Kaiyo, Japanese Escort Carrier

Photograph of HJMS Kaiyo

Wikimedia Commons


Tonnage 13,600 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 546'5" by 71' 10" by 21'1"
166.55m by 21.89m by 6.43m
Maximum speed       23.8 knots
Complement 829
Aircraft 492' (150m) flight deck
2 elevators
24 aircraft
Armament 4x2 5"/40 dual-purpose guns
6x3, 2x1 25mm/60 AA guns
2-shaft Kampon geared turbines (52,000 shp)
4 boilers
7000 nautical miles
13,000 km
Type 21 radar
Modification 1944-7: Added 10x1 25mm guns, 8 depth charge throwers, 4x28 5" rocket launchers

The Kaiyo was converted from the passenger liner Argentina Maru, which served as a troop transport from the start of the war until December 1942, when conversion to a light carrier began. The original diesel machinery was replaced with destroyer machinery, a hangar and flight deck added, and elevators and guns installed, but there was no island or catapults.

Her sister, the Brazil Maru, was to have been converted as well, but was sunk by Greenling on  5 August 1942.

Conversion was completed on 23 November 1943. The ship was initially used for aircraft transport, but saw increased use as an antisubmarine escort in 1944 and 1945.

Photograph of IJN Kaiyo under air attack

Naval Historical Center #NH 95778. Cropped by author.

She was crippled by a British carrier strike on 24 July 1945 near Beppu and not repaired, making her the only Japanese escort carrier not sunk by American submarines.


Chesneau (1992) (accessed 2008-4-15)

Gogin (2010; accessed 2012-3-8)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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