(Type A1 Submarine)

IJN Submarine I-11:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 6

16 May 1942:
I-11 is completed at Kawasaki's Kobe Yard and registered in the Kure Naval District. I-11 is flagship of Rear Admiral Kono Chimaki's SubRon 3 in Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa's Sixth Fleet. Cdr (later Captain) Shichiji Tsuneo (former CO of I-5) is Commanding Officer.

7 June 1942:
Departs Kure for Kwajalein.

8 July 1942:
Rear Admiral Kono transfers his SubRon 3 flag from tender YASUKUNI MARU to I-11.

9 July 1942:
I-11, with Admiral Kono and his six-man staff embarked, departs Kwajalein for the Sydney, Australia area. I-11 carries 120 men aboard.

20 July 1942:
S. Australia. 15 miles off Jervis Bay. At 2300, I-11, running on the surface, torpedoes 5,482-ton Greek merchant G. S. LIVANOS with a cargo of 87 army motor vehicles. She sinks at 35-00S, 151-00E.

21 July 1942:
S. Australia. At 0200, I-11, running on the surface, fires two torpedoes and sinks 3,290-ton American freighter COAST FARMER in 20 minutes at 35-23S, 151-00E.

22 July 1942:
S. Australia. Off Tathra Head. At 0500, I-11, running on the surface, torpedoes 7,176-ton American "Liberty" ship WILLIAM DAWES with a cargo of 82 jeeps, 72 -ton pickups, 60 one-ton trailers and scores of trucks, ambulances and half-track vehicles. She sinks off Tathra Head at 36-47S, 150-16E.

27 July 1942:
30 miles N of Cape Howe. At 0445, I-11, running on the surface, fires one torpedoes at 2,197-ton Australian merchant COOLANA but misses. Cdr Shichiji prepares to shell her with I-11's deck gun, but crash-dives when COOLANA sends out an SOS. Shichiji fires another torpedo, but misses again. COOLANA escapes undamaged.

29 July 1942:
I-11 is attacked by a Bristol "Beaufort" of No. 100 RAAF Squadron from Laverton. The plane's bomb bay door sticks and I-11 is able to crash-dive before the Beaufort can drop its bombs. I-11 is not damaged.

31 July 1942:
Off Everard Light. I-11 attacks an unidentified Allied merchant ship. Cdr Shichiji fires his last torpedo, but misses.

August 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal opening a seven-month campaign to take the island.

20 August 1942:
Departs Truk to patrol in the Solomons area.

6 September 1942:
Off Espiritu Santo. I-11 penetrates a screen of escorts and fires a salvo of torpedoes at USS HORNET (CV-8) but an orbiting USN aircraft spots the torpedoes, drops its bombs and causes the torpedoes to miss the carrier.

7 September 1942:
I-11 is attacked by an enemy aircraft. She is damaged and unable to dive. [1]

11 September 1942:
Returns to Truk.

18 September 1942:
Truk. I-11 is in Subron 3 with I-168, I-169, I-171, I-172, I-174 and I-175.

22 September 1942:
Returns to Kure for repairs.

9 January 1943:
Departs Kure.

January 1943:
Arrives at Truk. I-11 is flagship of Rear Admiral Komazawa Katsumi's (former CO of CVS NISSHIN) Submarine Force "Kon".

28 January 1943:
Departs Truk for an area S of Guadalcanal and N of Rennel Island. She waits to intercept American naval forces with I-16, I-17, I-18, I-20, I-25, I-26, I-32 and I-176.

31 January Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
A task force of units of the Second and Third Fleets from Truk steams north of the Solomons as a feint to cover Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul. The IJN begins to evacuate the starving IJA from Guadalcanal.

2 February 1943:
Rear Admiral Komazawa, after receiving information that an American carrier task force is at sea 100 nautical miles SE of San Cristobal Island, orders his submarines to proceed to intercept the carriers, but they do not make contact.

8 February 1943:
Air reconnaissance spots American naval forces 150 miles SSE of Rennel Island. Komazawa orders his submarines to proceed there. Later, I-18 and another submarine discover and engage the Americans, but then the Kon Force loses contact. Admiral Komazawa orders all submarines except his I-11 and I-17 to return to Truk.

9 February 1943:
The IJN completes successfully the evacuation of 11,700 troops from Guadalcanal.

February 1943:
Departs Truk to raid enemy communications off the E of Australia.

1 March 1943:
The E14Y1 "Glen" from I-11 conducts a recce flight over the airfields on Chesterfield Reefs, New Caledonia. During the recovery the floatplane is damaged.

21 February 1943:
I-11 launches Yokosuka E14Y1 Glen floatplane to reconnoiter the American fleet anchorage at Noumea. The plane reports sighting two battleships and a carrier.

10 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

10 April 1943:
Departs Truk.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

7 July 1943:
Cdr Tagami Meiji (former CO of I-25) is assigned as the Commanding Officer. Cdr (later Captain) Shichiji is later reassigned as ComSubDiv 6.

SubRon 1's I-11, I-17, I-19 and I-25 are assigned to patrol off Santa Cruz, Espiritu Santo, Fiji and New Caledonia. I-11 departs Truk.

20 July 1943:
Off San Cristobal, New Hebrides, Solomons. At sunset, British Vice Admiral Victor A.C. Crutchley's Task Force 74 is proceeding to Espiritu Santo. The weather is clear with extreme visibility. Darkened light cruiser HOBART is steaming in column at 23 knots some 600 yards astern of heavy cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA (F). USS RADFORD (DD-446), NICHOLAS (DD-449) and O'BANNON (DD-450) are screening the cruisers. All ships are zigzagging.

At a range of 10 miles, LtCdr Tagami fires two Type 95 torpedoes at the ships. At 1845, one hits HOBART aft port side at 15-07S, 163-43E. HOBART suffers heavy structural damage in the vicinity of the wardroom, loses all power and steering control and takes on a slight list to port. She makes Espirtu Santo the next day with 15 dead and seven injured seamen aboard. After temporary repairs, she makes Sydney under her own power, but permanent repairs to the extensively damaged ship take 17 months.

25 July 1943:
After sundown the E14Y1 "Glen" from I-11 conducts a recce flight over Noumea, New Caledonia.

11 August 1943:
Off Noumea, New Caledonia. I-11 torpedoes and damages 7, 176-ton American Liberty ship MATTHEW LYON at 22-30S, 166W.

13 September 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

15 September 1943:
Reassigned as flagship of SubRon 1.

26 September 1943:
Arrives at Kure for repairs.

10 October 1943:
Cdr Izu Juichi (51)(former CO of I-29) is appointed CO.

3 December 1943:
Departs Kure.

21 December 1943:
Departs Truk to patrol near the Ellice Islands.

31 December 1943:
Conducts submerged reconnaissance of Funafuti, Ellice islands.

11 January 1944:
After completing her mission, I-11 makes her final report. Cdr Izu is ordered to attack enemy shipping in the Ellice-Samoa area.

20 March 1944:
Presumed lost S of Funafuti. Cdr Izu is promoted Captain posthumously. [2] 30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] A PBY "Catalina" of patrol squadron VP-11's "Black Cats" deployed to Espiritu Santo claimed sinking a sub that day, but no such loss was verifiable postwar. However, it is possible I-11 was damaged in the attack.

[2] Post-war Japanese studies suggest I-11 may have struck a mine.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Special thanks also go to Steve Eckardt of Australia for providing new information for revision 1.

Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp.

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