SENSUIKAN!

(Type C-1 submarine-colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Submarine I-22:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2013 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3


25 November 1937:
Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Yard as Submarine No. 47.

23 December 1938:
Launched as I-22.

20 September 1940:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fujii Akiyoshi (49)(the currect CO of I-2) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer.

15 November 1940:
Cdr (later Capt) Ageta Kiyotake (50)(former CO of I-124) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer.

10 March 1941:
Completed at Kawasaki Kobe Yard and attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to Yokosuka Guard Unit Training Squadron. Cdr (later Captain) Ageta Kiyotake is the Commanding Officer.

15 July 1941:
Reassigned to SubDiv 3, SubRon 1, Sixth Fleet.

22 October 1941:
Departs Saeki for Kure, where she is converted to carry a top-secret 46-ton two-man Type "A" midget submarine. I-22 is the first submarine to undergo such conversion.

30 October 1941:
The flag of ComSubDiv 3, Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu (45) is transferred from I-21 to I-22.

17 November 1941: Operation "Z" - The Hawaiian Operation:
Kure Naval Club. The officers of Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu's Special Attack Unit are briefed on the Hawaii Operation. For Operation Z, I-22 is assigned as the flagship of the Special Attack Unit with I-16, I-18, I-20, and I-24.

18 November 1941:
The Special Attack Unit departs Kure for the Kamegakubi Naval Proving Ground to embark Type "A" midget submarines. At Kamegakubi each of submarines embarks a top-secret 46-ton two-man Type "A" midget submarine, code-named "Mato".

19 November 1941:
At 0215, all five of the Special Attack Unit's submarines depart Kamegakubi for the Hawaiian Islands. Captain Sasaki is embarked aboard the I-22. They use a direct route, passing S of Midway.

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). [1]

7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Nine miles from the harbor entrance. At 0110, I-22 arrives to the launch point located 9 miles from the harbor entrance. At 0116, I-22 launches her midget under Lt Iwasa Naoji with PO1C Sasaki Naoyoshi. Each of the other Special Attack Unit's "mother" submarines also launches a midget.

At 0200, two ship silhouettes resembling heavy cruisers are sighted. I-22 dives. At 0712 and 0713, two heavy explosions are heard in rapid succession, followed by a third at 0818.

At 0830, LtCdr William P. Buford's USS MONAGHAN (DD-354) is attempting to sortie from Pearl Harbor via the North Channel to evade the on-going air raid when the nearby destroyer/minesweeper USS ZANE (DMS-14) reports she has "sighted enemy submarine 200 yards astern of the MEDUSA."

Minelayer BREESE (DM-18) spots the midget next, followed by the seaplane tender CURTISS (AV-4) that opens fire. At 0837, MONAGHAN spots the submarine's periscope and part of its conning tower about 1,200 yards off her starboard bow. LtCdr Buford orders flank speed and prepares to ram. In the meantime, repair ship USS MEDUSA (AR-1) and tender TANGIER (AV-8) open fire on the midget.

The submarine fires a torpedo at CURTISS, but then broaches and is hit by 5-inch shell fire from the tender that decapitates her skipper. The midget is also raked by .50 cal. machine-gun fire. Her torpedo misses CURTISS and hits a dock.

MONAGHAN bores in on the submarine. The midget turns into the destroyer and fires its last torpedo. It just misses to starboard and explodes against the shore of Ford Island. MONAGHAN rams the midget and pushes her down to the bed of the 30-foot deep harbor. The destroyer then drops two depth charges that blow the midget to the surface. Iwasa and Sasaki's midget sinks NW of Ford Island. [2]

Between 0950 and 1243, I-22 is repeatedly attacked with depth charges, but receives no damage. She surfaces at 1806 and heads for the midget submarine crews' recovery area W of Lanai Island, arriving at 2314.

8 December 1941:
By dawn none of the midget submarines are sighted. After 0600, I-22 heads to the alternative recovery area, commencing the surfaced search at 1800.

9 December 1941:
ComSubDiv 3 orders all five submarines to return to the original recovery area off Lanai Island. Despite of the extensive search efforts, no traces of the craft or their crews are found.

10 December 1941:
At 0211 I-22 receives Fleet Secret Fleet Order No. 482. It announces that on the 7 December one of the attacking midgets had achieved an "important victory." Moreover, the order advises I-22 and I-16 to continue the search for the midget crews until the dawn of the 11 December.

I-22 unsuccessfully attempts to contact her midget using the radio. After 1802 she commences the surfaced search off the south coast of Molokai Island.

All five of the Special Attack Unit's midgets fail to return to their "mother" submarines.[3]

11 December 1941:
Off Lanai Island. After the daybreak the search is terminated. I-22 receives the order to shell Johnston Island (with I-18) and departs the Hawaii area. [3]

15 December 1941:
I-22 approaches Johnston Island in a small squall and opens fire at 5,500 yards. The first two salvos bracket Johnston and the third sets off an oil tank that fires a nearby power house. The submarine continues to fire at this well-lit target for ten minutes and hits several other buildings. One shell lands astern of transport WILLIAM WARD BURROWS (AP-6) at anchor inside the reef. Another shell passes over her forecastle, but she is not hit. The USMC garrison's 5-inch guns return inaccurate fire as the surfaced submarine departs the area at 18 knots.

