Japanese escort aircraft carrier Chuyo “Hawk which soars”
The escort aircraft carrier Chuyo was the last of the escort carriers modified from the original built as Nitta-Maru ocean liner. She participated in multiple ferry and transport missions to the pacific islands under Japanese control during the Pacific War as escort carrier from 1942 until she was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine USS Sailfish SS-192 in December 1943. Before converted to carrier, the ocean liner was used as a military transport in February 1941. She made a few voyages, including one transferring roughly 1,200 American prisoners of war from Wake Island to Japan in January 1942.
The slow speed and lack of arresting gear prevented the Taiyo-class from supporting the main fleet as the IJN had intended.They were thus relegated to secondary roles. The escort carrier Chuyo was used primarily as an aircraft transport to and from the naval base at Truk. She made the first of her 13 trips on 12 December 1942 and was back in Yokosuka two weeks later.
Escort carrier Chuyo final mission
On 30 November, the carrier departed Truk in company with the light carrier Zuiho and her sister Unyo. The carrier fleet was escorted by the heavy cruiser Maya and four destroyers. Aboard Taiyo-class shipes there were 21 and 20 captured crewmen from the sunken submarine USS Sculpin, respectively. At early midnight on 4 December, Chuyo was hit in the bow by a torpedo fired by USS Sailfish.The detonation blew off her bow and caused the forward part of the flight deck to collapse, which led to her sunk hours later after a second attack.
Escort Aircraft carrier Chuyo technical specifications:
|Class and type:||Taiyō-class escort carrier|
|Length:||180.2 m (591 ft 4 in) (o/a)|
|Beam:||22.5 m (73 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||7.7 m (25 ft 5 in)|
|Speed:||21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)|
|Range:||6,500 or 8,500 nmi (12,000 or 15,700 km; 7,500 or 9,800 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
Some model ships manufacturers have built kits for the Chuyo escort carrier:
Aoshima Japanese Aircraft Carrier Chuyo Model Kit
See also Escort Carriers of World War Two