SENSUIKAN!

(Type B1 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Submarine I-19:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2012 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 5


28 April 1941:
Completed at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Kobe and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District. LtCdr Narahara Shogo is I-19's Commanding Officer. I-19 is based at Yokosuka.

I-19 is assigned to the Sixth Fleet (Submarines) in Rear Adm Sato Tsutomu's SubRon 1 in Captain Imaizumi Yoshijiro's SubDiv 2 with I-18 and I-20.

10 November 1941: The Hawaii Operation:
At Saeki Bay in the Advance Expeditionary Force. Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi (former CO of ISE), CINC Sixth Fleet (Submarines) convenes a meeting of his commanders aboard his flagship, light cruiser KATORI. LtCdr Narahara and the other commanders are briefed on the planned attack on Pearl Harbor.

20 November 1941:
Departs Yokosuka with I-23 for the Hawaiian Islands to act as lookouts ahead of the Task Force. I-19 has Captain Imaizumi embarked and a Type 96 Watanabe E9W1 "Slim" floatplane aboard.

The Submarine Advance Group under Imaizumi is subordinated directly to the First Air Fleet's Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi aboard his flagship, carrier AKAGI.

23 November 1941:
At 1330, arrives at Hitokappu Bay, Etorofu.

26 November 1941:
At 0645, departs Hitokappu Bay, as a member of the Submarine Advance Group prior to the departure of Nagumo's fleet. The Submarine Advance Group steams only about 1,000 meters ahead of the carriers.

27 November 1941:
Enroute I-19, I-21 and I-23 refuel from a fleet oiler.

28 November 1941:
I-19 receives a blinker warning from the AKAGI about Soviet freighters UZBEKISTAN and AZERBAIDJAN enroute from San Francisco to Vladivostok.

1 December 1941:
I-23 lags behind the main group after losing one shaft. AKAGI questions I-19 about the location of I-23.

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). Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
I-19 patrols 110 miles NE of Oahu during the air attack on Pearl Harbor.

After the air attack, the submarines of the Advance Group serve as navigation aids for crippled Japanese aircraft returning to their carriers. After 1040, SubDiv 2 is detached from the Kido Butai and subordinated directly to Headquarters, Sixth Fleet. All three submarines are deployed to the area 300 miles E of Maui.

8 December 1941:
I-19 passes through the area where the day before I-26 sank 2,140-ton steam schooner CYNTHIA OLSON. I-19 pulls alongside OLSEN's lifeboats and passes some food to the survivors. Then I-19 departs the area.

10 December 1941:
I-19 receives a report that I-6 has sighted a LEXINGTON-class aircraft carrier and two cruisers heading NE. Vice Admiral Shimizu in the KATORI at Kwajalein orders all of SubRon 1 boats, except the Special Attack Force, to pursue and sink the carrier.

I-19, I-9, I-15, I-17, I-21, I-23 and I-25 surface and set off at flank speed after the carrier.

11 December 1941:
I-19 is twice spotted by aircraft from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) but manages to crash-dive.

14 December 1941:
After the unsuccessful pursuit of the carrier, I-19 and the other submarines joined by I-10 and I-26 are ordered to sail eastwards to the West Coast of the United States and attack American shipping.

The Imperial General Headquarters orders the IJN to shell the U.S. West Coast. Vice Admiral Shimizu issues a detailed order on the targets. I-15, I-9, I-10, I-17, I-19, I-21, I-23, I-25 and I-26 are each to fire 30 shells on the night of 25 December. Rear Admiral Sato, aboard I-9, is charged to execute the order.

22 December 1941:
Off Point Arguello, 55 miles north of Santa Barbara. I-19 chases 10,763-ton Standard Oil Company tanker H. M. STOREY for about an hour and then fired two torpedoes with 2-second intervals. Just then a third torpedo starts a "hot run" and it has to be fired as well. All the torpedoes miss. The tanker escapes. [1]

22 December 1941:
Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, CINC, Combined Fleet, postpones the Christmas Eve attack until 27 December.

