Built at Sasebo Navy Yard as boat number 45. Laid down on August 25, 1937. Launched November 12, 1938. Completed on January 31, 1941 and registered in the Yokosuka Naval District in SubRon 1's SubDiv 2, Sixth Fleet. Assigned to Cdr Otani Kiyonori.
On November 17, 1941 officers of the Special Attack Unit are briefed on the Hawaii Operation. The I-24 is assigned to Captain Sasaki Hankyu's Special Attack Unit with the I-16, I-18, I-20 and the flagship, the I-22.
On February 11, 1943 while patrolling roughly 200 miles south of San Cristobal in the Coral Sea, I-18 spotted an American Task Force. Spotted by an OS2U Kingfisher from VCS-9 off light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50) about nine miles from the task force and drops a smoke marker and calls nearby USS Fletcher (DD-445) that makes contact with the target on sonar at 2,900 yards off her bow. At 3:27pm, she drops a pattern of depth charges At 3:39 a large area of oil and air bubble break the surface. Four minutes later an underwater explosion is heard. Three additional depth charges are dropped in center of the diesel oil area. After 3:46pm wreckage, cork, wood and other debris surfaced in a very large oil slick. I-18 sank at roughly Lat 14-15S, Long 161-53E with all 102 crew aboard. Officially, removed form the Navy list on April 1, 1943.
Combined Fleet - HIJMS Submarine I-18: Tabular Record of Movement
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August 4, 2020