(Type AM submarine I-14 postwar)
IJN Submarine I-14: Tabular Record of
© 2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
18 May 1943:
Laid down at Kawasaki's Kobe Yard as
Submarine No. 5091, the second AM-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-in) torpedo 654 miles.
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.
14 March 1944:
Launched as I-14.
5 November 1944:
Cdr Shimizu Tsuruzo (58)(former CO of I-165) is
appointed Chief Equipping Officer.
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
14 March 1945:
I-14 is completed and attached to Yokosuka Naval
District. Assigned to the Sixth Fleet, in Captain Ariizumi Tatsunosuke's SubDiv
1 with I-13, I-400 and I-401. Cdr Shimizu Tsuruzo is Commanding Officer.
15 March 1945:
Arrives at Kure. Commences battle training, but the
war situation has changed for Japan and the Panama Canal operation is discarded.
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-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.
At 0800, I-14 and I-13 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-14 and I-13 arrive at Chinkai.
29 May 1945:
I-14 and I-13 depart Chinkai for Nanao Bay, Honshu.
2 June 1945:
I-14 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 for Maizuru.
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
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:
Departs Maizuru in company of I-13.
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 the base is attacked by American
carrier planes. She submerges and remains under water until the end of the
raid. I-14 embarks two crated "Myrts".
9 July 1945:
On that day FRUMEL provides the following digest:
"Partly readable message timed 071526 from submarine I-14 states that the
defects which were repaired at Maizuru have become more serious since arrival
(?) at Ominato. Tests show departure will not be possible since adequate
repairs will need 10 days." 
17 July 1945: Operation HIKARI:
After repairs are completed, I-14
departs Ominato for Truk.
On that day FRUMEL provides the following digest:
"Submarine I-14 leaves Ominato at 1500 on 17th for Truk, and will be in
position 106 degrees 165 miles from Shiriya Zaki (41-26N 141-28E) at 0300 on
19th when she alters course to 110 degrees."
30 July 1945:
E of Marianas. I-14 is detected by enemy surface craft
and tracked by several destroyers. She is forced to remain underwater for 35
hours. I-14's batteries are expended as is her compressed air. Cdr Shimizu
manages to raise her snorkel and recharge the batteries without being seen.
3 August 1945:
150 miles NE of Truk. At 0330 (JST), the soundman on
I-14 reports multiple propeller noises dead ahead. Soon thereafter a flotilla
of American subchasers is sighted. I-14 evades them, reversing her course for
4 August 1945:
At 1730 (JST) arrives at Truk. Unloads her two
5 August 1945:
On that day FRUMEL provides the following digest:
"Submarine I-14 signalled her arrival at Truk on 4th August, and added
that I-13 had not arrived and was presumed lost."
6 August 1945:
On that day FRUMEL intercepts the following message
from the Chief of Staff, Combined Naval Force, timed 061312:
"Cancel the previous orders for submarine I-14 to return to Japan after
delivering the "Saiun" aircraft to Truk. She is to proceed to Singapore
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
18 August 1945:
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
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.
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
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.
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
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)
 FRUMEL had earlier intercepted the operational orders
issued by the CO of the "Shinryu Force" (i.e. ComSubDiv 1), but concluded that
Operation "HIKARI" involved the transportation of about 4 suicide aircraft to
Singapore. That view prevailed in FRUMEL digests until early August.
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 and to Hans Mcilveen of the Netherlands for info
on FRUMEL intercepts.
–Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
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