Pearl Harbor and the Japanese Midget Submarines

The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, on December 7th, 1941, was a two pronged attack, comprised of both aerial and underwater components. Five Midget submarines were launched from I-Class mother subs, at the entrance to the harbor. The five Midgets took part in the attack, but history was unclear as to what degree. Remains of two of the midget subs were located shortly after the attack.The third was located by Navy divers in 1960. The fourth, sunk by the USS Ward prior to the air assault, was located by HURL in 2002. That left the last of the midget submarines, and the full story of the underwater attack at Pearl Harbor, still something of a mystery.

I helped to put together a TV project for Nova on the Japanese Midget submarine attack at Pearl Harbor, and the missing fifth Midget. While working on the project, I had the opportunity to dive the USS Arizona with the National Park Service, and with divers from the US Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One. I was also able to dive in HURL's Pisces submersibles to the newly discovered wreckage of the last of the five Japanese Midget Submarines, in 1200 feet of water. The location of the last Midget Submarine answered many questions,but inspired many more.

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Hawai'i Undersea Research Lab

PBS Nova Killer Subs of Pearl Harbor companion website

Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor DVD

US Navy MDSU1

I-16tou website by Parks Stevenson

Combined Fleet chronology of the Midget Submarine attack

US Navy History of the West Loch Disaster

Advance Force Pearl Harbor by Burl Burlingame

51 Responses

  1. Jon
    Of interest, a quote from website NOAA website: In 1951, one of the two missing submarines was discovered in shallow water off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It had been partially destroyed by an internal explosive charge, probably set off by its crew when they could not escape. Raised by the U.S. Navy, it was quietly taken out to sea and dumped in deep water. In 1960, the second missing submarine was discovered. It, like the other submarine, lay in shallow water near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It was raised by the Navy, and its bow, still armed with torpedoes, was taken off and dumped at sea. The rest of the submarine, at the request of Japan, was returned to Japan. It was restored and is now on display at the former Japanese naval academy at Eta Jima.
  2. How and when were the mini subs deployed to pearl harbor in 1941?
    • John Chatterton
      In the early morning hours before the Air Attack began, the midget subs were launched from the larger I-Class subs. The book <em>Advance Force Pearl Harbor</em> by Burl Burlingame, is an excellent book and puts it the two pronged attack into perspective.
    • The midget subs were transported on the decks of full-sized submarines and launched towards Pearl just prior to the attack. One sub was beached, and the sole survivor captured. He begged to be allowed to commit hara kiri (ritual suicide) but was denied. That was Ensign Sakamaki. Japan printed a memorial of the lost crews. Sakamaki was omitted.
  3. Today is the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor here in Hawaii. I had wanted to honor the surviving family of the late Seaman 1st Class ALAN C. SANFORD by sending them a special copy on PEARL HARBOR from the newspaper Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ALAN SANFORD as you know was one of the gun crew which fired against a Japanese mini-submarine attempting to enter the harbor. Mr. Sanford was gratified DECADES LATER when the submarine was found. Please advise me the address of Mr. Sanford's immediate family. I believe his son is a retired Navy officer. Aloha, Mel Domingo
    • John Chatterton
      That is a nice gesture. I do not know of any immediate family, but I would imagine you can find them through the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, or the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Facebook Page. JC
  4. Hi John, I was told, from as far back as I remember that my father, John Ryan, along with diving students, found the (I think) 3rd mini sub on July 4th, 1960. Do you have any insight into this? Please feel free to contact me with additional questions. Thank you, Lori
    • John Chatterton
      That would be the Keehi Lagoon submarine that was found with the two torpedoes on board, and the crew missing. This submarine was returned to Japan, restored, and is currently on display at the Japanese Naval Academy in Etajima. Keehi Lagoon is east of Pearl Harbor, and far enough outside the main traffic lanes as to explain why it was not found until 1960. JC
      • Mr. Chatterton, I have a small model of a Japanese midget sub made from the ballast of the submarine recovered from Keehi Lagoon. My father was the public affairs officer at Submarine Force Pacific from 1961 until 1964. After the submarine was raised the Navy removed lead ballast and made a small number of models of the submarine from that ballast. They used them as gifts for VIP visitors. My father retained one and passed it on to me. Have you ever heard of this event or existence of these models? My father always told me that the existence of these models was sensitive since the Navy told the Japanese that we returned the submarine intact. Can you point me to sources of additional information on the recovery of the submarine in 1960?
        • John Chatterton
          Hey Kevin, I have not heard of about these models before. The Keehi Lagoon Midget Submarine had to have the torpedoes disarmed, so there was some work done to the submarine and it was not entirely returned to the Japanese. If I were you, I would try contacting the US Navy and see what information they can provide. You could start at the US Navy History and Heritage Command, which has an online presence. Just talk to them, and see what it is they can tell you. They will most likely direct you elsewhere, but let me know how you make out. Cheers JC
  5. Mr. Chatterton--How possible do you think it is that the crew of the one mini sub which presumably made a successful attack on Battleship Row, and was later scuttled in West Loch, made a clean getaway? On the one hand, suicide attacks were not to become standard for Japanese for almost three years, and preparations for the overall attack were so meticulous that I find it hard to believe that some plans weren't made (a safe house owned by sympathetic Nisei, fake papers, clothes, etc.) for the crews to have a hope of escape in the event of scuttling. And the West Loch area would have given them a lot of foliage cover to hide out until they could rendezvous with help--possibly at night. On the other hand, why wouldn't the crew have come forward after the war, or who ever helped them confessed in the decades since? Seems to me this is less an underwater archeology problem than a detective story, but I'd welcome your speculations.
    • John Chatterton
      Very interesting questions. The Midget Sub attacks were not suicide attacks, and almost were scrubbed by the Admirals because of the concern over submarine withdrawal and crew survival. It was the Midget Sub crews who pushed for their inclusion in the mission. When it comes to the missing crew members, we only know two things. They were not in the Midget Sub, and they all had a detailed escape and evasion plan. At the time, a significant amount of the Hawaiian Island population was sympathetic to the Japanese. It is not unreasonable to assume that the crew survived the scuttling of their sub, and made their way onto the island. It was only a matter of days before the Midget Sub crews were declared "Hero Gods", by the Emperor of Japan. Considering that the Emperor was perceived as a deity in Japanese culture, and it was the Emperor who had declared them dead, could they have ever returned home alive? Who would have been willing to correct the Emperor? There is lots of food for speculation. JC
    • I do not think the machinery or crew of the Japanese Midget Submarine that was observed and fired at, reportedly rammned & depth charged in Pearl Harbor could survive a depth charge attack even in close proximity in the average depth of 45' - the blast would be horrendous.
  6. I grew up in the town of Ewa Beach, Oahu, during the '70s and our little home had the usual ocean related paraphernalia. Surf boards, coral specimen's, numerous round Japanese floats, etc... of course we also had the ubiquitous dried out and varnished puffer fish hanging near the outside bar. One item that always intrigued me was the small ships wheel, with Japanese writing usually found leaning against one of end table legs. Supposedly, so the story goes, my step-father a former hard hat diver and Navy EOD frogman, acquired it while helping to salvage one of the Japanese Midget Subs! As a kid I didn't realize the historical significance of such an artifact, if indeed the story was true, because most of my thoughts were directed toward young boy endeavors. The ship's wheel was about 1 1/2 feet from the tip of the handle to the tip of the handle on the opposite side. It was made of brass and had wooden handles one of which was missing it's wood. My parents had since moved and passed on and I often wonder what happened to that ship's wheel with the Japanese writing that, according to my understanding, loosely translated to "Don't tread on me round eye".
    • Do you mind me asking: What was your step-father's name? When did he participate in the salvage? What ship was he stationed on at the time? I have been trying to find the salvage report, but do not know where to start. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
      • Hi G. Quinn, Sorry for taking so long to reply. My step-father's name was James L. Tucker Jr. He was a retired Master Chief Petty Officer who served in the US Navy for over 34 years. He started his Navy career during WWII as a young 17 year old assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington as a TBF Avenger rear gunner. Sometime after the war my father decided to become a hard-hat salvage diver/EOD frog man. He used to be fond of saying that "he went through 3 wars but was able to skip 1" as he was assigned to Navy units in Key West Florida and Bermuda during the Korean Conflict. My father's last duty assignment was as a Command MCPO assigned to West Lock Navel Ammunition Station, HI. As far as the mini sub salvage... wish I had more concrete information to share. Unfortunately, any information that I could have gleaned from my father, The Old Seahorse, went with him as he passed away on 1/3/2016. I seem to remember some pics and if memory serves... I believe my brother Tim Tucker has the subs wheel. My brother Tim followed in my father's foot steps and had became a commercial diver. My brother Tim dove off of North Sea oil rigs as a saturation diver and various oil rigs around the world with Subsea International. He currently lives in my home town of Ewa Beach and runs his own project management business.
