(Type B1 submarine - colorized photo by Irootoko Jr)

IJN Submarine I-36: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 5

4 December 1940:
Laid down at Yokosuka Navy Yard as Submarine No. 149.

1 November 1941:
Launched and re-numbered I-36.

15 May 1942:
Yokosuka. Cdr Nagai Komei (48)(former CO of I-7) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

1 June 1942:
Cdr (later Capt) Inaba Michimune (51)(former CO of I-6) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

20 September 1942:
End of acceptance trials.

30 September 1942:
I-36 is completed and attached to Kure Naval District. She is assigned to Kure SubRon. Cdr Inaba is the Commanding Officer. Transferred to Agenosho Bay for working-up in Iyo Nada, Inland Sea.

30 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure following the work-up.

15 December 1942:
Assigned to SubDiv 15, SubRon 1, Sixth Fleet with I-34 and I-35.

18 December 1942:
Departs Kure at 1300.

28 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk, departs for Shortland anchorage off Bougainville on that same day.

31 December 1942:
Arrives at Shortland.

1 January 1943:
At Shortland. I-36's CO, torpedo officer and navigator visit I-31 after her return from a supply run to Kamimbo Bay, Guadalcanal. They are briefed about the situation in Kamimbo area and the standard procedure of unloading the cargo. In the afternoon, embarks 20 tons of rice in supply drums from Daihatsu barges and conducts a test dive off Shortland.

Departs for Guadalcanal at 1800.

3 January 1943:
Arrives at Kamimbo Bay, Guadalcanal, surfacing half an hour after sunset. The cargo is transferred to four Daihatsu barges.

5 January 1943:
Returns to Shortland at 0739. Commences embarking new cargo.

6 January 1943:
Departs Shortland for her second supply run to Guadalcanal at 1800, carrying 12 rubber containers with food.

8 January 1943:
After sunset arrives at Kamimbo, where the cargo is transferred to Daihatsu barges. Embarks 39 soldiers, then departs for Shortland.

10 January 1943:
Returns to Shortland at 0630. At 1600 departs for Rabaul.

11 January 1943:
Arrives to Rabaul at 1121. On that same day, Cdr Inaba is briefed by ComSubRon 1, RAdm Mito Hisashi, regarding his future supply mission to Buna, New Guinea.

14 January 1943:
At 1200 departs Rabaul for her first supply run to Buna.

17 January 1943:
Arrives at Mambare River estuary, Buna. Evacuates 47 soldiers.

18 January 1943:
Returns to Rabaul at 0936.

22 January 1943:
At 1806 departs Rabaul for her second supply run to Buna, carrying 13 supply drums.

24 January 1943:
Arrives at Mambare estuary, unloads her cargo. Embarks 39 soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

27 January 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

30 January 1943:
Arrives at Lae. Delivers 23 tons of supplies, evacuates 59 soldiers.

3 February 1943:
At 1100 departs Rabaul for her third supply run to Buna, carrying 18 tons of supplies.

5 February 1943:
Arrives at Mambare estuary, unloads her cargo. Embarks 40 soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

7 February 1943:
Returns to Rabaul at 0814.

14 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul for her first supply run to Lae, New Guinea, carrying 45 tons of supplies.

16 February 1943:
Arrives at Lae after sundown, unloads her cargo. Embarks 90 soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

17 February 1943:
50 miles off Lae. After 0110, I-36 is spotted by two small vessels identified as motor torpedo boats. I-36 dives and is then briefly depth-charged without receiving any damage.

18 February 1943:
Returns to Rabaul at 1000.

20 February 1943:
At 1000 departs Rabaul for her second supply run to Lae, carrying 40 tons of supplies.

22 February 1943:
Arrives at Lae after sundown, unloads her cargo. Embarks 72 soldiers, then departs for Rabaul.

24 February 1943:
Returns to Rabaul at 0850.

25 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul for Truk at 0900, carrying several staff officers of SubRon 1, their luggage and documents.

27 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk at 1030.

