Chitose was a warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy that served from 1938 to 1944, seeing service as a seaplane carrier and later as a light aircraft carrier during World War II. In her initial guise as a seaplane carrier, she first saw service during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938, and subsequently played a key role in the Imperial Japanese Navy's development of a network of seaplane bases on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. After the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific, she took part in the Philippines campaign, the Dutch East Indies campaign, the Battle of Midway, and the Guadalcanal campaign, during which she was damaged in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons and also saw service related to the Battle of Cape Esperance.
Chitose was converted into a light aircraft carrier during 1943, and subsequently took part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was sunk in the Battle off Cape EngaÐ ÐŽÐ Ñ“o, one of several actions that made up the Battle of Leyte Gulf, on 25 October 1944.
Although it has been speculated that Chitose as a seaplane carrier also carried Type A midget submarines, only her sister ship Chiyoda had that capability.