Shoho file photo [1851]

Zuiho-class Light Carrier



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

ww2dbaseThe Zuiho-class ships were originally laid down as submarine tenders with design flexible enough for them to be used as either light aircraft carriers or fleet oilers; they would indeed be converted to become light aircraft carriers, one after commission (Tsurugizaki/Shoho) and the other shortly after launched (Takasaki/Zuiho). Although Tsurugizaki was completed first as a submarine tender, because Zuiho had beaten Tsurugizaki/Shoho to service after conversion, Zuiho became the lead ship of the class of light carriers. These 11,443-ton ships, each having two centerline elevators and a single hangar, could each operated up to 30 aircraft; although the air groups they carried were small compared to their larger cousins, their speed meant they would nevertheless be valuable additions to fast carrier groups. Shoho's service as a carrier would last only months into the Pacific War, having been sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, becoming the first Japanese carrier to be lost in the war. Zuiho, however, would see greater service, participating in the Battle of Midway, the campaign in the Solomon Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the campaign in the Philippine Islands during which she would be sunk in the Battle off Cape Engaño.

Nihon Kaigun

Last Major Revision: Jun 2012


Submarine tender Tsurugizaki off Tateyama, Japan, 30 Jan 1939; she was later converted to become light carrier ShohoCarrier Zuiho at Yokosuka, Japan, 28 Dec 1940Light carrier Shoho, Yokosuka, Japan, 20 Dec 1941Japanese light carrier Shoho shortly after her conversion from a submarine tender, Yokosuka, Japan, 25 Dec 1941
See all 12 photographs of Zuiho-class Light Carrier

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Ships of this Class:
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Zuiho-class Light Carrier Photo Gallery
Submarine tender Tsurugizaki off Tateyama, Japan, 30 Jan 1939; she was later converted to become light carrier Shoho
See all 12 photographs of Zuiho-class Light Carrier

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