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  Kashima 鹿島
Katori-class cruiser

5,985 Tons (Normal)
6,279 (Full Load)
425' x 9" x 52' 4" x 18' 10"
(As Built 1940)
2x2 140mm main guns
2 x 127mm AA guns
8 x 13mm AA guns
2x2 x 21" torpedo tubes
1 x floatplane and catapult

(Armament August 1942)
2x2 140mm main guns
2 x 127mm AA guns
4 x 25mm AA guns
8 x 13mm AA guns
2x2 x 21" torpedo tubes
1 x floatplane and catapult

(Armament January 1945)
2x2 140mm main guns
4 x 127mm AA guns
38 x 25mm AA guns
8 x 13mm AA guns
4 x Depth Charge Thrower

IJN 1940

RAN Nov 26, 1945
Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Shipyard in Yokohama. Laid down October 6, 1938 as Katori-class cruiser designated Cruiser No. 73. On March 31, 1939 named Kashima after the Kashima Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan. This was the second ship with the name, previously was battleship Kashima scrapped in 1924. Launched September 25, 1939. Commissioned May 31, 1940 in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) under the command of Captain Nabeshima Shunsaku. Assigned to the Kure Naval District to a training squadron for a voyage to Eta jima, Ominato, Dairen, Port Arthur and Shanghai then returns to Yokosuka.

Wartime History
On December 1, 1941 assigned as the flagship of the Fourth Fleet based at Truk Lagoon, and arrives at Truk at January 31, 1942. On February 20, 1942 departs Truk in unsuccessful pursuit of Task Force 11 (TF-11) USS Lexington and returns three days later.

During March 1942 until April 1942 operates as a guard ship. On May 4, 1942 arrives at Rabaul to support Operation MO, which is canceled. On May 13, 1942 departs Rabaul and the next day arrives at Kavieng then after a day departs for Truk and performs guard duty between May 16, 1942 until July 1942.

On July 20, 1942 departs Truk and six days later arrives at Kure. During August 1942 enters drydock where her four 5cm guns are removed and replaced by two twin Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft guns. On August 26, 1941 departs Kure and resumes duty as flagship of the Fourth Fleet and departs for Truk arriving September 3, 1941 and commences guard duty.

On November 17, 1942 departs Truk on a cruise to Kwajalein, Roi, Jaluit and Imieji then returns to Truk and resumes guard duty between December 2, 1943 until April 1, 1943.

In April 1943 departs Truk for Kure for a refit and drydocked, moves to Yokosuka and returns to Truk for training until August 27, 1943 then proceeds to Kwajalein and Roi on October 21, 1943 then returns to Truk on November 8, 1943. Kashima was designated as a training ship attached to the Kure Training Division.

On November 18, 1943 departs Truk with submarine tender Chogei with escorts destroyers Wakatsuki and Yamagumo. Meanwhile, USS Sculpin (SS-191) makes radar contact with the group and escrots observes a surfacing submarine forcing it to crash dive. Yamagumo closes the range at 26 knots and drops three depth charges without effect. The rest of the Chogei group departs leaving the Yamagumo behind to deal with the submarine, which is further damaged and when it surfaces is scuttled.

On November 25, 1943 Kashima arrives at Kure. She begins refit and reorganization as a training ship and is drydocked in mid December and early January 1944. Between January 23, 1944 until April 15, 1944 served as training ship for Etajima Naval Academy and cruised in the western Inland Sea based at staging from Eta jima and Kure, temporarily attached to General Escort Command and by April 25, 1944 redesignated as training and patrol vessel.

On May 15, 1944 begins a refit for eleven days. On May 26, 1944 departs on a transport runs from Shimonoseki to Okinawa carrying army reinforcements and supplies. On July 11, 1944 assigned to Operation RO-GO the emergency transport of Second Air Fleet personnel to Formosa. On September 18, 1944 departs Kure and two days later arrives at Kagoshima and embarks Second Air Fleet personnel. On September 22, 1944 departs Kagoshima and three days later arrives at Keelung and disembarks the personnel. On October 1, 1944 returns to Kure. On October 12, 1944 departs for Kagoshima arriving two days later. On October 16, 1944 departs Kagoshima on another transport run arriving three days later at Keelung.

On October 20, 1944 in the Formosa Strait spotted by USS Tang (SS-306) using SJ radar and tracks the cruiser with two destroyers zig-zagging and closes to a distance of 2,000 yards off Kashima but is unable to reach an attack position and is illuminated by a destroyer searchlight and crash dives. As a precaution, Kashima performs evasive maneuvers in case the submarine fired a spread of torpedoes. On October 28, 1944 arrives Kure and resumes training exercises in the western Inland Sea.

On December 20, 1944 arrives Kure for modifications at Kure Navy Yard including the removal of her torpedo tubes and adding two twin 127mm AA guns and four triple 25mm anti-aircraft guns plus ten single mount 25mm anti-aircraft guns. Also installed is a single Type 22 surface-search radar plus two Type 2 infra-red communication devices for communication, sonar and hydrophones. Aft compartments are modified with concrete shielded magazines for 100 depth charges plus four depth charge throwers and two depth charge rails on the quarterdeck with modifications completed by late January 1945.

On January 1, 1945 assigned as the flagship of No. 102 Escort Squadron, First Escort Fleet with kaibokan (escort ship) Yashiro, Mikura, CD-2, CD-33, CD-34 and CD-35. On February 6, 1945 at Kure undergoes additional modifications with a Type 13 air-search radar installed plus eight more 5mm AA guns are added for a total of 38 aboard.

