Lists of aircraft carriers operational during World War II

Naval historians such as Evan Mawdsley, Richard Overy, and Craig Symonds concluded that World War II's decisive victories on land could not have been won without decisive victories at sea.[1][2][3] Naval battles to keep shipping lanes open for combatant's movement of troops, guns, ammunition, tanks, warships, aircraft, raw materials, and food largely determined the outcome of land battles. Without the Allied victory in keeping shipping lanes open during the Battle of the Atlantic, Britain could not have fed her people or withstood Axis offensives in Europe and North Africa.[4] Without Britain's survival and without Allied shipments of food and industrial equipment to the Soviet Union,[a] her military and economic power would likely not have rebounded in time for Russian soldiers to prevail at Stalingrad and Kursk.[5][6][7][8][9]

Without victories at sea in the Pacific theater, the Allies could not have mounted amphibious assaults on or maintained land forces on Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Saipan, The Philippines, Iwo Jima, or Okinawa. Allied operations in the Atlantic and Pacific war theaters were interconnected because they frequently competed for scarce naval resources for everything from aircraft carriers to transports and landing craft.[10] Effective transport of troops and military supplies between the two war theaters required naval protection for shipping routes around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Suez canal, and through the Panama Canal. In both theaters, maritime dominance enabled combatants to use the sea for their own purposes and deprive its use by adversaries. As naval historian Admiral Herbert Richmond stated, "Sea power did not win the war itself: it enabled the war to be won".[11]

Aircraft carriers played a major role in winning decisive naval battles,[12] supporting key amphibious landings, and keeping critical merchant shipping lanes open for transporting military personnel and their equipment to land battle zones. This article is part of a series that covers World War II from the vantage point of aircraft carrier operations and is focused upon the types and names of the carriers themselves. It contains complete lists of aircraft carriers that operated at some point during the period from 1937 to 1945. For each carrier, the list includes date of commissioning and loss, if it was sunk during the war, and its location and operational status at the end of each month during the year after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Lists of aircraft carriersEdit

Four types of ships are included in the list: fleet carriers, light carriers, escort carriers, and merchant aircraft carriers.

Fleet and Light Carriers. The number of each combatant's operational fleet and light carriers provides an indication of that country's offensive naval capability at any point in time. These carriers, typically with thirty to ninety aircraft, tended to form the core around which naval striking task forces were assembled during World War II. They could be used effectively in groups capable of launching hundreds of aircraft for massed attacks. At its peak at Pearl Harbor, Japan's main striking force, the Kidō Butai, included six fleet carriers[b] with a total of over 400 aircraft. Later in the war, at the Battle of Iwo Jima, American Task Force 58 included a total of 18 fleet and light carriers carrying more than 1,000 aircraft.

Escort Carriers. Escort carriers were smaller and slower than fleet or light carriers, but they were also less expensive to build and could virtually be mass-produced. Escort carriers typically carried twenty to thirty aircraft and were widely used for transport and defensive operations. Such operations included ferrying aircraft, troops and supplies and protecting convoys from attacks by submarines, merchant raiders, and land-based aircraft. Escort carriers were nonetheless highly capable and used for offensive operations as well. Such operations included providing close air support for ground forces during amphibious invasions, raids on enemy installations, and for hunting down enemy submarines and disrupting their refueling operations.

Merchant Aircraft Carriers. The British converted several commercial grain transports and oil tankers to merchant aircraft carriers (MACs). These ships transported critical supplies in their holds but, in addition, typically carried three or four Swordfish torpedo planes for defense. They had flight decks and were capable of launching and recovering aircraft at sea. Although these carriers were initially planned as stop gap measures until enough escort carriers became available, MACs proved effective and all but four of them continued in service until the end of the European war.[c]

The lists includes only ships with flight decks that could launch and retrieve aircraft at sea. Ships without flight decks but relying upon catapults to launch and cranes to recover aircraft contributed more to defensive scouting and protection against enemy warships, submarines, and aircraft than to offensive operations. Fighter catapult ships (FACs) and catapult aircraft merchant ships (CAMs) were used early in the Atlantic Theater for convoy protection as stop-gap measures until more escort carriers became available. In the Pacific Theater, some battleships and cruisers had catapult-launched aircraft principally for scouting. These ships without flight decks are not included as "aircraft carriers" in the lists.

US hull numbers are included, when appropriate, to help avoid double-counting of the thirty-eight carriers transferred to Britain under Lend-Lease agreements. They also help with identifying carriers with the same names, such as Yorktown (CV-5) and Yorktown (CV-19).

Operational vs. non-operational carriersEdit

The planning and outcomes of naval initiatives involving carriers were a function of the number that were "operational", ready for combat. The lists below indicate the number of carriers that were "operational," not just "afloat". Carriers are included as non-operational if they are in port being repaired for combat damage or undergoing an overhaul or refitting. They are also included as non-operational if they have been commissioned but were still undergoing shakedown trials). Finally, they are included as non-operational if they are in use only as a barracks ship or for storing goods. Carriers kept in port or otherwise not engaged in naval initiatives because of shortages of aircrews or fuel remain included as "operational."

Nineteen forty-two was the pivotal year of the war. Axis powers worldwide reached their maximum territorial expansion before mid-year but were virtually contained by year-end. In the global maritime war, the Allies had won decisive victories in the Pacific and had kept the vital shipping lines open in both the Pacific and the Atlantic theaters.[13] Aircraft carriers contributed significantly to this result. Four of the war's six major carrier battles were fought in 1942. Twelve of the combatants' fleet and light carriers were sunk, more than any other year and equal to 46% of the total lost during the entire war. The lists indicate the location, combat activity, and operational status of all carriers during 1942. Such information for all war years is available at World War II Database.[14]

AbbreviationsEdit

Letters in these lists indicate the war zone, combat activity, and operational status of each carrier. For example, a carrier's location is indicated with an "a" if she were in the Atlantic Ocean and an "m" if in the Mediterranean Sea. If she were engaged in one of the six carrier battles during the month, a "B" is included. If she were lost in combat, an "L" is included. Entries in the "Carrier Battles" row indicate the month of major carrier battles, specifically Coral Sea (CS), Midway (MI), Eastern Solomons (ES), and Santa Cruz Islands (SC). Other abbreviations used in the lists are shown below.

1. Combat action during month

  • B Engaged in one of the six carrier battles
  • C Commissioned
  • L Lost due to sinking or scuttling as a result of combat.
  • Q Provided air cover for amphibious invasion
  • R Engaged in carrier raid

2. Ship location at end of month

  • a Atlantic Ocean
  • g Arctic Ocean
  • i Indian Ocean
  • m Mediterranean Sea
  • p Pacific Ocean

3. Operational status at end of month

  • d Non-operational due to combat-related damaged.
  • k Non-operational in use as a barracks or for storage.
  • o Non-operational due to being refitted or overhauled.
  • s Non-operational due to still in initial shakedown period or in transit to place for completing fitting-out or for initial embarkation of aircraft. This includes carriers transporting an load of aircraft from US to UK as part of going to UK to undergo completion to become fully operational.
  • t Operational as a training vessel and/or engaged only in trials.
  • v Non-operational, in reserve.
  • x Operational but lacked sufficient crew, aircraft, or fuel to engage in combat operations.

The Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Arctic Ocean are included with the "Atlantic theater." The Pacific Ocean and Indian Oceans are included with the "Pacific theater."

Entries on the "Operational Carriers" rows indicate separately the total number of carriers available for combat in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters at the end of each month that were afloat and not undergoing repairs due to combat damage, overhauling or refitting to upgrade performance, or otherwise not available for combat activity.

US hull numbers are included, when appropriate, to help avoid double-counting of the thirty-eight carriers transferred to Britain under Lend-Lease agreements. They also help with identifying carriers with the same names, such as Yorktown (CV-5) and Yorktown (CV-19).

Carriers operational during World War IIEdit

Ship histories for aircraft carriers that were operational during the war are available at:

  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  3. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  4. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  5. World War II Database[19]

American aircraft carriersEdit

The following table lists all American aircraft carriers that were operational between December 1941 and August 1945. It also includes information about their combat activity, location, and operational status for the end of each month from November 1941 to December 1942. The table reflects how America's carriers made hit-and-run raids on Japanese conquests, possessions, and even the homeland itself for the first five months of the war and then engaged in carrier-against-carrier battles. These four battles resulted in major attrition of naval strength on both sides. For a short period around the end of October 1942, America did not have an operational aircraft carrier in the Pacific Theater. But because of the losses inflicted upon Japan's carrier fleet during these battles, America gained the strategic initiative for the rest of the war.

