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

IJN Submarine RO-111:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3

20 August 1942:
Kobe. Laid down at Kawasaki Jukogyo K.K. as a 525-ton (standard) Kaisho (KS) Type submarine No. 402.

26 January 1943:
Launched as RO-111.

25 June 1943:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Nakamura Naozo (62)(former torpedo officer of RO-59) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

19 July 1943:
Completed and attached to Sasebo Naval District. Assigned to SubRon 11 for working-up. Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 May 1944) Nakamura Naozo is the CO.

20 July 1943:
Assigned to SubRon 7 in Vice Admiral, the Baron, Samejima Tomoshige's (former CO of NAGATO) Eighth Fleet.

31 October 1943:
Reassigned to SubDiv 30 in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Ichioka Hisashi's SubRon 8's of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Takasu Shiro's (former CO of CL ISUZU) Southwest Area Fleet. Departs Kure for Singapore.

16 November 1943:
Arrives at Singapore, then departs for Penang.

23 November 1943:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya.

6 December 1943:
Departs Penang on her first war patrol to raid enemy communications in the Bay of Bengal.

23 December 1943:
Indian Ocean, SE of Madras. RO-111 attacks the British convoy JC.30 en route from Swansea to Calcutta, comprising 12 ships. The 7,934-ton armed cargo ship PESHAWUR (ex-WAR DIANE) receives one torpedo hit in 11-11N, 80-11E and sinks two hours later. The master, 124 sailors, and 9 gunners are rescued by RAN minesweeping sloop IPSWICH, but the cargo, including 150 tons of explosives and 1983 tons of general cargo, is lost. [1]

29 December 1943:
RO-111 returns to Penang.

7 January 1944:
Departs Penang on her second war patrol to lay mines and raid enemy communications off the E coast of Ceylon.

10 January 1944:
Off Elephant Rock, Ceylon. Lays ten Type 3 Mod. 1 mines. [2]

Late January 1944:
Returns to Penang.

1 February 1944:
Departs Penang on her third war patrol in Ceylon area. Lays another minefield off Ceylon.

23 February 1944:
Returns to Penang.

7 March 1944:
At 0900 departs Penang for the Calcutta area on her fourth war patrol. During the departure she is briefly escorted by torpedo boats T-451 and T-455.

16 March 1944:
Bay of Bengal. Lt Nakamura attacks the convoy HC.44, en route from Calcutta to Chittagong. After receiving one torpedo hit, the 3,962-ton Indian armed troopship EL MADINA, flying HC.44's vice-commodore's flag, breaks in two at 20-54N, 89-36E; the stern section sinks within a few minutes. The rest of the convoy, including all escorts, leaves the area. The British-flagged Norwegian steamer LOVSTAD stops her engines and picks up 814 survivors. A total of 380 men, most of them Hindu and African troops, are lost.

25 March 1944:
SubDiv 30 is disbanded. RO-111 is reassigned to SubDiv 51, SubRon 7, Southwest Area Fleet.

Returns to Penang.

28 March 1944:
Departs Penang for Sasebo.

1 April 1944:
Arrives at Sasebo. Begins refit and overhaul.

22 May 1944:
Departs Sasebo.

31 May 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

4 June 1944:
RO-111, still under LtCdr Nakamura Naozo, departs Truk on her fifth war patrol for an area N of the Admiralty Islands.

7 June 1944:
RO-111 sends a regular situation report while moving in a patrol line S of Truk, but is MIA thereafter.

10 June 1944:
N of the Admiralty Islands. A General Motors FM-2 "Wildcat" fighter from Captain William V. Saunders' USS HOGGATT BAY (CVE-75) sights an oil slick. Cdr Nicholas J. Frank Jr's USS TAYLOR (DD-468), one of HOGGATT BAY's four screening escorts, detaches to investigate. TAYLOR makes sonar contact and drops two patterns of depth charges, but without effect.

Frank stops to get a better sonar echo. At 1541, a submarine surfaces about 2,500 yds ahead. TAYLOR opens fire with her main 5-inch armament and 40-mm AA guns. At least ten 5-inch shells and many 40-mm rounds hit the submarine. At 1546, RO-111 sinks by the stern at 00-26N, 149-16E. TAYLOR drops a pattern of depth charges over the oil slick. At 1558, she is rewarded by two heavy underwater explosions.

13 June 1944:
RO-111 is redirected to proceed to an area S of Guam at flank speed.

22 June 1944:
Headquarters SubDiv 51 orders RO-111 to return to Truk.

12 July 1944:
Presumed lost with all 54 hands.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
[1] Several survivors from PESHAWUR reported their ship was hit by an accoustic torpedo, but this was incorrect: RO-111 fired a Type 95 wakeless torpedo.

[2] Type 3 Mod. 1 was the IJN equivalent of the German TMC mine.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. Special thanks for assistance in researching the IJN officers mentioned in this TROM go to Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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