The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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|Tonnage||17,830 tons standard displacement
|Dimensions||591'2" by 73'10" by 25'5"
180.19m by 22.50m by 7.75m
|Maximum speed||21 knots|
|Aircraft||564'3" (171.98m) flight deck
8 25mm/60 AA guns
|Machinery||2-shaft geared turbines (25,200 shp)
|Range||6500 nautical miles (12,000 km) at 18 knots|
1942: Unyo and Chuyo completed with 4x2 5"/40 DP guns instead of the 4.7" guns of Taiyo.
1944-7: Total armament 4 4.7" guns, 64 25mm guns, 10 13mm guns.
The Taiyos were
originally laid down as 17,100-ton 21-knot ocean liners, but
were converted to flush-deck carriers in various Mitsubishi and Navy yards in
1941-1942, when the Japanese perceived a pressing need for more flight
decks. The original machinery was replaced with destroyer sets and the uptakes routed to the side, a 300' (90m) hangar constructed, a flight deck
slapped in place, and some light antiaircraft
guns scrounged up to provide a minimum of point defense. Though roughly
similar to Allied escort
carriers, they were significantly larger.
A shortage of trained pilots
for their air groups led the Japanese to classify the first two ships
as auxiliaries and use them in secondary roles until the summer of
1942, when they were reclassified as warships. The Japanese unwisely
employed them as aircraft
ferries and training ships rather
in the antisubmarine
escort role for which they would have been ideal. Curiously, the ships
were built without any
arrester gear, which may go a long ways towards explaining why they
were used the way they were.
|Kasuga Maru until name changed 1942-8-31. Torpedoed 1944-8-18 by Rasher off Luzon|
|Yawata Maru until named changed 1942-7-31. Torpedoed 1944-9-16 by Barb 220nm SE of Hong Kong|
|Converted from Nitta Maru. Torpedoed 1943-12-4 by Sailfish off Japan|
Jung, and Mickel (1977)
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