Home Intro People Events Equipment Places Maps Books Photos Videos Other Reference FAQ About

World War II Database

Shoho file photo [1851]


Ship ClassZuiho-class Light Carrier
BuilderYokosuka Naval Arsenal
Laid Down3 Dec 1934
Launched1 Jun 1935
Commissioned30 Nov 1941
Sunk7 May 1942
Displacement11,443 tons standard; 13,950 tons full
Length674 feet
Beam60 feet
Draft22 feet
Machinery4 boilers, 2 geared steam turbines, 2 shafts
Power Output52,000 shaft horsepower
Speed28 knots
Range7,800nm at 18 knots
Armament4x2x12.7mm/40 Type 89 guns, 4x2x25mm Type 96 anti-aircraft guns
Aircraft30 operational, 0 in reserve
Aircraft Elevators2


ww2dbaseShoho was the name-sake ship of the class of two light carriers. When Shoho and her sister ship Zuiho were laid down, they were of a flexible design that could eventually be completed as a light carrier, an oil tanker, or a submarine tender. She was originally launched in 1935 as the submarine tender Tsurugisaki, but was converted into a light carrier in 1941. On 30 Nov 1941, she was assigned to Carrier Division 4 and was placed under the command of Captain Ishinosuke Izawa. In May 1942, she participated in Operation MO, which aimed at Port Moresby in New Guinea; her mission was to guard troop transports against potential American air or submarine attacks. The Japanese fleet was intercepted in the Coral Sea on 7 May, and was attacked at 0755 by 53 dive bombers, 22 torpedo bombers, and 18 fighters from American carriers Lexington and Yorktown. Shoho was sunk after being hit by 7 torpedoes and 13 bombs. She sank at 0835 on 7 May 1942 with the loss of 631 men. 203 men, including Captain Izawa, were rescued by destroyer Sazanami.

ww2dbaseShoho was the first Japanese carrier to be sunk in the Pacific War.

ww2dbaseSources: Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2007


Submarine tender Tsurugizaki off Tateyama, Japan, 30 Jan 1939; she was later converted to become light carrier ShohoLight carrier Shoho, Yokosuka, Japan, 20 Dec 1941
See all 10 photographs of Light Carrier Shoho


Battle of the Coral Sea map and infographic, published 3 May 2017

Shoho Operational Timeline

30 Nov 1941 Shoho was commissioned into service.
7 May 1942 Shoho sank in the Coral Sea at 1135 hours after an hour-long carrier aircraft attack that saw 13 bomb and 5 torpedo hits; 631 were killed, 203 survived.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
28 May 2011 01:18:14 AM

It was the sinking of the Shoho that was the subject of that famous radio message, “Scratch one flattop!” LtCdr Robert E. Dixon, commander of USS Lexington’s dice bomber squadron, radioed that message back to his ship as Shoho sunk. Stanley Johnston, a war correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, was aboard the Lexington at the time and his reports immortalized the quote.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Change View
Desktop View

Search WW2DB
More on Shoho
Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Coral Sea

» Interrogation Nav 10, Captain Mineo Yamaoka
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Functions
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Specifications
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

Partner Sites Content:
» Shoho Tabular Record of Movement

Light Carrier Shoho Photo Gallery
Submarine tender Tsurugizaki off Tateyama, Japan, 30 Jan 1939; she was later converted to become light carrier ShohoLight carrier Shoho, Yokosuka, Japan, 20 Dec 1941
See all 10 photographs of Light Carrier Shoho

Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!