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  Zuihō 瑞鳳
Zuihō-class aircraft carrier

14,200 Tons (Full)
217m x 23m x 6.6m
56 × 25mm AA guns
Aircraft: 30

Zuihō 瑞鳳 means “fortunate phoenix”. Laid down on June 20, 1935 at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal as a high-speed oiler named Takasaki. Launched June 19, 1936.

In January 1940, converted into an aircraft carrier, named Zuihō. Launched December 27, 1940. Comissioned January 1941 and assigned to Carrier Division 3 with Hōshō.

Wartime History
December, 1941: Participates in the attack on the Philippines.

During January, 1942 supported invasion of the Dutch East Indies.

During the Battle of Midway Zuihō leads the Support Fleet but did not engage American carriers directly. Her aircraft complement consisted of 12 A6M2 Zeros and 11 Aichi D3A Vals.

On September 1, 1942 departed Kure escorted by Abukuma bound for Truk arriving six days later.

During October, 1942 assigned to 3rd Fleet, 1st Carrier Division along with Shōkaku and Zuikaku.

On October 26, 1942 during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands (Battle of the South Pacific) around 7:40am, two two SBD Dauntless from USS Enterprise CV-6 managed to locate, dive bomb and scored two 500 pound bomb hits on the flight deck of Zuihō that disabled the flight deck and made it impossible to land aircraft. Damaged, Zuiho was escorted out of the area by destroyer Teruzuki.

On November 1, 1942 the Zuihō air group tail codes and markings were changed to A1-3-1xx (last two digits) with three fusealge bands.

Between January 1943 until early February, 1943 Zuihō, Junyō and Zuikaku aircraft aided in evacuation of Japanese forces from Guadalcanal.

Under orders from 3rd Fleet, on February 18, 1943, a detachment of Zuiho aircraft including twenty A6M2 Zeros and eight B5N2 Kates arrived at Kavieng Airfield. On February 19, 1943 the aircraft arrived at Wewak Airfield (Wiruri) to provide convoy protection. On February 28, 1943 the aircraft withdrew to Kaveing Airfield then the B5N2 Kates departed on March 1, 1943 to Truk and the Zeros departed on March 3, 1943 to Truk.

During April 1943, Zuihō aircraft flew land based from Ballale on April 7 and from Rabaul and participated in Operation I-GO.

During February, 1944 participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Sinking History
On October 24, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf along with the Chiyoda, Chitose and Zuikaku. Carrying only a few aircraft, she was sacrificed as a "decoy" ship, to draw the U. S. Navy fleet away from the Japanese main battleship fleet.

On October 25, 1944 during the Battle off Cape Engano, hits are scored on Zuihō's flight deck during an attack by a wave of American bombers. After repairing this damage, three more strike waves arrive and finally sink Zuihō.

Thank to Richard Dunn for February 1943 Zuiho detachment information

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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