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Modified Sōryū-class aircraft carrier
17,300 tons (standard)
20,165 tons (full load)
12 × 127mm DP guns
31 × 25mm AA guns
On July 29-30, 1941 stopped at Condor and St. James. On August 1, 1941 arrives at Sama. On August 7, 1941 arrives at Sasebo and remains until the end of the month and enters dry dock until September 10, 1941.
On September 15, 1941 departs Sasebo bound for Kagoshima.
On September 22, 1941 receive flag from Soryu and becomes flagship of Carrier Division 2. Hiryu remains in the vicinity of Kagoshima until the end of October. On October 26, 1941 the flag is returned to Soryu.
On November 18, 1941 departs Kyushu arriving at Hitokappu Bay on November 22, 1941 with Soryu. On November 26, 1941 assigned to Striking Force Main Body, Carrier Division 2. On November 27, 1941, departs Hitokappu Bay to participate in the Hawaii Operation.
Pearl Harbor Attack
Between December 21-23, 1941 she launched air strikes against Wake Island. In January 1942 she supported the invasion of Ambon Island.
On February 19, 1942 Hiyu and Soryu launched carrier aircraft to attack Darwin in Northern Territory in Australia. Lost is A6M2 Zero 5349 pilot Hajime Toyoshima that force lands and is captured becoming Australia's first Prisoner Of War (POW).
In April 1942 Hiryu participated in the Indian Ocean raid with her carrier aircraft attacking Royal Navy bases at Colombo and Trincomalee on Ceylon and helping to sink the cruisers Cornwall, Dorsetshire, aircraft carrier Hermes, and her escort destroyer Vampire.
On April 19, 1942 she pursued USS Hornet and USS Enterprise after they launched the "Doolittle Raid" of B-25 Mitchells that bombed Japan but failed to catch the carrier force.
Battle of Midway
After Kaga, Sōryū and Akagi were disabled by aerial attacks by 10:25am, Hiryu was the last undamaged carrier in the Japanese force. At 10:50am and 12:45pm she launched two waves of planes against USS Yorktown (CV-5). Her A6M2 Zeros escorting D3A Vals scored three bomb hits damaging the carrier.
During the afternoon, a formation of four B-17 Flying Fortress led by B-17E "Yankee Doodle" 41-2463 spotted the burning wreckage of Hiryu and searched the area for a reportedly intact carrier. Forty minutes later, two B-17s piloted by Lt. Wuertele and Lt. Grundman also located Hiryu and Haruna and made bomb runs on both, claiming hits (but none were scored).
Japanese search planes had located the remaining American aircraft carriers, and all surviving aircraft from the Carrier Striking Force had landed on Hiryu and were refueled and armed; but while preparing to launch a third strike against them.
At 5:03pm Hiryu was attacked by 13 SBD Dauntless from USS Enterprise sustained four 1,000 pound bomb hits, three on the forward flight deck and one on or near the forward elevator. The explosions started fires among the aircraft in the hangar deck and the forward half of the flight deck collapsed into the hangar bay. Although the carrier's propulsion were not affected, the raging fires could not be brought under control. At 9:23pm her engines stopped.
At 5:10am Makigumo fired torpedoes that scuttled the damaged carrier and she sank at 9:12am. Aboard were 35 crew members including Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi and Captain Kaku. Admiral Yamaguchi's insistence on going down with the carrier robbed the Japanese of one of their most experienced and brilliant admirals. On September 25, 1942 Hiryu was officially stricken from the Navy registry.
Fates of the Crew
Fates of the Crew
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