Japanese escort aircraft carrier Taiyo “Goshawk”
CVE Taiyo escort carrier design
Escort aircraft carrier Taiyo was developed as a modification of already existing ocean liners. The Taiyo-class finally consisted of three carriers that were performing transport and convoy escort operations. At most the air group embarked consisted of Kate bombers due the limited hangar space. However, very few times air groups operations were performed from these carriers and most of the missions involved ferrying and transporting supplies and aircraft to distant places in Philippines islands. The Taiyo carrier was sunk by a US Navy submarine in 1944.
The carrier spirit of the Nitta-Maru Cargo Liners
The original class of ocean liners that were converted to carriers was the Nitta-Maru class. They were built at the Nagasaki shipyard by the shipping lines Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NKK) and Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK). Nitta Maru and Yawata Maru were ordered for NKK and both were completed before the beginning of the Pacific War in December 1941. Kasuga Maru had been ordered by OSK but before she was completed and ready she was acquired by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1940.
Escort carrier Taiyo air groups: Kates and Jills
The carrier escort Taiyo had the latest anti-aircraft defense since Taiyo had an armament of six single 45-calibre 12 cm (4.7 in) anti-aircraft (AA) guns in sponsons along the sides of the hull. These guns had a range of 16,600 metres (18,200 yd) and a ceiling of 10,000 metres (33,000 ft). Taiyō could accommodate a total of 27 aircraft, including four spares, and her sisters had a capacity of 30 aircraft, however, it has been reported that the Taiyo-class lacked of arresting gear so that heavy aicraft could land aboard a carrier. Some other sources claim that Taiyo had indeed such of arresting gear because some embarked planes needed it. There is overall little information of the air groups involved in the Taiyo-class air wings. However, it seems that the 931 kokutai was assigned to the Escort Carrier Taiyo with B5N Kates. Some other sources reported that ) that Jills were carried by Shinyo, Taiyo, and Unyo (Pacific War, Rene Francillon).
Escort Carrier Taiyo 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:||7.7–8.0 m (25.4–26.25 ft)|
|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 manufacturers have constructed model kits for the escort carrier Taiyo: