(Type J1M submarine)

IJN Submarine I-5:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2014 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp :
Revision 6:

30 October 1929:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki 's ship yard.

19 June 1931:

1 December 1931:
LtCdr Sato Shiro (37)(former CO of I-1) is assigned as Chief Equipping Officer.

31 May to 7 July 1932:
Inland Sea, off Awaji Island. Conducts deep-diving and acceptance tests.

31 July 1932:
Completed and taken over by the IJN at 0900; attached to Yokosuka Naval District. LtCdr Sato is appointed the CO. Departs Kobe for Yokosuka later that day.

June-July 1933:
Minor rebuild at Kure. Aft deck gun is replaced with an air-operated Kure Type No. 1 Model 2 catapult. Probably at that time or later an experimental underwater signalling device is fitted.

30 October 1933:
Kure Naval Base. I-5 is moored at S-19 buoy off Kawaraishi wharf. After 0930, when she is preparing to put to sea, I-5 is accidentally grazed by cargo vessel TSUKUSHI MARU No. 5, leaving Kure after provisioning supply ship MUROTO. I-5 receives minor damage to her starboard bow plating.

15 November 1933:
LtCdr Sato is promoted Cdr.

16 July 1934:
LtCdr Kijima Moritsugu (44) is appointed the CO.

25 August 1934:
Cdr Sato Shiro is reappointed the CO. LtCdr Kijima is reassigned as Chief Equipping Officer of I-6.

15 November 1934:
LtCdr Takezaki Kaoru (45) is appointed the CO.

21 October 1935:
Placed in reserve until 1 December 1936.

1 August to 30 November 1936:
Refit at Yokosuka. A more powerful air conditioning plant is installed.

1 December 1936:
Cdr Iwagami Eiju (46)(former CO of I-70) is appointed the CO.

21-23 August 1937:
East China Sea. Submarines I-5, I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4 and I-6 provide distant cover for BatDiv 1's NAGATO, MUTSU, BatDiv 3's HARUNA and KIRISHIMA and light cruiser ISUZU ferrying troops from Tadotsu, Shikoku, to the Shanghai area.

1 December 1937:
LtCdr Uchino Shinji (49)(former CO of I-65) is appointed the CO.

15 December 1938:
Cdr Shimizu Taro (48)(former CO of I-57) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1939:
Cdr Nishino Kozo (47)(former CO of I-62) is appointed the CO.

Aircraft installation is removed. Probably at that time the conning tower is rebuilt, replacing the machine gun with a Type 96 25-mm AA gun. [1]

19 October 1940:
Cdr Shichiji Tsuneo (49)(former CO of I-69) is appointed the CO.

10 November 1941: Operation "Z":
Saeki Bay. I-5 is in Vice Admiral Shimizu Mitsumi's (former CO of ISE) Sixth Fleet (Submarines) under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Yamazaki Shigeaki's (former CO of old CA YAKUMO) SubRon 2 in Captain Takezaki Kaoru's SubDiv 8 with I-4, I-6 and flagship I-7. Cdr Shichiji Tsuneo is the Commanding Officer since 29 November 1940.

Admiral Shimizu convenes a meeting of all his commanders aboard his flagship, light cruiser KATORI. The commanders are briefed on the planned attack on Pearl Harbor.

16 November 1941:
I-5 departs Yokosuka for the Hawaiian Islands.

2 December 1941:
Coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" is received from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

7 December 1941: The Attack on Pearl Harbor:
Off Hawaii. SubRon 2 is arrayed to the northeast and northwest of Oahu. Its mission is to reconnoiter and attack any ships that try to sortie from Pearl Harbor. I-5 is deployed N of Molokai Island, adjacent to I-6.

9 January 1942:
Departs her patrol area to join the hunt for USS LEXINGTON (CV-2), detected by I-18.

22 January 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

24 January 1942:
I-5 departs Kwajalein.

2 February 1942:
I-5 arrives at Yokosuka for an overhaul.

5 February 1942:
LtCdr Nakamura Otoji (52)(former CO of I-68) is appointed the CO.

SubRon 2's I-1 through I-7 are assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Netherlands East Indies Invasion Force in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ichioka Hisashi's (former CO of CL YURA) SubRon 2.

