Japanese Aircraft Carrier Functions

Editor's Note: The following content is a transcription of a period document or a collection of period statistics. It may be incomplete, inaccurate, or biased. The reader may not wish to take the content as factual.

 ClassCommission DateNaval BattlesInvasion SupportRaiding Enemy BasesBlockading Enemy ShippingBattling Enemy RaidersAnti-Submarine ActionCombat & Fleet EscortTransport & ReplenishmentTraining & TrialsRepatriation

Fleet and Light Carriers
Hosho (Hosyo) CVLHosho27-Dec-22 XX
Akagi CVAkagi25-Mar-27 XXX
Kaga CVKaga30-Nov-29 XXX
Ryujo (Ryuzyo, Rjudzo) CVLRyujo09-May-33
Soryu CVSoryu29-Sep-37 XXX
Hiryu CVSoryu05-Jul-39 XXX
Zuiho CVLZuiho27-Dec-40 XX
Shokaku (Syokaku) CVShokaku08-Aug-41 XXX
Zuikaku CVShokaku25-Sep-41 XXX
Shoho CVLZuiho30-Nov-41 XXX
Junyo ( Hayataka) CVHiyo03-May-42 XXXX
Hiyo (Hitaka, Haytaka, Hijo) CVHiyo31-Jul-42 XXX
Ryuho (Rjuho) CVLRyuho30-Nov-42 XXX
Chiyoda CVLChitose01-Nov-43 XX
Chitose CVLChitose21-Dec-43 X
Taiho CVTaiho07-Mar-44 X
Unryu (Unrju) CVUnryu06-Aug-44 XX
Amagi CVUnryu10-Aug-44
Katsuragi CVUnryu15-Oct-44X
Shinano CVShinano19-Nov-44 X
Total Carriers20151060001722
Percent of Carriers75%50%30%0%0%0%5%35%10%10%

Escort Carriers
Taiyo (Toiyo, Utaka, Taijo) CVETaiyo02-Sep-41 XXX
Unyo (Un'yo, Otaka) CVETaiyo31-May-42 X
Chuyo CVETaiyo25-Nov-42 XX
Kaiyo CVEKaiyo23-Nov-43 XXX
Shinyo (Jinyo, Shingo) CVEShinyo15-Nov-43 XXX
Total Carriers50000004530
Percent of Carriers0%0%0%0%0%0%80%100%60%0%


This table includes only ships that operated between July 1937 and August 1945 and that had flight decks for both launching and recovering aircraft at sea.

Names in parentheses have been used in older publications.

"Naval Battles" involve ship-to-ship combat with exchanges of munitions via aircraft and/or gunfire.

"Invasion Support" includes close air support for invasion troops, cover for warships at or in transit to invasion area, and support during an involve combat actions of Air Squadrons.

"Raiding Enemy Bases" includes raiding, related support, and anti-shipping sweeps. This does not include raids immediately prior to or during "Invasion Support."

"Blockading Enemy Shipping" involves sinking enemy merchant shipping and mine laying by aircraft but not routine patrolling.

"Battling Enemy Raiders" involves search and destroy action against enemy surface raiders.

"Anti-Submarine Action" involves specialized action against submarines, such as being deployed in a hunter-killer group. It does not involve only convoy escort or Combat Air Patrol as part of invasion support.

"Convoy & Fleet Escort" involves Combat Air Patrols for transports and warships, including self (in transit or minesweeping). If no Air Squadron embarked, assume CVE is only ferrying aircraft, not providing convoy defense. Does NOT include air cover for warships enroute to invasions or following invasions, which is included with "invasion support".

"Transportation & Replenishment" involves transport of personnel and/or aircraft. It includes transporting CVEs on their initial voyage from US to UK and launching aircraft for Malta.

"Training and Trials" involves training pilots for other carriers, not just training their own air squadrons.

"Repatriation" involves returning troops and/or POWs to home ports, including formal operations such as the US Navy's operation MAGIC CARPET.

An "X" in a column indicates that the carrier performed in the capacity named in the column heading sometime during the Pacific War. ww2dbase

Mark Stille (2013). The Imperial Japanese Navy In the Pacific War.
William Y'Blood (1987). The Little Giants- U.S. Escort Carriers Against Japan.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (hazegray.org/danfs)
Imperial Japanese Navy Page (combinedfleet.com)
Naval War In The Pacific, 1941-1945 (pacific.valka.cz)

Added By:
Bob Bryant

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