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Re: Hinomaru markings on IJN aircraft carrier flight decks
We certainly lack photographic evidence on the other 4 or 5 carriers that might have carried the Hinomaru identification marking on their flight deck. A few things to consider are that 1.) other than US aerial photographs there are no Japanese sourced photographs I have seen that show the Soryu, Hiryu, Kaga, and Akagi with the Hinomaru on their flight deck. However, there is no one on the Japanese side that says this did not happen. 2.) The Battle of the Coral Sea took place in early May and less than a month later was the Battle of Midway. So the appearance of the Hinomarus on flight decks would have been short lived perhaps 2 to 4 weeks before they were removed after Midway. So very few pictures may have been available and some of those lost with the carriers. 3.) After the loss at Midway, this was kept secret from the Japanese people. So I would suspect all pictures were confiscated from ships returning after the battle. So any photographic evidence may have been destroyed by the censors or when all the documents were destroyed by the Japanese at the end of the war. 4.) The reason we are seeing the other carriers with Hinomarus may be from war survivor information in Japan. 5.) The models of the other carriers include Hasegawa (Hiyo), Zuiho (Fujimi), Hosho (Fujimi), and Ryujo (could not read the Japanese, but Aoshima and Fujimi have made models of this carrier). So I assume they used some kind of available information to come up with the placement of the Hinomaru.
Perhaps if I could read Japanese the information may be in the model description in the Japanese language model magazines.
You make good points in your discussion, Paul. We may never know if these carriers ever carried the Hinomaru identification markings on their flight decks for sure.