IJN Submarine RO-36:
Tabular Record of
© 2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
27 May 1943:
Kobe. RO-36 is completed at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding,
commissioned in the IJN and assigned to the Maizuru Naval District. Lt Okada
Hideo (61) is the Commanding Officer.
31 May 1943:
Reassigned to SubRon 11.
20 August 1943:
Reassigned directly to the Sixth Fleet.
5 September 1943:
Departs Maizuru for Truk.
24 September 1943:
Departs Truk for the New Hebrides area on her first
13 October 1943:
Off New Hebrides. RO-36 attacks a lone merchant, but
fails to hit her. That same day, 40 crewmembers come down with food poisoning.
14 October 1943:
RO-36 is ordered to return to base.
21 October 1943:
Returns to Truk.
31 October 1943:
Reassigned to SubDiv 34.
1 November 1943:
Lt Okada is promoted LtCdr.
26 November 1943:
Lt Kawashima Tetsuo (64) is posted CO. LtCdr Okada
is later posted CO of I-176.
4 December 1943:
HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to RO-36.
6 December 1943:
HEIAN MARU transfers supplies to RO-36.
8 December 1943:
HEIAN MARU transfers supplies to RO-36 and I-36.
RO-36 departs Truk to reconnoiter Espiritu Santo on her second war patrol.
8 January 1944:
Returns to Truk.
19 January 1944:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to RO-36 and
31 January 1942:
HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to RO-36 and RO -40.
31 January 1944: American Operation "FLINTLOCK" - The Invasion of the
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA '10) Task
Force 58 lands the 4th Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division that
capture the Kwajalein, Roi-Namur and Majuro atolls.
Truk. That same day, HEIAN MARU transfers torpedoes to RO-36 and RO-40.
25 January 1944:
Truk. HEIAN MARU transfers stores to RO-36 and
1 February 1944:
LtCdr Kawashima Tatsuo (64) is posted as the next CO
17 to 19 February 1944:
TF 58 raids Truk. RO-36, I-10 and RO-42
attempt to intercept the attackers.
25 February 1944:
Departs Truk to patrol in the Marshalls on her
third war patrol.
1 March 1944:
The RO-36 is redirected to reconnoiter Roi Island.
4 March 1944:
After sunset, RO-36 surfaces off Roi, but fails to
detect any enemy forces.
15 March 1944:
RO-36 is redirected to an area 60 miles E of
Kwajalein and then to Pingelap Atoll to rescue Japanese coast-watchers.
23 March 1944:
Pingelap Atoll. The RO-36 takes the coast-watchers
28 March 1944:
Returns to Truk.
15 April 1944:
Departs Truk for Maizuru.
22 April 1944: American Operations "PERSECUTION" and "RECKLESS" - The
Landings on New Guinea:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Daniel E. Barbey’s
(USNA ’12) Task Force 77 lands the 41st and 24th Infantry divisions of Lt Gen
(later General) Robert L. Eichelberger's I Corps at Aitape and Tanahmerah Bay
(PERSECUTION) and at Humboldt Bay, Hollandia, New Guinea (RECKLESS).
26 April 1944:
The RO-36 returns to Maizuru for an overhaul. While in
port, LtCdr Kawashima Tatsuo assumes command.
4 June 1944:
Departs Maizuru via Saeki, Kyushu on a supply run to
Wewak, New Guinea.
11 June 1944:
Departs Saipan on her fourth war patrol to patrol off
northern coast of New Guinea
13 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The Defense of the Marianas:
The CINC, Combined Fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu (33)(former CO of HYUGA),
activates A-GO and orders Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo (39)(former CO of MUTSU),
CINC, Sixth Fleet (Submarines) to redeploy his boats to the Marianas. From his
Headquarters on Saipan, Takagi orders all available submarines to deploy E of
After the Japanese detect the presence of an American Task Force off the
Marianas, RO-36 is redirected to the Saipan area with RO-43 and reassigned to
SubRon 7 at Truk.
The RO-36 sends a regular situation and weather report that day to
ComSubRon 7. It is the last report received from RO-36.
75 miles E of Saipan. Cdr (later Captain) Warner R. Edsall’s (later CO of
USS MISSOURI-BB-63) USS MELVIN (DD-680) is part of the screen of Task Group
52.17's battleships approaching to bombard Saipan. About midnight, MELVIN's
radar detects a surfaced submarine. Cdr Edsall closes and opens fire with his
5-inch main armament. MELVIN sinks the submarine - probably the RO-36 - with
depth charges at 15-21N, 147-00E.
12 July 1944:
Presumed lost with all 77 hands N of New Guinea. Lt
Kawashima is promoted LtCdr, posthumously.
10 August 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and to Matt Jones
for additional CO info in Rev 2.
– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
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