Japanese Escort Aircraft Carrier Kumano Maru
Kumano Maru missions: Repatriation and aircraft transport
Kumano Maru was operated by the Imperial Japanese Army as an escort carrier. Some sources also consider it as a kind of landing craft carrier. She was completed in March 1945 therefore she had little chance to see action during the war. In fact, the Kumano Maru carrier survived the war and was actively operated in missions to repatriate troops and Japanese citizens from abroad. Later, she was bought by a Japanese company Kises K.K. Line two years after the war ended in 1947. The Kumano Maru was then transformed into a merchant ship. However, she was only doing this mission for one year, and was finally scrapped in 1948.
Kumano Maru escort carrier: A short deck for only taking off missions
The Kumanu Maru could not operate like a real carrier because the narrow and short deck of only 110 meters allowed planes to take off, but not landing. The transported planes were thought to take off from the ship and land on onshore airbases. Main missions were also ferrying and transporting between 8 to 37 aircraft. The construction of the flight deck was rough and simple since it was mounted above the main deck with an elevator aft.
Kumanu Maru escort carrier technical specifications:
|Type:||Landing ship or aircraft transport ship (escort carrier)|
|Displacement:||8,258 tonnes (8,128 long tons)|
|Length:||152.7 m (501 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||19.58 m (64.2 ft)|
|Draught:||7 m (23 ft 0 in) (mean)|
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)|
|Range:||6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) @ 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)|
|Aircraft carried:||8 to 37|
|Aviation facilities:||takeoff-only flight deck|