2 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

7 March 1943:
At 1330, arrives at Yokosuka for upkeep and repairs. The crew is granted a four-week leave at Atami resort, Honshu.

6 April 1943:
At 1530, departs Yokosuka for Truk. Soon after departure, I-36 is caught by a typhoon and heavily battered by 30-feet waves. Unable to complete the recharging of her batteries, I-36 is forced to stay surfaced and doubles back, attempting to seek cover behind Miyake Jima Island, Izu group.

7 April 1943:
Early in the morning, I-36 is swamped by another wave which floods her control room and the main engine room. After one piston rod in each diesel is found to be bent, Cdr Inaba decides to return to Yokosuka, dumping some of the fuel en route to gain additional buoyancy.

8 April 1943:
80 miles E of Choshi lighthouse, Honshu. I-36 makes the first position check after her departure. The starboard diesel is repaired and the submarine heads for Yokosuka at 9.2 knots.

9 April 1943:
At 0930 returns to Yokosuka. Transferred to Yokosuka Navy Yard for repairs.

11 May 1943: American Operation "Landcrab"- The Invasion of Attu, Aleutians:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's Task Force 16, covered by Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell's Task Force 51, lands the Army's 7th Division that captures Attu Island.

13 May 1943:
Reassigned to Northern Unit.

21 May 1943: Operation "KE-Go" - The Evacuation of Kiska:
The Imperial General Headquarters decides to evacuate the garrison at Kiska Island, Aleutians.

Late May 1943:
Transferred to Kure for the tests of Unkato transport container.

29 to 30 May 1943:
I-36 participates in Unkato container towing tests in Inland Sea.

3 to 5 June 1943:
Continues towing tests in Iyo Nada.

7 June 1943:
At 1000 departs Kure for Paramushiro.

13 June 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro. Cdr Inaba is briefed by the new ComSubRon 1, Rear Admiral Kouda Takero.

15 June 1943:
At 1000 departs Paramushiro for a supply run to Kiska, towing an Unkato container (estimated time of arrival is 19 June). The container is soon lost in rough sea.

17 June 1943:
When proceeding surfaced on a north-easterly course at 12 knots, I-36 is nearly grounded on Middle Reef S of Buldir Island, western Aleutians.

21 June 1943:
ComSubRon 1 orders the supply operation to be suspended. I-36 turns back.

24 June 1943:
30 miles N of Kiska. One hour before daybreak I-36 receives an order from ComSubRon 1 to abort her mission and return to Paramushiro.

25 June 1943:
Returns to Paramushiro.

27 June 1943:
Oiler TEIYO MARU refuels I-36 and I-169

2 July 1943:
Departs Paramushiro to patrol E and N of Kiska.

28 July 1943:
The evacuation of Kiska is completed.

4 August 1943:
I-36 is recalled to Paramushiro.

6 August 1943:
Departs Paramushiro for Yokosuka.

10 August 1943:
Returns to Yokosuka for overhaul. I-36 is fitted with an E27 Type 3 radar detector.

16 August 1943:
I-36 is tasked by Combined Fleet HQ with conducting a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor around 20 September. Commences Yokosuka E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane launch and recovery tests in Inland Sea. CPOs Tominaga Fusao (pilot) and Omori Takuji (observer) are assigned to I-36 as the floatplane crew.

5 September 1943:
During floatplane launch tests, one of the diesel engines breaks down. I-36 returns to Yokosuka for repairs.

8 September 1943:
At 1500 departs Yokosuka for Hawaii with an E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane aboard. Combined Fleet Staff Operations Officer (Submarines), Cdr Shibuya Tatsumi, personally supervises the operation.

19 September 1943:
I -36 arrives to the area 40 miles N of Niihau, Hawaii. At 0630 her radar detector registers the work of a radar and soon thereafter a large patrol plane arrives. I-36 dives to avoid the detection.

