(Type KD6 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko
IJN Submarine I-174: Tabular Record of
© 2001-2010 Bob Hackett & Sander KingseppRevision 3
16 October 1934:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard.
28 March 1937:
1 June 1938:
15 March 1938:
Cdr (later Captain) Matsuo Yoshiyasu (47)(former CO
of I-3) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
15 August 1938:
Sasebo. I-74 is completed, commissioned and
attached to Kure Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 11. Cdr Matsuo Yoshiyasu
is the Commanding officer.
1 November 1938:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kato Ryonosuke
(48)(former CO of I-62) is appointed the CO.
20 November 1939:
LtCdr (later Captain) Iura Shojiro (51)(former CO
of I-3) is appointed the CO.
15 October 1940:
LtCdr (promoted Cdr 15 October 1941; later Captain)
Ikezawa Masayuki (52)(former CO of HIYODORI) is appointed the CO.
November 1941: Operation "Z":
I-74 is in Rear Admiral (later Vice
Admiral) Miwa Shigeyoshi's (former CO of KINU) SubRon 3 in Capt Minakuchi
Hyoe's SubDiv 11 with I-75. Cdr Ikezawa Masayuki is the Commanding Officer.
Admiral Shimizu convenes a meeting of all his commanders aboard his
flagship, light cruiser KATORI. Cdr Ikezawa and the other commanders are
briefed on the planned attack on Pearl Harbor.
11 November 1941:
I-74 and I-75 depart Saeki.
20 November 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein.
23 November 1941:
Departs Kwajalein for the Hawaiian Islands on her
first war patrol.
2 December 1941:
The coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt.
Niitaka) 1208" is received from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that
hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). 
4 December 1941:
Arrives S of Oahu.
7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
SubRon 3 is deployed S of
Oahu. I-74 is stationed S of Niihau on lifeguard duty.
17 December 1941:
Departs the Hawaii area.
23-25 December 1941:
Reconnoiters Kingman Reef in search of an
American naval base.
31 December 1941:
Returns to Kwajalein.
13 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein with I-75, passing Midway.
19 February 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
10 March 1942:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Kusaka Toshio (53)(former CO of
RO-63) is appointed the CO.
15 April 1942:
Departs Kure on her second war patrol with I-75 to
form a patrol line.
18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet
Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's Task Force 16 USS HORNET (CV-8),
cruisers, destroyers and an oiler accompanied by USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6),
cruisers, destroyers and another oiler approach Japan. The carriers and cruisers
come to within 668 nautical miles of the mainland. Discovery of his force by
guardboat No. 23 NITTO MARU compels Halsey to order HORNET to launch Lt Col
(later Gen/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle's 16 Army North American B-25
"Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group earlier than planned from
Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's HORNET.
ENTERPRISE's VB-3 and VB-6's Douglas "Dauntless" SBD dive-bombers and VF
6's Grumman "Wildcat" F4F fighters attack the "picket" boats encountered near
Task Force 16. They damage armed merchant cruiser AWATA MARU and guardboats
IWATE MARU No. 1, CHOKYU MARU, ASAMI MARU No. 2, KAIJIN MARU, CHINYO MARU No. 3,
EIKICHI MARU, KOWA MARU and NANSHIN MARU No. 26.
19 April 1942:
Guardboat IWATE MARU No. 1 sinks as the result of
damage inflicted by the planes. I-74 rescues her crew.
22 April 1942:
I-74 transfers IWATE MARU No. 1's crew to light cruiser
10 May 1942:
I-74 and I-75 arrive at Kwajalein.
20 May 1942: Operation "K-2" - The Second Raid on Pearl Harbor:
is renumbered 1-174. Departs Kwajalein in company of I-175 to participate in
29 May 1942:
Arrives 20 miles SE of Oahu to perform lifeguard duty for
the flying boats raiding Pearl Harbor.
20 June 1942:
Returns to Kwajalein.
9 July 1942:
Departs Kwajalein on her third war patrol to reconnoiter
Port Moresby, New Guinea area. An oil leak develops soon after departure
and LtCdr Kusaka aborts his mission and heads for Rabaul.
23 July 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Undergoes repairs.
24 July 1942:
LtCdr Kusaka is given a new assignment to operate off
the eastern coast of Australia. Departs Rabaul on her fourth war patrol.
7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of
Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond
K. Turner's Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral)
Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S.
McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later
Gen/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on
Guadalcanal opening a seven-month campaign to take the island.
17 August 1942:
Returns to Rabaul.
23 August 1942:
Departs Rabaul on her fifth war patrol to operate SW
of the Rennell Island with I-11 and I-175.
