IJN Ryuho: Tabular Record of Movement

(Updated 3/27/04)

© 2001 Anthony P. Tully

20 December 1941:
Submarine depot tender TAIGEI is designated # 3 Reserve Ship of Kure Naval District and taken out of service for conversion to a light aircraft carrier. Captain Kiyama Tatsuo in charge of conversion.

18 April 1942:
While still in dock at Yokosuka undergoing conversion to light carrier, suffers damage enemy air raid on Tokyo region. Bombed by Lt. Edgar E. McElroy's Crew 13 in B-25 S/N 40-2247 of Lt. Col James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle's "Tokyo Raiders". Received one direct bomb hit on the bow and 30 incendiary bomb hits, eight of the latter being duds. Damage to the ship is light, but there are seven casualties.

23 April 1942:
Captain Soma Shinshiro appointed as Commanding Officer.

20 October 1942:
Assigned to Maizuru Naval District as Reserve Ship #1.

1 November 1942:
Captain Soma relieved by Captain Kamei Yoshio as Commanding officer of TAIGEI.

30 November 1942:
Conversion complete and name TAIGEI dropped as re-commissioned as the aircraft carrier RYUHO and assigned to the 3rd Fleet. Captain Soma Nobishiro assigned as Commanding Officer.

11 December 1942:
Departs Yokosuka escorted by TOKITSUKAZE for Inland Sea to join the fleet at Truk with twenty light bombers and pilots embarked.

12 December 1942:
At 0910 attacked by Submarine USS DRUM 160 miles east of Hachijo-jima outside Tokyo bay. Suffers one direct torpedo hit on starboard side amidships. Damage is moderate, but she is forced to return to Yokosuka.

14 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 December 1942:
Enters drydock at Yokosuka for torpedo damage repairs.

10 February 1943:
Leave drydock, torpedo damage repairs complete.

19 March 1943:
Depart Yokosuka for Oita, Inland Sea.

20 March 1943:
Arrive Inland Sea. During remainder of month and through April and May, she made a number of unspecified runs to various places in the southern part of the Empire.

11 June 1943:
Depart Hashira-jima for Yokosuka to embark the marooned air group of the carrier HIYO torpedoed on June 10 outside Tokyo Bay.

12 June 1943:
Removed from 3rd Force, Mobile Force Training Force, and assigned to CarDiv 2, 3rd Fleet.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 June 1943:
Depart Yokosuka with UNYO and CHUYO for Truk.

21 June 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

10 July 1943:
Assigned to Main Unit Mobile Force, CarDiv 2, Third Fleet.

19 July 1943:
Depart Truk for Kure.

24 July 1943:
Arrive at Kure. Reassigned to Maintenance Force, Mobile Force, and remained in the western Inland Sea. In July and August she makes calls in the southern part of the homeland including Kinetsuri, Beppu, and Hashirajima.

30 August 1943:
Deplane HIYO's air group and crew members for return to their carrier which has completed repairs.

2 September 1943:
Now relieved of HIYO's air group, reassigned to Mobile Force, Stand-by-Force and returned to Kure.

22 September 1943:
Enter drydock at Kure.

27 September 1943:
Leave drydock.

6 October 1943:
Depart Kure, sailing around Inland Sea ports.

10 October 1943:
Arrive at Saeki.

11 October 1943:
Depart homeland from Saeki for Singapore via Sama.

15 October 1943:
Arrive at Sama for overnight; depart next day.

19 October 1943:
Arrive at Seletar, Singapore.

26 October 1943:
Depart Singapore for Kure via Sama.

30 October 1943:
Arrive at Sama; depart next morning.

5 November 1943:
Arrive at Kure.

25 November 1943:
Depart Inland Sea with HIYO and screen for Taira Islands.

29 November 1943:
Arrive at Manila from the Taira Islands.

30 November 1943:
Depart Manila for Singapore.
Important Note!: Many accounts list RYUHO or transpose her with ZUIHO in the convoy of ZUIHO, CHUYO, UNYO departing Truk today for Yokosuka, but this is mistaken.

3 December 1943:
Arrive at Singapore, HIYO still in company.

11 December 1943:
Depart Singapore for Tarakan.

14 December 1943:
Arrive at Tarakan; depart later same day for Palau.

18 December 1943:
Arrive at Palau. Depart next day for Truk.

22 December 1943:
Arrive at Truk.

27 December 1943:
Depart Truk for Saipan.

29 December 1943:
Arrive at Saipan; depart same day for Kure via the Taira Islands.

2 January 1944:
Arrive at Kure with HIYO.

17 January 1944:
Enter drydock at Innoshima.

28 January 1944:
Leave drydock and return to Kure.

16 March 1944:
Captain Kamei relieved by Captain Matsuura Yoshi as Commanding Officer.

30 March 1943:
Depart Inland Sea.

1 April 1944:
Arrive at Saipan.

3 April 1944:
Depart Saipan for Inland Sea.

8 April 1944:
Arrive at Kure.

22 April 1944:
Depart Kure for a cruise around Taira Islands and off of Iwakuni.

27 April 1944:
Return to Kure.

29 April 1944:
Depart Kure for Iwakuni.

11 May 1944:
Depart Saeki for Tawi Tawi with main body of the Mobile Fleet.

16 May 1944:
Arrive at Tawi Tawi.

20 May 1944:
"A-Go" operations activated.

13 June 1944:
Depart Tawi Tawi.

14 June 1944:
Arrive at Guimaras; depart next day for Battle of the Marianas.

19 - 20 June 1944:
Launch strikes against American TF 58 on 19 June. On the following day, at 1730 Mobile Fleet is attacked by enemy carrier planes. RYUHO is part of Force `B' comprised of JUNYO and HIYO and screened by NAGATO and MOGAMI and eight destroyers. At 1810 RYUHO comes under attack from four bomb-loaded TBFs from USS ENTERPRISE and suffers slight damage from near-misses, but her navigating and fighting capability is not impaired. (The damage was light enough to not be remarked upon in Ugaki's diary which does mention the single hit on CHIYODA.)

