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Yubari file photo [1984]


Ship ClassYubari-class Light Cruiser
BuilderSasebo Naval Arsenal
Launched5 Mar 1923
Commissioned31 Jul 1923
Sunk28 Apr 1944
Displacement3,141 tons standard; 3,587 tons full
Length450 feet
Beam39 feet
Draft11 feet
Speed35 knots


ww2dbaseYubari, a 3141-ton light cruiser of innovative design, was built at Sasebo, Japan. Commissioned at the end of July 1923, she was generally employed as flagship for destroyer squadrons. In the years before World War II, she made frequent cruises to China in that capacity and on independent missions or in company with other light cruisers. In 1925, she steamed through the western Pacific and visited Australia. Yubari saw combat action against Chinese shore batteries in 1932. She visited Java in 1937 and patrolled off China after war began with that nation later in the year. Assigned to the central Pacific in 1941 as a destroyer squadron flagship, she was there when Japan attacked the United States in December.

ww2dbaseYubari's initial World War II combat operation was the attempt to capture Wake on 10-11 December 1941. Though that attack was repulsed, she participated in the capture of the island base later in the month. During January-March 1942, Yubari helped seize Allied positions in the New Britain and New Guinea area, but was damaged by U.S. carrier plane attacks during the Lae-Salamaua operation on 10 March. She was repaired in time to serve as flagship of the Port Moresby Attack Force during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May and later supported the Japanese buildup on Guadalcanal. When the Allies landed on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in August, Yubari was sent south with other cruisers to counter-attack, an assignment that led to victory against U.S. and Australian warships in the 9 August 1942 Battle of Savo Island. Later in August, she covered landings at Nauru and Ocean Islands and spent the following three months on escort and patrol duties.

ww2dbaseAfter overhaul, the cruiser returned to the south Pacific in April 1943. Yubari led destroyers in a bombardment of the U.S. invasion beaches at Rendova in early July, and was damaged by a mine on the 5th of that month, requiring her to return to Japan for repairs. She was back in the south Pacific combat zone from October to December 1943, and was slightly damaged by U.S. carrier planes off Rabaul on 11 November. Yubari was refitted in December 1943 - March 1944, receiving enhanced anti-aircraft firepower at the expense of two of her heavier guns, and was then sent to the central Pacific. After completing a transport mission to Sonsorol Island on 27 April 1944, she was hit by a torpedo from the U.S. submarine Bluegill (SS-242). Efforts to control progressive flooding were unsuccessful, and Yubari sank the following morning.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005


Yubari prior to WW2Yubari anchored in a harbor in Japan, 15 Nov 1924; lower left inscription noted
See all 4 photographs of Light Cruiser Yubari

Yubari Operational Timeline

31 Jul 1923 Yubari was commissioned into service.
5 Sep 1937 Yubari and Destroyer Squadron 5 was ordered to blockade the coast of Guangdong, China.
14 Sep 1937 Japanese cruiser Yubari and two destroyers engaged with Chinese cruiser Zhaohe and sloop Haizhou off the Pearl River Delta off Guangdong, China. Zhaohe and Haizhou were both damaged, and the captain of Zhaohe would later be shot for ordering a retreat from this engagement.
11 Dec 1941 The 2,890-ton Japanese light cruiser Yubari, flagship of Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka, was seriously damaged by shell fire from two 5-inch guns at Peacock Point, Wake Island, and forced to retire listing heavily to port.

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More on Yubari
» Daigo, Tadashige

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

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Light Cruiser Yubari Photo Gallery
Yubari prior to WW2Yubari anchored in a harbor in Japan, 15 Nov 1924; lower left inscription noted
See all 4 photographs of Light Cruiser Yubari

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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