SENSUIKAN!

(Type B1 submarine I-25)

IJN I-25:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2002-2013 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 6


3 February 1939:
Laid down at Mitsubishi Kobe Yard as Submarine No. 42. [1]

8 June 1940:
Launched as I-25.

28 April 1941:
LtCdr (later Captain) Tagami Meiji (51)(former CO of I-55) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

15 October 1941:
Commissioned and attached to Yokosuka Naval District. LtCdr Tagami Meiji is the Commanding Officer.

31 October 1941:
Assigned to the Sixth Fleet, SubDiv 4 in SubRon 1 as the flagship of ComSubDiv 4, Captain Oda Tamekiyo (43)(former CO of I-123).

7 November 1941:
Sukumo Bay, Shikoku. Embarks a Watanabe E9W1 "Slim" Type 96 floatplane and its crew led by CPO Fujita Nobuo. Commences floatplane launch and recovery exercises in Inland Sea.

11 November 1941: Operation "Z":
Reassigned to Captain Imaizumi Yoshijiro's (44) Advance Force.

21 November 1941:
I-25 is in Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's (former CO of ISE) Sixth Fleet's Advance Force in Rear Admiral Sato Tsutomu's SubRon 1. Departs Yokosuka on her first "war" patrol.

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.

5 December 1941:
NW of Oahu. Around 1430 (local), LtCdr Tagami sights a flight of eight American reconnaissance planes, heading east. I-25 dives to 100 ft to escape detection.

7 December 1941: Operation "Z" - The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
I-25 patrols northeast of Oahu during the attack on Pearl Harbor, forming a patrol line with I-9, I-15 and I-17 (I-25 has the easternmost zone next to I-17). Around 1245, the soundman reports several distant explosions from the direction of Oahu.

9 December 1941:
I-6 reports sighting a LEXINGTON-class aircraft carrier and two cruisers off Oahu heading ENE. Vice Admiral Shimizu in KATORI at Kwajalein orders all of SubRon 1's boats, except the Special Attack Force, to pursue and sink the carrier. I-25 receives that order after sundown when surfacing to recharge the batteries and sets off at flank speed after the carrier.

10 December 1941:
Around 0415, when I-25 travels N of Oahu, she is suddenly attacked by a patrol plane attempting to strafe her. I-25 crash-dives immediately. Thirty minutes later the submarine returns to periscope depth but is attacked again, this time with depth charges.

11 December 1941:
While continuing the pursuit, I-25 encounters heavy seas. The surfaced submarine is swamped by waves. Her watch/gunnery officer, the floatplane pilot and the chief signalman are all injured by shards of broken glass.

14 December 1941:
After the unsuccessful pursuit of the carrier, I-25 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. I-25 is assigned to patrol the Astoria/Portland region off the Columbia River estuary.

16 December 1941:
600 miles off Seattle. At 0330 I-25 receives the order to shell a target on West Coast on 25 December and then to proceed to Kwajalein by 12 January.

18 December 1941:
10 miles W of the mouth of the Columbia River. At 0845 (Pacific War Time), a lookout on the surfaced I-25 spots a white light. The submarine commences a surfaced approach, but the target is lost in the predawn darkness.

Twenty minutes later a darkened tanker is sighted on the starboard bow. LtCdr Tagami fires a single torpedo and a column of fire is sighted thereafter. The lookouts report the target (the Union Oil 8,066-ton tanker L.P. ST. CLAIR) afire and sinking. Tagami first intends to fire a second torpedo, but then considers his target doomed already. In reality L.P. ST. CLAIR receives no damage and manages to escape in the channel of the Columbia River. Some of her survivors later report that his vessel was shelled.

19 December 1941:
Following the attack on L.P. ST. CLAIR, it is found that the trim of the submarine is upset and a clanking noise appears when running submerged at high speed. It becomes apparent that the floatplane hangar is partially flooded.

