(RO-63 - Scanned from "Submarines of World War II" by E. Bagnasco)

IJN Submarine RO-65:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2001-2013 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp:
Revision 2

15 November 1924:
Kobe. Laid down Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 990-ton L4 submarine.

19 September 1925:
Launched and designated RO-65.

1 March 1926:
Lt (later Rear Admiral) Saito Eisho (42) is posted Chief Equipping Officer.

30 June 1926:
Completed and cand attached to Sasebo Naval District. Lt Saito is the CO. Assigned to SubDiv 27, First Fleet.

15 January 1927:
SubDiv 27 is reassigned to SubRon 1.

1 December 1927:
Lt Saito is promoted LtCdr.

16 May 1928:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Uozumi Jisaku (42) is posted CO.

20 September 1929:
Lt (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Otake Toshio (45) (former XO/(former torpedo officer of I-122) is posted CO.

30 November 1929:
Lt (later Captain) Nagai Takeo (47) is posted CO.
1 April 1931:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo.
1 December 1931:
LtCdr (later Captain) Sugiura Kuro (47) is posted CO.

20 August 1932:
LtCdr (later Captain) Hamano Motokazu (47) is posted CO.

15 November 1933:
Vessel placed in Reserve.

1 November 1934:
Lt (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Emi Tetsuhiro (50) (former torpedo Officer, I-54) is posted CO.

15 November 1934:
Lt Emi is promoted LtCdr.

28 February 1935:
Lt (later Vice Admiral, posthumously) Matsumura Kanji (50) (former torpedo Officer, I-5) is posted CO.

15 November 1935:
Lt Matsumura is promoted LtCdr.

1 December 1936:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo. 20 March 1937:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral, posthumously) Togami Ichiro (51) is posted CO.

1 November 1939:
Lt (later Cdr, posthumously) Ota Takeshi (55) (former CO of KURI) is posted CO.

20 March 1940:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Ueno Toshitake (56) (former CO of RO-61) is appointed CO.

10 August 1940:
ComSubDiv 27, Cdr Otake Toshio, assumes joint command of RO-65.

28 September 1940:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Harada Hakue (52)(former CO of RO-68) is appointed CO.

31 July 1941:
LtCdr (later Captain, posthumously) Kudo Kaneo (56) is posted CO.

2 December 1941: Operation "Z":
The coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" is received from the Combined Fleet. It signifies that hostilities will commence on 8 December (Japan time). Mt. Niitaka, located in Formosa (now Taiwan), is then the highest point in the Japanese Empire.

5 December 1941:
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. RO-65 is in Captain (Rear Admiral posthumously) Fukaya Sokichi’s (46) SubDiv 27 of Rear Admiral Onishi Shinzo's (42) SubRon 7 in Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Inoue Shigeyoshi's (37)(former CO of HIEI) Fourth Fleet with RO-66 and RO-67.

RO-65 proceeds to Roi.

6 December 1941:
Departs Roi for the Wake Island area.

8 December 1941: The First Attack on Wake Island:
Kwajalein. SubDiv 26 is on 'standby alert' at the outbreak of hostilities.

Wake Island is assaulted by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (39)(former CO of KISO) Occupation Group: DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, eight destroyers, two transports and RO-65, RO-66 and RO-67. The United States Marines beat back the first assault with their 5-inch shore batteries. Kajioka loses LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Takatsuka Minoru’s (56) destroyer HAYATE to the shore batteries and LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Ogawa Yoichiro’s (57) destroyer KISARAGI to Marine Grumman F4F "Wildcats".

12 December 1941:
CarDiv 2's HIRYU and SORYU are detached from Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Nagumo Chuichi's (36)(former CO of YAMASHIRO) Striking Force returning from Pearl Harbor to reinforce Kajioka, as is Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Hiroaki's (39)(former CO of FUSO) CruDiv 8's TONE, CHIKUMA and two destroyers. Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (38)(former CO of MUTSU) CruDiv 6's AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO, FURUTAKA, seaplane tender CHIYODA and two other destroyers also reinforce Kajioka. Rear Admiral Abe, now senior officer present, has overall command.

SubDiv 26's RO-61, RO-60 and RO-62 are assigned to the reinforced Wake Occupation Group.

