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Ship ClassFurutaka-class Heavy Cruiser
Launched24 Oct 1926
Commissioned1 Sep 1927
Sunk14 Nov 1942
Displacement10,822 tons standard
Length595 feet
Beam57 feet
Draft18 feet
Speed33 knots


ww2dbaseKinugasa, an 8300-ton Aoba class heavy cruiser built at Kobe, Japan, was commissioned in September 1927. Her early service was as flagship of the Fifth Squadron (Sentai), and she operated for virtually her entire career with that unit and the Sixth and Seventh Squadrons. In 1928, she became the first Japanese combat ship to carry an aircraft catapult. Kinugasa served off China in 1928 and 1929 and on several occasions during the 1930s. Placed in reserve in September 1937, she was extensively modernized and did not recommission until the end of October 1940.

ww2dbaseKinugasa was assigned to the Sixth Squadron during the year leading up to the start of the Pacific War. In December 1941, the war's first month, she took part in the seizure of the American outposts at Guam and Wake. She participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 and in the heavy fighting to retake Guadalcanal later in the year. During the latter campaign, she took part in the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August, the Battle of Cape Esperance on 13 October and in the shelling of Guadalcanal's Henderson Field on 14 November 1942. While withdrawing on the morning after that bombardment, Kinugasa was sunk by planes based at Henderson Field and on the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6).

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa Interactive Map


Furutaka at anchor off Shinagawa, Japan, Oct 1935; note Aoba and Kinugasa in backgroundJapanese cruiser Aoba or Kinugasa, circa 1930s
See all 5 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa


1944 United States Army map of New Georgia and Rendova Islands with a portion of the Solomon Sea in the Solomon Islands.

Kinugasa Operational Timeline

1 Sep 1927 Kinugasa 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).
14 Nov 1942 Japanese Furutaka-class Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa was sunk by planes based at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and by carrier planes from USS Enterprise as Kinugasa was withdrawing from a bombardment of Guadalcanal.

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

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Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa Photo Gallery
Furutaka at anchor off Shinagawa, Japan, Oct 1935; note Aoba and Kinugasa in backgroundJapanese cruiser Aoba or Kinugasa, circa 1930s
See all 5 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa

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