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Heavy Cruiser


Ship History
Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipyard on October 6, 1938. Launched on September 25, 1939. Completed at Kure Naval District on May 31, 1940. Assigned to a training squadron and participated in a crusie to Etajima, Ominato, Dairen, Port Arthur and Shanghai, before returning 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 departs Truk in unsuccessful pursuit of Task Force 11 (USS Lexington) and returns on the 23rd.

During March-April serves as guard ship. On May 4 arrives at Rabaul to support Operation MO, which is cancelled and departs Rabaul on May 13, and arrives at Kavieng the next day and departs for Truk where it serves from May 16 until July on guard duty.

Departs Truk for Kure on July 20 and arrives at Kure for refit on the 26th. During August, drydocked. Four 5-cm guns are removed and replaced by two Type 96 twin-mount 25-mm guns. On August 26 departs Kure. Resumes duty as flagship of the Fourth Fleet. Arrives at Truk September 3 for guard duty.

Departs Truk on November 17 on an inspection cruise to Kwajalein, Roi, Jaluit and Imieji them returns to Truk. Returns to guard duty at Truk from December 2 - 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, then moves to Kwajalein and Roi on October 21, then returns to Truk on November 8. Designated as a training ship attached to the Kure Training Division.

Departs Truk on November 18 wih submarine tender Chogei escorted by destroyers WAKATSUKI and Yamagumo. USS Sculpin makes radar contact with the Chogei Group. Escort observes a surfacing submarine. The submarine then crash-dives. Yamagumo closes the range at 26 knots and drops three depth charges without effect. The CHOGEI group steams away leaving the Yamagumo behind to deal with the submarine, which eventually surfaces and is scuttled. Kashima proceeds to Japan with the CHOGEI group.

On November 25, Kashima arrives at Kure. She begins refit and reorganization as a training ship and is drydocked in mid December and early January 1944. From January 23 - April 15, 1944 seves as training ship for the Etajima Naval Academy. Makes cruises in the western Inland Sea, staging from Etajima and Kure, temporarily attached to General Escort Command and by April 25, 1944 redesignated as training and patrol vessel.

15 May 1944:
KASHIMA begins refit.

26 May 1944:
The refit is completed.

26 May-11 July 1944:
Makes four transport runs from Shimonoseki to Okinawa carrying army reinforcements and supplies.

11 July 1944: Operation "RO-GO" - Emergency Transport of Second Air Fleet Personnel to Formosa:
KASHIMA is assigned to the operation.

18 September 1944:
Departs Kure.

20 September 1944:
Arrives at Kagoshima. Embarks elements of the Second Air Fleet.

22 September 1944:
Departs Kagoshima.

25 September 1944:
Arrives at Keelung, Formosa. Disembarks personnel.

1 October 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

12 October 1944:
Departs Kure for Kagoshima.

14 October 1944:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

16 October 1944:
Departs Kagoshima on another transport run.

19 October 1944:
Arrives at Keelung.

20 October 1944:
Formosa Strait. At 0330, LtCdr (later Rear Admiral/MOH) Richard H. O'Kane's (former XO of WAHOO, SS-238) USS TANG's (SS-306) SJ radar makes contact with a warship at 30,000 yards. O'Kane tracks the target until at 10,000 yards TANG's crew is able to identify the targets as a zigzagging cruiser escorted by two destroyers.

TANG closes to within 2,000 yards of the cruiser's port quarter. From his ONI-41-42 Recognition Manual, O'Kane identifies her as a KATORI-class light cruiser making 20 knots. He sets up at 1,650 yards, but TANG carries only the new Mark 18-1 electric torpedoes. O'Kane realizes that in a stern attack the batteries of the slow 27-knot torpedoes will be exhausted before the torpedoes reach the cruiser. Over the next two hours, O'Kane makes repeated attempts, but fails to close to within the 600 yards spitting distance required for a successful stern shot.[2]

Suddenly, the TANG is illuminated by a destroyer's searchlights. O'Kane crash dives, breaks off his attack on KASHIMA and evades an expected counterattack that does not materialize.

