(I-58, at Sasebo Naval Arsenal, 1946)
IJN Submarine I-58: Tabular Record of
© 2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
26 December 1942:
Yokosuka Navy Yard. Laid down as a Type
B3 Submarine No. 631
(the last unit of that class). To make room for four kaiten
human-torpedoes (only two are initially fitted with access tubes), the aft deck
gun is not fitted. A Type 22 surface/air-search radar is installed atop the
aircraft hangar and an E27/Type 3 radar detector on the bridge.
31 July 1943:
Re-numbered I-58 and provisionally attached to Kure Naval
9 October 1943:
7 June 1944:
LtCdr Hashimoto Mochitsura (59)(former CO of
RO-44) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).
7 September 1944:
Completed. Assigned to the Sixth Fleet's
SubRon 11 for training. LtCdr (promoted Cdr 5 September 1945) Hashimoto Mochitsura
is the Commanding Officer.
Inland Sea. I-58 works up with SubRon 11.
2 December 1944:
A special conference of more than 200 staff officers
and specialists is held aboard the Sixth Fleet's flagship, TSUKUSHI MARU at Kure
to evaluate the results of the first kaiten mission to Ulithi by the "KIKUSUI"
(Floating Chrysanthemum) Group. Based on action reports and photo
reconnaissance, the staff erroneously concludes that three aircraft carriers and
two battleships were sunk in the attack.
4 December 1944:
Reassigned to SubDiv 15 in Vice Admiral Miwa
Shigeyoshi's (former CO of CL KINU) Sixth Fleet.
8 December 1944:
Assigned to the "KONGO" (Steel) group with I-36,
I-47, I-48, I-53 and I-56. The group is tasked with penetrating five different
US fleet anchorages and launching kaiten attacks there. I-58 is tasked to attack
Apra harbor, Guam on 11 January 1945.
19 December 1944:
Transferred to Otsujima to carry out kaiten launch
exercises until 24 December.
Departs Sasebo for Kure to take on fuel, provisions and
29 December 1944: The Second Kaiten Mission:
Departs Kure for
30 December 1944:
Embarks four kaiten and their crews at Otsujima,
then departs at 1000 in company of I-36, flying the "Hi-Ri-Ho-Ken-Ten" banner.
6 January 1945:
Arrives in an area W of Guam. At 0200, when recharging
batteries, I-58's radar detects a large flying boat.
9 January 1945:
A Nakajima C6N1 Saiun Myrt
reconnaissance plane reports the presence of one escort carrier, two destroyers,
one submarine, 20 transports and four floating docks at Apra harbor.
11 January 1945:
Arrives 26 miles SW of Guam. LtCdr Hashimoto
approaches Apra harbor to launch his kaiten. Around 2100, he sights a large
12 January 1945:
11 miles W of Apra. Between 0310 and 0327, I-58
launches all four kaiten. No. 3, launched after an engine malfunction as the
last one, explodes immediately thereafter, preventing Hashimoto from observing
the results of the attack. At 0530, when I-58 is leaving the area, two
pillars of smoke are sighted
20 January 1945:
At night while approaching Bungo Suido Strait, I-58
picks up a submarine on her Type 22 radar. The submarine is later identified as
22 January 1945:
Arrives at Kure. I-58 is credited with sinking one
escort carrier and one large oiler.
19 February 1945: American Operation "DETACHMENT" - The Invasion of
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 airfields from LtGen Kuribayashi
Late February 1945:
A Type 13 air-search radar is installed.
28 February 1945: The Fourth Kaiten Mission:
I-58 and I-36 are in the
"SHIMBU" unit formed to attack American American communications to Iwo Jima.
1 March 1945:
Departs Hikari, carrying four kaiten. At 2100, exits the
3-4 March 1945:
Incoming American planes are spotted with I-58's Type
13 radar. I-58 manages to crash-dive each time.
7 March 1945:
N of Iwo Jima. I-58 surfaces to recharge her batteries.
