Crossing Paths
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Exit Stage Left

What happened in I-16tou and how the crew reacted and felt is totally subjective as no one else was there and no recordings inside exists. The only aspects of their possible actions is based on simple logic and reasoning from a submariner's perspective. By applying this formula and combining it with eyewitness accounts, After Action Reports, and the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard Tower Logs with accurate time records it is highly probable to determine what I-16tou did and where they went next.


The vibration of the explosion experienced underwater told them of the success of their latest attack. The crew of I-16tou were elated that another American battleship had felt the sting of their torpedoes. First, a Nevada-class battleship was confirmed to have rolled over in her berth soon after the release of their first torpedo. And now, the violent explosion of either a Colorado or a Pennsylvania-class battleship was felt after the release of their second torpedo.

But the elation was short-lived. Time was running out. The power level of their batteries was critically low. If that wasn't bad enough, the low O2 and high CO2 levels within their tiny hull was now a major concern. The control section of the midget submarine was now extremely uncomfortable. The sweat was rolling off the two men's bodies. The foul air made it hard to focus on their task at hand.

Their mission was a success. Their orders to return to the mother submarine were clear. The air attack on Pearl Harbor was still in play and this would help conceal their attempts to extract themselves from the southeast loch and get back into the channel that would lead them out to sea and home again.

A quick bearing to the Waipio Peninsula bank. A second bearing aft towards the Aiea bank. Course set, time to the turn at Hospital Point already calculated on their chart. One last scan for battle damage assessment. Periscope down, monitor the time on the stop watch. The passage to the next point seems like eternity. The occasional sounds of the attack up above can be heard through the water and hull but now is the time to focus on the task at hand, escape.

Time! Periscope up. There it is. The Waipio Peninsula bank looms large ahead but the real target is the channel buoy (C21). They were right on the mark. Warrant Officer Sadamu Kamita turned port to the designated exit bearing. Sub-Lieutenant Masaharu Yokoyama swiveled the periscope around to face Ford Island and conduct a last scan for the results of the attack on Pearl Harbor. All was running as planned.

At time 0820, I-24tou is hung up on the coral of the Tripod Reef near her expected arrival time at the Pearl Harbor entrance. I-24tou comes under fire from the destroyer USS Helm (DD-388), which confirms a submarine off Tripod Reef, bearing 290 degrees at a distance of 1200 yards from Buoy #1. The submarine appears to be touching bottom on the ledge of the reef, and in line of the breakers. A plain-language contact report of the submarine contact is sent to CINCPAC on frequency 2562 Kcs.

At approximately 0827, in the East Loch, in obedience to the order by flag hoist from the light cruiser USS Detroit (CL-8), the destroyer USS Monaghan (DD-354) gets underway and maneuvers to sortie from Pearl Harbor via the North Channel.

At approximately 0830, in the Middle Loch, in her nest, the Destroyer Minesweeper USS Zane (DMS-14) and Destroyer Minelayer USS Breese (DM-18), sights a strange submarine 200 yards astern of the Repair Ship USS Medusa (AR-1) moored at K-23. Zane loaded their gun 4 and prepared to fire but the gun would not bear as Zane was an inboard ship of the nest of five ships.

At approximately 0833, at NAS Ford Island, in berth F-10, the Seaplane Tender USS Tangier (AV-8) receives a report of a Japanese submarine in the channel.

At 0835, in the channel at the Minesweeping pier, the minesweeper USS Bobolink (AM-20) slips out of her nest and heads south to the first buoy.

At approximately 0836, in the Middle Loch, the Seaplane Tender USS Curtiss (AV-4), moored at K-22-S, sights a submarine periscope on starboard quarter, distance 700 yards.

In the Middle Loch, Medusa, moored at K-23, receives word a submarine periscope was sighted about 1000 yards on their starboard quarter or about 500 yards astern of Curtiss. Orders are given to open fire on the periscope.

Curtiss's 5" guns are ordered to "Fire on Submarine". #3 gun fires one shot over and two just short and directly at periscope. #2 gun open fires.

In the Middle Loch, in her nest, the Destroyer Minesweeper USS Perry (DMS-17) observes a submarine partially surfaced, heading toward Middle Loch and swinging toward the moorings of Medusa and Curtiss. The number four (4") gun is promptly manned and two shots are fired.

In the Middle Loch, in her nest, the Destroyer Minesweeper USS Trever (DMS-16) observes a periscope brake water between buoy K22-S and the new construction on Beckoning Point. Trever watches as Perry's after gun fires immediately and apparently hits just alongside the periscope. Within a few seconds the conning tower brakes water and the next shot from Perry makes a direct hit exploding in the conning tower.

Timeline plot of submarine sightings by the ships in the Middle Loch anchorage.

At NAS Ford Island, in berth F-10, Tangier spots an enemy submarine off starboard bow, distance about 800 yards and open fires with #1 A.A. gun (3"/50) fired six shots (AAR = time 0843).

In the Middle Loch, Medusa observes the submarine fire a torpedo at a small dock astern of Curtiss. The submarine then broaches to the surface with conning tower in plain sight. Many shots could plainly be seen hitting the conning tower from both Medusa and Curtiss. While being shelled, the submarine appears to be backing toward Curtiss.

At approximately 0835, in the East Loch, onboard the destroyer USS Monaghan (DD-354) it is reported that Curtiss is flying a flag hoist indicating the presence of an enemy submarine.

Very shortly after, in the East Loch, onboard Monaghan, the Captain and other personnel on the bridge observe the conning tower of a submarine located approximately 200-300 yards on the starboard quarter of Curtiss (moored at berth X-22), which is under vigorous fire from machine guns from Tangier (moored at Northwest end of Ford Island) and from both machine guns and 5" from Curtiss.

(Author's note: It is clearly seen by the AARs that the I-22tou was headed into the Middle Loch, passed behind USS Curtiss and Medusa, backed down (which cause her to broach), fired a torpedo at Curtiss (which missed and blew up a dock at Pearl City), possibly struck the bank off Beckoning Point, spun her bow around, started heading up the North Channel, and fired a second torpedo at Monaghan and/or USS Dale (DD-353), which missed and hit the north shore of the harbor, sending up a 200' geyser.

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