Name Commissioned Sunk/Scrapped N 41 D 41 J 42 F 42 M 42 A 42 M 42 J 42 J 42 A 42 S 42 O 42 N 42 D 42
Battles: CS MI ES SC
CV & CVL CARRIERS
1 Saratoga CV-3 [20][21] 16-Nov-1927 25-Jul-1946 p p pd pd pd pd p p p Bpd pd pd Rpd p
2 Lexington CV-2 [22][23] 14-Dec-1927 8-May-1942 p p p p Rp p BLp
3 Ranger CV-4 [24][25] 4-Jun-1934 31-Jan-1947 a a a a ao a a a a a a a a
4 Yorktown CV-5 [26][27] 30-Sep-1937 7-Jun-1942 a p p Rp Rp p Bp BLp
5 Enterprise CV-6 [28][29] 12-May-1938 1958 p p p Rp Rp Rp p Bp p Bpd pd Bpd p p
6 Wasp CV-7 [30][31] 25-Apr-1940 15-Sep-1942 a ao a a a a a p p Qp Lp
7 Hornet CV-8 [32][33] 20-Oct-1941 27-Oct-1942 a a a p p Rp p Bp p p p Lp
8 Essex CV-9 [34][35] 31-Dec-1942 1975 Cas
9 Independence CVL-22 14-Jan-1943 1951
10 Lexington CV-16 17-Feb-1943 --
11 Princeton CVL-23 25-Feb-1943 24-Oct-1944
12 Belleau Wood CVL-24 31-Mar-1943 21-Nov-1960
13 Yorktown CV-10 15-Apr-1943 --
14 Bunker Hill CV-17 25-May-1943 1973
15 Cowpens CVL-25 28-May-1943 1960
16 Montery CVL-26 17-Jun-1943 1971
17 Cabot CVL-28 24-Jul-1943 2002
18 Intrepid CV-11 16-Aug-1943 --
19 Langley CVL-27 31-Aug-1943 1963
20 Bataan CVL-29 17-Nov-1943 1961
21 Wasp CV-18 24-Nov-1943 1973
22 Hornet) CV-12 29-Nov-1943 --
23 San Jacinto CVL-30 15-Nov-1943 Dec-1971
24 Franklin CV-13 31-Jan-1944 1966
25 Hancock CV-19 15-Apr-1944 1-Sep-1976
26 Ticonderoga CV-14 8-May-1944 15-Aug-1974
27 Bennington CV-20 6-Aug-1944 1994
28 Shangri-La CV-38 15-Sep-1944 1988
29 Randolph CV-15 9-Oct-1944 1975
30 Bon Homme Richard CV-31 26-Nov-1944 1992
31 Antietam CV-36 28-Jan-1945 28-Feb-1974
32 Boxer CV-21 16-Apr-1945 Feb-1971
33 Lake Champlain CV-39 3-Jun-1945 Apr-1972
CVE CARRIERS
1 Langley CV-1 [36][37] 20-Mar-1922 27-Feb-1942 p p p Lp
2 Long Island CVE-1 *1 [38][39] 2-Jun-1941 1977 a a at at at at p p p p pt pt pt pt
3 Charger BAVG-4/CVE-30 *2 [40] 3-Mar-1942 1969 Cas as at at at at at a at at
4 Copahee CVE-12 *3 [41][42] 15-Jun-1942 1961 Cps ps ps p po po po
5 Nassau CVE-16 *3 [43][44] 20-Aug-1942 1961 Cps ps p p p
6 Santee CVE-29 *4 [45][46] 24-Aug-1942 5-Dec-1959 Cas as a Qad a
7 Sangamon CVE-26 *4 [47][48] 25-Aug-1942 Aug-1960 Cas ao a Qa a
8 Altamaha CVE-18 *3 [49][50] 15-Sep-1942 1961 Cps ps p p
9 Chenango CVE-28 *4 [51][52] 19-Sep-1942 12-Feb-1960 Cas a ad p
10 Suwannee CVE-27 *4 [53][54] 24-Sep-1942 Jun-1962 Cas a a p
11 Bogue CVE-9 *3 [55][56] 26-Sep-1942 1960 Cas as as as
12 Card CVE-11 *3 [57][58] 8-Nov-1942 1971 Cps ps
13 Core CVE-13 *3 [59][60] 10-Dec-1942 1971 Cps
14 Barnes CVE-20 *3 20-Feb-1943 1-Mar-1959
15 Block Island CVE-21 *3 8-Mar-1943 29-May-1944
16 Prince William CVE-31 *3 9-Apr-1943 1961
17 Breton CVE-23 *3 12-Apr-1943 1972
18 Croatan CVE-25 *3 28-Apr-1943 1971
19 Casablanca CVE-55 *5 8-Jul-1943 1947
20 Liscome Bay CVE-56 *5 7-Aug-1943 24-Nov-1943
21 Coral Sea/Anzio CVE-57 *5 27-Aug-1943 24-Nov-1959
22 Corregidor CVE-58 *5 31-Aug-1943 28-Apr-1959
23 Mission Bay CVE-59 *5 13-Sep-1943 30-Apr-1959
24 Guadalcanal CVE-60 *5 25-Sep-1943 30-Apr-1949
25 Manila Bay CVE-61 *5 5-Oct-1943 2-Sep-1959
26 Natoma Bay CVE-62 *5 14-Oct-1943 30-Jul-1959
27 St. Lo/Midway CVE-63 *5 23-Oct-1943 25-Oct-1944
28 Triipoli CVE-64 *5 31-Oct-1943 Jan-1960
29 Wake Island CVE-65 *5 7-Nov-1943 19-Apr-1946
30 White Plains CVE-66 *5 15-Nov-1943 29-Jul-1968
31 Kalinin Bay CVE-68 *5 27-Nov-1943 8-Dec-1946
32 Solomons CVE-67 *5 21-Nov-1943 22-Dec-1946
33 Kasaan Bay CVE-69 *5 4-Dec-1943 2-Feb-1960
34 Fanshaw Bay CVE-70 *5 9-Dec-1943 26-Sep-1959
35 Kitkun Bay CVE-71 *5 15-Dec-1943 18-Nov-1946
36 Tulagi CVE-72 *5 21-Dec-1943 8-May-1946
37 Gambier Bay CVE-73 *5 28-Dec-1943 25-Oct-1944
38 Nehenta Bay CVE-74 *5 3-Jan-1944 29-Jun-1960
39 Hoggatt Bay CVE-75 *5 11-Jan-1944 31-Mar-1960
40 Kadashan Bay CVE-76 *5 18-Jan-1944 13-Aug-1959
41 Marcus Island CVE-77 *5 26-Jan-1944 29-Feb-1960
42 Savo Island CVE-78 *5 3-Feb-1944 29-Feb-1960
43 Ommaney Bay CVE-79 *5 11-Feb-1944 4-Jan-1945
44 Petrof Bay CVE-80 *5 18-Feb-1944 30-Jul-1959
45 Rudyerd Bay CVE-81 *5 25-Feb-1944 Jan-1960
46 Saginaw Bay CVE-82 *5 2-Mar-1944 27-Nov-1959
47 Sargent Bay CVE-83 *5 9-Mar-1944 30-Jul-1959
48 Shamrock Bay CVE-84 *5 15-Mar-1944 May-1958
49 Shipley Bay CVE-85 *5 21-Mar-1944 2-Oct-1959
50 Sitkoh Bay CVE-86 *5 28-Mar-1944 30-Aug-1960
51 Steamer Bay CVE-87 *5 4-Apr-1944 29-Aug-1959
52 Cape Esperance CVE-88 *5 9-Apr-1944 14-May-1959
53 Takanis Bay CVE-89 *5 15-Apr-1944 29-Jun-1960
54 Thetis Bay CVE-90 *5 12-Apr-1944 Dec-1964
55 Makassar Strait CVE-91 *5 27-Apr-1944 2-May-1961
56 Windham Bay) CVE-92 *5 3-May-1944 31-Dec-1960
57 Makin Island CVE-93 *5 9-May-1944 1-Jan-1947
58 Lunga Point CVE-94 *5 14-May-1944 3-Aug-1960
59 Bismarck Sea CVE-95 *5 20-May-1944 21-Feb-1945
60 Salamaua CVE-96 *5 26-May-1944 18-Nov-1946
61 Hollandia CVE-97 *5 1-Jun-1944 31-Dec-1960
62 Kwajalein CVE-98 *5 7-Jun-1944 11-Jan-1961
63 Admiralty Islands CVE-99 *5 13-Jun-1944 2-Jan-1947
64 Bougainville CVE-100 *5 18-Jun-1944 29-Aug-1960
65 Matanikau CVE-101 *5 24-Jun-1944 27-Jul-1960
66 Attu CVE-102 *5 30-Jun-1944 3-Jan-1947
67 Roi CVE-103 *5 6-Jul-1944 31-Dec-1946
68 Munda CVE-104 *5 8-Jul-1944 17-Jun-1960
69 Commencement Bay CVE-105 *6 27-Nov-1944 >1971
70 Block Island (2nd) CVE-106 *6 30-Dec-1944 23-Feb-1960
71 Gilbert Islands CVE-107 *6 5-Feb-1945 1-Nov-1979
72 Kula Gulf CVE-108 *6 12-May-1945 1971
73 Cape Gloucester CVE-109 *6 5-Mar-1945 1962
74 Salerno Bay CVE-110 *6 19-May-1945 1962
75 Vella Gulf CVE-111 *6 19-Apr-1945 22-Oct-1971
76 Siboney CVE-112 *6 14-May-1945 1971
77 Puget Sound CVE-113 *6 18-Jun-1945 1962
78 Bairoko CVE-115 *6 16-Jul-1945 1961
NUMBER OF CARRIERS AFLOAT
CVs & CVLs
Pacific Theater 3 4 4 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 2
Atlantic Theater 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
Total 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 5 5 5 4 3 3 4
CVEs
Pacific Theater 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 2 3 4 4 5 8
Atlantic Theater 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 6 6 6 4
Total 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 3 3 6 10 10 11 12
CVs, CVLs, & CVEs
Pacific Theater 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 7 7 6 7 10
Atlantic Theater 5 4 4 3 4 4 3 2 2 4 7 7 7 6
Total 9 9 9 8 9 9 8 8 8 11 14 13 14 16
NUMBER OF CARRIERS OPERATIONAL
CVs & CVLs
Pacific Theater 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 2 1 0 1 2
Atlantic Theater 4 2 3 2 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Total 7 6 6 6 5 6 6 5 5 3 2 1 2 3
CVEs
Pacific Theater 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 5
Atlantic Theater 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 3 3
Total 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 7 6 8
CVs, CVLs, & CVEs
Pacific Theater 4 5 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 3 3 2 4 7
Atlantic Theater 5 3 4 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 6 4 4
Total 9 8 8 7 6 7 8 7 7 5 5 8 8 11
The location, combat activity, and operational status for each American aircraft carrier at the end of each month over the entire war is available at the "Collection of Statistics on US Aircraft Carriers" in the reference document section at the World War II Database.[61]

Notes:

  • 1 Long Island-class converted from the C-3 hulled Mormacmail by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Chester PA.
  • 2 Charger-class converted from C-3 cargo ship hulls by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Chester PA.
  • 3 Bogue-class converted from C-3 cargo ship hulls by Seattle-Tacome Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma WA, Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula MS, or Western Pipe and Steel Company, San Francisco CA.
  • 4 Sangamon-class converted from fast fleet, T3 tanker Cimarron-class oiler hulls by Federal Shipbuilding or Dry Dock Company of Kearney NJ and Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Chester PA.
  • 5 Casablanca-class (aka Kaiser-class) built on S-4-S2-BB3 merchant hulls by Kaiser Company at its Vancouver Yard in Washington state.
  • 6 Commencement Bay-class built on T3 tanker hulls.