Hashimoto plans to release all four of his kaiten the next morning to attack
anchored shipping off Iwo. Later that day a signal is received from the
Combined Fleet that directs the Sixth Fleet to cease operations in the Iwo Jima
9 March 1945:
I-58 is redirected to the area W of Okino-Torishima
(Douglas Reef) to participate in Operation "TAN No. 2." Hashimoto jettisons two
kaiten and proceeds at full speed towards Okino-Torishima. 
10 March 1945: Operation TAN No. 2 - The Kamikaze Raid on
Kyushu. Twenty-four Yokosuka P1Y
Ginga (Milky Way) "Frances" twin-engine bombers take off from Kanoya
airfield on a one-way "tokko" (suicide) mission to attack American carriers at
the Third Fleet's anchorage at Ulithi. The bombers, originally of the 762nd NAG,
were formed into the "Azusa Tokkotai" kamikaze unit and are led by two Kawanishi
H8K Emily pathfinders
of the 801st NAG. Each "Frances" carries a single 800-kg bomb.
11 March 1945:
I-58 takes up station off Okino-Torishima and functions
as a radio relay ship for the "Frances" bombers. Only six reach Ulithi. They drop
chaff to foil American radars. One P1Y hits USS RANDOLPH (CV-15) starboard
side aft below the flight deck, killing 25 men and wounding 106.
I-58 receives the order to return to Kure.
16 March 1945:
Returns to Hikari, where two remaining kaiten are
17 March 1945:
Returns to Kure.
Late March 1945:
Battle training with kaiten in the Inland Sea.
31 March 1945: The Fifth Kaiten Mission:
I-58, I-44, I-47 and I-56 are
in the "TATARA" group formed to attack American shipping anchored off Okinawa.
I-58 arrives at Otsujima to embark kaiten, then departs for Hikari.
1 April 1945: American Operation "ICEBERG" - The Invasion of
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 and 1st, 6th Marine divisions) makes amphibious landings and begins the
battle to take the island from LtGen Ushijima Mitsuru's 32nd Army defenders.
That same day, I-58 departs Hikari for Okinawa with the "TATARA" group.
4 April 1945:
At daybreak, I-58's Type 13 radar picks up an
approaching aircraft. Hashimoto dives immediately.
5 April 1945:
I-58 is forced to dive by aircraft many times.
6 April 1945:
In addition to American aircraft, the weather is bad,
the navigator has trouble getting a fix on I-58's exact position and her
batteries are almost depleted. Hashimoto surfaces in daylight, but a flying boat
appears almost immediately. I-58 is forced to dive and later many more times in
the day, but she finally arrives off Amami-Oshima, albeit behind schedule.
7 April 1945: Operation "TEN-1-GO"- The Surface Special Attack Unit's
Sortie to Okinawa:
I-58 is ordered to penetrate the invasion fleet anchorage
on the west coast of Okinawa and to launch its kaitens there to support the
attack by battleship YAMATO. Later that day, Hashimoto receives a signal about
the sinking of YAMATO.
8 April 1945:
Early in the morning, when I-58 is proceeding to the
Okinawa, area, her lookouts sight a Martin PBM-3 "Mariner" seaplane that had not
been picked up by her radar. Hashimoto crash-dives.
10 April 1945:
Hashimoto reports that he is unable to break through
the American ASW defenses from the western direction. He heads towards Kyushu to
recharge the batteries.
11 April 1945:
After recharging her batteries, I-58 heads back to
Okinawan waters. The submarine is spotted by aircraft repeatedly, but manages to
escape each time.
14 April 1945:
At 2320, LtCdr Hashimoto again reports about the ASW
defenses. Vice Admiral Miwa redirects I-58 to an area between Okinawa and Guam
to attack enemy communications there.
17 April 1945:
At 2355 (JST), the Sixth Fleet HQ cancels all
operations of the Tatara group.
