IJN Hosho: Tabular Record of Movement

© 1998/2006 Anthony P. Tully
@ 2007 Revised
Revised Enhanced Edition:
© 2014 Anthony P. Tully and Gilbert Casse

16 December 1920:
Tsurumi-Ku, Yokohama. Laid down by Asano Steel Shipyard as a 7,590-tons (Standard Displacement) aircraft carrier for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

13 November 1921:
Launched and named HOSHO (Flying Phoenix). Later that same day, towed to the Yokosuka Naval Yard for completion. Captain Kaizu Ryutaro (30) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

10 January 1922:
Completed. HOSHO’s flight deck is 168.25-meters (552.0’) long and 22.62-meters (74.3’) wide. The forward end slops down at an angle of -5° to help aircraft accelerate during take-off. A small island is mounted well forward on the starboard side and contains the ship's bridge and air operations control center. The island is fitted with a small tripod mast intended to mount the ship's fire-control system. Forward of the island is a collapsible crane for loading aircraft into the forward hanger. The carrier is fitted with two hangers, each served by an aircraft elevator. Her three funnels are mounted on the starboard side and swivelled to lay horizontal during flight operations.

Her armament consists of four 14-cm/50 3rd Year Type guns, two on each side for surface action and a pair of 8-cm/40 3rd Year Type AA guns on disappearing mounts positioned on the flight deck, just forward of the rear elevator.

March~December 1922:
Commissioning is delayed due to repeated design changes and late deliveries of equipment.

27 December 1922:
Commissioned in the IJN. HOSHO is the first purpose-built carrier commissioned in the world, 13 months before Royal Navy’s HERMES. However much of her aviation equipment is still lacking. That same day, Captain Kaizu is relieved by Captain Toshima Jiro as Commanding Officer.

22 February 1923:
Landing trials are being started, first with British pilots under contract, later with Japanese pilots formed by the British Aviation Mission.

E March-April 1923:
HOSHO’s air group consists of nine Mitsubishi Type 10 1MF fighters and three to six Mitsubishi Type 13 B1M3 torpedo bombers.

1 April 1923:
Captain Toshima is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Fukuyo Heizaburo (28) (former CO of protected cruiser AKASHI) as Commanding Officer.

1 December 1923:
Captain Fukuyo is relieved by Captain Kaizu Ryutaro (30) as Commanding Officer.

6 June 1924:
Due to numerous teething problems and requested changes from aircrews, HOSHO enters Yokosuka Naval Arsenal drydock for a refit.

20 August 1924:
Undocked. Her appearance is modified with the island, tripod mast and aircraft crane removed since they partially obscured the flight deck and obscured pilot visibility. The forward flight deck is made horizontal, both 8-cm/40 3rd Year Type AA guns are moved forward, close to the position of the former island and out of the way of landing operations. The carrier’s flight operations are controlled from a platform extending from the side of the flight deck. That same day, HOSHO is attached to 1st Fleet.

15 November 1924:
Detached from the 1st Fleet.

10 March 1925:
Enters Yokosuka Naval Shipyard drydock for a refit.

15 April 1925:
Captain Kaizu is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kobayashi Seizaburo (31) (Former CO of cruiser TONE (1904) as Commanding Officer.

2 July 1925:
Undocked. Fitted with a net used as a crash barrier aft of the forward elevator. This barrier, hydraulically operated and being able to be erected in three seconds, is intended to prevent landing aircraft from colliding with aircraft preparing to take off and stop them from falling into the open elevator well.

1925 ~ 1928:
Engaged in numerous trials HOSHO proves valuable experience and insight into carrier air operations for the Navy. Used for testing aircraft and equipment, particularly various types of arresting gear and optical landing aids. The ship is also actively used to develop carrier operational methods and tactics.

1 November 1926:
Captain Kobayashi is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kawamura Giichiro (32) (Former CO of cruiser YAHAGI (1907) as Commanding Officer.

1 November 1927:
Captain Kawamura is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kitagawa Kiyoshi (33) (Former CO of oiler NOTORO) as Commanding Officer.

E 1928:
HOSHO’s nine Mitsubishi Type 10 1MF fighters are replaced by Nakajima Type 3 A1N1.

