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  Chitose (千歳)
Chitose Class
Aircraft Carrier

11,200 Tons (standard)
Seaplane Tender:
4 × 127mm (5 in) guns
12 × 25mm AA guns
4 x Catapults
24 Floatplanes

Aircraft Carrier
8 × 127mm (5 in) guns
30-48 × 25 mm AA guns
2 x Elevators
30 x Aircraft

Ship History
Laid down on November 26, 1934 by Kure Navy Yard. Launched on November 29, 1936. Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ikeuchi Masamichi is posted as the Chief Equipping Officer on March 1, 1937. Commissioned on July 25, 1938. Registered in the Sasebo Naval District with Captain Ikeuchi as Commanding Officer. Equipped with four catapults and carries a complement of Type 94 Kawanishi E7K2 Alf and Type 95 Nakajima E8N2 Dave floatplanes, aircraft coded "3-xx". On December 15, 1938 Captain Mizui Seiji assumes command.

On November 15, 1939, Chitose is assigned as flagship for Admiral Katagiri Eikichi, with Kamoi and Kinugasa Maru of the 17th Sentai for the new 4th Fleet Based at Truk Lagoon, arriving during December. Also, Captain Nishida Masao assumes command.

During December 1939 and into 1940, Chitose, Kamoi and Kinugasa Maru carrying construction crews and technicians to build seaplane bases and facilities at Dublon Island for the Dublon Seaplane Base. Next, Malakal (Koror, Palau), Roi and Eyebe Seaplane Base and Saipan. The tenders also make several trips to and from Japan to replenish construction supplies.

On June 3, 1940, Captain Nomoto Tameki assumes command. On October 11, 1940 participates in the Imperial Naval Review. Afterwards, arrived at Sasebo on October 15 and undergoes overhaul and repairs. The CO of battleship Kongo, Captain Tanaka Raizo, assumes temporary command of CHITOSE as an additional duty. On November 15, 1940 Captain Yamamoto Chikao (former CO 15th Air Group) assumes command. On August 20, 1941 Captain Furukawa Tamotsu assumes command.

During November 1941, Chitose is in Rear Admiral Fujita Ruitaro's 11th Seaplane Tender Division with Mizuho. Chitose aircraft are coded "YI-xx". On December 2, 1941 arrived at Palau.


On August 24, 1942 during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons attacked by a pair of SBD Dauntless from USS Saratoga CV-3 that scored two near hits with bombs that damage the vessel.


On September 28, 1942 departs Kavieng, and arrives at Shortland.

Ramming by Chitose F1M2 Pete
On October 3, 1942 departs Shortland as part of a "Tokyo Express" reinforcement mission bound for Guadalcanal with Nisshin escorted by destroyers Nowaki, Maikaze and Akitsuki. On October 4, 1942, in the vicinity of New Georgia spotted by five B-17 Flying Fortresses that unexpectedly encountered the force and attempted to bomb them at 3:40pm. Intercepted by floatplanes flying combat air patrol over the fleet, the B-17s claimed two Zeros shot down.

During the combat, B-17E 41-9118 was deliberately rammed from below by F1M2 Pete piloted by PO Katsuki Kiyomi from Chitose to prevent it from bombing Nisshin. During the ramming, the B-17's right wing was torn off and damage sustained to the vertical stabilizer, causing it to crash. The ramming damaged the Pete's right wing, but both Katsuki and his observer successfully bail out and were rescued by destroyer Akitsuki. For this attack, Kiyomi earned a commendation and gold chevron.


Sinking History
On October 25, 1944 sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Imperial Japanese Navy Aces page 42, 68, 102, 104 (ace list) 109
IJN Seaplane Carrier Chitose: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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