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  Junyō 隼鷹 (Jun'yō, Junyo)
IJN
Hiyō Class

23,770 Tons (Standard)
719' 7" / 87' 7" / 26' 9"
6x2 12.7cm Type 89 guns
8 x 3 25mm AA guns
Armored Belt 25-50mm
Aircraft: 53

Click For Enlargement
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USMC Sept 26, 1945

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Justin Taylan 2007
Ship History
Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagasaki. In late 1938 ordered by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japan Mail Steamship Company) as fast luxury passenger to be named Kashiwara Maru. Laid down March 20, 1939 in slipway no. 3 with yard number 900. On February 10, 1941 while under construction, Nippon Yusen Kaisha agreed to a 60% subsidy of construction costs by the Navy Ministry and was purchased for ¥48,346,000 for conversion as a Hiyō Class aircraft carrier plus her sister ship Idzumo Maru became Hiyō. Launched June 26, 1941 as Junyō meaning "Peregrine Falcon", also spelled Jun'yō or Junyo in English.

Commissioned May 3, 1942 in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).

Initially, Junyō was classified as Tokusetsu Kokubokan (auxiliary aircraft carrier) with a smaller compliment of 53 aircraft including 21 x A5M4 Claude plus 17 x B5N2 Kate. The carrier had a lower top speed and smaller air group than fleet carriers. The carrier was equipped with a single Type 2, Mark 2, Model 1 radar to provide early warning.

Wartime History
During May 1942, assigned to the Fourth Carrier Division of the 1st Air Fleet, for a diversionary attack on Alaska, in conjunction with the Battle of Midway. After the Japanese loss of four fleet carriers during the Battle of Midway, Junyo was designated as Kokubokan (aircraft carrier).

Alaska Operation
On June 1, 1942 Junyō arrived at Paramushiro Island in the Kurile Islands and departs the same day as part of the Japanese task force "Northern Force / Second Carrier Striking Force" bound for the Aleutian Islands

On June 3, 1942, Junyō along with Ryūjō launched air strikes against Dutch Harbor and Unalaska Island. On June 5, 1942 she launched further strikes and was attacked by bombers but was not damaged.

On July 20, 1942 Captain Okada Tametsugu assumed command.

Guadalcanal
In late October 1942, Junyō participated in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (Battle of the South Pacific) during the Guadalcanal campaign. On October 26, 1942 her aircraft attacked aircraft carrier USS Enterprise CV-6, battleship USS South Dakota BB-57 and scored two hits on light cruiser USS San Juan CL-54.

During the middle of November 1942, Junyō provided a covering role during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal (Third Battle of the Solomon Sea).

On January 16, 1943 Junyō departed with a convoy bound for Truk.

On January 17, 1943 the Junyō detachment comprised of twenty-three A6M2 Zeros and six B5N2 Kates commanded by Lt Cdr Takashi Hashiguch took off from Junyō and flew to Rabaul then took off again to Wewak Airfield (Wewak Central) on New Guinea as the first Japanese aircraft to operate from the captured civilian airfield. On thew ground, 120 personnel supported the Zeros. These aircraft were part of Operation MV to provide convoy protection as part of Hei I. Defending the Wewak area, this detachment claimed four B-24s shot down, one B-24 damaged and three B-24 probables plus uncertain results against submarines. They suffered two planes (possibly B5N2 Kates) lost, two Zeros missing and ten Zeros damaged before departing on January 24, 1943 to Kavieng Airfield and on January 25, 1943 to Truk then returned to Junyō.

Next, Junyō participated in Operation Ke-Go.

During April 1943 her carrier aircraft participated in Operation I-Go when Japanese land-based aircraft conducted a series of strikes against U. S. forces in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. On April 7, 1943 her her planes were sent to Ballale Airfield to strike Tulagi and Guadalcanal. Next to Rabaul for strikes against New Guinea.

In June 1943, Junyō helped protect an important convoy sent to reinforce the Japanese garrison on Kiska.

On November 5, 1943 in the morning off Bungo Suido USS Halibut (SS-232) fired a spread of six torpedoes and was hit by a single torpedo that killed four crew and damaged the steering. Afterwards, Junyō reached 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, without planes, Junyō was unable to take part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and instead was relegated to transport duties in the Philippines including transporting 18" shells for Yamato and large caliber shells for other battleships plus Shinyo suicide boats for use in the Philippines.

On October 30, 1944 at Sasebo embarks 800 paratroopers from the Japanese Army 2nd Raiding Brigade, 3rd Raiding Regiment under the command of Major Tsuneharu Shirai and departs the same day bound for Manila Bay.

On November 3, 1944 attacked by the submarine USS Pintado (SS-387) off Cape Bolinao on Luzon with escorting 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.

Afterwards, Junyō was dry docked at Kure. By March 1945, repairs were abandoned due to a lack of materials, fuel and carrier planes. Also because there was no longer any need for fleet carriers. By the end of the Pacific War, Junyō remained anchored at Sasebo.

Fate
During 1947, Junyō was broken up for scrap.

Ship's Bell at Fordham University
During 1944, the ship's bell from Junyō was recovered by the U. S. Navy (USN) on Saipan and later presented to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. On May 11, 1946 donated to Fordham University in Bronx, New York as a memorial to American dead from World War II. The bell is displayed in a wooden pagoda shaped enclosure on a stone pillar with a brass plaque that reads: "As a Memorial to Our Dear Young Dead of World War II." It was blessed by Cardinal Spellman, and "Was 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."

References
Combined Fleet - IJN Junyo: Tabular Record of Movement
Thank to Richard Dunn for January 1943 Junyo detachment information

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Last Updated
September 26, 2020

 

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