(KRS Type minelaying submarine I-122)

IJN Submarine I-122: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2014 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 8

28 February 1925:
Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Yard as Submarine No. 49.

8 November 1926:

1 June 1927:
LtCdr (later Captain) Kosokabe Yuzuru (38)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

28 October 1928:
Completed at Kawasaki Kobe Yard, commissioned in the IJN as I-22 and attached to Kure Naval District. LtCdr Kosokabe Yuzuru is the CO.

10 December 1928:
LtCdr (later Captain) Funaki Shigetoshi (43)(former instructor at submarine school) is appointed the CO.

1 November 1929:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Nakajima Chihiro (43)(former CO of RO-31) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1930:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Okushima Takasaburo (44)(former CO of RO-61) is appointed the CO.

1 November 1932:
LtCdr (later Capt) Abe Shinobu (42)(former CO of I-55) is appointed the CO.

16 March 1933:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr (later Captain) Mizohata Sadaichi (46)(former CO of RO-66) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1935:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fujii Akiyoshi (49)(current CO of I-21/I-121) is appointed the CO.

15 February 1936:
Placed in reserve at Kure. LtCdr (later Captain) Nakagawa Hajime (50)(former CO of RO-64) is appointed the CO of I-21 and I-22 as an additional duty.

30 June 1936:
LtCdr (later Captain) Otani Kiyonori (49)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1936:
LtCdr (later Captain) Yokota Minoru (51)(former CO of RO-26) is appointed the CO.

20 March 1937:
LtCdr (later Captain) Yoshimura Iwao (51)(former damage control officer of SHIRETOKO) is appointed the CO.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The "First China Incident"):
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers fire blank cartridges. Nearby Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a Peking suburb to look for the soldier. The Chinese refuse. The Japanese then shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

September 1937:
SubDiv 13 with I-22 and I-21 joins the naval blockade over the southern Chinese coast while based at Tsingtao.

3 February 1938:
I-22 and I-21 are assigned to provide distant cover for the light cruiser KUMA (current flagship of SubRon 3), tasked with landing a SNLF unit off Chefoo. Neither submarine is able to sortie as a result of problems with their diesel engines.

22 March 1938:
Weihai Bay, China. I-22 and I-21 deliver a 30-man strong Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) party to Liugong (Liukung) Island.

1 June 1938:
I-22 is renumbered I-122.

20 March 1939:
LtCdr (later Captain) Yoshitome Zennosuke (52)(former CO of RO-64) is appointed the CO.

29 July-16 August 1939:
LtCdr Yoshitome is appointed the CO of I-121 as an additional duty.

20-25 November 1939:
LtCdrLtCdr Yoshitome is appointed the CO of RO-68 as an additional duty.

20 March 1940:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Koike Iitsu (52)(former CO of I-60) is appointed the CO.

The entire I-121 class is converted to carry 15 tons of aviation fuel for Kawanishi H6K Type 97 "Mavis" flying boats.

15 October 1940:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 November; later Captain) Iura Shojiro (51)(former CO of I-74) is appointed the CO.

15 December 1940:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Miyazaki Takeji (46)(current ComSubDiv 13) is appointed the CO of I-122 as an additional duty.

30 January-4 February 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 13 is temporarily transferred to I-121. I-122 is placed in reserve at Kure.

28 April 1941:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Utsugi Shujiro (52)(former CO of RO-57) is appointed the CO.

1 May 1941:
Reassigned to SubDiv 13, Sixth Fleet.

15 October 1941:
I-122 is in the Third Fleet in Rear Admiral Kono Chimaki's SubRon 6 under Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Miyazaki Takeji's (46)(former CO of I-122 and others) SubDiv 13 with I-121.

27 November 1941:
Arrives at Samah, Hainan Island, China in company of sub tender CHOGEI.

1 December 1941:
SubDiv 13 departs Samah.

2 December 1941:
The coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" is received from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

6 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (35)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Southern Force, Philippines Seizure Force departs Palau.

