Japanese Aircraft Carriers Comprehensive List

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Japanese Aircraft Carriers Comprehensive List

Akagi at Sukumo, Kōchi, in April 1939. Note her new, single deck flight platform and island superstructure

Akagi at Sukumo, Kochi in April 1939. In this photo, the Akagi carrier shows the newly installed single deck flight platform and the rebuilt island superstructure.


Japanese Aircraft Carriers comprehensive list contains all available fleet carriers, light and escort carriers operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. This complements all the information available in this website by classifying all carriers, escort and light carriers into their classes. The predecessors and successors of each carrier as well as the never built but projected ones are also annotated.


Japanese Fleet Aircraft Carriers by classes


Aircraft carrier Akagi-class


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi “Red Castle”


Aircraft carrier Kaga-class


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga “former Kaga Province” (Ishikawa Prefecture).


Aircraft carrier Shokaku-class


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Shokaku “Soaring Crane”


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku “Auspicious Crane”


Aircraft carrier Hiryu-class


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu “Flying Dragon”


sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu “Blue Dragon”


(after December 1941).


Aircraft carrier Hiyo-class


sphere  Japanese aircraft carrier Junyo (1942, 24,150)  “Flying Hawk” (Hiyo-class)

sphere  Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyo (1942, 24,150)  “Peregrin Falcon” (Hiyo-class)


Aicraft carrier Taiho-class


sphere  Japanese aircraft carrier Taiho (1944, 30,250) “Great Phoenix” (Taiho-class)


Aircraft Carrier Shinano-class


sphere  Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano (1944, 65,800). The Shinano (largest Japanese river) was a modified Yamato-class ship to become carrier.


Aircraft carrier Unryu-class


sphere  Japanese aircraft carrier Amagi (1944, 17,480) “Heaven Castle” (Unryu-class)

sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Unryu (1944, 17,480) “Cloud Dragon” (Unryu-class)

sphere Japanese aircraft carrier Katsuragi  (1944, 17,480).(Unryu-class)



Japanese Light Aircraft Carriers by classes


Light aircraft carrier Hosho-class


sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Hosho “Phoenix in Flight”

(Succeeded by Akagi carrier)


Light aircraft carrier Zuiho-class


sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Zuiho “Auspicious Phoenix” or “Fortunate Phoenix


sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Shoho  “Auspicious Phoenix” or “Happy Phoenix”


Light aircraft carrier Ryujo-class


sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Ryujo “Dragon Horse”)

Preceded by Kaga-class and succeeded by Soryu-class


(after December 1941).

Light aircraft carrier Ryuho-class


sphere  Japanese light aircraft carrier Ryuho (1934/1942, 16,700): Taigei (“Great Whale) (1934~1941) Ryuho (“Dragon Phoenix”) (1942-1946)

(Converted from the submarine tender Taigei)


Light aircraft carrier Chitose-class


sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Chitose (1943) / Seaplane Tender cruiser Chitose (1938, 11,200)

sphere Japanese light aircraft carrier Chiyoda (1943) /Seaplane Tender cruiser Chiyoda (1938, 11,200).


Japanese Escort Aircraft Carriers


Japanese Escort carrier Taiyo-class

(Succeeded by Kaiyo-class)


sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Taiyou “Ghost Hawk”(Taiyou-class) (1941, 18,116) (Taiyou-class) (converted Kasuga-Maru ocean liner)

sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Chuyou (Taiyou-class) “Hawk which soars” (1942, 18,116) (Taiyou-class) (converted Nitta-Maru ocean liner)

sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Unyou “Cloud Hawk” (1942, 18,116) (Taiyou-class) (converted Yawata-Maru ocean liner)


Japanese Escort carrier Kaiyo-class


sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Kaiyo (“Sea Hawk”) (1943, 13,600)  


(Converted from MV Argentina Maru)


Japanese Escort carrier Shinyo-class


sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Shinyo “Divine Hawk”  (1943, 17,500)

(Converted from German Ocean liner SS Scharnhorst) .

Japanese Escort carrier Akitsu Maru-class


sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Akitsu Maru (1942, 11,800) (Akitsu Maru-class)

sphere Japanese escort  aircraft carrier Nigitsu Maru (1942, 11,800)  (Akitsu Maru-class)

Japanese Escort carrier Shimane Maru-class

sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Shinane Maru (1945, 11,989) (4 projected ships from Shimane Maru-class).

sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Ootakisan-Maru ’70 % completed but not commissioned; sunk by a mine on August 1945). sphere Projected escort carrier Daiji Maru. The construction works on the Daiji Maru  were stopped before war ended but re-started after war in 1949. She was renamed as Ryuho Maru and scrapped in 1964.

sphere Projected escort carrier Taisha Maru. Project was cancelled in 1944.


Japanese Escort carrier Yamashio Maru-class


sphere Japanese escort aircraft Carrier Yamashio Maru (1945, 16,119). (Yamashio Maru-class). The Yamashio Maru-class was expected to be composed of three ships Yamashio Maru, Chigusa Maru and Zuiun Maru. The second and third sisters were not completed when war ended. Chigusa Maru was sunk but repaired in 1945. They served as oil tankers after war, and scraped in 1963 and 1964, respectively.


Japanese Escort Carrier Kumano Maru-class


sphere Japanese escort aircraft carrier Kumano Maru (1945, 8,258). (Kumano Maru-class)


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