1 April 1928:
Attached to the 1st Carrier Division also consisting of AKAGI.

10 December 1928:
Captain Kitagawa is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Hara Goro (35) as Commanding Officer.

30 November 1929:
Captain Hara is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Wada Hideho (34) as Commanding Officer.

1 December 1930:
Captain Wada is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kondo Eijiro (36) (Former CO of oiler NOTORO) as Commanding Officer.

E 1931:
HOSHO’s air group consists of nine Nakajima Type 3 A1N and Mitsubishi Type 89 B2M torpedo bombers.

18 September 1931: The "Mukden Incident":
Liutiaohu, about 25 miles from Mukden (now Shenyang), the capital of Manchuria. Japanese soldiers detonate an explosive on the Japanese-owned Southern Manchurian Railway. Chinese soldiers retaliate with gunfire. The Japanese Kwantung Army reinforces their troops and settles the conflict. The Japanese continue N to Mukden, attack the city and win control the next day. The “Mukden Incident” is the beginning of the Pacific War. HOSHO is mobilized for operations.

14 November 1931:
Captain Kondo is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Horie Rokuro (36) (Former CO of light cruiser ISUZU) as Commanding Officer.

29 January 1932:
HOSHO, attached to the 3rd Fleet, 1st Carrier Division also consisting of KAGA, departs for Shanghai.

1 February 1932:
The IJA is called in to assist the badly outnumbered Shanghai SNLF. By the end of the month, IJA troops number 50,000 men under General Shirakawa. That same day, HOSHO arrives at the mouth of the Yangtse River. Her air group consists of nine Nakajima Type 3 A1N fighters, three Mitsubishi Type 13 B1M torpedo bombers and three Mitsubishi Type 10 C1M (also known as 2MR) Reconnaissance Aircraft.

5 February 1932:
HOSHO’s aircraft participate in the IJN’s first aerial combat when three fighters, escorting two attack aircraft are engaged by nine Chinese fighters. One Chinese fighter is damaged.

7 February 1932:
Some of HOSHO and KAGA’s aircraft are detached to Kunda Airfield. There, they fly ground attack missions in support of the IJA.

23~26 February 1932:
HOSHO and KAGA’s bombers attack Chinese airfields at Hangzhou and Suzhou, destroying a number of Chinese aircraft on the ground.

26 February 1932:
Six fighters from HOSHO, escorting nine attack aircraft from KAGA on one of the bombing raids, shoot down two of five Chinese fighters that engaged them.

1 March 1932:
General Shirakawa's troops encircle the Chinese 19th Route Army and force a Cease-Fire. That same day, the Japanese establish the puppet government of Manchukuo (former Manchuria). They make Henry Pu Yi , the last Emperor of China, the Emperor of Manchukuo.

17 March 1932:
The First Carrier Division departs China waters.

20 March 1932:
The First Carrier Division rejoins the Combined Fleet in Japan waters.

1 December 1932:
Captain Horie is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Mitsunami Teizo (37) (Former CO of oiler NOTORO) as Commanding Officer.

20 October 1933:
Captain Mitsunami is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Takeda Rokukichi (36) (Former CO of oiler KAMOI) as Commanding Officer.

15 November 1934:
Captain Takeda is relieved by Captain (Admiral posthumously) Yamagata Seigo (39) (Former DC of battleship YAMASHIRO) as Commanding Officer.

12 June 1935:
Captain Yamagata is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Terada Kokichi (36) (Former CO of seaplane tender [ex-oiler] KAMOI) as Commanding Officer.

September 1935: The Combined Fleet's Great Maneuvers:
HOSHO is attached to the Fourth Fleet in the “Red Fleet”. Exercises are conducted in the NW Pacific between Japan and the Kuriles. HOSHO serves with light carrier RYUJO.

25 September 1935: The "Fourth Fleet Incident”:
Hokkaido. The fleet departs Hakodate and steams into the NW Pacific where it encounters a major typhoon. Light carriers HOSHO and RYUJO, several cruisers and destroyers suffer damage to their flight decks and superstructure, the latter also suffers the flooding of its hangar. 54 men throughout the fleet are killed.

