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HIRYU aircraft carrier (1939)




Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
飛龍 [Hiryu]     Yokosuka K K 8.7.1936 16.11.1937 5.7.1939 sunk 5.6.1942

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

210.0 pp 222.9 wl 227.4 oa

Breadth, m

22.3 wl 27.0 fd

Draught, m


No of shafts



4 sets Kampon geared steam turbines, 8 Kampon boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 4400

Endurance, nm(kts)10330(18)
Armour, mmbelt: 48 (150 abreast magazines), deck 25 (55 over magazines)

6 x 2 - 127/40 89-shiki, 7 x 3 - 25/60 96-shiki, 5 x 2 - 25/60 96-shiki, 73 aircraft (A4N, A5M fighters, D1A diving bombers, B4Y, B5N torpedo bombers)



Air group

Year Fighters diving bombers torpedo bombers
12.1939 16 A5M2 20 D1A2 38 B4Y1
12.1941 23 A6M2 17 D3A1 18 B5N2
6.1942 21 A6M2 21 D3A1 21 B5N2

Standard scale images

<i>Hiryu</i> 1942
Hiryu 1942


<i> Hiryu</i>

Aircraft facilities

 (fd - 5,856m², ha - 5,647m² / 25,205m³): Flight deck: 216.9x27.0m. Upper hangar: 171.3x18.0x4.6m, lower hangar: 142.4x18.0x4.3m. Lifts: fore (13.0x16.0m), medium (13.0x12.0 m) and aft (11.8x13.0 m). Aircraft fuel stowage: 1270t.

Project history

The occurrence of Soryu and Hiryu was a result of London Naval Conference of 1930, according to its decisions Japan can some strengthen the carrier fleet. (The parity of total tonnage of aircraft-carriers of the USA, Great Britain and Japan now made 10:10:7 instead of provided by the Washington conference 5:5:3). Both ships were built under 1st Supplementary Programme of 1931.

By architecture these ships became prototypes for almost all subsequent Japanese carriers. They had continuous flight deck, two-level hangar, small island superstructure, two deflexed down and aft funnels and three elevators. As a whole ship design (within the limits of displacement assigned on it) has appeared rather successful, harmoniously combining high speed with strong AA armament and impressive number of air group. However, impressive area of hangars claimed small height of hangar levels, because of what on lower level fighters could take places only.

Hull form of Soryu formed on the basis of lines drawing of heavy cruiser, machinery has been unified with cruiser Suzuya. Propulsion qualities of aircraft carrier have appeared rather high: at displacement, almost twice larger, than on Mogami, Soryu made only on 2kts lower speed.

Armouring looked modest enough: it was defined by limited displacement. The thickness of belt abreast machinery was 40mm, armour deck was covered by 25mm steel plates. Local protection of magazines had the greatest thickness: horizontal 55mm, vertical 140mm.

Hiryu was built under advanced design. Her freeboard height was increased by one deck, island was transferred to a port side (Hiryu became second after Akagi and last Japanese carrier with an island on a port side). Breadth of a flight deck was increased on 1m, a fuel stowage on 20%. She had a little strengthened protection: belt thickness abreast machinery raised to 48mm.

Ship protection

Main 48mm belt protected only machinery, main 25mm (12.7mm armor on 12.7mm plating) deck connected with its upper edge. Magazines had 150mm vertical and 55mm horizontal protection. There was 45mm longitudinal anti-torpedo bulkhead.



Naval service

Hiryu was lost in battle at Midway. In the afternoon 4.6.1942 she was damaged by American carrier aircraft (Hornet, Yorktown and Enterprise air groups). She received four 454kg-bomb hits and four near misses. Fires were begun, in 4 hours engine rooms were foundered then crew abandoned the ship. In the morning 5.6.1942 Hiryu has been sunk by torpedoes from destroyers Kazegumo and Yugumo.