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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Kaiyo class escort aircraft carrier

Photos

Aircraft from the HMS Implacable attacking the IJN Kaiyo at Shido Bay in 1945:
Japan's Aircraft from the HMS Implacable attacking the IJN Kaiyo at Shido Bay in 1945
Imperial War Museum HU-98696
Aircraft from the USS Essex attacking the IJN Kaiyo (top) and the IJN Amagi or IJN Katsuragi (bottom) at Kure on March 19, 1945:
Japan's Aircraft from the USS Essex attacking the IJN Kaiyo (top) and the IJN Amagi or IJN Katsuragi (bottom) at Kure on March 19, 1945
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH-95778
The IJN Kaiyo (right), IJN Amagi or IJN Katsuragi (bottom), and a submarine (upper left):
Japan's The IJN Kaiyo (right), IJN Amagi or IJN Katuragi (bottom), and a submarine (upper left)
U.S. Navy photo 80-G-309660
IJN Kaiyo beached at Beppu Bay while being scrapped from 1946-1947:
Japan's IJN Kaiyo beached at Beppu Bay while being scrapped from 1946-1947
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH-85386

Design

The Kaiyo was converted from the O.S.K. luxury liner Argentina Maru. It was originally being used as a troop transport from December 1941 until it was taken over to be converted to a carrier in December 1942.

Engines

The original diesel engines were replaced by destroyer turbines. The funnels were downward facing off starboard.

Flight Deck

The flight deck was flush. There were two elevators in the flight deck.

Hangar

There was a single hangar.

Ships

IJN Kaiyo, (sea hawk)

  • Formerly the Argentina Maru
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • February 22, 1938: Laid down.
  • December 9, 1938: Launched.
  • May 31, 1939: Commissioned.
  • December 1942 - November 1943, November 23, 1943: Conversion completed.
  • June 1944: Trained pilots after Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • Mid 1944, July 1944: 20 25 mm guns added. 28 barrel rocket launchers and eight depth charges added.
  • March 1945: Received minor damage in Kure.
  • July 1945: Rolled over and capsized in Beppu Bay after being attacked by aircraft.
  • July 24, 1945: Sunk by United States' aircraft.
  • August 10, 1945: Sunk by aircraft in Beppu Bay from the HMS Formidable, HMS Indefatigable, and HMS Victorious.

Brazil Maru

  • Was to be converted too, but was sunk before conversion started.
  • August 1942: Sunk.

Usage

The Kaiyo was used to ferry aircraft to Pacific islands.

The Kaiyo was also used as a convoy escort.

Training Kamikaze

In 1945 the Kaiyo was used as a target for kamikaze training.

 

Specifications

  Kaiyo
Crew 587, 829
Displacement 13,600 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 545' 6", 546', 546' 3", 546' 5"
166.5 m, 166.55 m
Length - Water Line 523', 523' 7"
159.59 m, 159.6 m, 159.7 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 508' 6", 516'
155 m
Beam 69', 71' 10", 72'
21.9 m
Draft / Height 26' 5", 26' 6", 27'
8 m, 8.04 m, 8.25 m
Flight Deck 492' x 72', 524' 6" x 75' 6"
150 m x 22 m, 160 m x 23 m
Performance  
Speed 23 knots, 23.75 knots, 24 knots
Range at 18 knots 7,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin mounts, 5" L/40 twin mounts, 127 mm twin mounts: 4
25 mm triple mounts, 25 mm Hotchkiss triple mounts: 8
25 mm: 24
Aircraft 24
Fighters: 18
Bombers: 6
Armor None
Engines  
Boilers 4
Kanpon: 4
Shafts 2
Turbines Geared, Kampon geared
HP 52,000
Oil 2,500 tons

Sources:

  1. Japanese Warships of World War II, A. J. Watts, 1966
  2. The Imperial Japanese Navy, A. J. Watts and B. G. Gordon, 1971
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers 1921-45, Mark Stille, 2005
  5. Allied Escort Carriers of World War Two in Action, Kenneth Poolman, 1988
  6. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  7. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site