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

IJN Submarine RO-116:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3

16 January 1943:
Senshu, Tanagawa Ward (near Osaka). Laid down at Kawasaki Jukogyo K.K. as a 525-ton Kaisho (KS) Type submarine No. 407.

5 July 1943:
Re-numbered RO-116 and provisionally attached to Yokosuka Naval District.

13 September 1943:
Launched as RO-116. Towed to Kawasaki's Kobe shipyard thereafter.

20 December 1943:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Okabe Takeshi (63)(former CO of RO-59) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

21 January 1944:
Completed and attached to Yokosuka Naval District. Assigned to SubRon 11 for working-up. Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 May) LtCdr Okabe Takeshi is the CO.

28 March 1944:
Arrives at the 3rd Fuel Depot at Tokuyama to refuel.

29 March 1944:
Departs Tokuyama.

31 March 1944:
Departs Japan on her first war patrol with RO-117 to intercept an enemy task force reported in the Palau area.

13 April 1944:
Returns to Japan.

4 May 1944:
Reassigned to SubDiv 51 of Rear Admiral Owada Noboru's (former CO of YAMASHIRO) SubRon 7 in Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo's (39)(former CO of MUTSU) Sixth Fleet (Submarines).

RO-116 departs Kure for Saipan.

10 May 1944:
Arrives at Saipan.

15 May 1944:
Departs Saipan on her second war patrol to form a picket line N of the Admiralty Islands to warn of American invasion forces approaching the Palaus.

18 May 1944:
The U.S. Navy intercepts radio traffic that indicates the Japanese have established a new submarine picket "NA" line between Truk and the Admiralty Islands to intercept American carriers. LtCdr Walton B. Pendelton's USS ENGLAND (DE-635) departs Purvis Bay, off Florida Island, Solomons with LtCdr James Scott's USS RABY (DE-698) and LtCdr Fred W. Just's GEORGE (DE-697) as a hunter-killer group to attack the "NA" line.

24 May 1944:
225 miles NNW of Kavieng. At 0120 (L), GEORGE makes a radar contact at 17,000 yds, but eight minutes later the contact disappears from her screen. At 0150, ENGLAND makes a sonar contact at a range of about 750 yds. At the depth of 170 ft, RO-116 commences violent evasive maneuvers, using frequent shifts of rudder to create water disturbances in her wake and attempting to jam the attacker's QCS sonar with bursts of tuned sound impulses. After two aborted attack runs, LtCdr Pendelton fires a salvo of twenty-four ahead-thrown Mk. 10 "Hedgehog" projector charges. At least three hit and sink RO-116 at 00-53N, 149-14E. Several pieces of deck planking are recovered after sunrise.

25 June 1944:
Presumed lost with all 56 hands N of the Admiralty Islands.

10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Thanks for assistance go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan, Mr. Jean-François Masson of Canada and Steve Eckardt of Australia.

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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