(Type AM submarine I-14 postwar)
IJN Submarine I-13: Tabular Record of
© 2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
4 February 1943:
Laid down at Kawasaki's Kobe Yard as
Submarine No. 621, the first A Modified class submarine. The AM-class will
carry two Aichi M6A1 Seiran
(Mountain Haze) float torpedo-bombers capable of carrying either 1,764 lbs of
bombs or a 45 cm (17.7-inch) torpedo 654 miles.
During her construction it is planned to use I-13 to launch a surprise
air strike against the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks. The plan is to assign ten
Seirans to strike the Locks with six torpedoes and four bombs. Destroying these
locks would empty Gatun Lake and block the passage of shipping for months.
1 October 1943:
Renumbered I-13 and provisionally attached to Sasebo
30 November 1943:
10 September 1944:
Cdr (Captain, posthumously) Ohashi Katsuo (53)
(former CO of I-54) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.
16 December 1944:
I-13 is completed and attached to Sasebo Naval
District. Cdr Ohashi is the Commanding Officer. I-13 is assigned to the
Sixth Fleet in Captain Ariizumi Tatsunosuke's (former CO of I-8) SubDiv 1. I-13
departs Kobe that day for Kure.
17 December 1944:
Arrives at Kure. Commences basic sea training.
Western Inland Sea. I-13 begins workup and battle
training at SubRon 11 with I-400, but the war situation has changed and the
Panama Canal operation is discarded.
19 January 1945:
Before destroyers KAMIKAZE and NOKAZE depart home
waters, I-13 briefly acts as an ASW target for their crews.
9/10 March 1945: The First Fire Bombing of Tokyo:
B-29s of MajGen
(later Gen/CSAF) Curtis E. LeMay's Twentieth Air Force's XXI Bomber Command take
off from Guam, Tinian and Saipan. 280 B-29's bomb Tokyo by radar at night.
Dropping 1,900 tons of incendiaries from altitutes of 4,500-9,000 ft, they burn
out about one-fourth of the city. At least 83,000 people die in the raid, the
highest death toll of any day in the war, including deaths caused by the atomic
In retaliation for the fire bombing of Tokyo, the
Imperial Naval General Staff considers a proposal from the Sixth Fleet to use
I-400's to bomb San Francisco. The proposal is opposed by Vice Admiral Ozawa
Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA), Vice Chief, NGS.
19 March 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task
Force 58 carriers USS ESSEX (CV-9), INTREPID (CV-11), HORNET (CV-12), WASP
(CV-18), HANCOCK (CV-19), BENNINGTON (CV-20) and BELLEAU WOOD (CVL-24) make the
first carrier attack on the Kure Naval Arsenal.
More than 240 aircraft (SB2C "Helldivers", F4U "Corsairs" and F6F
"Hellcats") attack battleships HYUGA, ISE, YAMATO, HARUNA, carriers AMAGI,
KATSURAGI, RYUHO, KAIYO and other ships.
I-13 submerges and escapes damage, but I-400 (in drydock) and I-401 are
1 April 1945:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance's Fifth
Fleet, including more than 40 aircraft carriers, 18 battleships, 200 destroyers
and over 1,000 support ships surround Okinawa. LtGen Simon B. Buckner Jr's Tenth
Army (7th, 77th, 96th Infantry, 1st, 6th Marine divisions) makes amphibious
landings and begins the campaign to take the island from LtGen Ushijima
Mitsuru's 32nd Army.
27 May 1945:
SubDiv 1's I-13 and I-14, I-400 and I-401 are equipped
with new snorkels.
At 0800, I-13 and I-14 depart Kure through the heavily mined Shimonoseki
and Tsushima Straits in the Sea of Japan and head for Chinkai (now Jinhae),
South Korea to refuel.
At 1900, arrive at Moji, Kyushu, for an overnight stop.
28 May 1945:
I-13 and I-14 arrive at Chinkai.
29 May 1945:
I-13 and I-14 depart Chinkai for Nanao Bay, Honshu.
1 June 1945:
Dense fog en route forces Cdr Ohashi to stop at Toyama
3 June 1945:
Arrives at Nanao Bay for battle training. SubDiv 1's
training is hampered by mines, American submarines and shortages of aviation
gasoline, material and aircraft, but they manage to launch a number of simulated
12 June 1945:
The Imperial High Command decides to use SubDiv 1 to
attack the American naval anchorage at Ulithi Atoll because of the imminent fall
of Okinawa and the carrier raids on Japan.
20 June 1945:
Both "Seiran" torpedo-bombers are landed. I-13 and I-14
depart Nanao Bay for Maizuru.
21 June 1945: The Fall of Okinawa:
Eighty-two days after the initial
landings, Okinawa is declared secure.
22 June 1945:
I-13 arrives at Maizuru.
25 June 1945: Operation "ARASHI" (Mountain Storm) - The Attack on
At 1325, Vice Admiral Ozawa, now CINC, Combined Fleet, issues Battle
Order No. 95 that details the impending operation. The bombing attack is
designated as Operation ARASHI.
The "HIKARI" (Shining Light) part of Operation ARASHI calls for I-13 and
I-14 to proceed to Truk in late July and deliver their Nakajima C6N1 "Saiun" Myrt long range
reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft will then be assembled and used to
reconnoiter Ulithi. The "Myrts" are to relay target information on American
aircraft carriers and troop transports to I-400 and I-401's six "Seiran"
torpedo-bomber crews for a strike on 17 August.
The attack is to be made under a full moon. Prior to the start of the
attack, the pilots are to receive a special hormone injection to enhance their
night vision. The "Seirans" are tasked to each carry an 800-kg bomb and land
near their submarines. After the attack, all four of SubDiv 1's boats are to
proceed to Singapore, refuel and embark new planes for the new attack. Ten
"Seirans" are to be stationed there prior to the attack on Ulithi.
2 July 1945:
4 July 1945: Operation HIKARI:
I-13 arrives at Ominato Naval Base on
the northern tip of Honshu. She embarks two crated "Myrts".
11 July 1945:
At 1500, I-13 departs Ominato for Truk. Her estimated
time of arrival at Truk is 20 July. There is no further contact with I-13.
On that same day, FRUMEL intercepts a message from I-13, timed 101513,
providing the approximate noon positions for 13, 15 and 18 July, which cannot be
deciphered. FRUMEL concludes that Operation "HIKARI" involves the transportation
of about 4 suicide aircraft to Singapore.
16 July 1945:
550 miles E of Yokosuka. At 0747, the radarman in Lt
(j.g.) William McLane's Grumman TBM-3E "Avenger" from VC-13 of Task Group
30.7's USS ANZIO (CVE-57) picks up a Japanese submarine running on the surface.
McLane opens fire with his .50 cal. machine guns and 5-inch rockets.
The submarine dives, but leaves a trail of oil on the surface. McLane drops Mk.
54 depth charges, then sonobuoys and a Mk. 24 "Fido" acoustic homing torpedo.
Later, two more Avengers from ANZIO's aircraft relieve McLane. They drop
more sonobuoys and another "Fido" on the submerged submarine. Later, the
aircraft guide LtCdr J. R. Grey's LAWRENCE C. TAYLOR (DE-415) to the heavy oil
slick that marks the submarine's position. At 1140, TAYLOR attacks with a
barrage of twenty-four 7.2-inch Mk. 10 "Hedgehog" projector charges that sink
the submarine - probably I-13 - at 34-28N, 150-55E.
31 July 1945:
At 1033, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a
message that reads: "Since the I-13 sortied from Ominato July 11th, have had no
communication with her. This unit ----- has no knowledge of what happened to
1 August 1945:
Presumed lost with all hands in the Truk area.
15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
 I-13's crew of 140 was the largest human loss in the
IJN submarine force during the war.
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also go to John
Whitman of the USA for info on CNO intercepts of Japanese messages and to Hans
Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info on FRUMEL intercepts.
– Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Back to Submarine