Daily Event for August 24


August 24, 1942: The Japanese carrier Ryujo was sunk by aircraft from the USS Saratoga. The Ryujo was commissioned on May 9, 1933 with Tadao Kato in command. He was the only commander the carrier ever had. On Dec. 7, 1941 she was used in the attack on the Philippines and then moved on to Malaya. On March 1, 1942 aircraft from her decks assisted in the sinking of the USS Pope DD-225.

In April 1942 she was in the Bay of Bengal with a cruiser force, her aircraft helped sink no less than 23
merchant ships. Moved to the Aleutians in June, Ryujo launched attacks against Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. After the defeat of the Japanese Navy at Midway the Ryujo was moved to the Solomon Islands area to be used in a support role. On the 24th of August in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons her aircraft were attacking Guadalcanal when dive bombers from the USS Saratoga located the lone carrier. She was attacked with bombs and torpedoes, hit by up to four bombs and one torpedo, she began to take on a heavy list.

The actual damage inflicted is in dispute, but it is sure that the Ryujo was damaged beyond repair. Capt. Tadao ordered the ship abandoned and the escorting destroyers converged to rescue survivors. One hundred and twenty of the crew were killed in the attack. Capt. Kato survived the attack and was rescued. The stricken carrier was later attacked by B-17 bombers, but all evidence shows none of the bombs found the mark. With at least one torpedo hit she rolled over and sank at about 18:00 hrs.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock
MaritimeQuest.com


Ryujo seen in 1938