Japanese aircraft carrier Akitsu Maru

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Akitsu Maru in 1944
Builder: Harima, Harima[1]
Completed: January 1942
Fate: Sunk 15 November 1944
General characteristics
Class & type: Akitsu Maru class
Displacement: 11,800 tons (standard)[1]
Length: 471 ft 7 in (pp)[1]
Beam: 64 ft (20 m)[1]
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m)  9 in (maximum)[1]
  • 4 boilers, driving 2 geared turbines
  • 7,500 shp[1]
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)[1]
Aircraft carried:

8 (as aircraft carrier)

30 (as aircraft ferry)

Akitsu Maru (あきつ丸?) was a Japanese landing craft depot ship and escort aircraft carrier operated by the Imperial Japanese Army. In some sources Akitsu Maru and her sister ship Nigitsu Maru (にぎつ丸?) are also considered to be the first amphibious assault ships.

Design features

Akitsu Maru was a passenger liner taken over before completion by the Imperial Japanese Army. The ship was fitted with a flight deck above the hull, but had no hangar so the aircraft were stored below the flight deck on the original main deck. Conventional aircraft were able to fly off from her deck but could not land aboard due to the short deck length and lack of landing mechanisms. Although, in July 1944, KX arresting gear was fitted on the flight deck. The Kokusai Ki-76 and Kayaba Ka-1 were flown off Akitsu Maru, as the former was a small, slow aircraft that could land on its short deck and the latter was an autogyro which could even more easily land on a short deck without assistance. She could also carry 27 Daihatsu class landing craft.

Akitsu Maru's planned role was to provide aircover during amphibious and landing operations; in practice the ship and her sister ship the Nigitsu Maru were essentially aircraft ferries.[2]


On Thursday 18 November 1943 Akitsu Maru, while in company with large torpedo boat Tomozuru, was torpedoed off the entrance to Manila Bay by the United States submarine Crevalle (SS-291). The Crevalle incorrectly reported the Akitsu Maru as sunk.[3]
The Akitsu Maru was sunk by the submarine Queenfish (SS-393) on 15 November 1944.[4] There were 2,046 men, mainly of the IJA's 64th Infantry Regiment, who were killed.[5] Her sister ship Nigitsu Maru was sunk by the submarine Hake (SS-256) on 12 January 1944, with the loss of 574 men.[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Gardiner; Chesnau. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. p. 213.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Worth. Fleets of World War II. p. 176.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cressman. The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II. pp. 193&ndash, 194.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Roscoe and Voge. United States Submarine Operations in World War II. p. 416.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.combinedfleet.com/Mayasan_t.htm
  6. http://www.combinedfleet.com/Nigitsu_t.htm


  • Brooks, Peter W. (1988). Cierva Autogiros: The Development of Rotary-Wing Flight. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 0-87474-268-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Cressman, Robert (2000). The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-149-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesnau, Roger (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-913-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Roscoe, Theodore; Voge, R. G. (1949). United States Submarine Operations in World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-731-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Worth, Richard (2002). Fleets of World War II. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81116-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also