11 February 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Palau.

16 February 1942:
Arrives at Palau.

17 February 1942:
Departs Palau for Staring Bay, SE Celebes (now Sulawesi).

23 February 1942:
Departs Staring Bay on her second war patrol.

25 February 1942:
W of Timor. Around noon, when running on the surface, I-5 and later I-6 are spotted by a Mitsubishi C5M Type 98 "Babs", escorted by nine A6M2 "Zeke” fighters from the 3rd NAG Ambon detachment. Misidentifying both subs as Dutch, the fighters repeatedly strafe them. I-5 receives serious damage, mostly resulting from a fire within the conning tower, caused an explosion of signal rockets. The CO of I-5 and two officers are seriously wounded. I-5 is forced to abort her patrol.

26 February 1942:
Arrives at Kupang, where some of the damages are hastily repaired. Departs for Staring Bay the next day.

28 February 1942:
Upon arrival, I-5 runs aground on a reef in the north passage of Staring Bay. On that same day LtCdr Utsugi Shujiro (52) (former CO of I-122) is appointed the new CO.

16 March 1942:
Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Komatsu Teruhisa (former CO of CA NACHI) assumes command of the Sixth Fleet (Submarines). Vice Admiral Shimizu is later reassigned as CINC, First Fleet.

20 March 1942:
At 1640 (JST), I-5 is successfully salvaged from the reef by salvage ship YUSHO MARU. Later, she undergoes repairs by SubRon 2's tender SANTOS MARU.

25 March 1942:
Departs Staring Bay to patrol off Cape Comorin on her third war patrol.

5 April 1942: Operation "C":
Vice Admiral Nagumo Chuichi's Carrier Striking Force ("Kido Butai") attacks the British naval base on Columbo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). They wreck the base's facilities, destroy 27 aircraft and sink several ships. A floatplane finds Vice Admiral James Somerville's Eastern Fleet's cruisers HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE at sea and Nagumo's airmen sink both ships, but are unsuccessful in their search for the rest of Somerville's fleet.

9 April 1942: Operation "C":
Nagumo's Striking Force attacks the British naval base at Trincomalee, Ceylon. They wreck the base's facilities and shoot down nine planes. A floatplane spots old light carrier HMS HERMES and Australian destroyer HMAS VAMPIRE at sea. The Striking Force sinks both. Nagumo's aircraft also find and sink several smaller ships.

16 April 1942:
Arrives at Singapore.

21 April 1942:
Deperts Singapore for Yokosuka.

1 May 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka for repairs.

5 June 1942: Operation "AL"- The Invasion of the Western Aleutians:
Twenty ships of the Vice Admiral Hosogaya Boshiro's (former CO of MUTSU) Fifth Fleet, including the light cruisers KISO and TAMA, three destroyers, three corvettes, three minesweepers and four transports land Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Omori Sentaro's (former CO of ISE) Occupation Force on Attu without opposition.

7 June 1942:
Captain (later Rear Admiral) Ono Takeji's Occupation Force occupies Kiska, also without opposition.

10 June 1942:
Reassigned to the Northern Unit with I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4, I-6 and I-7.

17 June 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for the Aleutians in company of I-1, I-2, I-3, I-4 and I-7 on her fourth war patrol. Joins the K patrol line patrolling in Unimak Pass area.

20 July 1942:
I-5 is reassigned to the Advance Unit. On the same day she receives an order to depart her patrol area for Yokosuka.

1 August 1942:
Returns to Yokosuka for an overhaul. Drydocked at Yokosuka in mid-August.

7 August 1942: American Operation "Watchtower" - The Invasion of Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands:
Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Amphibious Task Force 62, covered by Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 61 and Rear Admiral (later Admiral) John S. McCain's Task Force 63's land-based aircraft, lands Maj Gen (later Gen/Commandant) Alexander A. Vandegrift's 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal opening a seven-month campaign to take the island.

20 August 1942:
SubRon 2 and SubDiv 8 are disbanded. I-5 is reassigned to SubDiv 7.

8 September 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk in company of I-1, I-2, I-3 and I-4.

September 1942:
Solomons. I-5 is damaged by depth charges while attacking an American convoy.

16 September 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

17 September 1942:
Departs Truk for the area W of Guadalcanal on her fifth war patrol.

23 September 1942:
Reassigned to First Patrol Unit. Redirected to the area SE of the Solomons.

25 September 1942:
20 miles E of Guadalcanal. While stalking a solitary transport, I-5 is detected and forced underwater.

5 October 1942:
I-5 is reassigned to the "A" patrol group.

30 October 1942:
Redirected to Ontong Java area to search for downed IJNAF pilots.

31 October 1942:
LtCdr Sekido Yoshimitsu (57)(former CO of I-56) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1942:
Reassigned to the "B" patrol unit.

