The second of four Agano-class light cruisers, Noshiro was laid down in 1941, and joined the fleet in June, 1943. On 15 August, Noshiro took over as flagship, Destroyer Squadron 2, for the old cruiser Jintsu, which had been lost a month earlier. She would operate in the southwest and central Pacific, with little action, taking minor damage in several American air raids, and she returned to Japan in January, 1944. taken in for a refit upon her return, Noshiro returned to service in March, with an increased light AA battery. Noshiro was sent to the Philippines in April, and spent the next month dodging submarine attacks. She participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, escaping damage, after which she underwent another refit to boost her AA armament again. When the US returned to the Philippines in October, 1944, Noshiro was committed to the Center Force for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and hit the escort carriers White Plains and Gambier Bay with her main battery. Noshiro was lightly damaged by an unidentified destroyer, and withdrew with the rest of Center Force. On 26 October, a lucky torpedo hit from a TBF Avenger knocked out all of Noshiro's boilers in succession, and she went down with half her crew after a second torpedo hit from another Avenger later in the day.