Order of Battle
Battle of Makassar Strait
4 February 1942
Contributed by Dan Muir

ABDA Naval Forces

CL  De Ruyter (F) (Dutch)  Rear Admiral Karel Doorman
CL  Tromp  (Dutch)
CA Houston (USN)             Captain Albert H. Rooks
CL Marblehead (USN)       Captain Robinson
DD Bankert (Dutch)
DD Piet Hein (Dutch)
DD Van Ghent  (Dutch)

58th Desdiv.
DD Barker  (USN)
DD Bulmer  (USN)
DD Edwards (USN)
DD Stewart (USN)

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.

Imperial Japanese Navy

Possible Imperial Japanese Naval Forces which the ABDA Naval Forces would have intercepted on their way to invade Makassar are listed below.

Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) forces assigned to Makassar Invasion
Covering Force - Rear Admiral Takeo Takagi
5th Cruiser Division
CA  Nachi (F)
CA Haguro

Desdiv 7, Cardiv 1, 1st Air Fleet
DD Akebono   Lt. Cmdr. Minoru Nakagawa

Desdiv 6, Desron 1, 1st Fleet
DD Ikazuchi   Lt. Cmdr. Sunsaku Kudo

Convoy Escort (1st Base Force) Rear Admiral Kyuji Kubo
Sentai 16, 3rd Fleet (Nagara was administratively assigned to this unit)
CL  Nagara (F)

Desdiv 8, Desron 2, 2nd Fleet
DD Asashio  Lt. Cmdr. Gorou Yoshii
DD Oshio   Cmdr. Kiyoshi Kikkawa
DD Michishio  Lt. Cmdr. Masami Ogura
DD Arashio  Cmdr. Hideo Kuboki

Desdiv 15, Desron 2, 2nd Fleet
DD Hayashio  Cmdr. Kiyoshi Kaneda
DD Natsushio
DD Kuroshio  Cmdr. Tamaki Ugaki
DD Oyashio  Cmdr. Tokiyoshi Arima

Desdiv 21, Desron 1, 1st Fleet
DD Wakaba  Lt. Cmdr. Masakichi Kuroki
DD Nenohi   Lt. Cmdr. Saburo Terauchi
DD Hatsushimo  Lt. Cmdr. Satoru Migihama

Minesweeper Division 21

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

Air Group - Rear Admiral Fujita
Seaplane Tender Division 11
ST Chitose
ST Mizuho
ST Sanuki Maru

Support Force (Stationed in the Balikpapan Area) - Rear Admiral Sueto Hirose
Desdiv 24, Desron 4, 2nd Fleet
DD Kawakaze
DD Umikaze

Desdiv 9, Desron 4, 2nd Fleet
DD Asagumo  Cmdr. Tooru Iwahashi
DD Natsugumo  Cmdr. Moritarou Tsukamoto
DD Minegumo  Lt. Cmdr. Yasuatsu Suzuki

30th Minesweeper Division
MS W17
MS W18

11th Minesweeper Division
MS W15
MS W16

6 Transports carrying the Sasebo Combined Special Naval Landing Force.

Note:  Natsushio was sunk by the USN Sub S-37 (Lt. Dempsey) on February 8th, 1942 off Makassar.

1. The Battle of the Java Sea by F. C. Van Oosten
2.   Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945 by J. Rohwer & G. Hummelchen
3.  A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941-1945) by P. Dull
4. Nihon Kaigun website at: http://www.skypoint.com/~jbp/kaigun.htm
 see Allyn Nevitt’s ‘Long Lancers’ page.
5. Sea Battles in Close-Up, WWII, Vol. 2, Java Sea by E. Grove
6. Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War by E. LaCroix & L. Wells III.