SENSUIKAN!

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

IJN Submarine RO-68:
Tabular Record of Movement

2001-2016 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp:
Revision 2


6 February 1924:
Kobe. Laid down Mitsubishi Shipbuilding as a 990-ton L4 submarine.

23 February 1925:
Launched and designated RO-68.

1 July 1925:
Lt (later Rear Admiral) Nakamura Motoji (39)(former CO of RO-15) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer.

29 October 1925:
Kobe. RO-68 is completed at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and attached to Maizuru Naval District. Assigned to SubDiv33. Lt Nakamura (promoted LtCdr 1 December) is the CO.

1 December 1926:
LtCdr (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo (39) (former CO of RO-28) is appointed CO.

1 December 1927:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Nabeshima Shunsaku (42) (former gunnery officer of RO-16) is appointed CO.

10 December 1928:
Placed in reserve at Maizuru. Lt (later Capt) Mizohata Sadaichi (46)(former gunnery officer of RO-65) is appointed CO.

1 November 1929:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 30 November) Hayashi Kazuo (45) (former CO of RO-32) is appointed CO.

1 December 1931:
Lt (promoted LtCdr 1 December 1932; later Captain) Fujimoto Tsutae (48)(former equipping officer of I-61) is appointed CO.

1 September 1933:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Ohashi Tatsuo (40)(current ComSubDiv 24/25) is appointed CO as an additional duty.

1 December 1933:
LtCdr Fujimoto Tsutae is appointed CO for a second time.

1 June 1934:
LtCdr (later Captain) Koizumi Kiichi (49)(former torpedo officer of I-55) is appointed CO.

15 November 1935:
LtCdr (later Captain) Shichiji Tsuneo (49)(former CO of RO-62) is appointed CO.

20 June 1936:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Emi Tetsushiro (50) (former CO of RO-65) is appointed CO.

1 December 1936:
LtCdr (Capt, posthumously) Irie Tatsushi (51)(former torpedo officer of I-61) is appointed CO.

20 March 1937:
LtCdr (later Captain) Tagami Meiji (51)(former torpedo officer of I-70) is appointed CO.

1 July 1937:
Placed in reserve at Maizuru. Lt (later Captain) Inaba Michimune (51)(current CO of RO-63) is appointed CO of RO-68 as an additional duty.

31 July 1937:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Izu Juichi (51)(former CO of RO-64) is appointed CO.

1 December 1937:
LtCdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Togami Ichiro (51) (former CO of RO-65) is appointed CO.

30 July 1938:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Hirokawa Takashi (51) (former CO of RO-34) is appointed CO.

1 November 1939:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Ichikawa Akira (52) (current CO of RO-33) is appointed CO of RO-68 as an additional duty.

15 November 1939:
Maizuru. RO-68 is assigned to SubRon 7's SubDiv 33, Fourth Fleet.

20 November 1939:
LtCdr (later Cdr) Yoshitome Zennosuke (current CO of I-122) is appointed CO of RO-68 as an additional duty.

25 November 1939:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Harada Hakue (52)(former CO of RO-61) is appointed CO.

20 March 1940:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Taoka Kiyoshi (55)(former CO of HATSUKARI) is appointed CO.

15 October 1940:
LtCdr (Captain, posthumously) Tanaka Makio (52) (former CO of RO-57) is appointed CO.

31 July 1941:
LtCdr (Cdr, posthumously) Izutsu Monshiro (57)(former torpedo officer of I-2) is appointed 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.

4 December 1941:
At Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. RO-68 is in Captain Nagai Takeo's (47) SubDiv 33 of Rear Admiral Onishi Shinzo's (42) SubRon 7, Fourth Fleet with RO-63 and RO-65. LtCdr Izutsu Monshiro is the Commanding Officer.

At 1400 (JST), departs Kwajalein at 1400 (JST) with the RO-64 to reconnoiter the Phoenix islands.

10 December 1941:
Redirected to Baker Island in search of a suspected flying boat base.

11 December 1941:
RO-68 surfaces off Baker Island and shells the local weather and radio stations from 0345 to 0410 (JST).

