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  HA-24 Type A Midget Submarine (M24)
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
Click For Enlargement
Arnold Nov 12, 2006

Commander  Lt. Katsuhisa Ban (KIA)
Crew  Ensign Mamoru Ashibe (KIA)
Sunk  June 1, 1942 at approximately 2:00am

Wartime History
One of three midget submarines, along with M22 and M27 attacked Sydney Harbor on the night of May 31, 1942.

This submarine was released from I-24. This midget successfully crossed the indicator loop at the entrance to Sydney Harbor unnoticed at 9:50pm.

On May 31, 1942 at 5:40pm roughly 7.5 miles east of Sydney I-24 launches her midget submarine. At 10:07pm, all vessels in the harbor were alerted of the presence of an enemy submarine. At 10:50pm M24 was spotted by the crew of the USS Chicago CA-29 which opened fire, together with two Australian ships. This submarine evades them and waits for an hour and a half.

On June 1, 1942 at 12:30am, M24 fires both of its torpedoes at USS Chicago CA-29, but both missed. One ran aground without exploding, the other hit the sea wall at Garden Island, and the explosion sink HMAS Kuttabul moored nearby and killed 21 aboard. At 2:00am, the indicator loop at the entrance of Sydney Harbor registers a possible submarine crossing. This submarine was presumed lost when it never reached the rendezvous point. In fact, this submarine managed to exit the harbor then sank or was scuttled for unknown reasons and sank to the bottom.

On November 12, 2006 this submarine was discovered by a dive team including Greg Kearns, Dave Arnold, Alan Simon, Paul Baggott, Ton Hay, Dave Muir, and Phil Hendrie. The submarine was confirmed by Australian Naval Historian Shane Moore. Neither torpedo was aboard the submarine, confirm it had fired both during the attack.

On November 25, 2006, Australian Defense Minister Brendan Nelson moved to protected the submarine an historic shipwreck under the Historic Shipwrecks Act of 1976 with a 500m protected zone around it with monitoring the restricted area with sonar alarms and underwater cameras. In late May 2007, authorities decided not to salvage the sub, or the remains of the crew. Australian Navy divers recovered sand from the sea floor nearby to present to the families of the two crew members. The submarine remains protect by the Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act.

RAN Japanese Midget Submarine Attack on Sydney Harbour by John Perryman
Sydney Midget Submarine Discovery by Kearns, Arnold, Simon, Baggott, Hay, Muir, and Hendrie
ABC "Naval historian says wreck is WWII sub" November 26, 2006 via Wayback Machine February 25, 2007
ABC "Nelson moves to protect WWII sub wreck" November 27, 2016 via Wayback Machine February 24, 2008
Australian 60 Minutes - November 26, 2006
BBC News "Japan WWII Sailors Stay in Wreck" May 22, 2007
NSW Environment & Heritage - M24 - Managing The Missing Midget Sub last updated October 24, 2012
Thanks to Sydney Midget Submarine Discovery Team, Dave Arnold and Tim Smith for additional information

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017


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May 31-June 1, 1942


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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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