IJN Hiryu: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2000 Anthony P. Tully
E-mail: tullyfleet -

Initial Command Structure:
Commanding Officer: Captain Kaku Tomeo.

10 April 1941:
Assigned to 1st Air Fleet, CarDiv 2. In Empire waters thereafter.

10 July 1941:
Assigned to "FU" Escort Fleet, participated in "FU" Operations from 10 - 30 July. Depart Yokosuka with SORYU.

16 July 1941:
Arrive at Sama.

25 July 1941:

29-30 July 1941:
Stop at Condor and St. James respectively.

1 August 1941:
Arrive at Sama.

7 August 1941:
Arrive at Sasebo, remain till end of month. Enter drydock.

10 September 1941:
Leave Sasebo drydock.

15 September 1941:
Depart Sasebo for Kagoshima.

22 September 1941:
Receive flag from SORYU and become flagship of ComCarDiv 2. Remain in Kagoshima vicinity through end of month and through October.

26 October 1941:
Flag of ComCarDiv 2 removed to SORYU.

18 November 1941:
Depart Kyushu for Hitokappu Bay.

22 November 1941:
Arrive Hitokappu Bay with SORYU.

26 November 1941:
Assigned to Striking Force Main Body, CarDiv 2.

27 November 1941:
Depart Hitokappu Bay for the "Hawaii" Operation.

7 December 1941:
Launch two attack waves against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The high-level bomber group under command of Lt.Cdr. Tadashi Kusumi is credited with the fatal bomb hit with a No.80 bomb dropped from 3,200 meters that exploded USS ARIZONA's (BB-39) forward magazines at about 0806-07 and destroyed the battleship where she lay.

16 December 1941:
Detached from Striking Force Main Body with HIRYU to participate strikes against Wake Island.

21 - 23 December 1941:
Launch strikes against Wake Island, thereafter headed for the homeland.

29 December 1941:
Return to Kure.

8 January 1942:
Assigned to 2nd Air Attack Force, Southern Force (Carrier Air Force). Still with CarDiv 2, 1st Air Fleet.

12 January 1942:
Depart Kure with SORYU for combat zone.

17 January 1942:
Arrive at Palau.

21 January 1942:
Depart Palau.

23 - 24 January 1942:
Launch strikes against Ambon.

25 January 1942:
Arrive Davao.

27 January 1942:
Depart Davao for Palau.

28 January 1942:
Arrive Palau.

10 February 1942:
Reassigned to Southern Force Striking Force.

16 February 1942:
Depart Palau.

19 February 1942:
Launch strikes against Port Darwin, Australia.

21 February 1942:
Arrive at Staring Bay with SORYU.

25 February 1942:
Depart Staring Bay to participate in Java Operations.

1 March 1942:
Operating south of Sunda Strait to intercept enemy shipping fleeing from Java.

5 March 1942:
Launch strike against enemy shipping at Tjilatjap.

7 March 1942:
Launch strike against Christmas Island. Aircraft sink Dutch freighter POELAU BRAS.

11 March 1942:
Return to Staring Bay.

26 March:
With Striking Force (less KAGA) depart Staring Bay with BatDiv 3, Crudiv 8, and DesRon 1 for "Operation C" ---the raid into the Indian Ocean.

3 April 1942:
Enter the Indian Ocean.

5 April 1942:
Strikes launched against Royal Navy base at Ceylon. Important sinkings included the cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE caught on the open sea.

9 April 1942:
Strikes launched against Trincomalee. British carrier HMS HERMES caught at sea, bombed and sunk along with escort destroyer VAMPIRE.

18 April 1942:
Less CarDiv 5, which detaches with screen to head for New Guinea for "Operation MO" (Battleof the Coral Sea) operations, the Striking Force changed course while west of Bashi Strait in high speed attempted pursuit of the "Doolittle Raiders" - carriers USSHORNET and ENTERPRISE, which have just struck the Tokyo Bay area with aircraft on the 18th.

22 April 1942:
Return to Sasebo.

27 May 1942:
Departed Hashirajima for the Midway Operation with VADM Nagumo's Carrier Striking Force (CarDivs 1,2). CarDiv 5 unable to participate, due to damage to SHOKAKU and aircraft losses to ZUIKAKU suffered at Coral Sea on 8 May.

3- 4 June 1942:
Participate in the Battle of Midway. Launch strike against Midway at 0430. When KAGA, SORYU, and AKAGI set afire and disabled by bomb strikes at 1025, initially avoid damage by enemy torpedo and bomb attacks. Launched two strikes at 1050 and 1245 against USS YORKTOWN.

Sunk: At 1703 while preparing to launch strike against enemy carrier, attacked by thirteen enemy dive bombers. Four direct bomb hits received, all closely spaced. The first three landed in a row on the fore part of the flight deck, the blast of the nearest flinging the forward elevator bodily against the island. The fourth bomb struck amidships beside the bridge. The hits set off furious fires and induced explosions among aircraft being scheduled to launch in an hour. Though initially able to maintain 28 knots and withdraw to the west, the fires gain steadily. At 2123 goes dead in the water, and KAZAGUMO and MAKIGUMO detached to stand by. At 0158 a major induced explosion occurs, and hope is lost. Abandon ship is ordered, and ComCarDiv 2 Yamaguchi gives a farewell speech, and remains aboard with Captain Kaku Tomeo. Yamaguchi orders the carrier scuttled, and after survivors removed by KAZAGUMO and MAKIGUMO, at 0510 scuttled by MAKIGUMO with one torpedo in the starboard side opposite the bridge. (Scuttling position 31-38'N, 178-51'W). The MAKIGUMO then withdraws without confirming the sinking. Therafter, at 0630 a plane from HOSHO finds and photographs HIRYU still afloat and with survivors clearly seen still aboard. The destroyer TANIKAZE is dispatched, but before she arrives, the carrier at 0912 upended and sank by the bow in a position between 240 - 260 miles NW from Midway. Of the 70 men marooned aboard, only thirty-five are eventually rescued by the U.S. Navy, including her Chief Engineer. A total of 418 officers, petty officers and men are listed as lost with the carrier, but this does not appear to exclude the POWs, so the actual figure would be 383 lost.

25 September 1942:
Removed from the Navy list.

Related Information:

Soryu-class Aircraft Carrier
TROM of Sister Ship Soryu

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