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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
29-30 July 1941:
1 August 1941:
7 August 1941:
10 September 1941:
15 September 1941:
22 September 1941:
26 October 1941:
18 November 1941:
22 November 1941:
26 November 1941:
On November 27, 1941, departs Hitokappu Bay for the "Hawaii" Operation.
Pearl Harbor Attack
Next, during December 21-23 she launched air strikes against Wake Island. In January 1942 she supported the invasion of Ambon Island. On 19 February 1942, together with Sōryū she launched aircraft against Darwin.
During March 1942 she took part in the battle of the Java Sea, attacking Allied shipping at Tjilatjep and Christmas Island and sinking the Dutch freighter Poelau Bras.
In April 1942 she took part in the Indian Ocean raid, striking Royal Navy bases at Colombo and Trincomalee Ceylon and helping to sink the cruisers Cornwall, Dorsetshire, the aircraft carrier Hermes, and her escort destroyer Vampire.
On 19 April 1942 she pursued the US carriers Hornet and Enterprise after they launched the Doolittle Raid, but failed to catch them.
Battle of Midway
After Kaga, Sōryū and Akagi were disabled by air attack by about 10:25am, Hiryu was the only carrier left 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-17s 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 Hiryū and were refueled and armed; but while preparing to launch a third strike against them, Hiryū was attacked at 5:03pm by 13 SBD Dauntless dive bombers from USS Enterprise and hit by four 1,000 pound bombs, three on the forward flight deck and one on or near the forward elevator. The explosions started fires among the aircraft on the hangar deck. The forward half of the flight deck collapsed into the hangar bay.
Although Hiryū's propulsion was not affected, the fires could not be brought under control. At 9:23pm her engines stopped, and on June 5, 1942 at 1:58am a major explosion rocked the ship. The order to abandon ship was given shortly afterwards survivors were taken aboard destroyers Kazagumo and Makigumo. Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi and Captain Kaku elected to remained on aboard the carrier.
Fates of the Crew
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