Eight CVEs commissioned after the end of the war or acquired by the Navy but never commissioned are not included in the list.[d]

British aircraft carriersEdit

The following table shows the number of British aircraft carriers of all types that had flight decks, were capable of launching and recovering aircraft, and that were operational sometime during the period from September 1939 to August 1945. Battleships, cruisers, seaplane carriers, seaplane tenders (SPT), catapult aircraft merchant ships (CAM) fighter catapult ships (FCS), and aircraft maintenance ships (AMC) that launched using catapults and recovered using cranes are not included in the counts. During the war, the British Navy had at least thirty-five CAM, five FCS,[e] one SPC,[f] and one AMC[g] that are not included in the table.

During the war, two of the escort carriers included below (Nabob and Puncher) were loaned to and operated by Canada. Aircrews aboard these carriers were British.

Thirty-eight of Britain's forty-four escort carriers were built in the United States and transferred to Britain under the American Lend-Lease|Lend-Lease Act. These carriers were typically assigned hull numbers and names by the US. These numbers and names, if assigned, are shown under the UK name for each carrier in parentheses to help avoid double-counting ships. Notes below the table identify the shipyard from which the ship was launched. A total of one-hundred twenty-eight American-built escort carriers (with US hull numbers BAVG 1 to 6 and CVE 1 to 122) were commissioned during the war, either by the US or UK navy. Thirty-eight of these were commissioned by the Royal Navy (with UK hull numbers in the range between D01 and D98) and engaged during World War II.

The status (i.e., whether carriers were operational, damaged, being refitted, in trials, etc.) at the end of each month is taken from Service Histories of 1,000 Royal and Dominion Navy Warships, including British Ships manned by Allied Navies.[62]

Name Commissioned Sunk/Scrapped N 41 D 41 J 42 F 42 M 42 A 42 M 42 J 42 J 42 A 42 S 42 O 42 N 42 D 42
Battles: CS MI ES SC
CVs & CVLs
1 Furious CV-47 [63][64] 26 June 1917 1948 ao ao ao ao ao ao ao ao a a a a a m
2 Argus CV-I49 [65] 16-Sep-1918 5-Dec-1946 m m m m m a a a a a a a Qa a
3 Hermes CVL-95 [66][67] 18-Feb-1924 9-Apr-1942 i io io i i Li
4 Eagle CV-94 [68] 20-Feb-1924 11-Aug-1942 ao ao a a ao a m m m Lm
5 Courageous CV-50 [69][64] 21-Feb-1928 17-Sep-1939
6 Glorious CV-77 [70][64] 24-Feb-1930 8-Jun-1940
7 Ark Royal CV-91 [71][64] 16-Dec-1938 14-Nov-1941 Lm
8 Illustrious CV-87 [72][73][64] 25-May-1940 Nov-1956 a ad ad ad a i i i i i i io ao i
9 Formadible CV-67 [74][75][64] 15-Oct-1940 Jan-1953 a a a i i i i i i a a a m m
10 Victorius CV-38 [76][75][64] 29-Mar-1941 1969 a a a a Ra a a a a ad ao ao Qm a
11 Indomitable CV-92 [77][75][64] 10-Oct-1941 1955 ao i i i i i Qi io m md ad ad ad ad
12 Unicorn CVL 12-Mar-1943 15-Jun-1959
13 Indefatigable Mar-1944 Sep-1956
14 Implacable June-1944 27-Oct-1955
15 Colossus CVL 16-Dec-1944 22-Jan-1974
16 Venerable CVL 17-Jan-1945 2000
17 Vengeance CVL Mar-1945 2004
18 Glory CVL 2-Apr-1945 23-Aug-1961
19 Warrior CVL 2-Apr-1945 1971
20 Ocean CVL 8-Aug-1945 1962
CVEs
1 Audacity CVE *7 [78] 20-Jun-1941 21-Dec-1941 a La
2 Archer CVE (BAVG-1)*2 [79] 17-Nov-1941 1962 Cas as ad ad a ao a a ao ao ao ao Qa ao
3 Avenger CVE (BAVG-2)*4 [80] 2-Mar-1942 15-Nov-1942 Cas ao ao ao ao a a a QLm
4 Biter/Dixmude CVE (BAVG-3)*4 [81] 6-Apr-1942 1966 Cas as as as as as a Qa a
5 Dasher CVE (BAVG-5)*4 [82] 2-Jul-1942 27-Mar-1943 Cas as as m Qao ao
6 Activity CVE *8 [83] 29 Sep-1942 1967 Cas as as as
7 Attacker CVE (CVE-7 Barnes)*3 [84] 30-Sep-1942 1946 Cps ps ps as
8 Battler CVE (CVE-6 Altamaha )*5 [85] 31-Oct-1942 1946 Cas ad as
9 Stalker CVE (CVE-15 Hamlin)*3 [86] 21-Dec-1942 1975 Cas
10 Hunter CVE (CVE-8 Block Island)*5 20-Jan-1943 1965
11 Tracker CVE (BAVG-6)*5 31-Jan-1943 1964
12 Fencer CVE (CVE-14 Croatan)*5 20-Feb-1943 1975
13 Searcher CVE (CVE-22)*1 7-Apr-1943 1976
14 Chaser CVE (CVE-10 Breton)*5 9-Apr-1943 1972
15 Ravager CVE (CVE-24?)*1 25-Apr-1943 1973
16 Striker CVE (CVE-19 Price William)*3 28-Apr-1943 1948
17 Emperor CVE (CVE-34 Pybus)*1 31-May-1943 1946
18 Pursuer CVE (CVE-17 St. George)*4 14-Jun-1943 1946
19 Atheling CVE (CVE-33 Glacier)*1 3-Jul-1943 1967
20 Ameer CVE (CVE-35 Baffins)*1 20-Jul-1943 1969
21 Begum CVE (CVE--36 Bolinas)*1 22-Jul-1943 1974
22 Pretoria Castle CVE *9 29-Jul-1943 1962
23 Trumpeter CVE (CVE-37 Bastian)*1 4-Aug-1943 1971
24 Slinger CVE (CVE-32 Chatham)*1 11-Aug-1943 1969
25 Empress CVE (CVE-38 Carnegie)*1 12-Aug-1943 1946
26 Khedive CVE(CVE-39 Cordova)*1 25-Aug-1943 1975
27 Nabob CVE (CVE-41 Edisto)*1 7-Sep-1943 1977
27 Shah CVE (CVE-43 Jamaica)*1 27-Sep-1943 1966
29 Patroller CVE (CVE-44 Keweenaw)*1 23-Oct-1943 1974
30 Premier CVE (CVE-42 Estero)*1 3-Nov-1943 1974
31 HMS Ranee CVE (CVE-46 Niantic)*1 8-Nov-1943 1975
31 Thane CVE (CV-48 Sunset)*1 19 Nov-1943 >1945
33 Speaker CVE (CVE-40 Delgada)*1 20-Nov-1943 1972
34 Vindex CVE*6 3-Dec-1943 Aug-1971
35 Queen CVE (CVE-49 St. Andrews)*1 7-Dec-1943 1972
36 Nairana CVE*6 12-Dec-1943 1971
37 Ruler CVE (CVE-50 St. Joseph)*1 20-Dec-1943 1946
38 Arbiter CVE (CVE-51) St. Simon)*1 31-Dec-1943 1972
39 Rajah CVE (CVE-45 Prince)*1 17-Jan-1944 1975
40 Smiter CVE (CVE-52 Vermillion)*1 20-Jan-1944 1967
41 Trouncer CVE (CVE-47 Perdido)*1 31-Jan-1944 1973
42 Puncher CVE (CVE-53 Willapa)*1 5-Feb-1944 1973
43 Reaper CVE (CVE-54 Winjah)*1 18-Feb-1944 1967
44 Campania CVE *6 7-Mar-1944 1955
MACs
1 Empire MacAlpine MAC*10 14-Apr-1943 1970
2 Rapana MAC*12 Jul-1943 1958
3 Empire MacAndrew MAC*10 7-Jul-1943 1970
4 Amastra MAC*12 Sep-1943 1955
5 Empire MacRae MAC*10 20-Sep-1943 1971
6 Ancylus MAC*12 Oct-1943 1954
7 Acavus MAC*12 Oct-1943 1963
8 Empire MacKay MAC*11 5-Oct-1943 1959
9 Empire MacColl MAC*11 Nov-1943 1962
10 Alexia MAC*12 Dec-1943 1954
11 Empire MacCabe MAC*11 Dec-1943 1962
12 Empire MacMahon MAC*11 Dec-1943 1960
13 Empire MacKendrick MAC*10 12-12-1943 1975
14 Empire MacCallum MAC*10 22-Dec-1943 1960
15 Miralda MAC*12 Jan-1944 1960
16 Adula MAC*12 Feb-1944 1953
17 Gadila MAC*12 Mar-1944 1958
18 Empire MacDermott MAC*10 31-Mar-1944 1991
19 Macoma MAC*12 1-Apr-1944 1959
CARRIERS AFLOAT
CVs & CVLs:
Pacific 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 0 1
Atlantic 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 5
Total 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6
CVEs:
Pacific 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0
Atlantic 2 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 6 5 7
Total 2 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 6 7 6 7
CVs, CVLs, and CVEs:
Pacific 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 2 2 1 1
Atlantic 9 7 7 6 7 7 7 7 9 9 10 11 11 12
Total 10 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 10 12 13 12 13
CARRIERS OPERATIONAL
CVs & CVLs:
Pacific 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 1
Atlantic 4 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 5 3 3 3 4 4
Total 5 4 5 6 6 6 6 5 7 4 4 3 4 5
CVEs:
Pacific 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Atlantic 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 3 2 1
Total 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 3 2 1
CVs, CVLs, and CVEs:
Pacific 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 1
Atlantic 5 3 4 3 4 3 4 4 5 4 4 6 6 5
Total 6 4 5 6 7 6 7 6 7 5 5 6 6 6
CV & CVL RECAP
Operational 5 4 5 6 6 6 6 5 7 4 4 3 4 5
Non-Operational 3 4 3 2 2 1 1 2 0 2 2 3 2 1
Total Afloat 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6
The location, combat activity, and operational status for each UK aircraft carrier at the end of each month over the entire war is available at the "Collection of Statistics on UK Aircraft Carriers" in the reference document section at the World War II Database.[87]

Notes:

  • 1 Bogue/Ruler class escort carrier built by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma WA
  • 2 Long Island class CVE built by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester PA
  • 3 Bogue/Attacker class CVE built by Western Pipe and Steal Co., San Francisco CA
  • 4 Avenger class CVE built by Sun Shipbuilding, Chester PA
  • 5 Bogue/Attacker class CVE built by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula MS or by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma WA
  • 6 Nairana class CVE built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, No. Ireland or John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland
  • 7 German merchant ship Hannover converted to escort carrier
  • 8 Merchantman built by Caledon Shipbuilding, Dundee, Scotland
  • 9 Ocean liner Pretoria Castle built at Harland & Wolff shipyards, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • 10 New-build grain carrier
  • 11 New-build oil tanker
  • 12 Converted Royal Dutch Shell tanker

Japanese aircraft carriersEdit

The following table lists all Japanese aircraft carriers that were operational between July 1937 and August 1945. It also includes information about their combat activity, location, and operational status for the end of each month from November 1941 to December 1942. The table reflects how Japan's six fleet carriers[b] of the Kidō Butai effectively raided and supported invasions during the first five months of the war, and how battle attrition over the following eight months materially weakened Japan's ability to project naval power.

