(KS type RO-109 scanned from "Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy" by Polmar and Carpenter)

IJN Submarine RO-102:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 4

30 September 1941:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Jukogyo K.K. as a 525-ton (standard) Kaisho (KS) Type submarine No. 212.

17 April 1942:
Launched as RO-102.

20 July 1942:
Lt (later Captain, JMSDF) Orita Zenji (59)(former CO of I-156) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO) of RO-101 and RO-102 as an additional duty.

10-30 September 1942:
Lt Orita is appointed the CEO of I-177 as an additional duty.

15 October 1942:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 June 1943; Cdr, posthumously) Kanemoto Shoji (61)(former torpedo officer of I-4) is appointed CEO.

17 November 1942:
Completed and attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to Kure SubRon for working-up. Lt Kanemoto Shoji is the Commanding Officer.

16 January 1943:
Reassigned to Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Harada Kaku's (former CO of CVS CHIYODA) SubRon 7 in Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) Eighth Fleet at Rabaul.

25 January 1943:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk.

8 February 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

11 February 1943:
Departs Truk for Rabaul.

15 February 1943:
Arrives at Rabaul.

22 February 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her first war patrol to patrol S of New Guinea.

15 March 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

30 March 1943: Operation "I-GO" - The Reinforcement of Rabaul.
Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI), CINC Combined Fleet, orders aircraft from CarDiv 1's ZUIKAKU and ZUIHO to reinforce Vice Admiral Kusaka Jinichi's (former CO of FUSO) 11th Air Fleet's base at Rabaul. Yamamoto also orders aircraft from CarDiv 2's HIYO and JUNYO to reinforce the base at Ballale Island, near Buin, Bougainville.

Departs Rabaul on her second war patrol with RO-103 for an area SE of Guadalcanal in support of "I-GO".

12 April 1943:
Returns to Rabaul.

29 April 1943:
Departs Rabaul on her third war patrol for an area SE of Rabi, New Guinea.

2 May 1943:
Arrives at her assigned area.

9 May 1943:
S of New Guinea. Lt Kanemoto sends a report to Rabaul in which he notes the absence of the enemy in his patrol area. It is the last message received from RO-102.

15 May 1943:
RO-102 is ordered to return to Rabaul, but does not acknowledge the order.

2 June 1943:
Missing and presumed lost with all 42 hands S of Rabi. [1]

15 July 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] RO-102 is often listed as lost in action against PT-150 and PT-152 off Lae on 13/14 May 1943. In reality, the PT-boats' adversary was I-6, who survived the encounter. Some sources confuse her with I-18, sunk by USS FLETCHER (DD-445) off San Cristobal on 11 February 1943. The circumstances surrounding the loss of RO-102 remain unknown.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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