Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga

Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga

"Kaga" (Japanese: 加賀, formerly Kaga Province, in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture) was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy, originally intended as a "Tosa" class fast battleship. She took part in the Pearl Harbor raid and was sunk at the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. [ [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-k/kaga.htm "Kaga", www.history.navy.mil] ]

"Kaga" began as a "Tosa" class battleship, and was launched on 17 November 1921 at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard in Kobe. On 5 February 1922 both "Tosa" class ships were cancelled and designated for scrapping under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty.

The Treaty authorized conversion of two battleship or battlecruiser hulls into aircraft carriers of up to 33,000 tons standard displacement. The incomplete battlecruisers "Amagi" and "Akagi" were initially selected, but the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 damaged "Amagi's" hull beyond economic repair. "Kaga" was therefore selected for completion as an aircraft carrier.

"Kaga's" conversion began in 1923 and lasted until 1928. As completed, the ship had two main hangar decks and a third auxiliary hangar with a total capacity of 60 aircraft. The hangars opened onto two superimposed flying off decks at the bow. In theory, this permitted aircraft to take off directly from the hangars, while landing on the main flight deck above. Funnel gasses were collected in a pair of long horizontal ducts which discharged at each side of the flight deck ramp. "Kaga" was armed with ten 200 mm (7.9 in) guns in a combination of twin turrets and casemates. Belt and deck armor were considerably reduced. No catapults were fitted.

Upon completion, "Kaga" underwent trials for another two years before becoming operational. In service, the multiple flight deck arrangement proved unsuccessful. In 1934, "Kaga" therefore commenced a second major reconstruction. The flight deck and hangars were extended to the bow, increasing flight deck length to 812.5 ft and raising aircraft capacity to 90. A third elevator serviced the extended hangars. New boilers and turbines increased power from 91,000 to 127,400 shp. The hull was lengthened by 34 ft at the stern and the lengthy funnel ducting was replaced by a single downturned starboard funnel. A small starboard island superstructure was also installed.cite book |title=Aircraft Carriers of the World |last=Ireland |first=Bernard |year=2007 |publisher=Southwater |isbn=9781844763634 |pages=102-103] Standard displacement increased by almost 9,000 tons, from 29,600 to 38,200 tons. "Kaga" returned to service in 1935. During the late 1930s "Kaga" supported operations in China, and was involved in the Shanghai Incident and during the early years of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

At the beginning of World War II, "Kaga" was commanded by Captain Okada Jisaku. Together with "Akagi" she formed Carrier Division 1 of the Striking Force for the attack on Pearl Harbor. On 7 December 1941 she launched two strikes against Oahu. In her first strike, 26 Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers targeted "Arizona", "Vestal", "Tennessee", "West Virginia", "Oklahoma", and "Nevada", and 9 Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" fighters attacked the airbase at Hickam Field. In her second strike, 23 Aichi D3A "Val" dive bombers targeted "Nevada", "Maryland", and "West Virginia".

In January 1942, together with "Akagi", "Kaga" supported the invasion of Rabaul in the Bismarck Islands. On 9 February she hit a reef at Palau and took on water. After temporary repairs, she continued to the Timor Sea, where on 19 February 1942 she launched air strikes against Darwin, Australia, sinking nine ships, including USS "Peary". In March 1942, "Kaga" covered the invasion of Java.

"Kaga" was unable to participate in the Indian Ocean raid in April because of the damage she had received in February. Instead, she returned to Sasebo for repairs.

In May 1942, "Kaga" sailed on her final mission. Her aircraft complement was 30 "Zeros," 23 "Vals," and 30 "Kates." [ [http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq81-6.htm "Battle of Midway", www.history.navy.mil] ] On 4 June 1942 "Kaga" launched air strikes against Midway, and then came under attack from American land- and carrier-based planes. At 10:22, SBD Dauntless dive-bombers from USS "Enterprise" hit her with at least four 1000 lb (453.6 kg) bombs, which set off explosions and fires among the armed and fueled planes on her hangar deck. Captain Okada was killed by a bomb that hit the bridge. The fires proved impossible to control and the order to abandon ship was given at about 14:00. [ [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-k/kaga.htm "Kaga", www.history.navy.mil] ]

At 14:10 the submarine USS "Nautilus" hit "Kaga" with a torpedo, but it was a dud and did not explode. "Kaga's" crew were taken off by the destroyers "Hagikaze" and "Maikaze", and at 19:25 she was scuttled by two torpedoes and sank at position coord|30|20|N|179|17|W.

In 1999, the Nauticos company discovered wreckage that has been identified as coming from "Kaga".

Commanding Officers

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Seizaburo Kobayashi - 10 March 1927 - 1 December 1927

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Giichiro Kawamura - 1 December 1927 - 1 March 1928

Capt. Giichiro Kawamura - 1 March 1928 - 1 December 1930

Capt. Sekizo Uno - 1 December 1930 - 1 December 1931

Capt. Jiro Onishi - 1 December 1931 - 15 November 1932

Capt. Shunichi Okada - 15 November 1932 - 28 November 1932

Capt. Goro Hara - 28 November 1932 - 14 February 1933

Capt. Sonosuke Kobayashi - 14 February 1933 - 15 November 1933

Capt. Eijiro Kondo - 15 November 1933 - 15 November 1934

Capt. Teizo Mitsunami - 15 November 1934 - 1 December 1936

Capt. Ayao Inagaki - 1 December 1936 - 1 December 1937

Capt. Katsuo Abe - 1 December 1937 - 25 April 1938

Capt. / RADM Ichiro Ono - 25 April 1938 - 15 December 1938 (Promoted to Rear Admiral on 15 November 1938.)

Capt. Setsuzo Yoshitomi - 15 December 1938 - 15 November 1939

Capt. Kyuji Kubo - 15 November 1939 - 15 October 1940

Capt. Sadayoshi Yamada - 15 October 1940 - 15 September 1941

Capt. / RADM* Jisaku Okada - 15 September 1941 - 4 June 1942 (KIA)


External links

* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaga.htm Tabular record of movement] from [http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaga.htm combinedfleet.com]
* [http://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=9 WW2DB: Kaga]
* [http://www.nauticos.com/midway.htm IJN Carrier Wreckage:Identification Analysis]

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