Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Nishimura Shoji (1889–1944)

Japanese navy admiral. Born in Akita Prefecture on 30 November 1889, Nishimura Shoji graduated from the Naval Academy in 1911 and specialized in navigation. After graduation from the Naval War College in 1918, Nishimura served as a navigation officer on destroyers and cruisers. Promoted to commander, he captained several destroyers from 1926 to 1929. He then commanded destroyer squadrons (1931–1936). Promoted to captain in 1934, Nishimura commanded the 10th Destroyer Division. From 1937 to 1940, he commanded first the cruiser Kumano, then the battleship Haruna, and then the 4th Torpedo Flotilla. Promoted to rear admiral in November 1940, he took command of 4th Destroyer Squadron.

Nishimura's 4th Destroyer Squadron participated at the beginning of the Pacific war in amphibious operations in the northern Philippines and Balikpapan and Borneo in the Netherlands East Indies and fought in the Battle of the Java Sea. In June 1942, Nishimura assumed command of the 7th Cruiser Division and fought in the naval battles off Guadalcanal. In 1943, Nishimura was promoted to vice admiral and assigned command of the 2nd Battleship Squadron. He commanded C Force, Southern Force in the SHO-1 Plan in an attempt to reach the American landing beaches in Leyte Gulf through Surigao Strait in the 23–26 October 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf. Nishimura's force consisted of the old battleships Fuso and Yamashiro, heavy cruiser Mogami, and 4 destroyers.

Nishimura's force was met in Surigao Strait by Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorff's Task Group 77.2 of 6 old battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 28 destroyers, and about 40 torpedo boats. Early in the morning of 25 October 1944, Nishimura's forces were first savaged by U.S. torpedo boats and destroyers along the strait with the U.S. battleships and cruisers arranged athwart the end of the strait, in effect crossing the T of Nishimura's formation. In the ensuing battle, all of Nishimura's ships were sunk except the destroyer Shigure. Oldendorff lost no ships, and only 1 destroyer was badly damaged when it was caught in the crossfire of Japanese and American gunfire.

Hirama Yoichi


Further Reading
Cutler, Thomas J. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, 23–26 October 1944. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.; Field, James A., Jr. The Japanese at Leyte Gulf: The Sho Operation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1947.
 

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