(Type C-1 submarine-colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)
IJN Submarine I-22:
Tabular Record of
© 2001-2013 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
25 November 1937:
Laid down at Kawasaki Kobe Yard as
C-1 class submarine
23 December 1938:
Launched as I-22.
20 September 1940:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Fujii
Akiyoshi (49)(currect CO of I-2) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer
(CEO) of I-22 as additional duty.
5 November 1940:
LtCdr (later Captain) Tonozuka Kinzo (50)(current
CO of I-123) is appointed the CEO of I-22 as additional duty.
15 November 1940:
Cdr (later Captain) Ageta Kiyoi (50)(former CO of
I-59) is appointed the CEO.
10 March 1941:
Completed at Kawasaki Kobe Yard and attached to
Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to Yokosuka Guard Unit Training Squadron. Cdr
Ageta Kiyoi is the Commanding Officer.
15 July 1941:
Reassigned to SubDiv 3, SubRon 1, Sixth Fleet.
22 October 1941:
Departs Saeki for Kure Navy Yard, 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:
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
designated the flagship of the Special Attack Unit with I-16, I-18, I-20, and
18 November 1941:
The Special Attack Unit departs Kure for the
Kamegakubi Naval Proving Ground. At Kamegakubi each of submarines embarks a
Type "A" midget submarine.
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 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). 
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 (65)
with PO1C Sasaki Naokichi. 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
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.
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
11 December 1941:
Off Lanai Island. After the daybreak the search is
terminated. I-22 and I-18 receive the order to shell Johnston Island. I-22
departs the Hawaii area. 
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
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
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 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 E14Y1 "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 (66) 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
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 the 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. 
I-22 heads for New Zealand area to reconnoiter Wellington, Auckland and
8-9 June 1942:
I-22 carries out periscope reconnaissance of
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:
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 (promoted Cdr 1 November; Captain, posthumously)
Narizawa Chinao (52)(former CO of I-73) is appointed the CO. 
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
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.
 Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the
highest point in the Japanese Empire.
 I-22's midget (identified as No. 15 by the Japanese submarine
historian Katsume Junya) 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.
 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
 The IJN did not use the HA designations in case of the
submarine-launched craft (or "midget submarines") during the Pacific War. They
are used here for convenience only.
 Matsuo and Totake's midget HA-21 was salvaged along with I-27's midget
HA-14. Parts of the two submarines were 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 visited Sydney and is presented the "sennin-bari" belt
once worn by her son.
 All of the Sydney midget crews are promoted two ranks, posthumously.
 LtCdr Narizawa's name has several possible readings; in various
sources it also appears as Narusawa Sunao.
 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 June 1942 from the
New Zealand Naval War Diary.
- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
Back to Submarine