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

IJN Submarine RO-55:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2011 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

Revision 2

5 August 1943:
Tamano. Laid down at Mitsui Zosensho as a 960-ton type K6 submarine.

23 April 1944:
Launched and designated RO-55.

30 September 1944:
Completed and based in the Maizuru Naval District. Lt Suwa Koichiro (64)(former CO of I-166) is the Commanding Officer. That same day, she is assigned to SubRon 11 for work-up.

15 October 1944:
Lt Suwa is promoted LtCdr. 4 January 1945:
Reassigned to SubDiv 34, Sixth Fleet.

9 January 1945 - American Operation "Mike One" - The Invasion of Luzon:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Thomas C. Kinkaid's (USNA 08) Task Force 77 lands almost 175,000 men of General Walter Krueger's Sixth Army at Lingayen Gulf, Philippines under cover of heavy gunfire from Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Jesse B. Oldendorf's (USNA 09) TG 77.2 bombardment force and aircraft of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Calvin T. Durgin's (USNA 16) TG 77.4. The Sixth Army begins the campaign to retake Luzon from General Yamashita Tomoyuki's 14th Area Army.

27 January 1945:
Departs Kure on her first war patrol for an area W of Mindoro.

2 February 1945:
E of Luzon. LtCdr Suwa reports RO-55 was attacked by enemy aircraft. Suwa adds that his arrival at his patrol area will be delayed five days. It is the last signal received from RO-55.

7 February 1945:
Off Iba, Luzon, Philippines. RO-55 attempts to attack a convoy of ships headed for Leyte Gulf. One of the convoy's escorts, LtCdr C. B. Henriques' USS THOMASON (DE 203), picks up a surfaced submarine on her SL radar. At 2330, Henriques attacks with barrages of 24 ahead-thrown Mark 10 "hedgehog" projector charges and sinks the submarine - probably RO-55 - at 15-27N, 119-25E.

1 March 1945:
Presumed lost with all 80 hands off the Philippines.

10 May 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan and to Matt Jones for additional CO info.

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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