ABDA Forces

While patrolling the Makassar Strait, the ABDA Naval Force was attacked by 37 Japanese bombers from Kendari before it could make contact with any incoming Japanese Invasion forces.

The USN light cruiser Marblehead was badly damaged by the air attack suffering several hits. The USN heavy cruiser Houston also suffered damage to her 3rd 8" gun turret which was out of action until her loss. Rear-Admiral Doorman's flagship, De Ruyter, sustained some minor damage from the air attacks.

As a result of these air attacks the ABDA naval forces escorted the badly damaged Marblehead back to Tjilatjap before any Japanese Invasion forces could be attacked.

  • Rear Admiral Karel Doorman
  • CL De Ruyter (flagship)(flagship) (minimally damaged)(minimally damaged)
    Notes: Royal Netherlands Navy.
  • CL Tromp
    Notes: Royal Netherlands Navy.
  • CA Houston (damaged)(damaged)
    Commanding officer: Captain Albert H. Rooks
    Notes: United States Navy.
  • CL Marblehead (seriously damaged)(seriously damaged)
    Commanding officer: Captain Robinson
    Notes: United States Navy.
  • DD Bankert
    Notes: Royal Netherlands Navy.
  • DD Piet Hein
    Notes: Royal Netherlands Navy.
  • DD Van Ghent
    Notes: Royal Netherlands Navy.

Destroyer Division 58

United States Navy
  • DD Barker
  • DD Bulmer
  • DD Edwards
  • DD Stewart

Japanese Forces

Forces for the Makassar Invasion

The following are the possible Imperial Japanese Naval Forces which the ABDA Naval Forces would have intercepted on their way to invade Makassar.

Covering Force

  • Rear Admiral Takeo Takagi

5th Cruiser Division

  • CA Nachi (force flagship)(force flagship)
  • CA Haguro

Destroyer Division 7

Part of Carrier Division 1, 1st Air Fleet
  • DD Akebono
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Minoru Nakagawa

Destroyer Division 6

Part of Destroyer Squadron 1, 1st Fleet
  • DD Ikazuchi
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Sunsaku Kudo

Convoy Escort (1st Base Force)

  • Rear Admiral Kyuji Kubo

Sentai 16

Part of 3rd Fleet
  • CL Nagara (force flagship)(force flagship)
    Notes: Administratively assigned to Sentai 16.

Destroyer Squadron 2

Part 2nd Fleet
Destroyer Division 8
  • DD Asashio
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Gorou Yoshii
  • DD Oshio
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Kiyoshi Kikkawa
  • DD Michishio
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Masami Ogura
  • DD Arashio
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Hideo Kuboki
Destroyer Division 15
  • DD Hayashio
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Kiyoshi Kaneda
  • DD Natsushio
    Notes: Sunk by the USN Sub S-37 (Lt. Dempsey) on February 8th, 1942 off Makassar.
  • DD Kuroshio
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Tamaki Ugaki
  • DD Oyashio
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Tokiyoshi Arima

Destroyer Division 21

Part of Destroyer Squadron 1, 1st Fleet
  • DD Wakaba
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Masakichi Kuroki
  • DD Nenohi
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Saburo Terauchi
  • DD Hatsushimo
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Satoru Migihama

Minesweeper Division 21

  • MS W7
  • MS W8

Subchaser Division 2

  • SC Ch 13
  • SC Ch 14
  • SC Ch 15

Subchaser Division 1

  • SC Ch ?
  • SC P ?
  • SC P ?


  • ML Tsukushi
  • ML Aotaka

Seaplane Tender Division 11

  • Rear Admiral Fujita
  • ST Chitose
  • ST Mizuho
  • ST Sanuki Maru
  • PB P?

Support Force

Stationed in the Balikpapan Area
  • Rear Admiral Sueto Hirose

Destroyer Squadron 4

Part 2nd Fleet
Destroyer Division 24
  • DD Kawakaze
  • DD Umikaze
Destroyer Division 9
  • DD Asagumo
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Tooru Iwahashi
  • DD Natsugumo
    Commanding officer: Cmdr. Moritarou Tsukamoto
  • DD Minegumo
    Commanding officer: Lt. Cmdr. Yasuatsu Suzuki

30th Minesweeper Division

  • MS W17
  • MS W18

11th Minesweeper Division

  • MS W15
  • MS W16


  • 6 Transports
    Notes: Carrying Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force.


  • The Battle of the Java Sea by F. C. Van Oosten
  • Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945 by J. Rohwer & G. Hummelchen
  • A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941-1945) by P. Dull
  • "Long Lancers" by Allyn D. Nevitt, at the Nihon Kaigun website.
  • Sea Battles in Close-Up, WWII, Vol. 2, Java Sea by E. Grove
  • Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War by E. LaCroix & L. Wells III