(KRS Type mine laying submarine)

IJN Submarine I-124:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 7

17 April 1926:
Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Yard as Submarine Minelayer No. 52.

12 December 1927:
Launched as I-24.

15 June 1928:
LtCdr (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Harada Kaku (41) (former CO of RO-18) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

10 December 1928:
Completed, commissioned in the IJN and attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 9 at Yokosuka Guard Unit. LtCdr Harada Kaku is the Commanding Officer.

1 June 1929:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kato Yoshio (43)(former CO of RO-28) is appointed CO.

1 December 1931:
LtCdr (later Captain) Takezaki Kaoru (45)(former CO of RO-60) is appointed CO.

3 March 1932:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Okura Tomesaburo (43) (former CO of I-54) is appointed CO.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Matsumura Midori (48)(former CO of MATSUKAZE) is appointed CO.

1 June 1934:
LtCdr (later Captain) Fujimoto Tsutae (48)(former CO of RO-68) is appointed CO.

15 November 1934:
LtCdr (later Captain) Otani Kiyonori (49)(former communications officer of RO-31) is appointed CO.

25 May 1935:
During the deep diving trials with I-23, I-24 receives damage to her main ballast tanks. Placed in reserve at Yokosuka for the main ballast tanks reinforcement.

3 July 1935:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kayabara Yasuchika (49) (former CO of RO-66) is appointed CO.

15 November 1935:
LtCdr (later Captain) Uchino Shinji (49)(former CO of RO-27) is appointed CO.

15 February 1936:
LtCdr (later Captain) Koizumi Kiichi (49)(former CO of RO-59) is appointed CO.

20 March 1937:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Yamamoto Kiyoshi (49)(former CO of AKIKAZE) is appointed 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.

31 July 1937:
LtCdr (later Captain) Ageta Kiyoi (50)(former CO of RO-33) is appointed CO.

September 1937:
SubDiv 9 with I-23 and I-24 joins the naval blockade over the southern Chinese coast.

15 November 1937:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Shibata Genichi (51) (former CO of RO-66) is appointed CO.

1 June 1938:
I-24 is renumbered I-124

20 October 1939:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fujii Akiyoshi (49) (current CO of I-2) is appointed CO of I-124 as an additional duty.

24 October 1939:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Kurokawa Hideyuki (54) (former CO of I-67) is appointed CO.

20 March 1940:
Placed in reserve at Yokosuka. LtCdr (later Captain) Tonozuka Kinzo (50)(current CO of I-123) is appointed CO of I-124 as an additional duty.

24 April 1940:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Izu Juichi (51)(former CO of FUTAMI) is appointed CO.

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

30 October 1940:
Cdr (Captain, posthumously) Ishikawa Nobuo (49) (former CO of I-7) is appointed CO.

20 December 1940:
Captain Okura Tomesaburo (43)(current ComSubDiv 9) is appointed CO of I-124 as additional duty (his second tour as the CO of that boat).

31 January 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Kishigami Koichi (52) (former instructor at submarine school) is appointed CO.

7-9 April 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 9 is temporarily transferred from I-124 to I-123.

10 April 1941:
Cdr Endo Yukio (46)(former CO of I-2) is appointed ComSubDiv 9.

1 May 1941:
I-124 is based at Yokosuka with I-123 in Cdr Endo Yukio's SubDiv 9 in Rear Admiral Kono Chimaki's SubRon 6, Third Fleet.

2 August 1941:
I-123 is again designated the flagship of SubDiv 9. Cdr Endo leaves the ship.

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

1 December 1941:
I-124 and I-123 depart Samah for the Philippines.

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":
Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Third Fleet, Southern Force, Philippines Seizure Force departs Palau.

7 December 1941:
I-124 lays 39 Type 88 Mk. 1 mines off Manila Bay, Philippines, then proceeds to an area SW of Lubang Island. She performs weather reporting and stands by to rescue aircrews downed in air strikes on Manila launched from Formosa.

10 December 1941:
8 miles W of Barigayos Point, western Luzon. Around 0430, I-124 torpedoes and sinks the 1,228-ton British steamer HARELDAWINS (ex-HARELDA) en route from Hong Kong to Singapore. The master of the steamer is taken POW. [2]

11 December 1941: Operation "M"- The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
Vice Admiral Takahashi's force invades Legaspi, Philippines, then Davao (19-20 December) and Jolo (24 December).

14 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

18 December 1941:
Departs Camranh with I-122 for the Philippines on her second war patrol.

22 December 1942:
Patrols the entrance to Manila Bay, then proceeds south via the Mindoro Strait into the Sulu Sea.

26 December 1941:
Reassigned to Submarine Group "A" with I-121 through I-123.

31 December 1941:
Arrives at Davao, Philippines with I-122. There she is joined by SubRon 6's flagship, 6,600-ton submarine tender CHOGEI and I-121 and I-123.

10 January 1942:
Departs Davao for Darwin on her third war patrol with ComSubDiv 9 Cdr Endo Yukio aboard.

That same day, one of the mines laid by I-124 the previous month in Manila Bay sinks the 1,976-ton Panamanian-flagged converted steamer DAYLITE. [3]

14 January 1942:
I-124 arrives at her assigned station off the western entrance of Clarence Strait. On that same day LtCdr Kishigami Koichi reports the sighting of the heavy cruiser USS HOUSTON (CA-30) returning from a sweep to Banda Sea, escorted by two destroyers (USS ALDEN and EDSALL).

