SENSUIKAN!

(I-59 -digitally colorized by Irootoko, Jr)

IJN Submarine I-159: Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 5


25 March 1927:
Laid down at the Yokosuka Navy Yard.

25 March1929:
Launched and numbered I-59.

5 September 1929:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Tsuruoka Nobumichi (43) (former CO of RO-16) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

31 March 1930:
Completed and attached to Kure Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 28 in SubRon 2, Second Fleet. LtCdr Tsuruoka Nobumichi is the Commanding Officer.

1 December 1931:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 November 1933; later Captain) Funaki Shigetoshi (43)(former CO of I-122) is appointed Commanding Officer.

15 November 1933:
Placed in reserve at Kure. Cdr Funaki Shigetoshi is appointed CO of I-60 as an additional duty.

16 July 1934:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Endo Yukio (46)(former CO of RO-67) is appointed CO.

21 October 1935:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Okamoto Yoshisuke (47)(former CO of I-62) is appointed CO.

2 November 1936:
LtCdr Okamoto is appointed CO of I-60 as an additional duty.

1 December 1936:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Shimizu Taro (48)(former CO of I-53) is appointed CO of I-59 and I-63 (until 31 July 1937) as an additional duty.

1 December 1937:
LtCdr (later Captain) Nishino Kozo (48)(former CO of I-56) is appointed CO.

1 November 1938:
LtCdr (later Captain) Ageta Kiyoi (50)(former CO of I-124) is appointed CO.

20 November 1939:
Cdr (later Captain) Nanri Katsuji (48)(former CO of I-72) is appointed CO.

26 July 1940:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Endo Shinobu (52)(former staff officer of the Training Squadron) is appointed CO.

6 January 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is temporarily transferred from I-59 to I-60.

29 January 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is returned to I-59.

2 June 1941:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Kono Masamichi (52)(former CO of I-121) is appointed CO of I-59 and Chief Equipping Officer of I-24 as an additional duty.

1 July 1941:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 October; Captain, posthumously) Hanabusa Hakushi (51)(former CO of I-60) is appointed CO of I-59 and Chief Equipping Officer of I-24 as an additional duty.

31 October 1941:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral, JMSDF) Yoshimatsu Tamori (55)(former CO of RO-58) is appointed Commanding Officer.

3 December 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is returned to I-59.

6 December 1941: Operation "M" - The Attack on the Southern Philippines:
Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Second Fleet, Southern Force, Philippines Seizure Force departs Palau. Takahashi's force makes invasion landings at Legaspi (11 December), Davao (19-20 December) and Jolo (24 December).

8 December 1941:
I-59 is at Kobe undergoing overhaul with I-60 in Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kato Yukio's (47) SubDiv 28 of Rear Admiral, the Marquis, Daigo Tadashige's SubRon 5. LtCdr Yoshimatsu is the Commanding Officer.

31 December 1941:
Departs Kobe.

5 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao, Philippines.

9 January 1942:
I-60 is again designated the flagship of SubDiv 28.

10 January 1942:
Departs Davao on her first war patrol with I-60. They sail S of the Sunda Islands through the Banda Sea to the Celebes, Netherlands East Indies (NEI). I-59 patrols in the Molucca Sea.

7-13 January 1942: Operation "H" - The Invasion of the Celebes, NEI:
Vice Admiral Takahashi's invasion forces land on Mendado and Kema covered by Subron 5's, I-59, I-60, I-62, I-64, I-65 and I-66. After this action is completed, I-59 is ordered to detach for Penang, Malaya via Christmas Island. I-60 is also to proceed to Penang via the western coast of Sumatra after patrolling the southern entrance to the Sunda Strait.

20 January 1942:
Indian Ocean. I-59 torpedoes the 4,184-ton Norwegian freighter EIDSVOLD standing off Flying Fish Cove at Christmas Island. LtCdr Yoshimatsu hits and sinks her with his sixth torpedo.

25 January 1942:
Indian Ocean. I-59 carries out a periscopic observation and enters Sabang Roads after Yoshimatsu makes sure there are no warships. I-59 sinks an unidentified British merchant and takes some of her crew as prisoners.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Penang.

21 February 1942:
Departs Penang on her second war patrol to raid enemy communications SW of Sumatra.

1 March 1942:
Indian Ocean. W of Sumatra. I-59 torpedoes and sinks 1,035-ton Dutch passenger ship ROOSEBOOM escaping from Padang, Sumatra to Colombo, Ceylon at 00-15N, 86-50E. About 250 lives are lost, mainly British military personnel and numerous civilians. Reportedly, four survivors reach shore and two are rescued by Dutch steamer PALOPO.

12 March 1942:
I-59 returns to Penang.

22 March 1942:
Departs Penang for Sasebo.

1 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

10 April 1942:
SubDiv 28 is disbanded. I-59 is transferred to SubDiv 19.

19 May 1942:
Departs Kure.

20 May 1942:
I-59 is renumbered as I-159.

26 May 1942: Operation MI - The Battle of Midway:
Arrives at Kwajalein. I-159 is in Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa's Advance Expeditionary Force (Sixth Fleet) in Rear Admiral Daigo Tadashige's SubRon 5 with I-156, I-157, I-158, I-159, I-162, I-165 and I-166.

