The Zuikaku was an Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier that was launched on 27 November 1939 and commissioned on 25 September 1941. Her complement of aircraft took part in the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and she fought in several important naval battles during World War II. She suffered severe aircraft and aircrew losses at the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942, forcing her to miss out on the Battle of Midway while resupplying and recruiting new pilots. She later fought in the Solomon Islands campaign and at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, being the only survivor of Carrier Division One; after that battle, she was the last of the six carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Zuikaku sent kamikaze pilots to sink two US Navy ships at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but she was hit by seven US Navy torpedoes and nine aircraft bombs at the Battle of Cape Engano. Her captain, Rear Admiral Kaizuka Takeo, went down with the ship and 842 of the ship's crew, while 862 crew members were rescued by two destroyers. She was the last surviving carrier to have taken part in Pearl Harbor before her loss, and she was the only carrier to be sunk by aircraft-launched torpedoes.

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