25 December 1941:
I-19 torpedoes and misses lumber schooner BARBARA OLSON steaming toward San Diego.

Later that day, off Point Fermin near San Pedro, the I-19 torpedoes, hits and damages the McCormick Steamship Company's 5,695-ton American lumber carrier ABSOROKA, but the ship is towed and beached at Fort MacArthur. Subchaser USS AMETHYST (PYC-3), on patrol off the Los Angeles Harbor entrance, depth charges I-19, but without effect.

27 December 1941:
Most of the I-boats off the coast have depleted their fuel reserves. Vice Admiral Shimizu cancels the shelling.

4 January 1942:
E of Lahaina Roads. At 1720 (I), I-19 tries to launch her E9W1 "Slim" floatplane on a night reconnaissance over Pearl Harbor, but a faulty valve causes her catapult to malfunction. As the "Slim" is heaved alongside I-19, an enemy patrol craft is sighted. The submarine is also spotted and the American vessel tries to contact her with a blinker gun.

LtCdr Narahara dives simultaneously with the start of his floatplane and spends the next hour dodging the enemy vessel. Two hours and 40 minutes later, the E9W1 returns and reports sighting a carrier, nine cruisers and six smaller warships in Pearl Harbor.

January 1942: Operation "K-1" - Flying Boat Attack on Pearl Harbor:
The Naval General Staff develops a plan to raid Pearl Harbor using two large Type 2 four-engined Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boats. The plan calls for the planes to depart Wotje in the Marshalls and fly to the French Frigate Shoal in the Hawaiian Islands where they are to be refueled by I-class submarines.

Headquarters, 6th Fleet considers shelling Johnston and Palmyra Islands with I-15 and I-19, but finally rejects the idea.

15 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein to refuel. LtCdr Narahara is credited with the sinking of a American merchant.

1 February 1942:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr's Task Force 8 (USS ENTERPRISE, CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje, Marshall Islands. ENTERPRISE's Douglas SBD "Dauntlesses" of VB-6 and VS-6 make the first attack followed by a second wave of TBD "Devastator" torpedo planes of VT-6.

Two hours after the attack, Sixth Fleet HQ orders SubRon 1's I-9, I-15, I-17, I-19, I-23, I-25 and I-26 to put to sea and intercept the enemy carriers.

3 February 1942:
I-15, I-19, I-23 and I -26 are recalled to participate in Operation K-1.

5 February 1942: Operation "K-1" - The Second Attack on Pearl Harbor:
At Kwajalein. Five submarines are selected to participate in Operation K-1. I-19, I-15 and I-26's hangar space is fitted with six fuel tanks each to store aviation fuel. The objective of the attack is to bomb Pearl's "Ten-Ten Dock" and disrupt ship repair activities. I-9 is assigned to take up station midway between Wotje and the Shoals and act as a radio beacon for two Kawanishi H8K1 Emily flying boat bombers. I-19, I-15 and I-26 are to refuel the flying boats at the Shoals. I-23 is to standby 10 miles south of Pearl Harbor, provide weather reports and act in an air-sea rescue capacity. The submarines depart for their stations.

20 February 1942:
Departs Kwajalein to operate north of Rabaul.

4 March 1942:
I-15 and I-19 arrive at the Shoals. I-26 is in reserve and I-9 is at Wotje as a radio beacon. After dark the "Emilys" arrive, refuel and take off for Pearl Harbor.

5 March 1942:
Seven hours after departing French Frigate Shoal, the flying boats bomb Honolulu, but achieve no significant results and return to the Marshall Islands.

16 March 1942:
Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa (former CO of CA NACHI) assumes command of the Sixth Fleet (Submarines).

21 March 1942:
I-19, I-15 and I-26 arrive at Yokosuka for overhaul.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey's Task Force 16.2's USS HORNET (CV-8), cruisers, destroyers and an oiler accompanied by Task Force 16.1's ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and other cruisers, destroyers and an oiler approach to within 668 nautical miles of Japan. Led by Lt Col (later General/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off from HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe.

At Yokosuka, the I-19, I-15, I-25 and I-26 are in drydock. A B-25 damages light carrier RYUHO undergoing conversion from former submarine depot ship TAIGEI in a nearby drydock.

