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Topic: Midget submarine identities - Part 2, Read Part 1 first< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Chris Johnson Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2001,4:09  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ken-

Wonderful summary on the midgets for those who haven't heard about them all that much.

One question...how long ago did the National Museum of the Pacific War in Texas move the Ha-19 from its outdoors exhibit to its new indoors one?

Regards!

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Joyce Rusch Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 06 2001,2:59 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi all,

My father Arthur R. Lee said that his guardian Ted Rutherford stated that Midget B and it's crew were used as filling for a construction site at the sub base. The sub was then covered with cement. Ted considered it a fitting end for the crew.  

Joyce Rusch

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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 07 2001,6:38 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Joyce,

Yes, Midget B was buried at the submarine base in a large hole that had already been excavated for a quay wall. Her crew were reportedly buried in the boat.

They have since been pretty much forgotten by history. The boat is still there today, with or without its crew.

(Edited by Ken Hackler at 2:41 pm on Oct. 13, 2001)

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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2001,9:01 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Ken,
The newspapers of the day said the crew was buried with the sub. One of the sailors that helped take the parts from the "Monaghan" sub to repair the "Sakamaki" sub told me that the "Monaghan" sub had no deceased aboard during that process.

The puzzle continues on the total number of Japanese burials, disinterments, etc...

HTH,

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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 08 2001,10:29 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

David,

I have heard that as well, but would still love to hear from the gentleman you mention.  I guess my question would be: Why have a funeral service when the boat was buried if the crew remains had been taken out of the boat?

As we discussed last month in e-mail, the rumor I heard was that one body, or at least a portion of one body, was removed in the process of opening Midget B for inspection (i.e., removing the mangled front half of the boat).  That body (or portion) was buried separately.  That's why I was asking if you had any idea where documentation was that discussed the return of remains to Japan after the war.

This is a mystery that I would like to solve!

(Edited by Ken Hackler at 3:29 pm on May 8, 2001)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2001,5:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

According to E.E. Blythe, a destroyer sailor of the PHELPS...In early 1942, "when the cleanup in the harbor got underway, they raised the little sub and brought  it over to the sub base and laid in on the pier they were building. It was a weird looking thing with the hull crushed and the conning tower damaged by gunfire. They didnt bother to remove the bodies... I was glad when they rolled the sub into the hole and covered it up. The stench was terrible, especially on the midwatch I stood as I walked up and down the roped off area." THe two Japanese crewmen, left in the sub, had been thus buried after an appropriate military ceremony.

Link can be found at http://www.pacshiprev.com/page37.html
EDITED by JNGlover at 6:20 am on June 13, 2001)

Edited by Tracy White on --

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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2001,9:41 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

JNGlover,

Thanks for the interesting link!  By and large it's anyone's guess when that boat was actually buried.  Most stories say it was recovered in early December and buried before Christmas (roughly).  A few stories say it was later than that, in Jan or Feb 42.

LCDR Edwin Layton was the Fleet Intelligence Officer at CINCPAC, and he told the Hewitt Inquiry that the boat was not raised for some time after the attack, but was not specific on the time frame.  The Base Salvage Unit records contained in the Pearl Harbor Attack Hearings only say that the midget was surveyed for recovery during the month of December 41, but again, no salvage date is given.

Other accounts have the boat on a pier over at the Navy Yard (in some cases) or the submarine base (in most cases), as soon as 3 days after the attack.  

In reality she was raised and delivered to the Submarine Base on December 21, 1941, by the Base Salvage Force, as documented by the daily reports submitted by the Salvage Force Commanding Officer. Those reports are not included in the Attack Hearings though.

The SUBRON 4 salvage report on Midget C contains information on Midget B also, and it was dated December 26, 1941.

I've learned not to believe anything I've heard or read concerning the midget submarines until I check and verify the information 6 different ways, simply because of the sheer number of rumors.

By the way, the link you provided contained the statement that the hatch on Midget D (the 1960 boat) was locked from the outside.  That is incorrect.  The conning tower hatch was unlocked and opened from the inside, and no crew remains were found in the boat.  That's why there was so much silly speculation about the crew making it to Honolulu and living quietly until after the war.

See what I mean about rumors and incorrect statements?  Question everything until you verify it, including what I say!

Edited by Ken Hackler on --

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2001,5:47 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi, Ken

". . .the rumor I heard was that one body, or at least a portion of one body, was removed in the process of opening Midget B for inspection (i.e., removing the mangled front half of the boat).  That body (or portion) was buried separately.  That's why I was asking if you had any idea where documentation was that discussed the return of remains to Japan after the war. "

In 78/79 while living in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, the grave
site of Lt. Iwasa, Naoji was pointed out to me.  Could this be the
remains of the above of which you speak.  The question is, is this
an actual grave or a symbolic internment?  Lt. Iwasa and family
were from Maebashi. Since that period ['78] I have been interested in the I-22 and the attached midget sub.  This might
shed some light on identification of one of the subs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2001,8:59 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha F Johns,
You answered your question, this is a symbolic internment. There are only two actual bodies from Pearl Harbor returned to Japan which are in their family grave plots...Lt Fusata Iida, who crashed at Kaneohe Naval Air Station and given honors by the US Marines at his burial next to those killed at that base....and Petty Officer First Class Shigenori Nishikaichi, who crashed on Niihau Island, buried at Kauai, and identified after the war by that location.
HTH,
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Ken Hackler Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 02 2001,7:08 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fred,

To further explain what David said, the site you mentioned was symbolic simply because six of the ten the midget submariners were lost at sea (2 bodies were recovered from Midget B, 1 body from Midget C washed ashore on the eastern side of Oahu, and ENS Kazuo Sakamaki was captured alive).  The other bodies were not recovered.

I can make a very good case based on documentation (and am doing so for a magazine article as we speak) that the I-22 Midget was Midget D (recovered in 1960).  LT Iwasa and his crewman abandonded the boat due to mechanical problems, and drowned in the process. Their bodies were lost at sea.

In a sense, it is fitting that Midget D was Iwasa's boat since he was the leader of the Special Attack Force.  The symbolic value of having his submarine at Eta Jima is appropriate I think, particularly when it is considered that Midget D (Iwasa's boat) was more than likely sunk BEFORE Midget A (the Ward boat).

It seems fitting to me that the first man/boat to be lost was the leader of the group.

Edited by Ken Hackler on --

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