Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Hosogaya (Hosokaya) Boshiro (1888–1964)

Japanese navy admiral. Born at Nagono on 24 June 1888, Hosogaya (Hosokaya) Boshiro graduated from the Naval Academy in 1908. After World War I, he held a variety of commands in cruisers and battleships. In 1934, Hosogaya was the captain of the battleship Mutsu, and the following year he was promoted to rear admiral. He then commanded first the Naval Communications School and then the Torpedo School. In 1939, Hosogaya was promoted to vice admiral and took charge of the Port Arthur naval base in China. He commanded Japan's Central China Fleet beginning in November 1940.

During the June 1942 Battle of Midway, Hosogaya commanded the diversionary force that attacked the Aleutian Islands. His assaults, beginning on 3 June the day before the strike on Midway, were successful, and Japanese troops occupied Attu and Kiska Islands. This occupation of American territory had only propaganda value, however.

In July 1942, Hosogaya's command became the Fifth Fleet with responsibility for protecting the northern Pacific. The Japanese increased their garrisons on Attu and Kiska to more than 8,000 men, and Hosogaya was responsible for their resupply. During the winter of 1942–1943, U.S. forces began making offensive moves toward these Japanese bases.

Hosogaya was determined to escort an important convoy to Kiska at the end of March 1943. On 26 March, Hosogaya's force, consisting of 2 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 4 destroyers, was escorting 2 transports near the Komandorski Islands when they were intercepted by a U.S. Navy task force commanded by Rear Admiral Charles H. McMorris that consisted of 1 heavy cruiser, 1 light cruiser, and 4 destroyers. At dawn, the two sides spotted one another, and battle commenced. This 4-hour action was one of the last surface battles without interference from naval aviation. In his efforts to protect his vulnerable transports, Hosogaya failed to press his advantage in numbers. The U.S. heavy cruiser Salt Lake City was hit several times, but the Japanese cruiser Nachi was hit twice, and Hosogaya ordered his transports to return home and broke off the action. The next month, Hosogaya was relieved of duty for lack of aggressiveness. He was later recalled from retirement to serve as governor of the South Seas Agency at Truk. Hosogaya died at Atami-city in Kanagawa Prefecture on 8 February 1964.

Tim J. Watts


Further Reading
Dull, Paul S. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941–1945). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1978.; Garfield, Brian. The Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians. New York: Doubleday, 1969.; Lorelli, John A. The Battle of the Komandorski Islands, March 1943. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984.
 

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