SENSUIKAN!

(Type AM submarine I-14 postwar)

IJN Submarine I-14: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2010 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 3


1942:
Kobe. AM-class submarine I-14 is laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding. 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.[1]

During her construction it is planned to use I-14 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.

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 to 9,000 feet, 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 bombs.

14 March 1945:
I-14 is completed and registered in theYokosuka Naval District. She is assigned to the Sixth Fleet in Captain Ariizumi Tatsunosuke's (former CO of I-8) SubDiv 1 with I-13, I-400 and I-401. Cdr Shimizu Tsuruzo is Commanding Officer.

Departs Kobe.

15 March 1945:
Arrives at Kure. Commences battle training, but the war situation has changed for Japan and the Panama Canal operation is discarded.

March - April 1945:
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. The I-14 is not damaged in the raid.

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-14 and I-13, I-400 and I-401 are equipped with new snorkels.

I-14 and I-13 depart Kure through the heavily mined Shimonoseki and Tsushima Straits in the Sea of Japan and head for Chinkai, Chosen (now Jinhae, South Korea) to refuel.

28 May 1945:
Arrives at Chinkai.

29 May 1945:
Departs Chinkai.

1 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 air strikes.

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:
Departs Nanao.

21 June 1945: The Fall of Okinawa:
Eighty-two days after the initial landings, Okinawa is declared secure.

22 June 1945:
Arrives at Maizuru.

25 June 1945: Operation "ARASHI" (Mountain Storm) - The Attack on Ulithi:
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 Myrt's 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:
Departs Maizuru.

6 July 1945:
Arrives at Ominato Naval Base on the northern tip of Honshu. Dry-docked for propeller bearing repairs. Her crew is granted liberty.

I-14 is under repair in Ominato when attacked by American carrier planes. She submerges and remains under water until the end of the raid. I-14 is loaded with two crated Myrts.

14 July 1945: Operation HIKARI:
After repairs are completed, I-14 departs Ominato for Truk.

Enroute, the I-14's sound operator picks up the screw noises of a lone merchant. Cdr Shimizu considers an attack, but abandons the idea so not to endanger his mission.

During the voyage, I-14 is detected by enemy surface craft and tracked by several destroyers. She is forced to remain under water for 35 hours. I-14's batteries are expended as is her compressed air. She is unable to fully surface, but Cdr Shimizu somehow manages to raise her snorkel and recharge the batteries without being seen.

4 August 1945:
Arrives at Truk. Unloads her two Myrts.

15 August 1945:
The Imperial Palace, Tokyo. Emperor Hirohito (Showa) broadcasts an Imperial Rescript that calls for an end to the hostilities.

Headquarters, Sixth Fleet orders Captain Ariizumi's SubDiv 1 to return to Japan via Hong Kong on the surface. SubDiv 1 is further ordered to jettison all aircraft, torpedoes and munitions and documents and hoist the designated black flag of surrender. Cdr Shimizu briefly considers sailing I-14 to Singapore via Hong Kong, but there is not enough fuel aboard. Ariizumi reluctantly carries out the order.

18 August 1945:
Departs Truk.

27 August 1945:
I-14, flying a black flag, is sighted by one of Task Force 38's aircraft. The plane reports I-400's location at 37-38N, 144- 52E. That day, I-14 surrenders to USS MURRAY (DD-576) and DASHIELL (DD-659) 227 miles NE of Tokyo. MURRAY sends a boarding party aboard I-14 and they receive her officers' swords. The destroyer escorts the submarine to the mouth of Sagami Wan, Honshu.

28 August 1945:
450 miles E of Nojima Zaki. Destroyer escort USS BANGUST (DE739) arrives with a prize crew under Cdr Clyde B. Stevens (former CO of USS PLAICE (SS-309) aboard. The prize crew is exchanged for 40 Japanese prisoners of war from the I-14. BANGUST escorts the submarine to Sagami Wan.

29 August 1945:
Sagami Wan. At 0955, I-14, under Cdr Steven's prize crew, moors to port alongside Captain Charles N. Day's submarine tender USS PROTEUS (AS-19) and outboard of previously surrendered I-400.

30 August 1945:
At 0820, the PROTEUS, I-14 and I-400 get underway enroute to Tokyo Bay and anchor there at 1458. Immediate1y on anchoring, Vice Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, Jr., COMSUBPAC, arrives on board PROTEUS to represent the USN submarine forces at a formal surrender ceremony to be held three days later aboard the battleship MISSOURI (BB-63).

31 August 1945:
Tokyo Bay. At 1445, PROTEUS, I-14 and I-400 get underway again to shift berths and proceed to within the breakwater of Yokosuka Naval Base in the lagoon adjacent to the Japanese Submarine Base. At 1650, PROTEUS is anchored bow and stern.

Twelve American submarines, also present to represent the submarine force, are later tied on either side of PROTEUS. These are USS ARCHER-FISH (SS-311), PILOTFISH (SS-386), CAVALLA (SS-244), RAZORBACK (SS-394), GATO (SS-212), RUNNER (SS-476), HADDO (SS-255), SEA CAT (SS-399), HAKE (SS-256), SEGUNDO (SS-398), MUSKALLUNGE (SS-262) and TIGRONE (SS-419). I-401, an additional war prize, joins the group at this time.

2 September 1945: The Formal Surrender of Japan.
Admiral Lockwood, aboard MISSOURI for the surrender, orders his personal flag hoisted over I-400 during the time the ceremony is held.

15 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 November 1945:
I-14, under Cdr (later Admiral and CINCPAC) John S. McCain, Jr. (former CO of USS GUNNEL (SS-253) and DENTUDA (SS-335) and son of Vice Admiral (Admiral posthumously) John S. McCain) departs Yokosuka for Sasebo with I-400 and I-401 escorted by submarine rescue vessel USS GREENLET (ASR-10).

11 December 1945:
I-14, under Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Hiram H. Cassedy departs Sasebo for Pearl Harbor with I-401 and I-400 escorted by GREENLET.

The first few days out of Japan I-14 runs into a big storm. The Americans find that I-14's off-center hangar causes the boat to be off-balance and makes her rough riding at sea.

18 December 1945:
At 0911, arrives at Apra Harbor, Guam.

21 December 1945:
Departs Guam for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.

December 1945:
Arrives at Eniwetok.

26-27 December 1945:
Stops at Kwajalein to take on fuel and supplies.

31 December 1945:
The crew gathers, sings songs and celebrates New Year's Eve.

1 January 1946:
I-14 crosses the International dateline. That night the crew celebrates New Year's Eve again.

6 January 1946:
Arrives at Pearl Harbor. I-400, I-401 and I-14 are met by a Navy band and local celebrities.

28 May 1946:
I-14 is a target ship in the Pacific off Pearl Harbor for tests of the Mark 10-3 exploder. She is torpedoed and sunk by Cdr F. A. Greenup's USS BUGARA (SS-331) at 21-13N, 158-08W.

15 February 2009:
Off Barber's Point. The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's (HURL) deep-diving submersibles Pisces IV and V locate the bow section of I-14; a short time later the main body is located. All the wreck portions lay at a depth of about 800 meters.

17 February 2009:
Pisces IV & V conduct extensive surveys of all all four pieces of I-14 and I-201. Cameramen for WildLife productions are in each sub filming for a National Geographic documentary. I-14 is severed at the beginning of the hanger bay. The hangar door is missing, but the hangar itself remains. The aft portion of the hangar has heavy damage, but the conning tower is intact with "I-14" is clearly visible on its sides. The corroded 25-mm triple antiaircraft guns are aimed nearly straight up. Aft of the hangar bay, the sub is in pristine condition. The bow section lays on its starboard side and is in good condition except its mangled end. The debris field between the two pieces is littered with batteries.

Conning Tower and 25-mm AA of I-14
(Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory)


Authors' Notes:
[1] See www.combinedfleet.com/ijna/m6a.htm

Thanks go to Mr. Victor Webb who sailed on I-14 from Sasebo to Pearl and to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Special thanks go to Steve Price of HURL for his assistance with revision 3.

–Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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