(Salvage Tug by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Salvage and Repair Tug FUTAGAMI:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Revision 1

21 October 1938:
Aioi. Laid down by Harima Shipbuilding for the IJN as a 600-ton HASHIMA-class salvage tug.

6 February 1939:
Launched and named FUTAGAMI.

30 April 1939:
Completed and registered in the Kure Naval District. Assigned to the Kure Harbor Masterís Office.

1 April 1943:
Truk. Assigned to the Fourth Fleetís Harbor Masterís Office at Fefan Island.

4 April 1944:
Truk. NW of Dublon Island. Submarine I-169 is replenishing supplies at her anchorage in the lagoon. About 0900 (JST) an air raid warning is issued. The watch officer orders I-169 to dive immediately. Since the main induction valve is not secured, the aft compartments flood. The submarine settles in 125 feet of water. The rest of the crew seals off the flooded area. Later, a diver contacts the survivors, tapping on the hull.

5 April 1944:
Headquarters, Sixth Fleet issues an order to rescue the survivors. FUTAGAMI and a repair ship with a 30-ton crane are dispatched to hoist the bow to the surface. They attempt a lift, but the flooded submarine is too heavy and the crane's cable breaks.

Tapping comes only from the aft compartment. Air hoses are lowered and holes are drilled in the ballast tanks, but it is impossible to signal the crew to open the air valves to the ballast tanks. All suffocate.

18 September 1944:
Puluwat (Enderby Island), Carolines. USAAF B-25 "Mitchell" medium-bombers damage FUTAGAMI, auxiliary minesweeper Wa-5 and coastal/harbor minesweeper Wa-3.

September 1945:
Truk Atoll. FUTAGAMI is surrendered in serviceable condition, but at an unknown post-war date is sunk off Dublon Island for unknown reasons. [1]

Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
Little data were found for FUTAGAMI 's movements. Readers with access to any such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or's IJN Ship Message Board
[1] The wreck shows no sign of battle damage and appears to have been scuttled.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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