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  I-123 (SS-50)

Ship History
Japanese submarine built by Kawasaki at Kobe. Commissioned as SS-50, based in the Yokosuka Naval District on April 28, 1928. On June 1, 1938 redesignated I-123.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific war, I-123 laid 40 mines in the Balabac Strait off the Philippines. A defect in her hull causes the sub retire to Camranh Bay for repairs. By December 18, the submarine wa repaired and proceeds to the Java Sea.

On August 7, 1942, departed Rabaul to shell Guadalcanal and reconnoiter the Lunga Point anchorage. Arrives off Savo on August 11.

Sinking History
On August 29, 1942 the submarine sent a distress signal that it was being followed by enemy aircraft. Later that morning, lookouts on USS Gamble DM-15, heading to Guadalcanal, spotted a large enemy submarine. Although designated a destroyer-minelayer, the old four-piper still carried anti-submarine gear and made several depth charge attacks, and observed large oil slicks. Her crew found deck planking and large air bubble breaking the surface. I-123 sank about 60 miles east of Savo.

In reports, the sinking of the I-1 was claimed by USS Gamble DD-123. It would appear that somehow the submarines have been mixed up and what was meant in Gamble's report was that it sank I-123.

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Last Updated
May 26, 2019


9 21S
160 43E

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