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Japan's Hiyo class fleet aircraft carriers

Photos

Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945
US Navy 80-G-701429
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945
USMC 150350
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo in the fall of 1945
USMC 150351
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945. Two HA-201 class submarines are alongside.:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945. Two HA-201 class submarines are alongside
USMC 136995
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945
USMC 136996
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945
USMC 136997
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945
USMC 136998
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945
US Army Signal Corps SC-218541
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945
US Army Signal Corps SC-218542
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945:
Japan's Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on October 19, 1945
US Army Signal Corps SC-218543

Design

The Hiyo and Junyo started out as luxury liners with the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K.) line that were specifically designed to be later converted into aircraft carriers. They were designed with double keels, extra height between decks, storage for aviation fuel, and space for elevators. Conversion began in October 1940.

The Hiyo class was similar to the Soryu and Shokaku classes that preceded them.

Flight Deck

There were two elevators in the flight deck, each about 45' x 45'. There were no catapults. The flight deck was made of wood planks.

Hangars

There were two hangars in the Hiyo class. The hangers were only 10' 6" high which was severely cramped for aircraft.

Island

The Hiyo class was the first to have an island that had the funnel on top that inclined outwards at 25° / 26°. As this was very successful it was copied in later carrier designs.

Ships

IJN Hiyo "flying falcon"

  • Formerly the Izumo Maru, Idzumo Maru
  • Manufacturer: Kawasaki, Kawasaki at Kobe
  • November 30, 1939: Laid down.
  • June 24, 1941, June 1941: Lauched.
  • July 31, 1942: Completed. Member of Carrier Division 2.
  • October 10, 1942, October 1942: Left Truk to support operations around Guadalcanal. Carried 24 A6M Zero fighters, 21 D3A Val dive bombers, and 10 B5N Kate torpedo bombers.
  • October 22, 1942: Returned to Truk after engines damaged.
  • June 10, 1943: Torpedo from USS Trigger caused extensive damage.
  • 1943:
    Added 16 25 mm guns.
    Added 4 25 mm triple mounts.
  • September 1943: Repairs finished.
  • June 20, 1944: Sunk at the Battle of the Philippine Sea by aircraft from the USS Belleau Wood.

IJN Junyo "peregrine falcon"

  • Formerly the Kashiwara Maru
  • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi at Nagasaki
  • March 20, 1939: Laid down.
  • June 1941, June 26, 1941 : Launched.
  • May 3, 1942, May 5, 1942: Commissioned.
  • Member of Carrier Division 4.
  • June 1942: With Northern Area Force during Midway Operation.
  • June 3 - 4, 1942: Bombed Aleutians and Dutch Harbor.
  • July 14, 1942: Member of Carrier Division 2.
  • October 10, 1942: Left Truk to support operations around Guadalcanal.
  • October 26, 1942: Battle of Santa Cruz Islands. Aircraft damaged the USS South Dakota. Helped sink the USS Hornet.
  • 1943:
    Added 16 25 mm guns.
    Added 4 25 mm triple mounts.
  • January - February 1943: Assisted with "Tokyo Express" evacuation of Guadalcanal.
  • November 5, 1943: Badly damaged by torpedoes from USS Halibut. Repaired at Kure.
  • February 1944: Repairs completed.
  • June 20, 1944: With Carrier Division 2 at Battle of the Philippine Sea. Damaged by a bomb.
  • June - September 1944: Repairs and refit. Aviation fuel tanks had concrete protection added.
  • Mid 1944: 76 25 mm guns in total.
  • July 1944: Added 3/15 25 mm triple mounts, two 25 mm twin mounts, and 18/27 25 mm single mounts. In the bow six 28 barrel 5" rocket launchers were added.
  • July 10, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4.
  • November 15, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 1.
  • December 9, 1944: Off Nagasaki damaged by torpedo from USS Redfin and USS Sea Devil. Towed to Sasebo for repairs. Repairs never finished before end of war.

Usage

Midway Operation

The Junyo was with the Northern Area Force and carried 22 fighters, 21 bombers, and 19 torpedo bombers. Operated with the Ryujo.

Battle of the Philippine Sea

The Hiyo carried 27 A6M Zero fighters, 27 D4Y Judy dive bombers, and 3 D4Y Judy observation aircraft. Aircraft from the USS Belleau Wood sank the Hiyo 450 nautical miles northwest of Yap on June 20, 1944.

Aircraft from the USS Lexington damaged the Junyo.

Specifications

  Hiyo class / Junyo class
Crew 1,187 - 1,224, 1,200, ~1,220, 1,224
Displacement 24,140 tons, 24,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 26,950 tons, 28,300 tons, 29,000 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 718' 6", 719' 2", 719' 6"
219.2 m, 219.3 m
Length - Water Line 706' 3", 706' 4"
215.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 675' 9", 675' 10"
206 m
Beam 87' 7", 87' 9"
26.7 m
Draft / Height 26' 9", 26' 11"
6 m, 8.15 m, 8.2 m
Flight Deck 689' x 89' 6", 689' 9" x 89' 6", 690' x 89' 6"
210 m x 27.25 m, 210.2 m x 27.3 m, 210.3 m x 27.3 m
Performance  
Speed 25 knots, 25.5 knots
Range at 18 knots 10,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5" / 127 mm: 12
5" twin mounts, 5" L/40 twin mounts: 6
25 mm triple mounts: 8
25 mm: 24
Aircraft 53
D3A: 18, 2 reserves
B5N: 18, 5 reserves
A6M: 12, 3 reserves
Armor None
Engine Room 1"
Engines  
Boilers 6
Kampon, Kanpon: 4, 6
Mitsubishi Cylindrical D.E.: 2
Shafts 2
Turbines Geared, Geared Steam
HP 56,000, 56,250
Oil 2,800 tons, 3,000 tons, 4,000 tons
  Hiyo
Crew 1,224
Displacement 24,140 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 718'
Beam 88'
Draft / Height 27'
Performance  
Speed 26 knots
Range 10,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Aircraft 53
Aircraft - 1944 A6M: 27
B6N: 6
D3A: 18
  Junyo
Armament  
Aircraft - 1944 A6M: 27
B6N: 6
D3A and D4Y : 18
Engines  
Boilers Kampon: 4
Mitsubishi: 2

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. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers 1921-45, Mark Stille, 2005
  6. Allied Escort Carriers of World War Two in Action, Kenneth Poolman, 1988
  7. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  8. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site