25 October 2014, Japan's Kaiyo Class Escort Aircraft Carrier
Coverted from a luxury liner the Kaiyo was primarily used for ferrying aircraft, escorting convoys, and training.
IJN Kaiyo beached at Beppu Bay while being scrapped from 1946-1947:
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph NH-85386
25 October 2014, Japan's Chitose Class Light Aircraft Carriers
Converted from submarine tenders the Chitose class the Chitose and Chiyoda both saw action at the Battle of Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf where they were sunk.
24 October 2014, Japan's Ryuho "Dragon Phoenix" Light Aircraft Carrier
Converted from a submarine tender the Ryuho was the least favorite carrier in the Japanese fleet primarily due to poor design. It was primarily used as a training and aircraft ferry.
Ryuho light aircraft carrier in November 1942 in Tokyo Bay:
Imperial War Museum
19 October 2014, Japan's Hiyo Class Fleet Aircraft Carriers
The Hiyo class aircraft carriers were converted from passenger liners. They were the first Japanese carriers to have the funnel go through the island. The Junyo was one of the few large ships to survive to the end of the war.
Junyo fleet aircraft carrier at Sasebo on September 26, 1945. Two HA-201 class submarines are alongside.:
9 October 2014, Taiyo class escort aircraft carrier
The Taiyo class ships were ones I had never heard of before. They were converted passenger liners and used for ferrying aircraft and training.
7 October 2014, Japan's Shoho Class Light Aircraft Carriers
As a way to get around treaty restrictions ships were specifically designed for one task and could easily be converted into aircraft carriers when needed. The Shoho class were originally submarine tenders but were quickly modified into light aircraft carriers.
The Shoho had the distinction of being Japan's first carrier loss.
Shoho light aircraft carrier under attack at Battle of Coral Sea, May 7, 1942:
US Navy Photo G-17024
2 October 2014, Japan's Shokaku Class Fleet Aircraft Carriers
The best aircraft carriers in the world, until the Essex class came along, the Shokaku and Zuikaku were instrumental in Japan's early victories.
Zuikaku fleet aircraft carrier on September 25, 1941:
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph NH 73067
1 October 2014, Japan's Soryu Class Fleet Aircraft Carriers
The Soryu was to be the basis for future Japanese aircraft carrier designs.
Hiryu fleet aircraft carrier off Tategama:
Imperial War Museum MH 6491
30 September 2014, Japan's Ryujo "heavenly dragon" Light Aircraft Carrier
The Ryujo was not popular in the Japanese Fleet as it couldn't carry many aircraft and it was slow in aircraft operations.
Ryujo light aircraft carrier in September 1938:
US Naval Historical Center NH 73072
29 September 2014, Japan's Akagi "red castle" Fleet Aircraft Carrier
The Akagi was the flagship of the First Air Fleet up until its loss at Midway.
Akagi fleet aircraft carrier in Sukumo Bay in April 27, 1939:
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph NH 73058
28 September 2014, Japan's Kaga Fleet Aircraft Carrier
The Kaga was converted from a battleship as a result of the Washington Treaty.
Kaga fleet aircraft carrier after modernization in 1936:
US Naval History and Heritage Command photograph NH 73060
26 September 2014, Japan's Hosho Class Light Aircraft Carriers
The Hosho was Japan's first carrier.
Hosho light aircraft carrier being setup to repatriate soldiers in October 1945 at Kure:
US Navy Photo 80-351904
7 September 2014, Germany's Graf Zeppelin Aircraft Carrier
Now let's take a look at Germany's feeble attempt at an Aircraft Carrier. It never really had support nor did the Germans have a lot of experience with developing a carrier. Eventually the Graf Zeppelin was abandoned and scuttled at the end of the war.
Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier after launching in December 1938:
US Navy photo
7 September 2014, Great Britain's Ruler Class Escort Aircraft Carriers
And more Escort Aircraft Carriers built by the United States for the Royal Navy, the Ruler class. With all the escort carriers that Allies had it is no wonder that the U-Boats didn't have a chance.
HMS Ameer Escort Aircraft Carrier at Greenock:
Imperial War Museum A 21338
6 September 2014, Great Britain's Attacker Class Escort Aircraft Carriers
The Attacker class was also produced by the United States.
HMS Fencer Escort Aircraft Carrier:
Imperial War Museum FL 13104
6 September 2014, Great Britain's Archer Class Escort Aircraft Carriers and Avenger Class Escort Aircraft Carriers
The United States produced the Archer and Avenger class ships from merchant hulls.
HMS Avenger Escort Aircraft Carrier with Sea Hurricanes:
Imperial War Museum FL 1268
5 September 2014, Great Britain's Majestic Class Light Aircraft Carriers
The Majestic class was very similar to the Colossus class but none saw combat in World War II.
HMS Hercules light aircraft carrier:
Imperial War Museum FL 13890
5 September 2014, Great Britain's Colossus Class Light Aircraft Carriers
The Colossus class light aircraft carriers were built late in the war and only a few were made it to combat.
HMS Colossus light aircraft carrier at Greenock:
Imperial War Museum A 27438
1 September 2014, Great Britain's Illustrious Class, HMS Indomitable, and Implacable Class Fleet Aircraft Carriers
I've lumped the Illustrious class and Implacable class together as they were very similar in many ways. The mainstay of the British carrier fleet, these highly armored carriers were very well liked despite not carrying a lot of aircraft.
HMS Indomitable fleet aircraft carrier astern HMS Victorious during Operation Pedestal in August 1942:
Imperial War Museum A-11295
1 September 2014, Great Britain's HMS Ark Royal Fleet Aircraft Carrier
The HMS Ark Royal was the first carrier to join the Royal Fleet after the HMS Glorious. During that time aircraft carrier theory had improved and the design of the Ark Royal reflected that. The flight and hanger decks were armored to allow for a stiffer ship and added greater protection. It was also finally realized that defense against aircraft could be important and more anti-aircraft guns were added.
HMS Ark Royal fleet aircraft carrier in 1938 or 1939:
National Archives 19-SB-2J-1