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Kako file photo [1515]


Ship ClassFurutaka-class Heavy Cruiser
Launched10 Apr 1925
Commissioned1 Jul 1926
Sunk10 Aug 1942
Displacement10,507 tons standard
Length595 feet
Beam51 feet
Draft18 feet
Speed33 knots


ww2dbaseKako, a 7100-ton Furutaka class heavy cruiser built at Kobe, Japan, was commissioned in July 1926. Assigned to the Fifth Squadron (Sentai) from then until 1933, she served in Japanese and Chinese waters, participating in fleet maneuvers and combat operations in China. The cruiser was given a major refit in 1929-30, improving her machinery and slightly changing her appearance. Briefly operating with Sentai 6 in 1933, Kako was present for the naval review off Yokohama in late August. She went into guard ship status in November of that year and into reserve in 1934. In July 1936, she began an extensive reconstruction at Sasebo.

ww2dbaseKako returned to service in December 1937 almost completely transformed. Her original six 200mm single gun mounts had been replaced by three twin 203mm gun turrets. She now had new anti-aircraft machine guns and torpedo tubes, improved gunfire control equipment, different boilers, a wider hull and a generally altered appearance. Reassigned to Sentai 6, she operated in Japanese home waters and off China in the years leading up to the Pacific war.

ww2dbaseWhen Japan attacked U.S. and British positions in December 1941, Kako took part in the assaults on Guam and Wake. In March and April 1942, she supported operations against New Guinea, the northern Solomon Islands and the Admiralty Islands. In early May she covered landings at Tulagi, in the southern Solomons, and escorted the carrier Shoho and the Port Moresby invasion force during the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7-8 May. After being overhauled at Kure in May and June, Kako was sent to the vicinity of the northern Solomon Islands. When U.S. Marines invaded Guadalcanal and Tulagi on 7 August 1942, she was one of seven Japanese cruisers ordered south to intervene. In the 9 August night Battle of Savo Island, these ships inflicted a serious defeat on a joint U.S.-Australian task force. While steaming toward Kavieng, New Ireland, on 10 August 1942, Kako was torpedoed and sunk by the U.S. submarine S-44 (SS-155).

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Heavy Cruiser Kako Interactive Map


Kako as first completed in 1926, with short smokestacksKako, circa 1926
See all 10 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Kako

Kako Operational Timeline

1 Jul 1926 Kako was commissioned into service.
8 Aug 1942 In the pre-dawn morning, 7 Japanese cruisers and 1 destroyer under Gunichi Mikawa departed Kavieng, New Ireland and Rabaul, New Britain, sailing south without being detected; after sundown, the force caught Allied warships by surprise off Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands; in the Battle of Savo Island, Japanese cruisers Chōkai, Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa, and Furutaka used Type 93 torpedoes and gunfire to sink US cruisers USS Quincy, Vincennes, and Astoria and Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra; 1,077 US personnel were killed in this battle (Canberra was badly damaged and was ultimately scuttled by a US destroyer).
10 Aug 1942 Japanese cruiser Kako was struck by three torpedoes from USS S-44 90 miles east of Kavieng, New Ireland at 0806 hours and sank at about 0815 hours; 34 were killed, 582 survived.

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» Kondo, Nobutake

Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Coral Sea
» Guadalcanal Campaign

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Heavy Cruiser Kako Photo Gallery
Kako as first completed in 1926, with short smokestacksKako, circa 1926
See all 10 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Kako

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