Originally slated to be the third ship of the Furutaka-class, Aoba, along with her sister Kinugasa, was redesigned after construction began, mainly to incorporate a larger main gun caliber. Commissioned 20 September, 1927, Aoba spent much of her time in the 1920s and 30s patrolling Chinese waters, before undergoing modernization in 1938-40. In December, 1941, Aoba participated in the invasions of Guam and Wake Island, and joined the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, 1942, where she unsuccessfully escorted the light carrier Shoho. Aoba missed Midway while under repair at Kure, but was subsequently assigned to the Solomons, just in time for the American invasion of Guadalcanal. Aoba participated in the Battle of Savo Island on 9 August, 1942, receiving one hit during the fight. In October, she was on the receiving end of 40+ 8" and 6" shells at the Battle of Cape Esperance, and was ordered back to Japan for repairs by Admiral Yamamoto himself. Aoba spent 1943 and 1944 trying to keep ahead of damage from submarine and air attack, being hit on at least five separate occasions. Upon limping into Japan in December, 1944, she was declared irreparable, and placed in reserve. She was sunk at anchor on 24 April, 1945 at Kure, and hit again on 24 and 28 July. Aoba was scrapped as she lay post war.