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Hiyō Class

26,949 Tons
719' 7" / 87' 7" / 26' 9"
12 x 5" (130 mm) guns
76 x 25mm AA guns
6 × 28 5 inch
Aircraft 53

Click For Enlargement
IJN Sept 26, 1945







Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2007

Ship History
Laid down at Nagasaki as the passenger liner Kashiwara Maru but was instead purchased by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in 1940 along with her sistership Idzumo Maru which became Hiyō. Launched June 26, 1941. Commissioned May 3, 1942. Junyō means "Peregrine Falcon". Also spelled Jun'yō or Junyo in English.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War, Junyō carried a total of 53 aircraft including 21 x A5M4 Claude plus 17 x B5N2 Kate. She had a lower top speed and smaller air group than fleet carriers Shōkaku or Zuikaku. During May 1942, Junyō was assigned to support the attack on Alaska, a diversion attack planned in conjunction with the Battle of Midway.

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.

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

During the middle of November 1942, Junyō provided a covering role in the three-day 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 via Rabaul to Wewak Airfield (Wewak Central) as the first Japanese aircraft to operate from the captured civilian airfield. On thew ground, 120 personnel supported he aircraft. These aircraft were part of Operation MV to provide convoy protection as part of Hei I. 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.

Involved in Operation Ke-Go.

During Operation I-GO during April 1943, her planes were sent to Ballale on April 7 and then Rabaul, with those of other Japanese carriers, for land-based attacks on the Allied forces gathering at Guadalcanal and New Guinea.

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

On 5 November 1943 off Bungo Suido, Junyō was hit by a torpedo from 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, Junyo was without planes she was unable to take part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and instead was relegated to transport duties in the Philippines including transporting 18" sheels 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 to transport them to Manila and departs the same day.

On November 3, 1944 she was attacked by the submarine USS Pintado (SS-387) near Cape Bolinao, Luzon 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 dry docked 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.

Ship's Bell at Fordham University
The Junyō had a bell, was recovered by the U.S. Navy. [ Read Plaque ] Recovered on Saipan, the bell was donated to Fordham University by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz in 1944, "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."

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

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Last Updated
March 14, 2020


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