ten severely injured. Soon afterwards, six of the severely injured die.

Shipwreck

On March 4, 2004 a group of divers from MV Empress including Kevin Denlay located Haguro at a depth of 220' / 67m roughly 55 miles west-southwest of Penang. The shipwreck is upright, covered in trawler nets with her hull opposite her forward turrets buried in the seabed to about her original waterline, but this level gradually reduces until at the stern her outer propellers and shafts are actually up above the seabed.

Her foremast and the top half of the bridge structure are missing/collapsed. Her mainmast is collapsed. Her funnels are missing. British hits are visible in places. The bow section forward of No. 2 turret is decimated. The No. 1 turret and barbette were completely uprooted and now lay across the wreck, the rear of the turret on the starboard sea bed and the barrels pointing vertically towards the surface. Her No. 2 turret is trained to starboard at approximately the 1 o’clock position, with its roof collapsed and both barrels and breach blocks missing (not replaced after bomb damage at Leyte Gulf). The no. 3 turret guns are askew and trained to the port quarter in the 8 o’clock position. Both her stern main turret guns point almost directly astern. Just behind the no. 5 turret, the wreck is broken completely in half, although the stern section is still partially attached and heavily damaged on the port side.

References
IJN Haguro: Tabular Record of Movement
Explorers Club Expedition Operation Dukedom 2010 EC Flag 52 Report [PDF]
Thanks to Kevin Denlay for additional information

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Last Updated
August 13, 2020

 

Map
Lat 4 49N
Long 99 42E

SCUBA
220' / 67m
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