22 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
16 October 1942:
Departs Truk on her sixth war patrol with I-175 to
form a patrol line in the Solomons area.
19 October 1942:
I-174 is in the "B" group with I-9, I-15, I-21, I-24
4 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
6 November 1942:
12 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure for an overhaul.
15 November 1942:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Nagai Katsuhiko
(57)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed the CO.
20 December 1942-16 March 1943:
LtCdr Nagai is appointed the CO of
RO-62 as an additional duty.
1 January 1943:
I-174 is in SubRon 3's SubDiv 11 with I-175 and I-176.
15 March 1943:
SubDiv 11 is disbanded. I-174 is reassigned to SubDiv 12.
16 March 1943:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 November; later Rear Admiral,
JMSDF) Nanbu Nobukiyo (61)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed the CO.
5 May 1943:
I-174 departs Kure.
11 May 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
16 May 1943:
Departs Truk at 1700 on her seventh war patrol to operate
off the eastern coast of Australia.
27 May 1943:
Arrives at a point 30 miles off Sandy Cape.
28 May 1943:
At 0320, a RAAF No 32 Squadron Bristol "Beaufort", on an
anti-submarine patrol from Bundaberg, makes a radar contact at 4 ½ miles. The
"Beaufort's" crew closes to a half mile of the contact. At 1,800 ft they sight
I-174, but the submarine crash-dives and escapes.
1 June 1943:
70 miles east of Brisbane. Just before midday, I-174
detects a merchant vessel estimated at about 6,000-tons. As I-174 approaches,
the merchant zig-zags, forcing the submarine to turn hard to starboard to
maintain an attack position. The target is the 3,303-ton American POINT SAN
PEDRO, en route from Balboa, Canal Zone to Brisbane. At 1136, Lt Nanbu fires
four torpedoes at the merchant. Two minutes later, lookouts on POINT SAN PEDRO
sight the wakes of two torpedoes, but they pass clear. The other two torpedoes
also miss. Within an hour of the attack, No. 71 Squadron at Lowood launches an
Avro "Anson" bomber on a search for the submarine.
2 June 1943:
Six "Ansons" from Lowood and four others from Coffs Harbour
continue the search for the submarine but all are unsuccessful.
3 June 1943:
Brisbane. In mid-afternoon, I-174 sights a convoy of
three destroyers and six or more transports heading N at 16,250 yards. At 1800,
I-174 surfaces and commences chasing the convoy. Suddenly, the corvettes at the
rear of the convoy turn and head towards I-174. Lt Nanbu orders a crash-dive and
the convoy escapes.
4 June 1943:
Off Cape Moreton. At 0845, I-174 sights the 4,113-ton
US Army Transport EDWARD CHAMBERS, also en route from Balboa to Brisbane. Nanbu
attempts to gain an attack position but is unable to close the bearing and range
while submerged. He decides to engage the target with his deck gun. At 0948,
I-174 surfaces and fires nine rounds, but they all miss. The CHAMBERS returns
fire with twelve rounds from her aft 3-inch gun, forcing Nanbu to break off
the engagement and submerge. Later, another "Beaufort" of No. 32 Squadron is
launched to attack the submarine, but fails to find her.
At the time of the engagement, convoy P.G.53 is only 11 miles away to the
NE. On receiving the distress call, corvette HMAS BENDIGO is detached to
investigate and the convoy is diverted 15 miles to seaward of the position of
the attack. Five "Anson" bombers from Lowood are also dispatched on a line-ahead
search during daylight. I-174 is forced to spend the day submerged. In the late
afternoon, Lt Nanbu decides to head south.
5 June 1943:
60 miles NE of Coffs Harbour. At 1025, I-174's soundman
reports multiple propeller noises at 13,000 yards. Nanbu attempts to fall in
astern of the convoy P.G.53. The weather is poor with low visibility, so at
1255, I-174 surfaces only 1,600 yards from the trailing ships. Lt Nanbu begins
to slowly close. Twice his approach is thwarted by a patrol aircraft. Each time
the submarine is forced to dive and wait 20-25 minutes before it could return to
the surface and continue the pursuit. By sunset the submarine had regained
position 6,000 metres astern of the convoy.
