25 June 1896|
Nakanojo, Gunma, Japan
7 February 1978 (aged 81)|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1917–1945|
Chikuma, Fusō, Musashi |
1st Carrier Division
Komura was born in Nakanojo, Gunma prefecture. He graduated from the 45th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1917, ranked 10th in his class of 89 cadets. As midshipman, Komura served on the cruiser Iwate and battleship Settsu. After his commissioning as ensign, he was assigned to the battleships Hizen and Suwo. He later served in various capacities aboard the battleship Nagato, destroyers Nire and Hokaze, and cruisers Izumo, Kako and Jintsu.
Komura graduated from the Naval Staff College in 1929, and with a promotion to lieutenant commander assumed command of the destroyer Kuretake, followed by the Nametake two years later. From 1932-1934, he was naval attaché to the United Kingdom. After his return to Japan, he served in various staff positions. He was promoted to captain on 15 November 1938.
Komura commanded the cruiser Chikuma during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Participating in naval operations in the Indian Ocean with the carrier task force, Komura took part in several battles including the Battle of Midway and the Battle of Santa Cruz.
Komura was promoted to rear admiral on 1 November 1943. Appointed chief of staff of the First Task Force, Komura took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944. In October 1944, Komura assumed command of the 1st Carrier Division shortly before the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
On 16 November 1944, the light cruiser Yahagi was assigned as the flagship of Rear Admiral Komura's new DesRon 2. On 6 April 1945, Komura received orders for Operation Ten-Go, to attack the American invasion force on Okinawa. Yahagi was ordered to accompany battleship Yamato from Tokushima for its final suicide mission against the American fleet.
At 12:46, a torpedo hit Yahagi directly in her engine room, killing the entire engineering room crew and bringing her to a complete stop. Dead in the water, Yahagi was hit by at least six more torpedoes and 12 bombs by succeeding waves of air attacks. Yahagi capsized and sank at 14:05 at taking 445 crewmen with her. Komura was among the survivors rescued by the destroyer Yukikaze.
Komura lived on after the war until 1978. He was portrayed by actor Hirotarō Honda in the 2005 Japanese movie Otokotachi no Yamato.
- Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy.
- Feifer, George (2001). "Operation Heaven Number One". The Battle of Okinawa: The Blood and the Bomb. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-215-5.
- Hara, Tameichi (1961). "The Last Sortie". Japanese Destroyer Captain. New York & Toronto: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-27894-1. — First-hand account of the battle by the captain of the Japanese cruiser Yahagi.
- Skulski, Janusz (1989). The Battleship Yamato. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-019-X.
- Spurr, Russell (1995). A Glorious Way to Die: The Kamikaze Mission of the Battleship Yamato, April 1945. Newmarket Press. ISBN 1-55704-248-9.
- Yoshida, Mitsuru; Minear, Richard H. (1999). Requiem for Battleship Yamato. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-544-6. A first-hand account of the battle by Yamato's only surviving bridge officer.
- Nishida, Hiroshi. "Imperial Japanese Navy". Retrieved 2006-12-08.