Hosho, Japanese Light Carrier

National Archives # 80-G-351904


Tonnage 7470 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 505'5" by 58'6" by 20'2"
154.05m by 17.83m by 6.15m
Maximum speed       25 knots
Complement 550
Aircraft 510' (155.45m) flight deck
1 elevator
11 aircraft
Armament 4 5.5"/50 guns
4x2 25mm/60 AA guns
3x4 13mm/76 machine guns
2-shaft Parsons geared turbines (30,000 shp)
12 Kampon boilers
Bunkerage 2695 tons fuel oil
940 tons coal
100,000 gallons (380,000 liters) aviation gasoline
8000 nautical miles (15,000 km) at 15 knots
Modification In 1942 the 5.5" guns were replaced with an additional 4x2 25mm guns.
In 1944 the the flight deck was extended to 593'2" (180.8m).
In 1945 the antiaircraft armament was reduced to 6 25mm guns.

The Hosho was Japan's first aircraft carrier, an oiler converted in 1922 with the help of the British, who at that time had a naval alliance with the Japanese. The ship originally had a small island with folding funnels aft and two small elevators to the hangar deck. After some experimentation, the Japanese remodeled her as flush-deck carrier with a control station on a platform off the flight deck and the funnels were permanently folded over. The original lengthwise arresting gear were replaced with transverse cables.

By the start of the Pacific War she had little remaining value as a combat unit, being rather slow, operating a very small air group, and having serious maintenance problems. The original complement of 20 aircraft was halved as carrier aircraft became larger and faster. She was used primarily for training by 1941, but she was assigned to 1 Fleet, the main Japanase battleship force, to provide reconnaissance, spotting, and some semblance of air cover during the Midway campaign.  She somehow managed to survive the war.


Chesneau (1992)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977) (accessed 15 January 2007)

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