At 2022, I-174 closes to about 5,000 yards from the convoy's starboard
side. Nanbu parallels the convoy at a distance of 4,000 yards on its beam. He is
about to give the order to fire when an escorting destroyer at the front of the
convoy turns about directly at the submarine. Lt Nanbu orders a crash-dive. No
depth charge attack follows, so at 2145, I-174 surfaces and Nanbu attempts to
regain an attack position, but he is forced to dive by another escort. Nanbu
then plans to attack at first light, so he resurfaces, increases speed and moves
ahead to where he estimates the convoy will be at dawn. Then he submerges and
6 June 1943:
I-174 surfaces just after sunrise, but is about 21,500
yards off the convoy's port quarter. With so great a distance to close and with
daylight again bringing the threat of heavy air patrol, Lt Nanbu abandons his
attack. I-174 continues south, arriving 60 miles off Newcastle by 1900 that
7 June 1943:
100 miles E of Sydney. At 0450, I-174 sights the 7,176-ton
American "Liberty"-ship JOHN BARTRAM, en route from San Francisco to Sydney.
Nanbu again plans a dawn attack and closes the range. The vessel zig-zags, but
Nanbu successfully positions the I-174 ahead of the target. At 0606, he fires
four torpedoes. At 0610, two of the torpedo tracks are seen passing half a
ship's length ahead. Soon, the concussion of a heavy underwater explosion is
heard and felt, but JOHN BARTRAM is not damaged. Nanbu hears the explosions and
mistakenly thinks he sees ship listing through his periscope. A third torpedo
explodes and he takes it for a depth charge. He orders I-174 to go deep. The
crew of I-174 hears the engines of the "Liberty"-ship stop and believe they
have finally sunk a ship.
Imediately after the attack Lt Nanbu clears away to the east to distance
himself from the scene. That evening, another vessel is detected that drops two
depth charges near I-174. Nanbu decides to continue moving south.
9 June 1943:
During the evening, I-174 reaches her southernmost
operating area. Despite her proximity to the busy port of Sydney, it is four
days before another ship is sighted.
13 June 1943:
30 miles E of Wollongong Light. At 1400, Lt Nanbu
discovers a transport convoy of at least two destroyers and six transports, but
the distance is too great for a chance to attack and the convoy slips away to
the north. At 1850, I-174 surfaces, but spots a warship and submerges again.
14 June 1943:
At 2250, a patrolling "Beaufort" from Coffs Harbour
registers a radar blip and then sights a large wake. The "Beaufort" bombs I-174,
but misses. The submarine crash-dives and stays down for 35 minutes. The
aircraft is persistent and remains in the area. Within moments of surfacing,
I-174 is attacked again - more bombs fall close to the port side. I-174
crash-dives for the second time and Nanbu remains down for a further 25 minutes
before continuing passage on the surface.
16 June 1943:
SE of Coff's Harbor. At 0100, I-174 arrives off Smoky
Cape. At 1637, she sights convoy GP 55 consisting of ten cargo vessels and three
LSTs (Landing Ship Tank) escorted by RAN vessels KALGOORLIE, WARRNAMBOOL,
DELORAINE, BUNDABERG and COOTAMUNDRA en route from Sydney to Brisbane. Lt Nanbu
penetrates the screen of escorting corvettes.
At 1720, he fires two torpedoes at two overlapping transports. The second
ship in the fourth column is 5,551-ton US Army Transport PORTMAR, fully
loaded with fuel and ammunition. The 5,000-ton Landing Ship Tank LST-469 astern
of PORTMAR moves aside to allow the transport room to maneuver. At the time of
the submarine's firing, the LST had her stern directly in line with the
At 1722, the first of I-174's torpedoes hits the LST starboard side aft.
The blast destroys the steering gear and kills twenty-six men. Nanbu hears the
detonations. After taking a quick periscope look, he believes that he has sunk
both vessels, estimated at 10,000 and 8,000-tons. Despite the severe damage
LST-469 is eventually towed back to Sydney for repairs. 
Moments after the explosion on the LST, PORTMAR's lookouts sight torpedo
tracks and she goes hard to port. Before the maneuver can take effect the ship
is hit by the second torpedo starboard side in No. 1 hold. Gasoline on board
explodes and the ship is ablaze fore and aft almost immediately. The ammunition
explodes soon after. Seven minutes after being hit, PORTMAR is abandoned and
sinks at 30-59S, 153-48E. She is the last ship sunk by IJN submarines on the
eastern coast of Australia. Corvettes HMAS KALGOORLIE and HMAS WARRNAMBOOL chase
and depth-charge I-174 unsuccessfully.
20 June 1943:
I-174 receives orders directing the submarine to leave
the Australian waters and pass E of the Solomons on the way back to Truk. No
further encounters with ships or aircraft are made
1 July 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
9 August 1943:
13 August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul to participate in supply missions
2 September 1943:
Arrives at Lae and unloads her cargo. On her way
back, I-174 is chased by enemy aircraft.