Carrier Name Commis-

sioned

Sunk/

Scrapped

N 41 D 41 J 42 F 42 M 42 A 42 M 42 J 42 J 42 A 42 S 42 O 42 N 42 D 42
Battles: CS MI ES SC
Fleet & Light
1 Hōshō CVL 12/27/1922 2-Sept-1946 p p p p p p p Bp pt p p pt pt pt
2 Akagi CV 25-Mar-1927 5-Jun-42 p Rp Qp Rp Qp Rp p BLp
3 Kaga CV 30-Nov-1929 5-Jun-42 p Rp Qp Rp Qpd pd p BLp
4 Ryūjō CVL 9-May-1933 24-Aug-1942 p Qp Qp Qp Qp Rpo p Bp p BLp
5 Sōryū CV 29-Dec-1937 4-Jun-1942 p RQp Qp Rp Qp Rp p BLp
6 Hiryū CV 5-Jul-1939 5-Jun-1942 p RQp Qp Rp Qp Rp p BLp
7 Zuihō CVL 27-Dec-1940 25-Oct-1944 p p p p p p p Bp po p p Bpd pd p
8 Shōkaku CV 8-Aug-1941 19-Jun-1944 p Rp Qp po p Rp Bpd p p Bp p Bpd pd pd
9 Zuikaku CV 25-Sep-1941 25-Oct-1944 p Rp Qp p p p Bx px po Bp p Bp p p
10 Shōhō CVL 30-Nov-1941 7-May-1942 Cp ps p p p p BLp
11 Jun'yō CV 3-May-1942 1946 Cp Bp p p p Bp p p
12 Hiyō CV 31-Jul-1942 20-Jun-1942 Cps ps ps pd pd pd
13 Ryūhō CVL 30-Nov-1942 1946 Cps pd
14 Chiyoda CVL 31-Oct-1943 25-Oct-1944
15 Chitose CVL 1-Jan-1944 25-Oct-1944
16 Taihō CV 7-Mar-1944 19-Jun-1944
17 Unryū CV 6-Mar-1944 19-Dec-1944
18 Amagi CV 10-Aug-1944 29-Jul-1945
19 Katsuragi CV 15-Oct-1944 22-Dec-1946
20 Shinano CV 19-Nov-1944 29-Nov-1944
CV & CVL Afloat 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 6 7 6 6 6 7 7
CV & CVL Operational 9 9 10 9 9 8 9 6 4 5 5 3 3 4
Escort
1 Taiyō CVE 2-Sep-1941 18-Aug-1944 p p p p p p p p p p pd p p p
2 Un'yō CVE 31-May-1942 17-Sep-1944 Cp p p p p p p p
3 Chūyō CVE 25-Nov-1942 4-Dec-1943 Cps p
4 Shin'yō CVE 15-Nov-1943 17-Nov-1944
5 Kaiyō CVE 23-Nov-1943 10-Aug-1945
CVE Afloat 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3
CVE Operational 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 3
Total
Total Afloat 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 8 9 8 8 8 10 10
Total Operational 10 10 11 10 10 9 11 8 6 7 6 5 5 7
The location, combat activity, and operational status for each Japanese aircraft carrier at the end of each month over the entire war is available at the "Collection of Statistics on Japanese Aircraft Carriers" in the reference document section at the World War II Database.[88]

The Imperial Japanese Navy typically named their aircraft carriers after flying creatures, real and mythical. Several carriers, however, retained the names they had before being converted to aircraft carriers. Names and their meanings are included in the following table. Also included are alternative names/spellings used for the carriers in various publications.

Carrier Name & Type Date Commissioned Named After Name Meaning Alternate Name/Spelling
Hosho (CVL) 27-Dec-22 Flying creature Flying phoenix Hosyo
Akagi (CV) 25-Mar-27 Extinct volcano
Kaga (CV 30-Nov-29 Ancient Japanese province
Ryujo (CVL) 09-May-33 Flying creature Heavenly dragon Ryuzyo, Rjudzo
Soryu (CV) 29-Dec-37 Flying creature Green dragon
Hiryu (CV) 05-Jul-39 Flying creature Flying dragon
Zuiho (CVL) 27-Dec-40 Flying creature Lucky phoenix
Shokaku (CV) 08-Aug-41 Flying creature Soaring crane Syokaku
Taiyo (CVE) 02-Sep-41 Flying creature Great hawk
Zuikaku (CV) 25-Sep-41 Flying creature Lucky crane
Shoho (CVL) 30-Nov-41 Flying creature Happy phoenix
Junyo (CV) 03-May-42 Flying creature Peregrine Falcon Hayataka
Unyo (CVE) 31-May-42 Flying creature Hawk in the clouds
Hiyo (CV) 31-Jul-42 Flying creature Flying falcon Hitaka, Haytaka, Hijo
Chuyo (CVE) 25-Nov-42 Flying creature Heaven-bound hawk
Ryuho (CVL) 30-Nov-42 Flying creature Dragon phoenix Rjuho
Chitose (CVL) 01-Nov-43 Japanese city
Shinyo (CVE) 15-Nov-43 Flying creature Godly hawk
Kaiyo (CVE) 23-Nov-43 Flying creature Sea hawk
Chiyoda (CVL) 21-Dec-43 Japanese city
Taiho (CV) 07-Mar-44 Flying creature Great phoenix
Unryu (CV) 06-Aug-44 Flying creature Heaven-bound dragon Unrju
Amagi (CV) 10-Aug-44 Extinct volcano
Katsuragi (CV) 15-Oct-44 Japanese mountain
Shinano (CV) 19-Nov-44 Ancient Japanese province
Principal source: The Imperial Japanese Navy In The Pacific War[89]

Other countries aircraft carriersEdit

France had one operational fleet carrier during the war, the Béarn. She patrolled in the Atlantic until the fall of France, after which she spent most of the war in Martinique and US ports. Her aircraft were never launched in combat. Construction of another carrier, the Joffre was begun but discontinued in 1940 when Germany occupied France. France also had a seaplane carrier, the Commandant Teste, that provided some aircraft transport service for Vichy France until she was scuttled in November 1942.

Germany worked on building aircraft carriers during the war but did not complete any in time for combat operations. The German fleet carrier, Graf Zeppelin, was launched in 1938 but was still under construction in 1945 as the war in Europe was ending. It was scuttled by the Germans but raised by the Russians, who used it as a target ship, sinking it in 1947.

Italy worked on but did not complete the aircraft carriers Sparviero and Aquila.

Aircraft carriers sunkEdit

In the early years of the war, the combatants risked and lost a high percentage of their carriers. By October 1942, after the carrier battles for the year, America, Britain, and Japan had, in both theaters, lost a combined total of 15 fleet and light carriers. With new commissionings, they then had 15 such carriers afloat compared with the 18 they had in August 1939 at the opening of the European war and 24 in December 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The following table shows the number of such carriers sunk each year of the war. The total number of escort carriers (CVE) sunk during the war is also shown.

Number of aircraft carriers sunk during World War II
Year America Britain Japan Total Source No.
1939 0 1 0 1 2
1940 0 1 0 1 2
1941 0 1 0 1 2
1942 4 2 6 12 1,2,3,4
1943 0 0 0 0 1,2,3,4
1944 1 0 9 10 1,2,3,4
1945 0 0 1 1 1,2,3,4
1939–1945 CV & CVL 5 5 16 26
1939–1945 CVE 7 3 5 15 1,2,3,4
1939–1945 CV, CVL, & CVE 12 8 21 41
Source: World War II Database[90]

Fleet and Light Carriers. A total of fifty-five fleet and light carriers were newly commissioned between September 1939 and August 1945. Twenty-six such carriers were sunk. Nineteen were operational at the beginning of this period and forty-eight were operational at the end.

Country As Of Sep-1939 Comm. 1939-41 As Of Dec-1941 Comm. 1942-45 Sunk 1939-45 As Of Aug-1945
United States 5 +2 7 +26 -5 28[h]
United Kingdom 7 +4 11 +9 -5 15
Japan 6 +3 9 +11 -16 4[i]
France 1 0 1 0 0 1[j]
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 19 +9 28 +46 -26 48
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Escort Carriers. A total of one-hundred twenty-seven escort carriers were newly commissioned between September 1939 and August 1945. Fifteen such carriers were sunk. Only one was operational at the beginning of this period and one-hundred thirteen were operational at the end. The US constructed and launched one-hundred fifteen of such carriers and transferred a total of thirty-eight to Britain.

Country As Of Sep-1939 Comm. 1939-41 As Of Dec-1941 Launched 1942-45 Transferred 1942-45 Comm. 1942-45 Sunk 1939-45 As Of Aug-1945
United States 1[k] +1[l] 2 +114[m] -38[m] +76 -7 71
United Kingdom 0 +1[n] 1 +5[o] +38[m] +43 -3 41
Japan 0 +1 1 +4 0 +4 -5[p] 0
Total 1 +3 4 +123 0 +123 -15 112
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Merchant Aircraft Carriers. Britain converted a total of nineteen merchant ships to Merchant Aircraft Carriers during the war. Nine of these were converted Royal Dutch Shell oil tankers, two of which operated under the flag of the Netherlands.[q] All served in the Atlantic theater and typically carried three or four Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers. None were sunk during the war. Although they were initially envisioned as temporary, stop-gap measures until enough escort carriers became available for convoy protection, all but four served until the end of the war.

