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IJN Ryuho Light Aircraft Carrier

The Ryuho was originally laid down and completed as the submarine tender Taigei. She served in this capacity until the prospect of war with the United States motivated the navy to convert her into a light aircraft carrier. Construction began in 1941, but completion was delayed after the Ryuho was damaged while in dry dock in the famous B-25 Doolittle Raid on Japan.

Completed on 28 November 1942, she had a 607 feet long and 75 1/2 feet wide flight deck that was complimented by a two lift serviced aircraft hangar. The deck was later lengthened by 43 feet towards the end of the war as part of a moderate upgrade in 1944. Her original disel motors were replaced with powerful boilers and turbines usually assigned to destroyers.

The Ryuho did not emerge as a top fighting ship after her conversion. She suffered from poor internal subdivision, a slow cruising speed of 26 knots, and a weak hull. AS a result, for much of the war she was used as a training vessel. The desperate situation of the navy by the war's end resulted in her being placed into a combat role and promptly damaged to the point of inoperability in a 17 March 1945 attack at Kure. The Ryuho finished the Pacific War beached and was promptly scrapped soon after.




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