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The search for and salvage of I-52.

Discussion in 'Submarines and ASW Technology' started by Richard Murphy, Oct 11, 2000.

  1. Richard Murphy

    Richard Murphy Member

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    The Japanese submarine I-52 (Using the codename "U-Föhre" or "Tanne".) was sunk off the Cape Verde Isles by aircraft from the "Jeep" carrier Bogue on 23rd June 1944, whilst on a mission to Germany.
    According to Clay Blair in his excellent "Hitler's U-Boat War, Volume Two; The Hunted" an American salvor, Paul Tiwell, claimed to have found the wreck (Whose cargo included Gold, Opium, Quinine and Molybdenum (Whatever that is!!) as well as Tin, rubber and wolfram.), in 1995 but was stopped by legal entanglements and a lack of money from making further explorations or attempting the recovery of the cargo by the end of 1998.

    Does anyone know if the attempts continued (Blair wrote the book in 1998.) up til now?

    Regards,

    Rich
     
  2. Richard Murphy

    Richard Murphy Member

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  3. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo Member

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  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    http://www.geocities.com/tasosmit2001/discoverI52.htm

    At 21 November 1998, the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, famous for filming the RMS. Titanic for the James Cameron movie Titanic, with the russian Subs Mir1 and 2 diving at depth 5240 meters (over a mile deeper than Titanic) discovered and filmed the lost sub.

    Designed and constructed by Mitsubishi, over 350 feet long, cruising range of 27,000 nautical miles , this cargo carrying (capable of 300 tons) submarine could circumnavigate the earth. One of these submarines was designated the I-52.

    On her maiden voyage, I-52 headed for German occupied France carrying an impressive cargo including 228 metric tons of tin, 2.3 tons of opium and 54 tons of rubber. Some of Japan's finest technical and engineering minds were on board heading to Germany to study the very latest war technology developed by the Nazis. And, also packed on the I-52, two metric tons of .995 fine gold bullion to replenish the Imperial Japanese gold account in Berlin.

    The VC-69, a squadron of specially equipped Avengers flying from the USS Bogue, practiced night operations to be ready for the task. The Avengers carried the first ever weapons in, what now call, electronic warfare. Wireless recorders, onboard radar, sound-buoys and acoustic seeking torpedoes gave the VC-69 a powerful and deadly edge.

    Just after midnight June 24th 1944, the scheduled rendezvous of the two submarines (west of Cape Verd Islands) and the Avengers are launched in a spoke like pattern. Commander Jesse Taylor picks up a target. At 1500 feet a magnesium flare is deployed and lights the night sky. Commander Taylor see "the biggest submarine I have ever seen" the I-52. The first attack is with depth bombs. A near miss kills a Japanese crew member standing on the deck of I-52. The submarine crash dives, Taylor launches his sonar buoys and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins. The I-52 tries to evade, Taylor picks up the direction and a torpedo launches from the Avenger. The sounds of an explosion ring in Taylor's earphones and I-52 sinks with all hands to over 17,000 feet, with the 112 men onboard.

    http://entertainment.msn.com/movies/movie.aspx?m=166852

    http://www.crocodilefotos.com/portfolio_index.htm#i52

    http://www.nauticos.com/I-52.htm

    In 1995, Paul Tidwell located the wreck 5240 meters deep, mostly upright. Her conning tower is intact and her hull number is still visible. The bow is broken up, probably due to impact on the bottom, and a large hole, undoubtedly caused by one of the torpedoes, is aft of the conning tower. Debris was scattered over a large area. Plans were made to raise the sub and recover the gold. The Japanese government objected, indicating that they considered the wreck site was a grave. Tidwell has worked on the proper proceedures with the Japanese government and has received the blessing from the war graves authorities in Japan. Tidwell took down a Japanese Naval Ensign and fixed it to the wrecked submarine. A metal box from the debris field was brought to the surface in the hope that it would contain some of the sunken gold, but when opened, the salvagers were disappointed to find not gold, but opium. It was dumped overboard.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_submarine_I-52

    [​IMG]

    Is the **** gold still there...?
     

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