IJN Kaga

Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Kaga ("Increased Joy"). Kaga was named after an ancient prefecture. After the 1923 earthquake wrecked IJN Amagi while she was still building, the battlecruiser Kaga was converted to an aircraft carrier. Her original configuration had three flight decks. She operated with the Combined Fleet off China during the Shanghai Incident in January-March 1932. She arrived off the Chinese coast again in August 1937 to support Japan's invasion during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During 1934-35 she was extensively modernized; her flight decks were removed and a single deck installed. Her funnel was angled as shown in this view. In December 1941, as part of Carrier Division 1 with IJN Akagi, her aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor. In the first wave, 26 Nakajima B5N2 Torpedo Bombers (Allied code name "Kate") targeted USS Arizona (BB-39), USS Vestal (AR-4), USS Tennessee (BB-43), USS West Virginia (BB-48), USS Oklahoma (BB-37), and USS Nevada (BB-36), and nine Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen attacked the airbase at Hickam Field. In the second wave 26 Aichi D3A dive bombers (Allied code name "Val") targeted Nevada, Maryland, and West Virginia. After returning to Japan, Kaga sailed to attack Darwin, Australia on February 19, 1942, sinking USS Peary (DD-226). Damaged on a reef, she repaired in time for the Battle of Midway. On June 4, 1942, her air group struck Midway Atoll, but she was hit at least four times by Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers of USS Enterprise's VB-6 and VS-6 at 1020 Hours. Her planes refueling and rearming, Kaga was soon ablaze. Captain Jisaku Okada is killed with most of the bridge crew by a bomb hit. USS Nautilus (SS-168) fires a torpedo into her starboard side, but it doesn't detonate. The surviving crew is taken off at 1710. 810 out of 2016 officers and men are killed.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Naval Historical C
Date Photographed: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1936
IJN Kaga