28 October 1944:
KASHIMA arrives at Kure. Resumes training duties in the western Inland Sea.

20 December 1944:
Kure Navy Yard. Begins modifications. KASHIMA's torpedo tubes are replaced by two unshielded twin 40-cal Type 89 127-mm HA-gun mounts. Four triple mount Type 96 25-mm. AA guns and ten single mount guns are also fitted. A Type 22 surface-search radar is fitted. Two Type 2 infra-red communication devices are installed. KASHIMA's aft compartments are modified into concrete-protected magazines for up to 100 depth charges. Four DC throwers, and two DC rails are installed on the quarterdeck. Hydrophones and sonar are also installed.

1 January 1945:
Assigned as the flagship of No. 102 Escort Squadron of the First Escort Fleet. The No. 102 Escort Squadron also includes escort ships (kaibokan) YASHIRO, MIKURA, CD Nos. 2, 33, 34 and 35.

23 January 1945:
Modifications are completed.

6-10 Febuary 1945:
Kure. Eight Type 96 single mount 25-mm AA guns are added bringing her total suite to 38 barrels. A Type 13 air-search radar is installed.

12 February 1945:
Departs Moji escorting a convoy.

18 February 1945:
Arrives at Shanghai.

22 February 1945:
Departs Shanghai for antisubmarine patrols in the Chrisan Island area.

27 February 1945:
South China Sea. 50 miles E of Ningpo. At 0855, a lookout aboard LtCdr (later Captain) Benjamin E. Adam's (former XO of ALBACORE, SS-218) USS RASHER (SS-310) sights KASHIMA at a distance of 10 miles. The cruiser is dropping depth charges and firing her guns. A floatplane, probably a Nakajima E8N2 Dave biplane, is circling over her.

Adams is unsure whether she is attacking a fellow Allied submariner or conducting some sort of trials or ASW exercise. He tracks KASHIMA through his high periscope all day, but does not attack, probably because of the shallow water in the target's area. That night, he loses contact.

13 March 1945:
KASHIMA returns to the Shanghai area.

March-April 1945:
Resumes antisubmarine patrols around the Chrisan Island .

28 April 1945:
Captain Takahashi Chojuro assumes command.

May 1945:
Korean waters. Assigned to convoy-escort and submarine-hunting duties.

19 May 1945:
W half of the Tsushima Strait. At 0127 (JST), ASHIMA collides with and sinks cargo ship DAISHIN MARU. A gasoline tank at KASHIMA's port bow is damaged in the collision and a fire ensues. At 0805, she arrives at Chinkai (Chinhae), Korea.

5 June 1945: American Operation “Barney”:
Tsushima Strait, Japan. Cdr George E. Pierce’s USS TUNNY (SS-282) with LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Richard B. Lynch’s SKATE (SS-305) and LtCdr Lawrence L. Edge’s BONEFISH (SS-223) are organized as the “Polecats” and equipped with FM Sonar gear to detect mines. Once the minefields are detected by the new gear and charted, shipping in the Sea of Japan will be open to predation by American subs.

Japanese passive sonar detects one or more of the Polecats and the alarm is raised. Aboard KASHIMA, the CO of the No. 102 Escort Squadron orders five subchasers to investigate. Aircraft are also called in from the 901st NAG equipped with Mitsubishi G3M Type 96 Nell and G4M Type 1 Betty bombers.

Japanese ASW forces achieve no results. The Polecats then foray in the Sea of Japan for the next several weeks sinking several ships, butBONEFISH is sunk on 19 June by the kaibokan OKINAWA.

30 June 1945:
Southern Korea. Arrives at Chinkai (Chinhae). Makes antisubmarine sweeps in the Tsushima Strait.

5 July 1945:
The No. 102 Escort Squadron is deactivated. KASHIMA is attached to Vice Admiral Kishi Fukuji's (former CO of FUSO) 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.

