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Sister ship: SHOHO
Notes: These ships were converted from the submarine supply ships TAKASAKI (ZUIHO) and TSURUGISAKI (SHOHO). TSURUGISAKI had been in service for four years as a supply ship, while TAKASAKI was taken in for conversion while fitting out. The original diesel motors were replaced with destroyer boilers and turbines. The single hangar was served by two lifts.
On 30 September 1941, ZUIHO was assigned to be the flagship of Carrier Division 3; two weeks later, she came under the command of the 11th Air Fleet. And on 5 November 1941, she was assigned to the 1st Air Fleet, 3rd Carrier Division. ZUIHO took part in many missions, and on 26 October 1942 at the Battle of Santa Cruz, ZUIHO was hit by two bombs on her aft flight deck. Damage was light, but she was unable to continue with air operations, and was sent with the damaged carrier SHOKAKU and two destroyers to Truk for temporary repairs. Following those, ZUIHO returned to Sasebo for full repairs, arriving there on 7 November 1942. Repairs took just over two months, and she returned to duty on 21 December 1942. Upon return to service, ZUIHO took part in many more operations, including the Battle of the Marianas on 19 June 1944. Her anti-aircraft armament was upgraded at least twice; in 1944, ZUIHO carried 68-25mm AA guns and eight 28-barrelled rocket launchers. In October, 1944, ZUIHO was assigned to Admiral Ozawa's decoy Mobile Fleet, and was sent to the Philippines. There in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, off Cape Engano on 25 October 1944, ZUIHO was repeatedly attacked by American aircraft from Task Group 38. Over a period of several hours, ZUIHO received numerous bomb and torpedo hits, and finally sunk nearly eight hours after the first attack. 760 of her crew were rescued.
(Note: Many thanks to Combined Fleet for much of the information on ZUIHO!)