|Ship Class||Kaiyo-class Escort Carrier|
|Builder||Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard|
|Laid Down||5 Feb 1938|
|Launched||9 Dec 1938|
|Commissioned||23 Nov 1943|
|Sunk||24 Jul 1945|
|Displacement||13,600 tons standard; 16,483 tons full|
|Machinery||4 water-tube boilers, 2 Kampon geared steam turbines, 2 shafts|
|Power Output||52,100 shaft horsepower|
|Range||7,000nm at 18 knots|
|Armament||4x2x12.7cm/40 Type 89 dual-purpose guns, 8x3x25mm Type 96 anti-aircraft guns|
|Aircraft||24 operational, 0 in reserve|
|Recommissioned||23 Nov 1943|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbasePassenger liner Argentina Maru of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. was launched in 1938 and ran passenger routes between Japan and South America. On 9 Dec 1942, she was purchased by the Japanese Navy to be converted to become an escort carrier as the direct result of the Midway debacle. She was converted at the Nagasaki Shipyard in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries between 10 Dec 1942 and 23 Nov 1943. The newly converted Kaiyo received destroyer type turbines (removing her passenger ship diesel engines) and was equipped with facilities to operate 24 aircraft. She served largely as an aircraft ferry. On 19 Mar 1945, while moored at Kure, Japan, she was damaged during an American air raid, causing some flooding. On 10 Apr, she participated in a training exercise with the Combined Fleet in Beppu Bay, Japan. On 24 Jul, she hit a naval mine. On the next day, her crew grounded her off Hinode, Japan in Beppu Bay due to the inability to stem flooding. On 28 Jul, she was attacked by aircraft possibly from USS Essex and was hit by either a rocket or a bomb that disabled her electric generator; 20 men were killed and the flooding problem became worse. On 29 Jul, United States Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell bombers attacked her, followed by carrier aircraft from USS Ticonderoga. Later that day, a medical doctor convinced Kaiyo's commanding officer Captain Shuichi Osuga to abandon the repair efforts due to the unhealthy conditions (lack of power meant the ship was not ventilated at all). Osuga gave the order to coat the machinery with oil and then flood the boilers, hoping to preserve the ship while keeping her stable on the shallow bay floor. On 9 Aug, she was attacked by 12 USAAF B-25 bombers again; one of the attackers caught a wing tip on Kaiyo's camouflage tree limbs and netting and crashed into the bay. This would be the last time the ship's anti-aircraft weapons were manned. After the war, she was raised in 1946 by Nissan Salvage. She was towed closer to shore and then scrapped between 1 Sep 1946 and 31 Jan 1948.
ww2dbaseSources: Nihon Kaigun, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2009
Kaiyo Operational Timeline
|23 Nov 1943||Kaiyo was commissioned into service.|
|29 Jul 1945||B-25 bombers of US 5th Air Force damaged Japanese escort carrier Kaiyo at Hiji, Japan.|
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