Ota Minoru (1891-1945)

Photograph of Ota Minoru

Wikimedia Commons

Ota Minoru had long experience commanding Special Naval Landing Forces, having commanded the force that fought in Shanghai in August 1937. He commanded the forces assigned to take Midway and was subsequently promoted to rear admiral. He commanded the Japanese naval infantry on New Georgia in the Solomons in mid-1943. He and his SNLF troops were successfully evacuated by barge in August 1943. He then commanded Okinawa Base Force on Okinawa, where he committed suicide in his underground headquarters on 13 June 1945, leaving behind a death poem (Feifer 1992);

How could we rejoice over our birth

but to die an honorable death
under the Emperor's flag.

Service record

1891-4-7   born
Midshipman Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 64th in a class of 118. Assigned to CL Adzuma.
1914-8-11   BB Kawachi
1914-12-1 Ensign  
1915-6-30   Awaiting assignment
1915-10-27   BB Fuso
1916-12-1 Lieutenant junior grade
Gunnery School Basic Course
1917-11-14   Awaiting assignment
1918-9-20   1 Naval District
1918-12-1   Torpedo School Basic Course
1919-5-23   Gunnery School Basic Course
1919-12-1   Sasebo Sailor Corps
1920-12-1 Lieutenant Gunnery School Advanced Course
1921-12-1   BB Hiei
1923-8-13   BB Fuso
1924-12-1   1 Naval District
1925-12-1   Instructor, Gunnery School
1926-12-1 Lieutenant commander     
1928-12-10   Staff, 1 Expeditionary Fleet
1929-9-25   3 Naval District
1929-11-1   Yokosuka Sailor Corps
1931-11-2   Instructor, Gunnery School
1932-1-29   Staff, 1 Expeditionary Fleet
1932-4-20   Instructor, Gunnery School
1932-12-1 Commander  
1936-12-1   Executive officer, BB Yamashiro
1937-10-16   Commander, AO Tsurumi
1937-12-1 Captain  
1938-8-10   Navy General Staff
1939-1-20   Commander, 6 Kure SNLF
1939-4-1   Commander, 6 Defense Unit
1939-4-15   Executive officer, Kure Sailor Corps
1941-11-1   Staff, China Area Fleet
1942-1-15   1 Naval District
1942-5-1   Commander, 2 Combined SNLF
1942-8-10   Commander, 2 Sasebo Sailor Corps
1942-11-1 Rear admiral
1942-11-11   Staff, 8 Fleet
1942-11-20   Commander, 8 Combined SNLF
1943-12-1   Commander, 14 Auxiliary Base Force
1944-3-20   Commander, Sasebo Guard Force
1945-1-20   Commander, 4 Maritime Escort Fleet
1945-2-25   Commander, Okinawa Area Auxiliary Base Force
1945-6-13 Vice admiral
Commits suicide

Feifer (1992)

Fuller (1992)

Materials of IJN (accessed 2008-6-20)

Prados (1995)

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