Kondo, Admiral Nobutake, 1886-1953

In December 1 941 Kondo and his Southern Fleet were on patrol off the shores of Malaya and when news reached him that Force Z, the Repulse and Prince of Wales, was in the vicinity, he sent out the aircraft which sank this British naval presence in the Far East. At Midway he was in command of the Main Support Force for the invasion of the island, but when NAGUMO’s Carrier Force had been put out of commission by the US, Kondo’s fleet withdrew without seeing any action. Kondo was then given command of a unit of cruisers and given tactical command of the fleet in the battle known as the Eastern Solomons (24 August 1942). Kondo tried to engage the US fleet off Guadalcanal by day in order to give TANAKA a chance to get supplies to the Japanese on the island, but both operations failed. In October Kondo was sent to try to coordinate his fleet with the land offensive and in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island that followed, sank the Hornet. The last action in which he was engaged was the naval Battle of Guadalcanal in which his cruisers tried to shell Henderson Field. He did not accomplish this mission because he ran into US forces off Savo Island and although he sank the Preston and the Walke the main object of the exercise, the reinforcement of Guadalcanal, failed.

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