  7. I am one of the three divers who were doing a one hundred and twenty foot bounce dive when we spotted the strange object the instructor had a small foot line with bouy to mark what looked like a small sub with two cone shaped objects in the bow returned to surface and told what we found leave pictures the three divers were LARRY McInnis Fred stock and I believe the instructor was an x frog man slash e.o.d.navy diver. Semper. Fl.
  8. John, What is your reference source for the 1951 discovery of the midget submarine. Do you have a copy of this reference source for review? What a coincidence that the three pieces of recovered submarine pieces found in 1951 fell in line with the LVTs recovered from the 1944 West Loch disaster cleanup.
    • John Chatterton
      The 3 sections of the Midget sub that were found outside Pearl Harbor mixed in with the debris removed from the West Loch, were not discovered until H.U.R.L. began searching for the Midget sunk by the USS Ward, on their shake out dives with the Pisces submersibles. I think it was around 2002? It took a while to realize that the sections they were looking at were actually from a Pearl Harbor Midget, not from later in the war. https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/maritime/japanese-mini-subs/ https://www.amazon.com/Submarines-Harbor-Foundation-Nautical-Archaeology/dp/1623494664
      • I assume Tom Taylor is the researcher who, with Parks Stephenson, was behind the Nova documentary on the midget attack on Pearl Harbor. He's right to ask about the source of the reference to a 1951 recovery of one of the attackers, as this is a new suggestion about what became of the fifth midget. All that the National Marine Sanctuaries site has to say is: "In 1951, one of the two missing submarines was discovered in shallow water off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It had been partially destroyed by an internal explosive charge, probably set off by its crew when they could not escape. Raised by the U.S. Navy, it was quietly taken out to sea and dumped in deep water." Plainly this isn't the Keehi Lagoon midget discovered in 1960, nor, apparently, can it be the midget presumed to have been recovered during salvage operations following the West Loch disaster in 1944. So, is there any official USN record of such a 1951 recovery, and if so, is it accessible online?
        • John Chatterton
          There is none that I am personally aware of. JC
  9. I read many years back about the accounts that one Japanese midget sub successfully attacked Battleship Row early in the attack. It was stated that it fired its torpedoes at Oklahoma - and one of the aerial photos taken by a Japanese pilot shows the midget broaching after firing its torpedo(s). And, as mentioned by one of your previous writers, this sub escaped through West Loch and was abandoned by its crew. I don't remember exactly when this boat was discovered, but it was apparently found with wreckage that had been cleared after an amphibious assault exercise. I do believe that this sub was in two pieces, and that its torpedo tubes were empty. My question is this: Has it been proven that a single Japanese midget successfully fired two torpedoes which struck Oklahoma, and was the wreckage discovered this particular boat? I also remember hearing something that there were at least two explosions which were more powerful than the rest of the explosions from torpedo hits.
    • John Chatterton
      History can be somewhat subjective. There is a credible hypothesis that a single Midget sub successfully deployed their two torpedoes during the Attack. However, I do not believe that this is proven beyond a shadow of doubt? The Midget that is believed to have been removed from the West Loch was in 3 sections, not two, and the torpedoes had apparently been launched. I am not aware of any explosions that seemed to be more powerful, indicating torpedos from a Midget sub. JC
  10. Hi John,I really enjoy your work on TV and reading about finding the Pirate ship. My question ,my father was stationed in Norfolk Va. on board the USS Tidewater in the late 50's. While there I remember going to Ocean View amusement park and near the entrance was a Japanese midget sub on display. I was about 9 or 10 at the time and I believe the info stated that it was one used at Pearl Harbor. If I'm correct it had to be the one abandoned and run aground and it's Captain was POW #1 .Is there any way to see if the sub was displayed there around that time. I wanted to go inside so bad.Thanks Tom
    • John Chatterton
      Hey Tom, Thanks for the nice comments. It seems like you are referring to the HA 19 Japanese Midget Submarine, which is on display at the National Museum of the Pacific War. Peraps they can answer your question? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HA._19_(Japanese_Midget_Submarine) JC
  11. John, some clarification for your readers, the West Loch midget was found intact, not in pieces, The Navy sectioned it up before it was dumped with the debris from the West Loch disaster (May, 1944), hence the LVT's et al that were found with it. All of the surrendered / war prize subs were scuttled and or sunk as targets in much deeper waters. Thanks. Brian O'Connor, Author, IN REPOSE - Diving on the USS Arizona with the National Park Service
    • John Chatterton
      Thanks for the clarification. In May of 1944, while covertly cleaning up after a munitions loading disaster, the West Loch Midget was accidentally found intact, open, and without torpedoes or remains of the crew? It was cut into 3 sections, and quickly disposed of in 1,000 feet of water outside Pearl, along with other debris from the West Loch Disaster. More than 50 years later, the 3 sections would be re-discovered in deep water over numerous dives by Terry Kirby working for the Hawaii Undersea Research Lab. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Loch_disaster https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/killer-subs-pearl-harbor.html JC
  12. Hi John, I am a museum curator in San Jose, California. Over the past week, I have had two interesting conversations with a 95 year old Navy man, Harry Davidson, who was stationed at Pearl about a year after the attack. He has a story related to the "fifth" sub. Harry emphatically claims that he stood over the intact fifth sub which was docked behind the Dillingham House(?) in Pearl Harbor. According to Harry, both torpedo tubes were empty. After his investigation, he brought a friend over who saw the sub as well. It was getting dark, so the two decided to return in the morning with a camera. Upon returning, the submarine was gone. According to Harry, the dock location was well hidden with vegetation. His assumption is that someone saw him and his friend looking over the vessel and decided to move it overnight. Mr. Davidson is insistent that this story is true. Do we know exactly when the fifth submarine was scuttled? Could Mr. Davidson's story be true and a mini-sub survived intact for over a year after the attack? Any advice is welcomed. Ken
    • John Chatterton
      Hey Ken, The Fifth Midget was initially discovered in the West Loch during the covert cleanup of of the Ordinance Loading Disaster. I am not aware of anything that gives us an a location more exactly? Although we do not know precisely when the Fifth Midget was scuttled, the assumption would be that it was some time shortly after the Pearl Harbor Attack? My initial reaction is that Mr Davidson's story would not coincide with what we think we already know about the Fifth Midget. JC
  13. Both those subs towed out of the harbor were sunk by the USS St Louis as the ships logs written by Captain Rood infers. (*Navy wartime style) The sub that was rammed and the sub that was shot by the type 38 five inch round that did not detonate on contact was the second sub that was later towed out to sea & dumped, on the hush hush I guess! Frank Du Bosque fired that round and said it hit but did not detonate on contact as it should have. Frank was awarded for the action in later life by Congressman Robert Andrews - Democrat NJ and given to Frank in his then residence in Florida, he has since passed.
  14. Regarding the "West Loch" Sub, it is my understanding that the only indication that the sub came from the West Loch is that it was found in the area of debris from the cleanup of the West Loch after some LSTs there were destroyed in an ammunition explosion. There are no Navy records to indicate that a submarine was found or salvaged in the West Loch, only that the sub was found in the dumping ground with the 1944 debris. So other than its position on the ocean floor next to the debris, there is nothing to indicate it was found in the West Loch. The 1951 sub apparently mentioned was reported to Life Magazine by Roger Pineau, a Navy intelligence officer, and author and was subsequently published in Life Magazine in 1951. It is apparently reported again in book The Lost Submarines of Pearl Harbor, by James P. Delgado et.al. published in 2016, and is also reported on the NOAA Website here: https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/maritime/japanese-mini-subs/ though the website does not cite the source. The submarine was apparently found in shallow water near the Pearl Harbor entrance, examined and then dumped, in 1951. It's torpedoes are missing, so I would speculate this is the sub that fired on USS St. Louis as she exited the harbor (this attack is well established). In 1992 part of it was discovered, and the rest in 2002. I would speculate this is the fate of the last submarine. She fired her torpedoes at USS St. Louis and her crew then scuttled the sub outside the harbor. She was found there in 1951 by the Navy, examined (to include sectioning her into three pieces) and then dumped in a known dumping ground (i.e. where the West Loch debris was dumped). I would further speculate that if the area where the sub and West Loch debris was found were to be examined more thoroughly, other debris, for example scrap from the Pearl Harbor salvage efforts after the 7 December Raid would be found there as well.
  15. My father an AF loadmaster was stationed in Pearl Harbor in '60. He met a 'Navy Hardhat Diver ' at the NCO club. They became friends and he gave my father the gyroscopic compass cover from the mini sub he raised. I still have it , a glass disc approx 10 1/4 " in diameter with japanese markings.
