Kamikaze Damage to US and British Carriers

by Tony DiGiulian
Updated 11 January 2014


US Carriers

tech-042_Saratoga_pic.jpg
USS Saratoga CV-3
Crews fighting fires from Kamikaze hits of 21 February 1945

USS Saratoga CV-3
21 February 1945:  Attacked by six Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighters, with two bouncing off the water into the starboard side, one hitting the flight deck forward, the fourth hitting a large crane and the last two being shot down by AA fire.  In addition, three bombs from these planes exploded inside the hull.  Saratoga's flight deck forward was wrecked, her starboard side was holed in two places with large fires started in her hangar deck and she lost 123 of her crew dead or missing.  Another attack at 1900 scored an additional bomb hit, believed to have been a 500 kg bomb, but the kamikaze itself did little damage and slid over the side.  By 2015, the fires were under control and the carrier was able to recover aircraft.  She was ordered to Eniwetok and then to the west coast for repairs, arriving at Bremerton on 16 March.  On 22 May, Saratoga departed Puget Sound fully repaired and she resumed training pilots at Pearl Harbor on 3 June.

tech-042_Enterprise_pic.jpg
USS Enterprise CV-6
Hit by kamikaze on 14 May 1945.  Note the portion of the elevator at the top of the explosion plume.

USS Enterprise CV-6
1) 11 April 1945 - Hit by a Yokosuka D4Y3 Suisei "Judy" right aft, with its 500 kg bomb exploding at the turn of the bilge near the after machinery spaces, causing severe shock damage.  An hour later, another D4Y3 kamikaze near-missed near her starboard bow and its bomb went off close aboard, causing some additional underwater damage.  Five men were wounded from these attacks and one man was blown overboard, but later rescued.  Enterprise continued with her flight duties, launching strikes on Okinawa and islands in the Amami group for three more days before being detached.  She was repaired at Ulithi for sixteen days and was off Okinawa once more on 6 May.
2) 14 May 1945:  The "Big E" suffered her last wound of World War II when a bomb-laden Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighter flown by Chief Pilot Tomi Zai destroyed her forward elevator, killing 14 and wounding 34 men.  The bomb penetrated to the third deck where it detonated in a rag storeroom.  A large fire was started in the elevator pit and among the deck park aircraft.  The carrier sailed for repairs at Puget Sound Navy Yard, arriving 7 June 1945.  Repairs were slowed by the end of the war but completed on 13 September 1945 at which time she was "restored to peak condition" according to her DANFS entry.  She never operated aircraft again but took part in "Operation Magic Carpet" before she was decommissioned on 17 February 1947.

Essex CV-9
1) 25 November 1944:  A kamikaze hit the port edge of her flight deck, striking planes ready and fueled for takeoff, causing extensive damage with 15 killed and 44 wounded.  Thirty minutes later she was capable of launching and landing planes.  The damage was quickly repaired and she was back with the 3d Fleet off Luzon supporting the occupation of Mindoro during 14-16 December 1944.
2) 11 April 1945:  Near-missed by a kamikaze which caused very slight damage.

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USS Intrepid CV-11
Repairing flight deck damage following 16 April 1945 attack

Intrepid CV-11
1) 30 October 1944:  A burning kamikaze crashed into one of the carrier's port gun tubs killing 10 men and wounding 6.  Resumed flight operations within hours.
2) 25 November 1944:  Hit by 2 kamikazes within five minutes, killing 11.  Intrepid suffered no propulsion casualties nor left her station in the task group.  In less than 2 hours her crew had extinguished the last blaze.  Intrepid headed for San Francisco the next day, arriving 20 December for repairs.  Rejoined the fleet in mid-February 1945.
3) 18 March 1945:  A twin engine Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" exploded about 50 feet off Intrepid's forward boat crane.  Flaming gasoline and plane parts started fires on the hangar deck but these were quickly extinguished.
4) 16 April 1945:  Kamikaze struck Intrepid's flight deck.  The engine and part of her fuselage went right on through to the hanger deck, killing 8 men and wounding 21.  In less than an hour the flaming gasoline had been extinguished and within 3 hours after the crash planes were again landing on the carrier.  Repaired San Francisco 19 May to 29 June 1945.  On 6 August her planes attacked Wake Island as a "live fire" exercise, her last combat operation of the war.

