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  I-10 Japanese Submarine
Type A1 Type

373' x 31' 2" x 17' 5"
2,919 Tons (surfaced)
4,129 Tons (submerged)
6 × 21" Torpedo tubes
1 × 140mm deck gun
2 x 25mm Type 96 AA guns
Yokosuka E14Y1 "Glen"

IJN 1942
Sub History
Built at Kawasaki Yard at Kobe. Laid down June 7, 1938 as Submarine No. 10. Launched September 20, 1939 as I-10. Commissioned October 31, 1941 in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) assigned to Commander Yasuchika Kayabara. Assigned to the Sasebo Naval District to the Sixth Fleet, SubRon 2.

On November 10, 1941 as the flagship of SubRon 2 assigned to Operation Z with Commander Kayabara briefed aboard Katori about the upcoming Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor and Oahu. For the operation, I-10 and I-26 were assigned to the reconnaissance unit with I-10 tasked with performing a reconnaissance of Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa in the South Pacific.

First War Patrol
On November 16, 1941 with a E9W1 floatplane embarked departs Yokosuka on her first war patrol bound for the South Pacific. On November 23, 1941 arrives Kwajalein and refueled then departs for Fiji. On November 30, 1941 off Fiji launches her E9W1 floatplane piloted by Lt. Yasuo Ando with FPO2c Saburo Asama on a mission to perform a reconnaissance over Suva Bay and report no enemy warships but fail to return. For three days, I-10 searches the area while maintaining radio silence without result then reports the loss to the Sixth Fleet.

On December 2, 1941 receives the coded signal "Niitakayama nobore (Climb Mt. Niitaka) 1208" that hostilities will commence. On December 3, 1941 performs a submerged reconnaissance of Pago Pago Harbor at Tutuila and spots a ship identified as an Astoria-class cruiser then departs for Hawaii.

On December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack arrives 1,300 miles south of Oahu. On December 9, 1941 departs her patrol area to search for USS Lexington (CV-3) and spots MV Donerail (formally MV Nordhval) and launches a torpedo that missed. Afterwards, surfaces and fires 20 shells from her deck gun at the vessel. One shell hits the ship's starboard lifeboat killing its crew and two hours later the ship sinks at Lat 08N, Long 152W.

On December 12, 1941 assigned to Advance Force and ordered to proceed to the west coast of the United States and patrol off San Diego. On January 9, 1942 attached to Sixth Fleet headquarters. On January 11, 1942 arrives Kwajalein and ten days ends the patrol at Yokosuka.

On March 10, 1942 reassigned to SubRon 8. On March 12, 1942 departs Yokosuka to chase U.S. Navy (USN) Task Force 11 (TF-11) unsuccessfully then eight days later arrives Kure.

On April 16, 1942 becomes the flagship of SubRon 8 in the "KO" (A) detachment under the command of Captain Noboru Ishizaki with I-16, I-18, I-20 and I-30 supported by Aikoku Maru and Hokoku Maru. Before departing, Captain Ishizaki and the submarine captains meet with Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto aboard Yamato then at 11:00am departs via Singapore arriving April 23, 1942 then proceeds to Penang. Enroute accidentally shelled by Urajio Maru but was undamaged. On April 25, 1942 arrives Penang.

Second War Patrol
On April 30, 1942 with Captain Noboru Ishizaki embarked departs Penang on her second war patrol for the Indian Ocean to perform reconnaissance of potential targets in eastern Africa by submarines from "KO" detachment using midget submarines.

On May 20, 1942 I-10 launches her Yokosuka E14Y1 Glen floatplane piloted by piloted by Lt(jg) Shunshi Araki for a reconnaissance over Durban in South Africa but fails to spot any warships or military targets. Detected on the ground and challenged by radio, the floatplane transmits a false identification signal then escapes. On May 24, 1942 heavy shipping traffic is reported en route to the target area.

On May 29, 1942 Japanese submarines I-10, I-16 and I-20 are in position to attack Diego-Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay) on Madagascar. To perform a reconnaissance over the target area, I-10 launches her E14Y1 Glen floatplane piloted by piloted by Lt(jg) Shunshi Araki at 10:30pm spots HMS Ramillies, destroyers HMS Duncan, HMS Active, corvettes HMS Genista and HMS Thyme, troopship HMS Karanja, hospital ship HMS Atlantis, MV British Loyalty, merchant MV Llandaff Castle and an ammunition ship. Based on this report, Captain Ishizaki orders a midget submarine attack the next night.

On May 30, 1942 at night I-16 and I-20 launch their Type A Midget Submarines to attack Allied ships in Diego-Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay).

On May 31, 1942 in an attempt to locate any surviving midget submarine crew members and assess damage, I-10 launched her E14Y1 Glen floatplane piloted by piloted by Lt(jg) Shunshi Araki on another reconnaissance over Diego-Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay).


On February 14, 1943 arrives off Auckland then patrols southward. On February 16, 1943 transits the Cook Strait and arrives off Wellington. On February 23, 22, 1943 intercepted radio messages indicate I-10 will transit the Cook Strait and RNZAF planes search but fail to find the enemy submarine. In fact, it transited a week prior.


On June 28, 1944 at noon, transmits a report from the Philippine Sea roughly 40 miles northeast of Saipan stating the submarine has been unable to break through the cordon of enemy ships. This is the last message received from I-10. On July 2, 1944 presumed lost with her crew of 103. In fact, the submarine was lost two days later.

Sinking History
On July 4, 1944 at 5:02pm in the Philippine Sea roughly 110 miles east of Saipan approaches Task Group 50.17 escorted by USS Breton (CVE-23) refueling at sea when USS Riddle (DE-185) detects an underwater contact and performs an emergency turn while Riddle performs a depth charge attack that is unsuccessful as the submarine turned into the wake of the convoy. Eighteen minutes later, sonar contact was restored and a three pattern hedgehog were fired but ineffective as the submarine dives deeper and turns aggressively. At 6:12pm Riddle made another depth charge attack without result.

At 7:22pm, the sonar contact range, bearing and target were transmitted to USS David W Taylor (DD-551) that established sonar contact and releases 11 depth charges set to explode at medium depth. Before making a second depth charge attack, a heavy underwater explosion was observed ahead and no further contact was made. By sunset, oil and debris were observed at roughly Lat 15° 26N Long 147° 48E. The next day, a nine mile oil slick was observed downwind from the point of attack. Officially removed from the Navy list October 10, 1944.

Combined Fleet - HIJMS Submarine I-10: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
June 29, 2021


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