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Japan's Imperial Navy flag

Japan's Ryuho "Dragon Phoenix" light aircraft carrier

Ryuho light aircraft carrier in November 1942 in Tokyo Bay:
Japan's Ryuho light aircraft carrier in November 1942 in Tokyo Bay
Imperial War Museum

Design

The submarine tender Taigei was designed so that it could later be converted into the aircraft carrier Ryuho.

The build the ship faster electric welding was used and this led to structural defects.

Flight Deck

There were two elevators in the flight deck. There was no island on the flight deck. The flight deck was wood.

Hangar

There was a single hangar.

Ships

IJN Ryuho, (dragon pheonix)

  • Formerly the Taigei
  • Manufacturer: Yokosuka Navy Yard
  • April 12, 1933: Laid down.
  • November 16, 1933: Launched
  • March 1934, March 31, 1934, March 31, 1935 : Completed as Taigei.
  • 1936 - 1937: Hull strengthened and bulges added for stability.
  • December 1941: Conversion work started. Diesel engines replaced by turbines.
  • December 18, 1941: Conversion work started at Yokosuka Navy Yard. Diesel engines replaced by turbines.
  • April 18, 1942: Damaged during Doolittle Raid.
  • November 1942, November 28, 1942 : Conversion completed.
  • December 1944, December 12, 1942: Hit by torpedo from USS Drum southeast of Hachijojima.
  • January 15 - June 12, 1943: Training.
  • 1943: Flight deck extended to 660'.
    Four 25 mm and six 13 mm guns added.
    42 25 mm guns and six 13.2 mm guns in total.
  • June 12, 1943 - December 10, 1944: With Carrier Division 2, 3rd Fleet.
  • December 4, 1943: Hit by torpedo from USS Sailfish.
  • 1944: 61 25 mm, 21 13.2 mm, and six 28 barrel rocket launchers in total.
  • April - May 1944: Training.
  • June 1944 / Summer 1944: Six 28 barrel 5" rocket launchers, 19 25 mm guns, 12 13 mm guns, and six depth charges added. Flight deck extended out to bow.
  • June 1944: Philippines with combat air group.
  • June 19, 1944: With Main Body at Battle of Philippine Sea.
  • June 20, 1944: Aircraft from USS Enterprise caused damage.
  • July 10, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 1 with the Combined Fleet.
  • August 10, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 4, 3rd Fleet.
  • November 15, 1944: Member of Carrier Division 1.
  • December 1944 - January 1945: Ferried 58 Ohka rocket bombs to Formosa.
  • March 1945, March 17, 1945, March 19, 1945: Extensive damage from aircraft while at Kure. Put into dry dock but repairs never finished.
  • April 20, 1945: Disarmed and put into 4th Reserve.

Usage

Primarily stayed in Japanese home waters. Used for ferrying aircraft and training.

 

Specifications

  Ryuho
Crew 989
Displacement 13,360 tons
Displacement - Loaded 16,500 tons, 16,700 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 707', 707' 4", 707' 6"
215.5 m, 215.6 m
Length - Water Line 688', 689'
210 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 647' 4", 647' 5" , 647' 6"
197.3 m, 197.32
Beam 64', 64' 3", 64' 9"
19.58 m
Draft / Height 21' 9", 21' 10, 22'
6.67 m, 6.7 m
Flight Deck 607' x 75' 6"
185 m x 23 m
Flight Deck - 1944 650' x 75' 6"
Performance  
Speed 26 knots, 26.5 knots
Range at 18 knots 6,000 nautical miles , 8,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5" twin mounts, 5" L/40 twin mounts: 4
25 mm: 2, 38
25 mm triple mounts: 8
Anti-Aircraft - 1943 25 mm: 42
13.2 mm: 6
Anti-Aircraft - 1944 25 mm: 61
13.2 mm 28
Aircraft 31
Armor  
Deck 0.4", 0.5"
Engines  
Boilers 4
Kampon, Kanpon: 4
Shafts 2
Turbines Geared, Kanpon geared
HP 52,000
Oil 2,400 tons, 2,900 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