|Ship Class||Furutaka-class Heavy Cruiser|
|Launched||25 Sep 1926|
|Commissioned||1 Sep 1927|
|Sunk||28 Jul 1945|
|Displacement||10,822 tons standard|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAoba, first of a class of two 8300-ton heavy cruisers, was built at Nagasaki, Japan. Commissioned in September 1927, she was assigned to Fifth Squadron (Sentai) until 1933 and thereafter to the Sixth and Seventh Squadrons, serving as their flagship during much of her career. In addition to participation in the Japanese Navy's operational exercises, she frequently served in Chinese waters in the late 1920s and the 1930s during that nation's ordeals with domestic violence and foreign intervention.
ww2dbaseThe cruiser was modernized at Sasebo between 1938 and 1940, receiving new torpedo tubes, an enhanced anti-aircraft gun battery, improved gunfire controls and better aircraft handling facilities. Her bridge structure was rebuilt and bulges added to her hull to compensate for the associated weight increases and improve her stability. After recommissioning in October 1940, Aoba served with the Sixth Squadron during its pre-World War II operations in Japanese, Chinese and central Pacific waters. Soon after war began in December 1941, she took part in the capture of Guam and Wake. In May 1942 she participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea.
ww2dbaseDuring the Guadalcanal campaign that began in August 1942, Aoba was heavily engaged with Allied sea and air forces, participating in the the 9 August Battle of Savo Island and the Battle of Cape Esperance on 13 October. She was seriously damaged by U.S. warship gunfire in the latter action, which took the lives of nearly eighty of those on board, including the Sixth Squadron's commander, Rear Admiral Aritomo Goto.
ww2dbaseAfter repairs, Aoba returned to the south Pacific war zone in February 1943, only to be hit by air attack on 3 April. The badly damaged ship was out of action until December 1943, when she was assigned to the East Indies area. Kept busy for the next ten months carrying supplies and maintaining readiness for offensive operations, she was en route to participate in the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 23 October 1944 when the U.S. submarine Bream (SS-243) hit her amidships with a torpedo. Though further damaged by bombs in October, Aoba was able to reach Japan in mid-December.
ww2dbaseAoba remained at or near Kure, Japan for the rest of the Pacific War, being used only as a floating anti-aircraft battery. In attacks by U.S. carrier planes and Air Force bombers on 24 and 28 July 1945, she was hit several times and sunk in shallow water. Her wreck was scrapped in 1946-47.
ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center
Last Major Revision: Jan 2005
Heavy Cruiser Aoba Interactive Map
Aoba Operational Timeline
|25 Sep 1926||Aoba was launched at Nagasaki, Japan.|
|1 Sep 1927||Aoba was commissioned into service.|
|8 Aug 1942||In the pre-dawn morning, 7 Japanese cruisers and 1 destroyer under Gunichi Mikawa departed Kavieng, New Ireland and Rabaul, New Britain, sailing south without being detected; after sundown, the force caught Allied warships by surprise off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands; in the Battle of Savo Island, Japanese cruisers ChÅkai, Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa, and Furutaka used Type 93 torpedoes and gunfire to sink US cruisers USS Quincy, Vincennes, and Astoria and Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra; 1,077 US personnel were killed in this battle (Canberra was badly damaged and was ultimately scuttled by a US destroyer).|
|28 Jul 1945||Aoba, serving as a floating anti-aircraft battery at Kure in Japan, was attacked and sunk in shallow water.|
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal
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