7 December 1941:
I-122 lays a minefield of 42 Type 88 Mk. 1 mines NE of Singapore, then patrols the eastern entrance to Johore Strait with I-121.

11 December 1941:
Vice Admiral Takahashi's force invades Legaspi then Davao (19-20 December) and Jolo (24 December), covered by light carrier RYUJO, CruDiv 5's HAGURO, MYOKO, NACHI, DesRon 2's light cruiser JINTSU and nine destroyers and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kubo Kyuji's (35)(former CO of MIKUMA) seaplane tenders CHITOSE, MIZUHO, light cruisers NAKA, NAGARA, five destroyers and seven transports.

12 December 1941:
Reassigned to Southern Submarine Force with I-121.

14 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

18 December 1941:
Departs Camranh in company of I-124 for Davao on Mindanao, Philippines.

26 December 1941:
Reassigned to Submarine Group "A" with I-121 through -124.

31 December 1941:
I-122 and I-124 arrive at Davao.

5 January 1942:
Departs Davao on her second war patrol to lay mines in the western approaches to the Torres Strait.

15 January 1942:
I-122 lays 30 mines in the western approaches to the Torres Strait.

20 January 1942:
I-122 arrives from the Torres Strait and patrols the northtern approaches to the Dundas Strait between Melville Island and Cobourg Peninsula.

30 January 1942:
After the loss of I-124, SubRon 6's I-121 and I-122 arrive at Davao, Philippines.

1 February 1942:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Norita Sadatoshi (57)(former torpedo officer of I-9) is appointed the CO.

9 February 1942:
Departs Davao in company of I-121 on her third war patrol to conduct picket and attack operations W of the Torres Strait in support of the Carrier Stike Force.

13 February 1942:
I-122 is detached and proceeds SE. I-121 continues south. I-122 is to conduct picket and attack operations W of the Torres Strait in support of the Carrier Stike Force.

19 February 1942:
At 0957 (local), Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36) Carrier Strike Force raids Port Darwin. Seventy-one "Kate" attack planes, 81 "Val" dive-bombers and 36 "Zeke" fighters led by Cdr (later Captain) Fuchida Minoru (of Pearl Harbor) from CarDiv 1's AKAGI and KAGA and CarDiv 2's HIRYU and the SORYU attack Darwin. They destroy 15 aircraft including nine American Curtiss P-40 "Kittyhawk" fighters, sink eight ships including destroyer USS PEARY (DD-226) and Army transport GENERAL M.C. MEIGS, damage nine ships including the seaplane tender (WW1 destroyer conversion) USS WILLIAM B. PRESTON (AVD-7). The carrier strike is followed by a strike of 28 twin engine land-based Mitsubishi G3M2 "Nells" of the 1st Kokutai from Ambon and 27 Mitsubishi G4M1 "Bettys" of the Kanoya Kokutai based at Kendari on Sulawesi, Celebes.

24 February 1942:
At 0600, lookouts aboard I-122 spot an enemy patrol patrol. At 1200, I-122 departs her patrol area.

28 February 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes.

10 March 1942:
I-122 and I-121 depart Staring Bay for Japan. On that same day, both submarines are directly attached to the Combined Fleet HQ.

21 March 1942:
Arrives at Kure for refit.

10 April 1942:
SubRon 6 is disbanded. SubDiv 13 is attached directly to the Sixth Fleet.

May 1942: Operation "K-2": Flying Boat Reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor:
I-122 is in Vice Admiral Komatsu Teruhisa's Advance Expeditionary Force (Sixth Fleet) with SubDiv 13's I-121 and I-123. SubDiv 13 is assigned to carry gas and oil to Lisianski Island and to French Frigate Shoal, Hawaii. The K-2 operation plan calls for two H8K "Emily" flying boats to refuel at the Shoals and then reconnoiter the naval base at Pearl Harbor prior to the Midway Invasion. I-122 is designated as the reserve fuel carrier.

