The first Japanese naval vessel converted to support seaplanes was the 7600-ton Wakamiya Maru, converted in 1913. It began operations against German forces at Kiaochow Bay, China, on 1 September 1914, using Farman seaplanes. Dropping improvised bombs made from naval shells, two Farmans of the Second Naval Squadron succeeded in sinking a German torpedo boat on 16 September. The boat was the first warship sunk from the air.

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