(Type KD7 submarine scanned from "Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy" by Polmar and Carpenter)

HIJMS Submarine I-183: Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2018 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 2

26 December 1941:
Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Shipyard as Submarine No. 161.

21 January 1943:
Launched as I-183.

30 August 1943:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Saeki Takuo (59)(former CO of RO-106) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

3 October 1943:
I-183 is completed and attached to Sasebo Naval District. She is assigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral), Marquis Daigo Tadashige's SubRon 11, First Fleet. LtCdr Saeki Takuo is the Commanding Officer.

5 October 1943:
Departs Kobe to work up in Hiroshima Bay and Iyo Nada, Inland Sea.

6 October 1943:
Hiroshima Bay. At 1040, I-183 commences a series of diving exercises in the area W of Osu, Etajima Island. During a crash-dive test one of the sailors fails to close the main induction valve. The engine room floods and despite an emergency main tank blow, I-183's stern soon hits bottom while the bow sticks out of the water. Eng. Lt(jg) Hirobe Yoshio, currently attached to I-183's engineering officer, manages to close the watertight hatch leading to aft crew compartment, so that the flooding is limited to the main engine and electric motor rooms. Hirobe and 15 other sailors are trapped in the aft section of the submarine.

LtCdr Saeki and most of the crew escape through the forward torpedo tubes and are picked up by the local fishermen.

Rear Admiral Daigo personally leads the rescue operation commencing at 2000, after a floating crane and a team of divers arrive from Kure Navy Yard.

7 October 1943:
Around 1400 the submarine is finally refloated, but all 16 sailors in the aft compartment are found dead.

January 1944:
The repairs are completed. Commences working-up.

27 March 1944:
Following the sighting of an enemy task group heading for Palau, I-183, I-44, RO-47, RO-116 and RO-117 are ordered to proceed to an area E of Palau.

31 March 1944:
I-183 departs Kure in company of I-44, but is forced to return because of a mechanical failure.

6 April 1944:
Returns to Kure for repairs.

28 April 1944:
Reassigned to SubDiv 22, Sixth Fleet. I-183 departs Kure for Truk via Saipan. At 2121, zigzagging at 17 knots after exiting the Bungo Strait, she is picked up by LtCdr Ralph M. Metcalf's USS POGY's (SS-266) SJ radar. POGY commences a surfaced chase at flank speed.

29 April 1944:
30 miles S of Cape Ashizuri. POGY tracks I-183 and closes to 1,300 yards. At 0034, Metcalf fires four Mark 23 torpedoes set to 6 feet. Two minutes later the second torpedo hits the target. I-183 sinks in 40 seconds at 32-07N, 133-03E. At 0039, four or five loud explosions are heard. After 0042, POGY doubles back and runs through a large oil slick "smelling like the new 100-octane aromatic aviation gasoline".

28 May 1944:
Presumed lost with all 92 hands in the area S of Honshu.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
According to the privately published "The History of Japanese Submarines" (1979), I-183 was sunk by gunfire on the surface. As noted by author Kimata Jiro (1993), this is clearly in error.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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