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Hosogaya Boshiro (1888-1964)


Photograph of Hosogaya Boshiro

Japanese Navy. Via Morison (1951).

Hosogaya Boshiro was born in Nagano prefecture and graduated from the Japanese Naval Academy in 1908 and from the Naval Staff College in 1920. He commanded several battleships and cruisers between the wars and was promoted to vice admiral in 1939. At the outbreak of war, he was in command of Japan’s Fifth Fleet, a largely administrative command based at Ominato that was responsible for the naval defense of Karafuto, Hokkaido, and the Kuriles. It had only light naval forces assigned to it, including a few very light cruisers and a seaplane tender.

Hosogaya directed the invasion of Attu and Kiska during the Midway operation in mid-1942.

On March 26, 1943, while protecting a convoy off the Komandorski Islands, at the extreme western end of the Aleutian Islands, Hosogaya’s squadron (which by then included heavy cruisers) battled a smaller American squadron  The Americans under Charles McMorris fought with considerable skill and bravery, but were on the verge of being overwhelmed when Hosogaya abruptly broke off the action and fled. Hosogaya had mistaken shell splashes from colored dye shells for bomb splashes and thought he was under aerial attack. Considering the heavy overcast at the time, and the poor record of Allied land-based bombers against ships, the decision to break off was craven. Hosogaya was relieved of his command and retired from the Navy. He was recalled later in the war to serve as governor of the South Seas region.

Service record

1888-6-24     
  born in Nagato prefecture
1908-11-21 Midshipman     
Graduates from Naval Academy, ranking 36 in a class of 191. Assigned to CL Soya
1909-8-2   BB Kashima
1910-1-15 Ensign  
1911-4-20   Gunnery School Basic Course
1911-8-4   Torpedo School Basic Course
1911-12-1 Lieutenant junior grade     
 
1911-12-20   DD Asagiri
1912-2-1   Torpedo Boat Division 17
1913-4-1   BB Suwo
1913-12-1   Naval College B Course
1914-5-27   Torpedo School Advanced Course
1914-12-1 Lieutenant Staff, 1 Fleet
1915-12-13   DD Kaba
1917-2-7   Staff, 1st Special Task Fleet
1918-6-13   Adjutant, 3 Naval District
1918-12-1   Naval College A Course
1920-12-1 Lieutenant commander     
Staff, Battleship Division 4
1921-8-10   Naval General Staff
1924-12-1 Commander Executive officer, CL Yubari
1926-10-15   1 Naval District
1927-3-1   Trip to Europe, USA
1928-3-1   Executive officer, BB Hyuga
1929-11-30 Captain Staff, Bureau of Supply, Kure
1931-12-1   Commander, CA Chokai
1932-12-1   Chief, S1, Burea of Supply, Department of Navigation
1933-9-15   Chief, Bureau of Ordinance, Sasebo Navy Yard
1934-11-15   Commander, BB Mutsu
1935-11-15 Rear admiral
Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5
1936-12-1   Schoolmaster, Communications School
1937-7-28   Commander, Destroyer Squadron 4
1938-4-19   Navy General Staff
1938-4-25   Commander, Submarine Flotilla 1
1939-11-15 Vice admiral
Commander, Ryojun Guard District
1940-11-15   Commander, 1 China Fleet
1941-7-5   Navy General Staff
1941-7-25   Commander, 5 Fleet
1943-4-1   Navy General Staff
1943-11-4
Put on reserve list
1943-11-5   Director, Southern Islands Agency
1946-3-12   Retires
1964-2-8   Dies

References

Dupuy et.al. (1992)

Fuller (1992)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2007-11-29)

Morison (1951)


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