  16. John, I've enjoyed your televised dives over the past years. Regarding the "West Loch Sub, 12-15 years ago there was a website with many photos posted of the 1944 West Lock cleanup, the site has since been taken down. The photos on the site were either taken by a civilian contractor or a military personnel, regardless they were for his own use. The midget sub thought to have been found (I-16toa) during the cleanup was NOT seen in any of the photos. My father John Sinatra, was serving aboard the USS Pyro AE-1 when the Pyro was moored in the West Loch at the ammo depot during the Pearl Harbor attack. Although he passed away before I had a chance to speak with him about this, I had spoken with a couple of his shipmates that were also aboard ship during the attack. They say that they heard nothing, no scuttling bang, no commotion of any kind and saw no one that should not have been in that area, I'm not saying that it wasn't a sub used in the attack. There should have been only 4 torpedo's to account for as being fired from midget subs during the attack, but there were an additional 3 fired that are unaccounted for. On Dec.11, Patrol Wing Two reported a sighting of a large sub that was heading south from Lanai past Kaiwi Point at high speed. It was reported "that large submarine may be a fuel supply ship for small ones, or may even carry a small one." On Dec 14, Patrol Wing Two reported that The USS Pyro was attacked by a sub. Two torpedo's were spotted and a sub was also seen and taken under fire. An hour later a freighter in the relatively same area was torpedoed and sunk. The moral of this story is there were more than 5 midget subs that day at Pearl Harbor, or possibly even a medium sized L Class Sub, as can be seen in an Ariel photo of Battleship Row along with a midget sub launching torpedoes into Battleship Row that are unaccounted for.
  17. Chuck, your understanding would be wrong. Pearl Harbor Tower Logs records a periscope sighting at Hospital Point (time 0837) near the same time USS Monaghan’s (DD-354) deck log records ramming the I-22tou in the Middle Loch (time 0843). Both of these incidents were over a mile apart from each other. At 0900, the USS Bobolink (AM-20 ) is located at the first buoy (SE of Waipio Point) and its After Action Report states: “a disturbance was noted at Waipio Point, and three shots were fired immediately at slick and mud that had been stirred up there. No ships were within a thousand yards of this point at the time, and it is believed by this command that a submerged enemy submarine brushed the left bank of the channel on its way to open sea after an attack in Pearl Harbor.” The time from the Hospital point sighting to the Bobolink engagement equates to a 4 knot speed-of-advance which is the exact speed a Type A midget submarine travels in first gear. The anti-torpedo net at Bishop’s Point was closed and the I-16tou is forced to enter the West Loch due to low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide build up. At 0041 on December 8, the I-16 receives the following message “to-ra” (meaning successful attack), confirmed by a personal interview with Seaman Kichiji Dewa – the maintenance technician for the I-16tou aboard the I-16 that evening. *** No documents or evidence has been located to date that the 1951 reporting ever took place. *** NO submarine fired on USS St. Louis (CL-49) as it exited the harbor entrance. The Hewitt Inquiry (May 14 – July 11, 1945) and the Joint Congressional Committee (Nov 15 1945 – May 23 1946) clearly shows that the St. Louis, upon turning to port after the # 2 Channel Buoy, ran over and severed the minesweeping cable of the USS Condor. The cable slapped the water making it appeared as a torpedo wake. An interview with a St. Louis crewmember during the ”Killer Subs at Pearl Harbor” documentary confirmed only one (1) torpedo sighting. The USS Condor (AMC-14) After Action Report states: “…the cruiser came out of the harbor entrance at high speed, then suddenly executed a sharp turn to the east and took Crossbill's minesweeping paravane under fire with her #3 gun. As the cruiser continued racing east, she cut across the tow line on the Condor's (and Cockatoo's?) paravane, severing both.” The St. Louis’s deck log clearly shows the Bridge crew (including Captain Hood) only saw the object for 30 seconds while looking aft, at a range between 1,000 to 2,000 yards (10 – 20 football fields) as the ship was accelerating away at 25 knots. The gun crew saw the object for three minutes. The paravane sweep is what the minesweepers USS Condor (AMC-14), Crossbill (AMC-9) and Reedbird (AMC-30) were conducting in the early morning hours of December 7, 1941 (0200 - 0500). At the time the light cruiser USS St. Louis (CL-49) made her run out of the Pearl Harbor channel (1004), Condor, Crossbill, Reedbird and Cockatoo (AMC-8) were actually conducting an Oropesa sweep for anchored mines (reference Condor, Crossbill, Reedbird and Cockatoo Memorandums dtd, 19 December 1941 to Commander Inshore Patrol, 14th Naval District). Two eyewitness testimonies were given at the 1946 Congressional Hearing: 1) "There was another thing we saw. That was a lot of explosions along the reefs. I thought that they were explosions of torpedoes fired into the reefs. I didn't see any other submarines the whole morning. We didn't actually see any, but we did see a lot of explosions that looked like shallow water explosions of torpedoes." (Lieutenant William Outerbridge, Commanding Officer, USS Ward), and 2) "I observed four ships off the entrance to Pearl Harbor; one cruiser and three destroyers (the minesweepers). Even from twenty miles away I could tell they were our ships by their silhouettes and I no longer gave them any thought. Then ahead, well off to my right. I did see something unusual, a rain of big shell splashes in the water off the entrance to Pearl Harbor, and recklessly close to the shore." (Lieutenant (j.g.) Clarence E. Dickinson, pilot of SBD-3 6-S-4, VS-6, USS Enterprise). *** Thanks for the sounding board John. The evidence my partner and I have gathered will clear up a lot of misconceptions and set the record straight once they are published.
  18. Thanks very much to Tom Taylor for his contribution. His reference to the action reports of the mine sweepers unfortunately destroyed my favorite theory about HA-16 and the supposed attack on the St. Louis but that's the way research should go. It seems now that HA-16 escaped Pearl Harbor but its mission was finished (no torpedoes). There was some intent to recover the crews by rendezvous with mother subs at Lanai but Ensign Sakamaki knew that the batteries would not last and a surface voyage was likely futile. HA-16 probably broadcast a message after its escape but was ineffectively scuttled and drifted like HA-19. This would match the sub found in 1951, probably cut up for easier removal by some barge then the undocumented pieces dumped together as junk in a convenient area also containing 1944 debris. It also seems to me that the midget sub without crew found at Keehi Lagoon might be related to the depth charge attack by USS Blue, because there was an oil slick ( "and bubbles?") thus hull damage but no debris found. Seawater leaking into the batteries as the sub limped away would have caused intolerable chlorine gas levels and either crew evacuation or death.
  19. Thanks Jim, but the point being made is there are no documents, eyewitness accounts, nor any physical evidence supporting the 1951 sighting; it just simply did not happen (newspaper accounts alone would have highlighted it). Someone – anyone, please produce this data so that we can finally detail history as it actually happened. After radioing their signal, the Japanese crew would have scuttled the I-16tou and have made their way to a designated safe house in Pearl City. An Evasion and Escape chart was recovered from the captured I-24tou, which clearly displays key features around Oahu and Pearl City and marks a location for the submarine crew to head for in case they had to abandon their submarine and make their way ashore. This location was the house of Doctor Yokichi Uyehara, located at a waterfront home on Pearl City peninsula (near the Pan American China Clipper Station) and looking directly out onto Pearl Harbor's Middle Loch. "[Doctor] Uyehara's brother Shinko was a lieutenant and surgeon in the Imperial Navy, coincidentally stationed at the Naval Torpedo School in Yokosuka, home base of the midget submariners." (Burl Burlingame, Advance Force Pearl Harbor, pg. 122) The Evasion and Escape map had been interpreted by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of Naval Intelligence. A portion of the map describes articles for the crews to carry when escaping. In escape Method #2 (on the map), it indicates for the crews to go naked (which actually means to wear their loincloths) when heading ashore. For the I-20tou crew, the Keehi Lagoon submarine’s conning tower hatch was found to be opened from the inside. A set of coveralls was also recovered from inside the submarine (the coveralls are currently on display at the Etajima Naval Academy). Doctor Yokichi Uyehara was not picked up by the FBI until 25 February 1942 (and interned for the duration of the war). As for the Keehi Lagoon submarine, the I-20tou was hung up on its mother submarine, until 1300 local time when “The I-20 mother submarine finally dislodges the midget submarine I-20tou close to the Pearl Harbor entrance and both submarines separate from each other. (Source is the Submarine launch data taken from the Sasaki After Action Report, named after Captain Hanku Sasaki, Japanese Commander of the 1st Submarine Division and overall commander of the Advance Force). It was here that both submarines (I-20 & I-20tou had come under depth charge attack by the destroyer USS Chew (DD-106) and it is believed that the depth charge attack was the reason for the I-20tou to finally dislodge. According to the destroyer USS Chew (DD-106) After Action Report: “A total of 28 depth charges were dropped on eight different supersonic contacts in the area south-west of entrance buoy. Evidence indicated that two submarines were sunk.” The midget submarine I-20tou received a great deal of internal damage from continual depth charge attacks. Shortly after dislodging from the mother submarine I-20, and with her internal motor dismounted, the crew of the I-20tou is forced to scuttle the midget submarine on the bottom near the Keehi Lagoon at the Pearl Harbor entrance and abandon the craft. In describing the I-20tou after being found, “Damage inside and outside indicated the sub might have been depth-charged by a U.S. ship. (Midget Sub: Ghost of Pearl Harbor – [Popular Mechanics article December 1961]) “In the dark muddy interior, bent piping, a door twisted off its hinges, her large electric motor torn from its mountings and much battered glass gave mute evidence that Midget D had suffered great damage from depth charges. … no trace of documents or crew was found... …the scuttling charge had never been activated. (Daniel F. Gilmore, The Mystery of Midget D [WWII, Journal 2 PH Special Issue article 1974]) “The most-intact of the other Advance Force midget submarines… - …on the Pearl Harbor side of Keehi Lagoon, just outside the channel’s mouth… - a tiny craft sitting upright, 76 feet down… - The hatches, curiously, were open… - …This midget had suffered serious depth-charge damage.” (Burl Burlingame, Advance Force Pearl Harbor, pgs. 425 & 429) The Joint Congressional Committee (Nov 15 1945 – May 23 1946) details eyewitness accounts of Japanese submarines utilizing Kaneohe Bay at night, throughout the war, for picking up and dropping off personnel and equipment. It was the only location whose water depth could support the submarine’s draft. If any Japanese midget submarine crews did in fact reach Doctor Yokichi Uyehara’s home then: 1) They may have been picked up by the submarine I-70 and subsequently went down with her when the I-70 was sunk two weeks later by either Lieutenant Clarence Dickenson attacking it on the surface or an escort from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) sinking it as the I-70 came up on the stern of the carrier (as described in the book The Flying Guns; Cockpit Record of a Naval Pilot from Pearl Harbor through Midway, Copyright 1942, Charles Scribner’s Sons and The Curtiss Publishing Company, by Lieutenant Clarence E. Dickinson, USN), 2) The crews were absorbed into the island populace and lived out the remainder of their years in Hawaii; “…an unlikely event in light of the pre-war FBI’s close tabs on Hawaii’s Japanese-Americans.” (Burl Burlingame, Advance Force Pearl Harbor, pg. 426), or 3) The crews were picked up by American authorities and interned in the United States throughout the war years with the rest of the Japanese Nisei from Hawaii. In any case, if crews of the I-16tou and I-20tou lived through the war, then their identities were changed at some point in time and they lived out their remaining years under assumed names (since there is no evidence they ever returned to Japan under their original names).
  20. Thanks again Tom Taylor. I don't remember every enjoying so much having my comments marked with big red X's. I never saw mention of the USS Chew until today. The suspect HA-16/i-16tou wreck apparently has no torpedoes. So either EOD removed them or they were launched. Launched at what target? The torpedo attacks on West Virginia and Oklahoma did not begin until 8AM and OK had rolled over by 0812, there was no attack before then so not much time for a minisub attack. The torpedo hits on all the other ships are pretty well traceable to Kate aircraft. The sub in the Middle Loch probably fired twice and missed its moving target. According to one web site the original plan was to torpedo major ships as they tried to flee through the South Channel. That would match with the Harbor Tower sighting (your note above) of 0837. But the second strike was not suppose to arrive until 0900. However the Nevada was limping toward Hospital Point barely under control and under air attack at 0900, a bomb hit wiped out everybody on the bow. It would have matched the IJN plan to torpedo the Nevada but the Nevada was a moving target and "slim" (bow-on) to a sub in the channel, although nobody would have seen a torpedo wake. Different item--Did Ensign Sakamaki ever mention an escape plan? The story of Dr. Uyehara is completely new to me but I find the concept of near-naked Japanese wandering around Pearl Harbor to be a bit hard to believe.
  21. Jim. Torpedo Accounts: I-16tou (0) penetrated harbor entrance behind minesweeper USS Condor and awaits air attack in southeast. Loch, I-18tou (2) attempted to penetrate harbor entrance while trailing Stores Issue Ship USS Antares – sunk by harbor patrol USS Ward. I-20tou (2) hung up on mother submarine until 1300, dislodged by USS Chew depth charge attack – forced to settle near harbor entrance at Keehi Lagoon. , I-22tou (0) takes advantaged of Ward attack on I-18tou and penetrates the harbor entrance – shot by USS Curtiss & rammed by USS Monoghan (note: I-18tou, I-20tou, and I-22tou have been mistaken for each other for years by other historians), I-24tou (2) washed up on coral reef at Bellows Field. Both I-22tou torpedoes shot in desperation, one at USS Monaghan – exploding near USS Raleigh, and one towards USS Utah (which fails to explode) as submarine is being pivoted around by bow of Monaghan during ramming. This latter torpedo firing has been falsely reported as: “…this submarine fired one torpedo at USS Curtiss AV-4 but missed and instead impacted a dock at Pearl City” for years. The following testimony was provided by Captain Edwin T. Layton, Combat Intelligence Officer, Staff, Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet, on Tuesday, 29 May 1945 (on December 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, then Commander Layton, was the Fleet Intelligence Officer, United States Pacific Fleet under Admiral Kimmel): “Mr. Sonnett. Was it ascertained whether the submarine which had been sunk in Pearl Harbor had fired its torpedoes or not? Captain Latton. It had. It had fired both of them. Reports reached me on the 7th of December indicated that one had been fired and had exploded on the beach of Ford Island between the RALEIGH and CURTIS, as I recall it. The other, I believe, was fired and landed in the mud and silt in the vicinity of the UTAH berth and didn't explode. Attempts have been made to recover that torpedo as a safety measure, but no success was achieved. In the UTAH berth area there is very, very deep mud and silt and I believe it had buried itself completely.” (The Hewitt Inquiry, May 14-July 11, 1945, pg 170.). This leaves the I-16tou torpedoes unaccounted for. An issue that has drawn some major opposition to is the reference to a recovered unexploded torpedo carrying a charge of 1,000 pounds of explosives. This statement is in the 1946 Congressional Report on the attack on Pearl Harbor and found to have come from the CINCPACFLT After Action Report submitted by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to The Secretary of the Navy, dated 15 February, 1942. The following exert states: From the CINCPACFLT AAR, under Part III Narrative of events, Phase 1 – 0755 – 0825 (Combined Torpedo Plane and Dive Bomber Attacks) (A) Torpedo Planes, Subparagraph 1., while describing the attack "toward the battleships on the South side of Ford Island," states "A recovered unexploded torpedo carried a charge of 1,000 pounds of explosive." Several opposition viewers believe that the CINCPACFLT AAR is inaccurate and that Admiral Chester W. Nimitz just signed the report with statements incorrectly entered by junior staff members who prepared the After Action Report for him. The newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, shortly after taking command, sends a falsified report to the Secretary of the Navy detailing the worst disaster in United States naval history? Really? This belief from opposition viewers has no basis of fact and no one has ever produced any other report coming out of CINCPACFLT, before or after the Pearl Harbor attack, showing where blatant inaccuracies were common place or even infrequent occurrences and blindly signed by the four star admiral. Some opposition viewers believe that the recovered unexploded torpedo is most likely one of the torpedoes fired from the midget submarine I-22tou near/in the middle Loch. Since the CINCPACFLT AAR was dated February 15, 1942 and the I-22tou torpedo buried in the mud and silt still hadn’t been recovered by May 29, 1945, the recovered unexploded torpedo at Battleship Row couldn’t possibly be from the Japanese midget submarine I-22tou. ***** Now follow the trail: 1) possible sub sighting in southeast loch during aerial torpedo attack, 2) unrecovered torpedo in Battleship Row with a 1,000 pounds of explosives, 3) periscope sighting at Hospital Point at exact same time USS Monahan is ramming the I-22tou in the middle loch, 4) USS Bobolink fires at a disturbance along the bank which appears to be a submarine attempting to exit the channel, 5) anti-torpedo nets closed, 6) mission success signal received by mother sub I-16 late that night, and 7) the west loch just happens to be near the escape rendezvous point of Dr. Uyehara’ house in Pearl City, and 8) neither I-16tou or I-20tou crews are located while Dr. Uyehara is also missing until February 1942. ***** “Different item--Did Ensign Sakamaki ever mention an escape plan? The story of Dr. Uyehara is completely new to me but I find the concept of near-naked Japanese wandering around Pearl Harbor to be a bit hard to believe.” – “Crews of the midgets were expected to scuttle their boats after accomplishing their missions, and save themselves if possible.” (Hewitt Inquiry, page 1159) / Along with Pearl Harbor photographs, at least two charts were left onboard the captured I-24tou after Sakamaki and Inagaki abandoned it. The first was a hand drawn coastline view of the Pearl Harbor entrance to provide the submarine crews with key landmarks in which to look for during their approach of the Pearl Harbor entrance. The second was an Evasion and Escape chart, which clearly displays key features around Oahu and Pearl City and marks a location for the submarine crew to head for in case they had to abandon their submarine and make their way ashore. The location was the house of Doctor Yokichi Uyehara. / Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of Naval Intelligence had interpreted the Evasion and Escape map. A portion of the map (backside) describes articles for the crews to carry when escaping. In escape Method #1 (Weather good, when alongside another sub) Stopwatch, sword, pistol, binoculars, necessary documents and equipment, tools, blanket, life jacket, personal gear (Clothing: service uniform). In escape Method #2 (Weather bad; when going ashore) Sword, pistol, stopwatch, life jacket, necessary documents (Clothing: naked). / Congressional Investigation Pearl Harbor Attack, Volume 37, page 1148, 14th Naval District Intelligence Officer memorandum: “1. Young, adult Japanese male – muscular build, cropped black hair – apparently in perfect health. Gave his age as 24, sub-Lieutenant in the Japanese Navy and a graduate of the Imperial Naval Academy. 2. He was without clothing of any kind, and seated in a chair wrapped in an army blanket. Before questioning was started, it was learned that this prisoner was taken on the beach at Bellows Field. That he had swam ashore and had around his neck, on a lanyard, a stopwatch, which had salt water inside of it. The watch had stopped at 0210.” / For the I-20tou crew, the Keehi Lagoon submarine’s conning tower hatch was found to be opened from the inside. A set of coveralls was also recovered from inside the submarine. “…I find the concept of near-naked Japanese wandering around Pearl Harbor to be a bit hard to believe.” In 1941, the US Army Intelligence section didn’t think so.
  22. As for the I-20tou, U.S. Navy archives revealed that the salvage vessel, USS Current, (ARS-22), brought up an intact two-man Japanese midget submarine in 1960 after a training team of underwater demolition divers discovered it in 90 feet of water near the harbor entrance. One of the divers reported: “We were setting charges on the bottom when I saw trough the milky water what looked like a ghost ship sitting upright. It was a submarine with a conning tower and a periscope, everything just like a regular submarine only in miniature. I knew right away what it was—a Japanese midget sub from WWII.” Salvage divers made two unsuccessful attempts before the 80–ton vessel was finally raised, secured to the side of the ship and towed three miles to Waipo Point where Lieutenant H.R. Minard, skipper of the Current, made an official detailed report. At the very end, it read: “Once it was secured, the sub was thoroughly inspected. The torpedoes, still in place, had been neutralized by an explosive ordnance disposal team before salvage. The conning tower hatch was unlocked from the inside leading us to believe the crew escaped. No evidence of bodies was found. A glove, a sandal and a wrench were uncovered along with a small canvas bag. The bag contained a full bottle of sake and the remains of a woolen sweater.”
    • Thanks again Tom Taylor! My only defense is that I did not know about the contents of the I-20tou. Thus, if there was some clothing left on board then what happened to the other clothing? The crew would not have needed it if they were going for a final swim at sea either because of chlorine gas or despair. So despite the damage they apparently navigated into the Keehi Lagoon which makes sense rather than a random entry. But they would have had to walk a long ways, in coveralls maybe, across unfamiliar territory at (one) night with streets marked in a very unfamiliar language and with the cops looking for downed Japanese aviators (probably anybody who didn't look like Robert Redford). Finally they find a safe house, maybe The Insidious Dr. Uyehara or else some other sympathizer. I think that if they had survived (escaped and not been taken alive like Ensign Sakamaki) that they could have eventually gone home after the war even if they had hidden among the Neisei because their sub was damaged under combat (no shame). I hesitate to assume they escaped on the I-70 because the communication history is so poor and I-70 was operating south of Oahu and not near Kaneohe Bay which was a noted pick up point as noted above. The pickup arrangements would have had to have occurred very quickly before Dec 10 when the cat and mouse game with Enterprise came to an end, not necessarily to the favor of I-70. Dr. Uyehara would have had to have known about the raid and the means of communicating and meeting with I-70 for a successful pick up, that's a lot of ultra top secret info to give an agent. The first question I now have: since the I-20tou did not release until after the Chew depth charging at 1300, what does this do to the story of USS Blue? No hits by Blue? The second question : could these subs remain submerged on the bottom? I-22tou suddenly appears in the Middle Loch about 0830. Utah was sunk by air half an hour before. Either I-22tou is late, maybe took a wrong sharp left turn at Ford Island, or went completely around Ford Island while ignoring the BBs, or else I-22 was specifically hunting Saratoga/Enterprise at the west carrier mooring. That last supposition takes I-22 out of the story that the midgets were a sort of blocking force against escaping ships. It probably also removes I-22tou from the scenario that the subs were to pursue a CCW course at Ford. But I-22tou didn't find a carrier, so either it recognizes Utah as some other strange beast or maybe it follows the torpedo attack perhaps as planned but finds just a capsized hull as is forced to find an alternate target like a light cruiser or tender. It seems like they were a bit confused. Maybe I-22tou was early/on-time. If I-22tou was waiting for the aircraft attack, remaining out of the field of fire, they would have had better concealment to remain submerged without moving and thus without using their periscope. It's very difficult to remain still and neutrally buoyant so maybe they could have remained on the bottom. The same would be true for I-16tou. A few subs have done that. Note that Ensign Sakamaki and his mate discussed a kamikaze attack on USS Pennsylvania, perhaps they also had a specific target and not a blocking mission. What a final irony if I-16tou had managed to get that far into the harbor.
      • Ooops I meant to write I-24tou (HA-19) in my last sentence, not I-16tou.
  23. A terminology question: in Tom Taylor's note of October 23 he writes of the "anti-torpedo net" at Bishop's Point. I had always heard of an "anti-submarine net." Are these just different terms for the same net? What opens and closes this net -- a huge winch or a yard tender or what?
  24. Jim, you keep asking the right questions that have plagued military historians for years. The chart previously mentioned had maps of Oahu drawn on the back of it to get the submariners to the doctors home. The pick up was part of the Pearl Harbor plan. The I-74 was a dedicated “Rescue” submarine positioned south of the island of NIIHAU to pick up aviators in trouble. According to the Japanese After Action Report, when the success signal was picked up late at night, all five mother submarines approached O’AHU from their holding positions off the island of LANA’I in preparation to pick up the survivors of the I-16tou. This never happened and the mother submarines eventually departed for their rendezvous point in the Marshall Islands for a debrief with their squadron commander. As for the “ultra top secret” info, there were many ways to communicate with the doctor including the arrival of the agent Takeo Yoshikawa on March 27 of 1941. Your question on the USS Blue – it only dropped 8 depth charges in three separate attacks (two @ 4 NM and one @ six Nm from the channel entrance BRG 190 to 200 degrees) no where near the harbor entrance. Blue was one of several surface ships conducting depth charge attacks on false targets. The I -22tou wasn’t targeting the Utah. At the time the USS Monaghan was ramming, it, chances were the midget submarine commander was already dead due to a gun round having come through the sail, leaving the junior petty officer alone attempting to maneuver blindly, and in the course of being rammed, fired the remaining torpedo while hoping to hit the ramming ship. The Monaghan swung the I-22tou around clockwise and the torpedo headed in the direction of the Utah berth (mere coincidence). The decapitated submarine commander was later retrieved from the I-22tou but the junior petty officer was so inter-mangled within the midget submarine, a decision was made to bury the petty officer with the submarine. As for the I-22tou concealing itself – you need to study all of the attack of Pearl Harbor. The I-22tou snuck into the channel while the USS Ward was attacking the I-18tou. It was only moving at 4 knots (uses gears with 4 kts per gear, e.g., gear 1 = 4 kts, gera 2 = 8 kts, etc.). Take the time when the I-22tou was rammed, walk it backwards at 4 knots to the harbor entrance and you will find it right where the USS Ward began its attack on I-18tou. Now track the Tug YT-153 on its way out to meet the cargo ship USS Antares (pulling a target sled which the I-18tou was attempting to take advantage of) with the harbor master. When the first bombs dropped at 0755 on Ford Island, the YT-153 turned around and headed back up the channel at maximum speed. There, the YT-153 overtakes the I-22tou at Hospital Point. The I-22tou kicks into third gear (12 knots speed of advance) to escape a possible ASW patrol boat. The tug YT-153 sees a periscope and slows down looking for the submarine – unable to find it – keeps heading north up the channel. The I-22tou overshoots his right turn near the Utah and finds itself in the Middle Loch. The I-22tou now attempts to back up because there is not enough room to turn around. Backing up causes the submarine to broach the surface where the submarines’ sail is spotted by everyone. At least two different ships fire upon the sail, one hitting it broadside. The Monaghan is heading out when signaled that a submarine was in front of it. The tug YT-153 arrived near the USS Utah in time to observe the USS Monaghan ram the I-22tou. ***** The Japanese submarine I-70 was sunk two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor (plenty of time to pick up survivors – all speculation of course). The I-70 was drawn away from the south in a chase to torpedo the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6). There was an elaborate espionage setup by the Japanese on Oahu. They had various means to communicate with the submarines, both day and night (reference: Bernard Julius Otto Kuehn). ***** Terminology Answer: An anti-submarine net or anti-submarine boom is a boom placed across the mouth of a harbor or a strait for protection against submarines. A boom or a chain (aka, boom defense, harbor chain, river chain, chain boom, boom chain or variants) is an obstacle strung across a navigable stretch of water to control or block navigation. An Anti-Torpedo Net (sometimes "Torpedo Net") is a heavy metal mesh intended to block and stop torpedoes. They came in two basic forms: ship's nets, which could be deployed, from a ship on metal booms that swung out from the beam, and harbor defense nets, which were generally suspended, from floats to guard ships at anchor within a port. At Pearl Harbor, the anti-torpedo net at Bishop’s Point was to prevent submarine, torpedo boat, or aircraft dropping torpedoes up the channel to hit a ship in the channel and crippling the ship in order to block the channel itself. The typical channel depth at Pearl Harbor was 40 feet. The draft of the mother submarine I-16 was 17 feet 5 inches. The allies were not aware of the Japanese midget submarine on December 7, 1941. Ref: Net and Boom Defenses, dated 27 June 1944, declassified, Bureau of Ordnance pamphlet 636A.
    • Thanks again Tom Taylor. Briefly, there is some history that needs to be rewritten. The role of YT-153 appears nowhere in the stuff I have read. First item: Your plot of the I-22tou timeline against the navigation map of the harbor is very convincing. From this it would appear to me that I-22tou arrived LATE, long after the Kates from the Soryu had torpedoed Utah and Raleigh out of frustration/misidentification (and probably Oglala and Helena in the SE channel because Pennsy was also not in its predicted position). It seems to me the I-22tou mission might have been a belt and suspenders plan for sinking the Enterprise/Saratoga at mooring F11-- This relates to my third item below. Second item: I am puzzled by the date of the sinking of I-70. In the Taylor note of November 2 (and again Nov 18) it was stated: 1) They may have been picked up by the submarine I-70 and subsequently went down with her when the I-70 was sunk TWO WEEKS LATER (? my caps) by either Lieutenant Clarence Dickenson attacking it on the surface or an escort from the USS Enterprise. END In one online site for I-70 it is stated (among other info) in the entry for 10 December 1941:The bomb dropped from the "Dauntless" lands right beside the submarine, amidships. Its explosion throws several gunners over board. I-70 stops and starts to settle on the even keel, disappearing underwater about 45 seconds after the explosion at 23-45N, 155-35W.When Dickinson returns to the scene of the sinking, he sights four IJN sailors flailing in the water. A bubble of oil and foamy water appears on the surface, followed by two more bubbles, containing oil and debris. END (note this corresponds with LT Dickenson's report but LT Dickenson reported the sub had two deck guns, I-70 had just one but IJN considered the sub lost, the only one of its squadron lost in this action). Several other websites also state the sinking was Dec 10, just 3 DAYS after the PH attack. I-70 could have hustled around to Kaneohe Bay or another pickup site for escapees on the night of Dec 8 and returned at flank speed to its unfavorable hunt for CV-6 on Dec 9 but is this likely? My question is 2 WEEKS or 3 DAYS until I-70 is sunk, My opinion is for a different sub for pickup or a different method of evasion--but then the crewmen would have survived as heroes (???). Third item: The battleships did not have their own anti-torpedo nets deployed on Dec 7 (excuses vary) but the IJN might not have been sure of that although Yoshikawa/Morimura or the firm of Kuehn & son might have reported this degree of relaxation earlier. By WWII submarine torpedoes were BETTER than aircraft torpedoes in penetrating AT nets-- slightly faster at range and larger warhead (I think the recovered 1946 torp had a 1000 lb WARHEAD not a head containing 1000 lb of explosives.) The midget sub type 97 would have had a BETTER chance of defeating the anti-torpedo bulkhead, such as was installed after WWI on pre-U-boat ships like OK and NV (Utah actually had its add-on bulkheads removed later for reasons I cannot understand). NV and CA were hit by a few smaller Type 91 from aircraft and these hits did not by themselves completely defeat the anti-torpedo bulkheads or directly result in the loss of the ships. The WV was hit by 6 torps (plus 1 dud) from maybe 9 aircraft (CDR Fuchida chart) which did cause major damage of the anti-torp bulkheads and the armor belt but WV settled under controlled flooding. The OK was hit by 8 torps, maybe a posthumous ninth, under attack by 12 Kates (per Fuchida) and its AT bulkheads apparently failed immediately and it rolled over almost as fast as its predecessor Utah. Only a few Kate torpedoes attacked the BBs at the end of the line (NV, CA and maybe AZ). Sometimes there would be 3 pairs of BBs in the moorings (consider Vestal replaced by NV). My point is that the IJN used 21 of their 40 Kate TBs to attack the center of Battleship Row and neglected the ends (as far as we know, since the missions of the I-18tou and I-20tou remain unknown). Add I-16tou to the attack on OK and it seems like gross overkill and waste of ammunition. Speculation: Perhaps I-16tou was intended to begin its attack no sooner than 8AM and immediately after hearing the sound of explosions since the damage from its torpedoes would have augmented the effectiveness of later torpedo hits--but that's complicated. Or speculation: I-16tou was intended to fire independently not necessarily in sequence after 8AM, a belt and suspenders attack like I-22tou, as insurance against failure or inadequacy of the Kate attacks, plus damaging an outboard BB would pin the inboard BB at its mooring for late attack by dive bombers. The problem with the independent attack is that I-16tou might find the best firing position at about the same place and time where the Kates drop their torps and has to wait there just until 8AM. That poses at least 3 bad possible outcomes for the IJN and 16tou, Fourth item: per one web site Yoshikawa/Morimura and the chief consul were having breakfast when the bombs started to fall. They had to rush back to the consulate and were unable to destroy a lot of sensitive papers before the consulate was seized. They probably had a good idea that there was going to be an attack but IJN did not give their best agents the date and time, so Dr. Uyehara didn't get it either I think. Also Yoshikawa/Morimura didn't like or trust Nisei very much. Fifth item: it seems to me that the only way to resolve the issue of the phantom 1951 wreck is to examine the wreck of I-16tou by some future deep-water archaeological robotic technique that would VERY gently remove debris (preferably in thin layers) from the surface of the wreck determine if there was debris dating identifiably before 1951 (this would advance the West Loch scenario). A worse alternative would be for the future robot to sample under the wreck segments and determine if there was debris from after 1946 or so, this would indicate the wreck dates after the 1944 West Loch disaster. I have seen video of archaeologists using suction hoses in shallow water but I am unaware of any robot which possesses this degree of skill and delicacy. Also we could end up with an ambiguous result after in both methods and it would be expensive to resolve this irritating historical detail.
  25. Yes – you are right, “there is some history that needs to be rewritten.” First item: The I-22tou target priorities were carriers, battleships, cruisers – in that order. Second item: The I-70 sinking – you need to read Lieutenant Clarence Dickenson’s book “The Flying Guns, 1942, who detailed both his attack on the submarine (which he received a Navy Cross for, and the attack by escorts on a submarine that penetrated the Enterprise’s inner defense ring two week later. The I-70 was the only submarine that did not return from the Pearl Harbor expedition. The I-70 could not have been sunk by both Dickerson and the Enterprise escorts. Dickerson watched the escorts conduct the attack from the Enterprise. Third item: The midget submarine I-16tou carried two Type 97 torpedoes with a warhead weighing 913 lbs (which included an explosive charge of 796 lbs) based on a restricted report from the Inspector of Ordnance in Charge, U.S. Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland, dated, June 16, 1942 on "Details of Physical and Chemical Examination of Japanese Warheads" detailing the analysis of the two torpedoes recovered from the captured midget submarine I-24tou which had washed up on Waimanalo Beach near Bellow Field on the east coast of Oahu on December 8, 1941. The recovered torpedo with a 1,000 pound warhead was discovered in the Battleship Row area less than two weeks after the attack – not 1946. My partner and I believe the other torpedo may have been fired into the Oklahoma – based on 1) an interview with a survivor who was trapped inside the Oklahoma when it turned over, and 20 the Oklahoma salvage reports The Battleships (Arizona and Nevada) on the end of Battleship Row were mostly ignored was because the torpedo bombers would have had to fly over the Kuahua peninsula giving them a six second window drop in order for their aerial torpedoes to be able to recover and run true into their targets. “Add I-16tou to the attack on OK and it seems like gross overkill and waste of ammunition” – target priorities were carriers, battleships, cruisers – in that order – no carriers were in port, cruisers were in pier slots, that only leaves the battleships – again, the torpedo needs time to settle out, run true, and arm itself. The Kuahua peninsula prevented that. Fourth item: “Yoshikawa/Morimura” – you are dealing with espionage. Nobody will ever know what actually happened on the Japanese end of things. Common sense alone should tell you that if your name, address, and map location of your house are printed on evasion and escape plans, on the back of navigation charts, issued to midget submariners involved in a secret attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, then someone would have had the courtesy to at least ask you if it was O.K. Fifth item: “it seems to me that the only way to resolve the issue of the phantom 1951 wreck is to examine the wreck of I-16tou…” LOL – Jim, you are late to the party. This was already done eight years ago in a NOVA sponsored documentary called “Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor” in which John Chatterton and I were participants.