15 May 1942:
Departs Yokosuka with I-17.

19 May 1942:
Departs Ominato.

27 May 1942: Operation "MI" - The Attack on Midway:
SubDiv 2 provides support for Operation AL, the diversionary invasion of Kiska and Attu.

N of Bogoslof Island, Aleutians. I-19 surfaces and prepares to launch her floatplane. Suddenly, her lookouts sight an American destroyer. LtCdr Narahara crash dives. There is no time to disassemble and stow the plane and it is damaged irreparably.

29 May 1942:
I-19 conducts a submerged reconnaissance of Dutch Harbor.

7 July 1942:
I-19 arrives at Yokosuka.

15 July 1942:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kinashi Takakazu (pre-war CO of I-3 and others) assumes command.[2]

7 August 1942 - 9 February 1943: 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/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandergrift's 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal opening a seven-month campaign to take the island.

15 August 1942:
I-19 departs Yokosuka for the Solomons. She carries a E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane. SubDiv 2 is ordered to form a picket line in the Solomon Sea to intercept ships supplying the American forces on Guadalcanal.

23 August 1942: Operation "KA": The Destruction of the American Fleet and the Recapture of Guadalcanal:
Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake's (former CO of KONGO) Second Fleet, Advanced Force's CruDiv's 4 and 5, CarDiv 11's seaplane tender CHITOSE, DesRon 4's light cruiser YURA and nine destroyers arrive off Truk from Japan. Kondo joins Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's Third Fleet, Main Body, CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, CarDiv 2's RYUJO, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 7 and 8 and Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA and destroyers for operations in the Solomons.

I-19 enters an area controlled by the enemy. So as not to jeopardize the mission, I-19 and her sister submarines are ordered to attack only supply ships or capital ships. In the afternoon, Lt Stockton Strong and Ensign John Richey of USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) catch I-19 while she is running on the surface. Cdr Kinashi crash-dives before they can drop bombs that later explode without causing damage.

24 August 1942: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons:
Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61's USS SARATOGA (CV-3) and ENTERPRISE launch aircraft that find and sink light carrier RYUJO. In turn, SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU launch aircraft that find and damage ENTERPRISE. That evening, aircraft from SARATOGA damage CHITOSE.

I-19 begins regular underwater patrols from 0630 to 1930.

25 August 1942:
At 1245, Cdr Kinashi surfaces only to discover an American cruiser escorted by a destroyer and several aircraft. He dives immediately and starts an attack approach, but the distance is too great and Kinashi cannot reach a firing position.

26 August 1942:
200 miles SE of Guadalcanal. At 1425, while running submerged, the sound operator reports contact with several approaching ships, including an aircraft carrier, battleship, cruiser and several destroyers. The Task Force, including USS WASP (CV-7), is heading north, but once again Kinashi's approach fails.

28 August 1942.
I-19's E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane reconnoiters Graciosa Bay on Ndeni Island, Solomons. The pilot reports the presence of a destroyer and six flying boats.

31 August 1942:
Starting at 1815, I-19 shells Graciosa Bay, Ndeni for about 10 minutes.

15 September 1942:
At 0950, while running submerged, the sound operator reports a contact with many heavy screws at 12-18S, 164-15E. Kinashi orders I-19 to periscope depth. He makes a sweep with his 'scope but no ships are in sight.

250 miles SE of Guadalcanal. Captain (later Admiral) Forrest P. Sherman's USS WASP and Captain Charles P. Mason's (later Rear Admiral) HORNET (CV-8) are escorting a reinforcement convoy of six transports carrying the 7th Marine Regiment from Espiritu Santo to reinforce Guadalcanal. The carriers are steaming in sight of each other about 8 miles apart. Each carrier forms the nucleus of a task force. Captain George H. Fort's (later Rear Admiral) battleship USS NORTH CAROLINA (BB-55) is with the HORNET task force to the NE of the WASP force.

