(Type D1 submarine by Takeshi Yuki)

IJN Submarine I-368: Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2014 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3

15 July 1943:
Yokosuka. Laid down at Yokosuka Navy Yard aas a Type D1 "Tei-gata" transport submarine No. 5468.

25 January 1944:
Numbered I-368 and provisionally attached to Sasebo Naval District.

29 January 1944:
Launched and officially attached to Sasebo Naval District.

25 August 1944:
I-368 is completed, commissioned in the IJN and attached to Sasebo Naval District. LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Nakayama Denshichi (61)(former CO of I-166) is the CO. Assigned to SubRon 11 for working-up.

31 August 1944:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Irizawa Mitsuteru (63)(former CO of I-122) is appointed the CO.

2 November 1944:
I-368 is assigned to Rear Admiral Owada Noboru's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) SubRon 7.

January 1945:
I-368 and I-370 are converted to "kaiten" (heavens shaker) carriers able to carry five human-torpedoes.

10 January 1945:
I-368 and I-370 participate in simulated kaiten attacks on towed targets in the Inland Sea that last for 15 days.

19 February 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 later capture the island and its vital Motoyama airfields from LtGen Kuribayashi Tadamichi's defenders.

20 February 1945: The Third Kaiten Mission:
The order to form the next Kaiten group operating in the open sea is issued by Headquarters, 6th Fleet. The American landing on Iwo happened earlier than expected, so the training is cut short.

I-368 is in the "Chihaya" group with I-44 and I-370. The mission calls for the group to launch their kaiten at anchored American shipping off Iwo Jima. I-368 departs Hikari on her first sortie (the very first kaiten carrier to do so) with pilots Lt.( j.g.) Kawasaki Junji, Ensigns Ishida Toshio and Namba Susumi, FPO2C Isobe Takeo and Shibazaki Shoshichi aboard.

26 February 1945:
35 miles W of Iwo Jima. At 0304, I-368, on the surface, is picked up on radar by a Grumman TBM-1C "Avenger" torpedo bomber piloted by Lt (j.g.) F. M. Fay of USS ANZIO's (CVE-57) Composite Wing VC-82. I-368 is not moving and Fay overshoots her on his first pass. He drops a float light marker, sonobuoys and then releases a Mark 24 "Fido" acoustic homing torpedo. At 0338, I-368's conning tower breaks the surface near the marker, but LtCdr Irizawa quickly dives. Another Avenger arrives and drops more sonobuoys and another Fido. The attacks sink I-368 at 24-43N, 140-37E with her crew of 86.

6 March 1945:
I-368 and I-370 are recalled from the Iwo Jima area.

14 March 1945:
Presumed lost off Iwo Jima.

20 March 1945:
SubRon 7 is deactivated. I-368 is transferred to SubDiv 15.

10 April 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
Special thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Thanks for help with the COs in Rev 1 also go to Steve Eckhardt of Australia.

Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

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