Aircraft Carriers Sunk. A total of forty-one fleet, light, and escort carriers were sunk between September 1939 and August 1945. The following table shows how they were sunk and the country whose military accomplished the sinking.

Country Carrier-Launched Aircraft Sub-marines Gunfire From Warships Land-Based Aircraft Total
United States 13 8 0[r] 0 21
Japan 4 2[s] 4[t] 2 12
Germany 0 6 0 1 7
United Kingdom 1 0 0 0 1
Total 18 16 4 3 41
Percent 44% 39% 10% 7% 100%
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Japanese CVEs were frequently attacked, damaged, and sunk by American submarines. During the war, these five CVEs served mostly as transports for aircraft, troops, and supplies and as cover for convoys doing the same. They made deliveries to and from destinations within Japan's defensive perimeter as far east as the Marshall Islands and as far west as Singapore. Destinations included Formosa, the Marianas, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (Java) the Palaus, and the Carolines (Truk). Four of the five CVEs were sunk by submarines, as were four fleet and light Japanese carriers. During the war, American submariners, while making up less that two percent of American naval personnel, sank over 30% of Japanese warship tonnage[92] and 55% of merchant shipping tonnage.[93][94] This effectiveness came at a high price. Fifty-two American submarines were lost during the war, all but three in Pacific waters.[95] Over 3,500 men died.[96] Three British submarines were also sunk by the Japanese.[u]

Carrier War Service Began War Service Ended Months War Svc. Submarine Attacks Sunk By
1 Taiyō CVE 8-Dec-1941 18-Aug-1944 32 5 Submarine
2 Un'yō CVE 31-May-1942 17-Sep-1944 28 8 Submarine
3 Chūyō CVE 25-Nov-1942 4-Dec-1943 12 3 Submarine
4 Shin'yō CVE 15-Nov-1943 17-Nov-1944 12 1 Submarine
5 Kaiyō CVE 23-Nov-1943 9-Aug-1945 21 0 Carrier Aircraft
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

The following table provides some detail for each of the forty-one aircraft carriers sunk during the war.[v]

Carrier Date Sunk Location Planes Lost People Lost Sunk By
1939:
1 HMS Courageous CV 17-Sep-1939 Off Iceland ? 519 2 Torpedoes from Sub German U-29
1940:
1 HMS Glorious CV 8-Jun-1940 North Sea off Norway ? 1,207 Guns from Scharnhorst and Gneisenau
1941:
1 HMS Ark Royal CV 14-Nov-1941 Off Gibraltar ? 1 1 Torpedo from Sub German U-81
2 HMS Audacity CVE 21-Dec-1941 North Atlantic off Spain ? 73 3 Torpedoes from German Sub U-751
1942:
1 USS Langley SPT 27-Feb-1942 Off Java ? >16 Bombs from IJN LBA from Bali
2 HMS Hermes CVL 9-Apr-1942 Off Ceylon 0 307 Bombs from IJN Carrier Aircraft
3 IJN Shōhō CVL 7-May-1942 Coral Sea ? 834 7 Torpedoes,13 bombs from CA
4 USS Lexington CV 8-May-1942 Coral Sea 8? 216 CA from Shōkaku and Zuikaku
5 IJN Kaga CV 4-Jun-1942 Midway 90? 811 DB from USS Enterprise
6 IJN Sōryū CV 4-Jun-1942 Midway 70? 711 DB from USS Yorktown
7 IJN Akagi CV 5-Jun-1942 Midway 90? 267 DB from USS Enterprise
8 IJN Hiryū CV 5-Jun-1942 Midway 70? 389 DB from USS Yorktown
9 USS Yorktown CV 7-Jun-1942 Midway ? 141 2 Torpedoes from Hiryū CA & Torpedo from Sub IJN I-168
10 HMS Eagle CV 11-Aug-1942 Off Majorca 16 131 Torpedoes from Sub German U-73
11 IJN Ryūjō CVL 24-Aug-1942 Battle of the Eastern Solomons ? 120 1 Torpedo from TB and 3 Bombs from USS USS Saratoga
13 USS USS Wasp CV 15-Sep-1942 Off San Cristobal Is., Solomon Is. 45 193 3 Torpedoes from Sub IJN I-19
12 USS Hornet CV 27-Oct-1942 Santa Cruz ? 140 TB & DB from Zuikzku & Jun'yō
14 HMS Avenger CVE 15-Nov-1942 Off Algeria ? 514 1 Torpedo from Sub German U-155
1943:
1 HMS Dasher CVE 27-Mar-1943 Off Scotland 15? 379 Internal explosion
2 USS Liscome Bay CVE 24-Nov-1943 Off Makin Island ? 702 1 Torpedo from Sub IJN I-175[97]
3 IJN Chūyō CVE 4-Dec-1943 Off Japan ? 1,250 Torpedoes from Sub USS Sailfish
1944:
1 USS Block Island CVE 29-May-1944 Off Canary Is. >6? 6 3 Torpedoes from Sub German U-549
2 IJN Shōkaku CV 19-Jun-1944 Philippine Sea ? 1,272 3 Torpodoes from Sub USS Crevalle
3 IJN Taihō CV 19-Jun-1944 Philippine Sea ? 1,650 1 Torpedo fromSub USS Albacore
4 IJN Hiyō CV 20-Jun-1944 Philippine Sea ? 247 2 DB bombs & 1 Torpedo from USS Belleau Wood|
5 IJN Taiyō CVE 18-Aug-1944 Off Philippines ? 790 1 Torpedoe from Sub USS Rasher
6 IJN Un'yō CVE 17-Sep-1944 Convoy HI-74 from Singapore ? 1,000e 2 Torpedoes from Sub USS Barb
7 USS Princeton CVL 24-Oct-1944 Off Luzon ? 108 Single bomb from LBA
8 USS Gambier Bay CVE 25-Oct-1944 Off Samar ? ? Gunfire from IJN Chikuma and possibly also from IJN Yamato
9 USS St. Lo CVE 25-Oct-1944 Off Samar ? 113 Kamikaze
10 IJN Zuikzku CV 25-Oct-1944 Layte Gulf 0 20? US CA bombs & torpedoes
11 IJN Zuihō CVL 25-Oct-1944 Layte Gulf 0 215 US CA bombs & torpedoes
12 IJN Chiyoda CVL 25-Oct-1944 Layte Gulf 0 1,470 US CA bombs, torpedoes & gunfire
13 IJN Chitose CVL 25-Oct-1944 Layte Gulf 0 903 US CA bombs, torpedoes & gunfire
14 IJN Shin'yō CVE 17-Nov-1944 East China Sea 10? 1,130 4 Torpedoes from Sub USS Spadefish
15 IJN Shinano CV 29-Nov-1944 Off Japan 50 1,435 Torpedoes from Sub USS Archerfish
16 IJN Unryū CV 19-Dec-1944 East China Sea 30 1,238 2 Torpedoes from Sub USSRedfish
1945:
1 USS Ommaney Bay CVE 4-Jan-1945 Sulu Sea off Philippines ? 95 Kamikaze
2 USS Bismarck Sea CVE 21-Feb-1945 Iwo Jima ? 318 2 Kamikaze
3 IJN Amagi CV 29-Jul-1945 Kure Harbor, Japan 0 few Bombs from Allied CA
4 IJN Kaiyō CVE 10-Aug-1945[p] Beppu Bay, Japan 0 20 Mines and UK/BPF Bombs
Total
41[w]
Abbreviations:
  • "BPF" Indicated British Pacific Fleet
  • "DB" Indicates Dive Bombers
  • "CA" Indicates Carrier Aircraft
  • "Ger" Indicates German
  • "IJN" indicated Imperial Japanese Navy
  • "LBA" Indicates Land-Based Aircraft
  • "Sub" Indicates Submarine
  • 'TB" Indicates Torpedo Bomber

Principal Sources:

  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[99]
  2. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[100]
  3. Naval War In The Pacific 1941-1945[101]
  4. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[62]
  5. World War II Database[19]
  6. Squadrons of the Sea[102]
  7. Wikipedia List of ships sunk by submarines by death toll

The following table shows how each combatant's carriers were sunk.

USN Ships RN Ships IJN Ships Total Ships Percent
How Carriers were sunk
Bombs 2 1 7 10 24%
Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes 2 0 5 7 17%
Kamikazes 3 0 0 3 7%
Aerial & Submarine Torpedoes 1 0 0 1 2%
Aerial Torpedoes 0 0 0 0 0%
Aerial Weapon Systems 8 1 12 21 51%
Submarine Torpedoes 3 5 8 16 39%
Warship Gunfire 1 1 0 2 5%
Mines 0 0 1 1 2%
Other Weapon Systems 4 6 9 19 46%
Mechanical Failures 0 1 0 1 2%
All Causes 12 8 21 41 100%
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Non-operational aircraft carrier timeEdit

Carrier non-operational time due to combat-related damageEdit

The table below shows the combat-related actions during the war that resulted in carriers not being "operational", i.e., not available for combat activity.

