Online Library of Selected Images:
-- JAPANESE NAVY SHIPS

Type A, B & C Midget Submarines--
Japanese Type A Midget Submarines used in the attack on Pearl Harbor

The Japanese Navy included five Type A midget submarines in the Pearl Harbor raid of 7 December 1941. Transported on board large I type submarines, the midgets were launched near the entrance to Pearl Harbor the night before the attack was to begin. One, spotted trying to enter the harbor before dawn, was attacked and sunk by USS Ward (DD-139) in the first combat action of the as yet unopened Pacific War. At least one of the midgets was able to enter the harbor and was sunk there by USS Monaghan (DD-354). Another, the Ha-19, unsuccessful in its attempts to penetrate Pearl Harbor, drifted around to the east coast of Oahu and was captured there the day after the attack.

Four of the five Pearl Harbor midget submarines have been found. That sunk by Ward was located by the Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory in late August 2002 in deep water, some five miles off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It remains where it sank as an element of the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark. The other three have been salvaged. Ha-19 was recovered immediately after the attack and the one sunk by USS Monaghan a few days later. The third was found off the harbor entrance in 1960. The submarine sunk by USS Monaghan's submarine was buried in a landfill shortly after its recovery. Two are on exhibit, Ha-19 at Fredericksburg, Texas, and the one found in 1960 at Eta Jima, Japan.

One of the five Pearl Harbor midgets is still unaccounted for. Recent studies of Pearl Harbor attack photograpy have led some observers to argue that one of the midgets was in place off "Battleship Row" as the Japanese torpedo planes came in, and may have fired its torpedoes at USS Oklahoma (BB-37) or USS West Virginia (BB-48). This contention is still controversial, but, if it is true, the "missing" Type A midget submarine may lie undiscovered inside Pearl Harbor.

This page features views of, or related to, the Japanese Type A midget submarines used in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Views of the midget submarine captured shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack:

  • Ha-19 (Midget Submarine, 1938-1941).
  • Additional images of Japanese Type A, B & C midget submarines:

  • Japanese Type A, B & C Midget Submarines - Views taken in 1942-44
  • Japanese Type A, B & C Midget Submarines - Views taken in 1945

  • Click the image for a larger view

    Photo #: NH 86388-KN (Color)

    Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941

    Wartime painting in oils on silk, by an unidentified Japanese artist, depicting the four officers and five crewmen who were lost with the five Japanese midget submarines that participated in the attack. The single survivor of that effort is omitted from the painting, which features a view of the attack on Ford Island in its center.

    Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 90KB; 740 x 595 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 54302

    Japanese "Type A" Midget Submarine


    At the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in December 1941. This submarine had been sunk by USS Monaghan (DD-354) in Pearl Harbor during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack and was subsequently recovered and buried in a landfill.
    The submarine's hull shows the effects of depth charges and ramming. A hole visible in the after part of the conning tower may be from a 5" shell.
    The upper background had been overpainted for censorship purposes.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 115KB; 740 x 620 pixels

     
    Photo #: KN-2589 (Color)

    Japanese Type A Midget Submarine

    Photographed soon after its recovery near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa late July 1960. It had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, but had apparently been unable to enter the harbor as its torpedoes had not been fired.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

    Online Image: 138KB; 740 x 605 pixels

    Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-KN-2589

     
    Photo #: KN-2590 (Color)

    Japanese Type A Midget Submarine

    Photographed soon after its recovery near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa late July 1960. It had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, but had apparently been unable to enter the harbor as its torpedoes had not been fired.
    Note bright red corrosion on the submarine's counter-rotating propellers.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

    Online Image: 128KB; 740 x 610 pixels

    Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-KN-2590

     
    Photo #: NH 97252

    Japanese Type A Midget Submarine


    "The Sub's Propellers are slightly damaged although part of the prop guard on the right side has disappeared." (quoted from the original caption).
    This midget submarine, which took part in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was recovered outside the harbor entrance in 1960. Photograph is dated 28 July 1960.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 126KB; 590 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97251

    Japanese Type A Midget Submarine


    "Anthony B. Lippincott, boatswain's mate first class and member of the disposal team, lowers battle lamp into the interior of the sail. He found the interior to be rusty and muddy" (quoted from the original caption).
    This midget submarine, which took part in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was recovered outside the harbor entrance in 1960. Photograph is dated 28 July 1960.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 157KB; 590 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 97253

    Japanese Type A Midget Submarine


    "Probing into the Interior of the sub, Ensign Glenn Miller, disposal team officer (with flashlight in hand) and Lt(jg) James Connor, ordnance disposal team commander, check forward section of the vessel where the torpedoes are mounted." (quoted from the original caption).
    This midget submarine, which took part in the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, was recovered outside the harbor entrance in 1960. Photograph is dated 28 July 1960.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

    Online Image: 115KB; 740 x 610 pixels

     


    For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

    To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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