SENSUIKAN!

(Kaichu type submarine scanned from "Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy" by Polmar and Carpenter)

IJN Submarine RO-45:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2011 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 1


20 October 1942:
Kobe. Laid down Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 960-ton type K6 submarine.

21 July 1943:
Launched and designated RO-45.

11 January 1944:
Completed and attached to the Maizuru Naval District. Assigned to SubRon 11. Cdr Hamazumi Yoshihisa is the Commanding Officer.

14 April 1944:
Reassigned to SubDiv 34, Sixth Fleet.

16 April 1944:
Departs Kure for Truk.

27 April 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

29 April 1944: The Second Task Force 58 Attack on Truk:
Early in the morning, a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" patrol plane from Truk sights an American task force (TF 58) heading north at 18 knots. ComSubRon 7 Rear Admiral Owada Noboru (44)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) orders the submarines stationed off the N coast of New Guinea to intercept them.

Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's (USNA 10)(former CO of HORNET, CV-8) Task Force 58, including five fleet carriers and seven light carriers, begins a two-day attack on shipping, fuel and ammunition dumps, aircraft facilities and other installations at Truk.

30 April 1944:
After another air attack on Truk, ComSubRon 7 orders RO-44, I-16, I-176, RO-106, RO-108 and RO-115 to intercept the American task force. The RO-45 is the only submarine that manages to make contact with the Americans.

40 miles S of Truk. That same day, Cdr J. W. Ramey's MACDONOUGH (DD-351) and Cdr C. H. Crichton's STEPHEN POTTER (DD-538) are on radar picket duty screening the carriers. At 0621 (local), MACDONOUGH makes radar contact on a surfaced submarine but loses contact when the submarine dives.

Sonar contact is soon established and the MACDONOUGH makes two depth charge attacks using both Mk. 6 and Mk. 9 (streamlined) depth charges. The STEPHEN POTTER also attacks. A Grumman F6F "Hellcat" from Captain S. H. Ingersoll's MONTEREY (CVL-26) provides spotting support. The Americans hear several explosions, then oil and debris come to the surface signaling the end of the submarine - probably RO-45 - at 06-13N, 151-19E. [1]

20 May 1944:
Presumed lost in the Truk area with all 74 hands.

10 July 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Notes:
[1] Some accounts claim RO-45 was sunk off Saipan on 20 April 1945 by USS SEAHORSE (SS-304), but these are erroneous since RO-45 was active after this date. Other accounts misidentify MACDONOUGH s victim as I-174.

Special thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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