List of sunken aircraft carriers

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Amagi, capsized in Kure harbor, 1946

With the advent of heavier-than-air flight, the aircraft carrier has become a decisive weapon at sea.[1] In 1911 first aircraft to be successfully launched and landed on a ship with the successful flight of a Curtiss Pusher aboard the USS Pennsylvania.[2] The British Royal Navy pioneered the first aircraft carrier as floatplanes and flying boats under performed compared to traditional land based aircraft.[3] The first true aircraft carrier was the HMS Argus[2][4] being launched in late 1917 with a complement of 20 aircraft and flight deck 550 ft (170 m) and 68 ft (21 m) wide.[4] No aircraft carrier has been sunk in wartime since the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carrier Amagi in harbour in July 1945.

France[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft Component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
HMS Biter (D97) underway c1943.jpg HMS Biter (D97) later Dixmude Escort carrier 21-aircraft June 10, 1966 Mediterranean Sea Out of service 1953. Sunk by United States Navy as target.

Germany[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft Component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
Graf-Zeppelin-2.jpg Graf Zeppelin* Fleet Carrier 42-aircraft August 16, 1947 55°31′03″N 18°17′09″E / 55.51750°N 18.28583°E / 55.51750; 18.28583 Never completed during World War II and extensively damaged by retreating Germans. Possibly sunk by USSR as target.

Italy[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft Component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
CV Aquila LaSpezia Jun51 NAN5-63.jpg Aquila Fleet carrier 51 aircraft April 19, 1945 Genova Harbor, Italy Never completed. Sunk by Italian divers to prevent use as a blockship by Germans.
Sparviero.jpg Sparviero* Light carrier 34 aircraft October 5, 1944 Genova Harbor, Italy Never completed. Sunk by Germans to block Genova Harbor

Japan[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft Component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi 01.jpg Akagi Fleet Carrier 66-aircraft June 5, 1942 30°30′N 178°40′W / 30.500°N 178.667°W / 30.500; -178.667 267 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway later sunk by torpedoes from Japanese destroyers the following day.
AkitsuMaru.jpg Akitsu Maru Escort carrier 8 aircraft November 15, 1944 East China Sea 2046 Torpedoed by USS Queenfish
Japanese aircraft carrier Amagi.jpg Amagi Fleet carrier 66 aircraft June 27, 1945 Kure Harbor "Light" Sunk during the attack on Kure Harbour 24–27 July
Japanese aircraft carrier Chitose.jpg Chitose Light Carrier 30 aircraft October 25, 1944 19°20′N 126°20′E / 19.333°N 126.333°E / 19.333; 126.333 903 Sunk by torpedo bombers during the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Japanese aircraft carrier Chiyoda.jpg Chiyoda Light Carrier 30 aircraft October 25, 1944 18°37′N 126°45′E / 18.617°N 126.750°E / 18.617; 126.750 c. 800 Sunk by cruisers USS Santa Fe, USS Mobile, USS Wichita, and USS New Orleans during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Japanese aircraft carrier Chūyō.jpg Chuyo Escort carrier 27 aircraft December 4, 1943 32°37′N 143°39′E / 32.617°N 143.650°E / 32.617; 143.650 1250 Torpedoed by submarine USS Sailfish
Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyo.jpg Hiyō Fleet carrier 53 aircraft June 20, 1944 16°20′N 132°32′E / 16.333°N 132.533°E / 16.333; 132.533 247 Sunk by torpedo bombers during the Battle of the Philippine Sea
Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu 1939.jpg Hiryū Fleet carrier 53 aircraft June 5, 1942 Midway Atoll 385 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway, later scuttled by torpedoes fired from the Japanese destroyer Makigumo
Japanese Navy Aircraft Carrier Kaga.jpg Kaga Fleet carrier 72 aircraft June 5, 1942 Midway Atoll 811 Crippled by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway, later scuttled by torpedoes fired from the Japanese destroyer Hagikaze
Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō.jpg Ryūjō Light Carrier 48 aircraft August 24, 1942 Solomon Islands 120 Sunk by torpedo bombers and dive bombers during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons
Shinano photo.jpg Shinano Fleet carrier 120-aircraft November 29, 1944 32°0′N 137°0′E / 32.000°N 137.000°E / 32.000; 137.000 1435 Torpedoed by submarine USS Archer-Fish
Aircraft carrier Shinyo.JPG Shinyo Escort carrier 27 aircraft November 17, 1944 East China Sea 1130 Torpedoed by submarine USS Spadefish (SS-411)
Shoho trials.jpg Shōhō Light Carrier 30-aircraft May 6, 1942 16°07′S 151°54′E / 16.117°S 151.900°E / -16.117; 151.900 834 Sunk by dive bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Japanese aircraft carrier shokaku 1941.jpg Shōkaku Fleet carrier 72 aircraft June 19, 1944 11°40′N 137°40′E / 11.667°N 137.667°E / 11.667; 137.667 1272 Torpedoed by submarine USS Cavalla during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu 1938.jpg Sōryū Fleet Carrier 57-aircraft June 4, 1942 30°38′N 179°13′W / 30.633°N 179.217°W / 30.633; -179.217 711 Sunk by dive bombers during the Battle of Midway.
Japanese aircraft carrier Taiho 02.jpg Taihō Fleet Carrier 65-aircraft June 19, 1944 12°05′N 138°12′E / 12.083°N 138.200°E / 12.083; 138.200 1650 Torpedoed by submarine USS Albacore during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
Japanese aircraft carrierUnryu.jpg Unryū Light Carrier 57-aircraft December 19, 1944 29°59′N 124°03′E / 29.983°N 124.050°E / 29.983; 124.050 1238 Torpedoed by submarine USS Redfish
IJN CV Unyo in 1943 cropped.jpg Unyō` Escort Carrier 27-aircraft September 17, 1944 19°8′N 116°36′E / 19.133°N 116.600°E / 19.133; 116.600 239 Torpedoed by submarine USS Barb
Japanese Aircraft Carrier Zuiho.jpg Zuihō Light carrier 30 aircraft October 25, 1944 19°20′N 125°15′E / 19.333°N 125.250°E / 19.333; 125.250 215 Sunk by aircraft from US Navy Task Force 38 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Japanese.aircraft.carrier.zuikaku.jpg Zuikaku Fleet Carrier 72-aircraft October 25, 1944 19°20′N 125°51′E / 19.333°N 125.850°E / 19.333; 125.850 843 Sunk by aircraft from US Navy Task Force 38 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf

United Kingdom[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
HMS Ark Royal sinking.jpg Ark Royal Fleet carrier 60 aircraft November 14, 1941 36°3′N 4°45′W / 36.050°N 4.750°W / 36.050; -4.750 Torpedoed by German submarine U-81 on November 13, 1941. Sank while under tow to Gibraltar.
HMS Audacity (D10).jpg Audacity Escort carrier 8 aircraft December 21, 1941 43°45′N 19°54′W / 43.750°N 19.900°W / 43.750; -19.900 Torpedoed by German submarine U-751
HMS Avenger 2 edit.jpg Avenger Escort carrier 15 aircraft November 15, 1942 36°15′N 07°45′W / 36.250°N 7.750°W / 36.250; -7.750 516 Torpedoed by German submarine U-151
HMS Courageous (50).jpg Courageous Fleet carrier 48 aircraft September 17, 1939 50°10′N 14°45′W / 50.167°N 14.750°W / 50.167; -14.750 519 Torpedoed by German submarine U-29
HMS Dasher.jpg Dasher Escort carrier 15 aircraft March 27, 1943 Firth of Clyde
55°36′N 5°00′W / 55.600°N 5.000°W / 55.600; -5.000
379 Sunk from internal explosion of unknown cause.
HMS Eagle underway 1930s.jpeg Eagle Fleet carrier 30 aircraft August 11, 1942 38°3′N 3°1′E / 38.050°N 3.017°E / 38.050; 3.017 131 Torpedoed by German submarine U-73
HMS Glorious.jpg Glorious Fleet carrier 48 aircraft June 8, 1940 Norwegian Sea
68°38′N 03°50′E / 68.633°N 3.833°E / 68.633; 3.833
1207 Sunk by gunfire from German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.
HMS Hermes (95) off Yantai China c1931.jpeg Hermes Fleet carrier 20 aircraft April 9, 1942 Indian Ocean east of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka 307 Sunk by Imperial Japanese aircraft.