USS Franklin CV-13
1) 9 October 1944:  Kamikaze hit on Franklin's deck abaft the island structure, slid across the deck and into the water on her starboard beam.  This strike resulted in no casualties and minor damage to the ship with no interruption to flight operations.
2) 30 October 1944:  Attacked by three kamikazes.  The first struck off her starboard side, the second hit the flight deck and broke through onto the gallery deck, killing 56 and wounding 60.  33 aircraft were destroyed.  The third plane nearly hit the Franklin before diving into the flight deck of Belleau Wood (see below).  Repaired at Bremerton 28 November 1944 to 2 February 1945.
3) 19 March 1945 (This damage is not kamikaze related but is included here for reference):  Struck by two semi-armor piercing (SAP) bombs.  One struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hangar deck, igniting fires on the second and third decks as well as knocking out the combat information center and airplot.  The second hit aft, tearing through two decks and starting fires which triggered ammunition, bombs and rockets.  Franklin, within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland, lay dead in the water, took a 13 degree starboard list, lost all radio communications and had massive fires.  The casualties totaled 724 killed and 265 wounded.  Franklin was taken in tow by the cruiser USS Pittsburgh until she managed to work up enough steam to make 14 knots.  Franklin proceeded to Pearl Harbor on her own power where temporary repairs permitted her to sail to Brooklyn, NY, where she arrived on 28 April 1945.  During repairs, everything from the hangar floor up, except the island and forward flight deck, was removed and replaced.  As she was determined to be surplus to requirements following the end of the war, she did not resume flight operations and was decommissioned to reserve on 17 February 1947.  Contrary to many reports, at this time she was actually in excellent condition and was held in reserve for a potential "ultimate" Essex class conversion.  The forward portion of her flight deck was removed in 1959 and used to repair the storm-damaged USS Valley Forge (CVS-45).  Ultimately, Franklin was found again to be surplus to requirements and she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 1964 and scrapped a few years later.

USS Ticonderoga CV-14
21 January 1945:  Kamikaze crashed through her flight deck abreast of the No. 2 5-inch mount with a bomb exploding just above her hangar deck.  Several planes stowed nearby were caught in the explosion and set on fire.  Damage and water from firefighting created a 10-degree list to starboard, requiring counterflooding to correct.  Captain Kiefer instituted a unique damage control operation by instructing the damage control party to continue flooding compartments on Ticonderoga's port side until she took on a 10-degree list to port.  This swing from a starboard to a port list neatly dumped the burning planes overboard.  Shortly after this performance, a second kamikaze struck the carrier's starboard side near the island.  This bomb set more planes on fire, riddled her flight deck, and injured or killed another 100 sailors, including Capt. Kiefer.  A total of 143 men were killed and 202 injured from the two attacks.  The crew brought her fires completely under control not long after 1400, about two hours after the first Kamikaze hit.  Sent to Puget Sound Navy Yard where she arrived on 15 February.  Repairs were completed on 20 April 1945 and she departed the next day to rejoin the fleet, striking at the Marshall Islands in early May.

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 USS Randolph CV-15
Note damaged aircraft

USS Randolph CV-15
11 March 1945:  While anchored at Ulithi, a "Frances" twin-engine bomber carrying a 750 kg bomb hit Randolph on the starboard side aft just below the flight deck, killing 25 men and wounding 106.  Repaired at Ulithi, Randolph joined the Okinawa Task Force on 7 April 1945.

USS Lexington CV-16
5 November 1944:  Off Luzon a Kamikaze struck near her island, destroying most of the island structure and starting multiple fires.  Within 20 minutes major blazes were under control and she was able to continue normal flight actions.  Repaired at Ulithi and back in action 1 December 1944.

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USS Bunker Hill CV-17
The forward elevator and hanger deck.

USS Bunker Hill CV-17
11 May 1945:  Severely damaged by two suicide planes which started large fires and explosions.  Casualties were 346 men killed, 43 missing, and 264 wounded.  Fully repaired at Bremerton from June to September 1945.  With the end of the war, she was converted for use in "Operation Magic Carpet" and did not operate aircraft again.  Decommissioned on 9 January 1947 and then held in reserve for a potential "ultimate" Essex class conversion.  Found surplus to requirements and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in November 1966.

