Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Natori file photo [8028]


Ship ClassNagara-class Light Cruiser
BuilderMitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard
Laid Down14 Dec 1920
Launched16 Feb 1922
Commissioned15 Sep 1922
Sunk18 Aug 1944
Displacement5,088 tons standard; 5,832 tons full
Length535 feet
Beam48 feet
Draft16 feet
Machinery12 Kampon boilers, Gihon geared turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output90,000 shaft horsepower
Speed36 knots
Range9,000nm at 10 knots
Armament5x140mm guns, 2x3x25mm Type 96 guns, 2x2x25mm Type 96 guns, 4x1x25mm Type 96 guns, 6x13mm AA guns, 1x2x127mm Type 89 HA gun, 4x2x610mm torpedo tubes, 48 naval mines
Armor62mm belt, 30mm deck


ww2dbaseLight cruiser Natori was assigned to patrol the Chinese coast soon after her commissioning in 1922, where she remained on and off through the 1920s and 1930s. In 1938, based out of Taiwan, she covered the Japanese invasion of Southern China in the Second Sino-Japanese War. On 26 Nov 1941, she became Rear Admiral Kenzaburo Hara's flagship for Destroyer Squadron 5, and in that role she escorted six transports carrying troops of the Japanese 48th Infantry Division for the invasion of Luzon, Philippine Islands. On 10 Dec, while en route, the convoy was attacked by three B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the US Army Air Force 14th Squadron, which slightly damaged her with near misses. After minor repairs at Mako, Pescadores Islands, she escorted 27 transports with troops of the 47th Infantry Regiment of the 48th Infantry Division and the 4th Tank Regiment to Luzon in late Dec 1941. On 26 Dec, she was assigned to the No. 2 Escort Unit and escorted 43 transports to Singapore. Sailing with the Dutch East Indies invasion force in early 1942, she was engaged in the Battle of the Sunda Strait on 28 Feb. On 10 Mar, she was assigned to Cruiser Division 16. In late Mar, she supported the attack on Christmas Island. On 1 Apr, off Christmas Island, she was attacked by American submarine USS Seawolf, which fired three torpedoes at her; all three torpedoes missed Natori, but cruiser Naka was hit on the starboard by one of the torpedoes. For the remainder of the year, she largely remained in the Java Sea area for patrols. On 21 Dec 1942, she embarked a Special Naval landing Force and transported them to Hollandia, New Guinea. On 9 Jan 1943, she was sighted by American submarine USS Tautog about 33 kilometers southeast of Ambon Island; Tautog fired two torpedoes, hitting Natori in the stern and breaking off the rudder, but she was able to escape. On 21 Jan, she was damaged by a near miss on the starboard side by a 500-pound bomb dropped by a B-24 Liberator bomber of the 90th Bomb Group's 319th Bomb Squadron; she sailed to the Seletar Naval Base in Singapore for repairs that lasted until 24 May.

ww2dbaseUpon completion of her repairs at Singapore, Natori returned to Japan for modernization. She had her No. 5 and No. 7 guns, catapult, and derrick removed for additional anti-aircraft weapons, a Type 21 air-search radar, and hydrophones. The modernization was completed on 1 Apr 1944. She was assigned as the flagship of Central Pacific Fleet's Destroyer Squadron 3.

ww2dbaseOn 5 Jun 1944, Natori embarked an army detachment at Kure, Japan and transported it to Mindanao, Philippine Islands, where she picked up other army troops for Palau Islands, arriving 17 Jun. She returned to Davao, Mindanao and remained there as a guard ship through Aug 1944. While at Davao, she was spotted by American submarine USS Bluegill on 20 Jul, but failed to gain a firing position. On the next day, 21 Jul, Natori evacuated 800 Japanese and Korean comfort women to Davao. On 18 Aug, while 370 kilometers east of Samar, Philippine Islands, Natori was attacked by American submarine USS Hardhead. She was hit by one Mark 23 torpedo on the port side in the boiler room, rendering her dead in the water. Hardhead returned and delivered another salvo of Mark 18 torpedoes, scoring a second hit on Natori on the starboard side amidships. Natori sank at 0704 hours. 330 men lost their lives in the sinking, including Captain Toshi Kubota. 194 survivors were rescued by destroyers Uranami and Kiyoshima, and an additional four survivors were rescued by American submarine USS Stingray. On 12 Sep, destroyer USS Marshall rescued 44 Natori survivors in a lifeboat.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2009

Natori Operational Timeline

15 Sep 1922 Natori was commissioned into service.


Natori off Nagasaki, Japan, 1922

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
21 Feb 2009 12:42:23 PM

Info on Nagara Class Light Cruisers: Nagara,and her sister ships Isuzu, Yura, Natori, Kinu and Abukuma were similar to the earlier Kuma-class light cruisers, deffering in roles, design details and wartime modifications. These warships were designed to be flagships for cruiser, destroyer and submarine sentais. Nagara class light cruisers were fast at 36 knots top speed and armed with the "long lance" torpedo. Natori fought in many of the pacific battles, she was launched 16 Feb. 1922 completed 15 Sept. 1922 sunk by torpedoed 18 Aug. 1944 by U.S. Submarine Hardhead.
2. Commenter identity confirmed BILL says:
21 Feb 2009 01:00:38 PM

Kuma Class Light Cruisers: Kuma, Tama, Kitakami, Oi,and Kiso over their service life, they were re-armed and re-built. Kuma launched 1919 torpedoed 1944. Tama launched 1920 torpedoed Oct. 1944. Kitakami launched 1921 surrendered Aug. 1945, later she was broken-up Aug.1946. Oi launched 1920 torpedoed 1944. Kiso launched 1920 sunk by U.S. Aircraft Nov. 1944

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code



1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Natori
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Hainan
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java

Partner Sites Content:
» Natori Tabular Record of Movement
Light Cruiser Natori Photo Gallery
Natori off Nagasaki, Japan, 1922

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

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!