IJN Submarine RO-66:
Tabular Record of Movement

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

1 December 1925:
Kobe. Laid down at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 990-ton L4 submarine.

25 October 1926:
Launched and designated RO-66.

28 July 1927:
Completed and attached to Sasebo Naval District. Lt (later Capt) Hirano Rokuzo (41) is the CO. Assigned to SubDiv 27, SubRon 1..

10 December 1928:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Okushima Shosaburo (44) is posted CO.

15 November 1930:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo.

1 May 1931:
Lt (later Captain) Shimazui Takemi (47) is posted CO. LtCdr Okushima assumes full-time command of I-22.

2 November 1931:
LtCdr (later Captain) Mizohata Sadakazu (46) is posted CO.

15 November 1933:
Placed in reserve at Sasebo.

15 November 1934:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kayabara Yasuchika (49) (former navigating officer, CHOGEI) is posted CO.

15 February 1936:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Shibata Genichi (51)(former CO of destroyer FUJI) is posted CO.

20 March 1937:
LtCdr (later Captain) Kawasaki Michio (51) is posted CO.

31 July 1937:
LtCdr (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Matsumura Kanji (50) (former CO of RO-65) is posted CO. LtCdr Kawasaki is later posted CO of I-71.

1 December 1937: LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Inoue Norikane (51) is appointed CO.

19 March 1938:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Nakamura Shozo (54) is posted CO. LtCdr Inoue Takadane is later posted CO of I-75.

30 July 1938:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Inada Hiroshi (51) is posted CO.

20 March 1939: LtCdr (Cdr posthumously) Taoka Kiyoshi (55) is appointed CO.

27 July 1939:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Kohiga Masaru (53)(former CO of KURI) is appointed CO.

26 July 1940:
LtCdr Kurokawa Hideyuki (54) (former CO of I-124) 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.

6 December 1941:
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. RO-66 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-65 and RO-67. LtCdr Kurokawa Hideyuki is the Commanding Officer.

RO-66 departs with ComSubDiv 27 Captain Fukaya aboard to reconnoiter Wake Island.

8 December 1941: The First Attack on Wake Island:
Wake Island is assaulted by Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's (former CO of KISO) Occupation Group: DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, eight destroyers, two transports and RO-65, RO-66 and RO-67. United States Marines beat back the first assault with their 5-inch shore batteries. Kajioka loses LtCdr Takatsuka Minoru's destroyer HAYATE to the shore batteries and LtCdr Ogawa Yoichiro's 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, senior officer present, has overall command.

SubDiv 27 is ordered to return to Kwajalein. RO-65 and RO-67 depart, but due to radio failure RO-66 fails to receive the order and remains off Wake. SubRon 7's headquarters at Kwajalein attempts to contact her three times -- all in vain.

17 December 1941:
25 miles SW of Wake Island. At 2020 (JST), in a heavy squall as it is getting dark, both RO-62 and RO-66 surface to charge their batteries. Lookouts on both boats spot each other, but it is too late. The subs attempt to back off, but RO-66 is rammed by RO-62. RO-66 sinks. Three sailors from RO-66 are thrown overboard and picked up by RO-62, but 63 others are killed including LtCdr Kurokawa and ComSubDiv 27 Captain Fukaya. They are both promoted posthumously.

15 January 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.

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

– Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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