22 December 1941:
Headquarters, Combined Fleet's Intelligence Bureau receives information of the pending arrival of battleships USS MISSISSIPPI, NEW MEXICO and IDAHO on the West Coast via the Panama Canal. (The information is false).

Vice Admiral Shimizu orders I-9, I-17 and I-25 to intercept battleships that are expected to arrive at Los Angeles on 25 December. I-25 is redirected to the area between Los Angeles and San Francisco.[2]

1 January 1942:
I-25 is redirected to intercept an American task force, sighted by I-3 in the area 100 miles WSW of Oahu.

3 January 1942:
At 0530 (JST), a patrol plane is sighted, forcing the submarine to dive.

4 January 1942:
At 0845 (JST), a flight of three Consolidated PBY "Catalina" patrol planes is sighted.

6 January 1942:
After 1900 (JST), a distant searchlight beam is sighted. I-25 alerts the submarines of SubRon 1 about the presence of enemy ships in that area and then commences a chase.

8 January 1942:
SW of Johnston Atoll, 11-39N, 177-32W. At 0440 (JST), the lookouts sight a stationary aircraft carrier and I-25 commences a submerged approach. The target, later identified by CPO Fujita as USS LANGLEY, appears to be recovering aircraft. It has three funnels and a derrick crane on the afterdeck. I-25 fires four torpedoes from a range of 2,740 yds and four explosions are heard. Multiple screw noises in the vicinity prevent the submarine to surface and LtCdr Tagami reports the "carrier" as sunk.

11 January 1942:
At 1130 (JST), I-25 arrives at Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. That afternoon, two I-25's sailors attempt to wrench open the floatplane hangar to extract the aircraft therein. When the jammed door suddenly opens, one of them is mortally injured and the other receives a serious head wound.

17 January 1942:
Refuels from the fleet oiler TOA MARU. Commences embarking provisions and torpedoes for the next patrol from HEIAN MARU.

26 January 1942:
I-25 is repainted in an overall black scheme.

29 January 1942:
The repairs of No. 1 main ballast tank are finished. In the afternoon I-25 embarks a Yokosuka E14Y1 Type 0 "Glen" monoplane. Commences floatplane launch and recovery exercises. [3]

1 February 1942:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey Jr's Task Force 8 (USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) raids Kwajalein and Wotje in the Marshall Islands. Forty-six aircraft from ENTERPRISE (SBDs of VB-6 and VS-6 and TBD of VT-6) sink a transport and damage light cruiser KATORI, flagship of the Sixth Fleet's (Submarines) and wound its commander, Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi (former CO of ISE). I-23, 11,930-ton submarine depot ship YASUKUNI MARU, and several other important ships are also damaged in the raid.

I-25, moored next to a Navy Tanker, is caught on the surface because she has workmen on deck. She is strafed by SBDs of VB-6.

Two hours after the raid, Sixth Fleet HQ orders SubRon 1's I-9, I-15, I-17, I-19, I-23, I-25, I-26 and RO-61 and RO-62 to put to sea and intercept the enemy carriers.

4 February 1942:
At 2100 (JST) returns to Kwajalein.

6 February 1942:
After 0630, refuels from TOZAI MARU.

8 February 1942:
Departs Kwajalein on her second war patrol to reconnoiter the east coast of Australia and New Zealand, carrying an E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane. ComSubDiv 4, Captain Oda Tamekiyo is still aboard.

13 February 1942:
After 1700 (JST), conducts test-firing of the 25-mm AA guns. [4]

15-16 February 1942:
Rough swells prevent the launch of I-25's Glen floatplane.

17 February 1942:
At 0430, CPO Fujita Nobuo and PO2C Okuda Shoji take off in their "Glen" to reconnoiter Sydney harbor. Fujita crosses the coast at La Perouse, southern Sydney, flies across Botany Bay and then heads north, counting 23 ships in the harbor. A three-funnel warship, 2 destroyers, and 5 submarines are sighted. The "Glen" finally crosses the coast at North Head.

Fujita cannot locate the submarine for a while, but the crewmen of I-25 mark their location with a yellow smoke float. [5] Following their recovery of the floatplane at 0730, Tagami heads south at 14 kts. For future flights it is decided to adopt a system of easily visible landmarks to fascilitate locating the submarine from the air.

26 February 1942:
10 miles N of Cape Wickham. Two hours before dawn, the "Glen" is launched to reconnoiter Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay. Fujita breaks out of the cloud cover directly over the RAAF's Laverton airfield. Two aircraft scramble to try to locate the floatplane but find nothing. The E14Y1, carrying Japanese markings, is sighted and tracked by the AA battery at Williamstown, but its gunners do not receive the permission to open fire. Once over the harbor, PO Okuda spots 19 anchored merchants. He also observes a heavy cruiser and five light cruisers heading towards the Port Melbourne docks area.

By the time of E14Y1's return, the surfaced I-25 has drifted to 6 miles E of Cape Cape Wickham lighthouse. After the floatplane is recovered, LtCdr Tagami heads south down the west coast of Tasmania.

1 March 1942:
Two hours before dawn, Fujita and Okuda take off from Great Oyster Bay on a reconnaissance flight and head south for Hobart. They see five cargo ships at anchor, but no warships. When they return to their submarine, Tagami sets out for New Zealand on the surface.

6 March 1942:
After sundown at 2015 (JST), a merchant is sighted. I-25 evades it on the surface at high speed. At 2230 another merchant is sighted and LtCdr Tagami again refrains from attacking it.

7 March 1942:
At 0400 (local), I-25 surfaces 1.1 miles off the coast and commences the preparations to launch the "Glen" to reconnoiter Wellington. Considering the heavy swell, CPO Fujita suggests to launch the floatplane from the water. While suspended from the derrick crane, the floatplane starts to sway dangerously and its wings are damaged. The launch is aborted and the submarine heads out to open sea.

8 March 1942:
Cook Strait, New Zealand. At 0300, I-25 surfaces 5 miles off the Wellington lighthouse for the next try. This time an hour is needed for the floatplane assembly. Taking off from the water, Fujita and Okuda reconnoiter Wellington and return to the submarine. At 0730, when heading out to open sea, a heavily camouflaged 6,000-ton steamer is sighted, en route to Wellington.

12 March 1942:
NE of Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. After 1630 (local), two patrol vessels chase I-25, dropping several depth charges. There is no damage.

13 March 1942:
Hauraki Gulf, N of Auckland. At 0230, Fujita and Okuda are launched to reconnoiter the Auckland harbor. One hour after their take-off, the lights of an approaching merchant are sighted. The deck gun is readied for a surface engagement, but the merchant passes the submarine without spotting it. The "Glen" returns soon thereafter, reporting the presence of four transports in the harbor. LtCdr Tagami decides to attack the merchant sighted earlier. At 1315 it is identified as a 20,000-ton camouflaged steamer, course 130 (T). After sundown, I-25 launches four torpedoes in two spreads and claims two hits. LtCdr Tagami reports the target as sunk.

16 March 1942:
Heading north, I-25 spots a heavy cruiser, escorting a 20,000-ton merchant. I-25 commences a submerged approach, but the cruiser suddenly changes course, heading directly towards the submarine. LtCdr Tagami orders to dive and the contact is lost. I-25 surfaces and launches the "Glen" in an attempt to locate the targets. After a 40-minute search Fujita and Okuda return without spotting them.

19 March 1942:
Shortly before dawn, I-25's floatplane reconnoiters Suva, Fiji Islands. Fujita identifies a "British three-funneled Emerald-class cruiser", four merchants and a number of smaller craft, but is spotted by a searchlight. Okuda responds with his signal light in Morse code. The searchlight is turned off. The floatplane is recovered 2 miles offshore.

