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Kaiyo file photo [1511]


Ship ClassKaiyo-class Escort Carrier
BuilderMitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard
Laid Down5 Feb 1938
Launched9 Dec 1938
Commissioned23 Nov 1943
Sunk24 Jul 1945
Displacement13,600 tons standard; 16,483 tons full
Length546 feet
Beam72 feet
Draft26 feet
Machinery4 water-tube boilers, 2 Kampon geared steam turbines, 2 shafts
Power Output52,100 shaft horsepower
Speed23 knots
Range7,000nm at 18 knots
Armament4x2x12.7cm/40 Type 89 dual-purpose guns, 8x3x25mm Type 96 anti-aircraft guns
Aircraft24 operational, 0 in reserve
Recommissioned23 Nov 1943
Flight Deck160x23m


ww2dbasePassenger liner Argentina Maru of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. was launched in 1938 and ran passenger routes between Japan and South America. On 9 Dec 1942, she was purchased by the Japanese Navy to be converted to become an escort carrier as the direct result of the Midway debacle. She was converted at the Nagasaki Shipyard in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries between 10 Dec 1942 and 23 Nov 1943. The newly converted Kaiyo received destroyer type turbines (removing her passenger ship diesel engines) and was equipped with facilities to operate 24 aircraft. She served largely as an aircraft ferry. On 19 Mar 1945, while moored at Kure, Japan, she was damaged during an American air raid, causing some flooding. On 10 Apr, she participated in a training exercise with the Combined Fleet in Beppu Bay, Japan. On 24 Jul, she hit a naval mine. On the next day, her crew grounded her off Hinode, Japan in Beppu Bay due to the inability to stem flooding. On 28 Jul, she was attacked by aircraft possibly from USS Essex and was hit by either a rocket or a bomb that disabled her electric generator; 20 men were killed and the flooding problem became worse. On 29 Jul, United States Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bombers attacked her, followed by carrier aircraft from USS Ticonderoga. Later that day, a medical doctor convinced Kaiyo's commanding officer Captain Shuichi Osuga to abandon the repair efforts due to the unhealthy conditions (lack of power meant the ship was not ventilated at all). Osuga gave the order to coat the machinery with oil and then flood the boilers, hoping to preserve the ship while keeping her stable on the shallow bay floor. On 9 Aug, she was attacked by 12 USAAF B-25 bombers again; one of the attackers caught a wing tip on Kaiyo's camouflage tree limbs and netting and crashed into the bay. This would be the last time the ship's anti-aircraft weapons were manned. After the war, she was raised in 1946 by Nissan Salvage. She was towed closer to shore and then scrapped between 1 Sep 1946 and 31 Jan 1948.

ww2dbaseSources: Nihon Kaigun, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2009


Kaiyo as Argentina Maru, circa May-Jun 1942Carrier Kaiyo off Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan immediately before she entered naval service as an escort carrier, 15 Nov 1943
See all 4 photographs of Escort Carrier Kaiyo

Kaiyo Operational Timeline

23 Nov 1943 Kaiyo was commissioned into service.
24 Jul 1945 British TF 37 launched 416 sorties, 261 of which were sent against the Japanese home islands and 155 were for defensive patrols; escort carrier Kaiyo was damaged by British carrier planes. On the same day, American TF 38 launched 600 aircraft against Kure, Nagoya, Osaka, and Miho, sinking battleship-carrier Hyuga, heavy cruiser Tone, and target ship Settsu, and damaging carrier Ryuho, carrier Amagi, battleship-carrier Ise, battleship Haruna, heavy cruiser Aoba, light cruiser Oyodo, transport Kiyokawa Maru; the Aichi aircraft factories at Nagoya were seriously damaged.
29 Jul 1945 B-25 bombers of US 5th Air Force damaged Japanese escort carrier Kaiyo at Hiji, Japan.

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1. hera says:
25 May 2009 10:23:53 PM

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More on Kaiyo
Event(s) Participated:
» Dutch East Indies Campaign, Java
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Functions
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Specifications
» Japanese Aircraft Carrier Time Operational

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Escort Carrier Kaiyo Photo Gallery
Kaiyo as Argentina Maru, circa May-Jun 1942Carrier Kaiyo off Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan immediately before she entered naval service as an escort carrier, 15 Nov 1943
See all 4 photographs of Escort Carrier Kaiyo

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