Rear Admiral Ryūsaku Yanagimoto
|Native name||柳本 柳作|
September 1, 1894|
Hirado, Nagasaki, Japan
|Died||June 5, 1942
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Years of service||1917–1942|
|Awards||Order of the Rising Sun, 2nd class|
A native of Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, Yanagimoto graduated from the 44th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, placed 21st out of 95 cadets. As a midshipman, he was assigned to the cruiser Tokiwa, battleship Kirishima and cruisers Niitaka and Tsugaru in 1917. Promoted to lieutenant in 1919, he subsequently was assigned to the battleship Katori, followed by the Ise. After attending advanced gunnery school, he was appointed chief gunnery officer on the Asakaze in 1923.
Yanagimoto graduated from the 25th class of the Naval Staff College in 1925, and was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1928, when he was assigned to serve as Vice Chief Gunnery officer on the Hiei. He served in a variety of staff and shore positions from 1929 to 1933. Yanagimoto was sent to the United Kingdom as a military attaché in 1933, and promoted to commander later the same year. He returned to Japan in 1935, and after a number of staff assignments to 1937, he received his first command: the auxiliary seaplane tender Notoro on 1 December 1937. From 1938 through 1941, he was in administrative positions within the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff.
On 6 November 1941, Yanagimoto was given command of the aircraft carrier Sōryū, on which he participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor in the opening stages of the Pacific War. He was subsequently at the Battle of Wake Island and the Indian Ocean raids. Yanagimoto chose to go down with his ship when Soryu was sunk by United States Navy aircraft at the Battle of Midway. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
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- Fuchida, Mitsuo; Okumiya, Masatake (1957). Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan. Hutchinson. pp. 190–191.
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- Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy