The only ship in her class, Akagi played a major part in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but was sunk along with three other large carriers by dive bombers from American carriers Enterprise and Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.
IJN Akagi in Days of Infamy
In World War II, under the command of Captain Kiichi Hasegawa, she was Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's flagship for the Striking Force for the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. She launched two waves of planes at Oahu, and provided continued airsupport for the invasion force that made land. In June 1942, under the command of Captain Tomeo Kaku (the outspoken Hasegawa having been replaced), and acting now as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's flagship, the Akagi helped turn back an attempted American invasion, but not without taking damage.
In 1943, the Akagki had been fitted out with an experimental radar in time for the second battle of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the new technology didn't help protect the carrier from a US strike and she was hit by several dive bombs and then by a torpedo amidships when a far superior American force arrived to reclaim Hawaii. Kaku, now an admiral, took the ship's destruction upon himself, and went down with the ship.