SENSUIKAN!

(Type B1 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Submarine I-32:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2012 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 2


20 January 1940:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard as Submarine No. 145.

17 December 1940:
Launched as I-39.

1 November 1941:
Renumbered I-32.

10 March 1942:
Cdr Ikezawa Masayuki (52)(former CO of I-74) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

26 April 1942:
Completed and attached to Kure Naval District. Cdr Ikezawa is the Commanding Officer.

30 May 1942:
Assigned to the Sixth Fleet, SubDiv 15 in SubRon 1 with I-31.

16 June 1942:
Departs Kure for Truk.

30 June 1942:
Departs Truk on her first war patrol off the Australian coast.

9 July 1942:
Reconnoiters the harbor of Port Vila on Efate, New Hebrides..

13-15 July 1942:
Reconnoiters New Caledonia.

4 August 1942:
200 miles SSE of Esperance, Western Australia. Around 1910, I-32 battle-surfaces to shell 8,424-ton Australian troop transport KATOOMBA, bound from Fremantle to Adelaide. KATOOMBA transmits a distress signal and returns fire, fleeing at flank speed. Cdr Ikezawa continues the chase for the next three hours, but fails to hit his prey.

28 August 1942:
Passes S of Australia. Arrives at Georgetown, Penang, Malaya.

6 September 1942:
Departs Penang.

18 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

30 September 1942:
Departs Truk for New Caledonia on her second war patrol, carrying a Yokosuka E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane. I-32 is tasked with conducting a recce flight over Nouméa on 17 October. Reassigned to the 2nd Picket Unit on that same day.

3 October 1942:
Reassigned to the 1st Picket Unit. Develops a fuel leak soon thereafter and is ordered to return to Truk.

6 October 1942:
Returns to Truk.

7 October 1942:
Departs Truk for Kure.

13 October 1942:
Arrives at Kure. Undergoes repairs.

1 November 1942:
Cdr (later Captain) Hori Takeo (50)(former CO of I-171) is appointed CO.

4 December 1942:
Departs Kure for Truk.

14 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

16 December 1942:
Bismarck Sea, off Admiralty Islands. At 2200, the submerged I-32 detects a surfaced Allied submarine and commences an approach, but her target dives away.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul. Reassigned to Submarine Group "B".

19 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Buna, New Guinea, carrying 22 tons of food and ammunition.

24 December 1942:
Arrives at Mambare River estuary, Buna. Unloads her cargo, then departs for Rabaul.

E 26 December 1942:
Returns to Rabaul. Commences loading provisions for her next mission to Buna.

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

29 December 1942:
Arrives at Mambare River estuary, but fails to establish contact with shore troops. Cdr Hori decides to abort the mission and return to Rabaul.

31 December 1942:
Returns to Rabaul.

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

9 January 1943:
Arrives at Mambare River estuary. Unloads her cargo, then departs for Rabaul, carrying 43 passengers.

11 January 1943:
Returns to Rabaul. Commences loading provisions for her next mission to Buna.

12 January 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her fourth supply run to Buna, carrying 22 tons of food and ammunition.

14 January 1943:
Arrives at Mambare River estuary. Unloads her cargo, then departs for Truk.

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

24 January 1943:
Departs Truk to join a patrol line S of Guadalcanal on her third war patrol.

11 February 1943:
Cdr Hori reports the sighting of an enemy carrier, retiring eastward.

22 February 1943:
Returns to Truk.

25 March 1943:
Reassigned to Submarine Group "B". Departs Truk to in Samoa-Fiji area on her fourth war patrol.

1 June 1943:
Returns to Truk. 3 June 1943:
Departs Truk for Kure.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

30 July 1943:
Departs Kure for Rabaul, towing an "unkato" supply container.

Early August 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

9 August 1943:
Reassigned to Southeast Area Fleet.

5 September 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Lae, New Guinea, towing an "unkato" supply container.

25 September 1943:
Off Noumea. I-32 attempts to launch her E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane, but after an catapult malfunction the flight is aborted. The submarine next proceeds to the East Coast of Australia.

7 October 1943:
Off Coffs Harbour, north coast of New South Wales. I-32 attacks the Australian convoy PG.72, en route from Sydney to Brisbane. Cdr Hori launches a salvo of torpedoes, but all miss. One torpedo is sighted from the corvette HMAS GLENELG, surfacing several times between the corvette and her charges. GLENELG's ASDIC operator reports an underwater contact, but it is lost before an attack can be launched.

19 October 1943:
Reassigned to Submarine Group "B".

20 October 1943:
I-32 receives the order to conduct a new recce flight over Nouméa (later canceled).

26 October 1943:
Detached from Submarine Group "B" to intercept the convoy of six fleet oilers, sighted by I-36 on 19 October, later ordered to conduct a periscope reconnaissance of Pago-Pago, American Samoa.

7 November 1943:
Arrives off Tutuila, reconnoiters the Pago-Pago anchorage.

12 November 1943:
I-32 suffers a diesel breakdown and on the 13th is ordered to return to Truk.

Late November 1943:
Returns to Truk.

24 November 1943:
Departs Truk for Kwajalein.

27 November 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

5 December 1943:
Departs Kwajalein for Truk.

8 December 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

10 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to I-32.

14 December 1943:
Departs Truk for Kure.

20 December 1943:
Returns to Kure for an overhaul.

10 January 1944:
LtCdr Imoto Masayuki (58)(former CO of I-153) is appointed CO.

31 January 1944: American Operation "Flintlock" - The Invasion of the Marshalls:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 58 lands the 4th Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division that capture Kwajalein, Roi-Namur and Majuro atolls.

28 February 1944:
Departs Kure.

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

15 March 1944:
Departs Truk on her first supply run to Wotje, Marshall Islands. After the arrival at Wotje I-32 has to proceed to the area east of the Marshalls to raid enemy communications in that area. .

17 March 1944:
200 miles SSW of Kusaie. At 1430 (JST), I-32 reports the sighting of a carrier plane.

23 March 1944:
At 2231 (JST), I-32 reports the sighting of an enemy task force. This is the last message received from I-32.

The signal is intercepted by Fleet Radio Unit, Pacific's (FRUPAC) codebreakers. A hunter-killer group of Cdr W. T. McGarry's USS HALSEY POWELL (DD-686), HULL (DD-350), LtCdr J. P. Ingle's MANLOVE (DE-36) and Lt W. S. O'Kelly's submarine chaser PC-1135 is dispatched to intercept I-32. They rendezvous at Erikub Atoll.

24 March 1944:
50 miles S of Wotje. At 0422, a submarine running on the surface is picked up by MANLOVE's SL radar at five miles. MANLOVE closes to 3,000 yards. The submarine crash dives, but is quickly reacquired by the destroyer escort's sonar. HALSEY POWELL expends all of her depth charges in a series of attacks on the submarine. Then MANLOVE attacks with depth charges and 7. 2-inch Mark 10 "hedgehog" projector charges. PC-1135 also attacks with 7. 2-inch spigot mortar-fired "Mousetrap" bombs. The submarine - probably I-32 - sinks at 08-30N, 170-10E.

24 March 1944:
Presumed lost with all hands.

10 June 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
Special thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp


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