IJN Soryu: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2000 Anthony P. Tully

Initial Command Structure:
Commanding Officer: Captain Yanagimito Ryusaku.

10 April 1941:
Assigned to 1st Air Fleet, CarDiv 2.

10 July 1941:
Assigned to "FU" Escort Fleet, participated in "FU" Operations from 10 - 31 July. Depart

14 July 1941:
Arrive Mako.

16 July 1941:
Arrive at Sama.

25 July 1941:

29-30 July 1941:
Stop at Condor and St. James respectively.

1 August 1941:
Arrive at Sama.

7 August 1941:
Arrive at
Kagoshima, assigned as flagship ComCarDiv 2. Thereafter in Kyushu waters till end of month.

6 September 1941:
Kagoshima for Tokyo Bay.

8 September 1941:

22 September 1941:
Flag removed. Enter drydock.

8 October 1941:
Leave drydock.

24 October 1941:

26 October 1941:
Arrive at
Kagoshima; recieve flag of ComCarDiv 2.

19 November 1941:
Kure for Hitokappu Bay.

22 November 1941:
Hitokappu Bay.

26 November 1941:
Assigned to Striking Force Main Body, CarDiv 2.

27 November 1941:
Hitokappu Bay for the "Hawaii" Operation.

7 December 1941:
Launch two attack waves against
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

16 December 1941:
Detached from Striking Force Main Body with HIRYU to participate strikes against
Wake Island.

21 - 23 December 1941:
Launch strikes against
Wake Island, thereafter headed for the homeland.

29 December 1941:
Return to

8 January 1942:
Assigned to Southern Force (Carrier Air Force).

12 January 1942:
Kure for combat zone.

17 January 1942:
Arrive at

21 January 1942:

23 - 24 January 1942:
Launch strikes against

25 January 1942:

27 January 1942:
Davao for Palau.

28 January 1942:

10 February 1942:
Reassigned to Southern Force Striking Force.

16 February 1942:

19 February 1942:
Launch strikes against Port
Darwin, Australia.

21 February 1942:
Arrive at Staring Bay.

25 February 1942:
Staring Bay to participate in Java Operations.

1 March 1942:
Operating south of
Sunda Strait to intercept enemy shipping fleeing from Java. Launch strikes that help sink tanker USS PECOS.

5 March 1942:
Launch strike against enemy shipping at Tjilatjap.

7 March 1942:
Launch strike against
Christmas Island. Aircraft sink Dutch freighter POELAU BRAS.

11 March 1942:
Return to Staring Bay.

26 March:
With Striking Force (less KAGA) depart
Staring Bay with BatDiv 3, Crudiv 8, and DesRon 1 for "Operation C" ---the raid into the Indian Ocean.

3 April 1942:
Enter the
Indian Ocean.

5 April 1942:
Strikes launched against Royal Navy base at
Ceylon. Important sinkings included the cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE caught on the open sea.

9 April 1942:
Strikes launched against Trincomalee. British carrier HMS HERMES caught at sea, bombed and sunk along with escort destroyer VAMPIRE.

18 April 1942:
Less CarDiv 5, which detaches with screen to head for
New Guinea for "Operation MO" (Battleof the Coral Sea) operations, the Striking Force changed course while west of Bashi Strait in high speed attempted pursuit of the "Doolittle Raiders" - carriers USSHORNET and ENTERPRISE, which have just struck the Tokyo Bay area with aircraft on the 18th.

22 April 1942:
Return to Hashirajima.

27 May 1942:
Departed Hashirajima for the Midway Operation with VADM Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force (CarDivs 1,2). CarDiv 5 unable to participate, due to damage to SHOKAKU and aircraft losses to ZUIKAKU suffered at
Coral Sea on 8 May.

3- 4 June 1942:
Participate in the
Battle of Midway. Launched strike against Midway Island.

At 1025 while making launch preparations against a sighted enemy carrier, attacked by thirteen enemy dive bombers. Three direct bomb hits are sustained, one on the forward elevator, the other two straddle the second elevator, setting off furious fires and induced explosions among the armed and fueled aircraft. At 1040 goes dead in the water; and five minutes later Abandon Ship is ordered. Survivors are removed by ISOKAZE and HAMAKAZE and vessel is left drifting and afire.

Sunk: Around 1920, apparently the order to scuttle SORYU along with KAGA is given.  At 1913 the destroyer ISOKAZE torpedoes SORYU (allegedly with three hits), and the carrier begins to sink by the stern and three minutes later upends.  Bow raised, she plunges to the bottom taking down 713 officers and men including Captain Yanagimoto Ryusaku, who had deliberately chosen to remain aboard. (Position 30 - 38' N, 179 - 13 W') (Note 1).

10 August 1942:
Removed from the Navy list.

Note 1:  Heretofore the SORYU has been represented as sinking of her own accord around 1915, only ten minutes before the KAGA to the southwest.  However, in “Shattered Sword” it was argued by the writer with fellow author Jon Parshall that the evidence in fact clearly supports the mounting claims by veterans and modern Japanese sources that SORYU and KAGA were deliberately scuttled by torpedoes at sunset to free the screen for night counter-attack operations.


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