|Ship Class||Nagara-class Light Cruiser|
|Builder||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|Laid Down||14 Dec 1920|
|Launched||16 Feb 1922|
|Commissioned||15 Sep 1922|
|Sunk||18 Aug 1944|
|Displacement||5088 tons standard; 5832 tons full|
|Machinery||12 Kampon boilers, Gihon geared turbines, 4 shafts|
|Power Output||90000 SHP|
|Range||9,000nm at 10 knots|
|Armament||5x140mm guns, 2x3x25mm Type 96 guns, 2x2x25mm Type 96 guns, 4x1x25mm Type 96 guns, 6x13mm AA guns, 1x2x127mm Type 89 HA gun, 4x2x610mm torpedo tubes, 48 naval mines|
|Armor||62mm belt, 30mm deck|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseLight cruiser Natori was assigned to patrol the Chinese coast soon after her commissioning in 1922, where she remained on and off through the 1920s and 1930s. In 1938, based out of Taiwan, she covered the Japanese invasion of Southern China in the Second Sino-Japanese War. On 26 Nov 1941, she became Rear Admiral Kenzaburo Hara's flagship for Destroyer Squadron 5, and in that role she escorted six transports carrying troops of the Japanese 48th Infantry Division for the invasion of Luzon, Philippine Islands. On 10 Dec, while en route, the convoy was attacked by three B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the US Army Air Force 14th Squadron, which slightly damaged her with near misses. After minor repairs at Mako, Pescadores Islands, she escorted 27 transports with troops of the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 48th Infantry Division and the 4th Tank Regiment to Luzon in late Dec 1941. On 26 Dec, she was assigned to the No. 2 Escort Unit and escorted 43 transports to Singapore. Sailing with the Dutch East Indies invasion force in early 1942, she was engaged in the Battle of the Sunda Strait on 28 Feb. On 10 Mar, she was assigned to Cruiser Division 16. In late Mar, she supported the attack on Christmas Island. On 1 Apr, off Christmas Island, she was attacked by American submarine USS Seawolf, which fired three torpedoes at her; all three torpedoes missed Natori, but cruiser Naka was hit on the starboard by one of the torpedoes. For the remainder of the year, she largely remained in the Java Sea area for patrols. On 21 Dec 1942, she embarked a Special Naval landing Force and transported them to Hollandia, New Guinea. On 9 Jan 1943, she was sighted by American submarine USS Tautog about 33 kilometers southeast of Ambon Island; Tautog fired two torpedoes, hitting Natori in the stern and breaking off the rudder, but she was able to escape. On 21 Jan, she was damaged by a near miss on the starboard side by a 500-pound bomb dropped by a B-24 Liberator bomber of the 90th Bomb Group's 319th Bomb Squadron; she sailed to the Seletar Naval Base in Singapore for repairs that lasted until 24 May.
ww2dbaseUpon completion of her repairs at Singapore, Natori returned to Japan for modernization. She had her No. 5 and No. 7 guns, catapult, and derrick removed for additional anti-aircraft weapons, a Type 21 air-search radar, and hydrophones. The modernization was completed on 1 Apr 1944. She was assigned as the flagship of Central Pacific Fleet's Destroyer Squadron 3.
ww2dbaseOn 5 Jun 1944, Natori embarked an army detachment at Kure, Japan and transported it to Mindanao, Philippine Islands, where she picked up other army troops for Palau Islands, arriving 17 Jun. She returned to Davao, Mindanao and remained there as a guard ship through Aug 1944. While at Davao, she was spotted by American submarine USS Bluegill on 20 Jul, but failed to gain a firing position. On the next day, 21 Jul, Natori evacuated 800 Japanese and Korean comfort women to Davao. On 18 Aug, while 370 kilometers east of Samar, Philippine Islands, Natori was attacked by American submarine USS Hardhead. She was hit by one Mark 23 torpedo on the port side in the boiler room, rendering her dead in the water. Hardhead returned and delivered another salvo of Mark 18 torpedoes, scoring a second hit on Natori on the starboard side amidships. Natori sank at 0704 hours. 330 men lost their lives in the sinking, including Captain Toshi Kubota. 194 survivors were rescued by destroyers Uranami and Kiyoshima, and an additional four survivors were rescued by American submarine USS Stingray. On 12 Sep, destroyer USS Marshall rescued 44 Natori survivors in a lifeboat.
Last Major Revision: Jun 2009
Natori Operational Timeline
|15 Sep 1922||Natori was commissioned into service.|
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939