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Postby shipstamps » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:43 pm

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Built as submarine tender on the Yokusuka Naval Yard, Yokosuka for the Japanese Imperial Navy.
12 April 1933 keel laid down.
16 November 1933 launched under the name TAIGEI, (means Great Whale.)
Displacement 10.500 ton standard, dim. 179.3 x 18.06 x 5.33m. (draught).
Powered by 2 diesel engines, 14.000 bhp., twin shafts, speed 20 knots.
Armament 4 – 12.7cm AA. Guns and 12 MG.
Carried three aircraft.
Crew 413
31 March 1935 completed.

It was reported that she was rolling badly during bad weather due to her light draught.
Between 1936 and 1937 refitted and strengthened.
September 1941 out of service.

Converted to a light aircraft carrier by the Yokusuka Naval Yard.
28 November 1942 completed under the name RYUHO. (means Dragon Phoenix)
Displacement 13.360 tons standard, 15.300 tons full load, dim. 215.6 x 23 x 6.7m., (draught).
Powered by steam turbines, 52.000 shp, twin shafts, speed 26.5 knots.
Armament 4 – 5 inch guns and 38 – 25 mm AA guns.
Carried 31 aircraft.
Crew 989.
28 November 1942 completed.

18 April 1942 she was the only warship which was hit during the Doolittle Raid on Japan. One 500 lbs. bomb dropt by an US B-25 aircraft exploded near her bow which got damage.

After completing she joined the 3rd Combined fleet under command of Captain Soma Nobishiro.
11 December she sailed from Japan for her first mission as an aircraft carrier to the Japanese naval base at Truk, escorted by the destroyer TOKITSUKAZE.
She was used to transport 20 light bombers and there pilots and crew to strengthening the base there.
12 December at 09.10 a.m. she was hit by one torpedo, fired from the submarine USS DRUM (SS-228), returned to Yokosuka for repairs.

After repair in March 1943 mostly used to ferry aircrafts to occupied islands in the South Pacific.
11 June took on board the marooned survivors of the air group of the HIYÖ, which was damaged by a USS submarine.
October 1943 sailed for another aircraft ferry mission to Singapore, and was back in Kure, Japan on 05 November 1943.
25 November, together with the HIYÖ and a escort screen sailed out for a long patrol and training mission, made calls at Manila, Singapore, Tarakan, Palau, Truk and Saipan before returning to Kure on 2 January 1944.

Thereafter made two more uneventful patrol and training missions from Japan to the Marianas Island, before she got orders to steam to the Japanese anchorage at Tawi Tawi, Philippines in May 1944, were she joined the Combined Fleet.

Together with this fleet she sailed out and took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea between 19 and 21 June 1944. The battle is also know as the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, in which the Japanese lost most of there plains and aircraft carriers.
19 June the RYUHO launched her aircraft for an air strike against Task Force 58, but they could not penetrate the American defence, and without make any hits her aircraft were mostly shot down.
20 June she was attacked at 18.10 by four American TBF Avenger torpedo bombers from the USS ENTERPRISE, which were loaded with 500 lbs. bombs, she was slightly damaged by near misses.

Then used for training and patrol missions in the waters off Japan.
25 October 1944 together with the KAIYÖ sailed from Sasebo, Japan for an other aircraft ferry mission to Keelung, Taiwan. After delivering here planes she returned to Kure on 02 November.
From 07 November till 15 November 1944 was she the flagship of Commander of the Mobile Fleet, Admiral Ozawa.

31 December 1944 she made her last war mission, when she sailed for Taiwan with on board 58 Ohka kamikaze planes, with her in the convoy there were nine tankers in ballast and 5 destroyers as escort.
After unloading her planes at Taiwan she was the target of several carrier based American air-raids.
She shot down one plane, but she got not much damage herself.
12 January 1945 sailed for Japan escorted by the ISOKAZE, arrived at Kure on 18 January.
She was the last Japanese aircraft carrier during this war who ventured outside the home-waters of Japan.

19 March 1945 attacked by Task Force 58 aircraft near Kure, in which she was hit by 3 500 lbs bombs and two 5.5 inch rockets. She got heavy damage, her flight deck bulged upwards between her two elevators, the No. 1 boiler was punctured by a bomb fragments, the stern settled 2 meter in the water and a raging fire broke out.
Twenty of her crew were killed and 30 wounded.
01 April returned in Kure, considered a total loss.
30 November 1945 struck from the Navy List.
1946 Her hulk broken up at Kure.

Dominica 1995 $2 sg 1976, scott 1776f.
Solomon Islands 1992 80c sg 743, scott 728f

Source: ... rier_Ryuho. and other web-sites.
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Postby aukepalmhof » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:49 am

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Togo 2020 3300F sgMS?, scott?
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