Taiyo file photo [5182]

Taiyo-class Escort Carrier

CountryJapan

Contributor:

This article refers to the entire Taiyo-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseIn 1937, Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha decided to build three luxury passenger liners to compete with Germany's liners Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Potsdam. To brand them uniquely for Nippon Yusen Kaisha, the three ships were named Nitta Maru, Yawata Maru, and Kasuga Maru so that the initial letters of the three ships would spell out the acronym "NYK". With air conditioned first- and second-class cabins, smoking rooms, swimming pool, and other amenities, they were destined to be among the world's most luxurious. Rising political tensions soon rendered these civilian ships nearly useless. Because they were partially funded by government subsidies, they were very quickly drafted in naval service. Nitta Maru and Kasuga Maru served as transports first, but eventually all three were converted into escort carriers. Their slow speeds meant they could not keep up with fleet carriers, and the civilian design meant their internal spaces were not designed for efficient military use, the three carriers of the Taiyo-class were used in training and aircraft ferrying roles only. Although they did not play a critical combat role, the aircraft and other supplies they ferried to Japan's outlying island bastions, particularly Truk in the Caroline Islands, played a significant role in the war. All three ships in this class were sunk by torpedoes launched from American submarines by the end of the war.

Last Major Revision: Oct 2007

Photographs

Luxury liner Yawata Maru, circa 1940-1941; she was converted to escort carrier Unyo during the warLuxury liner Nitta Maru, off Nagasaki, Japan, Mar 1940; she was converted to escort carrier Chuyo during the warChuyo at Truk, Caroline Islands, May 1943; note sister ship Unyo on leftCarrier Unyo en route between Truk in the Caroline Islands and Yokosuka, Japan, early May 1943
See all 6 photographs of Taiyo-class Escort Carrier



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More on Taiyo-class Escort Carrier
Ships of this Class:
» Chuyo
» Taiyo
» Unyo

Taiyo-class Escort Carrier Photo Gallery
Luxury liner Yawata Maru, circa 1940-1941; she was converted to escort carrier Unyo during the war
See all 6 photographs of Taiyo-class Escort Carrier




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