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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Chitose class light aircraft carriers

Photos

IJN Chitose:
IJN Chitose
Japanese Navy photo
IJN Chiyoda:
IJN Chiyoda
Japanese Navy photo

Design

Originally completed as seaplane tenders the Chitose and Chiyoda were converted into carriers after the Battle of Midway. The original ships were specially designed to facilitate later conversion.

The Chitose and Chiyoda were ordered under the 1931 - 1932 Supplementary Program.

Conversion

To help with stability large bulges were added.

Elevators

There were two elevators that served a single hangar.

Engines

There was a mix of oil and diesel turbines. The diesel allowed for long range, and the oil for speed.

Hangars

There were one / two hangars. The hanger was 300' long.

Ships

IJN Chitose (a city near Hokkaido)

  • Manufacturer: Kure Navy Yard
  • November 26, 1934: Laid down.
  • November 29, 1936: Launched.
  • July 25, 1938: Commissioned.
  • 1941: Modified for launching of midget submarines.
  • January 4, 1942: Damaged by bombs dropped by B-17 at Davao, Philippines.
  • June 1942: Midway Reserves.
  • August 1942: Damaged during Battle of Eastern Solomons.
  • 1942 - 1944, January 1943 - January 1, 1941, January 1943 - January 1944: Conversion to carrier at Sasebo Navy Yard.
  • January 1, 1944: Recommissioned.
  • February 1, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 3.
  • May 22, 1944: Hit by two dud torpedoes from USS Bonefish near Tawi Tawi.
  • June 1944: Member of Carrier Division 3 at Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • June 20, 1944: Member of Van Group during Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • July 1944: 18 25 mm guns added. Six 25 mm triple mounts were added.
  • October 25, 1944: Sunk at Battle of Leyte Gulf. Damaged by planes from USS Essex and USS Lexington. Hit by three torpedoes. Sunk while under tow by Isuzu 235 miles east of Cape Engano.

IJN Chiyoda (a city near Tokyo)

  • Manufacturer: Kure Navy Yard
  • December 14, 1936: Laid down.
  • November 19, 1937: Launched.
  • December 15, 1938: Commissioned.
  • 1941: Modified for launching of midget submarines.
  • June 1942: Midway Reserves.
  • December 1942 - October 31, 1943, December 1942 - October 1943: Conversion to carrier at Yokosuka Navy Yard.
  • October 31, 1943: Recommissioned.
  • February 1, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 3.
  • March - April 1944: Participated in two aircraft ferrying operations.
  • June 1944: Member of Carrier Division 3 at Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • June 19 - 20, 1944: Member of Van Group during Battle of Philippine Sea. Hit by 500 lb bomb.
  • June 20, 1944: Damaged by a bomb.
  • July 1944: 18 25 mm guns added. Six 25 mm triple mounts were added.
  • October 20 - 25, 1944: Member of Main Body at Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 25, 1944: Sunk at Battle of Leyte Gulf. Aircraft from USS Franklin, USS Langley, and USS Lexington set Chiyoda on fire. Hit by four bombs. Sunk by gunfire from USS Wichita, USS New Orleans, USS Sante Fe, and USS Mobile (Task Force 38) 260 miles east-northeast from Cape Engano. There were no survivors.

Usage

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Chitose and Chiyoda were members of Admiral Ozawa's Decoy Force at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Specifications

  Chitose class / Chiyoda class
Crew 800, ~800, 1,470
Displacement 11,190 tons
Displacement - Loaded 15,300 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 621' 6", 631', 631' 6", 631' 7"
192.5 m
Length - Water Line 610', 610' 9"
185.93 m, 186 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 570' 9", 570' 10"
174 m
Beam 68', 68' 3", 68' 9"
20.7 m, 20.8 m
Draft / Height 24', 24' 6", 24' 8"
7.5 m, 7.51 m
Flight Deck 590' 6" x 75', 590' 6" x 75' 6"
180 m x 23 m
Performance  
Speed 28.9 knots, 29 knots
Range 11,000 nautical miles
Range at 18 knots 8,000 nautical miles, 11,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5": 8
5" L/40 DP twin mounts, 5" L/40 twin mounts, 127 mm: 4
25 mm: 12, 30
25 mm triple mounts: 10
Aircraft 30
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers 4
Kanpon: 4
Diesels 2
Shafts 2, 4
Turbines 2
Geared
HP 56,800
HP - Turbines 44,000
HP - Diesels 12,800
Oil 1,000 tons, 2,679 tons, 3,000 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. Imperial Japanese Navy Aircraft Carriers 1921-45, Mark Stille, 2005
  5. The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War, Mark E. Stille, 2013
  6. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site