Carrier Date Location Action Cause Category Principal Cause For Carrier Damage
Hōshō CVL 9/23/35 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Ryujo CVL 9/23/35 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Courageous CV-50 9/17/39 Off Iceland Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Eagle CV-94 3/14/40 Mechanical Failures Internal explosion
Glorious CV-77 6/8/40 Norwegian Sea Battle of Norway Gunfire from Warships SUNK, Battleship gunfire
Illustrious CV-R87 1/10/41 South of Sicily Convoy to Malta Bombs Bombs- land based aircraft
Ark Royal CV-91 3/22/41 Atlantic Chasing Scharnhorst and Gneisanau Aircraft Accidents Ran over own aircraft and depth charge detonated
Hermes CVL-95 5/15/41 Collisions Collision with friendly warship
Formidable CV-R67 5/26/41 passage to launch strikes on Scarpanto Bombs Bombs- land based aircraft
Indomitable CV-R92 11/3/41 Groundings Ran aground
Ark Royal CV-91 11/14/41 Off Gibraltar Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Illustrious CV-R87 12/16/41 Collisions Collision with friendly warship
Audacity CVE-D10 12/21/41 Off Gibraltar Convoy Escort Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Torpedoed by U-boat
Saratoga CV-3 1/11/42 Submarine Torpedoes Submarine torpedoes
Kaga CV 2/9/42 Palau -- Groundings Run Aground
Langley CV-1 2/27/42 Off Java Bombs SUNK, Bombs- land based aircraft
Wasp CV-7 3/16/42 Collisions Collision with warship
Hermes CVL-95 4/9/42 Off Ceylon Bombs SUNK, Bombs from carrier launched dive bombers
Ryuho CVL 4/18/42 Japan Doolittle Raid Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Shoho CVL 5/7/42 Coral Sea Battle of Coral Sea Aerial Bombs & Torpedoes SUNK, Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes
Lexington CV-2 5/8/42 Coral Sea Battle of Coral Sea Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes SUNK, Aerial torpedoes & bombs
Shōkaku CV 5/8/42 Coral Sea Battle of the Coral Sea Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Yorktown CV-5 5/8/42 Coral Sea Coral Sea Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Akagi CV 6/4/42 Off Midway Island Battle of Midway Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft dive bombers
Kaga CV 6/4/42 Off Midway Island Battle of Midway Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft dive bombers
Sōryū CV 6/4/42 Off Midway Island Battle of Midway Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft dive bombers
Yorktown CV-5 6/4/42 Off Midway Island Battle of Midway Aerial & Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Aerial torpedoes & submarine torpedoes
Hiryū CV 6/5/42 Off Midway Island Battle of Midway Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft dive bombers
Eagle CV-94 8/11/42 South of Majorca Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Indomitable CV-R92 8/12/42 Bombs Bombs- land based aircraft
Victorious CV-R38 8/12/42 Bombs Bombs- land based aircraft
Ryūjō CVL 8/24/42 Solomon Islands Battle of Eastern Solomons Aerial Bombs & Torpedoes SUNK, Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes
Enterprise CV-6 8/24/42 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Saratoga CV-3 8/31/42 Submarine Torpedoes Submarine torpedoes
Wasp CV-7 9/15/42 Off San Cristobal Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedoes
Taiyō CVE 9/28/42 Truk Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Hiyō CV 10/17/42 Guadalcanal Mechanical Failure Shipboard accident- Fire in generator room
Hornet CV-8 10/27/42 Santa Cruz Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes SUNK, Aerial torpedoes & bombs
Shōkaku CV 10/26/42 Santa Cruz Islands Battle of Santa Cruz Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Enterprise CV-6 10/26/42 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Zuihō CVL 10/26/42 Santa Cruz Islands Battle of Santa Cruz Islands Bombs Bombs
Santee CVE-29 10/30/42 Atlantic Escort duty Aircraft Accidents Accidental bomb damage during launch
Battler CVE-6/D18 11/9/42 US Sea trials Collisions Collision with jetty
Hiyō CV 11/13/42 Truk Bombs Bombs
Avenger CVE BAVG-2/D14 11/15/42 Off Algeria Operation TORCH Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Torpedoed by U-boat
Sangamon CVE-26 11/20/42 Storms & Typhoons Atlantic storm
Chenango CVE-28 11/20/42 Storms & Typhoons Atlantic storm
Hiyō CV 11/27/42 Truk Bombs Bombs
Ryūhō CVL 12/12/42 Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Dasher CVE BAVG-5/D37 2/18/43 England Convoy Escort Storms & Typhoons Extreme weather
Dasher CVE BAVG-5/D37 3/27/43 Off Scotland Returning for repair Mechanical Failures SUNK, Internal explosion
Taiyō CVE 4/9/43 Saipan/Truk Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo (detonated prematurely)
Chūyō CVE 4/9/43 Saipan/Truk Convoy escort Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo (did not detonate)
Searcher CVE-D40 5/27/43 Atlantic Ocean Storms & Typhoons Atlantic storm
Hiyō CV 6/10/43 Mijake Island Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Chaser CVE-32 7/7/43 England Mechanical Failures Explosion in boiler room
Indomitable CV-R92 7/16/43 Ionian Sea Invasion of Sicily Aerial Torpedoes Torpedoed by land based aircraft
Taiyō CVE 9/24/43 Truk/Yokosuka Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Cowpens CVL-25 10/18/43 Collisions Collisions with friendly warships
Jun'yō CV 11/5/43 Bungo Suido Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Biter CVE BAVG-3/D97 11/16/43 Atlantic Convoy Escort Aircraft Accidents Damage from ditched aircraft
Independence CVL-9 11/20/43 Gilberts Galvanic Aerial Torpedoes Aerial torpedoes
Liscome Bay CVE-56 11/24/43 Off Makin Island Battle of Makin Submarine Torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedoes
Ravager'' CVE-24/D70 11/29/43 Scotland Collisions Collision with HMS Pretoria Castle
Pretoria Castle CVE 11/29/43 England Collisions Collision with HMS Ravager
Chūyō CVE 12/4/43 Off Japan Convoy escort Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Lexington CV-16 12/4/43 Kwajalein Raid on Kwajalein Aerial Torpedoes Aerial torpedoes
Belleau Wood CV-24 1/7/44 Collisions Collisions with friendly warships
Un'yō CVE 1/19/44 Guam Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Vindex CVE-D15 1/22/44 Scotland Collisions Dragged anchor, collided with HMS Pursuer
Attacker CVE-7/D02 1/22/44 Scotland Collisions Collision with HMS Chaser, which dragged anchor in gale
Attacker CVE-7/D02 1/24/44 Scotland Collisions Collision with HMS Fencer, which dragged anchor in gale
Sagamon CVE-26 1/25/44 Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Sagamon CVE-26 1/26/44 Collisions Collision with warship (CVE Suwannee)
Queen CVE-49/D19/R320 1/26/44 Canada Groundings Ran Aground
Suwannee CVE-27 1/26/44 Enroute Marshalls Collisions Collision with warship (CVE Sangamon)
Slinger CVE-32/D26 2/5/44 Off Lowestoff, England During work-up Mines Hit a mine
White Plains CVE-66 2/7/44 Marshalls Tranport Collisions Collision with warship
Intrepid CV-11 2/17/44 Aerial Torpedoes Aerial torpedoes
Vindex CVE-D15 2/25/44 Scotland Flying exercises Aircraft Accidents Aircraft crashes (water in fuel)
Chaser CVE-D32 3/14/44 Scotland Collisions Collision with HMS Attacker, then grounded
Khedive CVE-39/D62 3/22/44 England Collisions Collision with merchant ship
Fencer CVE-D64 May-44 Arctic Ocean Convoy Escort Storms & Typhoons Arctic storm
Block Island CVE-106 5/29/44 Off Canary Islands Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedoes
Tracker CVE BAVG-6/D24) 6/10/44 England Operation NEPTUNE Collisions Collision warship
Fenshaw Bay CVE-68 6/17/44 Saipan Invasion of Saipan Bombs Bomb
Mission Bay CVE-59 6/17/44 New York Harbor Transporting aircraft Collisions Collision with a dredge
Taihō CV 6/19/44 San Bernardino Straits Battle of Philippines Sea Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Shōkaku CV 6/19/44 Philippines Sea Battle of Philippines Sea Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Bunker Hill CV-17 6/19/44 Bombs Bomb near miss
Hiyō CV 6/20/44 Philippine Sea Battle of Philippine Sea Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft
Jun'yō CV 6/20/44 Philippine Sea Battle of Philippine Sea Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Chiyoda CVL 6/20/44 Philippine Sea Battle of Philippine Sea Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Zuikaku CV 6/20/44 Philippines Sea Battle of Philippine Sea Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Ryūhō CVL 6/20/44 Philippine Sea Battle of Philippine Sea Bombs Bombs- Near miss by aerial bomb
Taiyō CVE 8/18/44 Off Philippines Convoy escort Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Nabob CVE-41/D77 8/22/44 Norway? Submarine Torpedoes Torpedoed by U-boat
Biter CVE BAVG-3/D97 8/24/44 Scotland During conversion Mechanical Failures Fire damage
Khedive CVE-39/D62 9/8/44 Alexandria Collisions Collision with merchant ship
Breton CVE-23 9/13/44 ? ? Collisions Collision with warship
Un'yō CVE 9/17/44 Off Singapore Convoy escort Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Vindex CVE-D15 9/26/44 Scotland Collisions Dragged anchor, collided with troop ship
Franklin CV-13 10/13/44 Aircraft Accidents Enemy plane crash on deck
Franklin CV-13 10/13/44 Aircraft Accidents Near crash of plane
Hancock CV-19 10/14/44 Bombs Bomb- land based aircraft
Saratoga CV-3 10/14/44 Collisions Collisions with friendly warships
Franklin CV-13 10/16/44 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Sagamon CVE-26 10/20/44 Off Leyte Battle of Leyte Gulf Bombs Bombs- Land based bombers?
Princeton CVL-23 10/24/44 Off Luzon Battle of Leyte Gulf Bombs SUNK, Bombs- land based aircraft
Zuikaku CV 10/25/44 Cape Engano Battle off Cape Engano Aerial Bombs & Torpedoes SUNK, Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes- carrier aircraft
Chiyoda CVL 10/25/44 Cape Engano Battle off Cape Engano Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft & cruiser gunfire
Zuihō CVL 10/25/44 Cape Engano Battle off Cape Engano Aerial Bombs & Torpedoes SUNK, Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes
Chitose CVL 10/25/44 Cape Engano Battle off Cape Engano Aerial Bombs & Torpedoes SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft & cruiser gunfire
Gambier Bay CVE-73 10/25/44 East of Sumar Battle off Sumar Warship Gunfire SUNK, Battleship(?) and cruiser gunfire
St. Lo/Midway CVE-63 10/25/44 East of Sumar Battle off Sumar Kamikazes SUNK, Kamakaze
White Plains CVE-66 10/25/44 Off Sumar Battle off Sumar Kamikazes Kamikaze
Kalinin Bay CVE-67 10/25/44 Off Sumar Battle off Sumar Kamikazes Kamikaze
Fenshaw Bay CVE-68 10/25/44 East of Sumar Battle off Sumar Warship Gunfire Cruiser and destroyer gunfire
Santee CVE-29 10/25/44 Leyte Kamikazes Kamikaze
Kitkun Bay CVE-71 10/25/44 East of Sumar Battle off Sumar Kamikazes Kamikaze
Sagamon CVE-26 10/25/44 Off Leyte Battle of Leyte Gulf Kamikazes Kamikaze
Suwannee CVE-27 10/25/44 Off Layte Battle off Sumar Kamikazes Kamikaze
Sagamon CVE-26 10/26/44 Off Leyte Battle of Leyte Gulf Kamikazes Kamikaze
Franklin CV-13 10/30/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Belleau Wood CV-24 10/30/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Intrepid CV-11 10/30/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Lexington CV-16 11/5/44 Leyte Leyte Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Saginaw Bay CVE-80 11/10/44 Manus Explosions Nearby Explosion of nearby ammunition ship
Petrof Bay CVE-79 11/10/44 Manus Explosions Nearby Explosion of nearby ammunition ship
Shinyo CVE 11/17/44 East China Sea Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Intrepid CV-11 11/25/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Cabot CV-28 11/25/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Independence CVL-9 11/25/44 Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Essex CV-9 11/25/44 Philippines KING II Kamikazes Kamikazi
Hancock CV-19 11/25/44 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Shinano CV 11/29/44 Off Japan Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Jun'yō CV 12/8/44 Mako Submarine torpedoes Submarine torpedo
Reaper CVE-54/D82/R324 12/9/44 Scotland Ferry Service Collisions Collision with merchant ship
Premier CVE-42/D23 12/15/44 Norway Minelaying Storms & Typhoons Weather damage
Trumpeter CVE-37/D09 12/15/44 Norway Storms & Typhoons Weather damage
Marcus Island CVE-77 12/15/44 Mindoro LOVE3 Kamikazes Kamikaze
Cape Esperance CVE-88 12/18/44 Philippine Sea Storms & Typhoons Typhoon Cobra
Nehenta Bay CVE-74 12/18/44 Philippine Sea Storms & Typhoons Typhoon Cobra
Monterey CVL-26 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Cabot CVL-28 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Cowpens CVL-25 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
San Jacinto CVL-30 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Altamaha CVE-18 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Kwajalein CVE-98 12/18/44 Philippine Sea Storms & Typhoons Typhoon Cobra
Coral Sea/Anzio CVE-57 12/18/44 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Unryū CV 12/19/44 East China Sea Returning from transport mission Submarine torpedoes SUNK, Submarine torpedo
Sargent Bay CVE-82 1/3/45 Philippine Sea Collisions Collision with warship
Ommaney Bay CVE-79 1/4/45 Off Philippines Kamikazes SUNK, Kamikaze
Manila Bay CVE-61 1/5/45 Sulu Sea Invasion of Mindoro Kamikazes Kamikaze
Savo Island CVE-78 1/5/45 Lingayen Invasion of Lingayen Kamikazes Kamikaze
Kitkun Bay CVE-71 1/8/45 Luzon Invasion of Luzon Kamikazes Kamikaze
Kadashan Bay CVE-76 1/8/45 Luzon Mike1 Kamikazes Kamikaze
Salamaua CVE-96 1/13/45 Luzon Invasion of Luzon Kamikazes Kamikaze
Thane CVE-48/D48 1/15/45 Scotland Submarine Torpedoes Torpedoed by U-boat
Hoggatt Bay CVE-75 1/15/45 Luzon MIKE1 Aircraft Accidents Crash landing with bomb explosion
Vindex CVE-D15 1/16/45 Arctic Ocean Storms & Typhoons Extreme weather
Langley CVL-27 1/16/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Nehenta Bay CVE-74 1/17/45 Philippines Storms & Typhoons Storm
Ticonderoga CV-14 1/21/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Hancock CV-19 1/21/45 Aircraft Accidents Crash Landing
Ravager CVE-D70 1/28/45 England Collisions Collision with merchant ship
Bismark Sea CVE-95 2/21/45 Off Iwo Jima Invasion of Iwo Jima Kamikazes SUNK, Kamikazes
Saratoga CV-3 2/21/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Langley CVL-27 2/21/45 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Lunga Point CVE-94 2/21/45 Off Iwo Jima Invasion of Iwo Jima Kamikazes Kamikaze
San Jacinto CVL-30 2/27/45 Collisions Collisions with friendly warships
Randolph CV-15 3/11/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Enterprise CV-6 3/18/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Yorktown CV-10 3/18/45 Off Japan Raids on Japan home islands Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Ryūhō CVL 3/19/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs
Franklin CV-13 3/19/45 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Amagi CV 3/19/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Wasp CV-18 3/19/45 Bombs Bombs- land based aircraft?
Kaiyō CVE 3/19/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Essex CV-9 3/19/45 Friendly Fire Friendly fire
Hōshō CVL 3/19/45 Inland Sea Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Katsuragi CV 3/19/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Enterprise CV-6 3/20/45 Friendly Fire Friendly fire
Sagamon CVE-26 3/25/45 Okinawa ICEBERG Collisions Collision with warship
Illustrious CV-R87 4/1/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi
Indefatigable CV-R10 4/1/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi
Indomitable CV-R92 4/1/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi
Essex CV-9 4/2/45 Collisions Collisions with friendly warships
Wake Island CVE-65 4/3/45 Okinawa Invasion of Okinawa Kamikazes Kamakaze
Illustrious CV-R87 4/6/45 Kamikazes Kamikaze
San Jacinto CVL-30 4/6/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Hancock CV-19 4/7/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Chenango CVE-28 4/9/45 ICEBERG Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Essex CV-9 4/11/45 Bombs Bombs- Carrier launched aircraft
Enterprise CV-6 4/11/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Intepid CV-11 4/16/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Bataan CVL-29 4/17/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Corregidor CVE-58 4/20/45 East of Marianas Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Steamer Bay CVE-87 4/25/45 Okinawa area Collisions Collision with warship
Sagamon CVE-26 5/4/45 Kerama Retto ICEBERG Kamikazes Kamikaze
Formidable CV-R67 5/4/45 Kamikazes Kamikaze
Indomitable CV-R92 5/4/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi
Formidable CV-R67 5/9/45 Kamikazes Kamikaze
Victorious CV-R38 5/9/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi
Bunker Hill CV-17 5/11/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Bataan CVL-29 5/13/45 Friendly Fire Friendly fire
Enterprise CV-6 5/14/45 Kamikazes Kamikazi attacks
Shipley Bay CVE-85 5/16/45 Okinawa area Refueling Accidents Damaged oil tanks refueling
Formidable CV-R67 5/18/45 Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Indomitable CV-R92 5/20/45 Collisions Collision with friendly warship
Suwannee CVE-27 5/24/45 Sakishima Gunto ICEBERG Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Belleau Wood CVL-24 6/4/45 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Hornet CV-12 6/5/45 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Bennington CV-20 6/5/45 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Salamaua CVE-96 6/5/45 Okinawa Invasion of Okinawa Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Bougainville CVE-100 6/5/45 Off Okinawa Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Attu CVE-102 6/5/45 Off Okinawa Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Windham Bay CVE-92 6/5/45 Okinawa area Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
San Jacinto CVL-30 6/6/45 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Natoma Bay CVE-62 6/7/45 Okinawa Invasion of Okinawa Kamikazes Kamakaze
Randolph CV-15 6/7/45 Leyte Aircraft Accidents Crash landing of P-38
Randolph CV-15 6/7/45 Aircraft Accidents Crash landing P-38
Steamer Bay CVE-87 6/11/45 Okinawa area Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Block Island CVE-106 6/15/45 Okinawa ICEBERG Collisions Collision with warship
Santee CVE-29 7/7/45 Okinawa Aircraft Accidents Crash landing
Kaiyō CVE 7/18/45 Sada Straights Training exercise Mines Magnetic mine
Amagi CV 7/19/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Admiralty Islands CVE-99 7/20/45 Off Okinawa Aircraft Accidents Exploding external fuel tank
Kaiyō CV 7/24/45 Beppu Bay, Japan Raids on Home Islands Mines Magnetic mine
Hōshō CVL 7/24/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Amagi CV 7/24/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Katsuragi CV 7/24/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Kaiyō CVE 7/25/45 Bombs Rockets- carrier aircraft
Katsuragi CV 7/26/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Amagi CV 7/28/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Kaiyō CVE 7/28/45 Hiji harbor, Beppu Bay Raids on Home Islands Bombs Rockets- carrier aircraft
Hōshō CVL 7/28/45 Kure Raids on Home Islands Bombs Bombs- carrier aircraft
Amagi CV 7/29/45 Kure Harbor, Japan Bombs SUNK, Bombs- carrier aircraft
Begum CVE-36/D38/R305 8/4/45 Indian Ocean Groundings Grounded
Kaiyō CVE 8/10/45 Raids on Home Islands Bombs SUNK, Bombs
Wasp CV-18 8/25/45 Storms & Typhoons Typhoon
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