20 September 1943:
By daybreak I-36 arrives off the western tip of Niihau. Numerous contacts are made every time when the submarine surfaces. Cdrs Shibuya and Inaba conclude that the nearest enemy radar station capable to detect the submarine is located on Kauai Island. They decide to proceed to the area SW of the island of Hawaii, expected to be less ferquently patrolled.

After more contacts are made, the recce flight is postponed until the next favorable moon phase.

12 October 1943:
I-36 arrives 200 miles SE of Hawaii. Cdrs Shibuya and Inaba decide to conduct the recce flight after sundown on 16 October. I-36 heads for the new launch area 120 miles SSW of Oahu. [1]

16 October 1943:
After sunset, I-36 surfaces and launches her E14Y1 floatplane. To avoid the detection by the shore-based radars, he closes the US naval base at the minimum altitude. Once over Pearl Harbor, I-36's floatplane is detected and illuminated by several searchlights. CPO Tominaga dives immediately and heads back at low altitude. While crossing the shoreline of Oahu, his observer transmits a single dash in Morse code.

Alerted by that signal, I-36 heads towards the recovery area at flank speed. The floatplane does not return, but a garbled message is received, repoting the sighting of four battleships, four carriers, five cruisers and seventeen destroyers. The submarine continues the search for the floatplane for the next five hours, flashing her running lights and an Aldis lamp, as well as attempting to contact the crew of the E14Y1 on the radio—all in vain.

18 October 1943:
I-36 transmits a report about the results of the recce flight to the HQ, Sixth Fleet.

19 October 1943:
300 miles SSW of Hawaii. Enroute to Kwajalein, Cdr Inaba sights a convoy of six fleet oilers heading SW at 10 knots. He starts an approach but is forced under by the escorting destroyers.

20 October 1943:
I-36 reports the convoy sighting to the HQ, Sixth Fleet. I-19, I-35, I-169 and I-175 are ordered to intercept. Cdr Inaba receives an order to shell the airfield on Canton Island.

1 November 1943:
I-36 shells Canton Island, firing a total of 13 shells.

7 November 1943:
Arrives at Kwajalein, refuels.

9 November 1943:
Departs Kwajalein for Truk.

12 November 1943:
I-36 returns to Truk to replace I-38. Cdr Inaba is piped aboard MUSASHI. The two lost "Glen" pilots are cited in an All Naval Units Proclamation, posthumously.

7 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to I-36 and munitions to I-17.

8 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers supplies to I-36 and RO-36 and torpedoes to I-175.

9 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers distilled water to I-175, I-36 leaves side of HEIAN MARU.

12 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to I -36 and I-37.

18 December 1943:
Reassigned to the Southeast Area Fleet.

21 December 1943:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers stores to I-36 and refuels RO-42. Later that day, I-36 departs Truk for Rabaul.

24 December 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul. On that same day, the 5th Air Force bombers attack the airfields around Rabaul. I-36 dives to the bottom and surfaces once the attack is over. Following the air attack, Cdr Inaba reports to the former ComSubRon 7, Rear Admiral Harada Kaku.

28 December 1943:
In the afternoon, I-36 departs Rabaul for Sarmi, Netherlands New Guinea, carrying supply drums.

31 December 1943:
30 minutes after sundown I-36 surfaces at Sarmi and transfers her cargo to four Daihatsu barges. An Allied bomber arrives, forcing the Japanese to abort the unloading. I-36 crash-dives and heads for the open sea. Once the bomber has departed, I-36 returns to the anchorage and resumes loading her cargo to the barges. Departs Sarmi for Rabaul.

2 January 1944:
Returns to Rabaul. During the preparations for another supply run a routine inspection reveals serious erosion of the stern planes tiller. Cdr Inaba is ordered to return to Sasebo for repairs.

