The Last Pearl Harbor Survivor
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Timeline

The story has one basic flaw...the stated timeline is obviously incorrect. Holzhaus estimated that the USS Monaghan sank the sub in the North Channel at 0755, when Monaghan's log puts the time at 0843 and the Navy Yard Signal Tower's (the most reliable source for times that day) at 0842, a 47-minute discrepancy. He also has the aerial attack on Hickam Field beginning at least 35 minutes early. So, Holzhaus's times are off by a fairly wide margin, an oft-encountered problem in the Pearl Harbor war diaries.

If one were to average the initial and final time discrepancies, then we would have an approximate 41 minute adjustment factor. This would put the time of the periscope sighting at 0826. Can this adjusted time be corroborated?

Colonel Bernard Thielen told the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack that "all [B-17s] landed on Oahu between 8:30 and 9 a.m." Sometime between 0730 and 0745 – according to Holzhaus's timeline – a Japanese fighter strafed YT-153, but then turned its attention to a B-17 landing at Hickam. Because all of the B-17s that landed at Hickam attracted the attention of the Japanese, it's impossible to determine which B-17 Holzhaus saw. For purposes of this discussion, I will assume (for reasons which will soon become apparent) that Holzhaus observed the first B-17 to land, putting the time of his observation no earlier than 0830.

Elsewhere, the Navy Yard Signal Tower logged at 0838 a telephone report of a submarine in the channel. This was called in by PhM3c Edwin Soreside, who saw a periscope passing Hospital Point about a minute earlier (approximately 0837). Signal tower chief of the watch, CSM W. Pryor, assigned lookouts to search for the submarine, which they couldn't find in the vicinity of Hospital Point. Pryor found it up near berth F-9, where it was taking fire from the USS Curtiss (0836-40, according to Curtiss's AAR or 0835-37, according to Monaghan's). Taken together, there is documented evidence of two separate submarine sightings being made simultaneously in areas separated by at least 2200 yards, or a little over a nautical mile.

Considering that I-22tou attempted to first enter the Middle Loch, back down, fire a torpedo at USS Medusa/Curtiss (which missed), and then proceed northeast up the North Channel before it was sighted by CSM Pryor – all before she was fired upon at 0835-36 – she had to have passed Hospital Point much earlier than 0838, even if we give some leeway to the stated times. Curtiss certainly was not firing at a target all the way across the harbour.

So if not I-22tou, what was the submarine reported to the signal tower? Could it be the same one seen by BM1c Holzhaus "going around buoy #19?"


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