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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier

Photos

Fleet aircraft carrier Akagi and battleship Kongo circa 1934:
Japan's Fleet aircraft carrier Akagi and battleship Kongo circa 1934
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-81117
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in Sukumo Bay in April 27, 1939:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in Sukumo Bay in April 1939
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-73058

Akagi fleet aircraft carrier:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier
Imperial War Museum, MH-5933
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in summer of 1941:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in summer of 1941
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph, NH-73059
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier under attack by B-17s at the Battle of Midway:
Japan's Akagi fleet aircraft carrier under attack by B-17s at the Battle of Midway
US Air Force, USAF-57576

Design

The Akagi was built from a converted Amagi class battlecruiser because of the Washington Treaty.

Flight Deck

Initially there were three flight decks forward and the Akagi could only carry 61 aircraft. There was no island on the flight deck when first built.

The flight deck had two elevators, the forward 38' 6" x 42' 6" and aft 42' x 27' 6". The flight deck had a slope both in the front and rear. The slope in front helped aircraft get up to speed for takeoff. The slope in the rear helped slow down landing aircraft.

Ships

IJN Akagi, (red Castle, extinct volcano near Tokyo)

  • Manufacturer: Kure, Kure Navy Yard
  • December 6, 1920: Laid down.
  • 1923: Conversion to carrier started.
  • April 22, 1925: Launched.
  • March 1927, March 25, 1927: Completed.
  • 1931: Cross deck arrester gear installed.
  • October 1935, October 1935 - August 1938, 1935 - 1938, 1936 - 1938: Modernization at Sasebo Navy Yard began. 8" turrets removed. Removed two forward flight decks to make way for a single flight deck that went whole length of ship. Upper flight deck lengthened to 817'. A 37' 6" x 41' 3" elevator was added admidships. Coal boilers replaced by oil burning ones.An island was put on the port side. There was a single funnel on the starboard side. Aircraft capacity increased to 79/91 (Aichi D1A: 18, Yokosuka B4Y: 36, Mitsubishi A5M: 18).
  • 1937: Sino-Japanese War.
  • August 31, 1938: Modernization completed.
  • November 26, 1941: Flagship of Carrier Division 1. Sailed for attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • December 6, 1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • January 20 - 22, 1942: Attacks on Rabaul, Kavieng, Lea, Salamaua.
  • February 19, 1942: Attack on Darwin.
  • February 25 - March 9, 1942: Support Java operations.
  • April 1942: Indian Ocean. Helped sink HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall.
  • April 5, 1942: Attack on Colombo.
  • April 9, 1942: Attack on Trincomalee.
  • June 1942: Member of Carrier Division 1 in Midway Striking Force.
  • June 4, 1942: Set on fire at Battle of Midway.
  • June 5, 1942: Sunk at Battle of Midway.

IJN Amagi, (extinct volcano)

  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • September 1, 1923: Damaged beyond repair in Tokyo earthquake.

Usage

Pearl Harbor

The Akagi was the flagship for the operation.

December 1941 - May 1942

The Akagi took part in attacks on Pearl Harbor, Rabaul, Dutch East Indies, Port Darwin, and Ceylon.

Battle of Midway

On June 4, 1942 aircraft from the USS Enterprise set the Akagi on fire. On June 5, 1942 sunk by the Arashi, Hagikaze, Maikaze, and Nowaki.

 

Specifications

  Akagi pre-1936
Crew 1,600
Displacement 26,900 tons, 28,100 tons, 29,600 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 855' 4", 855' 6", 857'
260.6 m, 260.7 m, 261.21 m
Length - Water Line 816' 8", 816' 9", 817'
248.95 m, 249 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 763', 770', 771'
232.6 m, 234.7 m, 235 m
Beam 92', 95'
28.96 m, 29 m
Draft / Height 20' 6", 21' 3", 26' 6"
8.07 m, 8.08 m
Flight Deck 624' x 100', 632'
190.2 m x 30.48 m
Performance  
Speed 28.5 knots, 32.5 knots
Range at 14 knots 8,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 7.9" L/50, 200 mm: 10
8", 8" L/50: 10
4.7": 12, 16
4.7" L/45 twin mounts, 120 mm: 6
Machine guns: 22
Aircraft 60, 61
Armor  
Belt 10"
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon RO coal fired Boilers: 8
Kanpon RO mixed fired Boilers: 12
19, Kanpon: 19
Shafts 4
Turbines Gijitsu Honbu
HP 131,000, 131,200
Coal 2,100 tons
Oil 3,900 tons
  Akagi
Crew 1,340, 1,630, 2,000
Displacement 36,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 42,000 tons, 42,750 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 855', 855' 2", 855' 6"
260.6 m, 260.67 m
Length - Water Line 821' 5", 821' 6"
250.3 m, 250.36 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 771'
235 m
Beam 102' 8", 102' 9", 103'
31.3 m, 31,32 m
Draft / Height 28' 3", 28' 6", 28' 7", 29'
8.6 m, 8.71 m
Flight Deck 817', 817' 6" x 100', 817' 9" x 100'
249.2 m x 30.5 m
Performance  
Speed 31 knots, 31.2 knots
Range 8,200 nautical miles
Range at 16 knots 8,200 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 8": 6
8" L/50: 6
7.9" L/50, 200: 6
7.9", 200 mm: 6
4.7" twin mounts, 120 mm: 6
4.7" L/45 twin mounts, 120 mm: 6
25 mm twin mounts: 14
Aircraft 79, 91
Aircraft - June 1942 21: Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters
21 Aichi D3A Val dive-bombers
21 Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo-bombers
Armor  
Main belt 10"
Engines  
Boilers Kanpon oil fired boilers: 19
19
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared
Kanpon Geared: 4
HP 133,000
Oil 5,770 tons, 6,000 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. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  5. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  6. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers 1921-45, Mark Stille, 2005
  7. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
  8. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site