The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea
The MUSASHI, the second of two Yamato-class battleships, shared the honor with the lead ship YAMATO as the largest battleship ever constructed in naval history.
She was launched on Nov. 1, 1940 in a secret ceremony attended only by a few top naval officials. On Sept. 15, 1941, she was under the command of the chief equipping officer Captain Kaoru Arima and on Aug. 5, 1942, she was commissioned as the Battleship Musashi.
Her commissioning was three months behind schedule due to last-minute requirements for additional communications gear.
On Jan. 18, 1943 the Musashi sailed for Truk ( Caroline Islands ) where she was named Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's flagship.
Between Jul.1 and 8, 1943, four Type of 22 fire control radars were installed on the bridge ( at Kure ).
On Aug. 12, 1944, Captain Toshihira Inoguchi was given command of Musashi. Like his predecessors, Inoguchi was promoted to the rank of rear admiral after the assignment. In Sep, Inoguchi ordered Musashi painted a dark color... the paint might have been Royal Navy in origin.
On Oct. 18, 1944 Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita engaged in Operation Sho-Go by taking a powerful surface fleet that included both of the Yamato-class battleships. The deck of Musashi was blackened with soot.
The upcoming Operation Sho-Go resulted in the naval battles in the area of Leyte Gulf.
The fleet sailed into the Sibuyan Sea west of Leyte of the Philippine Islands, aiming to hit the vulnerable American transports on the other side of the island.
At 0810 on Oct. 24, 1944, an aircraft from carrier USS Intrepid spotted the fleet. By 1018, Musashi's lookouts reported about 30 incoming hostile aircraft.
At 1027, the battle began. Later known as "The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea"
By chance, most American aircraft focused on Musashi, whose guns fired in combat for the first time.
"I couldn't believe how enormous they were!", recalled SB2C Helldiver gunner Joe Anderlik of carrier Franklin, speaking of the two Yamato-class ships.
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Battleship Musashi Found
On March 1, 2015, the Team Led by Paul G. Allen locates One of the Largest Battleships Ever Constructed
A research team led by Paul G. Allen has located the Musashi (1), one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced battleships. The ship was sunk during World War II and, despite numerous eyewitness accounts, the exact location of the ship was unknown.
On March 2, 2015, using historical records from four different countries, detailed topographical data and advanced technology aboard his yacht, M/Y Octopus, Mr. Allen and his team discovered the wreckage, using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), in a depth of more than 1km (3,280ft) on the seabed of the Sibuyan Sea in the Philippines.
(1) Commissioned in 1942, Musashi weighs 73,000 tons fully loaded, and was armed with nine 45 Caliber Type 94 main guns. Roughly half of the crew members were killed when the ship sank.
The US Navy website describes the Musashi as a "mighty battleship" that had "mammoth 18-inch guns". Measuring 263m (862ft) it remains one of the largest battleships ever made.
The Musashi was sunk by American forces on October 24, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in the Sibuyan Sea. The discovery of the ship marks an important milestone in the annals of World War II naval history. The Musashi, and her sister ship Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed.
Its twin ship, the Yamato, was damaged in the fighting, according to the US Navy, and American warships finally sank it several months later as it tried to get to Okinawa.
Every year on October 24, the commemoration of the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea will be held on Sibuyan Island.