Sendai (1923)

Sendai, date unknown. Photo published in US Office of Naval Intelligence identification booklet.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

The light cruiser Sendai was the lead of a three ship class. Laid down in 1922 at Nagasaki, she commissioned 29 April, 1924, and immediately deployed to the Yangtze River patrol area. Sendai continued active duty in China until 1941, when she was assigned to the Malay invasion that December. She continued in these duties until February, when she was transferred to the Sumatra area, returning to Sasebo for overhaul in April. She was assigned to the Main Body at Midway, and missed out on the fight, but was reassigned to the Solomons campaign in August. Sendai was active in the campaign, including bombarding Tulagi and Henderson Field in September, and the First and Second Naval Battles of Guadalcanal. Sendai continued to operate in the Solomons until May, 1943, when she returned to Japan for repairs. Back in the forward area in early July, Sendai became flagship of Destroyer Squadon 3, led by Rear Admiral Baron Matsuji Ijuin. Sendai saw little active service during this time, but deployed with the rest of the squadron to reinforce Bougainville 2 November, 1943. In the resulting Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Sendai fell victim to poor tactical command and extremely accurate radar-controlled gunfire from four American cruisers, going down the next morning with 185 men, including her captain.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: Apparently, Ijuin disliked using Sendai because of her age (19 years since her commissioning), and preferred to command from destroyers.