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Kure Naval Arsenal

Type   Shipyard
Historical Name of Location   Kure, Hiroshima, Japan

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe Japanese Navy established the Kure Naval District (or Second Naval District) in Hiroshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan in 1889. In the following year, construction of a major shipbuilding and ship repairing facility began, under the direction of French engineer Louis-Émile Bertin; some of the equipment that would be installed at Kure were moved from the former Onohama shipyard near the city of Kobe to the east. In 1897, unprotected cruiser Miyako became the first ship to be launched at Kure. In 1903, after a naval reorganization, the shipyard was officially named Kure Naval Arsenal. In the early 1900s, Japan proclaimed Kure to be the most advanced shipyard in East Asia. Over the years, major steel works, ammunition works, and other heavy industrial plants were established to support the Kure Naval Arsenal, some with foreign expertise, namely British and French. By the 1930s, Kure had emerged as one of the four main warship-building shipyards of the Japanese Navy. Among the shipyard's well known productions were Japan's first fleet carrier Akagi, largest battleship in the world Yamato, and submarine I-168 which sank USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway. Notable commanding officers of the Kure Naval District, who oversaw the operations of the naval arsenal from a high level, included future diplomat Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura (1930-1931), future Combined Fleet commanding officer Admiral Soemu Toyoda (1941-1942), and Pearl Harbor raider Admiral Chuichi Nagumo (1943), among others. The importance of the shipyard, as was the importance of the naval district overall, led to it being a main target for US attacks during the war. By the time the war ended, over 70% of the buildings and equipment of the Kure Naval Arsenal was deemed destroyed beyond repair; approximately 1,900 workers and other personnel stationed at Kure were killed. After the war, the shipyard was turned over to Ishikawajima Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Limited, a civilian firm, while some of the naval facilities were taken over by the US Navy.

ww2dbaseToday the facilities formerly of the Kure Naval Arsenal are operated by IHI Corporation, a successor entity of Ishikawajima. The Kure Maritime Museum, nicknamed "Yamato Museum", opened its door in 2005 just to the north of the shipyard.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Ships Constructed at Kure Naval Arsenal

AkagiFusoI-68 / I-168NagatoSoryu
AtagoHa-19IbukiNisshinYamato
ChitoseI-400MogamiOyodo
ChuyoI-53NachiSettsu