USS Hancock CV-19
1) 25 November 1944:  Antiaircraft fire exploded a Kamikaze plane some 300 feet above the ship but a section of its fuselage landed amidships and a part of the wing hit the flight deck and burst into flames.  The fires were quickly extinguished and no serious damage was inflicted, but 15 men were killed.
2) 7 April 1945:  Kamikaze spun across the flight deck and crashed into a group of planes while its bomb hit the port catapult.  62 men were killed and 71 wounded.  The fires were out within a half hour and she resumed flight operations in less than an hour.  Hancock was detached from her task group 9 April and was sent to Pearl Harbor for repairs.  She was back in action on 13 June 1945.

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USS Belleau Woods CVL-24
In the background is USS Franklin CV-13 which was hit by two kamikazes at this time
USN photograph 80-G-342020

USS Belleau Wood CVL-24
30 October 1944:  Shot down a Nakajima B6N "Jill" Kamikaze which unfortunately fell on her flight deck aft, causing fires and setting off ammunition.  92 men were killed or missing and another 54 were injured.  12 aircraft were destroyed.  After temporary repairs at Ulithi during 2-11 November, Belleau Wood was sent to Hunter's Point for permanent repairs and an overhaul, arriving 29 November.  She departed San Francisco Bay back to the fleet on 20 January 1945, joining TF 58 at Ulithi on 7 February 1945.

USS Cabot CVL-28
25 November 1945:  Kamikaze crashed the flight deck on the port side, destroying or disabling several AA guns and a gun director.  A second Kamikaze was shot down but struck close aboard, showering the port side with shrapnel and burning debris.  Cabot lost 62 men killed and wounded but she continued to maintain her station in formation and operate aircraft as temporary repairs were made.  Sent to Ulithi for permanent repairs, arriving 28 November and returning to action on 11 December 1944.

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USS Sangamon CVE-26

USS Sangamon CVE-26
4 May 1945:  Struck by a Kamikaze and its bomb load at 1933.  The bomb and parts of the plane penetrated the flight deck and exploded below.  Initial damage was extensive with fires on the flight deck, the hangar deck and the fuel deck.  Communications with the bridge were lost within 15 minutes.  The ship was soon out of control and swinging through the wind which caused the flames and smoke to change direction and hinder fire-fighting efforts, spreading the fires.  By 2015, after steering had established steering control and brought the ship back to a course which helped the crew effectively fight the many fires.  By 2230, all fires were under control.  Casualties were 11 dead, 25 missing, and 21 seriously wounded.  Repaired at Norfolk starting 12 June but in mid-August, when the Japanese surrendered, all work was halted and she decommissioned on 24 October 1945.

USS Suwanee CVE-27
1)  25 October 1944:  A Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighter plane struck about 40 feet forward of the after elevator, opening a 10-foot hole in her flight deck.  A bomb carried by this Kamikaze exploded between the flight and hangar decks, tearing a 25-foot gash in the latter and causing a number of casualties.  Within two hours, her flight deck was sufficiently repaired to enable the resumption of air operations.
2) 26 October 1944:  A Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighter plane struck the flight deck and then smashed into a torpedo bomber which had just been recovered.  This plane plus nine others were caught in the resulting explosion, starting a fire which burned for several hours, but was finally brought under control.  150 men were killed and 100 more injured.  The escort carrier was sent to Kossol Roads in the Palaus on 28 October, then to Manus for temporary repairs between 1 and 6 November 1944.  Sent on to Puget Sound Navy Yard where she arrived on 26 November.  Repairs were completed 31 January 1945.

USS Santee CVE-29
25 October 1944:  At 0740, a Japanese plane with an estimated 63 kilogram bomb struck and penetrated through the flight deck, stopping on the hangar deck.  The fire was under control in eleven minutes but sixteen men were killed.  At 0756, a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-56 struck the ship, causing the flooding of several compartments and a six degree list.  Interestingly, the USN thought that this damage was from a jettisoned depth charge and did not recognize it as being from a torpedo, even when the hull was examined in drydock, until after the war.  Emergency repairs were completed by 0935 and she resumed air operations.  Temporary repairs were undertaken at Seeadler Harbor and then Pearl Harbor, after which she departed for San Diego for permanent repairs which took about one month to complete.  Departed San Diego on 31 January 1945.

