Yura file photo [1988]


Ship ClassNagara-class Light Cruiser
BuilderSasebo Naval Arsenal
Laid Down21 May 1921
Launched15 Feb 1922
Commissioned1 Mar 1923
Sunk25 Oct 1942
Displacement5,659 tons standard
Length534 feet
Beam48 feet
Draft16 feet
Machinery4 shaft Gihon geared turbines, 12 Kampon boilers
Power Output90,000 shaft horsepower
Speed36 knots
Range6,000nm at 14 knots
Armament7x14cm/50 guns, 2x8cm/40 guns, 4x2x533mm torpedo tubes, 48 mines
Armor60mm belt, 30mm deck


ww2dbaseYura, a 5570-ton Nagara class light cruiser, was built at Sasebo, Japan. Commissioned March 1923, she served with cruiser squadrons and as a submarine squadron flagship during the years leading up to World War II, operating in Japanese home waters and frequently off China. In 1930 Yura served as a test platform for aircraft catapults installed in front of her bridge and, in 1933-34 received a rotating catapult amidships as well as a new mainmast to support an aircraft derrick. She took part in combat with the Chinese at Shanghai in the first part of 1932 and again during 1937-39 as Sino-Japanese hostilities burst into full-scale war.

ww2dbaseIn 1940, Yura and her subordinate submarines moved into the central Pacific as Japan extended her preparations against an increasingly possible war with the United States. The next year, they went to the South China area, from which they supported landings in Malaya, Borneo and Sarawak after the Pacific War began in December 1941. During the first four months of 1942, she operated off Indo-China, participated in anti-shipping operations off Singapore and in the Indian Ocean and supported the invasions of Java and Samatra. Yura, serving as a destroyer squadron flagship, helped screen the Midway Occupation Force during the Battle of Midway in early June.

ww2dbaseTwo months later, after Allied forces landed in the southern Solomon Islands to began the long and difficult Guadalcanal Campaign, Yura was sent to Truk to support the Japanese counterattack. She took part in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942 and was slightly damaged by U.S. B-17 bombers off Shortland Island on 25 September. When the Japanese prepared a major effort to retake Guadalcanal in mid-October, she covered reinforcement operations. On the 25th of that month, Yura was leading a group of destroyers toward Guadalcanal as an "attack unit" when she was hit by SBD bombers and seriously damaged. Her speed greatly reduced, she retreated for several hours and was then hit again and stopped. After her crew had been taken off, Yura was scuttled by her consorts' torpedos and gunfire.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Light Cruiser Yura Interactive Map


Light cruiser Yura as seen on a post card, circa 1930sYura off Shanghai, China, 18 Aug 1937, photo 1 of 2Yura off Shanghai, China, 18 Aug 1937, photo 2 of 2

Yura Operational Timeline

1 Mar 1923 Yura was commissioned into service.
4 Mar 1942 USS S-39 (SS-144; Lieutenant J. W. Coe) fired four Mark 10 torpedoes at Japanese fleet oiler Erimo south of Belitung Island in western Java Sea, scoring three hits. Erimo's commanding officer, Captain Soma, beached Erimo to prevent sinking. The light cruiser Yura rescued survivors, but four crewmen were lost. Erimo was abandoned as a constructive total loss.
1 Apr 1942 Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Malaya Force, Second Expeditionary Fleet, departs Mergui, Burma and steams into the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean Raids to attack merchant shipping. The force includes light carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai, Suzuya, Kumano, Mikuma, Mogami, and Yura.
5 Apr 1942 Following Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa’s force’s attack on the British naval base at Colombo, Ceylon, the force is split creating a Northern Group commanded by Rear Admiral Takeo Kurita consisting of cruisers Kumano and Suzuya; the Center Group consisting of the carrier Ryujo and cruisers Chokai and Yura under Ozawa; and the Southern Group comprised of cruisers Mogami, and Mikuma under Captain Shakao Sakiyama for the purposes of smaller raids against merchant shipping.
11 Apr 1942 Ozawa's Force arrived at Singapore to conclude a successful sortie into the Indian Ocean.
12 Oct 1942 Yugure and Yura escorted Nisshin and Chitose after Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.
25 Oct 1942 American SBD aircraft seriously damaged Japanese light cruiser Yura.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
25 Oct 2016 08:05:39 AM

You cite two different years for when Yura was sunk. Above, you have 25 Oct 1944, but in the body of the writeup, you indicate it was in 1942.
2. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
29 Oct 2016 01:21:09 PM

Thank you, the typographical error in the year of sinking has been corrected.

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» Daigo, Tadashige
» Horiuchi, Shigetada
» Tanaka, Raizo

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» Fall of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands
» Guadalcanal Campaign

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Light Cruiser Yura Photo Gallery
Light cruiser Yura as seen on a post card, circa 1930s
See all 3 photographs of Light Cruiser Yura

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