Japanese aircraft carrier Junyō

Japanese aircraft carrier Junyō

The "Junyō" (Japanese: 隼鷹 "jun'yō" meaning "peregrine falcon") was a "Hiyō"-class aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy. She was laid down at Nagasaki as the passenger liner "Kashiwara Maru" but purchased by the Japanese Navy in 1940 and converted to an aircraft carrier.

World War II Service

She fought in the Pacific campaign of World War II, starting the war with an aircraft complement of 21 Mitsubishi A5M4 fighters and 17 Nakajima B5N2 torpedo bombers. In May 1942, she was assigned to support the invasion of the Aleutian Islands, a diversionary thrust in support of the attack on Midway. On 3 June 1942, along with "Ryūjō", she launched airstrikes against Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. On 5 June she launched further strikes and was attacked by United States bombers but was not damaged.

Following the loss of four Japanese fleet carriers in the battle of Midway, "Junyō" was one of only four large carriers in the Japanese Navy (the others were "Zuikaku", "Shōkaku", and "Hiyō" ). This made "Junyō" an important ship, and great efforts were made to use her as a fleet carrier, even though she was slower and had a smaller air group than the purpose-built fleet carriers, "Shōkaku" and "Zuikaku".

Captain Okada Tametsugu assumed command on 20 July 1942. In late October 1942, during the Guadalcanal Campaign, "Junyō" took part in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. On 26 October 1942 her planes attacked the carrier USS "Enterprise", the battleship USS "South Dakota" and the light cruiser USS "San Juan", scoring hits on the latter two.

In mid-November 1942, she played a covering role in the three-day-long Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. In Spring 1943, her planes were sent to Rabaul, with those of other Japanese carriers, for land-based attacks on the Allied forces gathering at Guadalcanal. In June 1943, "Junyō" helped protect an important convoy sent to reinforce the Japanese garrison on Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands.

On 5 November 1943 off Bungo Suido, "Junyō" was hit by a torpedo from the submarine USS "Halibut". Four crew were killed and the steering damaged. "Junyō" was docked at Kure for repairs.

In May 1944, with Captain Shibuya Kiyomi in command, "Junyō" was assigned to Operation A-Go, a sortie to repulse the expected Allied invasion of the Mariana, Palau or Caroline Islands. In the resulting Battle of the Philippine Sea on 20 June 1944 "Junyō" was hit by two bombs at about 17:30. Her smokestack and mast were destroyed and her deck damaged. Her air operations were stopped, but she was able to withdraw without further damage, unlike her sister ship "Hiyō", sunk by torpedoes. However, most of her planes were lost in the battle.

After repairs at Kure, she was assigned to the Philippines but without planes she was unable to take part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, being relegated to transport duties.

On 3 November 1944 she was attacked by the submarine USS "Pintado" near Makung but her escort destroyer "Akikaze" deliberately intercepted the torpedoes and sank with no survivors.

On 9 December 1944, "Junyō" was carrying 200 survivors of "Musashi" and was accompanied by the battleship "Haruna" and the destroyers "Suzutsuki", "Fuyutsuki", and "Maki". The task force was attacked at midnight by the American submarines "Sea Devil", "Plaice" and "Redfish". "Junyō" was hit by three torpedoes, killing 19 men. Several compartments were flooded, giving her a 10°–12° list to starboard, but she was able to make way on one engine. "Maki" was also damaged by a torpedo. By 04:00 the Japanese task force entered shallow waters where the American submarines could not follow.

"Junyō" was drydocked at Kure, but repairs were abandoned in March 1945. The lack of materials, fuel and carrier planes meant that there was no need for fleet carriers. "Junyō" remained moored at Sasebo until the end of the war. She was scrapped in 1947.

The Junyō's ship bell

"Junyō"'s ship's bell was recovered by the U.S. Navy near Saipan, having been separated from the ship by a bomb impact. The bell was given to Fordham University by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in 1944, "As a Memorial to Our Dear Young Dead of World War II," according to the associated memorial plaque. It was blessed by Cardinal Spellman, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and " [w] as first rung at Fordham by the President of the United States, the Honorable Harry S. Truman on May 11, 1946, the Charter Centenary of the University."

Commanding Officers

Chief Equipping Officer - Capt. Shizue Ishii - 1 October 1941 - 3 May 1942

Capt. Shizue Ishii - 3 May 1942 - 20 July 1942

Capt. Tametsugu Okada - 20 July 1942 - 12 February 1943

Capt. Mitsuru Nagai - 12 February 1943 - 25 December 1943

Capt. Kiyomi Shibuya - 25 December 1943 - 19 December 1944

Sasebo Dockyard - 19 December 1944 - 12 May 1945

Capt. Tomiyoshi Maehara - 12 May 1945 - 15 August 1945


"Junyō" is sometimes referred to in World War II American sources as "Hayataka". This mistake derives from "kun-yomi" reading of the Kanji characters in the ship's name (隼鷹 can also be read as "hayataka"), instead of "on-yomi", passed to American interrogators by a Japanese prisoner of war after the Battle of Midway.

External links

* [http://www.combinedfleet.com/junyo.htm Tabular record of movement] from [http://www.combinedfleet.com/ combinedfleet.com]
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-j/junyo.htm US Navy photos of "Junyo"]
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/Midway/Midway-Interrogations.html Battle of Midway: Interrogation of Japanese Prisoners]

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