Photograph of Yokosuka Navy Yard in 1942

National Archives #80-G-063596. Via Wikipedia Commons

Yokosuka (139.66E 35.29N) was founded in 1860, at a site chosen for its resemblance to the port of Toulon in France.  It was one of the four main Japanese naval bases and boasted the largest shipyard in Japan, with enough capacity to lay down at least four light cruisers simultaneously.  It was the principle shipyard for carrier construction, and built some battleships, heavy cruisers, and submarines as well. Shinano and Unryu were completed here during the war.

The city was headquarters of 1 Naval District, and some 120 aircraft were present at the nearby Oppama Naval Air Station in December 1941. These included 36 B5N Kate, 24 A5M Claude, 12 D3A Val, 3 H6K Mavis, 12 E8N Dave, 6 E7K Alf, and 12 G4M Betty.

Yokosuka was bombed by one of the Doolittle raiders on 18 April 1942. The only significant damage was a bomb hit on Ryuho. The base was again hit by carrier aircraft on 18 July 1945, in a carefully coordinated raid that neutralized the heavy antiaircraft defenses before attacking shipping. Battleship Nagato suffered moderate damage, while submarine I-372 and three other warships were sunk and five damaged. Destroyer escort  Yaezakura, about 60% complete, was destroyed on the ways.

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Reference (accessed 2011-4-23)

Dunnigan and Nofi (1998)

Evans and Peattie (1997)
Garzke and Dullin (1985)

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