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Koga, Mineichi "Yneichi"

    Date of birth:
    September 28th, 1885 (Arita, Saga, Japan)
    Date of death:
    March 31st, 1944 (Near Davao, Philippines, Pacific Ocean)
    Buried on:
    Tama Cemetery
    Nationality:
    Japanese (1868-present, Empire)

    Biography

    Promotions:
    ?: Sho-i Ko-hosai (Ensign);
    ?: Shu-i (Sub-Lieutenant);
    ?: Tahi-i (Lieutenant);
    1917: Sho-sa (Lieutenant Commander);
    December 1st, 1926: Dai-sa (Captain);
    December 31st, 1932: Sho-sho (Rear Admiral);
    December 31st, 1936: Chu-sho (Vice Admiral);
    March 1944: Gen-sui (Admiral of the Fleet - posthumously).

    Career:
    ? - 1906: Imperial Japanese Naval Academy;
    ?: Cruiser Matsushima;
    ?: Cruiser Katori;
    ?: Cruiser Otawa;
    ?: Cruiser Suma;
    ?: Battleship Aki;
    1911: Cruiser Kashima;
    ?: Imperial Japanese Naval Academy;
    1920: Resident Officer, France;
    1922: Executiver Officer Cruiser Kitakami;
    1926 - November 1st, 1928: Naval Attaché, Paris;
    1930: Commanding Officer Yokosuka Naval Station;
    December 31st, 1930: Commanding Officer Cruiser Aoba;
    December 31st, 1931: Commanding Officer Battleship Isa;
    1933: Intelligence Division, Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff;
    December 31st, 1936: Vice Chief, Navy General Staff;
    1939: Commanding Officer Japanese 2nd Fleet;
    September 1st, 1941: Commanding Officer China Area Fleet;
    April 1943: Commander in Chief Combined Fleet.
    31 March 1944: Killed in a plane crash

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Gen-sui (Admiral of the Fleet)
    Unit:
    Commander Japanese Fleet
    Awarded on:
    May 12th, 1944
    The following press article describes how Koga would be justified for the award of the Knight’s Cross and the Oakleaves…

    “During the execution of his military duties in the foremost line Admiral Koga, supreme commander of the united Japanese fleet, has found his death. Admiral Soemu Toyoda has been named his successor. The Japanese navy and with them the whole Japanese people mourn the loss of their highest fleet commander, who has operated in this all-important posting for only a year following Großadmiral Yamamoto.

    The dispatch of the royal headquarters concerning his death, released on Friday afternoon at 15:00 Japanese time, reads as follows:

    ‘Admiral Yineichi Koga, Supreme Commander of the United Fleet, died in March of this year at his post while flying aboard an aircraft.’

    After his heroic death Flottenadmiral Koga, a message from the spokesperson of the navy followed, specifically a belated promotion to Großadmiral by Tenno. At the same time Tenno awarded Großadmiral Koga the Order of the Golden Dragon 1st Class. One accepts here that Koga was honoured with a state funeral.

    During his one year leadership of the Japanese fleet the now deceased Admiral Koga was able to bring about great achievements for his country in numerous successful battles. These included the 1st-6th air battles of Bougainville, the battle for the Gilbert islands and last but not least the enemy losses in the waters of the Lunga bay.”
    Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Gen-sui (Admiral of the Fleet)
    Unit:
    Commander Japanese Fleet
    Awarded on:
    May 12th, 1944
    Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
    Awarded on the same grounds as the Knight's Cross.
    Badge for Graduates of Naval Staff College
    1937 China Incident Medal
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    1944
    Posthumously awarded
    Marshal's badge

    Sources