(Type B1 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Submarine I-29:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2002-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 5

20 September 1939:
Laid down at Yokosuka Navy Yard as Submarine No. 142.

29 September 1940:
Launched and designated I-33.

20 August 1941:
Cdr Izu Juichi (51)(former CO of I-62) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

1 November 1941:
I-33 is renumbered I-29.

15 December 1941-5 February 1942:
Cdr Izu is appointed Chief Equipping Officer of I-31 as an additional duty.

27 February 1942:
I-29 is completed and attached to Kure Naval District. Cdr Izu Juichi is the Commanding Officer. Assigned to SubDiv 14, Sixth Fleet.

10 March 1942:
SubDiv 14 is transferred to SubRon 8.

10 April 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Admiral (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-29 is in Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu's Eastern Advanced Detachment: Sasaki's SubDiv 3 with I-21, I-22 and I-24 and Captain Katsuta Haruo's SubDiv 14 with I-27 and I-28. All 11 submarines of SubRon 8 complete extensive exercises in the Inland Sea.

15 April 1942:
SubRon 8 arrives at Hashirajima. Admiral Yamamoto addresses the captains of the Eastern detachment's submarines.

16 April 1942:
All six of the Eastern detachment's submarines depart Kure.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice-Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's Task Force 16 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 Gen/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army North American B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group take off 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. I-29 is en route from Japan to Truk. Headquarters, Combined Fleet orders I-29 and the other submarines to intercept Task Force 16, but they are unable to make contact.

24 April 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 April 1942:
Departs Truk on her first war patrol with I-28 to raid enemy communications off the eastern coast of Australia. She carries an E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane.

4 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasions of Tulagi and Port Moresby:
Rear Admiral 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 Transport Force of 12 transports and a minesweeper.

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

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

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

8 May 1942:
Dive-bombers from YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON damage Vice Admiral Takagi's carrier SHOKAKU and force her retirement. ZUIKAKU's air group suffers heavy losses. Japanese carrier bombers and attack planes attack TF 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.

13 May 1942:
I-29 arrives at her assigned position off Sydney.

14 May 1942:
Around 0400 (local), Cdr Izu sights a warship that he erroneously identifies as "HMS WARSPITE" and a destroyer heading for Sydney. I-29 gives chase but fails to reach a firing position.

16 May 1942:
35 miles E of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. After sundown around 2028 (local), I-29 fires two torpedoes that miss the Soviet 5,135-ton armed steamer UELEN (ex-NORDMARK), independently en route from Wellington to Bandar Shahpur, Persian Gulf, with a cargo of tin and wool. I-29 then surfaces and shells the steamer while the Russians return the fire with their stern gun and several machine guns. UELEN also sends a distress signal.

During a running chase lasting almost two hours, I-29's gunners repeatedly straddle their target, disabling two of its cargo winches, damaging the windlass and causing splinter damage to UELEN's superstructure and charthouse. The Russian master and two sailors are wounded by shell fragments. In turn, the gunners on UELEN claim several direct hits, supposedly resulting in the sinking of the submarine.

An ASW group from Sydney including USS PERKINS (DD-377) and HMAS ARUNTA fails to locate the submarine. Traffic between Sydney and Newcastle is suspended for 24 hours. Meanwhile, I-29 returns to the Sydney area.

23 May 1942:
At dawn, I-29's floatplane carries out aerial reconnaissance off Sydney harbor. When approaching the entrance to the harbor, the "Glen" is spotted from the Port War Signal Station on South Head and later tracked by a mobile radar station at Iron Cove. Its pilot reports a large concentration of Allied warships and three or four merchants in the harbor. They are heavy cruisers USS CHICAGO (CA-29) and HMAS CANBERRA, light cruiser HMAS ADELAIDE, USS PERKINS (DD-377), tender USS DOBBIN (AD-3), minelayer HMAS BUNGAREE, armed merchant cruisers KANIMBLA and WESTRALIA, corvettes HMAS WHYALLA, GEELONG and the BOMBAY, depot ship HMAS KUTTABUL and Dutch submarine K-IX. [1]

Cdr Izu transmits a report of the sighting to Headquarters, Sixth Fleet at Kwajalein. The report is relayed to Captain Sasaki in I-21 who is then reconnoitering Auckland, New Zealand. The transmission is picked up by the RAN/USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne (FRUMEL) communications-intelligence unit and is partially decoded.