13 May 1942:
Departs Kure for Kwajalein.

23 May 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

5 June 1942:
I-122 arrives at her assigned patrol station.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein in company of I-121 and I-123, later returns to Yokosuka.

14 July 1942:
Capt Miyazaki Takeji's SubDiv 13 is reassigned to SubRon 7, Eighth Fleet.

16 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

31 July 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

4 August 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA '04)Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's (USNA '06) Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's (USNA '06) 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.

That day, I-121 and I-122 depart Rabaul to reconnoiter Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

9 August 1942:
Commences periscope observation of Lunga Point and the anchorage.

13 August 1942:
1.6 miles SW of Tulagi island, Guadalcanal. At 1730 I-122 surfaces, flying the battle flag in an attempt to boost the morale of the IJA troops witnessing that event. When conducting surfaced reconnaissance of the island, the submarine comes under fire from ashore and dives immediately thereafter.

15 August 1942:
Reconnoiters the Vanikoro islands, Santa Cruz.

23 August 1942: Operation KA: The Destruction of the American Fleet and the Recapture of Guadalcanal:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake’s (35)(former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Advanced Force's CruDiv's 4 and 5, CarDiv 11's seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA and nine destroyers arrive off Truk from Japan. Kondo joins Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's Third Fleet, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, CarDiv 2's RYUJO, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 7 and 8 and Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA and destroyers for operations in the Solomons.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE (CV-6) launches aircraft that find and sink light carrier RYUJO. In turn, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find and damage ENTERPRISE. That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage CHITOSE.

7 September 1942:
Returns to Rabaul. Embarks the equipment for refueling floatplanes at sea delivered by an Aichi E13A1 "Jake" from CHITOSE.

9 September 1942:
Departs Rabaul to refuel seaplanes in the Indispensable Strait.

14-20 September 1942:
Operates off the Indispensable Reef, then recalled to Rabaul.

25 September 1942:
Returns to Rabaul. En route the submarine develops a clutch problem, necessitating longer repairs.

21 October 1942:
Departs Rabaul to refuel the IJN reconnaissance floatplanes at Indispensable Reef.

26-27 October 1942:
Operates off Indispensable Reef, then heads for the area W of Guadalcanal.

6 November 1942:
SW of Malaita Island. At 0615, I-122 sights an Allied convoy of three transports, escorted by a cruiser and five destroyers. LtCdr Norita Sadatoshi commences an approach, but his boat is detected by escorts and chased away.

8 November 1942:
Returns to Indispensable Reef.

10-12 November 1942:
Operates off Indispensable Reef.

16 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, departs for Truk on that same day.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk. LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Rikihisa Matsuji (58)(former CO of RO-58) is appointed the CO.

27 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Kure.

5 December 1942:
Arrives at Kure for overhaul.

14 March 1943:
Departs Saeki for Rabaul.

25 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

27 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul to participate in ten supply missions to Lae, New Guinea.

27 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Lae.

30 March 1943:
Arrives at Lae, unloads her cargo, then departs for Rabaul.

2 April 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

15 April 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her second supply run to Lae. That same day, SubRon 7 is reassigned to Southeast Area Fleet.

18 April 1943:
Arrives at Lae, unloads 23.5 tons of food and ammunition, embarks 15 wounded or sick soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

20 April 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

26 April 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her third supply run, unloads 23.5 tons of food and ammunition, then departs for Rabaul.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her fourth supply run, unloads 23.5 tons of food and ammunition, embarks 15 soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

12 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her fifth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

25 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her fifth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

31 May 1943:
SubDiv 13 is disbanded. I-122 and I-121 are attached to SubRon 7 HQ.

5 June 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her sixth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

12 June 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her seventh supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

23 June 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her eighth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her ninth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

9 July 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her tenth supply run, then departs for Rabaul.

1 August 1943:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Shinohara Shigeo (62)(former torpedo officer of I-2) is appointed the CO.

