IJN Submarine RO-38:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2017 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3

20 June 1942:
Laid down at Mitsubishi's Kobe Yard.

1 November 1942:
Numbered RO-38 and provisionally attached to Maizuru Naval District.

24 December 1942:
Launched as RO-38.

25 May 1943:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 June; Cdr, posthumously) Nomura Toshiharu (60)(former CO of RO-62) is appointed the Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

24 July 1943:
RO-38 is completed at Mitsubishi's Kobe Yard, commissioned in the IJN and attached to Maizuru Naval District. LtCdr Nomura Toshiharu is the Commanding Officer.

31 July 1943:
Assigned to SubRon 11 for working-up.

31 October 1943:
Reassigned to Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Shimizu Taro's (48) SubDiv 34, Sixth Fleet. Departs Kure for Truk.

8 November 1943:
Arrives at Truk.

19 November 1943:
Departs Truk en route to the Makin-Tarawa area of the Gilberts as a part of "A" Group on her first war patrol. There are no further contacts with RO-38 after her departure.

20 November 1943: American Operation "GALVANIC" - The Invasion of the Gilberts:
The Americans invade Tarawa and Makin Islands. The invasion fleet of 200 ships includes 13 battleships and 11 carriers.

Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo (39)(former CO of MUTSU), Commander, Sixth Fleet (Submarines) orders I-19, I-21, I-35, I-39, I-40, I-169, I-174 and I-175 and RO-38 to proceed to Tarawa and attack the invasion ships.

26 November 1943:
Vice Admiral Takagi orders RO-38, I-19, I-40 and I-169 to form a picket line N of Makin Island. RO-38 has the easternmost position (NE of Makin) in the planned line.

27 November 1943:
Sixth Fleet orders RO-38 to take up a new position SE of Tarawa.

4 December 1944:
Sixth Fleet orders RO-38 to proceed to a new position to intercept Allied shipping between Tarawa and Canton (Kanton) islands.

2 January 1944:
Presumed missing with all 77 hands off the Gilberts. [1]

30 April 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
[1] In all likelihood RO-38 was sunk by USS COTTEN (DD-669) on 24 November 1944 W of Tarawa while screening the carriers of TG 53.6.

Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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