The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first navy in the world to envisage the power projection capacity of aircraft carriers, conducting the first massive carrier-based naval attack in history on an enemy fleet, the US Navy Pacific Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor base, on December 7, 1941, during World War II. For this mission, Japan used six fleet carriers, with 72 aircraft each. All of these six carriers (which are first in the list below) would be sink by US dive bombers and submarines in different naval battles throughout the war. Japan lacked the industrial capacity to replace them quick enough and send the new ones to the frontline in time to face off with the growing might of the US Navy. The Japanese also used their carriers to provide air support to landing troops in their conquest of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and islands of the Pacific Ocean.
12-Katsuragi (commissioned in late 1944, she never saw combat action for lack of aircraft and trained pilots. Survived the war)
Light and escort carriers