(Type KD6 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)
IJN Submarine I-174: Tabular Record of
© 2001-2010 Bob Hackett & Sander KingseppRevision 3
Admiral Shimizu convenes a meeting of all his commanders aboard his
flagship, light cruiser KATORI. LtCdr Kusaka and the other commanders are
briefed on the planned attack on Pearl Harbor.
11 November 1941:
15 August 1938:
Sasebo Navy Yard. I-74 is completed and attached to the Kure Naval District.
November 1941: Operation "Z":
I-74 is in Vice Admiral Shimizu
Mitsumi's (former CO of ISE) Advance Expeditionary Force (Sixth Fleet) with Rear
Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Miwa Shigeyoshi's (former CO of KINU) SubRon 3 in
Captain Minaguchi Hyoe's SubDiv 11 with I-75. Cdr Ikezawa Masayuki is the
I-74 and I-75 depart Saeki.
20 November 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein.
23 November 1941:
Departs Kwajalein for the Hawaiian Islands.
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 Kusaka Toshio (former CO of RO-63) assumes command.
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 No. 1 IWATE MARU, 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 No. 1 IWATE MARU's crew to light
10 May 1942:
I-74 and I-75 arrive at Kwajalein. I-74 is
in Vice Admiral Komatsu Teruhisa's (former CO of CA NACHI) Advance Expeditionary
Force (Sixth Fleet) with SubRon 3's I-68, I-69, I-71 and I-75.
20 May 1942: Operation "K-2" - The Second Raid on Pearl Harbor:
I-74 is redesignated 1-174. Departs Kwajalein with I-175 to participate
in Operation K-2.
29 May 1942:
Arrives 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
the 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.
18 September 1942:
Truk. I-174 is in Subron 3 with I-11 (F),
I-168, I-169, I-171, I-172 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 and I-175.
4 November 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
6 November 1942:
12 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure for an overhaul. LtCdr Kusaka is
reassigned as the Chief Fitting-out officer of I-180 under construction at
Yokosuka. He later becomes CO of I-400.
Lt (later Rear Admiral, JMSDF) Nambu Nobukiyo is assigned as the CO of
1 January 1943:
1-174 is in SubRon 3's SubDiv 11 with 1-175
15 Mar 1943:
I-174 and I-175 are reassigned to SubDiv 12.
I-174 is assigned to SubRon 3.
5 May 1943:
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 n. 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 feet they sight
I-174, but the aircraft is also sighted. The submarine crash-dives and
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 enroute from Balboa, Canal Zone to Brisbane. At 1136, Lt Nambu
fires four torpedoes at the merchant. Two minutes later, lookouts on the 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 4,113-ton
United States 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 and forces
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 PG 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 n. miles NE of Coffs Harbour. At 1025, I-174's
soundman hears PG 53 at 13,000 yards. Nanbu attempts to fall in astern of the
convoy. The weather is poor with low visibility, so at 1255, Lt Nanbu surfaces
only 1,600 yards from the trailing ships. He 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. 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 waits.
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 n. miles off
Newcastle by 1900 that evening.
7 June 1943:
100 miles E of Sydney. At 0450, I-174 detects
7,176-ton American Liberty ship JOHN BARTRAM that is 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. Nambu 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 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 n. miles E of Wollongong Light. At 1400, 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 U.S. 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 manaeuver. 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. LST-469 is assigned to
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Daniel E. Barbey's Seventh Amphibious Force,
formed in January and short of ships. Loss of the use of this vessel forces 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
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, the 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, the 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 Nambu 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, Lt
Nanbu orders "battle surface". I-174 escapes into a rain squall and makes
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:
LtCdr Suzuki Katsuhito is posted as CO of I-174.
Lt Nambu is reassigned. He later becomes CO of I-362 and I-401.
3 April 1944:
Departs Kure for the Marshall Islands on her ninth war
10 April 1944:
South of Truk. LtCdr Suzuki sends a regular situation
11 April 1944:
Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-108 equipped with 12
Consolidated PB4Y-1 "Liberators" relocates to Eniwetok. That same day, I-174
fails to answer 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. Post war, 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.
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
Back to Submarine