Kaiyo file photo

Kaiyo

CountryJapan
Ship ClassKaiyo-class Escort Carrier
Laid Down5 Feb 1938
Launched9 Dec 1938
Commissioned23 Nov 1943
Sunk24 Jul 1945
Displacement13600 tons standard; 16483 tons full
Length546 feet
Beam72 feet
Draft26 feet
MachineryKampon geared steam turbines, two shafts
Power Output52100 SHP
Speed23 knots
Range7,000nm at 18 knots
Crew829
Armament4x2x127mm dual purpose guns, 8x3x25mm anti-aircraft guns
Recommissioned as Escort Carrier23 Nov 1943
Flight Deck160x23m
Aircraft24

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Passenger 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.

Sources: Nihon Kaigun, Wikipedia.

Kaiyo Operational Timeline

23 Nov 1943 Kaiyo was commissioned into service.
29 Jul 1945 B-25 bombers of US 5th Air Force damaged Japanese escort carrier Kaiyo at Hiji, Japan.

Photographs

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 1943Kaiyo (center) under attack by SB2C Helldiver bombers from USS Essex, Kure, Japan, 19 Mar 1945; the carrier at bottom was either Amagi or KatsuragiKaiyo being scrapped at Beppu Bay, Kyushu, Japan, 1946-1947




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

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Event(s) Participated:
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Escort Carrier Kaiyo Photo Gallery
Kaiyo as Argentina Maru, circa May-Jun 1942
See all 4 photographs of Escort Carrier Kaiyo



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