Japanese Admiral Boshirō Hosogaya
24 June 1888|
Nagano Prefecture, Japan
|Died||8 February 1964 75)(aged|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1908-1945|
Heavy cruiser Chōkai |
Commandant of Communications School
Commandant of Torpedo School
Ryojun Naval District
1st China Expeditionary Fleet
World War II |
Battle of the Komandorski Islands
|Other work||Governor South Seas Agency|
Hosogaya was born to a farming family in Nozawa, Nagano prefecture in 1888. He graduated from the 36th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1908. He was ranked 16th in a class of 191 cadets. As a midshipman, he was assigned to the cruisers Soya and Kashima. On receiving his commission as ensign, he attended torpedo school and naval artillery school, and as a sub-lieutenant served on the destroyer Asagiri and battleship Suwo.
He was promoted to lieutenant in 1919, and served on the destroyer Kaba, and various staff positions. After graduating from the 18th class of Naval War College (Japan) in 1918 and his promotion to lieutenant commander in 1920, he served as a staff officer on the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, and also on the martial law headquarters for the Kantō region after the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. In 1924, Hosogaya was promoted to commander and became executive officer on the cruiser Yubari. In 1927-1928, he visited the United States and Europe, and in 1928 became executive officer on the battleship Hyūga.
After his promotion to captain in 1929, he served as executive officer, and then as captain of the heavy cruiser Chōkai. In 1934, he assumed command of the battleship Mutsu. He was promoted to rear admiral on 15 November 1935. He was Commandant of both the Communications and Torpedo Schools during 1935-1936. After his promotion to vice admiral on 15 November 1939, he was assigned as Commander in Chief of the Ryojun Naval District. On 15 November 1940, Hosogaya was given command of the 1st China Expeditionary Fleet and on 25 July 1941, he became CINC of the IJN 5th Fleet, a largely administrative command based at Ōminato in command of the North Pacific forces, covering the Hokkaidō-Karafuto-Kurile Islands defense area. The fleet had only light naval forces attached to it, including a couple of light cruisers and a seaplane tender.
On 26 March 1943, during an escort of two transport ships to reinforce the occupied Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands, Hosogaya's fleet, consisting of two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and four destroyers, was intercepted near the Komandorski Islands by a U.S. Navy fleet, led by Rear Admiral Charles H. McMorris, and made up of one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser and four destroyers. In the ensuing Battle of the Komandorski Islands, Hosogaya mistook shell splashes from colored dye shells for bomb splashes, and wrongly concluded he was under aerial attack. Seeking to protect his transport ships, he abruptly broke off action and retreated from the scene of battle even though he had severely damaged McMorris's command ship, the heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City.
Hosogaya's retreat in the face of an inferior American force was viewed as evidence of cowardice and cost him his command; he was relieved by Shiro Kawase. Later in 1943, he was assigned to the reserves. For the rest of the war, Hosogaya was based in Truk, serving as the Governor of the South Pacific Mandate.
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