21 April 1945:
I-58 is ordered to return to Kure.
25 April 1945:
At about 0100, while recharging her batteries on the
surface, I-58 picks up an enemy ship on her radar. She dives and later
identifies the well-lit enemy as a hospital ship. Hashimoto allows it to pass.
Early in the morning, I-58 is detected by three American destroyers and
depth-charged. LtCdr Hashimoto evades the chase, diving to 300-feet.
29 April 1945:
Arrives at Hikari. Kaitens and their pilots are
30 April 1945:
Arrives at Kure.
1 May 1945:
Vice Admiral, the Marquis, Daigo Tadashige (former CO of
ASHIGARA) assumes command of the Sixth Fleet from Vice Admiral Miwa.
Refit at Kure Navy Yard. I-58's catapult and hangar are
removed. This increases the number of kaiten she is able to carry to six. All
torpedoes are fitted with underwater access tubes. I-58 is also fitted with a
snorkel and Type 3 sonar. Her Type 22 radar is remounted on a pedestal in front
of the conning tower.
22 June 1945: XXth Air Force Raid on Kure:
One hundred sixty-two
USAAF B-29s bomb Kure. They destroy incomplete submarines I-204 and I-352 and
damage RO-67. I-58 is not damaged although there are several near-misses.
16 July 1945: The Ninth Kaiten Mission:
I-58 is in the "TAMON" Group
with I-47, I-53, I-363, I-366 and I-367. She departs Kure for the kaiten base at
Hirao, flying the "Hi-Ri-Ho-Ken-Ten” and Usa-Hachiman shrine banners.
17 July 1945:
In the morning, I-58 departs Hirao for the Bungo Strait
to carry out a deep-diving test. One of the kaiten periscopes is found to be
defective. I-58 returns to Hirao to replace it.
18 July 1945:
In the evening, I-58 departs Hirao to attack shipping E
of Philippines. LtCdr Hashimoto travels submerged in daytime and on the surface
22 July 1945:
About this time Fleet Radio Unit, Pacific (FRUPAC)
intercepts a Sixth Fleet radio transmission regarding the composition and
patrol areas of the TAMON group. FRUPAC alerts CINCPAC of the positions of at
least four kaiten-carrying submarines. This information, classified "ULTRA"
top-secret, is not passed further.
26 July 1945:
Tinian, Marianas. Captain (later Rear Admiral-Ret)
Charles B. McVay, III's USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA-35) arrives from San Francisco and
delivers parts and nuclear material for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs.
Captain Charles B. McVay, III
27 July 1945:
LtCdr Hashimoto takes up position on the Guam-Leyte
route and moves westward.
28 July 1945:
Philippine Sea, 300 miles N of Palau. At0530, I-58 is
forced down by a radar-equipped airplane. After 1400 Hashimoto sights a large
tanker, escorted by a single destroyer. At 1431, kaiten No. 2, piloted by
FPO1C Komori Kazuyuki is launched against the tanker, followed Lt(jg) Ban
Shuji's No. 1, targeting the destroyer, at 1443.
I-58's target is the 6,214-ton armed cargo ship WILD HUNTER
(ex-EXPOUNDER), en route to Manila. At 1620 (local) WILD HUNTER's lookouts sight
a periscope at 10-25N, 131-45E. Twenty-eight minutes later another periscope is
spotted. The cargo ship engages the attacker with his 3-inch gun, maneuvering
radically to present a smaller target. After several shots the periscope
Aboard I-58, two explosions are heard at 1520 and 1530, but a rain squall
prevents Hashimoto to verify the results of his attack. After surfacing his
radar detects no targets in the vicinity. He later reports both ships as sunk.
I-58 heads SE, to the intersection of the Leyte-Guam and Palau-Okinawa routes.