24 May 1942:
Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa (former CO of NACHI), CINC, Sixth Fleet, aboard his flagship light cruiser KATORI at Kwajalein orders Captain Sasaki's Eastern Advanced Detachment to attack Sydney.

29 May 1942:
Komatsu and Sasaki send out messages of encouragement to the Eastern Detachment's submarines and their midget submarine crews. These transmissions are also picked up by FRUMEL, although it is unclear what, if any, action is taken by the RAN at Sydney based on these warnings.

31 May 1942:
Captain Sasaki orders I-22, I-24 and I-27 to send their midget submarines into Sydney harbor. The damage inflicted by the midgets is below expectation. After accommodation vessel HMAS KUTTABUL (an ex-ferry) is damaged, the attack is called off.

3 June 1943:
I-29 and the "mother" submarines linger off Port Hacking S of Sydney to recover the midgets. After they fail to return, the mother submarines give up and switch to commerce warfare. I-29 withdraws to the north and takes up station off Brisbane.

4 June 1942:
I-29 is sighted off Moreton Island by the coastal passenger ship CANBERRA.

10 June 1942:
I-29 departs her patrol area. On her way back her "Glen" conducts a dawn flight over Noumea.

June 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

July 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka. Undergoes repairs and maintenance.

29 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

August 1942:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya.

8 August 1942:
Departs Penang on her second war patrol to raid enemy communications in the Indian Ocean and to reconnoiter Diego Suarez, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mombasa and Socotra.

29 August 1942:
I-29 catapults her Glen to reconnoiter the Seychelles Islands.

That same day, Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ichioka Hisashi's (former CO of CL YURA) assumes command of SubRon 8.

August 1942:
East Africa. I-29 operates off the Zanzibar-Mombasa area, then moves to Socotra Island.

2 September 1942:
Gulf of Aden, W of Socotra Island. I-29 torpedoes and sinks the British 4,131-ton armed merchant GAZCON at 13-01N, 50-41E.

3 September 1942:
Gulf of Aden. At dawn, I-29 attacks unsuccessfully the British 8,553-ton freighter BRITISH GENIUS at 13-34N, 50-05E.

10 September 1942:
Off Socotra, Arabian Sea. I-29 torpedoes and sinks the British 5,299-ton freighter HARESFIELD (ex-WAR ASTER) at 13-05N, 54-35E, en route from Aden to Calcutta, in ballast.

16 September 1942:
Gulf of Aden, W of Socotra. I-29 torpedoes, shells and sinks the British 7,147-ton armed freighter OCEAN HONOUR at 12-48N, 50-50E. 15 sailors and 5 gunners are lost in the sinking, 23 sailors and 3 gunners are rescued from an isolated island by RAF aircraft.

22 September 1942:
Arabian Sea, 780 miles WbS Mangalore, India. After sundown I-29 torpedoes the American 6,579-ton armed steamer PAUL LUCKENBACH (ex-MARK, ex-POZNAN, ex-SUWANEE) at 10-03N, 63-42E. After the first hit to port side the steamer settles by the bow. The gunners aboard the stricken vessel open fire at what is thought to be a submarine, but later identified as a life raft.

Over an hour later PAUL LUCKENBACH receives a second hit to port side, abaft of the first. The 61-man crew escapes in four lifeboats. The cargo, including 18 tanks and 10 North American B-25 "Mitchell" bombers, is lost.

5 October 1942:
Returns to Singapore for repairs and maintenance.

11 November 1942:
Departs Penang, with Captain Teraoka Masao (46), ComSubDiv 14, embarked, to raid enemy communications in the Indian Ocean. Proceeds S of the Maldive Islands to the Arabian Sea.

23 November 1942:
Indian Ocean, NW of the Maldive Islands. I-29 torpedoes and sinks the British India Company 10,006-ton armed passenger/cargo liner TILAWA on her way from Bombay to Mombasa and Durban with 6,472 tons of general cargo. After the first torpedo hit most passengers can abandon their ship in 10 life boats and 43 life rafts; an hour later they decide to reboard TILAVA, but after the second hit the liner goes down in position 07-36N, 61-08E.

