Type KD3 Submarine

IJN Submarine I-60:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 7

10 October 1927:
Laid down at Sasebo Navy Yard.

24 April 1929:
Launched as I-60.

1 June 1929:
LtCdr (later Captain) Dono Kiyoshi (41)(former CO of I-3) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

5 November 1929:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Hayashi Seiryo (43)(former CO of RO-67) is appointed the CEO.

24 December 1929:
I-60 is completed, commissioned in the IJN and attached to Sasebo Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv 28 in SubRon 2, Second Fleet with I-63. LtCdr Hayashi Seiryo is the Commanding Officer. [1]

1 December 1930:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Shimamoto Hisagoro (44) (former CO of RO-27) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1931:
LtCdr (later Captain) Kijima Moriji (44)(former CO of I-121) is appointed the CO.

15 November 1933:
Cdr (later Captain) Funaki Shigetoshi (43)(current CO of I-59) is appointed the CO of I-60 as an additional duty.

21 February 1934:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Endo Yukio (46)(former CO of RO-67) is appoionted the CO of I-59 and I-60 as an additional duty.

2 March 1934:
LtCdr Kijima Moriji (44)(former division officer of SATA) is appointed the CO (his second tour as the CO of that boat).

20 March 1934:
LtCdr Kijima is appointed the CO of I-63 as an additional duty.

10 May 1934:
LtCdr (later Captain) Goto Hiroshi (48)(former division officer of ERIMO) is appointed the CO of I-60 and I-63 (until 16 July 1934) as an additional duty.

22 July 1936:
While anchored in Terashima Strait along with the other boats of her squadron during the warlike exercises, I-60 is swamped by heavy seas and receives minor damage to her superstructure. The starboard anchor chain and a 5-meter workboat are lost.

2 November 1936:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Okamoto Yoshisuke (47)(current CO of I-59) is appointed the CO of I-60 as an additional duty.

1 December 1936:
LtCdr (later Captain) Otani Kiyonori (49)(former CO of I-122) is appointed the CO.

15 December 1938:
LtCdr (later Captain) Nakagawa Hajime (50)(former torpedo officer of KAKO) is appointed the CO.

2 February 1939:
Bungo Strait, 60 miles NW of Mizunoko Light. In the early morning, the boats of SubRon 1 are en route to their assigned stations to participate in simulated attacks against surface vessels commencing at 0730.

I-60's sister ship I-63, under LtCdr Sano Takao (50) arrives at her prescribed station off the Mizunoko Light. At 0430 she stops the diesels and waits for sunup with all running lights on.

LtCdr Nakagawa Hajime's surfaced I-60 is likewise heading towards her assigned station at 12 knots. As a result of a navigation error she passes through the area assigned to I-63. Around 0500 I-60's Watch Officer spots two white lights in the gloom. The lookouts mistake them for two sampans slightly apart. The Watch Officer decides to proceed between the fishing boats. When only about 220 yards away, he realizes his mistake, tries to turn away, but it is too late!

Aboard I-63, LtCdr Sano, summoned to the bridge, orders: "All ahead, full!" and "Close all watertight doors!" but it is too late! I-60 rams I-63, slashing open her starboard ballast tank and the auxiliary machinery compartment. In but a few minutes, I-63 sinks in 320 feet of water, taking 81 men with her. I-60, with a crushed bow buoyancy tank, rescues LtCdr Sano and six crewmen.

After the accident, a Court of Inquiry finds that I-60 had unsatisfactory lookout procedures and inadequate management of the watch officers. The court also concludes that I-60's navigation error contributed to the accident. LtCdr Nakagawa, who at the time of collision was off the bridge and below, assumes full responsibility for the accident. He is tried by court-martial and suspended from duty. He is promoted Cdr later than his contemporaries.

10 March 1939:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Yamada Takashi (49) (former CO of I-64) is appointed the CO.

1 December 1939:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Koike Iitsu (52)(former CO of I-121) is appointed the CO.

20 March 1940:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Hanabusa Hakushi (51) (former CO of I-64) is appointed the CO.

6 January 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is temporarily transferred from I-59 to I-60.

29 January 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is returned to I-59.

10 April 1941:
Placed in 3rd reserve at Sasebo for modernization, later transferred to Tama Zosensho shipyard, Tamano.

20 May 1941:
I-60 is appointed the flagship of SubDiv 28.

1 July 1941:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Kono Masamichi (52)(former CO of I-59) is appointed the CO.

31 October 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Hasegawa Shun (57)(former CO of RO-59) is appointed the CO.