22 March 1942:
At 0445 (local) a heavy cruiser is sighted on a northerly course. I-25 submerges and commences an approach, but fails to overtake her target.

23 March 1942:
I-25 arrives off Pago Pago, American Samoa, but rough seas prevent the launch of the floatplane. LtCdr Tagami conducts a periscope observation of the harbor, but no warships or military installations can be sighted.

30 March 1942:
Arrives at Truk and refuels from the fleet oiler ONDO. The crew is granted liberty.

31 March 1942:
At 1500 (JST), departs Truk for Yokosuka.

4 April 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka for a refit and overhaul. I-25 is one of the first IJN submarines to receive fluorescent lighting lamps.

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 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 the HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe.

At Yokosuka, I-25, I-15, I-19 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.

11 May 1942:
At 1330, departs Yokosuka in company of I-26 on her third war patrol off the Aleutians and the Oregon coast.

17 May 1942:
At 1100 (JST), crosses the International Data Line.

20 May 1942:
Reassigned to Northern Force.

26 May 1942:
At dawn I-25 commences the preparations to launch her floatplane to reconnoiter Dutch Harbor. The E14Y1 is already assembled when the weather changes and an increasing swell prevents the launch.

27 May 1942: Operation "MI"- The Invasion of Midway Island:
In the predawn darkness, when I-25 prepares to launch her floatplane, the lookouts spot an approaching American cruiser. The engine of the "Glen", mounted on the catapult, is already running and LtCdr Fujita orders to launch the plane immediately. The launch has to be aborted because of a faulty valve. I-25 cannot dive with her plane on deck, so she prepares for a surface engagement. The cruiser passes within 1.1 miles without noticing her.

Later that day the catapult is repaired and the "Glen" takes off. CPO Fujita counts 3 cruisers, 8 destroyers and 6 transports off Dutch Harbor. After I-25 has recovered the floatplane and dives, two destroyers appear, but do not discover the submarine. I-25 next heads to an area off Seattle.

29 May 1942:
700 miles WNW of Seattle. At 0010 (JST), I-25 sights two vessels identified as a cruiser and a trensport, but during the approach the contact is lost. She surfaces and launches the "Glen" in an attempt to locate the targets, but dense cloud cover foils the search.

2 June 1942:
Arrives off Seattle.

5 June 1942:
Off Seattle. I-25 attacks a 12,000-ton transport, but both her torpedoes miss.

14 June 1942:
I-25 arrives off the coast of Oregon. She launches a number of false bamboo periscopes to confuse the ASW vessels in the vicinity.

18 June 1942:
ComSubRon 1 Rear Admiral Yamazaki orders I-25 and I-26 to shell military targets on the American west coast.

20 June 1942:
Off Cape Flattery. I-25 torpedoes and damages 7,126-ton British steamerFORT CAMOSUN at 47-22N, 125-30W, but the steamer escapes with the aid of four tugs. The Canadian corvette HMCS QUESNEL (K 133) unsuccessfully attempts to locate the attacker.

21 June 1942:
I-25 fires 17 rounds at Fort Stevens on the N coast of Oregon, but inflicts no significant damage. (One dud shell lands on a golf course and is now a memorial.) The Japanese actually intended to shell the "American submarine base at Astoria."

N coast of Oregon, the mouth of the Columbia River. I-25 surfaces and proceeds to an area approximately 11,000 yards offshore. After sundown, she fires 17 rounds from her 5.5-in deck gun, but inflicts no significant damage. (One dud shell lands on a golf course and is now a memorial.) The Japanese actually intended to shell the American submarine base at Astoria. I-25 departs the area, heading towards Unimak Pass. [6]

27 June 1942:
Arrives at an area S of Dutch Harbor, 46N, 164-05W.

30 June 1942:
Reassigned to Advance Force. Exchanges signals with I-5, then departs her patrol area for Yokosuka.

17 July 1942:
I-25 arrives at Yokosuka.

27 July 1942:
The Naval General Staff's First Bureau (Operations) develops a plan to attack the dense forest in the Pacific Northwest. The Emperor Hirohito's (Showa) second younger brother, Cdr (later Captain) Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito tells WO Fujita that a large forest fire may cause the American Navy to reposition its Pacific Fleet to defend the mainland. I-25 is ordered to undertake this operation.