At 1050, Kinashi raises his periscope again. This time he sees a carrier, a heavy cruiser and several destroyers (Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes' Task Force 18) bearing 045T at 9 miles. Kinashi estimates the task force's course at 330 and begins a slow approach. The Americans, zigzagging at 16 knots, change course to WNW. Then at 1120, the target group again changes course -this time to SSE. WASP makes a slow left turn into the wind to launch and recover her aircraft - and heads toward the I-19.

Kinashi estimates that his target is on course 130 degrees making 12 knots. At 1145, from 50 degrees starboard, he fires a spread of six Type 95 oxygen-propelled torpedoes at the enemy carrier from 985 yards. Two or possibly three hit the WASP and start an uncontrollable fire.

HORNET force continues a right turn to a 280 degree base course. Suddenly, an alarm is heard the tactical radio speakers from USS LANSDOWNE (DD-486) in the WASP's screen "... torpedo headed for formation, course 080!"

At 1152, a torpedo from I-19's salvo hits NORTH CAROLINA in her port bow abreast of her forward main battery turret. The blast holes the side protection below the armor belt and NORTH CAROLINA takes on a thousand tons of water. She takes on a five-degree list but counter flooding quickly levels her and she makes 25 knots. [3]

At 1154, a torpedo hits destroyer O'BRIEN's (DD-415) port quarter and another just misses HORNET. [4]

I-19 dives to 265 feet under the carrier's wake. The first depth charge explodes six minutes after the last torpedo hit. Soon the depth charges were exploding all around. American destroyers try to surround I-19 to attack together and finish her off. They rain down 30 depth charges.

At noon, WASP's avgas tanks explode. At 1515, two cruisers and destroyers abandon WASP and withdraw to the south. At 1520, Captain Sherman orders "Abandon Ship". The carrier is scuttled by five torpedoes from LANSDOWNE and sinks by the bow at about 2100. WASP suffers 193 killed and 367 wounded.

25 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

5 October 1942:
Departs Truk for a reconnaissance mission in the Noumea area.

October 1942:
I-19, I-15, I-17 and I-26 are assigned to patrol, reconnoiter and prevent enemy reinforcements from landing on Guadalcanal.

19 October 1942:
When hoisted aboard, the floatplane is damaged.

1 November 1942.
LtCdr Kinashi is promoted to Commander.

16 November 1942:
Truk. Vice Admiral Komatsu convenes a meeting of his submarine captains. He announces that the Sixth Fleet has been ordered by Admiral Yamamoto, CINC, Combined Fleet to organize a supply system for the IJA's 17th Army garrison on Guadalcanal.

22 November 1942:
I-19's 140-mm deck gun is removed. She departs Shortland with I-17 for the first supply mission to Guadalcanal.

24 November 1942:
Arrives at Kamimbo Bay, Guadalcanal with I-17. The unloading of supplies is soon aborted because of an air attack.

26 November 1942:
Delivers 32 tons of supplies, but has to abort the unloading after that.

22 December 1942:
I-19 delivers her cargo, this time packed in floating rubber containers which are released underwater to escape the detection of the submarine by the surface craft.

30 December 1942:
I-19 delivers 25-tons of cargo to Guadalcanal.

4 January 1943:
I-19 delivers 15-tons of cargo to Guadalcanal.

9 January 1943:
I-19 delivers 12 supply drums to Guadalcanal.

31 January Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
A task force of units of the Second and Third Fleets from Truk steams north of the Solomons as a feint to cover Rear Admiral Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul. The IJN begins to evacuate the starving IJA troops from Guadalcanal.

9 February 1943:
The IJN completes successfully the evacuation of 11,700 troops from Guadalcanal.

24 March 1943:
Proceeds to Truk.

4 April 1943:
Departs Truk.

30 April 1943:
SE of Suva, Fiji Islands. I-19 chases 7, 176-ton American Liberty ship PHOEBE A. HEARST for three hours, then torpedoes and sinks her.

2 May 1943:
Off the Fiji Islands. I-19 torpedoes and damages 7,181-ton American freighter WILLIAM WILLIAMS. The torpedo puts a hole 40 x 30 feet wide in her port side. The crew abandons ship, but when the submarine does not come back, most of the crew reboard her. They get up steam and make Suva, Fiji with the help of USS CATALPA.

