The Aoba was an Imperial Japanese Navy heavy cruiser that was commissioned on 20 September 1927. The ship was heavily modernized from 1938 through 1940, and Aoba originally served as a patrol craft along the China coast. Aoba was heavily damaged during the Battle of Cape Esperance in 1942, being hit by 40 shells from USS Helena (CL-50)Aoba suffered 81 dead, including Admiral Aritomo Goto, and it boilers were off line, its bridge wrecked, one turret knocked out, and another turret destroyed, and Aoba limped back to Truk for repairs supervised by Isoroku Yamamoto himself. On 3 April 1943, Aoba was beached after an attack by US Air Force planes, as the ship was nearly sunk. The ship was later sent to escort supply convoys, and the ship was re-rated as a reserve ship after being attacked by a US Navy submarine off the Philippines on 23 October 1944. On 24 April 1945, Aoba settled at the bottom of Kure harbor in Japan after a US bombing raid, and the ship was attacked again on 24 July, sinking her 25 feet below water, and on 28 July, when it caught fire and lost its stern. Her wreck was scrapped in 1946-1947.

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