30 May 1942:
Departs Kwajalein on her third war patrol. SubRon 5 is deployed between 28-20N, 162-20W and 26-00 N, 165W.

21 June 1942:
Returns to Kwajalein.

22 June 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

1 July 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

10 July 1942:
SubRon 5 disbanded. SubDiv 19 with I-156, I-157, I-158 and I-159 is transferred to the Kure Guard Force. I-159 is used as a training vessel thereafter.

20 November 1942:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fukumura Toshiaki (54)(former CO of RO-34) is appointed CO.

15 February 1943:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral, JMSDF) Morinaga Masahiko (59)(current CO of I-158) is appointed CO of I-159 as an additional duty.

16 March 1943:
ComSubDiv 19, Cdr (promoted Captain 1 May; Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kayabara Yasuchika is appointed the CO of I-159 as an additional duty.

18 May 1943:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Toyomasu Seihachi (59)(former CO of RO-57) is appointed CO.

8 July 1943:
The flag of SubDiv 19 is transferred to I-158.

1 December 1943:
I-159 is reassigned to SubDiv 19, Kure Guard Force.

25 December 1943:
Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels and departs that same day.

26 December 1943:
Arrives back at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels and departs that same day.

5 January 1944:
Iyo Nada, Inland Sea. I-159 participates in the first stage of submarine camouflage pattern experiments (Gaigen Toshoku Jikken) conducted by the Naval Submarine School. She receives No. 5 scheme (probably a greenish gray pattern), applied to the hull and conning tower sides.

Later that month I-159 conducts the tests of Type 2 magnetic influence exploder for Type 95 torpedoes.

31 January 1944:
Captain Hamano Motoichi (47)(former CO of I-154) is appointed ComSubDiv 19.

15 February 1944:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Masada Keiji (62)(former CO of RO-104) is appointed CO.

23-25 February 1944:
Iyo Nada. I-159 participates in the second stage of submarine camouflage pattern experiments, featuring No. 5 scheme, now extending to the wooden deck surfaces.

24 February 1944:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 May) Kimura Masao (63)(former CO of RO-58) is appointed CO.

5 June 1944:
Captain Hamano Motoichi (current ComSubDiv 19) is appointed CO of I-159 as an additional duty.

20 July 1944:
Captain Fujimoto Tsutae (48)(former ComSubDiv 13) is appointed ComSubDiv 19 and the CO of I-159 as an additional duty.

15 September 1944:
Lt Miyake Tatsuo (66)(former torpedo officer of I-12) is appointed CO.

20 April 1945:
SubDiv 19 is disbanded. I-159 is reassigned to SubDiv 34, Sixth Fleet.

May-August 1945:
Kure Navy Yard. I-159 is configured to carry two "kaiten" human torpedoes. She is used to transport "kaitens" to future human torpedo bases on Shikoku and Kyushu islands.

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.

August 1945:
I-159 is transferred to Maizuru in anticipation of air attacks.

6 August 1945:
Assigned to "Shinshu-tai" (Land of Gods Unit) Kaiten group scheduled to depart in mid-August with I-36, I-155 and I-156.

11 August 1945:
Maizuru naval base. I-159 is strafed by P-51s from Iwo Jima and her main ballast tanks are punctured in three places.

After makeshift repairs I-159 is transferred to kaiten base at Hirao, Honshu Island.

15 August 1945:
I-159 is reassigned to SubDiv 15, Sixth Fleet with I-36, I-47, I-157 and others.

Emperor Hirohito (Showa) broadcasts an Imperial Rescript calling for cessation of hostilities and an end to the war. At Hirao kaiten base the gist of the message is misunderstood and the submarine crews continue preparations for the sortie.

I-159 embarks two "kaitens" and their pilots, Ens. Saito Tadashi and FPO1C Imada Shinzo.

16 August 1945:
At noon I-159, under Lt Miyake Tatsuo, departs Hirao as the first (and ultimately the only) vessel of the "Shinshu-tai" Kaiten group to intercept Soviet shipping off Vladivostok. Her skipper is authorized to attack all Allied vessels that try to interfere with his mission.

I-159 exits the Inland Sea via Bungo Suido channel, proceeding submerged to avoid detection and then heads towards Osumi Strait.

17 August 1945:
After arriving off Miyazaki coast, Kyushu Island, I-159 receives a message from Hirao informing her skipper about the cessation of hostilities. Lt Miyake makes an overnight stop at Aburatsu port, during which all secret documents are destroyed.

18 August 1945:
Departs Aburatsu and returns to Hirao.

September 1945:
I-159 surrenders.

October 1945:
Transferred to Sasebo.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 April 1946: Operation "Road's End":
Sasebo. I-159 is stripped of all usable equipment and material and towed to an area off Goto Retto by the submarine tender USS NEREUS (AS-17). She is scuttled at 32-37N, 129-17E.


Authors' Note:
Special thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Mr. Jan Visser of the Netherlands and Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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