Kure Naval Arsenal Timeline

10 Nov 1903 The Kure Naval Arsenal was established at Kure, Japan.
18 Jan 1909 The keel of Settsu was laid down at Kure Naval Arsenal, Kure, Hiroshima, Japan.
30 Mar 1911 Settsu was launched at Kure Naval Arsenal, Kure, Hiroshima, Japan.
1 Dec 1916 Captain Chikatami Honda was named the commanding officer of Settsu, and Settsu was placed in reserve at Kure, Japan for a scheduled period of refitting.
1 Apr 1920 Settsu entered Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan for reboilering and hull repairing.
3 Jun 1920 Captain Hisashi Yoko was named the commanding officer of Settsu while the ship was undergoing overhaul at Kure, Japan.
20 Nov 1920 Captain Kazu Takemitsu was named the commanding officer of Settsu while the ship was undergoing overhaul at Kure, Japan.
21 Aug 1921 Settsu completed her work at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
26 Nov 1924 The keel of Nachi was laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
15 Jun 1927 Nachi was launched at the Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
4 Nov 1937 The keel of Battleship No. 1 was laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal in Japan.
8 Aug 1940 Battleship No. 1, the future battleship Yamato, was launched at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
10 Feb 1942 Yamato's 1.5-month fitting out period completed. Deficiencies found were corrected at Kure, Japan. Her initial AA suite was twelve 127-mm guns (6x2), twenty-four 25-mm guns (8x3 enclosed mounts), and four 13.2-mm machine guns (2x2).
17 May 1942 Shokaku, having evaded no less than eight submarines, returned to Kure, Japan for repairs. She was immediately placed in the Reserve Unit of the Mobile Force.
24 May 1942 Repair ship Akashi exited the drydock at Kure, Japan.
18 Nov 1942 I-168 arrived at Kure, Japan and entered drydock for repairs.
27 May 1943 Mutsu arrived at Kure, Japan and entered dry dock No. 4 for hull scraping and re-painting.
12 Jul 1943 Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan for upgrades. A Type 21, Mod 3, air and surface search radar was to be installed. Twelve (4x3) new 25-mm AA guns were to be fitted on the weather deck. Yamato's total 25-mm AA suite would be 36 guns. Her 155-mm wing mount guns were to be provided with coaming armor and their barbettes with 28-mm of additional armor. Yamato's fuel storage would be reduced and her main and auxiliary rudder controls were to be improved.
2 Sep 1943 Destroyer Yukikaze arrived at Kure, Japan where she would be drydocked for repairs and refitting.
22 Sep 1943 Light carrier Ryuho entered the drydocks at Kure, Japan.
27 Sep 1943 Light carrier Ryuho exited the drydocks at Kure, Japan.
16 Jan 1944 Yamato arrived at Kure, Japan and docked in No. 4 drydock for repairs. Yamato would also receive a sloping plate fitted at a 45-degree angle across the lower corner of the upper void compartment between the two longitudinal inboard bulkheads. This modification, proposed to run the full length of the citadel, was installed only in Yamato in the area affected by the torpedo damage received in the previous month.
3 Feb 1944 Yamato undocked from Drydock No. 4 at Kure, Japan.
25 Feb 1944 Assigned to the Second Fleet, Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan to receive upgrades. Two beam triple 6.1 inch (155-mm) turrets were to be removed and replaced by six (3x2) 5-inch (127-mm) HA AA mounts. Twenty-four (8x3) and 26 single 25mm AA mounts were to be added. Shelters were also added on the upper deck for the increased AA crews. Type 13 air search and Type 22 Mod 4 surface search/gunnery control radars were to be installed. The main mast was to be altered. Two 150-mm searchlights were to be removed (later installed ashore at Kure, Japan). Yamato was to be fitted with Type 2 infrared (IR) Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF)/signaling devices mounted midway up on each side of the bridge; the system might had been based on the German Seehund IR device, built around a telescopic sensor that received light-waves in the IR range and registered a readout in the radio shack. The IFF system also included a pair of 20-mm binoculars coaxially mounted with the transmitting IR lamp on the bridge so that another ship could use the IR detector for elementary signaling or as a formation light for station keeping. About this time, Yamato was also fitted with multiple E27 radar detectors copied from the German FuMB 1 Metox R.600.
18 Mar 1944 Yamato exited drydocks at Kure, Japan.
11 Jul 1944 Light carrier Ryuho entered the drydocks at Kure, Japan.
20 Jul 1944 Light carrier Ryuho completed her flight deck repairs and exited the drydocks at Kure, Japan.
2 Aug 1944 Nachi arrived at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
15 Aug 1944 Destroyer Yukikaze completed her repairs at Kure, Japan.
20 Aug 1944 Captain Enpei Kanoka was named the commanding officer of Nachi while the ship was at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
15 Sep 1944 Nachi received 2 twin-mount and 20 single-mount Type 96 25-millimeter anti-aircraft guns at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
14 Oct 1944 Nachi received a Type 13 air search radar at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
1 Apr 1945 Light carrier Ryuho entered the drydocks at Kure, Japan for repairs; the repair would be halted shortly after as the damage was judged to be too extensive.
19 Jul 1945 US Navy Task Force 38 carrier aircraft damaged carrier Amagi, carrier Katsuragi, and battleship Haruna at Kure Naval Shipyard, Japan.
23 Apr 2005 The Maritime History and Science Museum opened in Kure, Japan.

Photographs

Launching of battleship Fuso, Kure, Japan, 28 Mar 1914Aircraft carrier Akagi at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, 6 Apr 1925
See all 28 photographs of Kure Naval Arsenal



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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Kure, Hiroshima, Japan
Lat/Long 34.2320, 132.5540
Kure Naval Arsenal Photo Gallery
Launching of battleship Fuso, Kure, Japan, 28 Mar 1914Aircraft carrier Akagi at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, 6 Apr 1925
See all 28 photographs of Kure Naval Arsenal


Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal