Japanese cruiser Yura

Japanese cruiser Yura

The Japanese cruiser "Yura" was the third of the six vessels completed in the "Nagara"-class of light cruisers, and like other vessels of her class, she was intended for use as the flagship of a destroyer flotilla. It was named after the Yura River near Kyoto, Japan.

ervice career

Early career

"Yura" was completed at the Sasebo Navy Yard on 20 March 1923. In 1930, she 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. During the Manchurian Incident, "Yura" was deployed to Shanghai China in early 1932, and again between 1937 – 1939, to cover the landings of Japanese troops.

Early stages of the Pacific War

On 1 September, 1941, "Yura" was flagship of Rear Admiral Daigo Tadashige's SubRon 5. It was assigned to the South Area Force based in Hainan. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, "Yura" was covering the first wave of the Malaya Invasion Force south of the Cape of Camau, French Indochina.

On 9 December 1941, "Yura" and its squadron was ordered to pursue and sink the Royal Navy Force Z (the Royal Navy battleship HMS "Prince of Wales", battlecruiser HMS "Repulse" and supporting destroyers). Although "Yura" received word from "I-65" that the British ships have been spotted, due to poor wireless reception, the signal was unclear and the British vessels were overwhelmed by torpedo bombers of the 22nd Air Flotilla from bases in Indochina before "Yura" and her submarines could take action.

"Yura" was then assigned to the invasion of Sarawak from 13 – 26 December 1941, covering landings in Brunei, Miri, Seria, Lutong and Kuching. The 2,500 men of the "Kawaguchi Detachment" and the No. 2 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) quickly captured Miri's airfield and oil fields. The operation was completed, and "Yura" returned to its base at Camranh Bay, Indochina by the end of the year.

In February, "Yura" was assigned to Vice Admiral Ibo Takahashi's Third Fleet, Southern Force and covered the invasion of Sumatra, protecting the landings of troops at Palembang, Banka Island, and Bantam Bay and Merak on Java.

On 1 March 1942, near Euretan Wetan the Dutch submarine "K-XIV" made visual contact with "Yura" and attacked, launching two torpedoes from 2500-3000 meters, but both either missed or were duds. The Japanese made six depth charge attacks, dropping about 25 depth charges, but "K-XIV" survived and escaped via Sunda Strait to Colombo, Ceylon. On 4 March, "Yura" rescued the crew of the tanker "Erimo" (sunk by USS "S-39"). On 6 March, "Yura" was assigned to the No. 1 Escort Unit, and continued to cover troop landings in Sumatra and the Andaman Islands through the end of the month.

Indian Ocean Raids

In April, "Yura" was assigned to raids in the Indian Ocean under Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Second Expeditionary Fleet. "Yura", accompanied by the destroyers "Ayanami", "Yugiri", "Asagiri", and "Shiokaze", depart Mergui and steamed into the Bay of Bengal with cruisers "Chokai" and "Suzuya", "Kumano", "Mikuma" and "Mogami" and light carrier "Ryujo" to attack merchant shipping.

On 6 April 1942, 14 miles east of Kalingapatam in the Bay of Bengal "Yura" and "Yugiri" sank Dutch merchant "Batavia" en route from Calcutta to Karachi. "Yura" and "Yugiri" also sank Dutch motorships "Banjoewangi" and British steamer "Taksang". At the end of April, "Yura" returned to Sasebo Navy Yard for a refit.

Battle of Midway

On 10 May 1942, "Yura" became flagship of Rear Admiral Shoji Nishimura's DesRon 4. At the Battle of Midway, "Yura" was in Vice Admiral Nobutake Kondo's Second Fleet, Strike Force with DesDivs 2 and 9's seven destroyers with Rear Admiral Tamotsu Takama in command of DesRon 4. "Yura" did not see combat at Midway.

olomon Islands Campaigns

On 7 August 1942 the United States began “Operation Watchtower" to retake Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands. "Yura" was dispatched to Truk with Vice Admiral Kondo's Second Fleet to begin reinforcement operations, and was thus at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons on 24 August 1942. Although the light carrier "Ryujo" was sunk and the seaplane carrier "Chitose" was damaged, Yura emerged unscathed, and returned to Truk on 5 September 1942.

For the remainder of September, "Yura" patrolled between Truk, Guadalcanal and Shortland Islands. On 25 September 1942, while at Shortland, it was attacked by two Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the USAAF 11th Bomb Group based at Espiritu Santo and was slightly damaged by a small bomb.

On 11 October 1942, the USS "Sculpin" claimed a torpedo hit forward of "Yura's" bridge that inflicted minor damage, but postwar analysis failed to confirm this attack and "Yura" was apparently not damaged this day.

On 12 October 1942, "Yura" departed Shortland to escort seaplane tenders "Nisshin" and "Chitose" returning from a transport run from Guadalcanal, and on 14 October 1942, "Yura" assisted in landing 1,100 troops on Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal. Another "Tokyo Express” troop transport run to Guadalcanal was made on 17 October 1942 to carry 2,100 troops, field artillery pieces and anti-tank guns.