16 January 1942:
I-124 lays 27 mines near Darwin where 20 Allied ships are in the harbor.

17 January 1942:
180 miles NW of Darwin. USS HOUSTON (CA-30) reports the sighting of two Japanese submarines (probably I-124 and I-123).

19 January 1942:
At 1740 (local time), LtCdr Kishigami reports that three Allied transports escorted by a single destroyer have arrived at Darwin. He repeats the same report at 2236. This is the last message received from I-124.

The signal is intercepted by Allied codebreakers who warn that I-124 is located off Darwin. [4]

20 January 1942:
Beagle Gulf, 40 miles W of Darwin. At 0526 I-124's sistership I-123 attacks the the 5,375-ton oiler USS TRINITY (AO-13), escorted by destroyers USS ALDEN (DD-211) and EDSALL (DD-219).

Darwin's Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC), Captain Ernest P. Thomas (RN) orders three corvettes of the RAN 24th Minesweeping Flotilla to proceed to sea at full speed. At 1335 when HMAS DELORAINE is approaching the scene of attack (12-08S, 130-10E), she is targeted by I-124, firing a single torpedo. LtCdr Desmond A. Menlove orders a turn to starboard and evades the attack. The torpedo broaches in DELORAINE's wake after missing her stern by 10 feet.

At 1338, DELORAINE establishes an Asdic contact. Eight minutes after the torpedo attack the corvette commences her first counterattack with six depth charges. Oil and air bubbles appear to the surface.

Following DELORAINE's second attack at 1348, I-124 briefly broaches, exposing her periscope and bow at 12-07S, 130-09E. The submarine has a 5-degree trim by the stern and a list of 20 degress to port. One depth charge launched from DELORAINE's port thrower explodes within 10 ft from the submarine's periscope. Before I-124 disappears, a Vought-Sikorsky OS2U "Kingfisher" floatplane from USS LANGLEY (AV-3) lands a small bomb to the same location.

More oil and air bubbles are sighted raising from the now stationary submarine lying on the bottom at 25 fathoms depth. At 1356 DELORAINE conducts another depth-charge attack. After more bubbles are sighted, the corvette slows down to observe the area. Samples of oil are collected and a number of TNT particles are observed floating in the water.

At 1430, DELORAINE makes another contact off to the SE and expends his last depth charges in two attacks against that target. More oil and air bubbles are sighted.

By 1710, DELORAINE is replaced by Cdr Alfred V. Knight's LITHGOW. Until 1839 the second corvette conducts seven attacks, expending all 40 depth charges. Diesel oil and air bubbles are sighted.

After 1748, HMAS KATOOMBA joins the attackers and later attempts to drag for the submarine, using a grapnel. A contact is made with the submarine, but the grapnel breaks free when recovered.

At 1859, USS ALDEN and EDSALL arrive to the scene. EDSALL detects a contact on the edge of the oil slick originating from the I-124 and at 1940 launches a pattern of five depth charges; three explosions are recorded. ALDEN likewise attacks a contact after 1955.

21 January 1942:
At 0305, HMAS DELORAINE returning to the location of the I-124, now marked with a DAN buoy, detects another submarine echo and conducts three successive attacks. After 1155, she is joined by HMAS KATOOMBA. Around midday the attacks are finally called off as a result of deteriorating weather.

At 1110, RAN boom vessel HMAS KOOKABURRA arrives at the scene and commences a series of attempts to locate the submarine on the seabed.

After the action, DELORAINE claims two and KATOOMBA one submarine sunk. I-124 is the first IJN warship sunk by the Royal Australian Navy.

26 January 1942:
HMAS KOOKABURRA, carrying a team of 16 divers from submarine tender USS HOLLAND (AS-3), returns to the location of I-124. The fourth and the fifth divers finally manages to identify a large submarine with one hatch apparently blown open. They record the location of the submarine as 12-03S, 130-09E. [5]

11 February 1942:
Four Japanese mines, possibly laid by I-124, wash ashore near Darwin.

30 April 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Despite reinforcement of the main ballast tanks, the designed diving depth of the entire I-121 class was limited to 180 feet in 1936.

[2] During WW I, HARELDAWINS was acquired by the British Admiralty and served as Q-ship ACTON (pennant Q34). She has been erroneously credited with the sinking of the German submarine UC-72 in 1917.

[3] The loss of Philippine steamship CORREGIDOR (ex-HMS ENGADINE) has likewise been attributed to a mine laid by I-124, but this is incorrect: CORREGIDOR struck one of the mines laid by US Army vessels.

[4] In reality, no less than three IJN submarine minelayers were active in that area at that time.

[5] In March 1989, the Australian research vessel FLAMINGO BAY fixed the position of the wreck, using the GPS and other equipment as 12-07-12'328S, 130-06-23'619E.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Steve Eckardt and Dr. Tom Lewis of Australia. Thanks also go to Matt Jones for additional info on some COs in Rev 6.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

Back to Submarine Page