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Oyodo file photo [1659]


Ship ClassOyodo-class Light Cruiser
BuilderKure Naval Arsenal
Laid Down14 Feb 1941
Launched2 Apr 1942
Commissioned28 Feb 1943
Sunk28 Jul 1945
Displacement8,163 tons standard; 11,433 tons full
Length630 feet
Beam51 feet
Draft20 feet
MachineryGeared turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output110,000 shaft horsepower
Speed35 knots
Range10,600nm at 18 knots
Armament3x2x155mm guns, 4x2x100mm Type 98 AA guns, 6x3x25mm Type 96 AA guns (as completed) or 12x3x25mm + 16x1x25mm Type 96 AA guns (final configuration)
Armor60mm side belt, 30-50mm deck, 25-30mm turrets and barbettes, 40mm conning tower
Aircraft2 floatplanes


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Oyodo was the lead ship and the only ship of her class; her planned sister ship Niyodo was canceled in 1941 due to resources being directed to build carriers. Her hull design was essentially that of an enlarged Agano-class cruiser, but she had different armament configurations and had less armor. All of her primary guns were located in the forward half of the ship, so that her aft section could be freed up for operations of the up to six floatplanes that she could carry, which was vital to her design since she was to be the flagship of a scouting submarines. Because she was not to be primarily a combat ship, unlike other light cruisers in the Japanese Navy, she was not equipped with torpedo tubes.

ww2dbaseOyodo was completed in Feb 1943. She held her trials in Tokyo Bay, Japan, and then was assigned to the Third Fleet on 1 Apr. On 1 May, she was assigned to the Main Body of the Mobile Force. In May, she was prepared to sail for the Aleutian Islands as a response to the American invasion of Attu, but the operation was canceled before she departed as the American conquest of Attu was complete. After a number of training cruises, she sailed for Truk of Caroline Islands, arriving on 15 Jul. Between 19 and 21 Jul, she transported troops to Rabaul, New Britain. On 29 Aug 1943, Captain Katsukiyo Shinoda took over command of the ship from Captain Baron Tomioka Sadatoshi. In Oct, she operated near Wake Island, and on 24 Oct rescued the three-man crew of a B5N2 reconnaissance aircraft. On 6 Dec, while at Truk, Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa boarded her and made her the flagship of the Third Fleet. On 30 Dec, she departed as a troop transport to Kavieng, New Ireland, arriving two days later and was attacked by aircraft from USS Bunker Hill, killing two men and injuring six. On 2 Jan 1944, she escorted damaged transport Kiyosumi Maru to Truk, while also hosting 71 wounded sailors on board.

ww2dbaseAfter returning to Japan, Oyodo was taken out of service starting on 6 Mar to be converted as a flagship. The conversion took place at Yokosuka Naval Yard. Although designed to carry up to six aircraft, in practice she never operated more than two at once, thus she was equipped with a shorter catapult while part of her hangar space was converted to become crews' quarters (original quarters at forward part of the ship were converted to staff quarters). She also received additional anti-aircraft weapons and new surface search radar during the conversion, which was completed on 31 Mar. On 30 Apr, at Kisarazu on Tokyo Bay, she became Admiral Soemu Toyoda's flagship of the Combined Fleet. On 6 May, Captain Toshio Abe took command as the captain. On 15 Aug 1944, Abe was relieved by Captain Kakuro Mutaguchi. On 29 Sep, Toyoda and his staff moved ashore to Keio University in Hiyoshi, Japan, near Yokohama.

ww2dbaseOn 11 Oct 1944, Oyodo set sail. On the next day, at about 2100, American submarine USS Trepang fired six torpedoes at her; though they all missed, one of them hit destroyer Fuyuzuki, damaging her bow and forward gun turret.

ww2dbaseOn 20 Oct, Oyodo left Yashima anchorage in Japan toward the Philippine Islands for the operation that led to the campaign at Leyte. As a part of Ozawa's decoy Northern Mobile Force, she escorted battleship-carrier hybrids Hyuga and Ise while her aircraft performed reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols for the task force. On 25 Oct, while off Cape EngaƱo, the task force was attacked by five waves of American carrier aircraft of Task Force 38. Oyodo was damaged by two near misses and one hit at about 0848 during the first wave. At 1054, Ozawa transferred his flag to Oyodo as his original flagship Zuikaku was critically wounded (and would sink at 1414). In the afternoon, she was hit by two rockets launched by F6F Hellcat fighters and suffered from a near miss. Oyodo and the remainder of the task force returned to Sakawa Bay, Amami Oshima, Ryukyu, Japan as 1200 on 27 Oct. Later that day, Ozawa transferred his flag to Hyuga.

