Kuma file photo [7591]


Ship ClassKuma-class Light Cruiser
BuilderSasebo Naval Arsenal
Laid Down29 Aug 1918
Launched14 Jul 1919
Commissioned31 Aug 1920
Sunk10 Jan 1944
Displacement5,100 tons standard; 5,500 tons full
Length532 feet
Beam46 feet
Draft15 feet
Machinery12 Kampon boilers, Gihon geared turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output90,000 shaft horsepower
Speed36 knots
Range5,000nm at 14 knots
Armament7x140mm guns, 2x80mm guns, 4x2x533mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor64mm belt, 29mm deck
Aircraft1 floatplane (pre-1943)
Catapult1 (pre-1943)


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Kuma saw action shortly after her commissioning as she was sent to support the landing of Japanese troops in Siberia during Japan's Siberian Intervention against the Communists during the Russian Civil War. Subsequently based at Port Arthur, China (now L├╝shunkou), she patrolled Chinese coastal areas between the Kwantung Leased Territory and Tsingtao, China. After the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, she began patrolling further down the Chinese coast.

ww2dbaseOn 10 Apr 1941, Kuma was assigned to Vice Admiral Ibo Takahashi's Cruiser Division 16 of the Japanese 3rd Fleet. With that unit, she supported the invasion of the Philippine Islands in Dec 1941. Between 10 and 11 Dec, she covered landings at Aparri and Vigan at Luzon, Philippine Islands; at the latter location, she was attacked unsuccessfully by five United States Army Air Forces B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. On 22 Dec, she supported the landings at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. On 3 Jan 1942, she was re-assigned to Vice Admiral Rokuzo Sugiyama's Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet and patrolled the Philippine waters until 27 Feb. In Mar, she covered the invasion of the southern Philippine Islands, shelling Cebu harbor on 1 Mar and covering the Zamboanga, Mindanao landing two days later. A Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF) unit based aboard Kuma rescued about 80 Japanese nationals who had been interned. On 9 Apr, Kuma and the torpedo boat Kiji were attacked by US torpedo boats PT-34 and PT-41; Kuma was hit in the bow by one of eight Mark 18 Torpedoes fired, but the torpedo failed to detonate. On 10 Apr, she covered Cebu landings. On 16 Apr, she covered Panay landings. On 6 May, she covered the final assault on the island of Corregidor, the last American strong point in the Philippine Islands. She remained in Philippine waters for patrols until 12 Aug 1942.

ww2dbaseAfter a refit at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan in Sep, Kuma returned to Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands on 20 Sep. She was assigned to Vice Admiral Shiro Takasu's Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet. She picked up troops of the 38th Infantry Division and delivered them to Rabaul, New Britain, Solomon Islands on 10 Oct. She patrolled off Makassar, Celebes between Dec 1942 and April 1943, running several transport missions to Rabaul and New Guinea during that time. Between Apr and May 1943, she was refitted at the Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. She patrolled Dutch East Indies waters between May and Jun. On 23 Jun, her group was attacked by 17 American B-24 Liberator bombers of the 319th Squadron, 90th Bomb Group, US 5th Air Force; she suffered only minor damage from near misses. On the next day, she became the flagship of Cruiser Division 16 as the flag was transferred from Kinu; she led patrols in the Dutch East Indies until 23 Oct. Between 1 Nov and 12 Nov, she received additional anti-aircraft weapons at Singapore. She patrolled the Dutch East Indies and the eastern Indian Ocean until 9 Jan 1944.

ww2dbaseOn 11 Jan 1944, Kuma was sighted by British Royal Navy submarine HMS Tally-Ho off Penang, Malaya. At about 10 miles northwest of Penang, Tally-Ho fired seven torpedoes at Kuma at 1,900 yards; two of them hit her on the starboard side, starting a fire as the depth charges onboard were ignited. She sank by the stern, killing 138 as she went down.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2009


Light cruiser Kuma on patrol off Tsingtao, China, 1930

Kuma Operational Timeline

31 Aug 1920 Kuma was commissioned into service.
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.

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» Daigo, Tadashige
» Niimi, Masaichi

Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands

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Light Cruiser Kuma Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Kuma on patrol off Tsingtao, China, 1930

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