Oi file photo [7671]


Ship ClassKuma-class Light Cruiser
BuilderKawasaki Shipyard, Kobe, Japan
Laid Down24 Nov 1919
Launched15 Jul 1920
Commissioned10 Oct 1921
Sunk19 Jul 1944
Displacement5,100 tons standard; 5,900 tons full
Length532 feet
Beam46 feet
Draft15 feet
Machinery12 Kampon boilers, Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output90,000 shaft horsepower
Speed34 knots
Range5,000nm at 14 knots
Armament7x140mm guns, 2x80mm guns, 4x2x533mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor64mm belt, 29mm deck
Aircraft1 floatplane


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Oi was a training vessel with the Japanese Navy between 1928 and 1939 at the Imperial Navy Academy at Etajima, Hiroshima, Japan. Her role as a training vessel was interrupted twice, first in early 1932 during the First Battle of Shanghai and in 1937 during the first month of the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1941, she was docked at Maizuru, Japan to be converted into a torpedo cruiser, during which she took on ten Type 92 Model 3 quadruple mount torpedo tube launchers for Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes. On 30 Sep 1941, the conversion was complete, and she was assigned to Cruiser Division 9 of the First Fleet. When the Pacific War began, she was escorting battleships from Hashirajima, Hiroshima to the Bonin Islands and back. On 12 Jan 1942, she hosted Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki as he inspected her unit; during the trip Matome expressed disapproval for the use of cruisers as torpedo vessels. Between Jan and Apr 1942, she escorted transports between Hiroshima and Mako, Pescadores Islands. On 29 May 1942, she departed as a part of the Aleutian Screening Force during the invasion of the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific Ocean; she returned to Japan on 17 Jun 1942. Between Aug and Sep, she was converted into fast transports along with her sister ship Kitakami, in which their torpedo tubes were reduced, and they took on two Daihatsu landing barges and more anti-aircraft guns. In Sep, she transported men of the Maizuru No. 4 Special Naval Landing Force to Truk of the Caroline Islands. Between Oct and Dec, she transported troops and supplies to various bases in the Pacific. On 21 Nov, Cruiser Division 9 was disbanded, and Oi joined the Combined Fleet. On 24 Dec 1942, she docked at Kure, Japan for maintenance. Starting on 12 Jan 1943 until Feb 1943, she joined in the effort to reinforce New Guinea, transporting elements of the 20th Infantry Division and 41st Infantry Division. On 15 Mar, she was assigned to the Southwest Area Fleet and performed escort duties. On 23 Jun, she was attacked by B-24 Liberator bombers of 319th Bomb Squadron of United States Army 5th Air Force, but was not damaged. On 1 Jul 1943, she was assigned to Cruiser Division 16 of the Southwest Area Fleet based at Surabaya, Java. In Aug, she received repairs at Seletar Naval Base at Singapore. Between Aug 1943 and Jan 1944, she made four troop transport runs to the Nicobar and Andaman Islands. Between 27 Feb and late Apr, she escorted heavy cruisers Tone, Chikuma, and Aoba during commerce raiding missions in the Eastern Indian Ocean, generally in the Singapore area. In May, she transported troops in the Dutch East Indies, and in the following month she patrolled the Java Sea. On 6 Jul 1944, she departed from Surabaya, Java for Manila, Philippine Islands. En route, on 19 Jul, she was sighted in the South China Sea 570 miles south of Hong Kong by American submarine USS Flasher. At the distance of 1,400 yards, Flasher fired four stern torpedoes, hitting Oi with two of them on the port side, though only one exploded. Oi's aft engine room was immediately flooded. At the distance of 3,500 yards, Flasher fired her four bow torpedoes, and they all missed. At 1725 hours that day, Oi gave in to her wounds and sank by the stern. 369 men, including Captain Katsuo Shiba, were rescued; 153 men were lost in the sinking.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2009


Light cruiser Oi off Kure, Japan, 1923

Oi Operational Timeline

10 Oct 1921 Oi was commissioned into service.
1 Apr 1931 Masaichi Niimi was named the commanding officer of cruiser Oi.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. bob higgs says:
21 Dec 2010 07:56:27 PM

interesting class of ships, if only the torpedo potential had been used.they were fast, agile till they were made into emer. transport/ resupply ships.still looking for the tamia kits.

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» Niimi, Masaichi

Event(s) Participated:
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» Interrogation Nav 37, Lieutenant Commander Noriteru Yatsui

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Light Cruiser Oi Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Oi off Kure, Japan, 1923

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