On 18 October 1942, en route back to Shortland, "Yura" was attacked by USS "Grampus" off Choiseul Island. The "Grampus" fired four Mark 14 torpedoes at the "Yura". One hit but did not explode, and "Yura" departed the area with just a dent in her port side.

On 24 October 1942, "Yura" departed Shortland to bombard Guadalcanal with the No. 2 Attack Unit consisting of Rear Admiral Takama's flagship "Akizuki", "Harusame", "Murasame" and "Yudachi".

At the north entrance to Indispensable Strait, off Guadalcanal, on 25 October 1942 (the day before the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands), "Yura", leading an attack group of destroyers off Santa Isabel Island in the Solomons was attacked by five SBD Dauntless dive-bombers of VS-71 and hit aft by two bombs near the engine room. She flooded and settled by the stern. After receiving reports of the attack, Vice Admiral Mikawa, CINC, Eighth Fleet, cancelled Rear Admiral Takama's bombardment mission. The No. 2 Attack Unit reversed course back towards Shortland. On the way back, "Yura" was attacked again by three USAAF Bell Aircraft P-39 Airacobras and by four Marine SBDs, but these attacks failed to cause any additional damage. Captain Sato attempted to beach "Yura" but she was attacked again by four SBDs, three Grumman F4F Wildcats and four P-39s. Soon after this attack, the "Yura" was attacked by another six USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bombers from Espiritu Santo. These attacks reignited "Yura's" fires.

At 1830, after her crew was taken off, destroyers "Harusame" and "Yudachi" scuttled "Yura" with torpedoes. She broke in two and the forward portion sank. At 1900, the stern portion was sunk off Savo Island by gunfire from "Yudachi" at coord|08|15|S|159|07|E.

"Yura" was removed from the Navy List on 20 November 1942.

List of Captains

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Masaharu Ozoegawa - 16 February 1922 - 20 March 1923

Capt. Masaharu Ozoegawa - 20 March 1923 - 1 December 1923

Capt. Kiyoshi Ishikawa - 1 December 1923 - 1 November 1924

Capt. Shikai Nakahara - 1 November 1924 - 2 July 1925

Capt. Nobujiro Shigeoka - 2 July 1925 - 25 August 1925

Capt. Wasuke Komaki - 25 August 1925 - 1 November 1926

Capt. Soemu Toyoda - 1 November 1926 - 15 November 1927

Capt. Takenori Ikeda - 15 November 1927 - 10 December 1928

Capt. Tomisaburo Otagaki - 10 December 1928 - 1 November 1929

Capt. Senzo Wada - 1 November 1929 - 1 December 1930

Capt. Jiro Ogura - 1 December 1930 - 1 December 1931

Capt. Umataro Tanimoto - 1 December 1931 - 1 December 1932

Capt. Kiichi Tomita - 1 December 1932 - 15 June 1933

Capt. Rokuzo Sugiyama - 15 June 1933 - 5 November 1933

Capt. Atsushi Kasuga - 5 November 1933 - 1 November 1934

Capt. Seisaku Wakabayashi - 1 November 1934 - 25 October 1935

Capt. Saichiro Tomonari - 25 October 1935 - 1 December 1937

Capt. Sakae Tokunaga - 1 December 1937 - 15 November 1938

Capt. Hisashi Ichioka - 15 November 1938 - 1 November 1939

Capt. Jisaku Uozumi - 1 November 1939 - 1 September 1941

Capt. Teruhiko Miyoshi - 1 September 1941 - 20 April 1942

Capt. Shiro Sato - 20 April 1942 - 25 October 1942



*cite book
last = Brown
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1990
title = Warship Losses of World War Two
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 1-55750-914-X

*cite book
last = D'Albas
first = Andrieu
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year = 1965
title = Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II
publisher = Devin-Adair Pub
location =
id = ISBN 0-8159-5302-X

*cite book
last = Dull
first = Paul S.
authorlink =
year = 1978
chapter =
title = A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-097-1

*cite book
last = Evans
first = David
authorlink =
year = 1979
title = Kaigun : Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-192-7

*cite book
last = Howarth
first = Stephen
authorlink =
year = 1983
title = The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895-1945
publisher = Atheneum
location =
id = ISBN 0-68911-402-8

*cite book
last = Jentsura
first = Hansgeorg
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1976
chapter =
title = Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-893-X

*cite book
last = Lacroix
first = Eric
authorlink =
coauthors = Linton Wells
year = 1997
chapter =
title = Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War
publisher = Naval Institute Press
location =
id = ISBN 0-87021-311-3

*cite book
last = Whitley
first = M.J.
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1995
chapter =
title = Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia
publisher = Naval Institute Press
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id = ISBN 1-55750-141-6

External links

*cite web
last = Parshall
first = Jon
coauthors = Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, & Allyn Nevitt
year =
url = http://www.combinedfleet.com/nagara_c.htm CombinedFleet.com: "Nagara" class
title = Imperial Japanese Navy Page (Combinedfleet.com)
work =
accessdate = 2006-06-14
tabular record: [http://www.combinedfleet.com/yura_t.htm Tabular Record of Movement] (WWII only) – Jonathan Parshall
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-xz/yura.htm Naval Historical Center entry on the "Yura" with photos]


ee also

*List of World War II ships

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