|Ship Class||Sendai-class Light Cruiser|
|Launched||8 Dec 1923|
|Sunk||13 Jul 1943|
|Displacement||5595 tons standard; 7100 tons full|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Jintsu, a 5595-ton Sendai class light cruiser, was built at Kobe, Japan. She was completed at the end of July 1925 and for the next three years mainly served with other light cruisers. On 24 August 1927, during one of the realistic exercises that honed the Japanese surface navy into a formidible night-fighting force, she collided with and sank the destroyer Warabi, suffering severe damage to her bow. In 1929, Jintsu became a destroyer squadron flagship, a task that occupied her during most of the rest of her career. In addition to participation in fleet maneuvers, she made frequent cruises to Chinese waters during the 1920s and 1930s, and provided support for Japanese operations during the war with China that began in mid-1937.
Soon after the commencement of the Pacific War in December 1941, Jintsu and her destroyers took part in the invasion of the southern Philippines. During the first two months of 1942, they participated in the assault on the Netherlands East Indies. Jintsu engaged Allied ships in the Battle of the Java Sea in late February, firing a dozen torpedoes, and was damaged when hit by a shell from a British destroyer.
In early June 1942, Jintsu escorted invasion shipping during the Battle of Midway, retreating with her convoy after the loss of the Japanese aircraft carriers on June 4th. Two months later, following the Allied landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, she was ordered to Truk to participate in the campaign to retake those islands. However, on 25 August 1942, while escorting transports, she was hit by a bomb and seriously damaged. Repair work kept her in Japan for the rest of the year.
Jintsu returned to Truk in January 1943, still in the role of destroyer squadron leader. She was held in readiness there for the next several months, undertaking but one significant mission, a transport voyage to Kwajalein Atoll in June. However, in early July, she was sent south to Rabaul to support the reinforcement of Japanese bases in the Central Solomons. On 12-13 July 1943, while escorting destroyer transports taking troops to Vila, on Kolombangara, she encountered a superior force of Allied cruisers and destroyers. Hit hard by gunfire from the cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis and HMNZS Leander, and by a destroyer's torpedo, Jintsu broke in two amidships and sank with the loss of nearly 500 of her crew.
Jintsu had the distinction of having been the flagship of the redoubtable Admiral Raizo Tanaka, a nightfighter and tactician without equal, and the driving force behind the famed "Tokyo Express" which ran troops and supplies down The Slot to Guadalcanal.
Source: Naval Historical Center
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