The RO class
of subs were built in the early 1920's and were highly vulnerable. Their
machinery was not reliable at depths below 125 feet, and the subs were
very susceptible to depth charge attacks. Only one ship was sunk by the
nine subs of this class. Five subs were lost in the war, the other four
On December 9, 1941 due
to a navigational error RO-60 became stranded in shallow water on a coral reef in the Northern Atoll in Kwajalein Atoll.
Later that same day, the entire crew was rescued
by submarine tender Jingei.
Afterwards, the submarine was blown in two when the torpedoes exploded in an effort to demolish the wreckage by the Japanese or due to American aircraft strafing it. Around the wreckage are numerous .50 caliber bullets. This submarine was strafed numerous times by American aircraft either when U. S. aircraft attacked the atoll or after it was captured and used as a target.
The wreckage of this submarine is strewn all over the reef. The forward section is 200 yards ahead of the stern. The
coning tower is 150 yards from the forward section. The deck gun is
560 yards from that. Many bronze
artifacts, gauge, tools, etc. have been recovered. The aft section
is against the reef. The wooden deck is still partially intact, but
the interior of the stern is hard to penetrate due to waves crashing
against it. Many aggressive sharks can be found around the submarine during the month of June.
Combined Fleet - IJN Submarine RO-60
Tabular Record of Movement
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January 31, 2019