7 September 1943:
Departs Rabaul for another supply run to Lae with
the new CO of the 7th Base Unit, Rear Admiral Mori Kunizo (former CO of SATA)
9 September 1943:
Arrives at Lae and unloads her cargo. Embarks the
former CO of the 7th Base Unit Vice Admiral Fujita Ruitaro (former CO of FUSO),
IJA staff officers and 30 sick soldiers. Departs Lae.
10 September 1943:
On her way back, I-174 is chased by an enemy
destroyer that drops 26 depth-charges. When the air supply is almost exhausted,
Lt Nanbu decides to battle surface, but no enemy vessels are in sight. I-174
continues to Rabaul.
12 September 1943:
Off Rabaul, I-174 is bombed by a Boeing B-17
"Flying Fortress". There are several near misses but no serious damage. Arrives
15 September 1943:
SubRon 3 is disbanded. The I-174 is reassigned to
Headquarters, Sixth Fleet.
21 September 1943:
Arrives at Finschafen, New Guinea on a supply run,
unloads her cargo and departs for Rabaul.
That same day, an IJAAF Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" of the 7th Hiko Shidan
sights Rear Admiral Barbey's Task Force 76 heading for Finschafen.
22 September 1943:
The 20th Australian Brigade lands at Finschafen.
That same day, I-174 is ordered to return and intercept TF 76.
1 October 1943:
Arrives at Sio on a supply run. She is the first IJN
submarine to supply Sio.
16 October 1943:
Arrives at Truk.
20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the
The Americans invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet
of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.
Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo (former CO of MUTSU),
Commander, Sixth Fleet (Submarines) orders the I-40, I-19, I-21, I-35, I-39,
I-169, I-174, I-175 and RO-38 to proceed to Tarawa to attack the invasion ships.
24 November 1943:
Departs Truk on her eighth war patrol to form a
patrol line NW of Makin.
1 December 1943:
An IJNAF patrol plane sights a convoy of six troop
transports escorted by three battleships heading for Makin. VAdm Takagi orders
I-174 and I-21 to intercept the convoy.
6 December 1943:
30 nms E of Tarawa. That night, while I-174 is
charging her batteries on the surface when her lookouts spot an approaching
destroyer. I-174 crash-dives, but is then depth-charged. Serious leaks appear
in the diesel and electrical engine compartments and the lights are knocked out.
When the air supply and battery power are almost exhausted, LtCdr Nanbu orders
to battle surface. I-174 escapes into a rain squall and makes for Truk.
20 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to I-174 and
distilled water to I-36.
23 December 1943:
30 December 1943:
Arrives at Kure.
31 January 1944: American Operation "Flintlock" - The Invasion of the
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 58
lands the 4th Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division that capture
Kwajalein, Roi-Namur and Majuro.
18-21 February 1944: American Operation "Catchpole" - The Invasion of
The V Amphibious Corps Reserve (22nd Marine Regiment and the
Army's 106th Infantry Regiment) capture Engebi Island, Eniwetok and Parry
23 February 1944:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 May) Suzuki Katsuhito
(63)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed the CO.
3 April 1944:
Departs Kure for the Marshall Islands on her ninth war
10 April 1944:
South of Truk. Lt Suzuki transmits a regular situation
11 April 1944:
Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-108 equipped with 12
Consolidated PB4Y-1 "Liberators" relocates to Eniwetok. At 1746 (JST) that same
day, I-174 fails to answer a roll call.
12 April 1944:
Off Truk. While on early morning patrol, VB-108's
Executive Officer, LtCdr John E. Muldrow's "Liberator" attacks a submarine with
depth bombs and claims a sinking. An oil slick and debris are visible at
10-45N, 152-29E for the next two days. Postwar, Japanese records confirm that
the submarine was sunk and that it was I-174.
13 April 1944:
Presumed lost with all 107 hands E of Truk.
10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then
the highest point in the Japanese Empire.
 LST-469 was assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Daniel
E. Barbey's Seventh Amphibious Force, formed in January and short of ships.
The loss of the use of this vessel forced the elimination of troops and cargo
from the assault convoy destined for MacArthur's first amphibious operation,
the occupation of the Kiriwina and the Woodlark Islands.
Special thanks go to Lt Leo Wetherill, USNR-Ret, of Kansas City, MO who
was LtCdr Muldrow's co-pilot during the attack on the I-174.
Thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of
Japan. Thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this
TROM also go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada. Still more thanks go to
Andrew Obluski of Poland for providing some new data for Rev 1 to this TROM.
Thanks for help with some new data on the COs for Rev 2 also go to Steve
Eckhardt of Australia.
– Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
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