Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo
|Fate:||Sunk by US air attack in the battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942|
|Struck:||10 November 1942|
|Propulsion:||Steam turbines, 6 boilers, 2 shafts, 65,000 hp (48.5 MW)|
|Speed:||29 knots (54 km/h)|
|Range:||10,000 nautical miles at 14 knots (19,000 km at 26 km/h)|
|Armament:||Eight 5 inch (100 mm) guns, four 25 mm guns, twenty-four 13 mm guns|
Her small design — when launched she displaced only 8,000 tons — proved to be incapable of safe operation in heavy seas. In the 1930s she was extensively modified to improve her seakeeping, and in 1940 her low forecastle was built up one deck to make her less wet. Nonetheless, she was employed in operations in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
In World War II, she was commanded by Captain Kato Tadao and was the flagship of Carrier Division 4. The presence of large fleet carriers meant that she was initially assigned to secondary tasks.
In December 1941 she supported the invasion of the Philippines, providing air cover for the landings at Davao on 20 December at Jolo on 25 December. In January 1942 she supported the conquest of Malaya and in February 1942 she attacked ABDA forces around Java. On 1 March 1942 she took part in the battle of the Java Sea, assisting in the sinking of USS Pope. In March she operated against the Andaman Islands and the coast of Burma.
In early April, as part of the Indian Ocean raid she attacked shipping in the Bay of Bengal. Together with the cruisers Chokai, Kumano , Suzuya , Mogami , Mikuma , Yura , and four destroyers, she sank 23 merchant ships. On 6 April she launched air strikes against Cocanada and Vizagapatam in India.
In June 1942 Ryujo was part of the Northern Force that attacked the Aleutian Islands as a diversion from the battle of Midway. Ryujo's planes struck Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island on 3 June and 4 June 1942.
The sinking of four of Japan's six fleet carriers in the battle of Midway made Ryujo much more important to the Japanese Navy.
In August 1942 she was reassigned to Carrier Division 2, and with Shokaku and Zuikaku she was dispatched to the Solomon Islands. Ryujo's role in the operation was to support a convoy of transports that were to reinforce and resupply Japanese troops on Guadalcanal, and to attack the Allied air base at Henderson Field, while the fleet carriers operated against the US Navy's aircraft carriers. This operation resulted in the battle of the Eastern Solomons.
On 24 August 1942, Ryujo, escorted by the cruiser Tone and the destroyers Amatsukaze and Tokitsukaze , launched two strikes on Guadalcanal from a position 100 miles north of Tulagi. At 13:57 she was attacked by dive-bombers and torpedo bombers from USS Saratoga (CV-3), and was hit by several bombs (sources differ as to how many) and one torpedo. The torpedo hit flooded the starboard engine room and Ryujo began to list. At 15:15 the order to abandon ship was given. At 18:00 she capsized and sank. 120 of the crew were killed. The survivors, including Captain Kato, were taken off by her escorts.
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