15 November 1935:
Captain Terada is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sakamaki Munetaka (41) (Former CO of seaplane tender [ex-oiler] NOTORO) as Commanding Officer.

22 November 1935:
Enters Yokosuka Naval Shipyard drydock for extensive repairs and refit.

31 March 1936:
Undocked. HOSHO’s forward flight deck’s supports are reinforced and increased in number; the ship’s AA guns, aircraft crane and upper aviation fuel tanks are removed; the funnels are fixed in the horizontal position with their mouths angled slightly downwards; the front sides of the forward hanger and bridge are reinforced and the ship’s hull reinforced in the vicinity of her rear hanger to increase her longitudinal strength. Six Type 93 twin 13.2mm AA MGs are also fitted.

16 November 1936:
Captain Sakamaki is relieved by Captain (later Vice Admiral) Kusaka Ryonosuke (41) (Former XO of armored cruiser IWATE) as Commanding Officer.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (Sino-Japanese) Incident:
Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers fire blank cartridges. Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a suburb of Beijing to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

11 July 1937:
The IJA and IJN agree to operational jurisdictions in China. The IJA takes responsibility for northern China and the IJN assumes assumes responsibility for central and southern China. The IJN's air power in-theater at this time consists of only about 80 planes on carriers KAGA, RYUJO and HOSHO on station in the East China Sea. HOSHO’s air group consists of nine Nakajima Type 95 A4N1 fighters and six Yokosuka Type 92 B3Y torpedo bombers.

16 July 1937:
As part of the Third Fleet, HOSHO begins flying ground support missions in the Shanghai area.

25 July 1937:
Three Nakajima Type 3 A4N fighters from HOSHO engage two Chinese Martin B-10 bombers shooting down one of them.

Early August 1937:
Departs the Shanghai area for refueling and resupplying. Arrives later at Sasebo.

11 August 1937:
Late evening. Car Div 1 departs Sasebo for China.

13 August 1937:
At 0800, HOSHO and RYUJO drop anchor off Shanghai.

15 August 1937:
CarDiv’s 1 HOSHO and RYUJO are joined by CarDiv 2’s KAGA in the East China Sea as part of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Hasegawa Kiyoshi’s (31) 3rd Fleet, and begins supporting military operations along the central China coast around Shanghai and further inland. The IJN's air power in-theater at this time consists of only about 80 carrier-based planes.

16 August 1937:
HOSHO and RYUJO launch joint strike again Chinese airfields near Shanghai. HOSHO contributes B3Y1 attack aircraft loaded with 60kg bombs and target Hia-King Airfield, 50-miles NW of Shanghai. However, due to bad weather conditions, they are unable to locate their target and bomb another airfield but fail to score any hit.

18 August 1937:
HOSHO’s B3Y1 and RYUJO’s D1A1 carrier-bombers successfully bomb and destroy Ten-Ji College located in Shanghai where Chinese troops are stationed.

19 August 1937:
HOSHO’s B3Y1 bomb Hangtcheou Airfield and destroy an ammunition dump.

1 September 1937:
Departs the Shanghai area for refueling with light carrier RYUJO.

2 September 1937:
CarDiv 1 arrives at Sasebo.

3-4 September 1937:
Resupplied with spare aircraft and ammunition and refueled.

5 September 1937:
CarDiv 1 departs Sasebo.

21 September 1937:
Sails with light carrier RYUJO to the South China coast and begins operations against Chinese forces near Canton. On that day, HOSHO contributes six fighters to escort bombers attacking airfields at Tienho and Paiyun. They claim six enemy aircraft shot down, but the range proves to be too long. Five of the fighters run out of fuel and have to ditch in the sea, although all aircrews are rescued.

22~30 September 1937:
HOSHO and RYUJO’s aircraft fly almost daily attack missions in Canton’s vicinity.

3 October 1937:
Both carriers departs Canton waters for Shanghai area.

5 October 1937:
Arrives at Shanghai area. HOSHO’s aircraft are temporarily transferred to Kunda Airfield to support ground operations.

16 October 1937:
Captain Kusaka is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Jojima Takatsugu (40) (Former CO of oiler TSURUMI) as Commanding Officer.