Of 958 people on board TILAWA, 252 passengers and 28 crew are lost. Cruiser HMS BIRMINGHAM rescues 678 and the armed merchant cruiser CARTHAGE 4 survivors.

3 December 1942:
Gulf of Aden, SSE of Socotra. I-29 torpedoes the Norwegian 6,323-ton armed fleet oiler BELITA, en route from Abadan to Mombasa with 9,000 tons of oil for the Admiralty. After the crew has abandoned the ship, I-29 surfaces and scuttles the wreck with gunfire at 11-29N, 55-00E.

27 January 1943:
Returns to Singapore. Overhauled at Seletar Naval Base by the No. 101 Navy Repair Unit until February.

February 1943:
SubDiv 14 is transferred to the Southwest Area Fleet.

14 February 1943:
Departs Penang to operate in the Gulf of Bengal.

March 1943:
I-29 fails to contact the enemy on this patrol and returns to Penang.

5 April 1943:
I-29, still under Cdr Izu, with Captain Teraoka Masao embarked, departs Penang on a secret mission. She carries eleven tons of cargo, including one Type 89 and two Type 2 aerial torpedoes and two tons of gold bars for the Japanese Embassy in Berlin. She also carries drawings and blueprints of AKAGI (for use in the construction of GRAF ZEPPELIN) and a Type A midget submarine. Cdr (Rear Admiral posthumously) Emi Tetsushiro (50)(former CO of I-8), now a member of the IJN's Technical Department and LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Tomonaga Hideo, a submarine designer, are aboard as passengers. They are assigned to study the U-boat construction techniques. [2] [3]

25 April 1943:
Indian Ocean, about 450 miles SE of Madagascar (Kriegsmarine grid KR 5276). I-29 arrives at the planned rendezvous area one day earlier than expected.

26 April 1943:
I-29 rendezvouses with the German U-180 in the Mozambique Channel. Fregattenkapitän Werner Musenberg's Type IXD-1 U-boat left Kiel on 9 February carrying blueprints of a Type IXC/40 submarine, a sample of German hollow charge (Hafthohlladung HHL 3) and quinine sample for future Japanese shipments, a torpedo tube that holds a gun barrel and ammunition, three cases holding 432 Bold sonar decoys, documents and mail from the German embassy in Tokyo.

The U-boat also carries revolutionist Subhas Chandra Bose, Chief (Netaji) of the anti-British Indian National Army of Liberation (Azad Hind Fauj) and his aide Major Dr. Habib Hassan, a former Oxford student. Bose is the leader of the Japanese-sponsored Free India (Azad Hind) Government-in-exile.

After a difficult transfer in the rough sea of a German officer and a signalman from U-180 to I-29, the two submarines continue on a northeasterly course waiting for the seas to moderate.

Cdr Izu suggests to Musenberg that they proceed to Sabang together to refuel there, but Musenberg declines. The Japanese offer the two Germans coffee and tobacco. They refuse, but do accept some potatoes.

27 April 1943:
Finally, after 12 hours, Bose and his group ride a rubber raft from the U-boat to I-29. Cdr Emi and LtCdr Tomonaga transfer to the U-boat. Eleven tons of cargo is then transferred in three inflatable rafts while both submarines have their torpedo hatches open. Later, Izu comments that the situation was "a dive-bomber's dream come true". After the passenger and cargo transfers are completed, I-29 turns eastward. U-180 then turns toward the Cape of Good Hope for the Atlantic and her base at Bordeaux, France.

(Subhas Chandra Bose, Cdr Izu and crewmen on I-29)

6 May 1943:
I-29 disembarks its passengers at Sabang harbor on We Island, N of Sumatra, instead of Penang to avoid detection by the British. At Sabang, Colonel (later Brig Gen) Yamamoto Bin, head of the "Hikari Kikan" spy unit and the Japanese-Indian liaison group, greets Bose whom he had known in Berlin when Yamamoto was an Assistant Military Attaché there. Later, Bose and Yamamoto fly from Sabang via Penang, Manila, Saigon and Formosa arriving 16 May at Tokyo where Bose is received by Premier Tojo Hideki and later by the Emperor Hirohito (Showa).