16 May 1943:
Off Suva, Fiji Islands. I-19, still under Cdr Kinashi, torpedoes and sinks 7, 181-ton American freighter WILLIAM K. VANDERBILT that is en route from Vila Elate to Suva. I-19 surfaces and machine-guns the lifeboats. One man is killed.

6 June 1943:
Returns to Truk.

July 1943:
SubRon 1's I-19, I-11, I-17 and I-25 are assigned to patrol off Santa Cruz, Espritu Santo, Fiji and New Caledonia.

13 August 1943:
Off the Fiji Islands. I-19 torpedoes and severely damages 7,176-ton American Liberty ship M. H. DeYOUNG that is en route to Espiritu Santo with road scrapers, cranes, trucks, and other heavy equipment. DeYOUNG takes a torpedo in the engine room. She remains afloat because of barge pontoons that are stowed in her holds. Later, she is towed to Nukualofa, Tongatabu by tanker QEEBEC, but is not repairable.

27 September 1943:
Truk. LtCdr Kobayashi Shigeo (former CO of I-171) assumes command. (Kobayashi helped to adapt the IJN's 24-inch Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo to the 21-inch Type 95 torpedo used by submarines.)

17 October 1943:
Departs Truk via Kwajalein for the Hawaii area to reconnoiter Pearl Harbor.

E 18 October 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein to practice floatplane launching.

20 October 1943:
A report of a large convoy south of the Hawaiian Islands headed west is received from I-36. I-19, I-35, I-169 and I-175 are ordered to intercept it.

23 October 1943:
Departs Kwajalein with ComSubDiv 2 Captain Iwagami Hidetoshi (former ComSubDiv 1) embarked.

17 November 1943:
After sundown, I-19 launches her floatplane that makes a reconnaissance over Pearl Harbor and returns safely to the submarine. The pilot reports the presence of one battleship and one carrier. During the recovery of the "Glen", American patrol aircraft are sighted in the vicinity and the floatplane is scuttled to avoid being spotted.

18 November 1943:
I-19 reports the results of the recce flight.

20 November 1943: American Operation "Galvanic" - The Invasion of the Gilberts:
The Americans invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.

300 miles SW of the Hawaiian Islands. Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo (former CO of MUTSU), Commander, Sixth Fleet (Submarines) orders the I-19, I-21, I-35, I-39, I-40, I-169, I-174 and I-175 and RO-38 to proceed to Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.

22 November 1943:
LtCdr Kobayashi fails to acknowledge the receipt of the message from the Sixth Fleet.

25 November 1943:
50 miles W of Makin Island. At 2049, Cdr G. E. Grigg's USS RADFORD (DD-446) makes night radar contact with a surfaced submarine at 8 miles. At 2130, RADFORD loses radar contact as the submarine submerges. At 2140, RADFORD makes sonar contact and then makes seven depth charge attacks. Postwar, Japanese records confirm that the submarine sunk at 03-10N, 171-55E is I-19.

Captain Iwagami is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously. LtCdr Kobayashi is promoted Cdr, posthumously.

2 February 1944:
Presumed lost with all 105 hands in the Gilberts area.

1 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

22-24 June 1986:
Four former crewmembers of I-19 (Dr. Miyazawa Juichiro, Torpedomen Tange Shichiro and Otani Tadataka and Quartermaster Sugiyama Rishichi) participate in USS NORTH CAROLINA reunion in Wilmington, North Carolina. They are presented with a framed fragment of the Type 95 torpedo fired at NORTH CAROLINA in September 1942.


Authors' Notes:
[1] In May 1943, H. M. Storey is sunk by I-25.

[2] Kinashi Takakazu appears in many sources erroneously as Kinashi Takaichi.

[3] The Japanese learn about the hit on NORTH CAROLINA only after the war.

[4] A month later, O'BRIEN with severe structural stresses throughout, breaks in two and sinks while returning to a West Coast shipyard for further repairs.

Special thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan, Steve Eckardt of Australia and Andrew Obluski of Poland.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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