Vice Admiral Totsuka shortly after surrendering Yokosuka Naval Base to the United States, August 30, 1945
|Born||April 21, 1890
|Died||March 6, 1966(aged 75)|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1910-–1945|
|Commands held||Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation Bureau
Northeast Area Fleet
|Battles/wars||Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II
Totsuka was a native of the former Sendagaya Village in Tokyo, now part of Shibuya. He graduated 33rd out of 149 cadets in the 38th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in July 1910. He served his midshipman tour on the armored cruiser Asama on its circumpacific voyage to Honolulu, San Francisco, Acapulco and Panama. Heb was subsequently assigned to Kurama and Naniwa. After attending gunnery and torpedo schools, he was promoted to lieutenant in 1913, and assigned to Kasagi. During World War I, he was attending junior officer courses at Naval Staff College, from which he emerged in 1917. He subsequently served on Tsushima, Mishima, and Hirado. He returned to the Naval Staff College in 1920, graduating 23 out of 26 students, and with the rank of lieutenant commander. He subsequently served on the Ōi, Kiso and as cadet instructor on the training cruiser Iwate on its Shanghai – Hong Kong – Manila – Singapore – Batavia – Freemantle – Adelaide – Melbourne - Hobart - Sydney – Wellington - Auckland - Suva - Truk - Saipan voyage of 1925.
On his return, Totsuka was promoted to commander, and in 1928 was sent to Europe and the United States for a year to tour various countries and to learn about their naval operations. On his return, he served as Chief of staff of the Sasebo Naval District, and in 1931, received his first command: Tama. From 1932-1933, he served on the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, returning to sea as captain of Nachi.
In 1936, Totsuka was given command of the Tateyama Naval Air Detachment. This became the IJN 1st Air Fleet in 1937, and was subordinated to the China Area Fleet with the start of the China Incident. The same year, Totsuka was promoted to rear admiral. He is noted for pioneering transoceanic bombing from the Japanese home islands to Shanghai at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Totsuka remained involved with naval aviation for the rest of his career, commanding the 1st, 2nd, and 12th Air Fleets into World War II; he also was commander of both carrier air wings involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. On 4–5 August 1943, Imperial General Headquarters reorganized the military command structure in the North Pacific Ocean, abolishing the Northern Area Force and placing him in command of a new Northeast Area Fleet, which combined the forces of the 5th Fleet and the 12th Air Fleet and was responsible for the defense of the Kurile Islands. In September 1944, he became commander in chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. In May 1945, he became final commander of the Yokosuka Naval District, which he formally surrendered to Rear Admiral Robert Carney, acting for Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr., and Rear Admiral Oscar C. Badger II on 28 August 1945.
After the war, Totsuka went in retirement, but was later called upon by the post-war Japanese government to assist in the establishment of the naval academy of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. He also served as honorary professor at Senshu University. He died in 1966.
- This article incorporates content from the corresponding Japanese wiki article.
- D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X.
- Ito, Masanori (1986). The End of the Imperial Japanese Navy (reissue ed.). Jove. ISBN 0-515-08682-7.
- Stillwell, Paul (1981). Air Raid, Pearl Harbor!: Recollections of a Day of Infamy. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-086-6.
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Imperial Japanese Navy, Totsuka Michitarō". Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- Stillwell. Page 24
- Morison, Samuel Eliot, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume VII: Aleutians, Gilberts, and Marshalls, June 1942-April 1944, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984, p. 65n.