15 August 1943:
I-121 and I-122 are reassigned to Kure Guard Unit.

19 August 1943:
Departs Rabaul.

1 September 1943:
Returns to Kure. I-122 and I-121 are withdrawn from combat and assigned to training duties in the Inland Sea.

December 1943:
I-122 is in the Kure Naval District in the Kure SubRon's SubDiv 18 with I-121, I-153, I-154 and I-155. Continues training duties.

Kure Navy Yard. The Submarine School carries out Sensuikan Gaigen Toshoku Jikken experiments on camouflage painting of I-boats based on RO-500's (ex-German U-boat U 511) camouflage. I-122 is painted Nezumi iro (Grey).

5 January 1944:
Iyo Nada. On this day, an experiment is carried to determine the camouflage's horizontal visibility, its visibility from aircraft, the appropriateness of the color for the surrounding sea area, its ability to confuse determining the I-boat's speed and direction and the durability of the paint.

15 February 1944:
Captain Hamano Motoichi (48)(current ComSubDiv 19) is appointed the CO of I-122 as an additional duty.

30 April 1944:
Lt (Promoted LtCdr 1 May; Cdr, posthumously) Irizawa Mitsuteru (63)(former torpedo officer of I-165) is appointed the CO.

31 August 1944:
LtCdr Yamane Hajime (61)(former CO of RO-57) is appointed the CO.

24 October 1944:
Cdr Kono Masamichi (52)(former CO of I-156) is appointed the CO.

1 January 1945:
I-122 is in the Kure Naval District in SubDiv 19 with I-121, I-155, I-156, I-157, I-158, I-159, I-162 and I-165. Continues training duties.

10 January 1945:
Lt (later LtCdr) Nakajima Mari (66)(former torpedo officer of RO-112) is appointed the CO.

25 March 1945:
Lt (LtCdr, posthumously) Mihara Sosaku (69)(former navigating officer of RO-113) is appointed the CO.

20 April 1945:
Reassigned to SubDiv 33 with I-121.

28 May 1942:
Drydocked at Maizuru.

9 June 1945:
At 1145, departs Maizuru for a training cruise in Nanao Bay, Sea of Japan.

10 June 1945: American Operation "Barney":
A group of nine American submarines, including LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Richard B. Lynch's Richard B. Lynch's (USNA '35) USS SKATE (SS-305), penetrates the minefields guarding the entrance to the Tsushima Strait, using a new FM sonar.

Lt Mihara is about to return to the Nanao base, zigzagging at about 15 knots, but at 1120 (I) he is sighted by SKATE. The submarine is soon positively identified as I-121 class. At 1144, LtCdr Lynch fires four torpedoes at 800 yards. Two hit amidships and sink I-122 with all hands 6 miles SE of Rokugo Misaki lighthouse at 37-29N, 137-25E. Five minutes later breaking-up noises are heard and a large air bubble appears on the surface, followed by much oil.

An IJN observation post at Rokugo lighthouse witnesses the sinking, but attributes it to an onboard explosion of torpedoes. By 1510, an Aichi M6A1 "Seiran" floatplane from the 631st NAG arrives from Anamizu base and flies over the site in an attempt to locate any survivors. The floatplane is spotted by USS SKATE, but it does not detect the submarine.

15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List

Authors' Note:s
[1] Japanese naval historian Kimata Jiro has attributed the loss of the Dutch submarine Hr.Ms. K-XVII in December 1941 to the mines laid by I-122. Another possible victim of her mines is the Dutch submarine O-16, lost near that area during that time. Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Steve Eckardt of Australia. Thanks also go to John Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages.

Special thanks to author John B. Lundstrom for sharing his research on carrier operations off Guadalcanal.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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