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  Tenryū (天龍)
IJN
Tenryu Class
Light Cruiser

3,948 Tons (Standard)
4,350 Tons (Full)
468' 10" x 40' 4" x 13' 1"
4 × 14 cm guns
1 × 8cm gun
2 × 13.2 mm MG
6 x torpedo tubes
Click For Enlargement
IJN prewar

Ship History
Laid down on May 17, 1917 at the Yokosuka Navy Yard at Yokosuka. Launched on March 11, 1918 and named Tenryu with Cdr Kakuta Kanzo appointed the chief equipping officer. Completed on November 20, 1919 and assigned to Cdr Murase Teijiro and attached to Kure Naval District.

On December 1, 1919 assigned as the flagship for DesRon 2, Second Fleet. On August 29, 1920 departed Yokosuka on a patrol off the coast off Siberian coast with DesRon 2 and Tatsuta, escorting eight battleships and returns to Otaru on September 7, 1920.

Tenryu served as a destroyer flotilla leader until 1925, visiting the coasts of Siberia and China as well as operating off Japan. In 1927, Tenryu returned to China then flotilla leader in 1928. Afterwards, a guard and training ship at Kure until October 1931, when she rejoined the active fleet off China. The cruiser generally operated in Chinese waters for the rest of the 1930s, with brief intervals of duty as a training ship and in reserve. Plans to convert her to an anti-aircraft ship were canceled in 1939, and she spent the next two years as a training ship at Maizuru Naval Station and on a cruise through the central Pacific during the middle of 1941.

World War II History
At the start of the Pacific War, Tenryu was first employed in the operation to capture Wake Island. In January-April 1942, she participated in the capture of New Ireland, New Britain, northeastern New Guinea, Bougainville and the Admiralty Islands. During the Battle of the Coral Sea, Tenryu supported the abortive operation to seize Port Moresby.

Following an overhaul in Japan, during July and August 1942, she served as an escort for transports in the New Britain and New Guinea areas, and also took part in the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942. Over the next four months, she was actively engaged in the unsuccessful campaigns to capture Milne Bay, in eastern New Guinea, and retake Guadalcanal.

On September 6, 1942 part of a Japanese force that bombarded Milne Bay. Gunfire from Tenryū hit MV Anshun causing it to list to the starboard and sank in shallow water.

On October 2, 1942 damaged by a bomb and made two "Tokyo Express" transport runs to Guadalcanal during early November and covered the November 14 bombardment of Henderson Field.

Departed Rabaul on December 16, 1942, with four destroyers and four troopships, for the initial landing at Wewak where it landed unopposed, and disembarked half of their troops and supplies. Then, proceeded to Madang on December 18th. On the way, the convoy was spotted by 43rd BG, 63rd BS B-17 piloted by Ken McCullar after dusk, and attacked at low level, after another B-17 had dropped flares. The attack scored a bomb hit on the bow one ship, the Gokoku Maru and racked them with machine gun fire.

Sinking History
On December 18, 1942 Tenryu was torpedoed and sunk by submarine USS Albacore (SS-218) off Madang.

References
IJN Tenryu: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018

 

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