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Ship History
On January 28, 1937 departs Yokosuka with Kamoi with destroyers Asanagi and Yunagi for Carolines and Marianas to survey the sites for potential military bases. The group visits a total of 21 ports and also surveys 11 locations from the air for sites that can be used as future airfields, and returns to Yokohama by June.

During June 29 - July 5 1937, participates in maneuvers with Yokohama Kokutai, along with Kamoi, Asanagi and Yunagi.


On April 28, 1942 departed Truk as part of "Operation MO", the invasion of Tulagi and Port Moresby. Okinoshima serves as the flagship of Rear Admiral Shima with the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) aboard. The force also includes Azumasan Maru, minelayer Koei Maru escorted by destroyers Kikuzuki and Yuzuki, subchasers Toshi Maru No. 3 and Tama Maru No. 8, special duty minesweepers WA-1 and WA-2, Hagoromo Maru, Noshiro Maru No. 2 and Tama Maru.

On May 3, 1942 entered Queen Carola Harbor then departs bound for Tulagi Harbor and sucessfully disembarks 3rd Kure SNLF without opposition on Tulagi.

On May 4, 1942 at 8:15am, attacked by carrier aircraft from USS Yorktown CV-5 including SBD Dantlesses from VS-5 that failed to score any hits plus TBD Devestators from VT-5 releasing aerial torpedoes. During the attack, Okinoshima suffered minor damage. During the last attack, a torpedo hit Kikuzuki forcing her to beach.

On May 10, departed Rabaul leading the Ocean-Nauru Occupation Force escorted by Uzuki, Mochizuki and Yuzuki.

Sinking History
On May 12, 1942 off New Ireland, during an early morning in a rainstorm, the convoy is spotted at 4:39am by USS S-42 (SS-153) and makes a submerged attack, firing four Mark 10 torpedoes.

Okinoshima is hit in the port fire room and taken under tow by Mochizuki, but capsizes and sinks. Sinking location is listed as St. George's Channel, Bismarck Sea at Lat 5°  6S, Long 153°  48E. Other sources say it was sunk in Queen Carola Harbor off Buka Island. Captain Nomi and crew are rescued.

Repair ship Shoei Maru was dispatched with a trawler to assist Okinoshima, but were too late and were also attacked by USS S-44 (SS-155), sinking Shoei Maru at 2:40pm at Lat 4° 51S, Long 152°  54E. The trawler attacks S-44 and drops 16 or more depth charges, the submarine escapes.

Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War page 301
Combined Fleet - IJN Minelayer OKINOSHIMA:  Tabular Record of Movement
The First Team mentions Okinoshima

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Last Updated
March 16, 2020


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