Soryu-class Aircraft Carrier



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

ww2dbaseThe Soryu-class aircraft carriers were built within the specifications of the Washington Naval Treaty, thus the two members of the class, Soryu and Hiryu, were built with tonnage and armament constraints, making them slightly small for a fleet carrier in the era. Hiryu distinctly had her island placed on the port side of the flight deck, which was different than Soryu and most carriers in the world. Akagi and Hiryu had their islands placed on the port side as an experiment in determining whether this characteristic would improve flight patterns when operating a mixed task force of port-sided and starboard-sided carriers; the experiment was discontinued after Akagi and Hiryu. Soryu-class carriers were built around a sleek cruiser-style hull and powerful engines, allowing her to outrun the carrier Kaga at only about 40% power. In fact, at the time of her launch, Soryu was the fastest aircraft carrier in the world.

Last Major Revision: May 2009

Soryu-class Aircraft Carrier Interactive Map

Soryu-class Aircraft Carrier Operational Timeline

29 Dec 1937 Soryu was commissioned into service.
5 Jul 1939 Carrier Hiryu was commissioned into service.
12 Jan 1942 Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, and Yugure departed Hashirijima in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
17 Jan 1942 Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, and Yugure arrived at Palau, Caroline Islands at 1140 hours.
21 Jan 1942 Hiryu, Soryu, Ariake, Yugure, Ushio, and Sazanami departed Palau, Caroline Islands at 1600 hours for air strikes on Maluku Islands, Dutch East Indies.
19 Jun 1942 US PBY Catalina aircraft discovered 35 survivors from the sunken Japanese carrier Hiryu; USS Ballard was dispatched to rescue them.

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