Japanese seaplane carrier Nisshin
Nisshin was a seaplane carrier of the Japanese Imperial Navy during World War II. The ship was built at Kure Naval Arsenal from 1938 to 1942. She was built with 2 catapults for launching, lifting and storing up to 25 planes. Then in 1942 modifications were made for the ship to also carry Type 'A' midget submarines as well as carry and lay 700 mines.
The vessel was essentially similar to the preceding seaplane carrier Chitose and Mizuho but was fitted with more powerful engines which improved its speed to reach speeds of 24 knots through its 47,000 bhp, two-shafted engines. The Nisshin could run up to 11,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. Due to her heightened speeds, she was used a lot on express runs to get supplies to designated areas quickly.
The Nisshin weighed over 11,317 tons and was 188 m long and 20 m wide with a draft of 7 m. Armaments included an array of 24 guns.
World War II
The ship usually operated as a fast transport. On one such mission the Nisshin was sunk on 22 July 1943 in the Bougainville Strait by American dive bombers. She was on her way to Buin on the Shortland Islands with supplies and reinforcements of over 600 troops of the South Sea No. 4 Guard Unit, 22 tanks, 8 artillery pieces, mortars and fuel for the garrison in their upcoming fight against American troops who had landed nearby on New Georgia Island.
The Nisshin had departed from Kure with the Hagikaze and Arashi on July 10, on the 15th they were joined by the cruiser Mogami and the light cruisers Agano and Oyode and the destroyer Isokaze, steaming on for Rabaul where more troops were collected. On 21 July the ships were spotted from the air, but it seems the Americans had advanced notice of their arrival and for the day a cat and mouse game ensued. Nisshin dashed forward with her higher speeds but in the end received a number of direct hits and sunk.
As the ship sank it is noted the courage of her crew with gunners staying at their posts to lay covering fire for the escaping soldiers, with other crew giving priority to their escapes over their own. In the end only 178 souls were saved, with the largest portion being the soldiers. Captain Ito went down with his ship.
High-speed transport (US Navy)