ww2dbaseOn 29 Oct 1944, Oyodo departed from Amami Oshima for a transport mission to Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, arriving on 1 Nov, then moving on to Brunei, and would remain in the South China Sea region for some time.

ww2dbaseOn 26 Dec, while en route to Mindoro, Philippine Islands to attack the American beachhead, Oyodo and her task force were attacked by American B-24 horizontal bombers at 2045. She was hit by two 500-pound bombs, but one of them did not explode. At 2303, cruisers Ashigara and Oyodo fired illuminating shells into Mangarin Bay, which allowed them to detect an American convoy. At 2310, the task force attacked, hitting one transport with torpedo. At 2315, Kiyoshimo of the task force was sunk by a torpedo by USS PT-223. At 2326, Kashi and Kaya fired two torpedoes each, but none hit American transports. Between 2345 and 0004, they bombarded a supply dump at the mouth of the Kasuang River, scoring hits and starting fires. At 0100 on 27 Dec, Ashigara and Oyodo bombarded American vessels. Between 0100 and 0235, they rescued survivors from the sunken Kiyoshimo. The task force returned to Camranh Bay on 28 Dec and anchored at Singapore on 1 Jan for repairs.

ww2dbaseAs a member of Carrier Division 4, Oyodo was loaded with 300 tons of rubber, zinc, mercury, tin, and gasoline, while other ships in the task force took on 5,000 drums of oil, other amounts of rubber and tin, and 1,150 oil field personnel. The "Completion Force" convoy departed from Singapore on 11 Feb 1945. The convoy was chased and attacked by 23 Allied submarines throughout its entire journey from Singapore through the Taiwan Strait to Kure, Japan, arriving on 20 Feb.

ww2dbaseOn 25 Feb, Captain Matsuura Tadashi took command of Oyodo. On 19 Mar, she was attacked by American carrier aircraft and was damaged by three 500-pound bomb hits. She was towed to Etajima in Hiroshima Bay and beached, and she was towed to Kure for repairs, which lasted through 4 Apr. On 15 May, Captain Taguchi Shoichi took command. On 24 Jul 1945, US Navy Task Force 38 launched what was to be the final series of attacks against the Japanese Navy. Between 0600 and 1700, Oyodo was hit by four 500-pound bombs and many near misses, causing her to suffer a slight list to starboard. On 28 Jul, while at Etajima, she was hit by four more bombs. At 1000 on 28 Jul, she took on a heavy list to starboard, leading to her capsizing in shallow water at 1200. 300 men were killed in the sinking.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Oyodo's wreck was raised between 18 and 20 Sep 1947. She was towed to Kure on 20 Dec to be scrapped, which was done between 17 Jan and 1 Aug 1948.

ww2dbaseSources: Nihon Kaigun, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2009

Light Cruiser Oyodo Interactive Map


Light cruiser Oyodo at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, circa 28 Feb 1943; note the 45m large catapult at stern which was later removed during conversionLight cruiser Oyodo, circa spring 1944
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser Oyodo

Oyodo Operational Timeline

28 Feb 1943 Oyodo was commissioned into service.
24 Jul 1945 British TF 37 launched 416 sorties, 261 of which were sent against the Japanese home islands and 155 were for defensive patrols; escort carrier Kaiyo was damaged by British carrier planes. On the same day, American TF 38 launched 600 aircraft against Kure, Nagoya, Osaka, and Miho, sinking battleship-carrier Hyuga, heavy cruiser Tone, and target ship Settsu, and damaging carrier Ryuho, carrier Amagi, battleship-carrier Ise, battleship Haruna, heavy cruiser Aoba, light cruiser Oyodo, transport Kiyokawa Maru; the Aichi aircraft factories at Nagoya were seriously damaged.
28 Jul 1945 137 American P-47 aircraft based in Ie Shima, Okinawa, Japan attacked targest in Kyushu, Japan. On the same day, 471 B-29 bombers attacked smaller Japanese cities in the home islands with incendiary bombs. Finally, from the sea, US Navy carrier aircraft struck various Inland Sea ports between Nagoya and northern Kyushu, sinking battleship Haruna, battleship-carrier Ise, heavy cruiser Aoba (in shallow water), and light cruiser Oyodo, and damaging carrier Katsuragi, carrier Hosho, and already beached battleship Settsu.

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More on Oyodo
» Ozawa, Jisaburo
» Toyoda, Soemu

Event(s) Participated:
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

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Light Cruiser Oyodo Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Oyodo at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, circa 28 Feb 1943; note the 45m large catapult at stern which was later removed during conversionLight cruiser Oyodo, circa spring 1944
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser Oyodo

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