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  Tenryū (天龍)
Tenryū Class
Light Cruiser

3,948 Tons (Standard)
4,350 Tons (Full)
468' 10" x 40' 4" x 13' 1"
4 × 14 cm guns
1 × 8cm gun
2 × 13.2 mm MG
6 x torpedo tubes

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IJN prewar

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IJN 1930

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IJN February 1934
Ship History
Built by Yokosuka Navy Yard at Yokosuka. Laid down on May 17, 1917 as the lead ship of the Tenryū Class Light Cruiser. Launched March 11, 1918 as Tenryū (also spelled Tenryu in English sources) with Cdr Kakuta Kanzo appointed the chief equipping officer. Completed November 20, 1919 assigned to Commander Murase Teijiro and attached to Kure Naval District.

On December 1, 1919 assigned as the flagship for DesRon 2, Second Fleet. On August 29, 1920 departed Yokosuka on a patrol off the coast off Siberian coast with DesRon 2 and Tatsuta, escorting eight battleships and returns to Otaru on September 7, 1920.

Tenryu served as a destroyer flotilla leader until 1925, visiting the coasts of Siberia, China and operates off Japan. In 1927, Tenryu returned to China. In 1928 served as the flotilla leader. Afterwards, a guard and training ship at Kure until October 1931, when she rejoined the fleet off China. For the rest of th decade, the light cruiser operated off China with brief intervals of duty as a training ship and in reserve. A plan to convert her to an anti-aircraft ship were canceled in 1939. She spent the next two years as a training ship at Maizuru and conducted a cruise through the central Pacific in the middle of 1941.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 departs Kwajalein with Oite as part of "U" Operation the invasion of Wake until the invasion force was repulsed and withdrew. In January 1942 participated in the occupation of New Ireland, New Britain, northeastern New Guinea, Bougainville and Admiralty Islands until April 1942. During the Battle of the Coral Sea, Tenryu supported the invasion force bound for Port Moresby until the operation failed and afterwards returned to Japan for an overhaul.

On June 15, 1942 departs Maizuru for Truk arriving eight days later. Afterwards, proceeds to Rabaul.

On July 20, 1942 at 8:00pm Tenryū departs Rabaul as part of Operation "RI" the invasion of New Guinea with minelayer Tsugaru, destroyers Asanagi, Yuzuki and Uzuki and subchaser CH-32 escorting transports Ayatosan Maru, Kinryu Maru and Ryoyo Maru. On July 21, 1942 at dawn the convoy arrives off the north coast of New Guinea and begins unloading at Gona. On July 22, 1942 the convoy is attacked by U.S. bombers that sink Ayatosan Maru and slightly damage Uzuki. After unloading, the convoy returns to Rabaul on July 24, 1942.

During the night of August 8-9, 1942 participated in the Battle of Savo Island and over the next four months was engaged off Milne Bay, eastern New Guinea and Guadalcanal.

On September 6, 1942 part of a Japanese force that bombarded Milne Bay. Gunfire from Tenryū hit MV Anshun causing it to list to the starboard and sank in shallow water.

On October 2, 1942 damaged by a bomb and made two "Tokyo Express" transport runs to Guadalcanal during early November and covered the November 14 bombardment of Henderson Field.

On December 16, 1942 departs Rabaul with four destroyers and four troopships bound for Wewak where they landed unopposed, and disembarked half of their troops and supplies. Then, proceeded to Madang on December 18th. On the way, the convoy was spotted by 43rd BG, 63rd BS B-17 piloted by Ken McCullar after dusk, and attacked at low level, after another B-17 had dropped flares. The attack scored a bomb hit on the bow one ship, the Gokoku Maru and racked them with machine gun fire.

Sinking History
On December 18, 1942 Tenryu was torpedoed and sunk by submarine USS Albacore (SS-218) off Madang.

IJN Tenryu: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
August 2, 2021


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