Escort aircraft carrier Shimane Maru
Shimane Maru-class: A four escort carrier projected class
The Shimane Maru-class consisted of four escort carriers planned for the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, only one was commissioned, the Shimane Maru escort carrier. A second carrier, the Otakisan Maru, had advanced works completed but she was never completed. The Otakisan Maru was laid down in September 1944, launched in Japanese 1945 but was not commissioned. The reason was that, when her construction was 70% completed, she accidentally drifted onto a mine on 25 August 1945 and sank. Her hulk was scrapped after war in 1948 at Kobe. The other two planned ships were the Daiju Maru and Taisha Maru. The Daiji Maru was laid down by Kawasaki on 18 December 1944 however the construction stopped in February 1945 due to lack of materials and continuous bombing in the area. Most efforts and workforce were moved to other projects and ships. However, after war on October 1949, the constructions were restarted and sold to Iino Lines K.K. The name was changed into Ryuho Maru and operated for more than 15 years. She was finally Scrapped at Yokosuka in May 1964. The Taisha Maru did not progress more than a planned design and she was cancelled in 1944.
Designs from oil tankers: British style MAC merchants aircraft carrier
The main designs from this class were based on two oil tankers of 10,002 gross register tons (GRT). Once they were selected, they were modified by the Imperial Japanese Navy in order to be able to offer minimal anti-submarine air cover for convoys that connected Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia with Japan. The conversion works consisted of fitting a full-length flight deck, adding a small hangar, and the construction of a single elevator. Because an island and catapults were not installed, this was a problem for both air control operations and launching efficiently aircrafts.
The length of the flight deck was 154.99 meters with a maximum width of 23.01 meters. A total of 12 aircrafts were assigned to the carrier. The constructed hangar was assisted by a single elevator from the flight deck.
The design and role concept was based on the British style MAC ships. Later, in 1943, she was converted to a MAC ship by Smiths Dock, North Shields.
The Shimane Maru was laid down in June 1944, launched in December 1944, and commissioned in February 1945. However, in July 1945 she was hit and bombed by British aircrafts in Shido Bay, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Shimane Maru Escort Carrier Technical details:
|Tonnage:||10,002 gross register tons (GRT)|
|Displacement:||11,989 tonnes (11,800 long tons) (standard)|
|Length:||160.5 m (527 ft) (o/a)|
|Beam:||20 m (66 ft)|
|Draught:||9.1 m (29 ft 10 in) (mean)|
|Speed:||18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph)|
|Range:||10,000 nmi (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) @ 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
|Type 3, Mark 1, Model 3 radar|