Hiryu burning, photographed by a plane of carrier Hosho, 5 Jun 1942, photo 1 of 2

Caption   Hiryu burning, photographed by a plane of carrier Hosho, 5 Jun 1942, photo 1 of 2 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
Identification Code   NH 73065
More on...   
Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Hiryu   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Photos on Same Day 5 Jun 1942
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 7 Sep 2006

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,200 by 790 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US Navy Naval History and Heritage Command, as of 21 Jul 2010:
Official government photographs and documents are in the public domain and may be scanned and reproduced in print or online. They may be cropped or resized, but their content may not be altered.
Additionally, according to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Jan 2012 09:35:13 PM


Japanese Carrier Hiryu one of four sunk at
Battle of Midway. The loss of four carriers
their crews, pilots, and aircraft was a blow
Japan never recovered from.
The front of the Carrier is heavily damaged
looks like the flight deck collapsed into the forward hanger
8 Jan 2013 08:01:37 AM

back in the 70's my father got a visit from a pilot that he flew with in ww2. charlie wheeler was given the navy's fling cross for droping bomb down the smoke stack and disabling the carrier hiryu !!
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
13 Nov 2013 08:12:29 PM

Hello John Provost


That must have been one great tossing of the bomb sideways into the Hiryu's two main downward slanted smoke stacks! their was no possible way
a bomb could have went down Hiryu's stack!

Japanese Naval Architects designed the two smoke stacks downward, and aft of the ships island to the side of the hull on the starboard side that's the right side, to prevent smoke from interfering with recovery and launch operations.

This design was possible since the hanger deck was totally in closed and protected. If you don't believe me, look up the design of the Japanese Aircraft Carrier Hiryu 1942. I've even built a 1/700 scale model of the Hiryu...
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
14 Nov 2013 06:35:51 PM


Hiryu was one of four Japanese Aircraft Carriers
that took part during the Battle of Midway in June 1942. She launched her aircraft to attack Midway destroying aircraft,and base facilities. After the Soryu, Kaga and Akagi were disabled by
US air attacks. the Hiryu was the only operational
carrier left.


Hiryu was the only operational carrier left, she launched her aircraft in two-waves and damaged the US Carrier Yorktown, that was later sunk by the Japanese submarine I-158, preparing for a third air strike, Hiryu was attacked by 13 US dive-bombers from the carrier Enterprise, hit by four bombs, three forward and one amidship
explosions started fires, that couldn't be controlled followed by another major explosion
orders were given to abandoned ship, survivors were taken aboard the destroyers Kazagumo and the Makigumo. Hiryu was scuttled and torpedoed by the Makigumo, and sunk at 09:12hrs with the loss of 350 of her crew other survivors were pickup by Japanese and US Ships.

Some sources list that the loss of four carriers at Midway cost the Imperial Navy in trained air crews. Midway did cost the loss of (110) veteran air crew or 25% that embarked on those four carriers. The Imperial Navy still had about 2,000 carrier-qualified pilots at the start of the war.
A few months after Midway the Japanese continued to suffer heavy casualty rates.
The Battle of Eastern Solomon, Battle of Santa Cruz, and by the time of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Japan had somewhat rebuilt her carrier force, but with air groups that were less experienced and trained.
In a way, Japan never was able to make up for the loss of experienced mechanics, technicians, flight deck crews, armorers, pilots and air crews

By the time Japan built three aircraft carriers, the US built two-dozen fleet and light escort carriers, along with trained pilots, better aircraft and ships crews...
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Nov 2013 06:09:40 PM


Above file photo of the Hiryu was taken by a japanese aircraft assigned to the carrier Hosho that was flown by Shigeo Nakamura and his observer Kiyoshi Oniwa discovered the burning carrier.


Hosho missed the major portion of the Battle of Midway in which Adm.Nagumo lost his four aircraft
carriers, it was the Hosho who helped guide the remnants of Nagumo's fleet to rendezvous with the main body.


The main body was 300 nautical miles 556km behind
the carrier strike force, and was made up of five Battleships, two Light Carriers and Forty-One Support ships. During the Battle of Midway Hosho's Air Group was made up of Nine A5M Claude fighters and Six B4Y1 Jean bombers, some sources list only B4Y1 Jean bombers.

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