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Ryujo file photo [1753]


Ship ClassRyujo-class Aircraft Carrier
BuilderMitsubishi, Yokohama Dockyard
Laid Down26 Nov 1929
Launched2 Apr 1931
Commissioned9 May 1933
Sunk24 Aug 1942
Displacement10,600 tons standard; 12,732 tons full
Length590 feet
Beam68 feet
Draft23 feet
Machinery12 Kampon water-tube boilers, 2 geared steam turbines, 2 shafts
Power Output65,000 shaft horsepower
Speed29 knots
Range10,000nm at 14 knots
Armament4x2x12.7 dual-purpose guns, 2x2x25mm anti-aircraft guns
Aircraft48 operational, 0 in reserve


ww2dbaseRyujo was laid down as an 8,000 ton carrier in 1929. When she was completed, it was discovered that her design was not capable to safely travel in the rough seas. In the mid-1930s and 1940 she was reconstructed to improve her sea-worthiness. Her construction was unique that her forecastle was built within the hangar structure, giving her a clean and streamlined look.

ww2dbaseRyujo's first WW2 service came in 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. When the Pacific War began, she was commanded by Captain Tadao Kato as the flagship of Carrier Division 4. She was constructed as a fleet carrier, but her relative small size prevented her from being used effectively as one, so her role was relegated to a supporting one alongside of other larger and more modern fleet carriers. In Dec 1941, she provided air support for the landings at Davao and Jolo. In Jan 1941 she supported operations in Malaya. In Feb 1942, she fought at the Battle of the Java Sea, assisting in sinking the American destroyer Pope. In Apr 1942 she also participated in the Japanese Navy's raid into the Indian Ocean; she launched aircraft against Cocanada and Vizagapatam in India. On 3 and 4 Jun 1942, she participated in Operation AL to attack and occupy the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific.

ww2dbaseIn Aug 1942, Ryujo was sent as a bait for American air attacks while the main force attacked the American carriers; what resulted was the 24 Aug Battle of the Eastern Solomons. The bait Ryujo was overwhelmed and was eventually hit by several 1,000-lb bombs then subsequently one hit by aerial torpedo. She listed 20 degrees to port, then a moment later her engines stopped. Captain Kato ordered abandon ship at 1315. All but 120 of her crew were removed by the flagship cruiser Tone and destroyers Amatsukaze and Tokitsukaze; her aircraft were sent to Buka Island. At 2000 that day she sank under the waves. Only one American aircraft was lost during the attack on her.

ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, the Struggle for Guadalcanal, Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Mar 2006

Aircraft Carrier Ryujo Interactive Map


Carrier Ryujo under construction in Drydock No. 5, Yokosuka, Japan, 20 Oct 1931Carrier Ryujo in Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan, 20 Mar 1933; note 12.7cm anti-aircraft guns
See all 10 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Ryujo


Japanese track chart during Battle of Eastern Solomons, 23-25 Aug 1942; Annex B of Toyama

Ryujo Operational Timeline

9 May 1933 Ryujo was commissioned into service.
5 Sep 1937 Ryujo departed Sasebo, Japan.
21 Sep 1937 Ryujo attacked Guangzhou, Guangdong, China with 9 aircraft in the afternoon; they claimed to have shot down five of the defending Chinese Hawk III fighters.
3 Oct 1937 Ryujo arrived at Shanghai, China.
6 Dec 1941 Ryujo departed Palau Islands for the Philippine Islands.
1 Apr 1942 Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Malaya Force, Second Expeditionary Fleet, departs Mergui, Burma and steams into the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean Raids to attack merchant shipping. The force includes light carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai, Suzuya, Kumano, Mikuma, Mogami, and Yura.
5 Apr 1942 Following Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa’s force’s attack on the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon, the force is split creating a Northern Group commanded by Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita consisting of cruisers Kumano and Suzuya; the Center Group consisting of the carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai and Yura under Ozawa; and the Southern Group comprised of cruisers Mogami, and Mikuma under Captain Shakao Sakiyama for the purposes of smaller raids against merchant shipping.
11 Apr 1942 Ozawa's Force arrived at Singapore to conclude a successful sortie into the Indian Ocean.
24 Aug 1942 Kumano screened the carrier Ryujo and the battleship Kirishima in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and against an attack from B-17 bombers.

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More on Ryujo
» Kaneko, Tadashi
» Kondo, Masaichi
» Okumiya, Masatake

Event(s) Participated:
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Guangdong Operation
» Invasion of the Philippine Islands
» Invasion of Malaya and Singapore
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Sumatra
» Fall of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Solomon Islands Campaign

» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Functions
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Specifications
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Partner Sites Content:
» Ryujo Tabular Record of Movement

Aircraft Carrier Ryujo Photo Gallery
Carrier Ryujo under construction in Drydock No. 5, Yokosuka, Japan, 20 Oct 1931Carrier Ryujo in Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan, 20 Mar 1933; note 12.7cm anti-aircraft guns
See all 10 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Ryujo

Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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