14 May 1943:
I-29 arrives at Singapore for maintenance.

4 June 1943:
I-29's E14Y1 "Glen" flies an ASW patrol over the approaches to Penang to protect an incoming submarine.

8 June 1943:
I-29's "Glen" flies another ASW patrol off Penang. I-29 departs Penang on her fifth war patrol to operate on the eastern coast of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden.

12 July 1943:
Gulf of Aden. I-29 sinks the British freighter RAHMANI at 14-52N, 52-06E.

2 August 1943:
Returns to Penang.

9 August 1943:
Departs Penang for Japan. Probably carries three Norwegian POWs from Norwegian tanker ALCIDES, sunk by I-10 on 23 July.

19 August 1943:
Arrives at Kure for repairs and maintenance.

10 October 1943:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kinashi Takakazu (51)(former CO of I-19 and victor over USS WASP) is appointed CO.

5 November 1943:
Departs Kure for Singapore.

14 November 1943:
Arrives at Seletar Naval Base, Singapore. Embarks 80 tons of raw rubber, 30 tons of tungsten, 50 tons of tin, 2 tons of zinc and 3 tons of quinine, opium and coffee. Her 140-mm deck gun is landed and AA suite is increased to six 25-mm AA guns (3x2), adding two new mounts to the afterdeck. The 1.5-meter conning tower rangefinder is replaced by an additional set of the 15-cm binoculars.

5 December 1943:
Singapore. Captain Uchino Shinji's I-8 arrives from Brest, France. Cdr Kinashi discusses conditions in the Atlantic with Uchino. Kinashi then contacts the Naval General Staff through channels and requests permission to remove I-8's FuMB 1 "Metox" radar detector and reinstall it on I-29, currently carrying an experimental Japanese radar detector. The NGS grants permission.

16 December 1943:
At 1100 (JST), I-29 departs Singapore for Nazi-occupied France on a "Yanagi" mission. Coded "Matsu" (Pine) by the Japanese and "U-Kiefer" by the Germans, she is the fourth IJN submarine to undertake such a mission. [4]

Among I-29's 16 passengers are Navy officers, ordnance experts and engineers. Most of these had been scheduled to depart with I-34, sunk off Penang before their arrival. I-29's passengers include Rear Admiral Kojima Hideo (44) former CO of CL KASHII), Naval Attaché to Germany, Cdr (later Captain) Muchaku Senmei (51), Naval Attaché to Spain, Cdr (later Captain) Ogi Kazuto (51), Assistant Naval Attaché to Germany, two Mitsubishi engineers and Professor Samejima Tatsuo, the new interpreter for Vice Admiral Abe Katsuo, the head of the Japanese military mission to Germany. Cdr Nagamori Yoshio, a specialist in aircraft ordnance, carries the plans of obliquely firing cannons invented by Captain Kozono Yasuna. The Germans also use slanted "Schräge Musik" (Jazz Music) cannons in the Luftwaffe's night fighters.[4]

23 December 1943:
Early in the morning, I-29 refuels from the small German supply ship BOGOTA in position 26S, 70E. She receives 120-tons of diesel oil in six hours and some fresh provisions.

8 January 1944:
I-29 passes S of Madagascar. That same day, Allied special intelligence codebreakers decipher a signal indicating that I-29 will arrive at 39S, 42E on 11 January.

16 January 1944:
I-29 rounds the Cape of Good Hope and enters the Atlantic.

19 January 1944:
Allied codebreakers intercept a signal indicating that I-29 will be at 30S, 10E this day, en route to the Bay of Biscay.

26 January 1944:
Allied codebreakers estimate that I-29 will arrive at 06S, 05E on this day.

4 February 1944:
I-29 receives a signal from Germany to rendezvous with an U-boat on 13 February at 0800 (JST) to receive a new radar detector.

14 February 1944:
60 miles SW of the Azores. I-29 makes a rendezvous with Oberleutnant Hans-Werner Offermann's U-518. I-29 takes aboard three German technicians who install a FuMB 7 "Naxos" and a FuMB 9 Wanze G2 "Wanze" radar detector on her bridge. The U-518 then detaches for the Caribbean.

4 March 1944:
At night, off Cape Finisterre. The surfaced I-29 is illuminated by a patrol plane carrying a "Leigh Light", but manages to escape unharmed.

