Kuma-class Light Cruiser
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
This article refers to the entire Kuma-class; it is not about an individual vessel.
ww2dbaseThe Kuma-class light cruisers were initially designed as fast-sailing torpedo-attack cruisers. To this effect, Kitakami and Oi were equipped with 32 and 40 torpedo tubes, respectively. However, the evolution of naval aviation and simply the lack of such an opportunity meant that they never served in that role in the Pacific War. Nevertheless, their versatility led them to serve in a number of different roles through the war despite of their age.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2009
Kuma-class Light Cruiser Interactive Map
Kuma-class Light Cruiser Operational Timeline
|31 Aug 1920||Kuma was commissioned into service.|
|29 Jan 1921||Tama was commissioned into service.|
|29 Jan 1921||Kiso was commissioned into service.|
|15 Apr 1921||Kitakami was commissioned into service.|
|10 Oct 1921||Oi was commissioned into service.|
|1 Apr 1931||Masaichi Niimi was named the commanding officer of cruiser Oi.|
|2 Feb 1938||Troops of Japanese No. 1 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force, 284 men, landed at Yantai, Shandong Province, China, supported by light cruiser Kuma (flagship of the operation). No. 5 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force and No. 6 Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force would soon arrive to reinforce No. 1 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force, which met unexpected resistance.|
|9 Apr 1942||Before dawn, Kuma was attacked by US motor torpedo boats PT-34 and PT-41 in the Cebu Strait between Cebu and Bohol in the Philippine Islands but sustained no damage; the only torpedo that hit Kuma failed to detonate. PT-34 would be found and destroyed by aircraft after daybreak, killing 2.|
|26 Mar 1943||During the Battle of the Komandorski Islands, Japanese cruisers Nachi, Maya, Tama, and Abukuma with destroyers Wakaba, Hatsushimo, Ikazuchi, Inazuma, and Usugumo plus three transport ships engaged United States Navy cruisers Salt Lake City and Richmond escorted by destroyers Coghlan, Bailey, Dale, and Monaghan in one of the very few pure naval surface battles of World War II involving long-range guns. Nachi was forced to push one of her floatplanes overboard (concussion damage from her own guns), fired several Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes at the US forces (none of which hit), and received five hits (killing 14). Salt Lake City sustained moderate damage and was dead in the water for a short time. Bailey, Coghlan, and Monaghan made a bold torpedo attack that became known as the Charge of the Irish Destroyers.|
|30 Nov 1945||Kitakami was decommissioned from service.|
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943
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