Akagi, a 34,364-ton aircraft carrier, was built at Kure, Japan. Begun as a battle cruiser, she was completed as one of Japan's first two large aircraft carriers in March 1927. Massively reconstructed in 1935-1938 to include an unusual port-side island and a full length flight deck, she was active off China during the next few years, and was flagship for the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
She also led other carriers on raids through the East Indies and the Indian Ocean, sinking the British carrier Hermes, driving the Allies out of Java and Sumatra and even getting to Darwin in Northern Australia.
She subsequently took part in carrier raids into the Indian Ocean area and was flagship of the carrier striking force during the Battle of Midway. On 4 June 1942, while operating northward of Midway, Akagi was hit by dive bombers from USS Enterprise and set afire. Damage control efforts were unsuccessful, and she was scuttled by Japanese destroyer torpedoes early the following day.
See also : World War II