HIJMS Submarine I-28: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2002 Bob Hackett & Sander Kingsepp

6 February 1942:
The I-28 is completed at Mitsubishi's Kobe ship yard, commissioned in the IJN and based in the Kure Naval District. She is assigned directly to the Sixth Fleet (Submarines). LtCdr Yajima Yasuo is posted as the Commanding Officer.

24 February 1942:
Reassigned to SubDiv 14, Sixth Fleet.

10 March 1942:
Assigned to SubDiv 14 in SubRon 8 that is activated this day in the Sixth Fleet.

10 April 1942: Operation "C" - The Raids in the Indian Ocean:
Admiral (Fleet Admiral, posthumously) Yamamoto Isoroku (former CO of AKAGI), CINC, Combined Fleet, orders all submarine units to reconnoiter the enemy's fleet bases in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, destroy the enemy's maritime commerce and support the Port Moresby (MO) Operation.

11 April 1942:
The I-28 is in Captain Katsuta Haruo's SubDiv 14 with the I-27 and the I-29. They are assigned to Captain (later Rear Admiral) Sasaki Hankyu's Eastern Advanced Detachment composed of Sasaki's SubDiv 3's I-21, I-22 and the I-24 and SubDiv 14. All 11 submarines of SubRon 8 complete extensive exercises in the Inland Sea.

15 April 1942:
SubRon 8 arrives at Hashirajima. Admiral Yamamoto addresses the captains of the Eastern Detachment's submarines.

16 April 1942:
All six of the Eastern Detachment's submarines depart Kure.

18 April 1942: The First Bombing of Japan:
Vice Admiral (later Fleet Admiral) William F. ("Bull") Halsey's Task Force 16's USS HORNET (CV-8), cruisers, destroyers and an oiler accompanied by the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), cruisers, destroyers and another oiler approach to within 668 nautical miles of Japan. Led by Lt Col (later Gen/Medal of Honor) James H. Doolittle, 16 Army North American B-25 "Mitchell" twin-engine bombers of the 17th Bomb Group takeoff from Captain (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher's carrier HORNET and strike targets in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya and Kobe.

E of the Bonin Islands. That same day, the I-28 is enroute to Truk with the I-21, -22, -24, -27 and the I-29. Headquarters, Combined Fleet orders the submarines to intercept Task Force 16, but they are unable to make contact.

24 April 1942:
The submarines arrive at Truk.

30 April 1942:
The I-28, I-21, -22, -24, -27 and the I-29 depart Truk.

4 May 1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea:
Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Kajioka Sadamichi's Port Moresby Attack Force departs Rabaul towards the Jomard Pass in the Louisiade Archipelago with DesRon 6's light cruiser YUBARI, four destroyers and a patrol boat escorting Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Abe Koso's (former CO of HIEI) Transport Force of 12 transports and a minesweeper. That same day, Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Frank J. Fletcher's Task Force 17 attacks Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Shima Kiyohide's (former CO of CL OOI) Tulagi Invasion Force. Douglas SBD "Dauntless" dive-bombers and TBD "Devastator" torpedo-bombers from the carrier USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) sink a destroyer, three minesweepers and damage four other ships.

5 May 1942: Operation "MO" - The Invasions of Tulagi, Solomons and Port Moresby, New Guinea:
Fletcher's force turns N to engage Vice Admiral Takagi Takeo's Carrier Strike Force. SBDs and TBDs from the YORKTOWN and the LEXINGTON (CV-2) sink Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Goto Aritomo's (former CO of MUTSU) light carrier SHOHO off Misima Island. In turn, Japanese planes damage the oiler USS NEOSHO (AO-23) and sink the destroyer SIMS (DD-409).

The I-28 and the I-29, with SubDiv 3's I-22 and the I-24, reach their assigned patrol area and form a picket line SW of Guadalcanal in support of Operation MO. The I-21 and the I-27 continue on to Noumea, New Caledonia.

8 May 1942:
SBDs from the YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON damage Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) Takagi Takeo's (former CO of MUTSU) carrier SHOKAKU and force her retirement. The ZUIKAKU's air group suffers heavy losses. Japanese carrier bombers and attack planes attack Task Force 17 and damage YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON that is further damaged when gasoline vapors are ignited, triggering massive explosions that cause her to be abandoned. Later, the LEXINGTON is scuttled by the destroyer PHELPS (DD-360). This Battle of the Coral Sea halts the Japanese thrust toward Port Moresby and they are forced to cancel Operation MO.

11 May 1942:
Vice Admiral Komatsu's headquarters orders the I-28 to return to Truk in company with the I-22 and the I-24. The order is probably picked up by American code-breakers.

16 May 1942:
250 miles NNE of Rabaul. The I-28 reports trouble with a diesel engine.

17 May 1942:
S of Truk, Caroline Islands. LtCdr Joseph H. Willingham's USS TAUTOG (SS-199) is ordered to intercept ships returning from the Battle of the Coral Sea, including the damaged carrier SHOKAKU. The TAUTOG sights two I-class submarines (probably the I-22 and I-24) on the same course separately heading N towards Truk. Willingham fires at one but misses.

Two hours later, the TAUTOG sights a third Japanese submarine on the same northerly track with "I-28" visible on its conning tower. