Hosho file photo

Hosho

CountryJapan
Ship ClassHosho-class Light Carrier
BuilderAsano Shipbuilding Company, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan
Laid Down16 Dec 1920
Launched13 Nov 1921
Commissioned27 Dec 1922
Decommissioned31 Aug 1946
Displacement7470 tons standard; 10500 tons full
Length551 feet
Beam59 feet
Draft20 feet
Machinery2-shaft geared turbine, 12 boilers
Bunkerageoil 2695t, coal 940t
Power Output30000 SHP
Speed25 knots
Crew550
Armament4-140mm/50cal (1x4), 2-80mm/40cal anti-aircraft (1x2), 2 machine guns
Aircraft26

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Hosho was first aircraft carrier of the Japanese Navy and was the first purpose-built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world, beating out Britain's HMS Hermes by 13 months. She was designed with a cruiser style hull with a one-layer hangar, topped with a flight deck that declined slightly to accelerate the lift of aircraft launched. After some flight trials, she was modified by removing the island and flatting out the flight deck. In the 1920s, she played a critical role in the development of early Japanese naval aviation doctrine. In 1932, her aircraft attacked Chinese positions in Shanghai. More than five years later, she returned to the Chinese coast as the Second Sino-Japanese War officially began. In 1942, she was further modified with a larger flight deck to accommodate modern carrier aircraft, but the modification rendered her barely effective for open-sea voyages. After participating in the Midway operations with outdated biplane torpedo bombers as a part of the main body, she became a training carrier in the Inland Sea in Japan after 1943. After the war ended, Hosho's flight deck was reduced in size, making her once again a sea-worthy vessel in order to task her to repatriot overseas Japanese personnel.

Sources: Imperial Japanese Navy Page, Wikipedia.