USS Manila Bay CVE-61
5 January 1945:  Just before 1750, Manila Bay was attacked on the portside by two Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighters.  The first plane hit the flight deck to starboard abaft the bridge, causing fires on the flight and hangar decks, destroying two torpedo planes, radar transmitting spaces and wiping out all communications.  The second plane, aiming for the bridge, missed the island close aboard to starboard and splashed off the fantail.  Firefighting parties promptly brought the blazes under control.  Casualties were 14 men killed and 52 wounded.  Within 24 hours, she resumed limited air operations.  Most repairs to her damaged electrical and communication circuits were completed by 9 January, when the amphibious invasion in Lingayen Gulf got underway.  By 10 January she resumed full duty in support of the Lingayen Gulf operations until 17 January when she was detached.  Arrived at San Diego 15 February and battle damage repairs were completed late in April 1945.

USS Natoma Bay CVE-62
7 June 1945:  At 0635 attacked by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighter plane, which fired incendiary ammunition at the bridge and then crashed onto the flight deck.  The engine, propeller and a bomb tore a hole in the flight deck, 12 by 20 feet, while the explosion of the bomb damaged the deck of the foc'sle and the anchor windlass beyond repair and ignited a nearby fighter.  One ship's officer was killed, three crewmen and one officer of VC-9 were wounded.  The fires were immediately extinguished by the damage control party.  The next strike was canceled, but the following one, against Miayako Shima, took place as scheduled at 1030.  On 20 June, the escort carrier headed for Guam for temporary repairs, then continued on to the United States.  When she arrived at San Diego on 19 August the war was over.  During September and October she underwent repairs, alterations and general overhaul after which she was used as a "Magic Carpet" transport.  Decommissioned 20 May 1946.

USS St. Lo (ex -USS Midway) CVE-63
25 October 1944:  During Battle of Leyte Gulf, one plane crashed through St. Lo's flight deck at 1051.  The damage from the plane itself was not serious, as it slid up the deck and over the bows, but its bomb exploded in the hanger and set fire to the aircraft and gasoline fuel system.  This fire eventually exploded her torpedo and bomb magazine.  St. Lo was badly damaged and sank a half hour later.  This has nothing to do with Kamikazes, but I would just like to mention here that during this battle St. Lo scored a direct hit amidships on a Japanese destroyer with her single 5" gun, possibly making her the only carrier ever to damage an enemy ship by surface gunfire.

USS Wake Island CVE-65
3 April 1945:  At 1744, a Japanese single-engine plane missed the port forward corner of the flight deck, exploding in the water abreast the forecastle.  Thirty seconds later, a second single-engine plane narrowly missed the bridge structure and struck the water about 10 feet from the hull.  This plane exploded after impact, ripping a hole in the ship's side below the waterline, about 45 feet long and about 18 feet from top to bottom and as well as causing many shrapnel holes.  Parts of the plane were thrown onto the forecastle and into the gun sponsons.  Various compartments were flooded, and the shell plating was cracked between the first and second decks.  Other shell plating was buckled and the main condensers were flooded with salt water, which contaminated about 30,000 gallons of fresh water and 70,000 gallons of fuel oil.  At 1824, salting made it necessary to secure the forward engine, and the ship proceeded on one propeller.  Despite this damage, there were no casualties and by 2140 corrective measures had been taken and the ship was again steaming on both engines.  The next day she went to Kerama Retto anchorage for temporary repairs.  The escort carrier then set course for Guam on 6 April 1945 and arrived at Apra Harbor four days later for repairs in drydock which lasted through 20 May.  The next day, she headed for Okinawa where she resumed her mission of supporting the troops on the island.

USS White Plains CVE-66
25 October 1944:  Damaged by surface gunfire during the Leyte Gulf battle and then attacked by two kamikazes.  Her antiaircraft gunners scored a hit on one of these which immediately changed course and succeeded in crashing into the USS St. Lo CVE-63, which fatally damaged that carrier.  The second plane was shot down a few yards astern.  The explosion from this Kamikaze scattered debris all over her flight deck and sides but caused only 11 relatively minor casualties and very little additional damage.  However, as the gunfire damage was significant, she was sent back to the United States for repairs, arriving at San Diego on 27 November 1944 where she was repaired.  Deployed back to the war zone on 19 January 1945.

USS Kalinin Bay CVE-68
25 October 1944:  Damaged by surface gunfire during the Leyte Gulf battle.  Later attacked by four Kamikazes from astern and the starboard quarter.  Anti-aircraft fire shot down two attackers close aboard, but the third plane crashed into the port side of the flight deck, damaging it badly.  The fourth plane hit and destroyed the aft port stack.  The Kalinin Bay suffered extensive structural damage, with 5 dead and 55 wounded.  Sent to Manus for temporary repairs, arriving 1 November.  Getting under way for the United States 7 November, the escort carrier reached San Diego on 27 November, where she was repaired and modified until 18 January 1945.

