November 4, 1937-The keel of the Yamato is laid in the shipyards of Kure.
August 8, 1940-The battleship Yamato is launched.
December 16, 1941-The Yamato is turned over to the Imperial Japanese Navy. Immediately afterwards, the Yamato joins Battleship Division 1, and begins its training.
February 12, 1942-The Yamato becomes the flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet.
June 4, 1942-The Yamato was the flagship throughout the Battle of Midway, and after the loss, the Yamato and its crew headed for the Inland Sea.
August 1942-The Yamato left for Truk, where a series of attempts to regain Guadalcanal could be effectively launched.
February 11, 1943-Admiral Yamamoto changes the flagship from the Yamato to the Musashi.
April 18, 1943-The Yamato and the Musashi are ordered to return to Japan after the death of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and the loss of Guadalcanal. Upon arrival, the Yamato is then drydocked at Kure for minor repairs.
Mid-1943-The Yamato and the Musashi are ordered to the Marshall Islands and to Gilbert Island, but neither saw action against the enemy in this operation, but instead spent much of the time docked at Truk.
December 25, 1943-The Yamato torpedoed by the USS Skate while returning to Truk from a trip to Yokosuka. This torpedo tore several brackets holding the side armor on, allowing nearly 3,000 tons of water to enter then magazine room of Turret Number 3.
January 16, 1944-The Yamato arrives in Kure for repairs. The Yamato also has six 6.1 inch guns removed, which were replaced by six 5 inch guns.
April 21, 1944-The Yamato’s repairs are completed, and the Yamato left for Lingga anchorage.
May 1, 1944-The Yamato arrives in the Lingga anchorage, where it would stay until May 11. On May 11, the Yamato leaves for Tawitawi.
May 16, 1944-The Yamato arrives in Tawitawi, along with Battleship Division 1. The Yamato and the remainder of the division would provide support for the Japanese carrier force, including the Shokaku, Zuikaku, and the Zuiho, throughout the allied invasion of Biak Island (West New Guinea) in late May, with the Yamato and the Musashi providing the basis for a counterattack on the force. This action was recalled due to the impending invasion of Saipan.
June 19, 1944-After the Battle of the Philippines Sea, the Yamato and the Musashi, neither of which had suffered any damage during the battle, returned to Japan. There they then prepared to defend Formosa, Okinawa, and the Philippines, as well as the homeland. Upon arriving home, the Yamato received 15 more 25 mm Anti-aircraft guns.
July 9, 1944-The two battleships left for the Lingga anchorage (arrived July 16) to undergo training to prepare for upcoming battles.
October 18, 1944-After a scout on Suluan Island flashed a report of enemy ships in Leyte gulf, the Yamato and Musashi left, stopping at Brunei (arrived October 20 and departing October 22) for refueling before moving on to Leyte Gulf.
October 24, 1944-The Yamato is hit by 2 bombs and a near miss, causing about 6,700 tons of flooding. The force began to withdraw, but reversed its direction at 4:14 p.m.
October 25, 1944-At 5:50 in the morning, several ships were spotted on the horizon. Admiral Kurita ordered general pursuit, with a speed increase to 24 knots. At 6:00 a.m., the Yamato opened fire on the escort carrier force (Taffy III) starting off the Battle of Samar Gulf. Ten minutes later, the Yamato reported that it had hit the escort carrier USS Gambier Bay. A while later, torpedo tracks are spotted heading for the Yamato, forcing it into a turn which would effectively put it out of the fight for a while. While the Yamato remained undamaged, the Japanese forces retreated for Brunei Bay (Borneo).
November 16, 1944-The Yamato leaves Borneo for the Inland Sea (arrives November 23). where it will recieve another thirty-five 25 mm guns.
April 6, 1945-The Yamato leaves for Okinawa with the Yahagi, Isokaze, Hamakaze, Asashimo, Kasumi, Hatsushimo, Fuyuzuki, Suzutsuki, and Yukikaze. The Yamato and its force leave Tokuyama after dropping its casualties and training cadets off.
April 7, 1945-The Asashimo develops engine problems and falls back while the rest of the force forms up around the Yamato. A United States naval floatplane spots the group and relays the information. Around 12:25 p.m., the Yamato reports seeing numerous aircraft off of its port bow. The light cruiser Yahagi tries to draw aircraft away from the Yamato, as do several other of the destroyers, but the Yamato started receiving bomb hits around 12:40 p.m. The Yamato was hit many more times before a final torpedo managed to sink it. Nearly three quarters of the crew died in the sinking. The Yamato received 10 bomb hits and 12 torpedo hits before sinking.
A Japanese diving team found the Yamato in the 1970’s. The ship was in two pieces, with the forward section inverted and the aft section listing to port.