Japanese aircraft carrier Shōhō

Japanese aircraft carrier Shōhō

"Shōhō" (Japanese: 祥鳳 "shōhō", meaning "auspicious phoenix") was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the lead ship of her class. She and her sister ship "Zuihō" were laid down in 1934 with a flexible design that could be completed as an oil tanker, submarine tender, or aircraft carrier as needed. "Shōhō" was launched in 1935 as the submarine tender "Tsurugisaki".cite ref |url="http://www.history.navy.mil/download/car-7.pdf" |title="Evolution of Aircraft Carriers: THE JAPANESE DEVELOPMENTS" |accessdate=2008-08-26] She began to be converted to an aircraft carrier in 1940 and she was renamed "Shōhō" on 26 January 1942.

In World War II, she joined Carrier Division 4 under the command of Captain Izawa Ishinosuke on 30 November 1941. Her aircraft complement consisted of 16 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters and 14 Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers.

In April 1942 she was assigned to Operation MO, the invasion of Port Moresby in New Guinea, sailing with the cruisers "Aoba", "Kinugasa", "Furutaka", and "Kako" of Cruiser Division 6 under the command of Rear Admiral Aritomo Gotō.

After covering the landings on Tulagi on 3 May 1942 she entered the Coral Sea. In the battle of the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942 she was attacked at 07:55 by fifty-three scout-bombers, twenty-two torpedo planes and eighteen fighters from USS "Lexington" and USS "Yorktown"--a force whose intended target had been the two Japanese fleet carriers. Hit by seven torpedoes and thirteen bombs, she foundered quickly, sinking at 08:35 with the loss of 631 men. Captain Izawa and 202 men were rescued by the destroyer "Sazanami".

"Shōhō" was the first Japanese aircraft carrier to be sunk in the Pacific War.

Commanding Officers

As Submarine Tender

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Miki Otsuka - 7 October 1935 - 1 December 1936

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Ko Higuchi - 1 December 1936 - 15 December 1938

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Tsunekichi Fukuzawa - 15 December 1938 - 15 January 1939

Capt. Tsunekichi Fukuzawa - 15 January 1939 - 15 November 1939

Capt. Jotaro Ito - 15 November 1939 - 15 November 1940

Capt. Takatsugu Jojima - 15 November 1940 - 8 August 1941

Capt. Chozaemon Obata - 8 August 1941 - 1 October 1941


Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Ishinosuke Izawa - 1 October 1941 - 30 November 1941

Capt. Ishinosuke Izawa - 30 November 1941 - 7 May 1942


* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/shoho.htm Tabular record of movement] from [http://www.combinedfleet.com/ combinedfleet.com]

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/jwarship/Shoho.html Japanese Warships-Shoho]

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