(Type B1 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)
IJN Submarine I-28: Tabular Record of
© 2002-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp Revision 2
25 September 1939:
Laid down at Mitsubishi's Kobe Shipyard as
17 December 1940:
1 November 1941:
20 November 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Yajima Yasuo (51)(former
CO of I-66) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
6 February 1942:
Completed and attached to Kure Naval District.
Assigned directly to the Sixth Fleet (Submarines). LtCdr Yajima Yasuo is the
24 February 1942:
Reassigned to SubDiv 14 with I-27 as flagship of
ComSubDiv 14, Captain Katsuta Haruo.
10 March 1942:
SubDiv 14 is reassigned to SubRon 8.
31 March 1942:
Reassigned to Advance Force, B unit (Eastern Advanced
Detachment) with I-27 and I-29. I-29 is appointed the flagship of SubDiv 14.
10 April 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
(Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI), 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.
11 April 1942:
I-28 is in Captain Katsuta Haruo's SubDiv 14 with the
I-27 and I-29. They are assigned to Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu's
Eastern Advanced Detachment composed of Sasaki's SubDiv 3's I-21, I-22 and I-24
and SubDiv 14. All 11 submarines of SubRon 8 complete extensive exercises in the
15 April 1942:
SubRon 8 arrives at Hashirajima. Admiral Yamamoto
addresses the captains of the Eastern Detachment's submarines. Departs Kure for
18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet
Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's 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 Lt Col (later Gen/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army
North American B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group
takeoff from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and
strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe.
E of the Bonin Islands. That same day, I-28 is en route to Truk with
I-21, I-22, I-24, I-27 and I-29. Headquarters, Combined Fleet orders the
submarines to intercept Task Force 16, but they are unable to make contact.
24 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.
30 April 1942:
Departs Truk to support the capture of Port Moresby,
joining the patrol line SW of Guadalcanal until 5 May.
4 May 1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea:
Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral,
posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's 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 (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of 12
transports and a minesweeper.
That same day, Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task
Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (former CO
of CL OI) Tulagi Invasion Force. Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers and TBD
"Devastator" torpedo-bombers from USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) sink a destroyer, three
minesweepers and damage four other ships.
5 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasions of Tulagi, Solomons and Port
Moresby, New Guinea:
Fletcher's force turns N to engage Vice Admiral Takagi
Takeo's Carrier Strike Force. SBDs and TBDs from the YORKTOWN and the LEXINGTON
(CV-2) sink Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (former CO
of MUTSU) light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes
damage oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink destroyer SIMS (DD-409).
8 May 1942:
SBDs from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON damage Vice Admiral
(Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (former CO of MUTSU) 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 the
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:
Vice Admiral Komatsu's headquarters orders I-28 to return
to Truk with I-22 and I-24. The order is picked up by American code-breakers.
16 May 1942:
At 0630 (JST) when 250 miles NNE of Rabaul, I-28 reports
trouble with a diesel engine. No further messages are received from her. I-28 is
presumed lost with all 88 hands from that date.
17 May 1942:
S of Truk, Caroline Islands. LtCdr Joseph H.
Willingham's USS TAUTOG (SS-199) is ordered to intercept ships returning from
the Battle of the Coral Sea, including damaged carrier SHOKAKU. After 0534,
TAUTOG sights two I-class submarines (probably I-22 and I-24) separately heading
towards Truk. Willingham fires at one at 0648, but misses.
At 1050, two miles W of Royalist Reef, TAUTOG sights a third Japanese
submarine making 12 knots, on the same northerly track with an "I-28" marking
visible on its conning tower. At 1101, Willingham fires two Mark XIV torpedoes.
One hits and disables I-28. Her diesels stop and the submarine takes a heavy
list to starboard, which is soon checked. At least 15 officers and sailors appear
on the bridge; the OOD and two lookouts attempt to locate the attacking submarine
Willingham closes the range to 800 yards and fires another torpedo at
1107, hitting right under the conning tower. I-28 sinks with all hands at
06-30N, 152-00 E.
For 15 minutes about 40 sharp cracking noises are heard, one of them a
single tremendous explosion, which shakes TAUTOG considerably. The water over
the area of sinking is aeriated and brownish. 
15 June 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.
 Different sources give different dates for I-28's
launch. 17 December 1940 appears in authoritative "Showa Zosenshi" shipbuilding
history, while other sources suggest 18 or 28 December.
 Just like I-27, I-28 was slated for conversion to embark a Type A
midget submarine for an attack on Sydney.
 In his report report Willingham concluded that the first torpedo
might have passed under the keel of I-28, exploding off her starboard side and
rupturing some main ballast tanks in that area.
Several sources state that I-28 attempted to torpedo TAUTOG as well,
firing two "fishes" from her aft tubes. TAUTOG’s own report in fact mentions
water disturbance sighted aft of I-28, "presumably impulse bubbles".
Nevertheless, no I-15 (B-1) class submarine was fitted with aft tubes.
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.
– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
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