Researchers have discovered a piece of WWII history, the wreck of Imperial Japanese Navy carrier Kaga, a famous carrier that was sunk as part of Japan’s defeat in the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. She was the sister ship to the IJN Carrier Akagi.
Researchers spent weeks surveying the bottom of the ocean searching the Kaga. The wreck was found by the research ship Petrel, whose mission and funding was provided by late Microsoft founder Paul Allen to locate the great ships of WWII.
Originally built as a Tosa-class battleship from 1920-1928, the ship was converted to an aircraft carrier to conform to the Washington Naval Treaty’s limit on battleships. The ship participated in the attacks on Pearl Harbor as well as Darwin, Australia. The Carrier Kaga has become well-represented in Japanese pop culture like Kantai Collection and Azur Lane as well as other WWII anime works.
I had the interesting experience of getting a family member who fought on the Japanese side during WWII, my wife’s uncle Kumakichi. He was on the Battleship Ise, which was converted to a “hermaphrodite carrier” after Japan lost four carriers at Midway, with a half-sized carrier deck on the back of the ship, and would have been sent off to die with the Yamato if they’d had enough fuel for his ship. I loved going to his house on New Year’s and listening to his war stories. He had a scar across his cheek from an American bullet. As a parent to half-Japanese kids, I made sure they listened about the war from Kumakichi while he was alive, since I wanted to expose them to the history that’s occurred between Japan and the U.S. You can see (color!) footage of the Ise here.