Japanese Forces

  • Rear Admiral Masanori Kimura

Army Troopships

Carrying 6000 troops and equipment of the 51st Division.

  • Aiyo Maru (sunk)(sunk)
  • Kyokusei Maru (sunk)(sunk)
  • Oigawa Maru (sunk)(sunk)
  • Shinai Maru (sunk)(sunk)
  • Taimei Maru (sunk)(sunk)
  • Teiyo Maru (sunk)(sunk)

Cargo Ship

  • Kembu Maru (sunk)(sunk)
    Notes: Carrying avgas.

Special Service Vessel

  • Nojima (sunk)(sunk)
    Notes: Carrying 600 marines.

Destroyer Squadron 3

  • Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura

Destroyer Division 8

  • Capt. Sato Yasuo
  • Asashio (flagship)(flagship) (sunk)(sunk)
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cdr. Yoshii Gorou (killed)
    Notes: Lost with all hands.
  • Arashio (sunk)(sunk)
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Hideo Kuboki (killed)
    Notes: 170 survivors.

Destroyer Division 11

  • Capt. Shuichi Sugino
  • Shirayuki (force flagship)(force flagship) (sunk)(sunk)
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cdr. Rokorou Sugawara
    Notes: 32 killed.

Other Ships

Divisional organization unclear
  • Tokitsukaze (sunk)(sunk)
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Masayoshi Motokura
    Notes: Carrying CO 18th Army Lt. Gen. Hatazo Adachi.
  • Yukikaze
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Ryokichi Kanma
    Notes: Carrying 51st Division CO Lt. Gen. Hidemitsu Nakano and staff.
  • Uranami
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Tsutomu Hagio
  • Shikinami
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Akifumi Kawahashi
  • Asagumo
    Commanding officer: Cdr. Tooru Iwahashi

Combat Air Patrol

  • 30+ Zekes, Hamps, and Oscars
    Notes: 15-20 lost.

Troop Casualties

Of the nearly 7,000 Japanese troops in the convoy, only about 800 reached Lae and 2,427 were returned to Rabaul. The official death toll was 3,664.

Allied Forces


US Fifth Air Force plus elements of the Royal Australian Air Force
  • General George C. Kenney
  • 129 fighters
    Notes: P-38s, P-39s, P-40s, Beaufighters.
  • 207 bombers
    Notes: B-17s, A-20s and Bostons, Beauforts, B-25s.


US 7th Fleet
  • Five MTB


Allied losses totaled thirteen men killed, twelve wounded, and three P-38s and one B-17 shot down (plus two planes destroyed in crash landings).


  • Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy by Paul S. Dull
  • Nihon Kaigun website
  • Flying Buccaneers by Steve Birdsall
  • Airwar by Edward Jablonski