Unryu file photo [7554]


Ship ClassUnryu-class Aircraft Carrier
BuilderYokosuka Naval Arsenal
Laid Down1 Aug 1942
Launched25 Sep 1943
Commissioned6 Aug 1944
Sunk19 Dec 1944
Displacement17,150 tons standard; 20,450 tons full
Length746 feet
Beam72 feet
Draft28 feet
Machinery8 Kampon water-tube boilers, 4 geared steam turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output152,000 shaft horsepower
Speed34 knots
Range8,000nm at 18 knots
Armament6x2x12.7cm Type 89 AA guns, 13x3x25mm AA guns, 3x25mm AA guns, 6x28x12cm AA rocket launchers
Armor40-140mm belt, 25-56mm deck
Aircraft57 operational, 6 in reserve


ww2dbaseUnryu, the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers, was built upon a lighter design of the Soryu-class fleet carriers. She was commissioned in Aug 1944 with Captain Konishi Kaname in command. On 17 Dec 1944, she left Kure, Japan with 30 Ohka special attack rocket craft onboard, bound for Manila in the Philippine Islands. On 19 Dec, she was attacked by US submarine USS Redfish, which fired four bow torpedoes at her, hitting Unryu once under the bridge at 1635 hours. Unryu and her destroyer escorts fired their guns in the direction where the torpedo originated. At 1650 hours, another torpedo struck Unryu on the starboard side, under the forward elevator. The Ohka aircraft and aviation fuel were ignited, starting a fire in the lower deck hangar. The order to abandon ship was given, but the ship sank within seven minutes. 1,241 officers and men were lost, including Kaname. The 147 survivors were picked up by destroyer Shigure, which brought them back to Sasebo, Japan on 22 Dec 1944.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Dec 2006

Aircraft Carrier Unryu Interactive Map


Carrier Unryu off Yokosuka, Japan, 16 Jul 1944Sinking of carrier Unryu in the East China Sea, as observed by USS Redfish, 19 Dec 1944

Unryu Operational Timeline

1 Aug 1942 The keel of Unryu was laid down at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan.
25 Sep 1943 Unryu was launched at Yokosuka, Japan.
6 Aug 1944 Unryu was commissioned into service at Yokosuka, Japan with Captain Konishi Kaname in command. She was assigned to Carrier Division 1 of Japanese 3rd Fleet.
10 Aug 1944 Unryu was assigned to 7th Base Air Force Air Attack Force under operational command of Japanese 3rd Air Fleet, although officially she remained with Carrier Division 1 of Japanese 3rd Fleet.
26 Sep 1944 Unryu departed Yokosuka, Japan.
27 Sep 1944 Unryu arrived at Kure, Japan.
30 Sep 1944 Unryu departed Kure, Japan.
2 Oct 1944 Unryu departed Hashirajima near Hiroshima, Japan and arrived at Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan.
6 Oct 1944 Unryu departed Matsuyama, Japan and arrived at Yashiro-jima across the Inland Sea.
8 Oct 1944 Unryu departed Yashiro-jima, Japan and arrived at Yashima, Kagawa, Japan.
16 Oct 1944 Unryu arrived at Kure, Japan.
28 Oct 1944 Unryu departed Kure, Japan.
30 Oct 1944 Unryu arrived at Kure, Japan and became the flagship of Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Mobile Fleet.
7 Nov 1944 Unryu was relieved as the flagship of the Mobile Fleet.
15 Nov 1944 Unryu was assigned to Carrier Division 1.
27 Nov 1944 Unryu departed Kure, Japan.
7 Dec 1944 Unryu was assigned to emergency reinforcement duty for Luzon, Philippine Islands.
10 Dec 1944 Unryu arrived at Kure, Japan.
13 Dec 1944 Unryu embarked 30 MXY-7 Ohka special attack aircraft at Kure, Japan.
17 Dec 1944 Unryu departed Kure, Japan at 0830 hours.
19 Dec 1944 Unryu was hit by a torpedo from USS Redfish about 200 kilometers southeast of Shanghai, China, which rendered her dead in the water and afire. At 1650 hours, just as some power was restored, USS Redfish hit her again at 1650 hours, igniting aviation gas and sank within seven minutes. 1,241 were killed (including commanding officer Captain Konishi Kaname); 147 survived and were rescued by destroyer Shigure.
22 Dec 1944 Destroyer Shigure disembarked the 147 survivors of Unryu (sank three days prior) at Sasebo, Japan.
20 Feb 1945 Unryu was struck from the Japanese Navy list.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. CR says:
6 Jun 2011 11:45:01 PM

Since online sources like combinedfleet.com & wikipedia note that the US sub Redfish 'bottomed out' at around 230 feet to sit out the Japanese destroyers vain attempts to sink her, is it safe to assume that Unryu sank in relatively shallow water? Or had Redfish moved far away from the sinking location before hitting bottom? In either case, has anyone located and/or surveyed the wreck of the Unryu? (I've found nothing online saying so...)
2. Anonymous says:
25 Sep 2013 09:46:54 AM

people who served in world war II and still living. When the government had soliders put on chemical treated suits and then sprayed with posionous gas. Is still suffering from this today. Please respond.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on Unryu
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Functions
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Specifications
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Partner Sites Content:
» Unryu Tabular Record of Movement

Aircraft Carrier Unryu Photo Gallery
Carrier Unryu off Yokosuka, Japan, 16 Jul 1944
See all 2 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Unryu

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!