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  HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine (M22)
IJN
Type A
Kō-hyōteki kō-gata

46 Tons (surfaced)
47 Tons (submerged)
78.5' x 6' x 10.2'
2 x Type 97 torpedo
140kg scuttling charge
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AWM June 1, 1942

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PacificWrecks.com
Justin Taylan 2006

PacificWrecks.com
Dave Arnold 2006

Captain  Lt. Matsuo Keiu (suicide)
Navigator  Chief Petty Officer Masao Tsuzuku (suicide)
Sunk  June 1, 1942 7:30am

Mission History
On May 31, 1942 this midget submarine was launched by Japanese submarine I-22. This midget submarine along with HA-24 (M24) and HA-14 (M27) were on a mission to penetrate Sydney Harbor and torpedo enemy vessels.

At 11:00pm, this submarine attempted to enter Sydney Harbor but was detected and fired on by HMAS Yandra. The submarine sustained some damage and retreated for four hours.

Sinking History
On June 1, 1942 at 3:00am, this submarine again attempted to enter Sydney Harbor and was spotted by USS Chicago CA-29. In Neutral Bay, fired on by British merchant ship Kanimbla. This second attempted entry gave the impression that four submarines were attacking.

At 5:00am spotted in Taylor's Bay by HMAS Sea Mist and forced the submarine to dive to the bottom and dropped two depth charges that damaged their vessel and the submarine. Next, HMAS Steady Hour dropped 17 depth charges atop.

At 7:30am, the crew attempted to detonate the scuttling charge but sea water flooding into the hull disabled the charge Unable to escape because the conning tower hatch was stuck, both crew shot each other to commit jiketsu (honorable suicide).

Shipwreck
On June 2, 1942 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) divers dove on the submarine and found the engine was still running and propellers slowly turning. On June 4, 1942 raised the submarine from Sydney Harbor and lifted using a crane and placed on land nearby atop timbers. The midget submarine was intact from the bow to the rear section, with a dent on the rear port side. The stern section with the propellers was removed.

By November 1942, the midget submarine was loaded aboard trailers and transported to Exhibition Gardens in Sydney for display.

Recovery of Remains
After the submarine was salvaged, the remains of both crew members were found with self inflicted gunshot wounds. Their remains were recovered, cremated and given a military funeral with full honors in Australia. Afterwards, their ashes were transfered to Japan.

inside the two crew were found with self inflicted gunshot wounds. Both were cremated and given a funeral with full military honors. Their ashes were transfered to Japanese authorities.

Display
During June 1942 until the end of the Pacific War, this submarine was put on display in Sydney and toured around Australia to raise money for the war widows fund.

Bow Section
In 1975, the Australian War Memorial (AWM) assembled a complete Type A Midget Submarine (composite) using the bow section of HA-21 Type A Midget Submarine (M22) combined with the center and stern section of HA-14 Type A Midget Submarine (M27) to create an externally complete submarine for display purposes.

Since 2001, the complete Type A Midget Submarine (composite) is displayed in ANZAC Hall at Australian War Memorial (AWM). Displayed below the submarine are artifacts related to the May 31-June 1, 1942 midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbor. The display includes the conning tower hatch from either M22 or M27, Type 97 torpedo and the helmet that belonged to Lt. Kenshi Chuma commander of M27.

Center Section
In 1978, the restored center section of M22 was returned to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and restored. During October 2005, the center section was put on display at Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre (RAN Heritage Centre). Inside the center section are pebbles from the hometown of Masao Tsuzuku, donated by his sister are displayed inside the center section.

References
Previously, Matsuo was aboard the I-22 on December 7, 1941
AWM Lemonade bottle recovered from Japanese midget submarine, Sydney Harbour (REL/00635)
RAN Japanese Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour
by John Perryman
Thanks to CMDR Shane Moore / RAN Heritage Centre for center section display information

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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May 31-June 1, 1942

 

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