Escort Aircraft Carrier Shinyo

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Escort Aircraft Carrier Shinyo “Divine Hawk”


Escort Aircraft carrier Shinyo in 1943.

Escort Aircraft carrier Shinyo in 1943.

Aircraft carrier Shinyo and the German ocean liner Scharnhorst


Escort aircraft carrier Shinyo had her origins in a German ocean liner called Scharnhorst. How this German shink was in Japan at that time is also an interesting story.  The ocean liner Scharnhorst was trapped in the Japanese port of Kure when the war started. Therefore, the ocean liner could not come back to Europe. The Imperial Japanese Navy decided to buy it to convert her into a carrier after the defeat of the Battle of Midway. The conversion works started in 1942 and ended in 1943. The new name was “Shinyo” which means “Divine Hawk”. However, she could not operate too long as convoy escort carrier becase she was sunk by the USS submarine Spadefish when in route in the west Pacific towards Singapore.

Illustration of the German Ocean Liner SS Scharnhorst.

Illustration of the German Ocean Liner SS Scharnhorst.

Ocean Liner Scharnhorst technical specifications

Owner: Norddeutscher Lloyd
Operator: Norddeutscher Lloyd
Port of registry: Bremen
Route: Bremen – Far East
Builder: DeSchiMAG, Bremen
Yard number: 891
Launched: 18 December 1934
Completed: 1935
In service: 3 May 1935
Homeport: Bremen
  • call sign DOQO
  • ICS Delta.svgICS Oscar.svgICS Quebec.svgICS Oscar.svg
Fate: sold to the Imperial Japanese Navy after being trapped in Kure.



Escort carrier Shinyo was armed with eight 127 mm (5.0 in) Type 89 dual-purpose guns in four twin mounts. She also carried thirty 25 mm (0.98 in) Type 96 anti-aircraft guns in 10 triple mounts. Later, twelve additional 25 mm (0.98 in) in single mounts were added. When Shinyo was refitted in July 1944, eight more 25 mm guns were added, bringing the total to 50.


Aircraft carrier Shinyo and the Convoy Hi between Singapore and Japan.

Escort carrier Shinyo participated in several Hi convoys as escort carrier. The Hi denoted the convoys between Singapore and Japan during the Pacific war and spans from Hi-1 to Hi-95. On 7 November 1944, she was ordered to cover the return of the carrier Junyo and two days later, on 9 November, she was assigned to convoy Hi-81, carrying aircraft for the Philippines. Fourteen B5N “Kate” torpedo bombers were inscribed for the ship in this operation.  In addition, six destroyers, protecting seven troopships carrying an army division and a tanker formed the entire convoy. On the night of 17th November 1944, while in the East China Sea,  Shinyo carrier  was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine USS Spadefish. Two days before two transports had been sunk by submarines and the tanker had been damaged too. This show how difficult was for Japanese to keep transport lines with distant naval bases by late pacific war.


Aircraft carrier Shinyo technical specifications


Class and type: Single escort carrier in her class
  • 17,500 t (17,200 long tons) (standard)
  • 20,586 t (20,261 long tons) (loaded)
Length: 189.36 m (621 ft 3 in)
Beam: 26 m (85 ft)
Draft: 8.18 m (26 ft 10 in)
Installed power: 26,000 shp (19,000 kW)
  • 2 × AEG steam turbines
  • turbo-electric transmission
  • 2 × shafts
Speed: 22 kn (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Complement: 942
  • Upon Completion In 1943:
  • 8 ×127 mm (5.0 in)/40 cal dual purpose guns
  • 30 × 25 mm (0.98 in) anti-aircraft guns
  • After 1944 Refit:
  • 8 × 127 mm (5.0 in)/40 cal dual purpose guns
  • 50 × 25 mm (0.98 in) anti-aircraft guns
Aircraft carried: 33 (27 useful, 6 spares)
Aviation facilities: 2 ×elevators facilities


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