The RO class
of subs were built in the early 1920's and were highly vulenerable. 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
The sub became strained on the reef in shallow water at Kwajalein Atoll Northern Atoll due
to a navigational error on December 9, 1941 The entire crew was rescued
by submarine tender Jingei later that same day. Numerous 50 cal. bullets
are lying around the reef indicating the sub was strafed either when
the atoll was recaptured, or when US forces occupied the island. The
sub was blown in two when its torpedoes exploded.
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. Wreckage is strewn all over the reef. 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 around the wreck in June.
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May 22, 2017