21 December 1941:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

4 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein with I-18 and I-24 to patrol SE of Oahu. I-22 has an additional task to reconnoiter the French Frigate Shoals.

10-17 January 1942:
Patrols off Hawaii.

18 January 1942:
Departs the Hawaii area to reconnoiter French Frigate Shoals.

20 January 1942:
Departs the patrol area.

24 January 1942:
Briefly reconnoiters French Frigate Shoals to verify that there are no US troops stationed there, then heads for Yokosuka.

2 February 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka with I-24. Transferred to Kure later that month.

10 March 1942:
Reassigned to SubRon 8.

10 April 1942:
Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku (32), CINC, Combined Fleet, orders all submarine units to reconnoiter the enemy's fleet bases in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, destroy the enemy's maritime commerce and support the Port Moresby (MO) Operation.

15 April 1942:
I-22 is in Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu's Eastern Advanced Detachment: Sasaki's SubDiv 3 with I-21 and I-24 and Captain Katsuta Haruo's SubDiv 14 with I-27, I-28 and I-29. Departs Kure.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's (USNA 04) Task Force 16's USS HORNET (CV-8), cruisers, destroyers and an oiler accompanied by USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), cruisers, destroyers and another oiler approach to within 668 nautical miles of Japan. Led by LtCol (later General/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army North American B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17 Bomb Group takeoff from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe.

The Eastern Advanced Detachment receives the order to proceed to ENE at flank speed in an attempt to intercept the American carriers. The order is canceled on the following day and the detachment continues the voyage to Truk.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 April 1942:
Departs Truk with I-24, I-28 and I-29 to form a patrol line SW of Guadalcanal by 5 May.

4 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasions of Tulagi and Port Moresby:
Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi's (39) Port Moresby Attack Force departs Rabaul towards the Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago with DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, four destroyers and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (40) Transport Force of 12 transports and a minesweeper.

That day, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, Rear Admiral (later Admiral-Ret/MOH) Frank J. Fletcher's (USNA 02) Task Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (39)Tulagi Invasion Force. SBDs dive-bombers and TBD torpedo-bombers from the carrier YORKTOWN (CV-5) sink a destroyer, three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

5 May 1942:
Fletcher's force turns N to engage Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo's (39) Carrier Strike Force. SBDs and TBDs from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON (CV-2) sink Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo's (40) light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink destroyer SIMS (DD-409).

SubDiv 3's I-22 and I-24 reach their assigned patrol area with I-28 and I-29 in support of Operation MO.

8 May 1942:
Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON damage Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo's carrier SHOKAKU and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU's air group suffers heavy losses. Japanese carrier bombers and attack planes attack Task Force 17 and damage YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON that is further damaged when gasoline vapors are ignited, triggering massive explosions that cause her to be abandoned. Later, LEXINGTON is scuttled by destroyer PHELPS (DD-360). This Battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese thrust toward Port Moresby and they are forced to cancel Operation MO.

11 May 1942:
I-22 is ordered to return to Truk.

17 May 1942:
S of Truk. Early in the morning, LtCdr (later Cdr) Joseph H. Willingham's (USNA 26) USS TAUTOG (SS-199) attacks two I-class submarines, including the I-22. Two hours later, TAUTOG sinks I-28 that was heading towards Truk on the same course.

That same day, I-22 arrives at Truk. She embarks a Type A midget submarine and its crew delivered aboard the seaplane/submarine tender CHIYODA (later converted to a carrier).

18 May 1942:
Departs Truk with I-24 and I-27.

23 May 1942:
Australia. I-29's floatplane reconnoiters Sydney.

29 May 1942:
Flagship I-21 launches her E14Y "Glen" to reconnoiter Sydney harbor. At 0420, it circles twice over the harbor near where the heavy cruiser USS CHICAGO (CA-29) is anchored. First thought to be an American plane, RAAF fighters are eventually sent to intercept, but are unsuccessful. The Glen returns to I-21 and reports sighting a "battleship". The Eastern Detachment Commander orders an attack on Sydney harbor by his midget submarines.

