Built as a heavy cruiser under yard No 455 by Mitsubishi, Nagasaki for the Japanese Imperial Navy.
26 March 1928 keel laid down.
05 April 1931 launched as the CHÕKAI one of the Takao class, named after Mount Chokai.
Displacement 15,781 ton, dim. 203.76 x 19.0 x 6.3m. (draught).
Powered by geared turbines, 130,000 hp, speed 35.5 knots. Range by a speed of 14 knots, 8,000 mile.
Bunker capacity 2,000 ton oil.
Armament: 10 – 20cm, 4 – 4.7 inch, up to 66 – 25mm AA guns, and 8 – 24 inch torpedo tubes.
01 June 1932 commissioned.
CHÕKAI was a Takao-class heavy cruiser, armed with ten 8-inch (200 mm) guns, four 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns, eight tubes for the Type 93 torpedo, and assorted anti-aircraft guns. CHOKAI was designed with the Imperial Japanese Navy strategy of the great "Decisive Battle" in mind, and built in 1932 by Mitsubishi's shipyard in Nagasaki. She was sunk in the Battle off Samar in October 1944. CHOKAI was named for Mount Chōkai.
At the start of the Pacific War, the CHOKAI supported the invasion of Malaya and participated in the pursuit of the Royal Navy's battleship Force Z. During January and February 1942, the CHOKAI was involved in operations to seize the oil-rich Dutch East Indies and the island of Borneo. Steaming near Cape St. Jacques, the CHOKAI struck a reef, sustaining hull damage on 22 February 1942. On the 27th, she reached Singapore for repairs.
After repairs, the CHOKAI was once again assigned to a support role in an invasion, this time the landings at Iri,Sumatra, and the invasion of the Andaman Islands and the seizure of Port Blair a few days later. Afterwards, the CHOKAI sailed to Mergui, Burma.
On April 1, 1942, the CHOKAI left Mergui to participate in Operation C, a raid on merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean. First, the CHOKAI torpedoed and sank the American freighter BIENVILLE, and later on, the British steamship GANGES on 6 April. With her role in the operation successfully concluded, the CHOKAI returned to Yokosuka on 22 April 1942.
The Guadalcanal campaign
By mid-July 1942, the CHOKAI was the new flagship of Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi and his Eighth Fleet. She proceeded towards Rabaul. On 7 August 1942, with Guadalcanal having been invaded by the Americans, the CHOKAI headed for the Guadalcanal waters, with Vice Admiral Mikawa aboard. In the battle of Savo Island. Mikawa's squadron of heavy cruisers inflicted a devastating defeat on an Allied squadron, sinking four heavy cruisers (three American and one Australian) and damaging other ships. However, the CHOKAI sustained several hits from the cruisers QUINCY and ASTORIA disabling her "A" turret and killing 34 men. The CHOKAI returned to Rabaul for temporary repairs. For the rest of the Solomon Islands campaign, the CHOKAI would fight in an assortment of night battles with the U.S. Navy, sustaining varied, but mostly minor, damage.
Relieved as the Eighth Fleet flagship shortly after the final evacuation of Guadalcanal, the CHOKAI headed back to Yokosuka on 20 February 1943. Tasked with various minor duties for the remainder of 1943 and first half of 1944, the CHOKAI was made the flagship of the Cruiser Division Four ("CruDiv 4") on 3 August 1944. She survived a harrowing submarine attack on 23 October 1944, becoming the only undamaged ship of CruDiv 4.
Sunk in the Battle off Samar.
The CHOKAI was then transferred to Cruiser Division Five, where she survived another attack on October 24, 1944, this time by aircraft. On the morning of 25 October, the CHOKAI as a part of a large war fleet of IJN battleships, cruisers, and destroyers engaged an American force of escort carriers, destroyers, and destroyer escorts in the Battle off Samar, the Philippines, as part of the huge Battle of Leyte Gulf. Targeted by 5 in (130 mm) gunfire by the destroyers and destroyer escorts, CHOKAI was hit amidships, starboard side, most likely by the sole 5 in (130 mm) gun of the carrier WHITE PLAINS. While the 20 lb (9.1 kg) payload of the shell could not pierce the hull, it set off the deck-mounted eight Japanese Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes, which were especially volatile because they contained pure oxygen, in addition to their 1,080 lb (490 kg) warheads. The explosion resulted in such severe damage that it knocked out the rudder and engines, causing CHOKAI to drop out of formation. Within minutes, an American aircraft dropped a 500 lb (230 kg) bomb on her forward machinery room. Fires began to rage and she went dead in the water. Later that day, she was scuttled by torpedoes from the destroyer FUJINAMI ( 11º 22N’ 126º 22E’),which also rescued some of her crew. Two days later the FUJINAMI was itself sunk with the loss of all hands, including the CHOKAI survivors, which makes CHOKAI one of the largest vessels to be sunk with all hands aboard during World War II. This is also one of the deepest shipwrecks, possibly the deepest known, at a depth of approximately 8100 meters (26,600 ft).
Solomon Islands 1992 80c sg747, scott728j
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_c ... h%C5%8Dkai