USS Kitkun Bay CVE-71
1) 25 October 1944:  During the Leyte Gulf battle a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" fighter plane struck the port catwalk killing 1 man and wounding 16.  Repairs at Pearl Harbor completed 17 December 1944.
2)  8 January 1945:  At 1857 a Ki-43 Hayabusa "Oscar" Kamikaze struck the portside amidships at the waterline.  Almost simultaneously, a "friendly-fire" 5-inch shell struck her starboard side.  The resultant fires and flooding were brought under control but 16 were dead and 37 wounded.  The following day with a list and only one engine operating she withdrew and proceeded by stages to Leyte, Manus and Pearl Harbor, finally arriving at San Pedro on 28 February 1945.  Repairs took two months.

USS Kadashan Bay CVE-76
8 January 1945:  A Ki-43 Hayabusa "Oscar" struck the ship amidships directly below the bridge.  Fires and flooding were checked after one and a half hours and there was no loss of life.  Too badly damaged to continue full operations, she flew off her aircraft to other carriers.  Temporary repairs took place at Leyte on 12 January.  Arrived at San Francisco where she received a complete overhaul between 13 February and 8 April 1945.

USS Marcus Island CVE-77
15 December 1944:  Near-missed by two Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" Kamikazes on the morning of the invasion of Mindoro, one of which clipped the flight deck causing minor damage and several casualties.

USS Savo Island CVE-78
5 January 1945:  Minor damage caused by a near-miss Kamikaze which the ship blinded by shining her searchlight into the pilot's face.  The plane's wingtip clipped a radar antenna.  No interruption of flight operations.

USS Ommaney Bay CVE-79
4 January 1945:  Hit on the after end of the island by a Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu "Nick" fighter carrying two bombs.  Damage inflicted was severe and she was abandoned and then sunk by the escorting USS Burns DD-588.  95 men were killed, including two on an escorting DE when a torpedo warhead cooked off.

USS Lunga Point CVE-94
21 February 1945:  Attacked by four Nakajima B6N "Jill" bombers making torpedo runs.  All three torpedoes launched by the attacking planes were avoided, but one plane decided to turn into an impromptu kamikaze after dropping its torpedo.  This one merely clipped the island with its wing tip and skidded across the flight deck, leaving minor fires in its wake before it went into the sea.  Fires were quickly put out and there was no interruption to flight operations.

USS Bismarck Sea CVE-95
Hit by two kamikazes off Iwo Jima 21 February 1945.  Badly damaged by the attack, she sank about 90 minutes later with the loss of 218 men.

USS Salamaua CVE-96
13 January 1945:  Just before 0900 struck on the flight deck by a Kamikaze, possibly a Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate "Frank," carrying two 250 kg. bombs.  15 Killed and over eighty wounded.  The flight deck, the hangar deck and interior spaces were set on fire.  One of the bombs failed to explode and created an exit hole on the starboard side at the waterline.  Power, communications, and steering failed.  One of her engine rooms flooded and the starboard engine was stopped.  Temporary repairs were made on-board and she left with a Leyte-bound convoy that night. She was sent back to the States and repaired at San Francisco between 26 February and 21 April 1945.


British Carriers

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HMS Formidable
Kamikaze hit of 4 May 1945
IWM photograph A 29312

HMS Formidable
1) 4 May 1945:  Struck by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" carrying one 250 kg bomb which created a 2 foot square hole and a 24 x 20 foot depression in the armored flight deck.  Some structural damage was inflicted with splinters entering many of the compartments in the island and three fragments penetrating the hanger deck with one going through the center boiler room and into the double bottom, severing steam pipes and piercing A6 oil fuel tank.  Speed was reduced to 18 knots for a time and all radars except the Type 277 were out of action for five hours.  This attack killed eight men, wounded 51 and destroyed eleven aircraft.*  The hole in the flight deck was temporarily patched with wood and concrete with thin steel plates tack welded on top.  Was able to operate aircraft by the next morning.
2) 9 May 1945:  Struck by a kamikaze into the after deck park which killed one and wounded eight.  Deck depressed 4.5 inches with a supporting beam distorted by 3 inches.  Six Corsairs and one Avenger were destroyed on deck, and a blown out rivet allowed burning fuel to penetrate into the hanger, which together with the sprinkler system damaged a further eight Corsairs and three Avengers.  Able to launch and land aircraft 50 minutes later but only had four Avengers and eleven Corsairs left serviceable at this time.*