30 May 1942:
I-22, -24 and I-27 arrive off Sydney.

31 May 1942: The Attack on Sydney:
Seven miles E of Sydney. Between 1721 and 1740, the "mother" submarines I-22, I-24 and I-27 each release their midgets. I-22's midget, HA-21, is piloted by Lt Matsuo Keiu with PO2C Totake Masao. HA-21 is spotted after it enters the harbor. Patrol boat YANDRA tries to ram her and then attacks with depth charges. HA-21 survives, only to be attacked again by HMAS SEA MIST off Taylor's Bay. HA-21's crew shoot themselves. The midget is later found disabled on the harbor floor with her motor still running.[4]

I-24's midget, HA-17, enters the harbor, avoids the nets and slowly makes her way. At Potts Point, she is spotted and fired upon by the anchored CHICAGO's AA guns, but is not hit. HMAS GEELONG also fails to score a hit. HA-17 fires both of her torpedoes at CHICAGO. Both miss. One runs aground and fails to explode. The other passes under Dutch submarine K-IX and sinks old accommodation ferry HMAS KUTTABUL. K-IX is damaged.

Four hours after her release, I-27's midget, HA-14, becomes entangled in anti-submarine netting and is detected. Her crew detonates their demolition charges and destroy themselves and the midget.

3 June 1942:
After lingering outside Sydney to recover the midgets that fail to return, I-22 and the other submarines finally give up and switch to commerce warfare.[5]

I-22 heads for New Zealand area to reconnoiter Wellington, Auckland and Suva.

8-9 June 1942:
I-22 carries out periscopic reconnaissance of Wellington.

9 June 1942:
Mahinepua Bay, New Zealand. At 1030, a military post reports sighting a submarine on the surface 337 degrees NE and 2.2 miles from the Cavalli Islands. By 1100, the submarine is at 302 degrees NE and 4.5 miles from the Cavalli Islands.

10 June 1942:
At 1418, Cdr Ageta attacks a small steamer off Portland Island, but the torpedo passes under its keel. After sundown, I-20 reconnoiters Hauraki Gulf and Auckland.

17-18 June 1942:
Reconnoiters Suva.

19 June 1942:
Reconnoiters Auckland for the second time.

25 June 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein with I-21, I-24, I-27 and I-29.

5 July 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Yokosuka.

10 July 1942:
LtCdr Narizawa Chinao (52)(former CO of I-73) is appointed the next Commanding Officer. [6]

11 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. I-22 is in Captain Sasaki's SubDiv 3 with I-21 and I-24.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA 08) Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) John S. McCain's (USNA 06) Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/MOH/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo and Guadalcanal opening the campaign to take the island.

23 August 1942: Operation KA: The Destruction of the American Fleet and the Recapture of Guadalcanal:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Kondo Nobutake's (35)(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's force joins Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's (36) Third Fleet, Main Body's CarDiv 1's SHOKAKU, ZUIKAKU, CarDiv 2's RYUJO, BatDiv 11, CruDiv 7 and 8 and Desron 10's light cruiser NAGARA with three destroyers for operations in the Solomons.

11 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka to operate in the Solomons area.

15 September 1942:
LtCdr Narizawa is ordered to join a patrol line SW of Rennell Island.

1 October 1942:
I-22 reports sighting a northbound convoy 40 miles SE of Malaita, Solomons.

4 October 1942:
SE of Malaita, Eastern Solomons. I-22 reports her position. It is the last signal received from her.

6 October 1942:
At 2150 (GMT), COMSOPAC's Lt Willard D. King's PBY-5A "Catalina" flying boat, after delivering oxygen bottles and personnel to Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, spots and drops four depth charges on a submarine diving on course 210 at 11-22S 162-20E. Quantities of oil and bubbles appear and the submarine is considered sunk.

12 November 1942:
I-22 is presumed lost with all 100 hands.

15 December 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1]Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

[2] I-22's midget is later raised and used as landfill at Pearl. Lt Iwasa's sleeve with his rank insignia is found in the wreck and is returned quietly to Japan after the war. It is now on display at the Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo. Japanese sources theorize that I-22's midget is the one that tried to torpedo the CURTISS and was then rammed and sunk by MONAGHAN.

[3] Several older sources suggest that I-22 was assigned to shell Johnston Island in company of I-16. This is not substantiated by the War Diary of the Sixth Fleet, which clearly identifies the second submarine involved as I-18.

[4] Matsuo and Totake's midget HA-21 is salvaged along with I-27's midget HA-14. Parts of the two submarines are joined together to form a single midget that is on display at the Australian War Memorial in its ANZAC Hall, Canberra, Australia. It is one of four such Type A midgets on display around the world. In 1968, Lt Matsuo's mother visits Sydney and is presented the "sennin-bari" belt once worn by her son.

[5] All of the Sydney midget crews are promoted two ranks, posthumously.

[6] LtCdr Narizawa's name has several possible readings; in various sources it also appears as Narusawa Sunao.

[7] After the war, the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee (JANAC) officially credited the torpedo boat PT-122 with the sinking of I-22 off the Kumusi River on the night of December 23-24, 1942. How exactly JANAC reached this conclusion is unclear; newer research has discredited that claim.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Steve Eckardt of Australia and to Jim Sawruk for input on I-22's loss. Thanks also go to reader Gerald Shone of New Zealand for info on I-22's sighting on 9 Jun '42 from the New Zealand Naval War Diary.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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