17 October 1937:
HOSHO transfers all of her aircraft to RYUJO and departs Shanghai’s area for Japan.

1 December 1937:
Placed in reserve.

E 1938:
Nakajima Type 95 A4N fighters and Yokosuka Type 92 B3Y bombers fly from the ship.

E 1939:
Enters Yokosuka Naval Shipyard drydock for a refit.

E August 1939:
Undocked. Her aircraft elevators are enlarged: the forward elevator to 12.8 by 8.5 meters (42 by 28 ft) and the rear elevator to 13.7 by 7 meters (45 by 23 ft).

12 August 1939:
HOSHO is deemed useful as a training carrier and, in critical battles, as a platform for Nakajima Type 95 A4N1 fighters and Yokosuka Type 96 B4Y1 “Jeans” torpedo bombers, for as long those planes will remain serviceable.

15 November 1939:
Captain Jojima is relieved by Captain (Vice Admiral posthumously) Harada Kaku (41) (Former CO of submarine tender TAIGEI) as Commanding Officer.

20 August 1940:
Captain Harada is relieved by Captain (Vice Admiral posthumously) Sugimoto Ushie (44) [Also acting as CO of light carrier RYUJO] as Commanding Officer.

11 November 1940:
Captain Sugimoto is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Kikuchi Tomozo (45) (Former Chief Air of carrier AKAGI) as Commanding Officer.

23 December 1940:
An IJN investigation concludes that HOSHO cannot operate the latest aircraft types like the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the Aichi D3A "Val", or the Nakajima B5N "Kate" in combat. Also, the small size of the carrier's airgroup limits the ship's potential value to the fleet in any future conflicts.

12 August 1941
Becomes flag of CarDiv 3, First Fleet.

5 September 1941:
Captain Tomozo is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Umetani Kaorou (46) as Commanding Officer. (Former XO of carrier AKAGI). Flag of CarDiv 3 is transferred away.

17 September 1941:
Departs Hashirajima; and arrives that same day at Kure.

20 September 1941:
Kure Navy Yard. HOSHO and supply ship MAMIYA are anchored near a large fitting-out pontoon servicing battleship YAMATO in her later stage of construction. Heavy cruisers KAKO and KINUGASA are anchored nearby.

28 September 1941:
Receives flag of CarDiv 3, First Fleet; transferred off the next day. HOSHO’s air group consists of eleven Mitsubishi Type 96 A5M4 “Claude” fighters and eight Yokosuka Type 96 B4Y1 “Jeans” torpedo bombers.

7 December 1941:
Tactically assigned to the Main Body Air Force. At midnight: HOSHO and ZUIHO with Main Body of eight battleships (including NAGATO flying the flag of the CinC, Combined Fleet, Admiral (Fleet Admiral posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (32), seven cruisers, and twenty-eight DDs departs the Inland Sea "for the purpose of providing protection for Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi (36) unit returning home." (Note 1).

8 December 1941:
0830. With Main Body, passes through Bungo Strait and enters the Pacific for purposes of standing by to meet Kido Butai at sea upon its return and offer any support if needed. With ZUIHO operates independently astern, screened by destroyers MIKAZUKI and YUKAZE.

10 December 1941:
Shortly after sunset, an aircraft sights a U.S. submarine stalking the force. HOSHO takes the chance and launches aircraft even though they won't be able to return till after dark. Captain Umetani takes a risk and orders HOSHO's flight deck lights turned on to recover his planes. He is successful and receives no attack. However, the decision to launch still proves a misjudgement since to recover her planes HOSHO has to reverse course and steam in the opposite direction far from the fleet. Because of radio silence and fall of darkness, HOSHO and three DDs completely lose contact with Main Body and become detached! With no word from her and enemy subs about, Main Body spends the night in some apprehension for her safety.

11 December 1941:
Morning: Patrol planes re-locate the missing HOSHO and her screen a full 500 miles away from the Main Body and already on the eastern side of the Ogasawara Gunto (Bonin Islands). They converge with Main Body which is proceeding for home.

12 December 1941:
While approaching Okinoshima Lighthouse, HOSHO detects an enemy submarine. Destroyer SANAE launches a counter-attack, and the carrier makes port at Kure without damage with minelayers NATSUSHIMA and NASAMI providing additional escort.