15 December 1941:
Returns to Kwajalein with RO-64.

24 December 1941:
Departs Kwajalein for Wake Island.

27 December 1941:
Arrives at Wake.

29 December 1941:
Departs Wake to patrol in the vicinity.

1 January 1942:
Returns to Wake.

2 January 1942:
Departs Wake for Truk.

7 January 1942:
Arrives at Truk.

15 January 1942:
Departs Truk with RO-63 and RO-64 to reconnoiter Rabaul, New Britain. Patrols S of Cape St. George.

29 January 1942:
Returns to Truk.

18 February 1942:
Departs Truk for the Marshalls area with RO-63 and RO-64.

23 February 1942:
Arrives at Ponape.

24 February 1942:
Departs Ponape with the RO-63 and RO-64 for the Marshalls.

11 March 1942:
Arrives at Kwajalein.

16 March 1942:
Departs Kwajalein.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Ponape, departs the next day.

24 March 1942:
Arrives at Saipan.

26 March 1942:
Departs Saipan for Maizuru with RO-63.

3 April 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

10 April 1942:
RO-68 is in SubRon 7's SubDiv 33, Fourth Fleet with RO-63 and RO-64.

23 May 1942:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Manabe Masateru (60)(former torpedo officer of I-64) is appointed CO.

5 June 1942:
Departs Maizuru for Saipan.

13 June 1942:
Arrives at Saipan, departs for Truk thereafter.

27 June 1942:
Departs Truk for Yokosuka.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 July 1942:
SubDiv 33 is transferred to the Fifth Fleet.

24 July 1942:
Departs Yokosuka for Paramushiro with RO-63 and RO-64.

29 July 1942:
Arrives at Paramushiro.

31 July 1942:
Departs Paramushiro for Kiska with RO-68.

4 August 1942:
Arrives at Kiska.

7 August 1942:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) William W. Smith's (USNA 09)(former Chief of Staff to Admiral H. E. Kimmel (USNA 04)) TG 8.6 shells Kiska. RO-68, RO-61, RO-64, and I-6 are anchored in the harbor. They crash-dive to escape damage. After the bombardment, some of the submarines are sent to intercept the task group, but they fail to overtake the enemy.

8 to 10 August 1942:
RO-68, RO-61, RO-63 and RO-64 sortie to intercept TG 8.6 but fail to make the contact.

11 to 13 August 1942:
Conducts search for the crew of a ditched reconnaissance plane.

17 to 20 August 1942:
Departs Kiska to patrol in the vicinity of the island.

28 to 30 August 1942:
Departs Kiska to patrol in the vicinity.

3 to 5 September 1942:
Departs Kiska to patrol in the vicinity.

6 to 11 September 1942:
Departs Kiska to patrol in the vicinity.

14 September 1942:
Kiska. USAAF B-17s and B-24s escorted by Lockheed P-38 "Lightnings"and Bell P-39 "Airacobras"of the USAAF's 11th Air Force bomb shipping in the harbor. RO-68 is strafed by P-39s. Both of her periscopes are rendered inoperable.

22-24 September 1942:
Departs Kiska to patrol S of the island.

25 September 1942:
SubDiv 33 is reassigned to the Kure SubRon.

26 September 1942:
Departs Kiska for Maizuru with RO-63 and RO-64.

5 October 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

5 November 1942:
ComSubDiv 33, Captain (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kato Ryonosuke (48) is appointed CO of RO-68 "on paper".

6 November 1942:
Departs Maizuru for Kure.

8 November 1942:
Arrives at Kure, used as training boat thereafter.

1 January 1943:
RO-68 is in the Kure SubRon's SubDiv 33 with RO-63 and RO-64. Training duties.

16 March 1943:
Lt (Cdr, posthumously) Tachigami Rikuta (60)(former torpedo officer of I-18) is appointed CO.

1 August 1943:
Lt (later LtCdr) Suzuki Shokichi (62)(former torpedo officer of I-8) is appointed CO.

1 January 1944:
RO-68 is in the Kure SubRon's SubDiv 33 with RO-63, RO-64 and RO-67. Continues training duties.

20 January 1944:
Lt (later LtCdr) Sugamasa Tetsuaki (65)(former torpedo officer of I-6) is appointed CO.

20 March 1944:
Lt Uesugi Kazuaki (63; promoted LtCdr 1 May)(former CO of RO-109) is appointed CO.

1 June 1944:
Lt (later LtCdr) Imai Kenji (66)(former torpedo officer of I-26) is appointed CO.

1 July 1944:
LtCdr Uesugi is appointed CO for a second time.

15 August 1944:
The RO-68 is reassigned to Kure Guard Unit.

14 October 1944:
Lt (later LtCdr) Yamanaka Nobuaki (66)(former torpedo officer of RO-113) is appointed CO.

1 January 1945:
RO-68 is in the Kure Naval District with RO-62 and RO-500.

5 May 1945:
The RO-68 is reassigned to SubDiv 51 of SubRon 7 with the RO-500 (ex-U 511).

1 June 1945:
Lt Samejima Osamu (67) (former CO of RO-67) is appointed CO.

15 August 1945: Cessation of Hostilities:
Maizuru. RO-68 is surendered.

30 November 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

30 April 1946:
Scuttled off Maizuru Bay with I-121 and RO-500.


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

Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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