On February 12, 1945 departs Moji escorting a convoy and six days later arrives Shanghai. On February 22, 1945 departs on an anti-submarine patrol. On February 27, 1945 in the South China Sea spotted by USS Rasher (SS-310) spots Kashima 10 miles away and observes her releasing depth charges, firing guns and a floatplane overhead and tracks the cruiser all day but does not make an attack due to the shallow depth and at night looses contact.

On March 13, 1945 returns to Shanghai and performs anti-submarine patrols in the vicinity until the end of April 1945. On April 28, 1945 Captain Takahashi Chojuro assumes command. During May 1945 performs convoy escort and anti-submarine duties off Korea. On May 19, 1945 in the western Tsushima Strait a collision at sea between Ashima with Daishin Maru causes an explosion that damages Kashima's port bow and a fire. Afterwards, arrives in Chinkai (Chinhae) in South Korea.

On June 5, 1945 Japanese sonar detect enemy submarines and Kashima orders five subchasers to investigate plus Nells and Bettys from 901 Kokutai. No submarines were found. On June 30, 1945 arrives at Chinkai (Chinhae) and performs anti-submarine sweeps in the Tsushima Strait.

On July 5, 1945 the No. 102 Escort Squadron is deactivated and instead attached to the First Escort Fleet. On July 10, 1945 departs Korea bound Maizuru and for the rest of the month operates in the Sea of Japan based at Maizuru. On August 15, 1945 at Nanao when Japan surrenders and later departs for Kure Harbor arriving August 22, 1945.

Post War
On September 21, 1945 Kashima begins conversion into a transport for repatriation and is placed under the command of Captain Iura Shojiro. Her main gun barrels are sawed off and a deck house is built around the main mast. A large Japanese flag was painted amidship and "KASHIMA" in white block letters.

On October 5, 1945 officially removed from the Navy List and turned over to the Allies for use as a transport vessel to repatriate Japanese Prisoners Of War (POW) and civilians back to Japan. Kashima with a Japanese crew undertook six repatriation voyages in the Asia and Pacific region.

On October 10, 1945 departs Kure Harbor on her first repatration trip with Hosho. On October 22, 1945 arrives Jaluit and embarks Japanese POWs then departs bound for Japan arriving at Uraga on November 2, 1945 and disembarks the personnel.

On November 13, 1945 departs Uraga on her second repatration trip. On November 23, 1945 arrives at Hollandia and departs the same day. On November 24, 1945 arrives at Dallman Harbor west of Wewak and departs the same day. On November 26, 1945 arrives Muschu Island and embarks 1,100 Japanese POWs and is inspected by Australian Army Brigadier M. J. Morten, HQ 6th Division and is monitored by HDML 1347 then departs the same day. On December 5, 1945 arrives Okinawa and departs the same day. On December 8, 1945 ends the voyage at Osaka and later returns to Kure Harbor.

On December 31, 1945 departs Kure Harbor on her third repatration trip. On January 8, 1946 arrives at Wewak and departs the same day. On January 9, 1945 arrives at Muschu Island and departs the same day. On January 16, 1946 arrives at Osaka. On January 17, 1946 arrives at Kure Harbor where Captain Yokota Minoru assumes command.

On January 25, 1946 departs Saeki on her fourth repatration trip. On February 3, 1946 arrives Rabaul and departs the same day. On February 5, 1946 arrives at Fauro Island and departs the same day. On February 14, 1946 arrives at Osaka.

On March 2, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her fifth repatration trip. On March 11, 1946 arrives Singapore and departs the same day. On March 13, 1945 arrives at Saigon and departs two days later. On March 29, 1946 returns to Kure Harbor.

On April 3, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her sixth repatration trip. On April 6, 1946 arrives Hua Lien on Formosa and departs the same day. Six days later arrives Saigon and departs the same day. On April 20, 1946 returns to Osaka and later returns to Kure Harbor.

On May 15, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her seventh repatration trip and seven days later arrives at Singapore. and departs the same day. On May 25, 1946 arrives Rembang on Java and departs the same day. Five days later arrives Osaka and later returns to Kure Harbor.

On June 3, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her eighth repatration trip. Six days later arrives at St Jacques (Vũng Tàu) in Indochina and departs the same day. On June 15, 1946 arrives at Bangkok and departs three days later. On June 28, 1946 arrives Uraga.

On July 7, 1946 departs Uraga on her ninth repatration trip and four days later arrives Korojima. On July 14, 1946 departs Korojima and three days later arrives Osaka.

On July 22, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her tenth repatration trip. On July 25, 1946 arrives Korojima and departs on August 3, 1946 and three days later arrives Uraga.

On August 15, 1946 departs Uraga on her eleventh repatration trip. On August 19, 1945 arrives at Korojima and six days later departs. On August 29, 1946 arrives Hakata at Fukuoka and later returns to Kure Harbor.

On September 26, 1946 departs Kure Harbor on her twelfth repatration trip. Four days later arrives at Singapore. On October 3, 1946 departs Singapore and two days later arrives Hong Kong and enters drydock for repairs for a month. On November 7, 1946 departs Hong Kong and five days later arrives Sasebo. As a repatriation transport, Kashima transported roughly 5,800 Japanese Prisoners Of War (POW) from the Asia-Pacific region home to Japan.

Kashima was transferred from the Repatriation Service to the Home Ministry. Starting November 15, 1946 scrapped at the Kawanami Heavy Industries Koyagishima Yard near Nagasaki until June 15, 1947.

Combined Fleet HIJMS Kashima: Tabular Record of Movement
Royal Australian Navy HDML 1347 (photos Wewak November 26, 1945)

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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