That same day, INDIANAPOLIS arrives at nearby Guam. Since she is not
equipped with sonar or hydrophones, McVay requests a destroyer escort. His
request is denied. McVay's orders give him discretion as to whether or not to
zigzag while under way. INDIANAPOLIS begins the trip from Guam to Leyte
unescorted; the first major warship to do so during the war without equipment to
detect enemy submarines.
USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA-35)
29 July 1945:
Philippine Sea, 250 miles N of Palau. At sunset, the
INDIANAPOLIS is zigzagging at 17 knots in overcast weather. Captain McVay orders
zigzagging ceased because of poor visibility. At 2305, following a radar check,
I-58 surfaces. She is heading south when her navigation officer Lt Tanaka
Hirokoto (72) spots a ship approaching from the east, 90-degrees off the port
beam at 11,000 yards. LtCdr Hashimoto identifies the target as an IDAHO-class
battleship. The target is making 12 knots and not zigzagging.
Hashimoto dives and prepares to attack with conventional torpedoes. He
also alerts FPO1C Shiraki Ichiro to man No. 6 kaiten, with No. 5 (FPO1C Nakai
Akira, both bow kaiten) as reserve, but he doubts the pilots can find the target
in the dark with their short (2.9-m) Type 97 periscopes.
When the distance is down to 4,400 yards, Hashimoto realizes that
INDIANAPOLIS will pass by so close that his torpedoes will not have time to arm.
He orders right rudder and begins a long circle to increase the range.
At 2326 (JST), Hashimoto changes the torpedo data computer setup to a
60-degree port angle on the bow. At a range of 1,640 yards he fires a spread of
six Type 95 Model 2 torpedoes with 2-second intervals, all set to the depth of
4 meters. He observes three equally spaced hits on the starboard side. The first
is forward of the No. 1 turret, the second is abreast of the same turret,
followed by an explosion and bright red flame. The third is near the bridge,
abreast the No. 2 turret. Hashimoto sees that his target is stopped, is listing
to starboard and down by the bow. He decides another attack is necessary and
dives to 100 feet to open the range, reloading his two forward torpedo tubes.
30 July 1945:
At 0027, INDIANAPOLIS capsizes and sinks by the bow at
12-02N, 134-48E. Thirty minutes after his last observation, Hashimoto raises
his periscope, but his target is gone. After surfacing a new check reveals no
further traces of his victim. I-58 departs the area at full speed, heading north
while recharging its batteries. 
At 0300, Hashimoto reports to the Sixth Fleet HQ that he sank an
A failure of the USN's Movement Reporting System causes an 84-hour delay
in search and rescue activities. Of her crew of 1,196, 883 are lost, more than
half to the sea and sharks.
Captain McVay and 315 survivors are finally spotted by LtCdr George
Atteberry's Lockheed PV-1 "Ventura" bomber that drops some supplies and radios
for help. Atteberry is followed by Lt Adrian Marks' Consolidated PBY-5A
"Catalina" floatplane that lands on the water. Marks and a few succeeding planes
start picking up survivors while they wait for ships to reach the scene. Later,
the survivors are rescued by the high-speed transports USS RINGNESS (APD-100)
and USS REGISTER (APD-92).
1 August 1945:
FRUPAC intercepts I-58's radio transmission about the
sinking and passes it to CINCPAC. Since there are no battleships in the area of
the claimed sinking, the report is not investigated. This further contributes to
the delay in the search for INDIANAPOLIS' survivors.
At 1500, I-58 surfaces and her lookouts sight an unescorted westbound
merchant ship of about 9,000-tons at 20,000 yards. LtCdr Hashimoto gives chase
at 15-knots, but is unable to close the target.
9 August 1945:
260 miles NE of Aparri. After 0800 Hashimoto sights a
zigzagging convoy of ten transports escorted by three destroyers at 7,700 yards
(in reality the hunter-killer team Task Group 75.19 led by USS SALAMAUA
(CVE-96), carrying out ASW sweeps on the convoy route between Leyte and
Kaiten Nos. 3, 5 and 6 are readied for launch, but No. 3 and No. 6 suffer
engine malfunctions. No. 5, piloted by FPO1C Nakai Akira, is launched first from
5,500 yards. After a destroyer from the "convoy" appears to be closing the
range, Ens Mizui Yoshio's No. 4 kaiten is also launched.
