25,675 Tons (standard)
32,000 Tons (full)
844.1' x 85.4' x 29.1'
5 x 2x5" Guns
46 x 25mm MG
22 x 13.2mm MG
IJN Sept 25, 1941
Commissioned on September 25, 1941 with Captain Yokokawa Ichibei in command. The same day, assigned to the 1st Air Fleet, Kure Naval Base and departs Kobe arriving at Kure on September 26, 1941. During October 1941, moves between Kure, Oita and Saeki. On October 7, 1941 departs Kure for Oita Bight arriving the next day and joins sister ship Shōkaku.
While covering an intended invasion of Port Moresby in May 1942, Zuikaku and Shōkaku participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. On May 8, her planes helped disable USS Lexington (CV-2) and damage USS Yorktown (CV-5) but many planes were lost, depleting the carrier's air groups, forcing it to miss the Battle of Midway in June.
On June 15-23 escorted by Oboro from Kure to Ominato.
During second half of 1942, Zuikaku was involved in the Guadalcanal campaign, taking part in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons during August 24, 1942. Next, during October 1942 participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz.
Next, during early April, Zuikaku aircraft participated in Operation I-Go with 27 Zeros and 18 Vals departed the carrier from Truk to Rabaul. Afterwards, these aircraft staged to Buin Airfield (Kahili). On April 7, all 27 Zeros and 17 Vals attacked shipping off Tulagi lossing three Vals on the mission.
During June 19-20, 1944 Zuikaku participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Zuikaku was damaged but was soon repaired.