Kaju Sugiura

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Kaju Sugiura
Born (1896-05-05)May 5, 1896
Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Died May 16, 1945(1945-05-16) (aged 49)[1]
Strait of Malacca
Allegiance  Empire of Japan
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1918–1945
Rank Vice Admiral (posthumously)
Commands held Tade, Uzuki
Destroyer Group 5
Destroyer Group 17
Destroyer Group 4
Haguro
Battles/wars World War II
* Battle of Vella Gulf
* Battle of the Malacca Strait

Kaju Sugiura (杉浦 嘉十, Sugiura Kaju, May 5, 1896 – May 16, 1945), was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.

Biography[edit]

A native of Aichi Prefecture, Sugiura graduated from the 46th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1918. He was ranked 81st out of 124 cadets. He served his midshipman duty aboard the cruiser Azuma, and after commissioned as an ensign he was assigned to the battleship Fusō and cruiser Tone.

Sugiura returned to school, and became a torpedo and naval artillery expert. As a sub-lieutenant, he served on the Mutsu and the destroyer Kuri, and as lieutenant, he was executive officer and chief navigator on the destroyer Yūnagi. After graduation from the Naval War College (Japan) in 1930, he was promoted to lieutenant commander. He was his first command: the destroyer Tade, on December 1, 1930. He subsequently captained the Uzuki in 1931. He held a number of staff positions through the 1930s, including that of instructor at a number of the naval ordnance schools and was commander of Destroyer Group 5 in 1939.

Sugiura was promoted to captain on November 15, 1940, and assigned command of Destroyer Group 17 shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sugiura became commander of Destroyer Group 4 (Hagikaze, flagship, Arashi, Shigure and Kawakaze) on February 20, 1943, and was thus in a central role in the Battle of Vella Gulf from August 6–7, 1943.

On the night of August 6, Sugiura's force carrying 950 troops and supplies for New Georgia was ambushed by US Task Group 31.2 (USS Dunlap, USS Craven, USS Maury, USS Lang, USS Sterett, and USS Stack). All four Japanese destroyers were hit. Hagikaze, Arashi and Kawakaze burst into flames and were quickly sunk by gunfire. The torpedo that hit Shigure was a dud, damaging the rudder only, and she escaped in the darkness. The many Japanese soldiers and sailors left floating in the water after their ships sank refused rescue by the American destroyers. Over 1,000 Japanese troops and sailors were lost. During the battle, Sugiura's flagship destroyer was sunk, but Sugiura survived.

Sugiura was later appointed captain of the cruiser Haguro, He was killed on May 16, 1945 when his ship was sunk by Royal Navy warships during the Battle of the Malacca Strait off Penang, Malaysia. He was promoted to vice admiral posthumously.

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Calhoun, C. Raymond (2000). Tin Can Sailor: Life Aboard the USS Sterett, 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-228-5. 
  • Crenshaw, Russell Sydnor (1998). South Pacific Destroyer: The Battle for the Solomons from Savo Island to Vella Gulf. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-136-X. 
  • D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN 0-8159-5302-X. 
  • Dull, Paul S. (1978). A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-097-1. 
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-151-4. 
  • Hara, Tameichi (1961). Japanese Destroyer Captain. New York & Toronto: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-27894-1. -Firsthand account of the battle by Japanese squadron commander aboard Shigure.
  • Kilpatrick, C. W. (1987). Naval Night Battles of the Solomons. Exposition Press. ISBN 0-682-40333-4. 
  • Lacroix, Eric; Linton Wells (1997). Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-311-3. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, vol. 6 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Castle Books. 0785813071. 
  • Roscoe, Theodore (1953). United States Destroyer Operations in World War Two. Naval Institute Press. 0870217267. 
  • Winton, John (1969). The Forgotten Fleet. Michael Joseph Ltd. ISBN 0-7181-0643-1. 
  • Winton, John (1981). Sink the Haguro. Saunders of Toronto Ltd. ISBN 0-85422-152-2. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy.