(I-157 at Singapore - colorized photo by Edward Tambunan)

IJN Submarine I-157:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 4

8 July 1927:
Laid down at Kure Navy Yard.

1 October 1928:
Launched as I-57.

15 May 1929:
LtCdr (later Captain) Hashimoto Aiji (39)(former division officer of IZUMO) is apppointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

24 December 1929:
Kure Navy Yard. I-57 is completed and registered in the IJN. Attached to Kure Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 19. LtCdr Hashimoto is the CO.

10 June 1930:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Ito Jotaro (42)(former CO of I-123) is appointed the CO.

15 November-1 December 1930:
LtCdr Ito is appointed the CO of I-58 as an additional duty.

15 November 1930-14 November 1931:
I-75 is placed in reserve at Kure.

14 November 1931:
Reassigned to SubDiv 19. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Saito Eisho (42)(former CO of RO-29) is appointed the CO.

26 March-1 June 1932:
LtCdr Saito is appointed the CO of I-56 as additional duty.

1 June-5 October 1932:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

1 June 1932:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Nakajima Chihiro (43)(current CO of I-58) is appointed the CO of I-57 as additional duty.

5 October 1932:
Reassigned to SubDiv 19. LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Nakaoka Nobuki (45)(former CO of I-4) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Tamaki Tomejiro (45)(former CO of RO-62) is appointed the CO.

22 October 1934-15 November 1935:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

10 May 1935:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Okushima Takasaburo (44) (current CO of I-56) is appointed the CO of I-57 and I-58 as additional duty.

3 July 1935:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kobayashi Hitoshi (48)(former CO of RO-28) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1935:
Reassigned to SubDiv 19. LtCdr (later Captain) Takahashi Chojuro (49)(former torpedo officer of I-64) is appointed the CO.

16 November 1936:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamada Takashi (49)(current CO of I-58) is appointed the CO of I-57 as additional duty.

1 December 1936:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Okamoto Yoshisuke (47)(former CO of I-60) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1937:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 November 1938; Rear Admiral, posthumously) Shimizu Taro (48)(former CO of I-59) is appointed the CO.

15 December 1938-August 1939:
Placed in reserve at Kure.

15 December 1938:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Narahara Seigo (48)(former CO of KAWAKAZE) is appointed the CO of I-57 and I-58 as additional duty.

20 February 1939:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Narizawa Chinao (52) (former CO of FUJI) is appointed the CO.

20 March 1939:
LtCdr (later Captain) Hatanaka Sumihiko (49)(current CO of I-56) is appointed the CO of I-57 as additional duty.

August 1939:
Reassigned to SubDiv 19.

1 September 1939:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 October 1941; later Captain) Yoshimura Iwao (51)(former CO of I-122) is appointed the CO.

31 October 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Nakajima Sakae (56)(former CO of RO-58) is appointed the CO.

November 1941:
I-57 is in Rear Admiral Yoshitomi Setsuzo's SubRon 4 under Captain Ota Nobunosuke's SubDiv 19 with I-56 and I-58.

1 December 1941:
Departs Samah, Hainan Island, China.

8 December 1941: Operation "E": The Invasion of Malaya:
South China Sea. I-57 forms a patrol line with I-58, I-62 and I-64 and I-66 in the area off Trengganu, Malaya.

20 December 1941:
Arrives at Camranh Bay, Indochina.

28 December 1941:
Departs Camranh to patrol N of Surabaya, Java Sea.

7 January 1942:
SE of Kangean Island, Bali Sea. Around 1630, I-57 battle-surfaces on the 3,077-ton Dutch auxiliary tanker TAN-3 (ex-DJIRAK), en route from Balikpapan to Surabaya at 07-15S, 116-23E. The crew abandons the sinking vessel and is rescued by aircraft the following day.

16 January 1942:
Returns to Camranh.

7 February 1942:
I-57's crew contracts dysentery.

1 March 1942:
Departs Camranh.

6 March 1942:
Arrives at Staring Bay at Kendari, Celebes.

10 March 1942:
SubRon 4 is disbanded. I-57 is reassigned to SubRon 5 in SubDiv 19 with I-56 and I-58.

13 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay.

20 March 1942:
Returns to Kure.

14 May 1942:
Departs Kure.

20 May 1942:
The I-57 is renumbered I-157.

24 May 1942:Operation "MI" - The Battle of Midway:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

26 May 1942:
Departs Kwajalein. SubRon 5 is deployed between 28-20N, 162-20W and 26-00 N, 165W.

22 June 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

30 June 1942:
Returns to Kure.

10 July 1942:
SubRon 5 is disbanded. SubDiv 16 is reassigned to the Kure SubRon. I-157 is used as a training vessel thereafter.

14 July 1942:
I-157 is reassigned in the Kure Naval District to SubDiv 19 with I-156, I-158 and I-159.

15 October 1942:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Saeki Takuo (59)(former torpedo officer of I-6) is appointed the CO.

10 November 1942:
Cdr (later Captain) Nishino Kozo (48)(current ComSubDiv 19) is appointed the CO of I-157 as an additional duty.

1 February 1943:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 1 June; Captain, posthumously) Obika Masaru (53)(former CO of RO-67) is appointed the CO.

11 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab"- The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell's Task Force 51, lands the Army's 7 th Division that captures Attu Island, Aleutians.

21 May 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Kiska:
The Imperial General Headquarters decides to evacuate the garrison at Kiska Island, Aleutians. I-157 is temporarily attached to the Kiska Evacuation Force with the Northern District Force, Fifth Fleet's SubRon 1's I-2, I-7, I-21, I-24, I-31, I-34, I-36, I-155, I-156, I-168, I-169 and I-171.

22 May 1943:
I-157 departs Kure.

23 May 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

26 May 1943:
The evacuation from Kiska to Paramushiro Island, Kuriles via submarines begins. I-157 departs Yokosuka.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

2 June 1943:
Paramushiro. Oiler TEIYO MARU refuels I-157, I-7, I-21, I-155 and I-156.

4 June 1943:
Departs Paramushiro on a supply run to Kiska with ammunition and provisions.

16 June 1943:
Near Amchitka. I-157, running at 14 knots in heavy fog, runs hard aground. The crew dumps fuel and lube oil and jettisons torpedoes and a number of battery cells to lighten I-157. Finally, she breaks loose but is unable to dive.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro on the surface. Oiler TEIYO MARU refuels I-157.

21 June 1943:
Departs Paramushiro for Kure.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

7 July 1943:
Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kayabara Yasuchika (49)(current ComSubDiv 19) is appointed the CO of I-157 as additional duty.

28 July 1943:
The evacuation of Kiska is completed.

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. I-157 is painted 2-Go shoku.

1 January 1944:
I-157 is in the Kure SubRon's SubDiv 19 with the I-156, I-158 and I-159.

5 January 1944:
Iyo Nada. An experiment is carried to determine the camouflage's horizontal visibility, its visibility from aircraft, the appropriateness of the color for the surrounding sea area, its ability to confuse determining the I-boat's speed and direction and the durability of the paint.

31 January 1944:
Cdr (later Captain) Hori Takeo (50)(former CO of I-153) is appointed the CO.

25 February 1944:
Cdr Nakamura Shozo (54)(former CO of I-16) is appointed the CO.

Mid-July 1944:
I-157 and RO-49 participate in the tests of the submarine version of Type 13 air-search radar.

20 April 1945:
Reassigned to SubDiv 34, Sixth Fleet.

May-August 1945:
I-157 is configured to carry two "kaiten" human torpedoes. She makes three transport runs, carrying "kaitens" from Otsushima to shore bases along the Kyushu coast.

July 1945:
The crews of I-156, I-157, I-158, I-159 and I-162 are trained to launch "kaitens" in combat against the anticipated American invasion fleet. [1]

9 August 1945:
LtCdr Araki Asakichi (64)(former CEO of I-352) is appointed the CO.

15 August 1945:
I-157 is reassigned to SubDiv 15, Sixth Fleet. The Emperor broadcasts his intent to cease hostilities and end the war.

September 1945:
I-157 surrenders.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 April 1946: Operation "Road's End":
I-157 is stripped of all usable equipment and towed from Sasebo to an area off Goto Retto by the submarine tender USS NEREUS (AS-17). At 1318, C-2 demolition charges are detonated aboard I-157 and by 1325 she goes down at 32-37N, 129-17E. She is the first Japanese submarine destroyed that day.

Authors' Note:
[1] According to some sources I-57 was fitted with Type 3 sonar (the Japanese copy of the German S-Gerät) and a new torpedo data computer, enabling to conduct submerged attacks on sonar bearings. Reportedly the tests were underway by the end of war.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and to Derek Waller of UK for providing additional details about the operation "Road's End".

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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