Jintsu file photo [1493]


Ship ClassSendai-class Light Cruiser
Launched8 Dec 1923
Sunk13 Jul 1943
Displacement5,595 tons standard; 7,100 tons full
Length534 feet
Beam48 feet
Draft16 feet
Speed35 knots


ww2dbaseJintsu, 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.

ww2dbaseSoon 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.

ww2dbaseIn 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.

ww2dbaseJintsu 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.

ww2dbaseJintsu 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.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Light Cruiser Jintsu Interactive Map


Sendai-class light cruiser retouched photo, circa 1924-25Light cruiser Jintsu at Kure, Japan, 1925Light cruiser Jintsu damaged after colliding with destroyer Warabi during training exercise in night of 24 Aug 1927, Maizuru, Japan, circa 26 Aug 1927Light cruiser Jintsu at Kure, Japan, late Jan 1932
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser Jintsu


Diagram showing attacks on Japanese transports during Battle of Midway, 3-4 Jun 1942; Annex A of Toyama

Jintsu Operational Timeline

12 Jul 1943 Cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and HMNZS Leander escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O’Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, and USS Chevalier joined with destroyers USS Gwin, USS Woodworth, USS Buchanan, and USS Maury. Together, these ships sailed up the New Georgia Sound (The “Slot”) toward Kolombangara. Yugure, Yukikaze, Hamakaze, and Kiyonami departed Shortland Islands, Solomon Islands, escorting a troop transport mission involving light cruiser Jintsu to Kolombangara, New Georgia Group, Solomon Islands. The two forces engaged in the Battle of Kolombangara that lasted into the next morning.
13 Jul 1943 Shortly after midnight, cruisers USS Honolulu, USS St. Louis, and HMNZS Leander escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS O'Bannon, USS Radford, USS Jenkins, USS Chevalier, USS Gwin, USS Woodworth, USS Buchanan, and USS Maury engaged Japanese cruiser Jintsu and destroyers Yukikaze, Hamakaze, Yugure, Mikazuki, and Kiyonami in New Georgia Sound north of Kolombangara. Japanese Type 93 torpedoes damaged Honolulu, St. Louis, and Leander. Destroyers Woodworth and Buchanan were damaged in a collision. Jintsu was sunk by cruiser gunfire and a torpedo. Destroyer Yukikaze was damaged. Destroyer USS Ralph Talbot went to the aid of USS Gwin, badly damaged by a torpedo, and took aboard 155 officers and men. USS Maury took another 53 officers and men. Ralph Talbot then scuttled Gwin with torpedoes. The Japanese were able to land 1,200 men nevertheless.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
14 Nov 2018 12:01:08 AM

During the Battle of the Java Sea the Japanese light cruiser Jintsu, wearing the flag of Rear Admiral R. Tanaka, was the leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla which sank the British Destroyer HMS Electra (Commander W.C. May) during the series of minor skirmishes that developed after Admiral Doorman’s cruisers became temporarily scattered following the damaging hit on HMS Exeter.

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Search WW2DB
More on Jintsu
» Abe, Hiroaki
» Tanaka, Raizo

Event(s) Participated:
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign
» Solomon Islands Campaign

» Interrogation Nav 60, Captain Yasumi Toyama
» Interrogation Nav 82, Captain Tsuneo Shiki

Partner Sites Content:
» Jintsu Tabular Record of Movement

Light Cruiser Jintsu Photo Gallery
Sendai-class light cruiser retouched photo, circa 1924-25
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser Jintsu

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