Light Carrier Hosho Interactive Map

Hosho Operational Timeline

16 Dec 1920 The keel of light carrier Hosho was laid down.
13 Nov 1921 Light carrier Hosho was launched.
27 Dec 1922 Light carrier Hosho was commissioned into service.
6 Jun 1924 Light carrier Hosho entered Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan for post-commissioning modification work.
20 Aug 1924 Light carrier Hosho's modification work was completed at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan, which saw the removal of her island, mast, and crane.
15 Nov 1924 Light carrier Hosho was transferred out of the 1st Fleet.
10 Mar 1925 Light carrier Hosho was taken out of service to be fitted with a hydraulically-operated crash barrier.
2 Jul 1925 The installation of a hydraulically-operated crash barrier was completed on light carrier Hosho.
1 Apr 1928 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to Carrier Division 1.
1 Feb 1932 Light carrier Hosho arrived off the mouth of the Yangtze River in China.
5 Feb 1932 Light carrier Hosho launched aircraft to attack Shanghai, China.
7 Feb 1932 Light carrier Hosho launched aircraft to support ground troops at Shanghai, China.
23 Feb 1932 Light carrier Hosho launched aircraft to attack airfields near Hangzhou, China.
26 Feb 1932 Light carrier Hosho launched aircraft to attack airfields near Suzhou, China. Hosho-based fighters claimed 2 kills on this date.
23 Sep 1935 Light carrier Hosho's flight was damaged in a typhoon while participating in the annual Combined Fleet Maneuver exercise.
22 Nov 1935 Light carrier Hosho was taken out of service to repair typhoon damage and to receive enhancements.
31 Mar 1936 Light carrier Hosho completed her repairs.
16 Jul 1937 Light carrier Hosho arrived off Shanghai, China and began launching aircraft to support the invasion.
25 Jul 1937 Light carrier Hosho's aircraft shot down a Chinese B-10 bobmer near Shanghai, China.
1 Sep 1937 Light carrier Hosho departed Shanghai, China.
5 Sep 1937 Hosho departed Sasebo, Japan.
21 Sep 1937 Light carrier Hosho arrived off Guangzhou, Guangdong, China and launched aircraft to attack Tienho and Paiyun airfields, claiming 6 kills. 5 of the fighters launched ran out of fuel and were lost in the sea; all crew members were rescued.
3 Oct 1937 Light carrier Hosho arrived off Shanghai, China.
17 Oct 1937 Light carrier Hosho transferred all of her aircraft to carrier Ryujo and departed Chinese waters.
1 Dec 1937 Light carrier Hosho was placed in reserve.
12 Aug 1939 Light carrier Hosho was designated a training carrier.
11 Jan 1940 Captain Tomozo Kikuchi was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
23 Dec 1940 Light carrier Hosho was deemed not suitable for modern carrier aircraft
12 Aug 1941 Light carrier Hosho became the flagship of Carrier Division 3.
5 Sep 1941 Captain Karou Umetani was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho; Hosho was relieved the duty of being Carrier Division 3's flagship.
17 Sep 1941 Light carrier Hosho departed Hashirajima, Japan and arrived at Kure, Japan later on the same day.
28 Sep 1941 Light carrier Hosho became the temporary flagship of Carrier Division 3.
29 Sep 1941 Light carrier Hosho was relieved the duty of being Carrier Division 3's temporary flagship.
7 Dec 1941 Light carrier Hosho departed the Inland Sea, Japan with a large fleet.
8 Dec 1941 Light carrier Hosho passed through the Bungo Strait between Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan.
10 Dec 1941 Captain Karou Umetani of light carrier Hosho received a US submarine sighting report and decided to launch aircraft to hunt for the submarine even though the late launch meant he would have to turn on the flight deck lights after dark when the aircraft returned. No hostile submarines made use of the flight deck lights to attack the carrier, but the landing operations caused Hosho to be separated from the fleet.
11 Dec 1941 Light carrier Hosho rejoined the fleet; in the previous night, she fell out of formation as she slowed to conduct a night time landing operation.
12 Dec 1941 Light carrier Hosho detected a hostile submarine near Okinoshma Lighthouse in Japan. Later in the day, she arrived at Kure, Japan.
1 Apr 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the 1st Air Fleet.
20 May 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned toe the Main Body Air Force of the 1st Fleet.
29 May 1942 Light carrier Hosho departed Hashirajima, Japan for the Midway invasion.
2 Jun 1942 Light carrier Hosho launched aircraft to search for light cruiser Sendai and destroyer Isonami which had fallen out of formation due to heavy fog.
3 Jun 1942 Light carrier Hosho sailed ahead of the Southern Force into the Midway area.
4 Jun 1942 Light carrier Hosho's aircraft located the burning wreck of carrier Hiryu off Midway Atoll.
14 Jun 1942 Light carrier Hosho arrived at Hashirajima, Japan.
20 Jun 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the 1st Air Fleet; she disembarked all her aircraft.
14 Jul 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the 3rd Fleet.
1 Aug 1942 Captain Bunjiro Yamaguchi was assigned the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
14 Aug 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the Mobile Force Stand By Force.
20 Oct 1942 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the Mobile Force Training Force.
15 Nov 1942 Captain Katsuji Hattori was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
15 Jan 1943 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the 3rd Force of the Mobile Force Training Force.
5 Jul 1943 Captain Takeo Taizuka was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
18 Dec 1943 Captain Yoshi Matsuura was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
1 Jan 1944 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to Training Force of the 5th Force.
2 Feb 1944 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the Combined Fleet as a training carrier.
1 Mar 1944 Captain Kiyoshi Koda was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
6 Jul 1944 Captain Yujiro Takarada was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
3 Jan 1945 Light carrier Hosho conducted a training exercise at Kure, Japan.
20 Jan 1945 Light carrier Hosho conducted a torpedo attack training with Air Group 453 and submarine HA-106.
1 Feb 1945 Light carrier Hosho arrived at Tokuyama, Japan, refueled, and departed to conduct a training exercise as a target vessel.
5 Mar 1945 Captain Hidekazu Osuga was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
9 Mar 1945 Light carrier Hosho conducted torpedo evasion exercise; five of the torpedoes used were live.
11 Mar 1945 Light carrier Hosho departed Oita, Japan for target ship duty for Air Group 252's training.
19 Mar 1945 Light carrier Hosho was attacked by 7 US aircraft off Kure, Japan at 0532 hours, receiving three hits, which caused minor damage and killed six.
23 Mar 1945 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the 2nd Fleet.
18 May 1945 Captain Keiji Furutani was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
28 May 1945 Light carrier Hosho was camouflaged at Nishinomishima, Japan.
1 Jun 1945 Light carrier Hosho was assigned to the habor defense force at Kure, Japan as a reserve ship, which meant her crew was reduced to half the standard complement size.
14 Jul 1945 Light carrier Hosho received orders to transit the Shimonoseki Strait for Moji, Japan, but the order was repeatedly delayed due to US air attacks.
23 Jul 1945 Light carrier Hosho began preparations to depart Kure, Japan for Moji, Japan.
24 Jul 1945 Light carrier Hosho was hit by a bomb or a rocket during an attack by US aircraft at Kure, Japan; the damage was minor.
26 Jul 1945 Light carrier Hosho departed Kure, Japan for Moji, Japan.
20 Sep 1945 Captain Kunizo Kaneoka was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho.
5 Oct 1945 Light carrier Hosho was removed from the Japanese Navy List. On the same day, she departed Kure, Japan for the Marshall Islands in an effort to repatriot Japanese military servicemen.
16 Oct 1945 Light carrier Hosho arrived at Wotje, Marshall Islands and embarked 700 Japanese military servicemen. She departed for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands later on the same day.
3 Nov 1945 Light carrier Hosho arrived at Uraga, Japan and disembarked 1,011 Japanese military servicemen returned from the Marshall Islands.
5 Dec 1945 Light carrier Hosho entered the drydocks at Hidachi Innoshima shipyard in Japan to receive repairs and to remove the forward portions of the flight deck to improve visibility from the bridge.
5 Jan 1946 Light carrier Hosho departed Kure, Japan for Wewak, New Guinea.
16 Aug 1946 Light carrier Hosho was struck from the list of Japanese vessels used to repatriot overseas servicemen.
31 Aug 1946 Light carrier Hosho was transferred to the Home Ministry for deactivation.
2 Sep 1946 Light carrier Hosho began to be broken up for scraps by Hitachi Zosen, Sakurajima, Japan.
1 May 1947 Light carrier Hosho's scrapping was completed by Hitachi Zosen, Sakurajima, Japan.

