Susumu Kimura was born in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan on 1 June 1891, and he graduated from the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy in 1912. He graduated from the Navy Staff College in 1918, and he served as a navigator on several warships before becoming a Lieutenant Commander in 1925 and Commander in 1930. Kimura took command of the 2nd Destroyer Division in 1934, and he had risen to a General Staff position at the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. In May 1942, he was promoted to Rear Admiral, and he commanded the 10th Destroyer Squadron (with Nagara as his flagship) at the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Santa Cruz, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In December 1944, he became head of the Naval Navigational School, and he was promoted to Vice Admiral in April 1945. He died in 1980 at the age of 88.