List of sunken aircraft carriers

Amagi, capsized in Kure harbor, 1946

With the advent of heavier-than-air flight, the aircraft carrier has become a decisive weapon at sea.[1] In 1911 aircraft began to be successfully launched and landed on ships with the successful flight of a Curtiss Pusher aboard USS Pennsylvania.[2] The British Royal Navy pioneered the first aircraft carrier as floatplanes, as flying boats under performed compared to traditional land based aircraft.[3] The first true aircraft carrier was HMS Argus,[2][4] launched in late 1917 with a complement of 20 aircraft and a flight deck 550 ft (170 m) long and 68 ft (21 m) wide.[4] The last aircraft carrier sunk in wartime was the Japanese aircraft carrier Amagi, in Kure Harbour in July 1945. The greatest loss of life was the 2,046 killed on Akitsu Maru—a converted passenger liner with a small flight deck, carrying the Imperial Japanese Army's 64th Infantry Regiment.

FranceEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  Biter later Dixmude Escort carrier 21 aircraft 10 June 1966 Mediterranean Sea Out of service 1953. Sunk by United States Navy as target.

GermanyEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  Graf Zeppelin Fleet carrier 42 aircraft 16 August 1947 Baltic Sea 55°31′03″N 18°17′09″E / 55.51750°N 18.28583°E / 55.51750; 18.28583 Never completed during World War II and extensively damaged by retreating Germans. Raised but later sunk by USSR as target.

ItalyEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  Aquila Fleet carrier 51 aircraft 19 April 1945 Genova Harbor, Italy Never completed. Sunk by Italian divers to prevent use as a blockship by Germans.
  Sparviero Light carrier 34 aircraft 5 October 1944 Genova Harbor, Italy Never completed. Sunk by Germans to block Genova Harbor

JapanEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  Akagi Fleet carrier 66 aircraft 5 June 1942 30°30′N 178°40′W / 30.500°N 178.667°W / 30.500; -178.667 267 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway later sunk by torpedoes from Japanese destroyers the following day.
  Akitsu Maru Escort carrier 8 aircraft 15 November 1944 East China Sea 2,046 Torpedoed by USS Queenfish
  Amagi Fleet carrier 66 aircraft 27 July 1945 Kure Harbor "Light" Sunk during the attack on Kure Harbour 24–27 July
  Chitose Light carrier 30 aircraft 25 October 1944 19°20′N 126°20′E / 19.333°N 126.333°E / 19.333; 126.333 903 Sunk by torpedo bombers during the Battle of Leyte Gulf
  Chiyoda Light carrier 30 aircraft 25 October 1944 18°37′N 126°45′E / 18.617°N 126.750°E / 18.617; 126.750 1,470 Sunk by cruisers USS Santa Fe, USS Mobile, USS Wichita, and USS New Orleans during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  Chuyo Escort carrier 27 aircraft 4 December 1943 32°37′N 143°39′E / 32.617°N 143.650°E / 32.617; 143.650 1,250 Torpedoed by submarine USS Sailfish
  Hiyō Fleet carrier 53 aircraft 20 June 1944 16°20′N 132°32′E / 16.333°N 132.533°E / 16.333; 132.533 247 Sunk by torpedo bombers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea
  Hiryū Fleet carrier 53 aircraft 5 June 1942 Midway Atoll 385 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway, later scuttled by torpedoes fired from the Japanese destroyer Makigumo
  Kaga Fleet carrier 72 aircraft 5 June 1942 Midway Atoll 811 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway, later scuttled by torpedoes fired from the Japanese destroyer Hagikaze
  Ryūjō Light carrier 48 aircraft 24 August 1942 Solomon Islands 120 Sunk by torpedo bombers and dive bombers during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
  Shinano Fleet carrier 47 aircraft 29 November 1944 32°0′N 137°0′E / 32.000°N 137.000°E / 32.000; 137.000 1,435 Torpedoed by submarine USS Archer-Fish
  Shinyo Escort carrier 27 aircraft 17 November 1944 East China Sea 1,130 Torpedoed by submarine USS Spadefish
  Shōhō Light carrier 30 aircraft 6 May 1942 16°07′S 151°54′E / 16.117°S 151.900°E / -16.117; 151.900 834 Sunk by dive bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
  Shōkaku Fleet carrier 72 aircraft 19 June 1944 11°40′N 137°40′E / 11.667°N 137.667°E / 11.667; 137.667 1,272 Torpedoed by submarine USS Cavalla during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
  Sōryū Fleet carrier 57 aircraft 4 June 1942 30°38′N 179°13′W / 30.633°N 179.217°W / 30.633; -179.217 711 Sunk by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway.
  Taihō Fleet carrier 65 aircraft 19 June 1944 12°05′N 138°12′E / 12.083°N 138.200°E / 12.083; 138.200 1,650 Torpedoed by submarine USS Albacore during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Taiyō Escort carrier 18 August 1944 18°10′N 120°22′E / 18.167°N 120.367°E / 18.167; 120.367 Torpedoed by submarine USS Rasher off Cape Bolinao, Luzon.
  Unryū Fleet carrier 57 aircraft 19 December 1944 29°59′N 124°03′E / 29.983°N 124.050°E / 29.983; 124.050 1,238 Torpedoed by submarine USS Redfish
  Unyō Escort carrier 27 aircraft 17 September 1944 19°8′N 116°36′E / 19.133°N 116.600°E / 19.133; 116.600 239 Torpedoed by submarine USS Barb
  Zuihō Light carrier 30 aircraft 25 October 1944 19°20′N 125°15′E / 19.333°N 125.250°E / 19.333; 125.250 215 Sunk by aircraft from US Navy Task Force 38 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  Zuikaku Fleet carrier 72 aircraft 25 October 1944 19°20′N 125°51′E / 19.333°N 125.850°E / 19.333; 125.850 843 Sunk by aircraft from US Navy Task Force 38 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf

United KingdomEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  Ark Royal Fleet carrier 60 aircraft 14 November 1941 Western Mediterranean 36°3′N 4°45′W / 36.050°N 4.750°W / 36.050; -4.750 1 Torpedoed by German submarine U-81 on 13 November 1941. Sank while under tow to Gibraltar.
  Audacity Escort carrier 8 aircraft 21 December 1941 North Atlantic 43°45′N 19°54′W / 43.750°N 19.900°W / 43.750; -19.900 73 Torpedoed by German submarine U-751
  Avenger Escort carrier 15 aircraft 15 November 1942 36°15′N 07°45′W / 36.250°N 7.750°W / 36.250; -7.750 516 Torpedoed by German submarine U-151
  Courageous Fleet carrier 48 aircraft 17 September 1939 North Atlantic 50°10′N 14°45′W / 50.167°N 14.750°W / 50.167; -14.750 519 Torpedoed by German submarine U-29
  Dasher Escort carrier 15 aircraft 27 March 1943 Firth of Clyde
55°36′N 5°00′W / 55.600°N 5.000°W / 55.600; -5.000
379 Sunk from internal explosion of unknown cause.
  Eagle Fleet carrier 30 aircraft 11 August 1942 38°3′N 3°1′E / 38.050°N 3.017°E / 38.050; 3.017 131 Torpedoed by German submarine U-73
  Glorious Fleet carrier 48 aircraft 8 June 1940 Norwegian Sea
68°38′N 03°50′E / 68.633°N 3.833°E / 68.633; 3.833
1,207 Sunk by gunfire from German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
  Hermes Fleet carrier 20 aircraft 9 April 1942 Indian Ocean east of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka 307 Sunk by Imperial Japanese aircraft.

United StatesEdit

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
  America Fleet carrier 79 aircraft 14 May 2005 Cape Hatteras Scuttled after being used as target
  Bismarck Sea Escort carrier 27 aircraft 21 February 1945 Off Iwo Jima 318 Sunk by two Japanese kamikaze aircraft during the Battle of Iwo Jima
  Block Island Escort carrier 24 aircraft 29 May 1944 Off the Canary Islands 6 Torpedoed by German submarine U-549
  Gambier Bay Escort carrier 28 aircraft 25 October 1944 Off Samar Island in the Philippines 130 Sunk by Japanese surface ships of center force during the Battle off Samar
  Hornet Fleet carrier 90 aircraft 27 October 1942 Off the Santa Cruz Islands 140 Crippled by torpedo bombers and dive bombers from Japanese fast carriers, sunk by torpedoes from the Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo after failed attempt to scuttle.
  Independence Light carrier 30 aircraft 29 September 1951 Farallon Islands Used as target during Operation Crossroads and later scuttled after decontamination tests
  Langley Seaplane tender (ex fleet carrier) 34 aircraft 27 February 1942 about 75 mi south of Tjilatjap harbor (Java) 16 Crippled by Japanese dive bombers later scuttled by torpedoes and gunfire from the escorting ships
  Lexington Fleet carrier 91 aircraft 8 May 1942 Coral Sea 216 Sunk by Japanese torpedo bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea
  Liscome Bay Escort carrier 28 aircraft 24 November 1943 off Butaritari Island 644 Torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-175
  Ommaney Bay Escort carrier 28 aircraft 4 January 1945 Sulu Sea 95 Crippled by a Japanese kamikaze, later scuttled by the escorting destroyer USS Burns
  Oriskany Fleet carrier 91 aircraft 17 May 2006 off Pensacola, Florida Sunk to become an artificial reef
  Princeton Light carrier 45 aircraft 24 October 1944 Leyte Gulf 108 Sunk by land based Japanese bomber during the Battle of Leyte Gulf
  St. Lo Escort carrier 28 aircraft 25 October 1944 Leyte Gulf 143 Sunk by Japanese kamikaze aircraft during the Battle off Samar
  Saratoga Fleet carrier 91 aircraft 25 July 1946 Bikini Atoll Sunk as target during Operation Crossroads
  Wasp Fleet carrier 76 aircraft 15 September 1942 Southeast of San Cristobal Island 193 Sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19
  Yorktown Fleet carrier 90 aircraft 7 June 1942 North of Midway Island 81 Crippled by Japanese dive bombers and torpedo bombers during the Battle of Midway later sunk by Japanese submarine I-168 while under tow.

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Bishop & Chant, p. 1
  2. ^ a b Bishop & Chant, p. 8
  3. ^ Bishop & Chant, p. 9
  4. ^ a b Polmar, p. 30

ReferencesEdit

  • Bishop, Chris; Chant, Chris (2004). Aircraft Carriers The world's greatest naval vessels and their aircraft. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0760320055.
  • Fontenoy, Paul E. (2006). Aircraft Carriers: an illustrated history of their impact. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 185109573X.
  • Polmar, Norman (2006). Aircraft Carriers: a history of carrier aviation and its influence on world events. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books Inc. ISBN 1574886630.

External linksEdit