21 November 1942:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

23 November 1942:
Enroute to Rabaul, I-5’s vertical rudder engine breaks down.

25 November 1942:
Arrives at Rabaul, where her vertical rudder is repaired.

2 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Shortland Islands, off Bougainville.

3 December 1942:
Arrives at Shortland, where the rudder engine breaks down again.

9 December 1942:
Departs Shortland for Rabaul with ComSubRon 1 Rear Admiral Mito Hisashi and his staff officers aboard, arrives on the next day.

14 December 1942:
Departs Rabaul for Truk.

17 December 1942:
Arrives at Truk, where ComSubRon 1 and his staff leave the submarine.

20 December 1942:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

28 December 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka for repairs and overhaul.

9 March 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

17 March 1943:
Arrives at Truk. Converted to carry a waterproofed Daihatsu barge.

18 March 1943:
Reassigned to Southeast Area Unit.

20 March 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

24 March 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

26 March 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Lae, carrying a cargo of food and ammunition.

29 March 1943:
Arrives at Lae, unloads her cargo, then departs for Rabaul.

1 April 1943:
I-5 is in SubRon 1 in Captain Tamaki Tomejiro's SubDiv 7 with I-2, I-6 and I-7. She participates in nine supply missions to Lae while based at Rabaul. Later, she is assigned to the Northern District Force, Fifth Fleet, to reinforce and resupply the isolated Japanese garrisons in the Aleutian Islands.

6 April 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her second supply run with 29 tons of cargo (including 70 supply drums), and 21 passengers. Around 1100, I-5 is spotted by two torpedo boats, but evades their chase and returns later to unload her cargo. Departs, carrying 57 passengers.

13 April 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her third supply run, carrying 25.9 tons of cargo, including one disassembled AA gun, and 15 passengers. Departs, carrying 35 passengers.

20 April 1943:
LtCdr Morinaga Masahiko (59)(former CO of I-2) is appointed the CO.

22 April 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her fourth supply run, carrying 20 tons of cargo, including 70 supply drums, and 14 passengers. Departs, carrying 38 passengers.

1 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her fifth supply run, carrying 35.4 tons of cargo, including one AA gun, and 22 passengers. Departs, carrying 40 passengers.

2-3 May 1944:
On her way back, I-5’s night periscope is damaged by floating debris and jammed. The damage is repaired at Rabaul.

9 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her sixth supply run, carrying 34 tons of cargo, including food, ammunition, one AA gun and 23 passengers. Departs, carrying 39 passengers.

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 elements of the Army's 4th and 7th Infantry Divisions under the command of Maj Gen Eugene M. Landrum at Holtz Bay and Massacre Bay that later capture the island.

14 May 1943:
I-5 and I-6 are on supply runs to Lae, New Guinea. They are diverted to rescue the crews of Mitsubishi G4M ("Betty") bombers of the 751st NAG (Kokutai) that were downed during a raid on Oro Bay. I-5 locates and rescues some fliers.

15 May 1943:
Following the 751st NAG daylight raid on Oro Bay on 14th, I-5 and I-6 are detached for lifeguard duty 60 miles off Buna. I-5 locates and rescues some crews of the bombers downed by the USAAF 49th FG.

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

22 May 1943:
Departs Yokosuka.

24 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her seventh supply run, carrying 20.5 tons of cargo, including food, radio details, fuel, a Daihatsu barge and 24 passengers. Departs, carrying 37 passengers.

26 May 1943:
I-5 comes alongside transport (ex-seaplane tender) KAGU MARU and loads a landing barge.

31 May 1943:
Arrives at Lae on her eighth supply run, carrying 22.3 tons of cargo, including food, ammunition, fuel, the barge and 23 passengers. Departs without embarking passengers.

10 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 July 1943:
Departs her patrol area for Paramushiro.

4 August 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

Mid-August 1943:
Patrols off Kiska (seventh war patrol). During that time she is attacked by a radar-equipped destroyer, but escapes the chase.

20 September 1943:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

22 September 1943:
Departs Paramushiro for Yokosuka.

29 September 1943:
Returns to Yokosuka for overhaul.

27 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Saipan.

29 January 1944:
Reassigned to Southeast Area Unit.

1 February 1944:
Arrives at Saipan. Commences joint exercises with the 5th Yokosuka SNLF for a planned counterlanding on Green Island. SubDiv 7 is reassigned to Sixth Fleet.

