I-169 Shinohara Submarine

I-169

The I-169 Shinohara Submarine was a KD 6 A (I-168) Class submarine built for the Imperial Japanese Navy and launched 15 FEB 1934. She was built by Mitsubishi of Kobe and was renamed for her last Commanding Officer LCDR Shinohara, the only survivor of her ill fated crew.

During the war the I-169 Shinohara Submarine participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the war’s rapid advances in submarine technology surpassed her and she was converted to an underwater transport. Her large size and long range made her perfect for this duty. After the fall of Saipan, she was one of the few ships that could keep Truk re-supplied.

The I-169 Shinohara Submarine was lost in an American air attack, subsequent to the original “Hailstone” raid. As the air attack began, she dove to avoid damage but unfortunately, the crew failed to close the main induction valve and she flooded her forward compartments and sank herself.

The Japanese made immediate attempts to salvage her and discovered that some crewman had survived the sinking. The fleet tug FUTAGAMI attempted to lift her bow, but the flooded submarine was too heavy to lift and broke the hoisting cables. Due to various problems the rescue and salvage failed. All hands were lost, with the exception of her Commanding Officer, who was ashore when the attack began. Later the Japanese depth charged the forward section of the submarine.

The wreck was rediscovered in 1973 and Al Giddings made a documentary about the sub and the Japanese government’s subsequent recovery of a portion of the crew’s remains. Sadly, a Japanese diver was also lost during the recovery attempt. She now lies in 125 fsw.

  • IJN I-169 SUBMARINE
  • Displacement: 2440 tons submerged
  • Length: 344 feet
  • Beam: 27 feet
  • Engine: 2-9000 shp diesel and 2-1800 shp electric motors, 2 shafts
  • Max Range 14,000 NM
  • Mission: Transport
  • Armament: 6-21 inch torpedo tubes (14 torpedoes); 1-10 CM anti-surface gun ; machine gun; Crew: 70.