5 January 1944:
Departs Rabaul for Sasebo.

6 January 1944:
Reassigned to SubRon 1.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

10 January 1944:
Departs Truk for Sasebo.

15 January 1944:
SubRon 1 is disbanded. I-36 is directly attached to the HQ, Sixth Fleet.

16 January 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo for overhaul.

17 January 1944:
Dry-docked at Sasebo Navy Yard. Type 22 surface-search radar is installed.

27 January 1944:
Off Nasake Jima in Inland Sea, I-36, I-38, I-41, I-44 and tender TSUKUSHI MARU commence the training for Operation "Tatsumaki" -- the amphibious tank attack at Majuro, Marshall Islands.

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.

15 February 1944:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Teramoto Iwao (59)(former CO of I-156) is appointed Commanding Officer.

17 February 1944:
LtCdr Teramoto Iwao arrives aboard I-36. Cdr Inaba leaves the boat.

18-21 February 1944: American Operation "Catchpole" - The Invasion of Eniwetok:
The V Amphibious Corps Reserve (22nd Marine Regiment (reinforced) and the Army's 106th Infantry Regiment (reinforced) capture Engebi Island, Eniwetok and Parry atolls.

26 March 1944:
Departs Kure carrying an E14Y1 "Glen" floatplane to harass American supply lines E of the Marshall Islands and to reconnoiter the Majuro anchorage. Although I-16, I-32, I-38 and I-45 are assigned the same task, only I-36 and I-16 participate.

30 March 1944:
Alerted by "Ultra" decrypts, the Pacific Fleet HQ decides to organize a hunter-killer force designated as Task Group 11.1 to destroy the Japanese submarines operating between Hawaii and the Marshalls. Commanded by Captain Alfred C. Olney, skipper of USS ALTAMAHA (CVE-18), TG 11.1 also includes destroyer escorts USS CABANA (DE-260), ELDEN (DE-264), HAROLD C. THOMAS (DE-21) and WILEMAN (DE-22).

4 April 1944:
650 miles NE of Majuro, Marshalls. After 1408 a TBM-1C Avenger and a FM-2 Wildcat from ALTAMAHA's VC-66 attack the surfaced I-45 with rockets and depth bombs; the submarine is observed settling down with no forward motion. The crippled I-45 is forced to return to her base.

14 April 1944:
Around 1400 LtCdr Teramoto detects screw noises and later sights a US escort carrier (USS ALTAMAHA) in the area 14N, 177-30W. I-36 commences the chase.

15 April 1944:
By 1830, I-36 has reached a favorable firing position. LtCdr Teramoto observes the carrier turning into the wind to recover an anti-submarine patrol. Just then one of her escorts makes a sharp turn towards the submarine, fouling her setup. From a distance of 2,200 yds, LtCdr Teramoto fires a salvo of six torpedoes and then dives to 100 feet. Two minutes and 10 seconds later two explosions are heard.

At 1844, the lookouts on ALTAMAHA report two to four torpedo wakes 4,000 yds SW. The escort carrier immediately commences a turn to starboard with full rudder and flank speed to avoid torpedoes. A minute later two torpedoes pass off port beam, parallel to ALTAMAHA's new course, 200 yds away. TG 11.1 escorts chase the attacker, but fail to locate the submarine. [2]

22 April 1944 - "Operation Persecution":
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Daniel E. Barbey's Task Force 77 lands the 41st Infantry Division of the I Army Corps at Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, New Guinea. Rear Admiral Ralph E. Davison TF 78 escort carrier provides close air support while British Rear Admiral (later Admiral Sir) Victor A. C. Crutchley's TF 74 and Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Russell S. Berkey's TF 75 provide gunfire support. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's fast carrier Task Force 58 also provides support.

Majuro. At 1655, I-36 launches her "Glen" floatplane that flies over the anchorage at 3,900 feet. The observer reports sighting 11 carriers and three battleships. Upon return, the pilot of the E14Y1 fails to locate the submarine. Contact is re-established only by dawn the next morning. The aircraft is scuttled, rather than recovered, to escape detection.

23 April 1944:
LtCdr Teramoto reports the results of the mission. In response to the landings at Hollandia, HQ, Sixth Fleet orders another flight to check the presence of enemy carriers at Majuro (conducted on 12 June by a floatplane from I-10).