    • 1) Thanks Tom Taylor for the mention of I-74 in the Nov18 reply and its relationship to the strange misadventure of pilot Nishikaichi . It does flesh out the story but now adds a few more questions overall as does most of the Pearl Harbor material I have read recently. 2) I wish I had seen the magic words from the Tom Taylor reply of Nov19 earlier: "The recovered torpedo with a 1,000 pound warhead was discovered in the Battleship Row area. " Unless contradicted that is the convicting fingerprint for I-16tou, It provokes another question as to why they missed at such a close range (malfunction, broaching, bad firing angle?) but no way to answer that now. But this places 16tou at the scene of the crime until proved otherwise. 3) A slight digression: West Virginia took a hit on its rudder, I suspect this was an errant type 91 although it caused significant damage. The Arizona took a hit on its lower bow from something. From the way AZ was partly obscured by Vestal I don't think 16tou or a Kate would have intentionally targeted AZ; aiming in a narrow slot to the bow or under the Vestal seems too cutesy to me. However on the charts and photos available to me, if I draw a track from the probable launch area of the type 91s that hit the WV hull and rudder and change the (rudder hit) track's angle CW by a very few degrees the track intersects the bow of AZ. Some websites say the AZ bow probably took a torpedo hit, sailors on the Vestal said they saw the Kate that dropped the torpedo and witnessed this explosion (not the fatal one) that made the entire BB "jump" (wrong force vector I think) but some "experts" somewhere said the damage is not typical of a torpedo hit and CDR Fuchida's very slightly flawed diagram does not include a pilot reported launch against AZ (plus the level bombing was started concurrently, courtesy of CDR Fuchida's second flare). At the top of this web page John Chatterton states that he had dived on Arizona and with all your other research you have better diagrams and charts than I do. SO, in your opinion was the bow damage to AZ due to a large HE bomb (from a Kate maybe) or a torpedo?
  26. 1) Pearl Harbor material you have read – I highly suggest you go on line and fully read the 40 volumes of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack. Build a basic timeline of the attack from conception to return to Japan – read all you can and extract the little facts and observations not mentioned in the other sources and add them all up into your basic timeline. You will now see a completely different view of what happened on December 7, 1941. Go to any of the research facilities if you can, my partner and I are in possession of material no one else has ever seen. We are looking to release this data as soon as practical. 2) “It provokes another question as to why they missed at such a close range (malfunction, broaching, bad firing angle?) but no way to answer that now.” My partner aligned himself with our Japanese counterparts in Japan who are “midget submarine” experts including Vice Admiral Kazuo Ueda, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces and the senior surviving midget submariner from WWII. Firing a torpedo from a midget submarine results in a one-ton shift in ballast, which affects the torpedo’s pitch (up & down movement) and yaw (side-to-side movement). It also forces the submarine to rise up and broach the surface where both crewmembers have to leave their positions (one forward & one aft) to shift the counterweight ballast in order to re-trim the midget submarine again. In our speculative view, the I-16tou had fired upon Oklahoma and then turned toward West Virginia and Arizona before firing again. However, when firing on Oklahoma, Ensign Masaji Yokoyama, purposely surfaced in order to insure a hit. He did not like the German made optics in his periscope. This was confirmed by Kichiji Dewa (I-16tou maintenance technician) who stated that is what Ensign Yokoyama said he would do. Thus the object seen in the Matsumura photograph. 3) Salvage reports confirmed all hits on West Virginia were from 500-pound warheads. 4) As far as torpedoes go, I would stay away from the Arizona if I were you. USS Arizona Park Ranger Daniel Martinez has defended the point that the “USS Arizona was not torpedoed” for a long time now. He bases his facts on a full survey conducted on the USS Arizona showing no torpedo hits or the signs of a dud torpedo breaking up on the Arizona’s port side. John Chatterton has been part of this survey and did another search during the NOVA Documentary. The problem lies with the eyewitnesses who say differently. My partner interviewed Arizona survivor John Stratton who swore to his death he saw a torpedo inbound to Arizona and he was looking down at the water from the port sky control platform. I interviewed Vestal survivor Arnold Bauer, who was standing on the Vestal’s starboard amidships, and he saw the pilots face that flew over both the Vestal and the Arizona. The Vestal’s engine room crew heard the torpedo inbound and at least a dozen ships reported in their After Action report that the Arizona was torpedoed including Captain Rood from the USS St. Louis. Following up on Mr. Bauer’s story, I found an event where two torpedo bombers released their torpedoes on West Virginia and almost had a midair collision (due to Torpedo Bombers who didn’t attack on the north side of Ford island intermingling with the Torpedo Bombers attacking Battleship ship Row) forcing one plane to steer right and fly over the Arizona. I agree with Mr. Martinez’s stand that the Arizona did not receive a torpedo hit, but I also believe that a torpedo was fired at Arizona and just didn’t make it (went into the silt) – thus the "The recovered torpedo with a 1,000 pound warhead was discovered in the Battleship Row area.” Attempts to counter this Statement in the CINCPACFLT After Action Report have been extremely weak and fully countered by the 1946 Congressional Report). I believe the answer MAY lie in a 1941 Torpedo recovery report possibly hidden away in the archives of the Lualualei Annex and if not, in some other research facility like San Bruno in San Francisco where I have spent weeks recovering numerous classified documents supporting my claims. And there are several more research facilities on the east coast (including the Library of Congress)) who have received documents form Pearl Harbor that still haven’t been seen for years.
  27. “The Arizona took a hit on its lower bow from something.” Jim – you are looking inward when you should also consider looking outward. The Arizona was hit by two aerial bombs, which were actually converted 16” inch battleship shells. Commander Fuchida had made a midshipman’s cruise in 1924 to the United States and South America. In San Francisco, the battleship Maryland hosted the Japanese while they were there and gave them a dinner onboard followed by a ship’s tour. Midshipman Fuchida focused on the armor thickness of the ship’s hull and later studied what it would take to penetrate that hull. One shell hit the aft 14” turret while the other one hit the deck just to the forward right of the No. 2 14” turret. The shell penetrated four decks and ended up in space A-419 (A = Ammunition, Deck 4 Frame 19), which was the Black Powder magazine, used to fire the catapults that launched the aircraft on the stern. Space A-419 was located in spaces A-413-M (M = Munitions), A-421-M, & A-423-M that were the starboard 14” Powder rooms for the No. 1 & 2 turrets. The port 14” Powder rooms, A-414-M, A-420-M, & A-424-M were right next to them. Three spaces forward of them was A-405, which was the 50 cal. Anti-Aircraft gun-ammunition storage space. Two spaces back of them was A-431-M (starboard) and A-432-M (port) 5” Powder handling spaces. The Arizona had just recently restocked her entire ammunition compliment. Combine this with the outer hulls full of aviation fuel oil (A-136-A-F through A-144-A-F Port Side) and ship’s oil (A-132-F & A-134-F Port side). When the 16” shell exploded, a cascade affect took place and blew everything outward. There is your lower bow hit. Sad part is the ship’s sickbay was two decks above them at Frames 5 – 7 and extending outboard the ammo holds down to Frames 14. The Brig was just one deck above A-414-M and one frame to port holding a temporary prisoner for another ship because that ship did not have a brig.
