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  RO-60
IJN
Vickers Type
L4 Submarine

988 Tons
242 x 24 x 12


Ship History
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 were scrapped.

Sinking History
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.

Rescue
Later that same day, the entire crew was rescued by submarine tender Jingei.

Shipwreck
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.

References
Combined Fleet - IJN Submarine RO-60 Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
January 31, 2019

 

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