11 February 1944:
Departs Saipan for Rabaul, carrying a 26-strong detachment of Sasebo 101st SNLF.

19 February 1944:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 February 1944:
Departs Rabaul on her first supply run to Sarmi, New Guinea.

24 February 1944:
Arrives at Sarmi, unloads her cargo, then departs for Rabaul.

26 February 1944:
Returns to Rabaul.

Early March 1944:
I-5 completes her second supply run to Sarmi.

10 March 1944:
Departs Rabaul for Truk.

15 March 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

19 March 1944:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

20 March 1944:
Reassigned to Advance Unit.

26 March 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

30 Apr ’44:
LtCdr Doi Takeshige (60)(former CO of I-162) is appointed the CO.

1 May 1944:
Lt Doi is promoted LtCdr.

26 May 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Saipan.

3 June 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

5 June 1944:
Departs Saipan on her first supply run to Kusaie, Carolines (later changed to Ponape). Soon after departure I-5 develops a fuel tank leak and has to abort her mission.

12 June 1944:
Arrives at Truk to undergo repairs for leaking storage batteries.

13 June 1944: Operation A-Go: The Defense of the Marianas:
Admiral Toyoda Soemu (former CO of HYUGA), CINC, Combined Fleet, orders Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo (former CO of MUTSU), CINC, Sixth Fleet (Submarines)at Saipan to redeploy his boats to the Marianas. From his headquarters on Saipan, Takagi orders all available submarines to deploy E of the Marianas.

14 June 1944:
Returns to Truk for repairs.

15 June 1944: American Operation "Forager"- The Invasion of Saipan:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's Task Force 52 lands Marine Lt Gen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion begins. Communications between Takagi's Advance Expeditionary Force (Sixth Fleet) are disrupted by the invasion. Command of the Sixth Fleet's submarines passes to ComSubRon 7, Rear Admiral Owada Noboru (former CO of YAMASHIRO), at Truk.

I-5 departs Truk for an area E of Marianas on her eighth war patrol.

16 June 1944:
Admiral Owada orders I-5, I-6, I-185, I-184 and I-41 to take station in that order in a north-south picket line 300 miles E of the Marianas. I-5 is the next to southernmost picket at 12N, 144-40E.

22 June 1944:
Returns to Truk.

4 July 1944:
I-5 is ordered to depart Truk on 5 July for Yokosuka via Ponape and Truk.

5 July 1944:
Departs Truk on her first supply run to Ponape with ComSubDiv 7 Capt Narahara Shogo aboard. .

6 July 1944:
Departs Truk on a supply mission to Ponape.

9 July 1944:
Arrives at Ponape, unloads her cargo, then departs for Yokosuka.

11 July 1944:
I-5 arrives at Truk, unloads and departs.

16 July 1944:
After minor repairs at Truk, departs for Yokosuka.

18 July 1944:
300 miles E of Saipan. Captain W. V. Saunders' USS HOGGATT BAY's (CVE-75) task group 12.2, a hunter-killer group, is conducting antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations off the Marianas. The carrier's radar picks up a contact on the surface at 21,000 yards.

19 July 1944:
360 miles E of Guam. At 0024, Captain Saunders detaches two of his four screening escorts, LtCdr E.P. Parker's USS WYMAN (DE-38) and REYNOLDS (DE-42), to investigate the carrier's radar contact. WYMAN closes the range until 0046, when she loses radar contact at 4,000 yards as the contact dives. WYMAN switches to her sonar and picks up a strong echo at 1,600 yards.

At 0051, Parker fires a barrage of twenty-four Mark 10 "Hedgehog" projector charges, without results. WYMAN reloads and Parker opens the range, then closes for a second attack. At 0125, Parker fires a barrage of twenty-four hedgehogs. WYMAN is rocked by five small underwater explosions, followed by a much heavier detonation at 0130. Parker attempts to regain sonar contact, but the sonar's returns indicate the contact has been destroyed. The submarine - probably I-5 - is sunk at 13-01N,151-58E. [2]

The I-5 is presumed lost with all 130 hands E of Saipan by the IJN from this date.

10 September 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Several older sources suggest that the aft deck gun was refitted at that time, but this is not confirmed by Japanese sources.

[2] The same submarine has also been identified as RO-48.

Special thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Jean-Francois Masson of Canada.

Thanks also go to John Whitman of Virginia.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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