3 December 1941:
The flag of SubDiv 28 is returned to I-59.

8 December 1941: The Attacks on Malaya, the Philippines and Pearl Harbor:
While nominally assigned to the Malaya Invasion Force, I-60 undergoes modernization at Tama Zosensho shipyard. Probably during that modernization Type 15 torpedo tubes are fitted with impulse tanks. Following a brief working-up, I-60 is transferred to Kobe later that month.

26 December 1941:
Reassigned to Submarine Unit B, earmarked for the operations in the Indian Ocean.

31 December 1941:
Departs Kobe for Davao in company of I-59 with ComSubDiv 28, Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kato Yukio (47) aboard.

3 January 1942:
Java, Netherlands East Indies. The ABDA (American, British, Dutch, Australian) Command is set up. The Eastern Fleet under Rear Admiral Karel W. F. M. Doorman is based at Surabaya in Java and includes destroyer HMS JUPITER.

5 January 1942:
Arrives at Davao, refuels.

9 January 1942:
I-60 is again designated the flagship of SubDiv 28.

10 January 1942:
Departs Davao in company of I-59 on her first war patrol in the area at the southern entrance to the Sunda Strait. ComSubDiv 28, Captain Kato, is still aboard.

11 January 1942: Operation "H" - The Invasion of the Celebes, NEI:
Vice Admiral Takahashi's forces invade Menado and Kema, covered by SubRon 5's I-59, I-62, I-64, I-65 and I-66.

16 January 1942:
Early in the morning, I-60 arrives at her patrol area and transmits a situation report that night. This is the last message received from her.

17 January 1942:
Java Sea, 25 miles NNW of Krakatoa Island. LtCdr Norman V. J. T. Thew's destroyer HMS JUPITER is escorting the former passenger-liner SS WASHINGTON, now the troop transport USS MOUNT VERNON (AP-22), en route to Aden after debarking British and Canadian troops troops at Singapore.

Detached from escorting MOUNT VERNON, HMS JUPITER races to respond to a distress message from a nearby merchant. After a two-hour ASDIC hunt, JUPITER detects an underwater contact and delivers two devastating depth-charge attacks. The heavily damaged I-60 surfaces astern of JUPITER – too close for her to use her main armament.

I-60 is damaged and unable to dive, but Hasegawa attempts to fight the destroyer with his 4.7-inch deck gun. JUPITER alters course and opens fire with her starboard Oerlikon AA gun. As I-60's sailors emerge from the conning tower to man the deck gun, the Japanese are raked by JUPITER's 20-mm Oerlikon fire. As they fall, other gunners run to take their place. I-60 manages to get off seven to eight shells a minute, even though the Oerlikons keep picking off the gun crew.

One of I-60's 4.7-inch rounds puts JUPITER's open-backed twin-gun mount "A" out of action, killing three men and wounding nine. JUPITER then fires two torpedoes at the submarine, but these also miss.

JUPITER's remaining four 4.7-in guns score two or three hits on I-60; her deck gun is no longer manned, but she returns fire from a 7.7-mm machine gun. Smoke pours from the listing submarine.

JUPITER closes on I-60 at full speed, silencing her machine gun with 20-mm fire. Another 4.7-inch shell hits I-60 between the stern and conning tower. An internal explosion occurs, after which smoke and flames emerge from the conning tower, which now seems to be on fire.

HMS Jupiter

JUPITER passes 15 feet abeam of I-60 and drops a shallow-set depth charge. Its explosion blows a sailor out of the conning tower and a sheet of flame rises to 15-20 feet from it. I-60 sinks by the stern in 500 fathoms of water at 06-19-30S, 104-49-20E. Only three of I-60's crewmen are picked up and taken prisoner, one of whom later dies. 84 submariners are lost. [2]

10 March 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Different sources suggest different dates for I-60's completion. 24 December 1929 appears in the authoritative "Showa Zosenshi" shipbuilding history, while other sources suggest 20 December.

[2] The contemporary British record of the sinking of I-60 states that "The enemy submarine was fought with great determination, her gun's crews being continually reinforced from inside the submarine until put out of action." From the interrogation of one of the two survivors the British naval intelligence concluded that I-60 had departed Kobe on 2 January 1942.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and Mr. Jean-Francois Masson of Canada. Special thanks also go to Mr. Klemen Lužar of the Netherlands, webmaster of the superb "Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941-1942" website, for providing additional details about the sinking of I-60.

Photo credit goes to diver/photo journalist Kevin Denlay of Australia.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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