HIJMS Submarine I-154: Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 3

15 November 1924:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard as I-54 (former KD3A class Submarine No. 77).

15 March 1926:

20 April 1927:
LtCdr (later RAdm) Takatsuka Seigo (38)(former CO of RO-61) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

15 December 1927:
Sasebo Navy Yard. I-54 is completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to Kure Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 18, initially as a reserve unit. LtCdr (promoted Cdr 10 December 1928) Takatsuka Seigo is the Commanding Officer.

15 May 1929:
LtCdr (later RAdm) Owada Noboru (44)(former CO of RO-55) is appointed CO.

1 November 1930:
LtCdr (RAdm, posthumously) Okura Tomesaburo (43) (former CO of RO-28) is appointed CO.

10 February 1932:
S of Odate Shima, off Kyushu. At 1348, during SubDiv 18's maneuvers, I-54 suffers a steering failure. LtCdr Okura manages to prevent serious damage by reducing speed to 3 knots, but still collides with I-55, damaging her bow and flooding a space. I-54 returns to Sasebo for repairs that last approximately one week. After the completion of repairs the boat is placed in reserve at Kure until mid-November 1934.

3 March 1932:
LtCdr (later Capt) Takezaki Kaoru (45)(former CO of I-124) is appointed CO of I-54.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr Takezaki is appointed CO of I-55 as an additional duty until 20 February 1934.

15 November 1934:
LtCdr (later Capt) Fujimoto Tsutae (48)(former CO of I-124) is appointed CO.

20 April 1937:
LtCdr (RAdm, posthumously) Narahara Seigo (48)(former CO of HOKAZE) is appointed CO. [1]

1 November 1937-late March 1938:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

19 March 1938:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Tanaka Makio (52)(former torpedo officer of I-52) is appointed CO.

30 July 1938:
LtCdr (later Capt) Yokota Minoru (51)(former CO of I-65) is appointed CO.

20 October 1939:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Shibata Genichi (51) (former CO of I-124) is appointed CO.

4 March 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Taoka Kiyoshi (55)(former CO of RO-59) is appointed CO.

19 June 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Nakajima Sakae (56) (current CO of RO-58) is appointed CO of I-54 as additional duty.

15 August 1941:
LtCdr Taoka Kiyoshi (55) is appointed CO for the second time.

19 June-mid-August 1941:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

31 October 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Kobayashi Shigeo (56) (former torpedo officer of I-16) is appointed CO.

November 1941:
1-54 is in Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo's SubRon 4 in Captain Kijima Moriji's SubDiv 18 with I-53 and I-55. LtCdr Kobayashi Shigeo is the Commanding Officer.

1 December 1941:
Departs Samah, Hainan Island, China with I-53 and I-55 on her first war patrol.

8 December 1941: Operation "E" - The Invasion of Malaya:
Japanese forces land on the Kra Isthmus of Thailand and NE Malaya.

South China Sea. I-54 and I-55 form a patrol line NE of Kuantan, Malaya.

14 December 1941:
W of Anambas. Around 1100, Dutch submarine Hr.Ms. K.XII, under Ltz. I KMR Henry C.J. Coumou, sights the periscope of a Japanese submarine (most likely I-54 or I-55). After an unsuccessful attempt to ram by Coumou, both subs leave the area.

20 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

29 December 1941:
Departs Camranh with I-53, but is caught in a heavy gale, receives damage and has to return to base for repairs.

12 January 1942:
Departs Camranh to patrol off Singapore on her second war patrol.

21 January 1942:
Returns to Camranh.

7 February 1942:
Departs Camranh on her third war patrol with I-53. Assigned to the A Patrol Unit, she is tasked with providing distant support during the invasion of Java.

8 February 1942: The Invasions of Sumatra and Java, Netherlands East Indies:
Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Second Fleet, Southern Force, Netherlands East Indies Eastern Force invades Bali (19 February). Ibo's Western Force under Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo (former CO of HARUNA), together with an airborne assault, captures the oil refineries at Palembang, Sumatra (14 February), then lands troops at Bantam Bay, Merak and Eretenwetan and takes the capital of Batavia (5 March).

9 February 1942:
LtCdr Kobayashi is ordered to proceed to a new station off Anambas.

13 February 1942:
Departs the Anambas area, transits the Lombok Strait, Java and assumes a new station at the S end of Sunda Strait.

20 February 1942:
Transits the Lombok Strait into the Indian Ocean.

24 February 1942:
S of Sunda Strait. I-54 sights and attacks an Allied tanker, but fails to score any hits.

1 March 1942:
Off Tjilatjap. LtCdr Kobayashi attacks a large Allied cargo vessel, but underestimates its speed; all torpedoes miss. [2]

7 March 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay, Celebes.

10 March 1942:
SubRon 4 is disbanded. SubDiv 18 is reassigned to the Kure Guard Unit.

16 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay for Kure with I-53 and I-55.

25 March 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Used as a training ship thereafter.

10 April 1942:
1-54 is in the Kure Naval District Submarine Force's SubDiv 18 with I-53 and I-55.

20 May 1942:
I-54 is renumbered as I-154. Continues training duties.

5 June 1942:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Sakamoto Eiichi (57)(former CO of RO-33) is appointed CO.

15 October 1942:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 November) Yuasa Hiroshi (59) (former torpedo officer of I-174) is appointed CO.

16 March 1943:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Yamaguchi Kozaburo (59) (former torpedo officer of I-27) is appointed CO.

20 May 1943:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Yamaguchi Kazuo (61)(former CO of I-176) is appointed CO.

1 December 1943:
ComSubDiv 18, Captain Hamano Motoichi (47), is appointed CO of I-154 as an additional duty. I-154 is designated flagship of SubDiv 18.

December 1943:
Kure Navy Yard. The Submarine School carries out Sensuikan Gaigen Toshoku Jikken experiments on camouflage painting of I-boats based on the RO-500's (ex-German U-boat U 511) camouflage.

5 January 1944:
Iyo Nada, Inland Sea. I-154 participates in the first stage of submarine camouflage pattern experiments. She receives a dark grey livery with a bluish hue (2-Go-shoku), applied to the hull and conning tower sides.

31 January 1944:
SubDiv 18 is disbanded. I-154 is placed in 4th reserve, moored at the Kure Submarine School and laid up without a crew.

15 August 1945:
Emperor Hirohito (Showa) broadcasts an Imperial Rescript calling for an end to the hostilities.

20 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

May 1946:
Inland Sea. Scuttled in Iyo Nada.

Authors' Note:
[1] While several Western sources render Narahara Seigo's first name as Shogo, the prewar IJN Naval Registers unanimously identify that same officer as Narahara Seigo.

[2] I-54's target has been identified as the 8,806-ton Dutch freighter MODJOKERTO, but this is incorrect since the latter was sunk by surface ships.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks also to Mr. Jan Visser of the Netherlands for assistance with Revision 1.

Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

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