December 1941-May 1942:
Remains in Japanese home waters and is engaged with light carrier ZUIHO in training operations with destroyer MIKAZUKI serving as guardship.

1 April 1942:
Attached directly to 1st Air Fleet.

18 April 1942:
In response to the "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo, leaves Iwakuni Sea and joins task force in pursuit of the enemy force.

22 April 1942:
Returns to Iwakuni.

20 May 1942:
Assigned to Main Body Air Force, attached to 1st Fleet.

29 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
0600. Sorties with Combined Fleet from Hashirajima of part of the great "Main Body" of Yamamoto's forces arrayed for the Battle of Midway. The HOSHO takes up position between two battleship columns, in the rear of the formation, off the port quarter of the column formed by YAMATO, NAGATO, and MUTSU. Escort is provided by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (41) DesRon 3 light cruiser SENDAI with DesDiv 11's FUBUKI, SHIRAYUKI, MURAKUMO and HATSUYUKI and DesDiv 19's URANAMI, SHIKANAMI, AYANAMI, ISONAMI and YUKAZE. Seaplane tenders CHIYODA and NISSHIN and Captain (later Rear Admiral) Nishioka Shigesayu's (40) Supply Group No. 1's oilers NARUTO and TOEI MARU are also part of the Main Body. The Main Body remains 300 miles behind Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) (former CO of KIRISHIMA) First Carrier Striking Force and does not engage American forces.

3 June 1942:
Morning. Having found that CL SENDAI and destroyer ISONAMI have gone missing after a night of fog and poor visibility, HOSHO launches Yokosuka B4Y "Jeans" aircraft to search for them. However, as hours pass, this search finds nothing. Concern increases. 1315. Search plane finds SENDAI and ISONAMI forty-three miles ahead of Main Body. They turn and rejoin the force three hours later.

4 June 1942:
HOSHO with destroyer YUKAZE as close guard separates and with DesRon 2 and DesDiv 1 sets course due east to act as support for the Southern Force.

5 June 1942
Sunrise, cc 0200. Since Combined Fleet is expecting to join up with Nagumo's Mobile Fleet and there is still no sight or word of him at dawn, Admiral Yamamoto orders HOSHO to launch a few of her meager complement of eight Type-96 Yokosuka B4Y "Jeans" aircraft to search for Nagumo.
0420: One of HOSHO's "Jeans" locates the smoldering and abandoned wreck of carrier HIRYU in position FU RO RI 43. Pilot reports seeing survivors on board, and takes photographs. As result, one hour later, destroyer TANIKAZE is ordered to search for the wreck, but finds nothing and narrowly escapes destruction by bombing in the afternoon.
1300. Having also been located and given direction by HOSHO's planes, Nagumo's Mobile Fleet rendezvous with Yamamoto and Kondo. All forces then proceed west.

5-6 June 1942:
Though at times it seems as if there may be renewed action with the U.S. Task Force, and carrier ZUIHO even receives orders to prepare to attack the enemy, there is no indication HOSHO made any launches.

14 June 1942:
The Main Body returns to Hashirajima while HOSHO anchors off Iwakuni.

20 June 1942:
Reattached to 1st Air Fleet. All Type-96 planes are disembarked and offloaded.

14 July 1942:
Detached from 1st Fleet and attached to 3rd Fleet (unit attached to Mobile Force). Used for aircraft landing exercises thereafter. with destroyer YUKAZE as guardship.

1 August 1942:
Captain Umetani is relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yamaguchi Bunjiro (45) (Former DC of battleship YAMASHIRO) as Commanding Officer.

14 August 1942:
Tactically assigned to Mobile Force Stand-By Force. In Inland Sea.

17 August 1942:
Arrived at Hashirjima. Plan to participate in plane-ferry run to Marshall Islands is cancelled, and ordered to proceed to Kure for new duty.

15 September 1942:
Entered drydock for outfitting for training carrier duties to train new aircrews in carrier flight operations.

23 September 1942:
Left drydock.

20 October 1942:
Arrived at Kitsuki, Kyushu. Assigned to Mobile Force Training Force. (Attached to 3rd Fleet administratively).

