Japanese Carriers Under Attack by USS Essex (CV-9) Helldivers

Air Group 83 aircraft from USS Essex (CV-9) attack two Japanese aircraft carriers at Kure. A Curtiss SB2C Helldiver bomber is visible in the upper right, painted in Essex markings. Ship at bottom is either IJN Amagi or IJN Katsuragi. The other carrier is IJN Kaiyo. Kaiyo, a 16,748-ton escort aircraft carrier, was built at Nagasaki, Japan, as a civilian passenger liner. Completed in 1939, she was taken over for use as a transport in 1941, serving under her original name, Argentina Maru. In December 1942, she began conversion to an aircraft carrier, and was renamed Kaiyo. Conversion was completed in November 1943, and the ship served during the rest of the Pacific War as an escort carrier, aircraft transport and training carrier. She was seriously damaged by British Royal Navy planes in Beppu Bay, Kyushu, on July 24, 1945. Kaiyo was stricken from the Japanese naval register in November 1945 and was scrapped at Beppu Bay in 1946-48.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Naval Historical C
Date Photographed: 
Monday, March 19, 1945
Hiroshima Prefecture