The following table shows the causes of carriers becoming non-operational due to combat-related damage and sinkings.

USN Ships RN Ships IJN Ships Total Ships Percent
Carriers
Damaged or Sunk
Bombs 15 5 32 52 22%
Kamikazes 40 8 0 48 20%
Bombs & Aerial Torpedoes 2 0 5 7 3%
Aerial Torpedoes 3 1 0 4 2%
Aerial & Submarine Torpedoes 1 0 0 1 0%
Aerial Weapon Systems 61 14 37 112 47%
Submarine Torpedoes 5 7 17 29 12%
Mines 0 1 2 3 1%
Warship Gunfire 2 1 0 3 1%
Other Weapon Systems 7 9 19 35 15%
Collisions 15 16 0 31 13%
Storms & Typhoons 20 6 2 28 12%
Aircraft Accidents 14 4 0 18 8%
Mechanical Failures 0 4 1 5 2%
Groundings 0 3 1 4 2%
Friendly Fire 3 0 0 3 1%
Explosions Nearby 2 0 0 2 1%
Refueling Accidents 1 0 0 1 0%
Other Causes 55 33 4 92 38%
All Causes 123 56 60 239 100%
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Carrier non-operational time due to overhauls and refittingsEdit

The following table shows the amount of time during the war that each carrier spent being overhauled or refitted.

