(Type B2 submarine)
IJN Submarine I-45:
Tabular Record of
© 2001-2019 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
15 July 1942:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard as Submarine No.
5 February 1943:
Renumbered I-45. Provisionally attached to
Yokosuka Naval District.
6 March 1943:
Launched as I-45.
15 October 1943:
Cdr (later Captain) Tagami Meiji (51)(former CO
of I-11) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
28 December 1943:
Sasebo Navy Yard. I-45 is completed and registered
in the IJN. Attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Cdr Tagami Meiji is the
Commanding Officer. Assigned to SubRon 11 for working-up and battle training in
the Iyo Nada Sea.
31 January 1944: American Operation "Flintlock" - The Invasion of the
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.
22 February 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels.
23 February 1944:
25 March 1944:
Reassigned to SubDiv 15, Sixth Fleet. Departs Kure
on her first war patrol to harass American supply lanes in an area E of the
30 March 1944:
Alerted by "Ultra" decrypts, the Pacific Fleet HQ
decides to dispatch a hunter-killer unit 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
Grumman TBM-1C "Avenger" torpedo bomber and a General Motors FM-2 "Wildcat"
fighter from ALTAMAHA's VC-66 spot a surfaced submarine 108 miles west of the
carrier. Lt(jg) Joseph N. Polski's "Avenger" attacks the diving I-45 with
rockets and depth bombs while Ens. Charles T. Edwards' "Wildcat" strafes it. The
target is observed settling down with no forward motion in the midst of an oil
slick. VC-66 is credited with the sinking of a Japanese submarine.
I-45, caught while recharging the batteries, receives a direct hit to her
stern and develops a serious leak. To evade the strafing attacks, Cdr Tagami
orders to reverse course and dive, making full speed. Once submerged, he orders
to make full speed forward. The submarine cannot be stabilized and starts a
rotating dive. At 490 ft Tagami regains control of the submarine, finally
stabilizing it at 330 ft.
As a result of the attacks I-45 receives heavy damage and is forced to
abort her patrol.
15 April 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.
Late April-Late May 1944:
Kure Navy Yard. Undergoes battle damage
10 June 1944:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral, JMSDF) Sekido Yoshimitsu
(57)(former CO of I-185) is appointed the CO.
12 June 1944: American Operation "Forager" - The Invasion of
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Task Force 52
lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion of
13 June 1944: Operation "A-Go" - The Defense of the Marianas:
Tokyo, the CinC, Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu (former CO of HYUGA),
28 June 1944:
Departs Yokosuka with I-55 for Tinian, Marianas
carrying an "Unkato" supply container loaded with weapons and ammunition.
En route I-45 reports encountering heavy seas. She is redirected to Guam to
pick up stranded IJNAF carrier pilots.
14 July 1944:
Cdr Sekido attempts to deliver the container and pick up
his passengers, but fails to contact the shore troops as a result of a
16 July 1944:
After a second failure to contact the aircrews ashore,
LtCdr Sekido orders the container dumped and heads back towards Yokosuka.
27 July 1944:
Returns to Yokosuka, later transferred to Kure.
5 September 1944:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 15 October; Cdr, posthumously)
Kawashima Mamoru (64)(former CO of I-162) is appointed the CO.
13 October 1944: Operation "Sho-1-Go" - The Defense of the
Admiral Toyoda Soemu, CinC, Combined Fleet, orders the "Sho-1-Go"
plan activated. That day, I-45 departs Kure for the Philippine Sea on her
second war patrol.
20 October 1944: American Operation "King Two" - The Invasion of Leyte,
Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey's Third Fleet
of 738 ships including 18 aircraft carriers, six battleships, 17 cruisers, 64
destroyers and over 600 support ships land the Army's X Corps (24th Infantry
and 1st Cavalry Divisions) and the XXIV Corps (7th, 77th and 96th Infantry
Divisions) that begins the campaign to retake Leyte.
24 October 1944:
I-45 is redirected to take up station "RE" off the
NE coast of Mindanao. I-45, I-26, I-37, I-53 and I-54 and I-56 are designated
"Group A", personally led by the CinC, Sixth Fleet, Vice Admiral Miwa
29 October 1944:
60 miles E of Dinagat Island, Philippines. LtCdr
George E. Marix's USS EVERSOLE (DE-404) and RICHARD S. BULL (DE-402) of Task
Unit 77.7.1 are returning from San Pedro Bay to rejoin their unit.
At 0210, EVERSOLE obtains a doubtful sound contact with a submerged
target, lost soon thereafter. At 0228 another contact is made, but a half
minute later EVERSOLE receives two successive torpedo hits causing immediate
loss of power and a 30 degree list. At 0240 LtCdr Marix orders Abandon Ship.
In less than 15 minutes EVERSOLE sinks, stern first, at 10-18N, 127-37E.
Around 0300, I-45 surfaces to circle the area, briefly firing her 25-mm
AA gun and diving 20 minutes later. At 0325, a massive underwater explosion
follows, killing about 30 sailors, injuring others and rupturing their life
Alerted by the explosion, Lt. Alfred W. Gardes' RICHARD S. BULL arrives
at the scene of sinking while Lt Jack C. Horton's USS WHITEHURST (DE-634),
detached from a passing oiler unit screen, provides anti-submarine cover. By
0630 BULL rescues 139 officers and men out of 213 (three of the survivors die
At 0545 WHITEHURST, conducting a beam to beam search, picks up a contact
85 miles NE of Siargao Island, about 50 miles from the location where EVERSOLE
was lost. Lt Horton makes three unsuccessful attacks with barrages of 7.2-in
Mk.10 "Hedgehog" projector charges. While demonstrating "excellent evasive
tactics and maneuverability", the target (in all likelihood I-45), attempts to
escape at the depth of 225 ft, constantly turning away from the attacks and
presenting her stern and wake.
At 0648 WHITEHURST commences her fourth "Hedgehog" run at 10-10N,
127-28E, resulting in 5-6 minor explosions. A violent underwater explosion
is heard next, followed by heavy rumbling noises. The blast knocks out the
destroyer escort's sound gear. At 0720 WHITEHURST resumes the search. A
considerable amount of oil is observed on the surface, along with pieces of
wood and other debris. The motor whaleboat from WHITEHURST retrieves pieces of
deck planking, a damage control plug with Japanese markings, pieces of wood
painted red and rags soaked in oil. The search is abandoned at 1215.
5 November 1944:
The Sixth Fleet HQ redirects I-45 to a new patrol
area E of Lamon Bay. LtCdr Kawashima does not acknowledge the receipt of that
2 December 1944:
I-45 is presumed lost with all 104 hands off the
10 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Special thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.
– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
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