HIJMS Wakamiya and the Early Development of Japanese Naval Air Power

By Jonathan Parkinson, published August 2013


The British merchant steamship Lethington was captured by the Japanese in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese War, converted into a seaplane tender in 1914 and then transformed into the aircraft carrier Wakamiya in 1920. At Tsingtao in September 1914 she became the first vessel in history to handle naval aircraft in action. This paper examines the early moves by the Imperial Japanese Navy to create their own carrier-borne air arm and explores aspects of the British involvement in this process.

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Weapons

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