Carrier Date Location Action Cause Category Principal Cause For Lost Time Approximate Months Lost
Glorious CV-77 1/17/40 Overhaul/Refit Refit
Furious CV-47 Mar-40 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Furious CV-47 Jun-40 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Eagle CV-94 11/1/41 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Furious CV-47 Nov-41 Overhaul/Refit Refit 8
Hermes CVL-95 Dec-41 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Zuikaku CV 12/30/41 Kure Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 0
Shōkaku CV 2/27/42 Jokosuka Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Eagle CV-94 3/11/42 Overhaul/Refit Repair 1
Ryūjō CVL 4/28/42 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Taiyō CVE 5/21/42 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Indomitable CV-R92 Jun-42 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Dasher CVE BAVG-5/D37 7/2/42 New Jersey During engine trials Overhaul/Refit Fire damage 1
Zuikaku CV 7/30/42 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Jun'yō CV 8/13/42 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock
Victorious CV-R38 Sep-42 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Illustrious CV-R87 Oct-42 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Victorious CV-R38 Jan-43 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Illustrious CV-R87 Feb-43 Overhaul/Refit Refit 4
Victorious CV-R38 Apr-43 Overhaul/Refit Conversion 1
Zuihō CVL 6/7/43 Sasebo Overhaul/Refit Refit 0
Zuikaku CV 6/11/43 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Enterprise CV-6 7/20/43 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 4
Furious CV-47 Aug-43 Overhaul/Refit Refit 5
Chūyō CVE 8/9/43 Yokosuka Overhaul/Refit refit 0
Ryūhō CVL 9/22/43 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Un'yō CVE 9/30/43 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock
Illustrious CV-R87 Oct-43 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Victorious CV-R38 Dec-43 Overhaul/Refit Refit 3
Saratoga CV-3 12/9/43 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 1
Shōkaku CV 12/27/43 Jokosuka Overhaul/Refit Refit 0
Nabob CVE-41/D77 1/1/44 Canada Overhaul/Refit Grounded 1
Formidable CV-R67 Jan-44 Overhaul/Refit Refit 5
Zuikaku CV 1/8/44 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Taiyō CVE 1/11/44 Yokohama Overhaul/Refit Drydock 3
Ryūhō CVL 1/17/44 Innoshima Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Zuihō CVL 2/23/44 Aioi Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Kaiyō CVE 2/24/44 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock
Chitose CVL 3/19/44 Yokosuka Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Zuikaku CV 3/25/44 Singapore Overhaul/Refit Drydock 1.5
Saratoga CV-3 6/2/44 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 3
Cowpens CV-25 7/1/44 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 1
Ryūhō CVL 7/11/44 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Zuikaku CV 7/14/44 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 1
Enterprise CV-6 7/16/44 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 1
Bataan CVL-29 7/30/44 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 3
Illustrious CV-R87 Sep-44 Overhaul/Refit Refit 2
Kaiyō CVE 9/6/44 Sasebo Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0
Jun'yō CV 9/11/44 Kure Overhaul/Refit Refit 0.5
Formidable CV-R67 Oct-44 Overhaul/Refit Refit 4
Bunker Hill CV-17 10/23/44 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 3
Victorious CV-R38 Nov-44 Overhaul/Refit Repair 1
Ranee CVE-46/D03 1/28/45 Canada Overhaul/Refit Damaged helping HMS Nabob refloat 1
Amagi CV 2/10/45 Kure Overhaul/Refit Drydock 0.5
Indomitable CV-R92 Jun-45 Overhaul/Refit Refit 1
Langley CVL-27 6/3/45 Overhaul/Refit Overhaul 2
Campania CVE-D48 6/5/45 Scotland Under repair Overhaul/Refit Damage leaving dock 1
Niarana CVE-D05 8/7/45 Belfast, Ireland Overhaul/Refit Damage leaving dry dock 0
Principal Sources:
  1. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships[15]
  2. Royal and Dominion Navy Warships[18]
  3. Imperial Japanese Navy Page[16]
  4. Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945[17]
  5. World War II Database[19]

Operational Aircraft carrier timeEdit

Carriers operational at the end of each monthEdit

(to be completed)

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Britain and America shipped war-sustaining goods to the Soviet Union via Arctic Ocean, Persian Gulf, and Pacific Ocean routes.
  2. ^ a b Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, Zuikaku
  3. ^ MV ‘’Rapana’’, MV ‘’Amastra’’, MV ‘Ancylus’’, MV ‘’Acavus’’ were retired from service in October 1944.
  4. ^ Escort carriers commissioned after August 1945 and not included in the counts for this article are Rendova (CVE-114, commissioned 22-Oct-1945)),Badoeng Straight (CVE-116, commissioned 14-Nov-1945), Saidor (CVE-117, commissioned 4-Sep-1945), Sicily (CVE-118, commissioned 27-Feb-1946), Point Cruz (CVE-119, commissioned 16-Oct-1945), Mindoro (CVE-120, 4-Dec-1945), and Palau (CVE-122, commissioned 15 Jan-1946). Escort carriers acquired by the Navy but never commissioned and not included in the counts for this article are Rabaul (CVE-121) and Tinian (CVE-123). Also not included in the counts are four escort carriers laid down but cancelled before launced, namely Bastogne (CVE-124), Eniwetok (CVE-125), Lingayen (CVE-126), and Okinawa (CVE-127).
  5. ^ Also referred to as catapult armed ships (CAS). Ariguani, Maplin, Patia (sunk 1941), Pegasus, and Springbank (sunk 1941). Each carried a single aircraft and served as convoy escorts. (Pegasus was originally commissioned in 1914 as a seaplane carrier named HMS Ark Royal, with her name changed to Pegasus when she was converted to the prototype FCS in 1940.
  6. ^ HMS Albatross. Served for convoy escort, anti-submarine patrols, and air-sea rescue in the Atlantic and provided trade protection and air cover for landings in the Indian Ocean.
  7. ^ HMS Pioneer. The HMS Perseus was not completed until after the war ended. HMS Unicorn was originally designated as an AMC but had a flight deck and served as a light aircraft carrier, including covering the amphibious landing at Salerno, Italy.
  8. ^ Includes Saratoga and Ranger that were used exclusively for training by the end of the war.
  9. ^ Includes Hōshō that was used exclusively for training by the end of the war.
  10. ^ Includes Béarn that was refitted for use as a aircraft transport ship by the end of the war.
  11. ^ Includes Langley, the first US aircraft carrier, that was reclassified as a seaplane tender before World War II began. She was used during the early months of the war to ferry aircraft and conduct anti-submarine patrols, just as an escort carrier would do. Because she could still transport, launch and retrieve aircraft,[91] Langley is included here as an escort carrier rather than a seaplane tender.
  12. ^ USS Long Island.
  13. ^ a b c Includes the HMS Archer that was transferred in 17 November 1941. Includes thirty-eight CVEs that were constructed in the US and transferred to Britain.
  14. ^ HMS Audacity, converted in the UK from a German merchant ship.
  15. ^ Activity, Pretoria Castle, Vindex, Nairana, and Campania.
  16. ^ a b After uncontrolled flooding due to hitting mines and repeated bombing attacks, Kaiyō is intentionally grounded on July 25, 1945 in Beppu Bay to prevent her from sinking. The last combat crew members manning the anti-aircraft guns leave the ship August 9. Listing to the point that part of the flight deck is under water, the ship is abandoned on August 10. She was scrapped in place beginning in Sept-1946.
  17. ^ MV Gadila and MV Macoma, which operated under Royal Navy rather than Royal Netherlands Navy control are included in the counts with the British MACs.
  18. ^ Gunfire from cruisers contributed to sinking of IJN carriers at the Battle of Leyte Gulf#Battle off Cape Engaño, part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but these sinkings are included under carrier-launched aircraft.
  19. ^ USS Yorktown was disabled by IJN carrier aircraft but recovery operations were progressing satisfactorily until it was hit by a torpedo from IJN submarine I-168. Accordingly, this is counted as a submarine sinking. The USS Wasp was also sunk by a submarine torpedo.
  20. ^ Land-base aircraft sinkings includes those caused by kamikazes.
  21. ^ HMS Stratagem, HMS Porpoise, and HMS Stonehenge.
  22. ^ Excludes Japanese seaplane carrier Mizuho sunk 5 May 1942 by torpedoes.
  23. ^ The forty listed by Whitehouse[98] plus the USS Langley SPT.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Mawdsley, Evan (2019). The War For The Seas- A Maritime History of World War II. London: Yale University Press. p. 478. ISBN 978-0-300-19019-9.
  2. ^ Overy, p. 61
  3. ^ Symonds, p. 641
  4. ^ Overy, Richard (1995). Why The Allies Won. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 18-19. ISBN 0-393-03925-0.
  5. ^ Overy p. 19, 254, 321
  6. ^ Mawdsley, p.478
  7. ^ Baranov, Sergey (14 Mar 2018). "Lend-Lease: How American supplies aided the USSR in its darkest hour". Russia. Science & Tech. Retrieved 29 Aug 2019.
  8. ^ Hill, Alexander (July 2008). "Did Russia Really Go It Alone- How Lend-Lease Helped The Soviets Defeat The Germans". History.net. Retrieved 28 Aug 2019.
  9. ^ Toland, John (1965). The Last 100 Days. New York, NY & Toronto, Canada: Bantam Books. p. 102. ISBN 0-553-34208-8.
  10. ^ Symonds, WWII at Sea, p. xi-xii
  11. ^ Mawdsley, page=xxxix, 477
  12. ^ Symonds, p. 268
  13. ^ Mawdsley, page=xl
  14. ^ "World War II Database". Peter Chen. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i "DANFS Online", DANFS Online: Aircraft Carriers, retrieved 30 September 2020
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tully, Anthony, "Kido Butai", Imperial Japanese Navy Page, retrieved 30 Sep 2020
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ships Index", Naval War In The Pacific 1941–1945, retrieved 30 Sep 2020
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World War 2 at Sea", Service Histories of 1,000 Royal and Dominion Navy Warships, including British Ships manned by Allied Navies, retrieved 30 September 2020
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j World War II Database, C. Peter Chen, Lava Development, LLC, retrieved 4 Apr 2019
  20. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Saratoga". Haze Gray & Underway. 1976. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Lexington". Haze Gray & Underway. 1969. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Ranger". Haze Gray & Underway. 1976. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Yorktown (CV-5)". Haze Gray & Underway. 1981. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Enterprise". Haze Gray & Underway. 1976. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945, Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Wasp". Haze Gray & Underway. 1976. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945, Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  32. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships- Hornet". Haze Gray & Underway. 1969. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945- Ships Index". Naval War In Pacific 1941-1945, Ships Index. 2002. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
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See alsoEdit

External linksEdit