10 August 1942:
SubDiv 4 is disbanded. I-25 is reassigned to SubDiv 2.

15 August 1942:
I-25 is attached directly to the Sixth Fleet. Departs Yokosuka on her fourth war patrol, carrying an E14Y1 floatplane and six 76-kg incendiary bombs.

4 September 1942:
Attacks a transport after sundown, claiming one hit.

7 September 1942:
I-25 arrives off the Port Orford Heads on the Oregon coast in bad weather. The planned bombing is delayed for two days by heavy wave action.

8 September 1942:
September is normally a time of high fire danger for the Oregon coast, but that evening, Brookings, Oregon receives 46/100 inches of rain. (From 16 July until 7 September 1942, Brookings received only 16/100 inches of rain.)

9 September 1942: The First Bombing of the Continental United States:
25 miles W of the Oregon coast. The sea condition calms. I-25 surfaces just before dawn and the Glen is assembled and readied for the attack. Fujita catapults off at 0535 and drops two incendiary bombs near Mount Emily, but the rain has saturated the woods and renders the bombs ineffective. [7] Fujita heads for I-25. On his way back he spots two merchants steaming N at 12 knots. To avoid detection, I-25 moves NNE.

10 September 1942:
A USAAF 42nd Bomb Group Lockheed A-29 "Hudson" maritime patrol bomber on patrol from McChord Field at Tacoma, Washington spots I-25 when some of her crew is on deck, but Cdr Tagami manages to crash-dive. I-25 is at 230 feet when the A-29 drops three 300-lb depth charges. The first one explodes at 80 feet and the others at 100 feet, damaging an antenna lead and causing a leak in the radio room. While Tagami tries to escape seawards, the plane drops seven more DCs, but inflicts no damage.

29 September 1942:
Cdr Tagami makes another attempt to start a forest fire in the Oregon woods. I-25 surfaces after midnight about 50 miles west of Cape Blanco. Fujita's plane is launched by catapult at 2107(I). Although the entire western coast of Oregon is blacked out, the Cape Blanco lighthouse is still operating. Using that light to navigate, Fujita flies east over the coast and drops his bombs. At least one starts a fire; however, it goes out before US Forest Service foresters can reach it. The bombing is unsuccessful. On his way back, Fujita manages to find his sub by following an oil slick. During the following days the rough sea and heavy mist permitted no further attacks.

4 October 1942:
Off Coos Bay, Oregon. Shortly before daybreak the lookouts of the I-25, recharging batteries, spot a 3,000-ton tanker, dead in the water. This is the American 6,653-ton armed tanker CAMDEN, operated by Shell Oil Co. En route from San Pedro to Portland with 76,000 barrels of gasoline and oil, CAMDEN had stopped for engine repairs.

I-25 dives and fires two torpedoes. The first one misses, but the second hits the starboard bow at 43-43N, 124-54W. The forepeak fuel tank ignites and a fire breaks out. The ship's steward jumps overboard and goes missing thereafter, becoming CAMDEN's sole casualty. CAMDEN starts to settle by the bow and soon the decks are awash. The radioman sends the distress signal and at 0705 Abandon Ship is ordered. Four hours later all survivors are rescued by the Swedish motorship KOOKABURRA. [8]

The soundman of I-25 meanwhile reports propeller noises of a turbine-driven ship and 8,168-ton steam tanker VICTOR H. KELLY is sighted 7 miles to the north. Tagami, puzzled by the new target's erratic course, reluctantly breaks off the second attack, misidentifying the steam tanker as a decoy ship. While heading north, six distant depth charge explosions are heard at 0736 (PWT). After 0900, more explosions are heard.

