Kiso file photo [7758]


Ship ClassKuma-class Light Cruiser
BuilderMitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard
Laid Down10 Aug 1918
Launched10 Feb 1920
Commissioned29 Jan 1921
Sunk13 Nov 1944
Displacement5,100 tons standard; 5,832 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
Armament1x127mm HA gun, 2x80mm guns, 3x3x25mm Type 96 AA guns, 2x2x25mm Type 96 AA guns, 6x1x25mm Type 96 AA guns, 4x2x533mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor29mm deck
Aircraft1 floatplane


ww2dbaseKiso was the final Kuma-class light cruiser, and was built with both a foward and an aft flat superstructure, with a rotating aft floatplane take-off platform for testing purposes. Upon completion, she was sent to the Siberian coast of Russia during the Japanese Siberian Intervention against the Red Army. During the late-1920s and mid-1930s, she was based at Port Arthur and patrolled the Chinese coast. On 17 Apr 1939, she fired a 21-gun salute as USS Astoria arrived at Yokohama, Japan with the remains of ambassador Hiroshi Saito.

ww2dbaseOn 10 Nov 1941, as a member of Cruiser Division 21 of the Japanese 5th Fleet, Kiso was sent to the Kurile Islands for patrols. She received repairs at Yokosuka at the end of 1941, and returned to the Kurile Islands between Jan and Apr 1942. In Apr 1942, she unsuccessfully searched for the American task force that launched the Doolittle Raiders, and she scuttled guard boats No. 26 Nanshin Maru and No. 1 Iwate Maru after those vessels had been damaged by USS Enterprise's aircraft during the raid. In May 1942, she escorted converted seaplane tender Kimikawa Maru to scout Kiska and Adak in the Aleutian Islands, and on 28 May 1942 she sailed with the invasion force. On 10 Jun 1942, she was attacked by six B-24 Liberator bombers, and on 14 Jun by PBY Catalina aircraft; she was damaged by near misses during the latter attack and returned to Japan for repairs, arriving on 24 Jun. On 28 Jun, she sailed for Kiska with reinforcements and patrolled the region until she returned to Yokosuka on 16 Jul. Returning to the Aleutian Islands, she participated in the evacuation of Attu on 20 Aug. Between Oct 1942 and Mar 1943, she served in the Kurile and Aleutian Islands. On 4 Apr 1943, she began a major refit, during which its 900-millimeter searchlights were replaced by three Type 96 1,100-millimeter search lights and received two Type 96 twin 25-millimeter anti-aircraft guns and a No. 21 air search radar. On 21 May 1943, she was sent to Kiska, and on 29 Jul she evacuated 1,189 troops. She remained in the Aleutian Islands until Aug 1943.

ww2dbaseOn 15 Sep 1943, Kiso was re-assigned for operations in the South Pacific. She ferried troops from Ponape to Truk, both of the Caroline Islands, in Sep 1943, and returned to Kure, Japan on 4 Oct. On 12 Oct, she embarked troops in Shanghai, China and disembarked them at Truk on 18 Oct, narrowly escaping submarine USS Grayback en route in the East China Sea. On 21 Oct, 53 miles from Cape St. George, she was attacked by Australian Beaufort bombers from Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; she was hit by a 250-pound bomb and forced her to return to Maizuru, Japan for repairs, arriving on 10 Nov. During the repairs, she had her two 140-millimeter gun mounts removed in exchange for a dual 127-millimeter high angle gun mount, three triple Type 96 25-millimeter anti-aircraft gun mounts, and a single Type 96 25-millimeter anti-aircraft gun mount. The repair and modifications completed on 3 Mar 1944. Until Jun, she patrolled the Kurile Islands. On 30 Jun, she transported troops to the Bonin Islands, returning to Japan on 3 Jul, and remained in the Inland Sea region until Oct 1944 for training and guard duties.

ww2dbaseKiso and other destroyers departed Sasebo, Japan for the Philippine Islands in late Oct 1944 with carrier Junyo. She was spotted 160 miles west of Cape Bolinao, Luzon, Philippine Islands by submarine USS Pintado, a member of a wolfpack of submarines; Pintado fired all six of her bow torpedoes, but one of the Japanese destroyers sacrificed herself to protect the carrier by moving into the torpedoes' path. In Nov, she sailed with a task force including battleship Yamato, escorting the force part of the way on their journey back to Japan; en route, she was ordered to Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, where she became the flagship of the 5th Fleet. On 13 Nov, Kiso and other ships were attacked by more than 350 carrier aircraft of US Navy Task Force 38 at Manila; she sustained a bomb hit in the bow, another near her boiler rooms, and a third near her aft gun mounts. She sank in shallow water 8 miles north-northwest of Cavite. Most of her crew, including Captain Ryonosuke Imamura, survived the sinking.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Kiso's wreck was salvaged on 15 Dec 1955 by the Nippon Salvage Company.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2009

Light Cruiser Kiso Interactive Map


Light cruiser Kiso at a pier at Shibaura, Tokyo, Japan, 1937Light cruiser Kiso in the Aleutian Islands, 1942; note Arctic camouflageKiso sunken in Manila Bay, Philippine Islands, post-war

Kiso Operational Timeline

29 Jan 1921 Kiso was commissioned into service.

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» Matsuda, Chiaki

Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Aleutian Islands Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2

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Light Cruiser Kiso Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Kiso at a pier at Shibaura, Tokyo, Japan, 1937
See all 3 photographs of Light Cruiser Kiso

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