SENSUIKAN!

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

IJN Submarine RO-47:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp
Revision 3


28 December 1942:
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui Zosensho as a 960-ton type K6 submarine.

30 August 1943:
Launched and designated RO-47.

5 November 1943:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Hamazumi Yoshihisa (61) (former CO of RO-104) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer of RO-45 and RO-47 as an additional duty.

20 December 1943:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Nishiuchi Shoichi (60)(former CO of RO-63) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

31 January 1944:
Completed and attached to Maizuru Naval District. LtCdr Nishiuchi is the Commanding Officer.

27 March 1944:
Following an air strike on Palau, RO-47, I-44, I-183, RO-116 and RO-117 are ordered to proceed to an area E of Palau. Departs Kure.

28 March 1944:
Arrives at Tokuyama Fuel Depot. Refuels.

29 March 1944:
Departs Tokuyama.

5 April 1944:
Ordered to return to Kure.

13 April 1944:
Arrives at Kure.

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

13 June 1944: Operation "A-GO" - The Defense of the Marianas:
Admiral Toyoda Soemu, (33)(former CO of HYUGA), CINC, Combined Fleet, 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.

14 June 1944:
Departs Yokosuka to patrol off Saipan.

15 June 1944: American Operation "FORAGER" - The Invasion of Saipan, Marianas:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner's (USNA 08) Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps and the invasion of Saipan begins.

July 1944:
Communications between Takagi's Sixth Fleet on Saipan are disrupted by the invasion. Command of the Sixth Fleet's submarines passes to Rear Admiral Owada Noboru (44)(former CO of YAMASHIRO), ComSubRon 7 at Truk. He orders most of the Sixth Fleet's submarines to withdraw from the Marianas.

10 July 1944:
Vice Admiral Miwa Shigeyoshi (39)(former CO of KINU) at Kure assumes command of the Sixth Fleet from Rear Admiral Owada at Truk.

RO-47 departs her patrol area.

16 July 1944:
Arrives at Maizuru for repairs and overhaul. Later transferred to Kure.

1 August 1944:
Lt (LtCdr, posthumously) Ishikawa Nagao (65)(former torpedo officer of I-41) is appointed CO.

15 September 1944: American Operation "STALEMATE II" - The Invasion of the Palaus:
Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. Halsey's (USNA 04) Third Fleet lands the First Marine Division on Peleliu and the Army's 81st Division on Angaur Island.

17 September 1944:
Departs Kure to attack American amphibious forces invading Peleliu, Palau. RO-47 is sent to an area S of Palau.

24 September 1944:
Lt Ishikawa is ordered to proceed at full speed to the E of Palau. RO-47 is not heard from thereafter.

26 September 1944:
NE of Palau. LtCdr Edwin K. Winn's McCOY REYNOLDS (DE-440) is making a solitary run from Peleliu to Guam to join Task Force 57. At 0103, McCOY REYNOLDS' SL radar detects a target on the surface at 9,200 yds. When LtCdr Winn challenges, the contact disappears from his radar.

Sonar reports an underwater contact at 2,500 yds. At 0218, McCOY REYNOLDS fires a barrage of twenty-four Mark 10 ahead-thrown "Hedgehog" projector charges. The first salvo misses. LtCdr Winn makes six more attacks with "Hedgehog" and depth charges until 0615 when a heavy underwater explosion is felt. Soon, diesel oil and splintered wood planking spread across the surface at 09-19N, 136-44E. They signal the end of the submarine - probably RO-47.

2 November 1944:
Presumed lost with all 76 hands off the Palaus.

10 March 1944:
Removed from the Navy List.


Authors' Note:
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.


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