6 October 1942:
Off Cape Sebastian, Oregon. Around 2120 (PWT), the submerged I-25 attacks a 10,000-ton tanker, but the first torpedo misses. This is the Richfield Oil Company's 7,038-ton armed tanker LARRY DOHENY (ex-FOLDENFJORD), en route from Long Beach to Portland, carrying 66,000 barrels of oil. [9]

The submarine surfaces in the dark and commences a stern chase. The visual contact is lost, but at 2206, the ship suddenly looms up dead ahead. Tagami launches one torpedo and 18 seconds later LARRY DOHENY receives a hit to port side, opening a 14-foot-long hole. The nearby explosion buffets the submarine, showering its deck and conning tower with fragments. The blast kills 2 sailors and 4 Armed Guard gunners, disabling the tanker's engines and steering gear. LARRY DOHENY goes dead in the water at 42-20N, 125-02W. A massive fire breaks out, preventing the crew to transmit a distress signal. 40 survivors abandon the ship in two lifeboats and are rescued by the decoy vessel USS ANACAPA (AG-49) on the following morning. I-25 departs the area of attack, heading north at 18 knots.

7 October 1942:
Early in the morning the submerged I-25 observes a merchant vessel – in all likelihood USS ANACAPA – heading towards the location of LARRY DOHENY's sinking. Two destroyers are sighted during the forenoon, heading in the same direction. At 2145, the submerged I-25 is detected by a returning destroyer that briefly chases the submarine, dropping a number of depth charges.

10 October 1942:
I-25 departs the Oregon coast.

11 October 1942:
While returning to Japan on the surface, I-25 spots two ships apparently en route to San Francisco. The seas are rough. Cdr Tagami first identifies the ships as two battleships. Later, he identifies them as two "American" submarines. At 1100, he dives and fires his last remaining torpedo. It hits 30 seconds later. Several heavy explosions follow. One of the explosions wrecks a head aboard I-25.

The leading submarine starts to sink rapidly stern first with its bow up 45 degrees. A second explosion follows. When the smoke clears there is only an oil slick on the water. The submarine sinks with all 56 hands (a Russian crew of 55, a naturalized American and American interpreter/liaison officer Sergey A. V. Mikhailoff (USNR) who boarded the submarine at Dutch Harbor) at 45-41N, 138-56E. (Postwar, it is learned that the submarine was Soviet Cdr Dmitri F. Gussarov's 1,039-ton minelayer L-16 enroute from Petropavlovsk, Siberia via Dutch Harbor, Alaska to San Francisco.)

The accompanying Soviet L-15 reports seeing one more wake, fires five 45-mm rounds at I-25 and mistakenly claims a hit on I-25's periscopes.

24 October 1942:
I-25 arrives at Yokosuka for overhaul.

1 December 1942:
I-25 remains directly attached to Headquarters. Sixth Fleet with I-32, I-168, I-169 and I-171. Departs Yokosuka.

9 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Shortland.

12 December 1942:
Arrives at Shortland.

13 December 1942:
Departs Shortland on her first supply run to Guadalcanal, but the mission is aborted.

14 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul.

17 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Buna.

20 December 1942:
Arrives at the estuary of Mambare River. Unloads 8 tons of cargo, but is forced to abort her mission after two US PT boats patrolling in the area are sighted.

23 December 1942:
Returns to Rabaul.

25 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul on her second supply run to Buna.

27 December 1942:
Arrives at the estuary of Mambare River. Fails to establish the contact with shore units, retreats after several PT-boats are sighted.

28 December 1942:
I-25 makes another attempt to deliver his supplies but fails to establish contact with Japanese shore troops.

31 December 1942:
Returns to Rabaul.

5 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her third supply run to Buna.