At 1143, CortDiv 70's USS JOHNNIE HUTCHINS' (DE-360) lookouts report
sighting a whale 2,000 yards ahead, but it is soon identified as a midget
submarine. LtCdr Hugh M. Godsey orders battle stations and heads towards the
submarine. At 1208, a surfaced object resembling a "floating iron boiler" about
45 ft long is sighted. JOHNNIE HUTCHINS engages the target with all guns.
Nakai's torpedo passes down her port side at 2 knots, trying to point its bow at
JOHNNIE HUTCHINS' soundman then reports noises of another "submarine" at
700 yards. Next, a periscope is sighted on the port bow. LtCdr Godsey decides to
attack the new target with depth charges while shelling the first one.
At 100 yards a direct hit from a 5-inch stern gun is scored on Nakai's
kaiten. It is holed and sinks immediately at 20-20N, 126-57E. Meanwhile Mizui's
No. 4 kaiten dives and its wake passes down the starboard side of HUTCHINS. A
pattern of Mk. 8 magnetic depth charges is dropped and three explosions are
heard, after which the contact is lost. ComCortDiv 70 in USS WILLIAM SEIVERLING
(DE-441) orders a scouting line formed of four DEs to search for other
submarines in the area.
At 1332, eight miles from the area of the first two contacts, JOHNNIE
HUTCHINS' lookouts sight another periscope. A depth-charge attack results in a
violent explosion, throwing a 30-feet geyser of water in the air. The concussion
is felt on WILLIAM SEIVERLING over a mile away.
Four more DEs join the hunt until 1400 the next day, but no further
contacts are made. USS JOHNNIE HUTCHINS is credited with probable destruction of
two midget submarines and the possible destruction of a third. Her crew is
awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.
I-58 comes to periscope depth after her soundman reports a distant
explosion. In Hashimoto's opinion, the previously sighted destroyer has
disappeared. He heads northwards to evade the hunt, making radical maneuvers to
confuse enemy sonars. After sundown I-58 surfaces to recharge her batteries, but
is forced under by an approaching airplane.
12 August 1945:
360 miles SE of Okinawa. Around 1700, when the
surfaced I-58 is running northwards at 12 knots, her Type 3 detector detects
multiple radar impulses. Soon thereafter masts are sighted on the horizon. LtCdr
Hashimoto orders to dive.
At 1716, a 15,000-ton seaplane carrier escorted by one destroyer is
sighted. Kaiten No. 3 piloted by FPO1C Hayashi Yoshiaki is launched at 1758 from
an estimated distance of 8,800 yards. In reality, the "seaplane carrier" is
Landing Ship Dock USS OAK HILL (LSD-7), escorted by THOMAS F. NICKEL (DE-587)
enroute from Okinawa to Leyte.
At 1826, the lookouts on OAK HILL report a periscope 1000 yards away on
the port quarter. LtCdr Claude S. Farmer's THOMAS F. NICKEL turns toward the
attacker, making flank speed. At 1830 the lookouts on NICKEL sight a wake of an
apparently broaching torpedo. The DE heads towards the direction opposite to
that of the torpedo and fires a shallow pattern of depth charges from her
K-guns, mistakenly indetifying the attacker as a conventional submarine.
NICKEL's sonar fails to make a contact.
At 1837, OAK HILL reports an incoming torpedo wake directly astern. The
lookouts on the DE observe a "submarine" breaking the surface in the wake of OAK
HILL. When THOMAS F. NICKEL attempts to ram it, a scraping noise is heard in her
forward and after fire rooms and the after engine room along the port side of
the bilge. At 1842, OAK HILL reports that the "object" is still chasing her
about 2,000 yards astern, although now moving somewhat slower. Suddenly, the
kaiten stops, breaks surface and self-detonates, sending smoke and water about
200 ft into the air at 21-15N, 131-02E.
