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NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive

Japanese Midget Submarines


Introduction and related photographs from the Unites States Naval Historical Center.

Ha-19, a 46-ton Type "A" midget submarine, was built at Kure, Japan, in 1938. In November-December 1941, she was transported aboard the larger submarine I-24 to the waters off Pearl Harbor, where she was one of five midget submarines launched to participate on the 7 December Japanese raid.
A non-functioning gyrocompass prevented Ha-19 from entering Pearl Harbor. After many adventures, she went aground at Waimanalo, on the east coast of Oahu. The submarine and her pilot, Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki, were captured on 8 December. Ensign Sakamaki was the first Japanese prisoner of war taken by the United States during the Pacific War.
Ha-19 was salvaged and later sent to the United States' mainland, where she was featured at War Bond drives throughout the country. After the end of World War II she was exhibited for many years at Key West, Florida. In 1991, Ha-19 was moved to Fredericksburg, Texas, where she remains on display at the Admiral Nimitz museum.

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Ha-1948kWatercolour and gouache on paper by the artist Viktor Stepansky entitled "First Japanese Prisoner Kazuo Sakamaki" depicting the scene the morning he was captured by Hawaiian soldier David Akui.Photo & partial text courtesy of subart.net. & starbulletin.com.
Ha-19260kStarboard bow view of the Japanese 2 man submarine Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942.Official USN photo # 5474-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19139kBroadside view of the Japanese 2 man submarine Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942.Official USN photo # 5475-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-1973k Bow view of the business end of Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942.Official USN photo # 6291-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19155kBow view of the Japanese 2 man submarine Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942.Official USN photo # 5477-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19114kTorpedo tubes aboard the Japanese 2 man submarine Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942.Official USN photo # 5478-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19129kBow view of the Japanese 2 man submarine Ha-19 at Mare Island on 10 September 1942. Official USN photo # 5479-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19123kInscription written on the bow of the Ha-19 while being prepared for its subsequent bond drive says; "TOJO CIGAR INC. The bonds you buy will liquadate this corporation. Buy more, Buy now;" at Mare Island on 10 September 1942. The photo lab had fun adding the art work to the bow.Official USN photo # 5479-9-42 modified, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19122k Interior view of Ha-19 looking forward at Mare Island on 10 September 1942. Official USN photo # 5481-9-42, courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19241kMare Island auctioned fragments of Ha-19 captured at Pearl Harbor as part of the yard's War Bond drive during Navy Day on 27 October 1942. Pictured from left to right are auctioneer Hadley, Burton H. Landensohn, who purchased $200 worth of Ward Bonds for an engraved operating rod, and Fred Lutz; whose $750 bought a $1000 War Bond and a two-foot Japanese battery box cover. Official USN photo courtesy of Darryl L. Baker.
Ha-19513kPost card with inscription for War Bonds.Photo courtesy of Arnold Putnam.
Ha-19521kHa-19 nicely landscapped. Photo from LT Howard G Havens collection at the Vallejo Naval and Historical museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Photo added 01/24/14.
Ha-19455kMulti blade propeller of the Ha-19. Photo from LT Howard G Havens collection at the Vallejo Naval and Historical museum via Darryl L. Baker.
Photo added 01/24/14.
Ha-1938kCaptured Japanese submarine. A Japanese vest-pocket sub, captured from the Japs after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, is being utilized in a plan to sell war bonds and stamps in various communities throughout the States. The sub, which requires only a two-man crew, is shown here as it appeared in Vallejo, California. The purchase of a war stamp or bond entitles the buyer to a peek at the inside of the vessel. The sub is towed from place to place by trailer. Photo # 8b05750r & text courtesy of memory.loc.gov. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944.
Ha-1938kCaptured Japanese submarine passes before the crowd in California. Photo courtesy of Arnold A. Putnam via Gary Priolo.
Ha-19493kThe Ha-19 on its way to the National Museum of the Pacific War at Fredericksburg, Texas, 1943. USNHC photo # NH 62816 photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-19563kCaptured Japanese submarines in Kure, Japan, drydock. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-19103kJapanese midget submarines in Kure, Japan, drydock, 19 October 1945. USNHC photo # 80-G-351875 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-19493kCurrent (ARS-22) salvaging a Japanese midget submarine in Keehi Lagoon, HI. National Archives photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-19103kJapanese midget submarine recovered from Pearl Harbor area, c1961. USNHC photo # KN-2589 courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-19493kJapanese midget submarine recovered from Pearl Harbor area, c1961. USN photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Ha-1940kFormer 1969 President of the Brazilian subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. Kazuo Sakamaki takes a turn around Ha-19, the submarine he piloted the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. He is shown here in 1991 visiting the boat for the first time since the day the war ended for him and started for the U.S.Photo & partial text courtesy of hnsa.org. (Historic Naval Ships Association).
Ha-19422kThe Ha-19 on display.Photo courtesy of Arnold Putnam.
Ha-1927kThe Ha-19 on display at the National Museum of the Pacific War at Fredericksburg, Texas. She is displayed in the museum's George Bush Gallery in a setting depicting her just prior to launching from the deck of the I-24 mother submarine off the coast of Oahu.Photo & text courtesy of hnsa.org. (Historic Naval Ships Association).
Ha-19751kThe remains of a Japanese mini-submarine lie on the seafloor under 1,000 feet of water near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 22 March 2009. The Imperial Japanese Navy launched 5 mini-subs from "mother" submarines hours before the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor to torpedo ships ported in Pearl Harbor.Photo # N-ZZ999-003 by Lone Wolf Productions courtesy of navy.mil.


Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Japanese Midget Submarine HA-19 National Historic Landmark Study by James P. Delgado
Imperial Japanese Navy Page

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