7 January 1943:
I-25 delivers 25 tons of supplies to Buna and evacuates 70 sick or wounded soldiers.

8 January 1943:
Off Lae. I-25 is diverted to pick up the survivors of NICHIRYU MARU, sunk by a RAAF Catalina of No. 11 Squadron. Embarks 117 soldiers of the 51th Division, then heads to Rabaul.

9 January 1943:
Off Adler Bay, New Britain. At 1406, USS GRAMPUS (SS-207) on her fifth war patrol sights a Japanese submarine "of new design" 7,000 yds away, course 005 (T), running without zigzagging about 3 miles from the coast. The submerged GRAMPUS commences an approach at high speed, firing a divergent spread of three torpedoes from 3,100 yds at 1421. In LtCdr John R. Craig's opinion all three miss ahead.

Cdr Tagami, smoking on the bridge, spots the incoming torpedoes only 660 yds away and orders an emegency turn to starboard. I-25 receives one hit starboard amidships, but the torpedo does not explode and surfaces off the other side of the submarine, continuing to run towards the coast. I-25 returns to Rabaul a few hours later.

11 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her fourth supply run to Buna.

13 January 1943:
Arrives at the estuary of Mambare River, unloads her cargo of supplies. Embarks 37 sick and wounded, then departs for Truk.

17 January 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Reassigned to Submarine Group "A".

23 January 1943:
Departs Truk on her fifth war patrol to the area SE of Guadalcanal, carrying a "Glen" floatplane.

29 January 1943: The Battle of Rennell Island:
Forty minutes after sunset, Cdr Tagami sights a flight of IJNAF Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" torpedo bombers attacking the enemy fleet about 30 miles ahead. USS CHICAGO (CA-29) is hit by two aerial torpedoes that cause severe flooding and loss of power. LOUISVILLE (CA-28) takes CHICAGO in tow.

Vice Admiral Komatsu orders the I-25, I-17, I-26 and I-176 to support the air attack, but a sudden squall occurs and Tagami fails to make an approach.

30 January 1943:
The four submarines are ordered to intercept damaged CHICAGO now under tow by a tugboat. Tagami surfaces and heads for the suspected location of CHICAGO at 18 knots.

About 1640 (local), he sights a flight of Betty bombers (11 G4Ms of the 751th NAG). The Bettys attack disabled CHICAGO again and hit her with four more torpedoes. She sinks at 11-25S, 160-56E. Later that day, I-25 is spotted by American destroyers that engage her and drop a total of 40 depth charges.

31 January 1943: Operation "KE" - The Evacuation of Guadalcanal:
A task force of units of the Second and Third Fleets from Truk including carriers ZUIKAKU, ZUIHO and JUNYO, Bat Div 3's KONGO and HARUNA, CruDiv 4's ATAGO and TAKAO, CruDiv 5's HAGURO and MYOKO, DesRon 4's light cruiser NAGARA, DesRon 10's light cruiser AGANO and destroyers steams north of the Solomons as a feint to cover Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hashimoto Shintaro's (former CO of HYUGA) destroyer force from Rabaul. The Japanese successfully evacuate 11,700 troops from Guadalcanal.

During the operation I-25 is stationed SE of Guadalcanal with the I-11 and I-32.

7 February 1943:
Vice Admiral Komatsu orders I-21 and I-25 to reconnoiter the American base at Espiritu Santo, using their "Glen" aircraft.

16 February 1943:
After sundown, I-25 launches her floatplane, which arrives over Espiritu Santo around 0015, 17 February.

24 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

15 March 1943:
Reassigned to to Submarine Group "B".

29 March 1943:
Departs Truk on her sixth war patrol.

18 May 1943:
I-25 torpedoes, shells and sinks 10,763-ton American steam tanker H. M. STOREY enroute from Nouméa, New Caledonia to San Pedro, California at 17-30S, 173-02E. Later, the destroyer USS FLETCHER (DD-445) rescues the survivors. [10]

2 June 1943:
Returns to Truk. Reassigned to SubRon 1.

7 July 1943:
Cdr Shichiji Tsuneo (49)(former CO of I-11) assumes temporary command. Cdr Tagami is reassigned as CO of I-11.