At 1905, lookouts on THOMAS F. NICKEL sight another periscope dead astern
of OAK HILL. The DE charges, firing a shallow depth charge pattern. A secondary
explosion follows 50 ft outside of the pattern, throwing a black 50-feet geyser
of oil and water in the air. A long oil slick is also sighted.
17 August 1945.
Arrives at Hirao.
18 August 1945:
Proceeds to Kure.
Kure. I-58 is surrendered to the Allied Powers.
5 October 1945:
I-58 is inspected at Kure. She has over 30 tons of
fuel aboard, while all ammunition and usable equipment have been removed.
Transferred from Kure to Sasebo.
20 November 1945:
Cdr Hashimoto is appointed the CO of YUKIKAZE, but
does not assume that command.
27 November 1945:
Cdr Hashimoto leaves the boat. A skeleton crew led
by the torpedo officer Lt Tanaka Toshio (68) remains aboard.
30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
3 December 1945:
As details of the INDIANAPOLIS disaster begin to
become public - arguably the worst in American naval history - Fleet Admiral
Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations convinces SecNav James Forrestal that
they need a scapegoat. King brushes aside Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz's
recommendation that Captain McVay be given only a letter of reprimand. Instead,
he ensures that formal charges are brought against McVay.
Although 700 navy ships are lost in combat in WWII, McVay is the only
captain that is court-martialed. He is tried for "hazarding his ship by failing
to zigzag during conditions of good visibility" and "culpable insufficiency in
the performance of duty" for failure to order Abandon Ship in a timely manner.
Cdr Hashimoto testifies at McVay's trail. He states that zigzagging would
have made no difference. Four-time Navy Cross winner Cdr (later Vice Admiral)
Glynn R. Donaho (former CO of FLYING FISH and PICUDA) also testifies that
zigzagging would have been ineffective. King's court ignores both Hashimoto's
and Donaho's testimonies and finds McVay guilty.
After Nimitz succeeds King as Chief of Naval Operations, he presses
Secretary Forrestal to remit McVay's sentence in its entirety. Forrestal agrees.
This releases McVay from arrest and restores him to duty, but he is never given
another command at sea.
1 April 1946: Operation "ROAD'S END:"
I-58 is stripped of all usable
equipment and material and towed from Sasebo to an area off Goto Retto by the
submarine tender USS NEREUS (AS-17). She is blown up with C-2 demolition charges
at 32-37N, 129-17E. The first I-58 (now designated I-158) is scuttled during the
Captain McVay retires from the Navy with a "tombstone" promotion
to Rear Admiral. He broods over the loss of INDIANAPOLIS and her crew for the
rest of his life.
Hirao Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture. A monument is erected
to honor Special Attack Corps Kaiten (human torpedo) pilots who trained at Hirao
(the IJN's third kaiten training base after Otsushima and Hikari) and died
during WWII including five pilots from I-58, who died in kaiten attacks in
Okinawan waters in 1945.
Special Attack Corps Kaiten Monument
6 November 1968:
Litchfield, Connecticut. After receiving a final
"hate" mail, McVay takes his own life.
Pensacola, Florida. Hunter Scott, an 11-year old schoolboy,
after seeing the motion picture "Jaws", begins a history project studying the
Scott and a group of INDIANAPOLIS' survivors travel to
Washington. They meet with key members of Congress and urge their support for
legislation to clear Captain McVay's name. Later, a bill is introduced in the
House, but a companion bill fails to make it through the Senate.
Joint resolutions are introduced in both the House and the
Senate to clear Captain McVay's name.
Hunter Scott testifies before the Senate Committee on
Armed Services on behalf of the survivors of INDIANAPOLIS.
