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WWII Japanese submarine found off Hawaiian coast

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#1 Bill Murray

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 03:30 AM

Found this article in the Chicago Sun Times today. I thought I remember discussing these submarines of the 400 series here but can't seem to locate the appropriate posts though.

WWII Japanese submarine found off Hawaiian coast

March 21, 2005

HONOLULU -- The wreckage of a large World War II-era Japanese submarine has been found by researchers in waters off Hawaii.

A research team from the University of Hawaii discovered the I-401 submarine Thursday during test dives off Oahu.

"We thought it was rocks at first, it was so huge," said Terry Kerby, pilot of the research craft that found the vessel. "But the sides of it kept going up and up and up, three and four stories tall. It's a leviathan down there, a monster."

An I-400 and I-401 were captured at sea a week after the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Their mission -- which was never completed -- reportedly was to use the aircraft to drop rats and insects infected with bubonic plague, cholera, typhus and other diseases on U.S. cities.

When the bacteriological bombs could not be prepared in time, the mission was reportedly changed to bomb the Panama Canal.

Both submarines were ordered to sail to Pearl Harbor and were deliberately sunk later.

The Japanese sub is the second discovered off Oahu by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory.

Bill Murray

"God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."
Billy Currington

#2 Za Rodinu

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 11:14 AM

Well, it sure did miss the Panama Canal by a bit!

Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra...

#3 chromeboomerang


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Posted 23 March 2005 - 01:09 AM

Wonder if it was a biggie. One of the fast underwater type they were putting together late in war. Interesting to find out who the crew was, & if it will be raisable.

#4 Bill Murray

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 01:35 AM

While looking through the web today for more information about these boats I found this;

On 26 July 1945, I-400 and I-401 set out on a combat mission to launch their aircraft in Kamikaze attacks on the American fleet anchorage at Ulithi. In coordination with a Kaiten attack, they were scheduled to launch early on 17 August, but by then hostilities had ceased. Both boats therefore returned to Japan and were surrendered to the Allies. After the war, these two were taken to the United States, examined, and finally scuttled in the Pacific in 1946. I-402 was converted to carry precious fuel to Japan from the East Indies, but never performed such a mission. She was scuttled off Goto Island in 1946. Construction of two further boats of this design, I-404 and I-405, was stopped before completion, although I-404 was 90% complete. A further 13 boats were canceled before construction started.

This comes from the website; http://www.combinedf...om/sen_toku.htm

Which goes on to list some of the specs regarding this class of boats the Japanese were putting together. Evidently in addition to being monstrous, they were even bigger than the largest US sub (USS Argonaut) and displaced over 6500 tons when fully loaded they could travel along way to having a range greater than 37,000 nautical miles.
Bill Murray

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#5 camz



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Posted 23 March 2005 - 04:37 AM

I was linked to a great story about the Transpacific voyage of H.I.J.M.S. I-400 well worth the read.
I also though some of the things in the story were quite funny i think you may agree.


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