|Ship Class||Soryu-class Aircraft Carrier|
|Builder||Kure Naval Arsenal|
|Laid Down||20 Nov 1934|
|Launched||23 Dec 1935|
|Commissioned||29 Dec 1937|
|Sunk||4 Jun 1942|
|Displacement||15,900 tons standard; 18,800 tons full|
|Machinery||8 Kampon boilers, 4 sets geared turbines, 4 shafts|
|Bunkerage||3,670t oil, 15,000gal aviation fuel|
|Power Output||152,000 shaft horsepower|
|Range||7,750 at 18 knots|
|Armament||12x5in, 28x25mm anti-aircraft|
|Armor||1.8in belt, 1in deck, 2.2in magazines|
|Aircraft||63 operational, 8 in reserve|
|Flight Deck||711.5 ft x 85.3 ft|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseSoryu was launched from Kure, Japan in Dec 1937. As the lead ship of her class of fleet carriers, she was built around a sleek cruiser-style hull and powerful engines, enabling her to outrun the carrier Kaga at only about 40% power. In fact, at the time of her launch, Soryu was the fastest aircraft carrier in the world. She participated in many early Pacific War battles as one of the main fleet carriers of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's Mobile Force, including the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the Battle of Midway, her aircraft were responsible for attacking the Midway islands, and was caught by American carrier Yorktown's SBD Dauntless aircraft as her own were caught in the middle of refueling and rearming. Commander Hisashi Ohara, the Soryu's executive officer, just received the reports that Soryu's attack aircraft were ready to be launched when the American dive bombers were spotted. By then, it was already too late. He recalled:
ww2dbaseNot unlike other unfortunate ships that fell victim in naval engagements, the boiler room was often the most dangerous place to be. The seamen who worked in Soryu's boiler room were literally cooked alive by steam when the pipes bursted from the pressure of the explosions, which also immediately rendered the ship immobile. Despite the raging fires after receiving three direct bomb hits (first through the flight deck, second near the forward elevator, three near the after elevator), the watertight hull of the carrier remained in tact, therefore had she been left alone, she would remain afloat indefinitely. At 1045, abandon ship order was given, but the hull continued to hold the ship together. No official records exist as to what contributed to her ultimate sinking, but Ohara and other survivors noted a possible torpedo hit around 1915 that day. That torpedo possibly originated from a friendly destroyer that began scuttling Soryu prematurely. After the battle Nagumo claimed that Soryu sank from battle damage; it was likely that he provided altered information in order to save the face of the task force.
ww2dbaseSources: Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Midway Dauntless Victory, the Pacific Campaign, Shattered Sword, US Navy Naval Historical Center..
Last Major Revision: Sep 2008
Aircraft Carrier Soryu Interactive Map
Soryu Operational Timeline
|29 Dec 1937||Soryu was commissioned into service.|
|12 Jan 1942||Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, and Yugure departed Hashirijima in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.|
|17 Jan 1942||Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, and Yugure arrived at Palau, Caroline Islands at 1140 hours.|
|21 Jan 1942||Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, Yugure, Ushio, and Sazanami departed Palau, Caroline Islands at 1600 hours for air strikes on Maluku Islands, Dutch East Indies.|
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Visitor Submitted Comments
19 Dec 2005 12:47:49 PM
thanks so much for not forgetting the Soryu and Midway and our guys too
17 Jun 2010 07:36:29 PM
FROM SHATTERED SWORD: NONE OF THE JAPANESE CARRIERS HAD STRIKE AIRCRAFT ON DECK (SPOTTED) AT THE TIME OF THE DECISIVE HITS. ALL WERE STILL IN THE HANGER BEING ARMED AND FUELED. THIS WAS STANDARD JAPANESE DOCTRINE AND THIS IS WHAT CAUSED THE MASSIVE DAMAGE TO NOT ONLY SORYU, BUT AKAGI AND KAGA AS WELL.
7 Dec 2014 06:13:59 PM
Wasn't the Soryu the one with all the news crews and weren't the crews after returning from Midway were confined to quarters on the ships?
All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.
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26 Nov 2005 09:38:58 PM
Good entry. Just to point out:
- the bomb hits were 1,000lb bombs delivered by Yorktown SBDs
- From Shattered Sword: Soryu was scuttled by destroyer Isokaze. USS Nautilus attacked carrier Kaga but scored only one dud hit.