9 March 1944:
I-29 enters the Bay of Biscay. She arrives too early and spends the night at the bottom.

10 March 1944:
Off Costa de Gijon, Spain. In the morning, I-29 rendezvouses with five Junkers 88C-6 escorts. In the afternoon, German destroyers Z-23 and ZH-1 and torpedo boats T-27 and T-29 arrive. They instruct Cdr Kinashi not to dive in case of an air attack and continue towards Lorient.

Four RAF de Havilland FB Mk.VI "Mosquitos" from No. 248 Squadron, escorting two FB. Mk.XVIII "Tsetses" armed with a 57-mm cannon, are sent from their base at Portreath, Cornwall, to intercept the submarine and its escorts. The RAF squadron finds the ships off Cape Penas being circled by eight Junkers Ju-88C-6s from Zerstörergeschwader ZG 1 at Cazaux. The Mosquito fighters attempt to draw the German fighters away so that the Tsetses can attack the ships. SqnLdr Anthony D. Phillips, flying a FB. Mk.XVIII, succeeds in downing one Ju-88C-6 and claims I-29 damaged by gunfire.

After 1700, I-29 and her escorts are attacked by more than ten Allied aircraft, including RAF Bristol "Beaufighter" flak suppressors and Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" bombers, but all bombs aimed at I-29 miss.

11 March-15 April 1944:
I-29 arrives safely at Lorient and anchors next to Kapitänleutnant Max Wintermeyer's U-190. The U-boat's crew cheers and waves welcoming greetings to I-29's crewmen on parade in their dress uniforms on her deck. Later, I-29 is berthed in one of Lorient's massive Keroman bunkers.

Lorient is the home of the 2nd U-Flotille "Saltzwedel" commanded by Knight's Cross winner Fregattenkapitän (later Kapitän zur See) Ernst Kals (former CO of U-130) and the 10th U-Flotille commanded by Knight's Cross winner Korvettenkapitän (later Konteradmiral, Bundesmarine) Günter Kuhnke (former CO of U-28). The German submariners entertain I-29's officers at a dockside bar at Lorient. The bar's ceiling rafters are covered with the carved signatures of U-boat officers. I-29's engineering officer, Lt Taguchi Hiroshi, her navigating officer, Lt Otani Hideo and several others carve their signatures into the rafters.


LEFT:(Fregattenkapitän Ernst Kals and Cdr Kinashi Takakazu)
RIGHT: Admiral (later Grossadmiral/Fuhrer) Karl Dönitz, Befehlshaber
der Unterseeboote (BdU) speaks at banquet for I-29 and Kinashi (3d from right)

Later, the Germans host I-29's entire crew in their luxurious Château de Trévarez that overlooks the small town of Châteauneuf-de-Faou. Cdr Kinashi and I-29's crew are well fed, engage in competitive sports and party with their German counterparts. The Kriegsmarine arranges a train trip to Paris for I-29's crew. One of their sightseeing stops is at the Palais de Chaillot that houses the French Maritime Museum and overlooks the Eiffel Tower.

Cdr Kinashi travels to Berlin. Adolf Hitler presents him with the Iron Cross, 2nd Class for sinking the USS WASP.

Meanwhile during her stay, four 25-mm twin AA guns are landed from I-29. The conning tower AA gun is replaced by a quad 20-mm Mauser 'Flakvierling' and the rearmost AA gun on the afterdeck by a 37-mm Krupp AA gun. I-29 embarks 18 passengers (including four Germans) and takes on an HWK 509A-1 rocket motor used on the Me-163 "Komet" interceptor and a Jumo 004B engine used on the Me-262 jet fighter.

16 April 1944:
I-29 departs Lorient, escorted by seven M-class minesweepers. She carries drawings of the Isotta-Fraschini torpedo boat engine, a V-1 "buzz bomb" fuselage, TMC acoustic mines, bauxite and mercury-radium amalgam. [5][6]

Technical Cdr Iwaya Eiichi carries blueprints of Messerschmitt Me-163 "Komet" rocket interceptor and Me-262 jet fighter and Captain Matsui is in possession of plans for rocket launch accelerators. The officers also carry plans for a glider bomb and radar equipment. Twenty "Enigma" coding machines are included in the cargo. [7]

11 June 1944:
South Atlantic. I-29 and I-52, the next "Yanagi" submarine enroute to Lorient, pass each other. The submarines do not communicate, but Cdr Kinashi picks up some German radio traffic addressed to I-52.