Kyoto, Japan. The elderly Hashimoto, now a Shinto
priest, learns of Scott's efforts on behalf of Captain McVay and offers his
help. Scott suggests that Hashimoto write to Senator John Warner, Chairman of
the Senate Armed Services Committee, which Hashimoto does on 24 Nov '99. In
closing, he says "Our peoples have forgiven each other for that terrible war and
its consequences. Perhaps it is time your peoples forgive Captain McVay for the
humiliation of his unjust conviction."
11 October 2000:
The United States Congress passes legislation that
states that "it is the sense of Congress that the American people should now
recognize Captain McVay's lack of culpability for the tragic loss of the USS
INDIANAPOLIS "...and that "Captain McVay's military record should reflect that
he is exonerated for the loss of the USS INDIANAPOLIS and so many of her crew."
25 October 2000:
Kyoto, Japan. Hashimoto Mochitsura dies at the age
19 August 2017:
Seventy-two years after two torpedoes fired by
submarine I-58 sank cruiser USS INDIANAPOLIS, the ship's wreckage was found
resting on the seafloor – more than 18,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean's
surface. On July 30, 1945, in the final days of World War II, INDIANAPOLIS had
just completed a secret mission to the island Tinian, delivering components of
the atomic bomb "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima which would ultimately help
end the war. The ship sank in 12 minutes, before a distress signal could be sent
or much of the life-saving equipment was deployed. Because of the secrecy
surrounding the mission, the ship wasn't listed as overdue. Around 800 of the
ship's 1,196 sailors and Marines survived the sinking, but after four to five
days in the water, suffering exposure, dehydration, drowning, and shark attacks,
only 316 survived.
Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, led a
search team to find INDIANAPOLIS, considered the last great naval tragedy of
World War II. In July 2016, the Naval History and Heritage Command
Communication and Outreach Division reported that a sailor had confirmed that a
tank landing ship, LST-779, had passed INDIANAPOLIS only 11 hours before the
torpedo struck which helped Allen and his team aboard R/V PETREL pinpoint the
Allen's 13-person expedition team is in the process of surveying the full
site and will conduct a live tour of the wreckage in the next few weeks. They
respecting the sunken ship as a war grave, taking care not to disturb the site.
INDIANAPOLIS remains the property of the U.S. Navy and its location will remain
confidential and restricted by the Navy.
All photos © 2017 Navigea Ltd. R/V Petrel and courtesy of Paul G. Allen.
| Painted hull number "35" on port side of ship.
|| Spare parts box from USS INDIANAPOLIS in over 16,000
| One of INDIANAPOLIS' main gun turrets.
||Torpedo damage to forward starboard section.|
| Secondary gun mount.
||Bofors 40-mm AAA gun.|
| INDIANAPOLIS' bell.
||R/V PETREL lowers autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)
that can make a submerged run for up to 20 hours.
 A kamikaze slogan, meaning "Injustice, Fairness, Law,
Strength and Heaven". I-58's banner had been blessed at Usa-Hachiman Shrine.
 See OPERATION TAN NO. 2: The
Japanese Attack on Task Force 58's Anchorage at Ulithi. by the authors
 The number of hits on INDIANAPOLIS is still open to debate. While her
survivors generally agreed on two torpedo hits, I-58's skipper observed three
hits, followed by three spouts of water.
 The given location is an approximate estimate, based on Hashimoto’s
notes, since I-58's action report was lost with her.
 A 1981 British source suggests I-58 was built "with an extra cabin"
to embark marooned aviators in the south Pacific. This is not confirmed by any
Japanese sources, including Hashimoto's own or his subordinates' memoirs.
I-58 photo credit goes to The Naval Historical Center via Sander Kingsepp
(previous box art color pix on TROM depicted I-58 launching a floatplane which
was incorrect since she never carried an aircraft.)
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and to reader Gus Mellon for
picking up typos, etc.
– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
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