30 April 1944:
At 2125, the surfaced I-36 is attacked by a patrol plane, but manages to dive to 260 feet. Other aircraft arrive and drop more depth charges, causing leaks in several compartments. I-36 temporarily assumes a sharp down angle, but all damages are soon repaired.

9 May 1944:
Returns to Kure. The CINC, Sixth Fleet issues an All Naval Units Proclamation to Teramoto for the sinking of an enemy carrier.

May 1944:Operation "Tatsumaki" (Tornado) - Amphibious Tank Attack at Majuro, Marshall Islands:
Inland Sea. I-36 participates in training with I-38, I-41, I-44 and I-53. The operation calls for the submarines to carry amphibious tanks armed with torpedoes from Kure to Majuro. There they are to be put ashore, make their way overland, enter the water again and make a torpedo attack on American ships. Later, the plan is canceled.

23 May 1944:
I-36 carries out diving tests in the Aki Nada with two Type 4 amphibious tracked "Ka-Tsu" vehicles embarked. Following the test, Operation "Tatsumaki" is postponed until all defects found in "Ka-Tsu" vehicles are eliminated.

19 June 1944:
Departs Kure on a supply mission to Truk carrying diesel fuel, torpedoes, and ammunition.

30 June 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

5 July 1944:
Departs Truk for Kure with 86 passengers aboard, including SubRon 7's Staff Operations Officer, Cdr Izumi Masachika.

10 July 1944:
Vice Admiral Miwa Shigeyoshi (former CO of KINU) at Kure assumes command of the Sixth Fleet.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

1 September 1944:
Reassigned as a "kaiten" (Turning of the Heavens) human-torpedo carrier. By October the gun from the afterdeck is removed to accommodate four kaiten.

28 September 1944:
Participates in kaiten launch exercises off Otsujima, Tokuyama Bay.

13 October 1944: Operation "Sho-1-Go" - The Defense of the Philippines:
Admiral Toyoda Soemu (former CO of HYUGA), CINC, Combined Fleet, orders the "Sho-1-Go" plan activated.

7 November 1944:
Otsujima Kaiten Base, Tokuyama Bay. Vice Admiral Miwa advises crewmen of the plans for a kaiten attack on the American Third Fleet's anchorage at Ulithi Atoll.

8 November 1944: The First Kaiten Mission:
I-36, I-37 and I-47, each with four kaiten and eight conventional torpedoes embarked, form the "Kikusui" (Floating Chrysanthemum) Group. They depart Otsujima at 0900 under the command of ComSubDiv 15, Captain Ageta Kiyoi aboard I-36. I-36 I-47 are ordered to attack Ulithi. I-37 has to attack enemy shipping at Palau.

After negotiating Bungo Suido, leading I-36 sends the signal to the other submarines to proceed independently.

16 November 1944:
A Nakajima C6N1 Saiun ("Myrt") long range high-attitude reconnaissance aircraft from Truk reports that four fleet carriers, three battleships, cruisers and destroyers are in the north central part of the Ulithi lagoon while south central part of the anchorage is occupied by transports, oilers and other vessels. This intelligence is relayed to the Kikusui Group's submarines.

19 November 1944:
I-36 and I-47 of the Kikusui Group reach their launching area off Ulithi Atoll. I-36 heads for her launch area at the entrance to Mugai Channel, the eastern opening to the Ulithi anchorage

20 November 1944:
At 0030, I-36 surfaces N of Loosiyep Islet. Ens Imanichi Taichi and Kudo Yoshihiko board their torpedoes, which have no access tubes. I-36 then submerges. After 0300, two other torpedoes are manned when I-36 cruises underwater. It is soon discovered that two kaiten (those fitted with access tubes) are immovably wedged in their racks. No. 4 kaiten develops a heavy leak in the cabin. Only Ensign Imanishi's No. 3 gets away at 0415, 9.5 miles ESE from Masi Islet. [3]

I-36 surfaces 15 miles E of Falalop Islet to recover Ens Kudo Yoshihiko, still stuck in his torpedo. Immediately after he is taken aboard, I-36 is attacked by two planes, identified as Grumman "Avengers." The submarine crash-dives and receives no damage. At 0545 and 0605, when I-36 is heading away from the anchorage at full speed, two heavy explosions are heard. The submarine surfaces at 2340 to recharge batteries and then heads towards Leyte.