22 June 1944:
Arrive at Okinawa; depart next day.

24 June 1944:
Return with Mobile Fleet to Hashirajima.

3 July 1944:
Arrive at Kure from Hashirajima.

10 July 1944:
Removed from CarDiv 2 and placed in CarDiv 1, 3rd Fleet.

11 July 1944:
Enter drydock at Kure for repairs to flight deck. In attempt to improve her capabilties, the opportunity is taken to lengthen the flight deck at the forward end nearly to the bow.

20 July 1944:
Leave drydock.

10 August 1944:
Assigned to CarDiv 4, 3rd Fleet.

13 August 1944:
Depart Kure for Hashirajima; arrive same day.

22 August 1944:
Depart Hashirajima for trip to Yashima.

26 August 1944:
Return to Hashirajima. Reassigned from CarDiv 1, 3rd Fleet, to CarDiv 4, 3rd Fleet.

10 September 1944:
Depart Hashirajima for Yashima and thence to Kure.

29 September 1944:
Return to Hashirajima.

October 1944:
Until the 25th, never left home waters, making a series of short trips which took her in order to: Kure, Iwakuni, Yashima, Iwakuni, Tokuyama, Iwakuni, Kure, Iwakuni, Yashima, Oita, Kure, Moji, Yuya-wan, and finally Sasebo. The stay in each ranged from one to three days.

25 October 1944:
Depart Sasebo with escort carrier KAIYO on part of special transport of aviation materials duty to Keelung. Escorted by MOMI, UME, and MOMO.

27 October 1944:
Arrive at Keelung, Formosa.

30 October 1944:
Depart Keelung for the homeland.

2 November 1944:
Arrive with KAIYO back at Kure.

6 November 1944:
Depart Kure, arriving off Otake on the same day.

7 November 1944:
Departed Otake and arrive at Kure same day. Flag of ComMobile Fleet Ozawa transferred from UNRYU to RYUHO.

11 November 1944:
Depart Kure, and arrived off Uji.

12 November 1944:
Departed Uji and arrived at Kure.

15 November 1944:
Mobile Fleet abolished, flag removed. Removed from Mobile Force, CarDiv 4, 3rd Fleet and reassigned to CarDiv 1, Combined Fleet.

21 November 1944:
Depart Kure, arrived at Matsuyama, where she remains for the rest of the month.

13 December 1944:
Ordered with the UNRYU to make preparations for shipping Ohka suicide rocket bombs to Manila and Formosa upon detection of the Allied invasion force bound for Mindoro. Her mission is postponed when it is learned that Mindoro is the target and after the disaster to the UNRYU.

28 December 1944:
Depart Kure for Moji to join convoy HI-87.

31 December 1944:
Depart Moji as part of special transport carrying 58 Ohka suicide rocket bombs to Formosa, accompanying Convoy HI-87 with nine tankers on the first part of its route to Singapore. Escort includes destroyers HAMAKAZE, ISOKAZE, YUKIKAZE, SHIGURE, HATAKAZE, and four kaibokans. However, YUKIKAZE suffers a burst steam pipe and has to return to the Inland Sea.

7 January 1945:
Approaching Keelung, undergo submarine attack which damages one of the tankers, but no damage received to RYUHO. Subsequently, RYUHO and SHIGURE detach and proceed into Keelung.

9 January 1945:
Air-raids all throughout Formosa. RYUHO engaged 12 enemy TBFs and claimed one shot down.

12 January 1945:
Depart for Japan with ISOKAZE.

18 January 1945:
0930 Arrive at Kure, and with this, the last war-time voyage of a Japanese carrier outside home waters had ended.

20 January 1945:
Captain Matsuura relieved by Captain Takahashi Chojuro as Commanding Officer.

19 March 1945:
0720 - 0905 While off Yoshiura Point in Kure bay attacked by TF 58 aircraft who raid Kure. The carrier is severely damaged by three direct bomb and two rocket hits which buckle and bulge the flight deck up between the two lifts, puncture the No.1 boiler room, and cause a large gash in the port quarter. Heavily flooding, the carrier settles 6 feet aft and a raging fire breaks out. Twenty officers and men are killed, and another 30 wounded.

23 March 1945:
Carrier HOSHO assigned as radio guard for RYUHO.

31 March 1945:
Engaged by enemy planes at Kure.

1 Apirl 1945:
Entry drydock at Kure to begin pumping out the flooded stern. After this, the ship is judged of insufficient value to warrant full repairs.

20 April 1945:
Removed from CarDiv 1, 2nd Fleet, and assigned to # 4 Reserve Ship, Kure Naval District Force. Captain Takahashi released from RYUHO. Apparently no one replaced him, as RYUHO remained inoperational. However, the USSBS survey in October 1945 gave a report submitted by the "Commanding Officer" of RYUHO, who was named "Captain Hojima, IJN". Perhaps a caretaker officer assigned to the ship in the fall.

24 and 28 July 1945:
While moored next to Eta-jima Island off Kure near and ahead of the HARUNA, is engaged by enemy carrier planes attacking the port. But no further damage received.

30 November 1945:
Removed from Navy List.

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