Photographs

Carrier Hosho at the Asano factory in Yokosuka, Japan shortly after launch, 20 Dec 1921Carrier Hosho running full power trials, Tateyama Bay, Japan, 30 Nov 1922Hosho conducting trial flights in Tokyo Bay, Japan, Dec 1922Carrier Hosho running trials, off Tateyama, Japan, 4 Dec 1922
See all 16 photographs of Light Carrier Hosho



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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Bill says:
    18 Sep 2010 10:27:52 AM

    In 1921 Japan launched its first aircraft
    carrier named Hosho.
    It was the start of Japan's development into
    naval aviation the training of pilots and
    theory of carrier operations.

    1921 Japan's naval expenditure reached 28% of
    the National budget.

    The Imperial navy developed 14 inch guns for
    the Battleship Kongo-class
    16 inch guns on Battleship Nagato-class and
    18.1 inch guns for Yamato and Musashi they were the largest guns ever mounted on any
    Battleship in the world.

    In 1928 the Fubuki-class destroyer carried
    duel mounted 5 inch guns in turrets capable
    of anti-aircraft fire.
    The rest of the world's navies followed this development.

    The Fubuki-class destroyer also carried the
    oxygen-fuelled type 93 (Long Lance) torpedo
    The Fubuki-class destroyer carried this
    weapon mounted in enclosed torpedo tubes in
    turrets.

    In 1941 the Imperial navy had 10 Battleships,
    10 Aircraft carriers, 38 Heavy and light
    cruisers, 112 Destroyers, 65 Submarines and
    other support and auxiliary ships.
  2. Bill says:
    8 May 2011 06:09:22 PM

    Launched in 1921 and comissioned in 1922 much experienced was gained in carrier
    operations. The Imperial navy developed new
    tactics and training for its naval aviators.

    ON THE JOB TRAINING:

    Hosho's complement was nine Nakajima A2N
    single-seat, radial engine, biplane fighters
    armed w/2x7.7mm machine guns, able to carry 2x66lb/30kg bombs.
    Six Yokosuka B4Y1 three-seat, radial engine
    biplane torpedo bombers, 1x7.7mm machine gun
    for the rear gunner, 1x1,764lb/800kg torpedo
    or 1,102lb/500kg of bombs.

    By the start of the Pacific War Dec. 7, 1941
    she was too small and too slow to carry the
    newist types of Japanese aircraft, However
    she saw action at Midway in June 1942 at that
    time, her complement was eight Yokosuka B4Y1
    torpedo bombers code name (Jean) later her aircraft were withdrawn from front-line service, and served as advanced trainers.

    LUCKY HOSHO:

    She survived Midway, and was retired from combat duty and served as a training ship Hosho's flight deck was extended to accept Nakajima B6N "Jill" torpedo bombers and Yokosuka D4Y "Judy" dive bombers, she was one of the few ships, to survived the war. After World War II she was used to transport Japanese personnel back to Japan from overseas areas until 1946 and later scrapped in 1947.
  3. Bill says:
    17 Dec 2011 07:14:33 PM

    HOSHO: FLYING PHOENIX

    Hosho served with the Combined Fleet from
    1922 to 1933 withdrawn from active fleet service and served as a training ship.
    Returned to service during the Sino-Japanese
    War and assigned duties along the China coast
    Returned to Japan, in 1940 and returned for duties as a training ship.

    After the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec.7, 1941 Hosho was assigned to 3rd Carrier Division along with Carrier Ryujo and took part in
    minor operations, and saw action at Midway June 1942, returned to Japan and assigned to trainig duties, until the end of the war August 1945.
    Serving away from the main fleet anchorages
    saved her from being sunk by US Navy aircraft
    but she did received bomb damage, but still afloat at wars end.
    After WWII Hosho was used to transport both
    Japanese troops and Civilians back to Japan
    until 1946, in 1947 her transport duties over, she was scrapped in 1947.

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Personnel:
» Kaname Harada
» Ryunosuke Kusaka
» Takijiro Onishi

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» First Battle of Shanghai
» Second Battle of Shanghai
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands

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Light Carrier Hosho Photo Gallery
Carrier Hosho at the Asano factory in Yokosuka, Japan shortly after launch, 20 Dec 1921
See all 16 photographs of Light Carrier Hosho



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