Nagara file photo [7832]


Ship ClassNagara-class Light Cruiser
BuilderSasebo Naval Arsenal
Laid Down9 Sep 1920
Launched25 Apr 1922
Commissioned21 Apr 1922
Sunk7 Aug 1944
Displacement5,570 tons standard
Length535 feet
Beam48 feet
Draft16 feet
Speed36 knots
Range5,000nm at 36 knots
Armament6x140mm guns, 1x127mm high-angle gun, 2x3 + 6x2 + 14x1 25mm anti-aircraft guns, 2x4x610mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor62mm belt, 30mm deck
Aircraft1 floatplane (removed in 1944)
Catapult1 (removed in 1944)


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Nagara was the lead ship of her class of light cruisers. Shortly after her commissioning in 1922, she was assigned to the Japanese naval base at Port Arthur (now Lushunkou), China, and was stationed there for parts of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1937, she provided support for the Japanese ground forces during the Second Battle of Shanghai. Between late 1937 and 1937, she patrolled in the Yangtze River in China. In Feb 1939, she participated in the invasion of Hainan Island off southern China. Between 30 Jan and 8 Apr 1941, she participated in the invasion of French Indochina. Between 10 Jun and 9 Sep, she supported Japanese troops in southern China. On 10 Sep, she was assigned to Cruiser Division 16 of the Third Fleet. On 26 Nov 1941, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Kyuji Kubo's Fourth Surprise Attack Unit. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, she was at the Palau Islands. Between 11 and 12 Dec, she covered the landings at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Between 24 and 30 Dec, she covered landings in southeast Luzon. In Jan 1942, she covered landings of the Sasebo No. 1 Special Naval Landing Force at Menado, Kema and Kendari in the Celebes. On 25 Jan, while at Kendari, the destroyer Hatsuharu collided with Nagara, damaging the her hull, leading to Rear Admiral Kubo transferring his flag to destroyer Hatsushimo so that Nagara could sail to Davao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands for repairs. She returned to the Celebes on 4 Feb, and Kudo moved his flag to Nagara again, and immediately set sail with the invasion force for Makassar, Celebes. In the night of 6 Feb, the invasion force was spotted by American submarine Sculpin, which fired two Mark 14 torpedoes for Nagara; one of them missed and the other prematurely exploded. On 17 Feb, she escorted transports which carried the 48th Infantry Division for the invasion of Bali and Java islands; during this invasion, she was spotted and fired upon by British submarine Truant, but all torpedoes fired at her missed. On 10 Mar, the Third Fleet was disbanded and replaced by the Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet; Nagara remained in Cruiser Division 16, now under Rear Admiral Kenzaburo Hara. On 29 Mar, she covered the invasion of Christmas Island; during this operation, American submarine Seawolf fired three torpedoes at her, and all of them missed. On 2 Apr 1942, she departed for Maizuru, Japan for refitting. Upon completion, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Susumu Kimura's Destroyer Squadron 10. During the Battle of Midway, she escorted the Carrier Striking Force; during the battle, she unsuccessfully attacked the American submarine Nautilus after the submarine attempted to torpedo battleship Kirishima, and later in the battle hosted Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo after the carrier Akagi was disabled. She returned to Japan after the Midway actions on 13 Jun. On 14 Jul 1942, she was transferred to Truk, Caroline Islands, arriving on 16 Aug. On 25 Aug, she participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. On 25-26 Oct, she participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz. On 9 Nov, her destroyer squadron set sail with 14,500 men, heavy weapons, and supplies to Guadalcanal, and the force was engaged in the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 13 Nov, in which she took a 5-inch shell hit from cruiser San Francisco. On 15 Nov, while sailing as screen for heavier ships which were tasked to bombard Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, the force was engaged in the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. On 20 Nov, she became Rear Admiral Takama's flagship for Destroyer Squadron 4. In late 1942, she returned to Maizuru for a refit. While conducting gunnery exercises off Saipan, Mariana Islands in early 1943, she sustained minor superstructure damage after an accidental shell explosion. She returned to Truk on 25 Jan, and helped to evacuate Guadalcanal in early Feb. In Jun 1943, she transported the Yokosuka No. 2 Special Naval Landing Force to Nauru Island. In Jul 1943, while escorting carrier Junyo toward New Guinea, she detonated a naval mine laid by Australian PBY Catalina aircraft, and sustained minor damage at the bottom of her stern. On 20 Jul, she became the flagship of Rear Admiral Shunji Isaki's Destroyer Squadron 2 of the Second Fleet; on 20 Aug, she was relieved of the duty and reassigned to the Eighth Fleet. On 1 Nov, she became the flagship of the Fourth Fleet. On 22 Nov, she was attacked by American dive bombers off of Truk, sustained damage, and was ordered to return to Maizuru in Jan 1944 for repairs. She arrived at Maizuru on 26 Jan, and while being repaired, she had her No. 7 140-millimeter gun, fore and aft torpedo tubes, and catapult removed for additional anti-aircraft weapons. On 15 May 1944, she became the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 11 of the Combined Fleet. In Jul, she received more anti-aircraft weapons at Yokosuka, Japan. On 7 Aug, en route from Kagashima to Sasebo, Japan, she was sighted by American submarine Croaker, which hit her on the starboard side with one of the four torpedoes fired. She sank by the stern with 348 lives, including Captain Giichiro Nakahara.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2009

Light Cruiser Nagara Interactive Map


Light cruiser Nagara off Sasebo, Japan, 1932


Map depicting Japanese and US Naval movements during the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal the night of Nov 14, 1942.

Nagara Operational Timeline

21 Apr 1922 Nagara was commissioned into service.
15 Jun 1942 Nagara transferred 500 wounded survivors of the Battle of Midway to hospital ship Hikawa Maru.
8 Apr 1943 Nagara and Yugure departed Truk, Caroline Islands at 1335 hours to make rendezvous with disabled transport ship Kosei Maru (torpedoed by USS Tunny on 7 Apr 1943).
9 Apr 1943 Nagara and Yugure was joined by Yuzuki and Yugiri at 0440 hours, and at 0530 hours the group arrived at disabled transport ship Kosei Maru's location; the transport was torpedoed by USS Tunny two days prior. The destroyers began an anti-submarine sweep and at 0558 hours Yuzuki dropped several depth charges against a possible target. At 1308, while in two by Nagara, Kosei Maru foundered and sank; 137 survivors were taken on by Nagara.
10 Apr 1943 Nagara and Yugure arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.

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Search WW2DB
More on Nagara
» Horiuchi, Shigetada
» Takagi, Takeo

Event(s) Participated:
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Guangdong Operation
» Battle of Hainan
» Indochina Campaign
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Celebes and Moluccas
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign

Partner Sites Content:
» Nagara Tabular Record of Movement

Light Cruiser Nagara Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Nagara off Sasebo, Japan, 1932

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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