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Japan's Imperial Army flag

Japan's Akitsu Maru class escort aircraft carriers

Photos

Akitsu Maru in 1944:
Akitsu Maru in 1944
Imperial Japanese Army photo
Akitsu Maru in 1944:
Akitsu Maru in 1944
Imperial Japanese Army photo

Design

The Imperial Japanese Army felt that it needed an independent escort carrier or assault ship for transporting aircraft and troops.1 Also the ship needed to be able to have aircraft take off in support of Army troops.1

The Akitsu Maru class ships were made up of former passenger liners.1

Twenty 46' landing craft could also be carried in lieu of aircraft.1

Engines

The boiler uptakes were routed to a single funnel on the starboard side.1

Aircraft

There was a crane aft that would lift aircraft from below the flight deck.1

Armament

There were ten 3" field guns that were supposedly used for supporting shore landings.1

Ships

IJA Akitsu Maru

  • Manufacturer: Harima1
  • September 17, 1939: Laid down.1
  • September 24, 1941: Launched.1
  • January 30, 1942: Completed.1
  • November 15, 1944: Sunk by torpedoes from USS Queenfish off Kyushu.1

IJA Nigitsu Maru

  • Manufacturer: Harima1
  • June 1941: Laid down.1
  • 1942: Launched.1
  • March 1943: Completed.1
  • January 12, 1944: Sunk by torpedoes from USS Hake 700 miles east of Formosa.1

Specifications

  Akitsu Maru class
Crew  
Displacement 11,800 tons1
Physical Characteristics  
Length - Water Line 498' 8"1
152 m1
Length - Between Perpendiculars 471' 7"1
143.75 m1
Beam 64'1
19.5 m1
Draft / Height 25' 9"1
7.85 m1
Flight Deck 404' x 74'1
123 m x 22.5 m1
Performance  
Speed 20 knots1
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 3" AA1: 21
3" field gun1: 101
Aircraft 201
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers 41
Shafts 21
Turbines Geared1
HP 7,5001

Sources:

  1. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site