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B1 type submarine
108.7m x 9.3m x 5.1m
2,584 tons surfaced
3,654 tons submerged
6 × 533mm torpedo tubes with 17 torpedoes
1 × 140mm deck gun
1 x E14Y seaplane
IJN February 23, 1942
Justin Taylan 2004
Afterwards, I-17 patrols off Cape Mendocino, Humboldt County, California. On December 20, 1941 during the early afternoon sights SS Emidio and opens fire with the 140mm deck gun, hitting the tanker five times within sight of land. Abandoning ship, the crew reached the Blunt Reef in lifeboats while the the tanker drifted north grounding on rocks off Crescent City, California.
On December 24, 1941 a planned shelling of American coastal cities canceled because of the frequency of coastal air and surface patrols.
Shelling Elwood Oil Field
I-17 was the first Axis vessel to shell the United States mainland. News of the shelling triggered an "invasion" scare along the West Coast.
During November 1942 her deck gun was removed and the submarine departed for Guadalcanal on the first of many supply missions.
Battle of the Bismarck Sea
Spotted by their escort armed trawler HMNZS Tui and made an initial run over the sub without using depth charges, a second run dropping two depth charges, and a third run another two depth charges, then lost contact.
Next, OS2U Kingfishers from VS-57 joined the search and spotted smoke on the horizon and radioed Tui to investigate. I-17 was sighted on the surface and Tui opened fire at maximum range, scoring one and possibly two hits. The two shells exploded ahead of the periscope, with the submarine severely damaged and slid down beneath the waves, leaving a trail of bubbles and oil marking her path.
The submarine surfaced quickly five minutes later with the bow exiting at a steep angle. The OS2U Kingfishers strafed the deck of the submarine keeping the crew from off the deck gun.
The Kingfishers dropped further depth charges and the submarine sank at roughly 23°26′S 166°50′E. Ninety-one crewmen were lost.
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