15 July 1943:
At Truk. Cdr Ohiga Masaru (53)(former CO of I-157) is appointed the Commanding Officer. [11]

25 July 1943:
Departs Truk on her seventh war patrol with ComSubDiv 2, Captain Miyazaki Takeji aboard, to conduct aerial reconnaissance of Espiritu Santo.

23 August 1943:
New Hebrides. I-25 launches its floatplane to reconnoiter the American installations at Espiritu Santo. The pilot reports seeing "three battleships" and a number of smaller vessels.

24 August 1943:
Cdr Ohiga reports the results of the flight. This is the last message received from I-25.

25 August 1943:
USS PATTERSON (DD-392), escorting a convoy bound from the New Hebrides Islands to the lower Solomons, makes radar contact on a surfaced submarine. The destroyer closes to 4,000 yards, but the submarine dives and breaks contact. PATTERSON's sonar picks up the submarine and the destroyer drops several depth charge patterns that probably sink I-25 at 13-10S, 165-27E. (4)

16 September 1943:
Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo (former CO of MUTSU) CINC, Sixth Fleet, orders Cdr Ohiga to make a new flight over Suva, Fiji by 20 September and then return to Truk, but I-25 does not acknowledge receipt of the order.

24 October 1943:
Presumed lost with all 100 hands in the Fiji area. Captain Miyazaki is promoted Rear Admiral, posthumously. Cdr Ohiga is promoted Captain, posthumously.

1 December 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Different sources suggest different dates for I-25's keel laying. 3 February 1939 appears in the authoritative "Showa Zosenshi" shipbuilding history, while other sources suggest 2 April of that year.

[2] On 24 December a B-25B from the 95th BS, 17th BG (Medium), piloted by Lt. E.W. "Brick" Holstrom attacked a suspected submarine off the mouth of the Columbia River, sometimes identified as I-25. In reality, the latter had already left that area.

I-25 has also been credited with attacking the 8,684-ton tanker CONNECTICUT in that same area on 27 December. None of the I-25's surviving crewmembers has confirmed that such attack occurred on that day.

[3] I-25 was apparently one of the first IJN submarines to embark that type, confirmed by an article written by Fujita Nobuo for the "Maru" Magazine in 1989.

[4] Various sources credit I-25 with the sinking of the British merchant DERRYMORE in Java Sea on that day. This is clearly a typo, since DERRYMORE was sunk by I-55.

[5] U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Japanese Military and Naval Intelligence (1946) credits I-25 with another recce flight conducted on 7 February. This is evidently a typo.

[6] According to Bert Webber's research, the navigator of I-25 was using an antiquated US map, which included a submarine and destroyer base on Tongue Point, completed in 1924, but never used. For more details check "Panic at Fort Stevens. Japanese Navy shells Fort Stevens" by Bert Webber (1995).

[7] On 9 September a Lockheed A-29 Hudson from the 390th Bomb Squadron based on McChord Field at Tacoma, Washington, attacked a submarine in that area, dropping two demolition bombs. I-25, however, reported no attack on that day.

[8] CAMDEN was taken in tow by a tug, first heading for Astoria, but later redirected to Seattle. Off Grays Harbor on 10 October, the tanker suddenly bursted into flames and foundered at 46-47N, 124-31W.

[9] In December 1941, LARRY DOHENY had been unsuccessfully attacked by I-17.

[10] In December 1941, H. M. STOREY had been unsuccessfully attacked by I-19.

[11] Cdr Ohiga's name has multiple readings, including Obika, Ohiga or Kohiga.

Special thanks go to Bill McCash of Oregon, a student researcher, for providing some details about WO Fujita's bombing of the Oregonian coast and to Steve Eckardt of Melbourne for providing additional details about I-25's activities off Australia.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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