15 November 1942:
Captain Yamaguchi relieved by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Hattori Katsuji (44) (Former CO of seaplane tender KAMIKAWA MARU) as Commanding Officer.

15 January 1943:
Assigned to Mobile Force Training Force 3rd Force (50th Air Flotilla, 50, 3rd Fleet). Western Inland Sea. Continues through the year training in the Island Sea with destroyer YUKAZE as guarship.

5 July 1943:
Captain Hattori relieved by Captain (Vice Admiral posthumously) Kaizuka Takeo (46) (Former CO of gunboat ATAKA) as Commanding Officer.

18 December 1943:
Captain Kaizuka relieved by Captain Matsuura Yoshi (49) as Commanding Officer.

1 January 1944:
Assigned to Training Force, 5th Force (administratively to 51th Air Flotilla, 51, 12th Air Fleet). Continues to operate in Inland Sea area, still with destroyer YUKAZE, shuttling back and forth and spending half her time at Kure, and half in the Western Inland Sea.

2 February 1944:
Reattached to Combined Fleet. Assigned to train carrier pilots of the Third Fleet.

20 February to November 1944:
Operating zone as above, still with destroyer YUKAZE. Assigned to the Attached Force of Combined Fleet.

1 March 1944:
Captain Matsuura relieved by Captain Koda Kiyoshi (49) as Commanding Officer.

9 June 1944:
Arrived at Beppu Bay.

12 June 1944:
Returned to Kure.

15 June 1944:
Cruises to Atadajima Sea area.

17 June 1944:
Returned to Kure. Entered drydock for repairs and maintenance.

Late June 1944:
Following the disastrous carrier losses at the Battle of the Marianas, four 140 mm guns are removed and the HOSHO's flight deck is lengthened as long as possible in an effort to improve her utility by accommodating newer plane needs. It is likely this was done at this time before she left drydock on 24 June 1944:

24 June 1944:

30 June 1944:
Departs Kure for duties in West Inland Sea and Oita area.

6 July 1944:
Captain Kiyoshi relieved by Captain Takarada Yujiro (50) as Commanding Officer.

20 October 1944:
Arrived at Beppu.

22 October 1944:
Arrived at Kure.

31 October 1944:
Departs Kure for training in West Inland Sea.

10 November 1944:
Arrives at Beppu. Henceforth operating from there for remainder of year.

3 January 1945:
At Kure. Assigned with escort carrier KAIYO, target-ship SETTSU and destroyer YUKAZE to target and aircraft training duties.

20 January 1945:
Engages in torpedo attack training with Air Group 453 and submarine HA-106.

1 February 1945:
Arrives at Tokuyama.

2 February 1945:

Morning. Refueled. Ordered later that same day to act as target vessel in Inland Sea.

26 February 1945:
Exercises with Air Group 762 cancelled due to U.S. Task Force approach to Tokyo.

5 March 1945:
Captain Murota is relieved by Captain Osuga Shuichi Class of (51) as Commanding Officer.

9 March 1945:
Engages in torpedo practice, including five live torpedoes.

11 March 1945:
Departs Oita with destroyer YUKAZE and target-ship SETTSU for target ship duty for Air Group 252.

19 March 1945:
Air raid by TF 58 on Inland Sea and Kure. Early this morning, while apparently operating near YAMATO in Hiroshima Bay area south of Inazuma, the HOSHO is attacked by seven aircraft at 0532. She receives three hits on after flight deck area, but the bombs or detonations are all small, not more than 50 kg, and damage light. However, six crew are killed and four small holes punched the flight deck. The damage is easily repaired, as the largest hole is no bigger than a meter round. (See Note 2).

21 March 1945:
Enters Kure Navy Yard for repairs.

23 March 1945:
HOSHO and RYUHO assigned to CinC 2nd Fleet. HOSHO assigned to act as radio-guard for damaged RYUHO.

27 March 1945:
Repairs completed. Departs for Inland Sea training operations.

20 April 1945:
Designated Third-class warship, but to remain capable of operating aircraft.

18 May 1945:
Captain Osuga is relieved by Captain Furutani Keiji (43) as Commanding Officer.

28 May 1945:
Sighted camouflaged and moored alongside east shore of Nishinomi-shima, in a cove south of the RYUHO's position.