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HMS Illustrious
Kamikaze hit of 6 April 1945 showing damage to the Type 272 radome
IWM photograph A 29571

HMS Illustrious
6 April 1945:  A Yokosuka D4Y3 Suisei "Judy" kamikaze struck a glancing blow to the island with the only apparent damage being a hole in the Type 272 radome forward of the bridge.  However, after the plane crashed into the sea, its bomb exploded underwater close alongside.  This inflicted severe structural damage, with the outer hull opened up and some of the frames cracked.  The damage did not interrupt flight operations, but speed was limited to 19 knots.  Sent home and arrived at Rosyth on 27 June 1945 for what was intended to be a four month repair and refit, but the end of the war slowed work and changed plans.  She recommissioned in June 1946 as a trials and training carrier, replacing HMS Pretoria Castle.

HMS Indefatigable
1 April 1945:  Struck by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" carrying one 250 kg bomb on the starboard side of island at the junction with the flight deck.  Deck indented over 15 square feet by up to 3 inches but not penetrated.  Much superficial damage inflicted by splinters and an intense fire started, but the fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished.  Eight killed and sixteen wounded.  Able to land Seafires about forty minutes after attack.*  Repaired between 2 April and 1 May.

HMS Indomitable
4 May 1945:  A Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" Kamikaze belly-landed next to the island but broke up and went over the side.  Destroyed the Type 282 radar aerials of the port midships AA directors but inflicted no serious damage to the ship.  A bomb attached to the kamikaze exploded after the plane went into the water but this also inflicted no damage.

tech-042_Victorious_pic.jpg

A montage of the Kamikaze strikes on HMS Victorious
Left:  A Zeke 52 as taken from the bridge a second before it hit the carrier
Right:  Kamikaze going into the sea 80 feet from Victorious on 1 April 1945
Bottom:  Fire started by second Kamikaze hit on 9 May 1945

HMS Victorious
1 April 1945:  Attacked by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" which struck its starboard wing against the port side of the flight deck, causing the plane to cartwheel into the sea where its 250 kg bomb exploded underwater about 80 feet from the ship's side.  Tons of water, fuel and fragments of both plane and pilot were thrown on the deck, but the ship escaped damage.
9 May 1945:  Struck by two kamikazes.  The first was a Mitsubishi A6M Zero "Zeke" making a shallow dive which hit the flight deck at Frame 30 near the forward lift (elevator), slid across the deck and into "B2" 4.5-in mount.  This hit created a 25 sq. ft. hole and depressed the deck over an area of 144 sq. ft.  In addition, bulkheads in the area were buckled, both "B" group 4.5" mountings were put out of action with one gun barrel destroyed, the ship's accelerator [a type of aircraft catapult] was broken and small fires were started.**  The second kamikaze hit a glancing blow against the port side aft, destroying four Corsairs and a 40 mm gun director.  This hit also put an arrestor unit out of action.  The two attacks killed four, seriously wounded four more and less-seriously wounded an additional twenty.  Victorious was able to fly off planes one hour later and could land planes twelve hours later.  Fully back in action after two days.  Repairs took one month.
 

Notes:

  1. According to D.K. Brown, RCNC, Kamikaze hits marked * might not have pierced even an unarmored flight deck while for the one marked ** the armored flight deck was invaluable.  Hits not marked did not strike the armored flight deck.
  2. A Pacific Fleet report of May 1945 stated "Without armoured decks, TF 57 would have been out of action (with 4 carriers) for at least 2 months."

 


Kamikaze Statistics

Japanese Naval Planes Used from Oct. 1944 to the end of the Okinawa Campaign1
(including Escorts)

    Sortied        2,314
    Returned     1,086
    Expended    1,228

Okinawa Campaign Losses2

During just the Okinawa campaign, the Japanese Army and Navy forces combined lost 1,900 aircraft in suicide attacks, 2,255 in combat operations, 2,655 in operational accidents and more than 1,000 destroyed on the ground.  In contrast, the US fleet lost 665 aircraft including those washed overboard during a hurricane on 5 June 1945.  The British Pacific Fleet lost 160 planes - 26 shot down or otherwise lost in combat, 72 lost in operating accidents of which 61 were Seafire deck-landing accidents, 32 destroyed by Kamikaze hits and 30 lost in the accidental hanger fire on Formidable.  In addition, there were 43 "duds" which needed repairs that could not be performed on-board.  As the four British Pacific Fleet carriers started out with a total of 218 operational aircraft, these losses put a severe strain on the replenishment system, but 140 replacement planes were provided over the course of the Okinawa campaign.