29 June 1944:
I-29 enters the Indian Ocean.

13 July 1944:
I-29 rendezvouses with her air escort, two Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers.

14 July 1944:
I-29 transits the Straits of Malacca and arrives safely at Singapore at 1030. I-29's passengers, including Iwaya and Matsui, disembark at Singapore with their plans and documents and proceed by air to Japan, but most of the German scientific cargo remains aboard.

15 July 1944:
Allied codebreakers intercept a signal that indicates the I-29 arrived at Singapore the previous day. Soon thereafter, Allied communications-intelligence intercepts a message to Tokyo from Berlin that details her strategic cargo.

20 July 1944:
I-29 transmits its detailed itinerary to Japan. The U.S. Navy's Fleet Radio Unit, Pacific's (FRUPAC) communications-intelligence at Hawaii intercepts and deciphers the message. FRUPAC alerts CINCPAC of I-29's planned route and schedule from Singapore to Japan. COMSUBPAC sends an "Ultra" signal to Cdr W. D. Wilkins' wolfpack ("Wilkin's Wildcats") consisting of Wilkins' USS TILEFISH (SS-307), ROCK (SS-274) and SAWFISH (SS-276) to intercept I-29 in the Luzon Strait.

22 July 1944:
At 0800, I-29 departs Singapore for Kure with ten cadets of the submarine and navigation schools embarked.

25 July 1944:
I-29 reports sighting a surfaced enemy submarine.

26 July 1944:
Western entrance of the Balintang Channel, Luzon Strait. About 1700, the SAWFISH sights I-29 running on the surface at 17 knots. Cdr Alan B. Banister fires four torpedoes at I-29. Lookouts spot the incoming torpedoes. Cdr Kinashi attempts to comb their wakes, but three torpedoes hit and sink I-29 almost immediately at 20-10N, 121-55E.

Three of I-29's crewmen are blown overboard. Only one survivor manages to swim ashore to a "small Philippine island" and reports the loss. Cdr Kinashi, Japan's leading submarine "Ace", is among the 105 crewmen and passengers that are lost. He is honored by a rare two-rank promotion to Rear Admiral, posthumously.

The loss of the German aircraft aboard I-29 slows the Japanese jet program greatly, but their blueprints, flown to Tokyo, arrive safely. They are used immediately to develop the Nakajima Kikka ("Orange Blossom") based on the Me-262 and the Mitsubishi J8MI Shusui ("Sword Stroke") based on Me-163.

5 August 1944:
Before her loss becomes known, I-29 is transferred to SubDiv 15, 6th Fleet.

10 October 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] I-29's floatplane pilot has been incorrectly identified as CPO Fujita Nobuo. In reality, Fujita was stationed on I-25 during that time.

[2] In May 1944, Captain Emi is lost returning to Japan as a passenger aboard the U-1224/RO-501.

[3] In April 1945, Cdr Tomonaga attempts to return to Japan aboard German U-234, the last U-boat to leave for the Far East before the collapse of the Third Reich. En route, the war in Europe ends and the U-boat is ordered to surrender to the US Navy in the mid-Atlantic. Rather than becoming a POW, Tomonaga commits suicide by taking a lethal dose of Luminal.

[4] When Japan enters the war, the Axis Tripartite agreement is amended to provide for an exchange of strategic materials and manufactured goods between Europe and the Far East. Cargo ships make the initial "Yanagi" exchanges, but when that is no longer possible, submarines are used.

[5] Rear Admiral Kojima and four other passengers are to travel to France in November aboard I-34. When it is delayed in loading at Singapore, they decide to take a train and rejoin the submarine in Penang, but I-34 is sunk by submarine HMS TAURUS 30 miles S of Penang.

[6] It is possible that I-29 also carried a quantity of U-235 uranium oxide ("yellow cake) that, after refining, can be used to manufacture an atomic bomb.

[7] One of three sets set of Me-163 blueprints; the others were carried aboard U-511 and later RO-501.

Special thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan, Steve Eckardt of Australia, Andrew Obluski of Poland, Jean-Francois Masson of Canada and author Lawrence Paterson of UK. – Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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