    • Item 2) was there any historically usable picture of the damage to the Oklahoma port side? I thought the portside damage had to be patched before the OK was righted and thus this information was lost. Item 3) Clarification, I was thinking of AZ bow damage being caused externally by a near miss (in the water and below and nearly under the bow) on the forwardmost port side of the AZ bow below the waterline either from a converted shell from a Kate or from near miss (in the water) by a conventional bomb from a Val. Does the Nov 25 description above indicate this bow damage was due to the forward #2 turret bomb hit? There is a picture on the web of the lowest part of the mangled forward part of the port bow that looks almost like AZ ran into a boulder and elsewhere a diagram which shows a vertical crack extending from the damaged area upwards which I would think might occur if the explosion occurred below the ship (not from a torpedo but I am not an expert on underwater explosions). Because this damage is so far forward at the lower bow I didn't associate this damage with the converted shell/bomb which impacted near the forward #2 turret and visibly blew out rather than in. But is the Nov25 reply saying the below water bow damage was due to the turret hit? The descriptions above of the harbor bed indicate a lot of soft silt so I did not think it was caused by the AZ impacting bottom when it sank. The above speculation (Nov 25) on a type 91 running between WV and AZ, barely missing either, and so on into the mud is very interesting and believable given the number of torpedoes launched. There are at least 4 that are not matched to hits. Good note on Midshipman Fuchida. Item 5 (new) How many messages are attributed to I-16tou? I have read about a "Tora, tora, tora" although one site spelled it differently, plus "attacked a large warship" (which could only have come truthfully from 16tou that night) and "vessel uncontrollable" or such around midnight. Item 6 (new) The West Loch scenario absolutely depends on I-16tou remaining in the harbor, either unable or unwilling to exit via the South Channel. The Battleship Row torpedo places the I-16tou in the SE Loch area. The time and location of the Bobolink report are reasonable for 16tou to be heading south of Ford Island but not yet at the anti-sub net or the entrance to West Loch. Was the I-16tou add-on net cutter capable of cutting the steel rings in the anti-sub net? Wouldn't somebody (USN) who was minding the net notice a big bulge caused by the mini-sub attempting to headbutt its way through (or later report damage to the net)? The action report of the Bobolink indicates only 3 shots were fired at the mysterious swirl of mud, no periscope or sail is mentioned and I inferred from the language and the prior Middle Loch reports that the Bobolink's 3 inch shells were skipping off the surface. Probably behind 16tou, but I wonder if the nearby impacts among all the other noise could have alerted 16tou that they had been discovered. I speculate that the very clever Ensign Yokoyama was trying to navigate his way back from SE Loch solely by gyro and stop watch with minimal periscope usage and got thrown off the main channel by the currents off Hospital Point which soon were to be a problem for the much larger Nevada. I could even speculate that 16tou might have been speeding up to try to escape or even to cut the net and this could cause a navigational error. Big problems but Ensign Yokoyama had already pulled off three Houdini tricks. There were some ships such as Blue, Monaghan and St Louis which were exiting the harbor at high speed around this time. Bobolink departed later. Did the anti-sub net open for any of the USN ships? Speculation: Would or could Yokoyama have tried the same trick that got him into the harbor even though most of these ships were faster than Antares or Condor? In a scenario that the net remained open long enough then I-16tou could have escaped, maybe to become the phantom 1951 wreck.
  28. I came across all of the photographs and supporting data surrounding the Oklahoma salvage effort up in the San Bruno Research Facility. It was extensive and all of it available to the public for reproduction. Apparently, the explosion description of the Arizona didn’t hit home. The explosion cascade was so huge, that even Commander Fuchida’s aircraft felt the turbulence: “Suddenly a colossal explosion occurred in battleship row. A huge column of dark red smoke rose to 1000 feet and a stiff shock wave reached our plane. (I Led the Air Attack on Pearl Harbor - by Captain Mitsuo Fuchida)” A 100-foot gap in the heavily armored ship was made by the single most destructive shot fired during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. That was an 1,800-pound bomb that penetrated the Arizona's deck and struck fuel and ammunition caches, creating an explosion heard across the island of Oahu in the early morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The bomb, a Japanese Navy artillery shell redesigned to include flight fins to pierce ship's armor before exploding, plunged through the foredeck and exploded in a fuel storage room. Fire flared there for only a few seconds before the 1 million pounds of explosives ignited with an enormous blast in a nearby compartment. “The explosion broke the ship in two forward of turret one, collapsed her forecastle decks, and created such a cavity that her forward turrets and conning tower fell thirty feet into her hull.” (USS Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor.com) “How many messages are attributed to I-16tou? I have read about a "Tora, Tora, Tora" although one site spelled it differently…” You read what other people speculate, we received our information from the actual person who received the message; Kichiji Dewa (I-16tou maintenance technician). As for the I-16tou escaping: “I was suddenly reminded of the midget submarines which were to have entered the bay for a special attack. At the time of our sortie I was aware of these midget submarines, but knew nothing of their characteristics, operational objectives, force organization, or the reason for their participation in the attack. In Akagi, Commander Shibuya, a staff officer in charge of submarine operations, had explained that they were to penetrate the harbor the night before our attack; but, no matter how good an opportunity might arise, they were not to strike until after the planes had done so. Even now the submarines were probably concealed in the bay, awaiting the air attack. Had the entrance been left open, there would have been some opportunity for them to get out of the harbor. But in light of what I had just seen there seemed little chance of that, and, feeling now the bitterness of war, I vowed to do my best in the assigned mission.” (I Led the Air Attack on Pearl Harbor - by Captain Mitsuo Fuchida) Take into consideration, the I-16tou’s oxygen level was nearly depleted and the carbon dioxide build up was near toxic levels. Both crewmen were near exhausted and slowly dying. Neither one had extended their training to this level. They would have been overheated, sweating, and gasping for air while trying to determine am escape strategy. Net crews were alerted and now looking for underwater objects moving through the net channel. No net cutting occurred as the net was investigated after the attack. The Pearl Harbor Signal Tower was logging 1) every ship sortie and 2) net opening / closing times. I-16tou was found in the West Loch and disposed of at the same time the West Loch disaster was being investigated. No evidence exists that the phantom 1951 wreck occurred. It is a die-hard concept with no merit. It was never mentioned in any other publication, documentary, or eyewitness account because it didn’t happen.
  29. I don't speak Japanese but from some other overseas correspondence I am aware that changes in meaning occur due to translation. This is pretty thin broth to make stew out of but it occurred to me that the first two messages in question ("Tora, tora, tora" etc." and "attacked a large warship") were unnecessary for the case that the 16tou believed they had a good chance of returning. They could have made their victorious report to cheers onboard I-16.The submariners, like I-70, seem to be very taciturn, for good reason. But instead of tactical info 16tou wanted to count coup. "Tora, tora, tora" had great tactical meaning for CDR Fuchida, but when 16tou sent their message the battle was over so that message was basically "rah, rah, rah for us!" Going further out on a creaking limb, depending on the time those messages were sent one might infer when the crew knew that they weren't going to make it back by sea which would support the West Loch scenario. The second message has another implication: that 16tou attacked "A Warship" meaning "launched torpedo/torpedoes at ONE warship" in English. In the discussion above about the errant type 97 the informed Speculation was that the second torpedo was launched at West Virginia, possibly while the 16tou was out of trim from the first launch. out on my speculative limb and reading between the lines of a short translated foreign message I inferred the One warship which was attacked was OK (with both torpedoes) unless Ensign Yokoyama was uncommonly critical enough to discount a probable launch and miss on WV. The third message is a bit problematic: "vessel not maneuverable." In precise English 16tou probably wasn't "maneuvering" after they reached a position in West Loch, there wasn't anywhere else to go, they're boxed in and i do see why they would cruise around the Loch on low batteries. The real problem was battery exhaustion or that 16tou was being scuttled or hiding at place X (West Loch) that the crew was taking a long hike (to Dr. U) and could not rendezvous with I-16 (which then shouldn't have hung around). For the case where 24tou was out at sea then the term "uncontrollable" or "unmaneuverable" would have been appropriate but they said nothing. Ref my question about pictures of OK, I was thinking that the most effective use of the type 97 would have been early, to defeat the anti-torpedo bulkheads, thus allowing the type 91 torpedoes to strike higher into the armor belt and eventually above the armor belt; which is what happened but it apparently provoked 16tou to fire quickly, perhaps rushing its shots. Perhaps your research and associates' analysis will find a photo which indicates the type 97 is one of the lowest (first) hits. The disquieting possibility would be if there are NO such hits. OK would have sunk anyway under an 8 torpedo barrage: the lower spaces were pre-WW1 design; so what difference did 16tou make in real terms? -- a few more sailors died than if OK had capsized more slowly. Note: The only unrecoverable ships sunk by torpedoes were OK and Utah, their contribution in WWII would have been slight. Old item: thanks Tom Taylor for the long quote from CDR Fuchida especially including the remark by Commander Shibuya, it confirms the timing of the torpedo launches that I had begun to suspect. Just a comment, I am surprised that 16tou was not observed while it broached while all the USN sailors were reporting torpedo tracks at the same time. In its 1914 attacks the little U-9 broached after one launch such that HMS Hogue fired at it before both ships submerged. Another comment: One of the other sites does use the term "anti-torpedo nets" for the nets at Bishop Point. Their explanation is that it was protection against torpedoes being fired north up South Channel. Such was 1930s thinking maybe, however today it would be easy to conceive of a smart torpedo/drone which could perform that attack like a minisub. I also found a map/diagram which shows there were two rows of nets. Did you locate the edition of Life Magazine and article by Roger Pineau which is referred to in Gary W note of 28 January 2020? "Life" was a picture magazine of reasonable repute so if there is a picture of the phantom out there then I think you would want to disprove it when publishing your own book or documentary. It's a prior publication and the academic types will be at you like killer bees if an unexplained contrary photo is ignored. It doesn't matter too much to my overall view whether the West Loch or 1951 scenario holds: either way there is no sighting of 16tou activity after Bobolink shoots at the swirl, there seem to be three messages but no further trace of the crew. The disassembled wreck ends up at a dump in deep water, probably looted ashore. Same result either way. The above discussion and related research which it prompted has really turned my head around. The technological aspects relate directly to some of the political aspects of Pearl Harbor. I am not going to even imagine going through 40 volumes of archives so good luck.

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