15 August 1945:
At Nanao at war's end.

20 August 1945:
Departs Nanao.

22 August 1945:
Arrives at Kure.

21 September 1945:
After the end of hostilities, Kashima is employed as a repatriation transport. A deck house is constructed around her main mast and the barrels of her main armament are sawn off. Captain Iura Shojiro (former 6th Fleet Staff Officer) serves as Kashima's captain.

Post War
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. In this role, Kashima had a Japanese crew and would undertake six repatriation trips 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 for Japan arriving Uraga on November 2, 1945 and disembarks the personnel.

13 November 1945: Second Repatriation Trip:
Departs Uraga, near Tokyo.

23 November 1945:
Arrives at Hollandia, New Guinea. Departs the same day.

24 November 1945:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea. Departs the same day.

26 November 1945:
Arrives at Mushu, New Guinea. Departs the same day.

5 December 1945:
Arrives at Okinawa. Departs the same day.

8 December 1945:
Arrives at Otaka, Japan.

31 December 1945: Third Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

8 January 1946:
Arrives at Wewak, New Guinea. Departs the same day.

9 January 1946:
Arrives at Mushu, New Guinea. Departs the same day.

16 January 1946:
Arrives at Otaka. Departs the same day.

17 January 1946:
Arrives at Kure. Captain Yokota Minoru (former CO of I-26) assumes command.

25 January 1946: Fourth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Saeki, Japan.

3 February 1946:
Arrives at Rabaul. Departs the same day.

5 February 1946:
Arrives at Fauro Island (collection point for part of Bougainville). Departs the same day.

14 February 1946:
Arrives at Otaka.

2 March 1946: Fifth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

11 March 1946:
Arrives at Singapore. Departs the same day.

13 March 1946:
Arrives at Saigon, French Indochina.

15 March 1946:
Departs Saigon.

29 March 1946:
Arrives at Kure.

3 April 1946: Sixth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

6 April 1946:
Arrives at Hua Lien, Formosa. Departs the same day.

12 April 1946:
Arrives at Saigon. Departs the same day.

20 April 1946:
Arrives at Otaka.

15 May 1946: Seventh Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

22 May 1946:
Arrives at Singapore. Departs the same day.

25 May 1946:
Arrives at Rembang, Indonesia. Departs the same day.

30 May 1946:
Arrives at Otaka.

3 June 1946: Eighth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

9 June 1946:
Arrives at St Jacques, French Indochina. Departs the same day.

15 June 1946:
Arrives at Bangkok, Thailand.

18 June 1946:
Departs Bangkok.

28 June 1946:
Arrives at Uraga.

7 July 1946: Ninth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Uraga.

11 July 1946:
Arrives at Korojima. [3]

14 July 1946:
Departs Korojima.

17 July 1946:
Arrives at Otaka.

22 July 1946: Tenth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

25 July 1946:
Arrives at Korojima.

3 August 1946:
Departs Korojima.

6 August 1946:
Arrives at Uraga.

15 August 1946: Eleventh Repatriation Trip:
Departs Uraga.

19 August 1946:
Arrives at Korojima.

25 August 1946:
Departs Korojima.

29 August 1946:
Arrives at the port of Hakata, Fukuoka, Kyushu.

26 September 1946: Twelfth Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure.

30 September 1946:
Arrives at Singapore.

3 October 1946
Departs Singapore.

5 October 1946
Arrives at Hong Kong, British Crown Colony. Drydocked.

7 November 1946:
Undocked. Departs Hong Kong.

12 November 1946:
Arrives at Sasebo. During her career as a repatriation vessel, KASHIMA completes transporting some 5,800 former troops to the homeland.

Kashima was transferred from the Repatriation Service to the Home Ministry for scrapping near Nagasaki. The ship was scrapped at the Kawanami Heavy Industries Koyagishima Yard during November 15, 1946 to June 15, 1947.

Combined Fleet HIJMS Kashima: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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