23 November 1944:
I-36 reports the results of her attack to the Sixth Fleet. That same day a C6N1 "Myrt" from Truk flies over the anchorage to assess the damage. Although a large oil slick is observed, the number of anchored vessels has not changed essentially.

24 November 1944:
I-36 and I-47 receive a signal that cancels their orders to proceed to Leyte. Instead, they are ordered to return to Kure.

30 November 1944:
I-36 and I-47 return to Kure via Otsujima where the defective kaiten are disembarked.

2 December 1944:
A special conference of more than 200 staff officers and specialists is held aboard the Sixth Fleet's flagship, TSUKUSHI MARU to evaluate the Kikusui mission to Ulithi. The staff considers reports and post-attack photo reconnaissance and concludes erroneously that three aircraft carriers and two battleships were sunk in the attack. Ens Imanishi is credited with the sinking of an aircraft carrier.

22 December 1944:
I-36 commences the preparations for the next kaiten sortie.

27 December 1944:
I-36 arrives at Otsujima to embark her kaiten.

29 December 1944: The Second Kaiten Mission:
I-36, I-47, I-48, I-53, I-56 and I-58 form the "Kongo"(Steel) Group. The plan is to attack the Americans at five different points.

30 December 1944:
At 1000, I-36 departs Kure with I-53 and I-58.

11 January 1945:
Approaching Ulithi I-36 runs aground on a reef, but manages to free herself, blowing her main tanks.

12 January 1945:
Ulithi Lagoon. Between 0342 and 0357, LtCdr Teramoto launches his four kaiten, piloted by Lt Kagaya Takeru, Lt (j.g.) Todokoro Shizuyo, Ensign Motoi Bunya and CPO Fukumoto Yurimitsu. A PBM of VPB-21, flown by Lt (j.g.) Richard L. Simms, spots a midget submarine in the lagoon. Simms drops four depth charges and sinks a kaiten launched by I-36.

Postwar analysis indicates that one kaiten damaged ammunition ship USS MAZAMA (AE-9) and another sank LCI-600 (Landing Craft Infantry).

21 January 1945:
Returns to Kure. The kaiten pilots from I-36 are credited with the sinking of four enemy vessels.

5 February 1945:
LtCdr Teramoto is relieved by LtCdr Sugamasa Tetsuaki (65)(former CO of RO-49) [4].

19 February-26 March 1945: American Operation "Detachment" - The Invasion of Iwo Jima:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance's Fifth Fleet of over 450 ships, lands the 54th Amphibious Corps (3rd, 4th, 5th Marine Divisions) who capture the island and its vital Motoyama airfield from LtGen Kuribayashi Tadamichi's defenders.

28 February 1945: The Fourth Kaiten Mission:
I-36 and I-58 are assigned to form the "Shimbu" ("Divine Warriors") unit to attack American shipping anchored off Iwo Jima.

2 March 1945:
Departs Hikari with four kaiten embarked, following I-58.

6 March 1945:
The Combined Fleet directs the Sixth Fleet to cease operations in the Iwo Jima area. I-36 is recalled.

10 March 1945:
I-36 returns to Kure.

Mid-March 1945:
I-36's aircraft hangar and catapult are removed to accommodate two more kaiten on the foredeck; all human torpedo racks are fitted with access tubes. A Type 13 air-search radar is installed.

1 April 1945: American Operation "Iceberg" - The Invasion of Okinawa:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Raymond A. Spruance's Fifth Fleet, including more than 40 aircraft carriers, 18 battleships, 200 destroyers and over 1,000 support ships surround Okinawa. LtGen Simon B. Buckner Jr's Tenth Army (7th, 77th, 96th Infantry, 1st, 6th Marine Divisions) makes amphibious landings and takes the island from LtGen Ushijima Mitsuru's 32nd Army.