United States[edit]

Image Ship Type Aircraft Component Sinking
Date Location Casualties Conditions
USS America CV-66.jpg America* Fleet Carrier 79-aircraft May 14, 2005 Cape Hatteras Scuttled after being used as target
USS Bismarck Sea CVE-95.jpg Bismarck Sea Escort Carrier 27-aircraft February 21, 1945 Off Iwo Jima 318 Sunk by two Japanese kamikaze aircraft during the Battle of Iwo Jima
USS Block Island (CVE-21) leaving Norfolk, October 15, 1943.jpg Block Island Escort Carrier 24-aircraft May 29, 1944 Off the Canary Islands 6 Torpedoed by German submarine U-549
CVE 73 Gambier Bay.jpg Gambier Bay Escort Carrier 28-aircraft October 25, 1944 Off Samar Island in the Philippines 130 Sunk by Japanese surface ships of center force during the Battle off Samar
USS Hornet (CV-8).jpg Hornet Fleet Carrier 90-aircraft October 27, 1942 Off the Santa Cruz Islands 140 Crippled by torpedo bombers and dive bombers from Japanese Fast Carriers, sunk by torpedoes from the Japanese destroyers Makigumo and Akigumo after failed attempt to scuttle.
USS Independence CVL-22.jpg Independence* Light Carrier 30-aircraft September 29, 1951 Farallon Islands Used as target during Operation Crossroads and later scuttled after decontamination tests
USS Langley (CV-1).jpg Langley Fleet Carrier 34-aircraft February 27, 1942 Tjilatjap harbor (Java) 16 Crippled by Japanese dive bombers later scuttled by torpedoes and gunfire from the escorting ships
USS Lexington.jpg Lexington Fleet Carrier 91-aircraft May 8, 1942 Coral Sea 216 Sunk by Japanese torpedo bombers during the Battle of the Coral Sea
USS Liscome Bay CVE56.jpg Liscome Bay Escort Carrier 28-aircraft November 24, 1943 off Butaritari Island 644 Torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-175
Cve79a.jpg Ommaney Bay Escort Carrier 28-aircraft January 4, 1945 Sulu Sea 95 Crippled by a Japanese kamikaze, later Scuttled by the escorting destroyer USS Burns
USS Oriskany (CVA-34) near Midway Atoll 1967.jpeg Oriskany* Fleet Carrier 91-aircraft May 17, 2006 off Pensacola, Florida Sunk to become an artificial reef
USS Princeton (CVL-23).jpg Princeton Light Carrier 45-aircraft October 24, 1944 Leyte Gulf 108 Sunk by land based Japanese bomber during the Battle of Leyte Gulf
USS St. Lo Cve63.jpg Saint Lo Escort Carrier 28-aircraft October 25, 1944 Leyte Gulf 143 Sunk by Japanese kamikaze aircraft during the Battle off Samar
Uss saratoga cv3.jpg Saratoga* Fleet Carrier 91-aircraft July 25, 1946 Bikini Atoll Sunk as target during Operation Crossroads
USS Wasp (CV-7).jpg Wasp Fleet Carrier 76-aircraft September 15, 1942 Southeast of San Cristobal Island 193 Sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19
USS Yorktown (CV-5) Jul1937.jpg Yorktown Fleet Carrier 90-aircraft June 7, 1942 Southeast of San Cristobal Island 81 Crippled by Japanese dive bombers and torpedo bombers during the Battle of Midway later sunk by Japanese submarine I-168 while under tow.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Bishop & Chant, p. 1
  2. ^ a b Bishop & Chant, p. 8
  3. ^ Bishop & Chant, p. 9
  4. ^ a b Polmar, p. 30

References[edit]

  • Bishop, Chris; Chant, Chris (2004). Aircraft Carriers The world's greatest naval vessels and their aircraft. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0760320055. 
  • Fontenoy, Paul E. (2006). Aircraft Carriers: an illustrated history of their impact. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 185109573X. 
  • Polmar, Norman (2006). Aircraft Carriers: a history of carrier aviation and its influence on world events. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books Inc. ISBN 1574886630. 

External links[edit]