13 December 1941:
Departs the patrol area.

17 December 1941:
Returns to Kwajalein with RO-67.

23 December 1941: The Second Attack on Wake Island:
After a magnificent stand, Wake's garrison is overwhelmed and surrenders.

25 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein on her second war patrol off Howland, Phoenix Islands.

2 January 1942:
Returns to Kwajalein.

7 January 1942:
Departs Kwajalein for Truk with RO-67.

11 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

16 January 1942:
Departs Truk to patrol S of the Cape St. George with RO-67 to support the invasion of Rabaul.

21 January 1942:
SubDiv 27 and SubDiv 23 are assigned to patrol and attack enemy craft in the St George Straits. The squadron is in the area for several days, but no Allied warships are sighted.

29 January 1942:
Returns to Truk.

10 February 1942:
SubDiv 27 is disbanded. RO-65 and RO-67 are reassigned to SubDiv 26.

15 February 1942:
Lt (later Cdr) Torisu Kennosuke (58) is posted CO. LtCdr Kudo is later posted CO of I-55.

18 February 1942:
Departs Truk with RO-67 to reconnoiter the Makin area.

28 February 1942:
Arrives at Ponape.

3 March 1942:
Departs Ponape for the Makin area.

17 March 1942:
Arrives at Jaluit, departs on the next day.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

27 March 1942:
Departs Saipan for Sasebo.

2 April 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

30 June 1942:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Egi Shoichi (60)(former torpedo officer of I-18) is appointed CO.

14 July 1942:
SubDiv 26 is reassigned to the Fifth Fleet.

10 September 1942:
Departs Sasebo with RO-67 for Ominato.

13 September 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

15 September 1942:
Departs Ominato for Paramushiro.

19 September 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro. 21 September 1942:
Departs Paramushiro for Kiska.

26 September 1942:
Arrives at Kiska just in time for an American air attack. RO-67 is repeatedly strafed and receives several near misses. Her periscopes and both electric engines are rendered inoperable. Departs for Ominato.

28 September 1942:
Another air attack on Kiska. RO-65 is strafed by fighter planes and receives minor damage to her conning tower.

1 October 1942:
Departs Kiska to reconnoiter Cold Bay with RO-62.

10 October 1942:
Penetrates Cold Bay.

15 October 1942:
Returns to Kiska.

17 October 1942:
Following the loss of destroyer OBORO in an air attack N of Kiska, RO-65 is dispatched to rescue her crew and to stand by to rescue the crew of damaged destroyer HATSUHARU.

19 October 1942:
Departs her patrol area.

21 October 1942:
RO-65 is redirected to reconnoiter Attu.

23 October 1942:
Reconnoiters Holz Bay, Attu.

31 October 1942:
Returns to Kiska.

3 November 1942:
Kiska. USAAF 11th AF B-24 "Liberator" heavy bombers raid the shipping in the harbor. After the alarm has been given, all submarines in the harbor crash-dive immediately. RO-65 dives, but with her conning tower hatch and main induction valve still open. The quartermaster attempts to secure the lower hatch, but the inrushing water shoves him aside.

The boat is heavily flooded and her stern receives a 30-degree down angle, until it touches the seabed. Seventeen sailors in the aft compartments and two machinists’ mates from the diesel engine compartment drown. A total of 45 sailors escape through the forward torpedo tubes. After the bow has lost all buoyancy, RO-65 sinks at 51-58N, 177-33E.

LtCdr Egi survives the accident and is posted Chief Equipping Officer of RO-107.

1 August 1943:
Removed from the Navy List.

September 1989:
Kiska. RO-65 is surveyed by divers from the USS SAFEGUARD (ARS-50). [2]

Authors' Notes:
[1] Author Brian Garfield claims that Major Wilbur Miller, USAAF sank RO-65 and then was himself shot down.

[2] The divers find RO-65's diving planes in a horizontal position, rather than pointed downward as they would be if she dove to escape the bombing. This finding tends to support the argument that her loss was due to an accident, except that there is external structural damage to her pressure hull and all her conning tower material lays off the side of her hull. Although this supports the bombing argument, it could be argued that the damage happened after her sinking.

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

– Bob Hackett

Back to Submarine Page