22 April 1945:
Departs Hikari in the "Tembu" ("Heavenly Warriors") group to operate between the Marianas and Okinawa with six kaiten embarked.

25 April 1945:
Off Iheya Jima. At night, LtCdr Sugamasa observes a Martin PBM-3 "Mariner" on an ASW patrol.

27 April 1945:
E of Okinawa. Early in the morning, I-36 sights an American convoy of 28 ships. LtCdr Sugamasa launches four Kaitens piloted by Lt (j.g) Yagi Teiji, PO2C Abe Hideo, Ebihara Kiyosaburo and Matsuda Mitsuo. Two of the kaiten malfunction and cannot be launched. LtCdr Sugamasa reports sinking four transports, but, in fact, all the kaitens are unsuccessful.

USS RINGNESS (APD-100), belonging to a mixed LST/LSM convoy en route from Saipan to Okinawa, sights a passing torpedo wake at 0823. Two minutes later a periscope is spotted aft, followed by two more passing torpedo wakes. RINGNESS drops four depth charges at the location where the periscope was last sighted. At 0845 a massive explosion occurs at 24-07N, 132-39E; various debris is sighted thereafter. USS FIEBERLING (DE-460), escorting the same convoy, briefly sights another torpedo.

30 April 1945:
Returns to Hikari, where the remaining kaiten are unloaded.

1 May 1945:
Vice Admiral Daigo Tadashige relieves Vice Admiral Miwa of command of the Sixth Fleet (Submarines).

17 May 1945:
Off Otsujima. During a training launch one of I-36's kaiten collides with its target and sinks. The kaiten pilot, FPO1C Irie Raita, is killed in the accident.

4 June 1945:
I-36, with six kaiten aboard, departs Otsujima with the "Todoroki" ("sound of great cannon") group to patrol east of Guam.

10 June 1945:
East China Sea, W of Osumi Kaikyo. While recharging her batteries, I-36 is attacked by USS TIRANTE (SS-420). TIRANTE's CO, LtCdr (later Captain/MOH) George L. Street, attacks a "probable RO-type submarine", but misses her with two Mark 18 torpedoes at 32-44N, 129-15E.

22 June 1945:
Saipan. I-36 sights an oiler, sailing alone. LtCdr Sugamasa attempts to launch two kaiten, but both malfunction. He then attacks with four conventional torpedoes which explode prematurely, causing slight damage to landing craft repair ship USS ENDYMION. Sugamasa reports seeing ENDYMION assume a slight list, but then manages to pick up speed and escape thereafter.

28 June 1945:
400 nm NNE of Truk. Stores ship ANTARES (AKS-3) is sailing alone from Saipan bound for Pearl Harbor. I-36 spots and attacks ANTARES at 13-10N, 154-57E. LtCdr Sugamasa launches a kaiten piloted by Lt(j.g.) Ikebuchi Nobuo.

At 1329, ANTARES' lookouts report a periscope and wake 100 yards on her starboard quarter. ANTARES goes hard right and the torpedo misses astern. Then the lookouts see a kaiten in the port wake, turning to the right. At 1331, the ship opens fire at the kaiten's periscope wake and zigzags to avoid. While ANTARES' stern swings to starboard, one of her 3-inch guns scores a hit on the kaiten and it disappears. At 1344, another periscope appears. I-36 broaches and ANTARES' aft 5-inch gun opens fire at her.

USS SPROSTON (DD-577), steaming to the States for overhaul, is signaled by ANTARES that she is under attack. Arriving in the vicinity, the destroyer makes sonar contact at 1,000 yards. At 500 yards a periscope is observed passing from starboard to port. The destroyer makes an unsuccessful attempt to ram the "submarine". Then she drops a full pattern of depth charges. A large oil slick is later observed. She makes six more attacks with negative results.

