As seen in June1942


Fujimi no. FUJ43082

Scale 1: 700

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Ryujo  龍驤,

"prancing dragon" was a light aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was laid down by Mitsubishi at Yokohama in 1929, launched in 1931 and commissioned in 1933.

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 sea keeping, 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 re-supply 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.

By NationMaster.com

Technical specification:

  • Laid down at Mitsubishi at Yokohama Naval yard 26 Nov. 1929
  • Launched 2. Apr. 1931
  • Completed 9. May. 1933
  • Reconstruction and rearmament: 1934, 1938, 1940
  • Sunk 24 Aug. 1942 (Bomb and Torpedoed) by aircraft from USS Saratoga with 120 sailors lost.
  • displacement: 12,732 tons tons full load
  • length: 167 m
  • beam: 20.32 m
  • draught: 5.56 m
  • ship horse power: 65,000 Shp.
  • speed : 29 knots
  • crew: 924


  • Main guns 8 (4x2) 5' = 12.5 cm
  • 4  25mm AA guns (2x2)
  • 24 13mm AA guns (6x4)
  • Up to 48 Aircraft could be carried


Books form my own library :  



Japanese Naval Warship Photo Album Aircraft carriers from Diamond Sha books.  


Reference: Pictures

Model Art no. 27 Northern operations


Reference: Model, drawings


Samourai sur porte-Avions  LELA Presse


Reference: Drawings, pictures, background and aircraft markings


Japanese Warship at War, Vol. 1  by: Trojca, Waldemar, Lengerer / Hans


Reference: Pictures


IJN Carrier Zuikaku 1/100 Super Scale Model

Reference: Model (IJN. Super details) drawings (Masts and deck details)


Gakken n14


Reference: Drawings, pictures, background (In general)

Perfect Guide, the aircraft carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy & Army


Reference: History, background, pictures, models



Nihon kaigun and J-aircraft.com.

Also a great thanks to Mr. Buton of Japan, who provided me with additional information.

The building time was 7 weeks.

Aeronautic 20 Dec. 2008.




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