USN Ships Sunk and Damaged by Kamikazes3
 
Sunk   Damaged
Ship Type Qty Ship Type Qty
CVE   3 CV   16
DD 13 CVL     3
DE   1 CVE   17
DMS   2 BB   15
SC   1 CA     5
AM   1 CL   10
APD   3 DD   87
LST   5 DE   24
ATO   1 SS     1
Auxiliary    1   DM   13
PC/PT   3 DMS   15
Total 
34 AGP/AGS     3
AH     1
AK/AKA/AKN     6
AM   10
AO     2
APA/APD/APH   30
ARL     2
ATF     1
AV/AVP     4
CM     1
LST   11
PC/PT     3
YDG/YMS     7
Total 
288

Notes:

  1. Not included in the the totals in this section are Japanese Army planes used as Kamikazes and Escorts.  In the US Strategic Bombing Survey report, there is an estimate of 2,550 Kamikaze sorties being flown from all services.  This number apparently does not include Escorts.  Some 475 of these Kamikazes, or 18.6 percent, were effective in securing hits or damaging near misses.  It is not clear if these totals include strikes on British vessels, but I suspect that they do not.
  2. Aircraft losses in this section from "Bombers versus Battleships" p. 324 and from "The British Pacific Fleet" p. 196-197.
  3. These totals include ships which were struck on multiple but separate occasions.  For instance, USS Ticonderoga and USS Franklin were both hit twice and USS Intrepid suffered a total of five kamikaze hits.  Eliminating this multiple counting, the total number of major USN warships struck were 9 aircraft carriers, 2 light carriers, 16 escort carriers and 15 battleships.  The great majority of these ships were hit during the Okinawa campaign, with 24 ships being sunk and 198 damaged.
  4. At the time of surrender, the Japanese had more than 9,000 planes in the home islands available for Kamikaze attack, and more than 5,000 had already been specially fitted for suicide attack to resist the planned invasion.




Bibliography

For US Carriers

Brown, David
    - "Kamikaze"

Friedman, Norman
    - "US Aircraft Carriers:  An Illustrated Design History"

Inoguchi, Rikihei, Nakajima, Tadashi and Pineau, Roger
    - "The Divine Wind"

Silverstone, Paul
    - "US Warships of World War II"

Stafford, Edward P.
    - "The Big E:  The Story of the USS Enterprise"

US Navy Website at http://www.navy.mil

US Navy Historical Center at http://www.history.navy.mil/

"Dictionary of American Fighting Ships" carrier histories.  On-line ones at Battleships, Carriers and all other Warships at  http://www.warships1.com and at HyperWar at http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/  (special thanks to Pat Clancy who maintains this website)

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific War) at http://www.anesi.com/ussbs01.htm

All photographs of US carriers are US Navy pictures.
 

For British Carriers

Apps, Michael Lt. Cmdr. RN
    - "Send her Victorious"

Brown, David
    - "Kamikaze"

Brown, D.K., RCNC
    - "Attack and Defence" article in Warship Issue No. 28
    - "Nelson to Vanguard:  Warships Design and Development 1923-1945"

Friedman, Norman
    - "British Carrier Aviation:  The Evolution of the Ships and their Aircraft"

Hamer, David
    - "Bombers versus Battleships:  The Struggle between Ships and Aircraft for the Control of the Surface of the Sea"

Hobbs, David
    - "The British Pacific Fleet:  The Royal Navy's Most Powerful Strike Force"

Roskill, Stephen W., Capt. RN (ret),
    - "White Ensign:  The British Navy at War 1939-1945"

Tarrant, V.E.
    - "King George V Class Battleships"

Photograph of HMS Formidable is Imperial War Museum picture A29312.
Photographs of Zeke 52 and Victorious being near missed are by Mr. G. Showell
Photograph of Victorious burning is from the Fleet Air Arm Museum
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Page History

06 September 2007 - Benchmark
10 June 2013 - Added details for British carriers
11 January 2014 - Added photograph of Illustrious


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