1 June 1945:
Designated as Fourth Grade Reserve vessel. Attached to Kure harbor defense unit. The crew is reduced by 50 percent.

5 July 1945:
Still moored and extensively camouflaged alongside east shore of Nishinomi-shima, in a cove south of the RYUHO's position. {See Note 3}.

14 July 1945:
Ordered to prepare to transit Shimonoseki Strait for Moji as soon as mine-sweeping preparations in the Strait are complete. (This is postponed several times, apparently due to repeated B-29 mining and difficulty of sweeping).

23 July 1945:
Preparing to depart Kure to transit to Moji. Destroyer YUKAZE, which normally escorts her, is to remain in Inland Sea.

24 July 1945:
Air raid on Kure: Though scheduled to depart,HOSHO had not yet left her moorings at Nishinomi shima south of the RYUHO. Reportedly she takes one hit between 0930-1030, but damage is slight.

26 July 1945:
Departs Kure for Moji.

20 September 1945:
Captain Furutani is relieved by Captain Kaneoka Kunizo as Commanding Officer.

5 October 1945:
Removed from IJN list, but remains in Allied service. HOSHO departs Kure with cruiser KASHIMA to Wotje, Eniwetok, and Jaluit on mission to repatriate Japanese troops overseas. At this time HOSHO's crew consists of 25 officers, 10 special duty officers, 6 warrant officers, and 369 petty officers and men.

10 October 1945: First Repatriation Trip:
Departs Kure with the Repatriation Service's light cruiser KASHIMA on a mission to repatriate former Japanese troops in the Pacific.

16 October 1945:
Arrives at Wotje, takes on 700 passengers, then departs for Eniwetok.

22 October 1945:
Arrives at Jaluit, Marshalls and takes Japanese POWs aboard for repatriation to the homeland.

23 October 1945:
Departs Jaluit still with KASHIMA.

3 November 1945:
Arrives at Uraga with 700 passengers from Wotje and 311 from Jaluit, takes on supplies.

5 December 1945:
Enters drydock at Hidachi Innoshima shipyard for repairs and removal of forward portion of flight deck that covers the forecastle to clear visibility from the bridge.

5 January 1946:
Departs Kure for Wewak via Saeki.

E June 1946:
Decommissioned from the IJN.

16 August 1946:
Withdrawn from Repatriation List.

31 August 1946:
Transferred to Home Ministry. Subsequently removed from service and broken up till 1 May 1947 at Hitachi Zosen, Sakurajima.

Note 1: Though a search of various sources revealed conflicting clues, and Zuiho's TROM was ambiguous, that Zuiho did accompany Hosho and Main Body on this sortie has now been confirmed by translation (in Sept 2007) of the relevant passages (omitted in the english) of the original Japanese version of Ugaki's Diary "Senso-roku". As it is virtually a "real-time" work in most cases, it is my opinion it is trustworthy on this matter.

Note 2: While in the Kure vicinity there is some ambiguity about the status/location of Hosho on 19 March 1945. Although attacked that morning with other ships, the photos of the attack on Kure do not reveal her, and it is known that planes of TF 58 reported a CVL in Hiroshima Bay during the same flights that discovered Yamato there. The best evidence is she was not in Kure harbor at the time and possibly involved in pilot training. However, if not already present, shortly after this time, Hosho took up camouflaged mooring off Nishinomi island.

Note 3: Often reported present and damaged at the attack on Kure on 24 July 1945, unlike 19 March, there is no record of damage to Hosho today. However intel recon had located her off the shore of Nishinomi-shima since 28 May and she had not moved by 5/6 July. Since on 14 July she was scheduled to sortie for Moji , it is possible she was no longer camouflaged as one photo suggests. Often "one hit" is reported, but it may have even referred to a rocket, not a bomb, as no repairs seem required soon.

Special thanks are due to Gilbert Casse in preparing this TROM and to Jim Sawruk and Bill Somerville for correspondence on fixing Hosho's movements and damages in the 1945 Kure period. Thanks also to Bob Hackett, Sander Kingsepp, Matthew Jones, and Alexander Forster for entries derived from their works.

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