After more than ten depth-charge explosions, I-36 receives a leak in the forward torpedo room. In order to escape, LtCdr Sugamasa launches two more kaitens from a depth of 200 feet to engage the destroyer, piloted by Ensign Kuge Minoru and FPO1C Yanagiya Hidemasa. One of SPROSTON's lookouts spots a torpedo wake approaching 60 degrees off her port bow.

The destroyer turns hard left and the torpedo passes along her port side. A kaiten's periscope is sighted off the port quarter. SPROSTON's main battery commences firing and a salvo hits the kaiten, causing a large secondary explosion. Other ships arrive to help conduct night radar coverage of the area.

The next morning, three destroyer escorts join the group. After a thorough search, all ships depart the area. I-36's rudder is damaged in the attacks, but she slips away.

29 June 1945:
E of Guam. Around 1000, the soundman of I-36 reports a distant explosion. Several explosions, identified as depth charges, are heard later.

9 July 1945:
Bungo Strait, 11 miles S of Okino-Shima. The returning I-36 is attacked by LtCdr Guy E. O'Neil's USS GUNNEL (SS-253), misidentifying the target as a "RO-60 class sub" in the area 32-40N, 132-34E. All four torpedoes pass astern. [5]

I-36 arrives at Hikari; proceeds to Kure in the afternoon, where she is later dry-docked for repairs.

6 July 1945:
Returns to Kure.

6 August 1945:
Early in the morning I-36 is undocked and proceeds to a mooring buoy in Kure harbor. Her crew witnesses the explosion of the nuclear bomb over Hiroshima.

11 August 1945:
Hayase Seto Channel, Hiroshima Bay. I-36 is scheduled to participate in "Shinshu-tai" ("Divine Country Unit") kaiten mission and prepares to depart for Hirao submarine base.

After 1040, North American P-51D "Mustang" fighters from Iwo Jima raid the Kure area. I-36 is briefly strafed; her CO and navigator are wounded, a fuel tank and Type 22 radar receive medium damage. The estimated time for repairs is 8 days.

15 August 1945:
At Kure with I-47. I-36 is the sole remaining unit of her class. Emperor Hirohito (Showa) broadcasts an Imperial Rescript that calls for an end to the hostilities.

September 1945:
I-36 is surrendered to Allied Forces.

5 October 1945:
I-36 is inspected at Kure. She has over 100 tons of fuel and 20 tons of fresh water aboard, while all weapons and usable equipment have been removed. A total of 55 sailors still remain aboard. Later, I-36 is transferred from Kure to Sasebo.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

1 April 1946: Operation "Roads End:"
I-36 is stripped of all usable equipment and material and towed from Sasebo to an area off Goto Retto by submarine tender USS NEREUS (AS-17).

Twenty-four former IJN submarines, including I-36, are assembled in an area off Goto Retto designated as Point Deep Six, escorted by Task Group 96.5, under the command of Rear Admiral Andrew C. Bennett (former CO of USS L-11, R-24 and S-16).

At 1558, I-36 and HA-106, lashed together, are blown up with demolition charges at 32-37N, 129-17E.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Several older sources suggest that I-36's floatplane was launched from a point about 150 miles south of Oahu. This is incorrect: the radio message transmitted by I-36 on 18 October 1943 clearly specifies the shorter distance.

[2] The authors of the present TROM were the first researchers to establish the connection between Task Group 11.1's mission and the subsequent events, including the attacks on I-45 and USS ALTAMAHA.

[3] In all likelihood, Ensign Imanishi's torpedo was rammed and sunk at 0538 by LtCdr Robert S. Willey's destroyer CASE (DD-370) some 2 miles S of Mugai Channel.

[4] Some Japanese sources render his name as Sugayoshi Tessho.

[5] According to some older sources I-36 was damaged as a result of that attack. This is not substantiated by any Japanese sources.

Special thanks go to Mr. Derek Waller of the UK. Thanks also go Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and reader Gus Mellon.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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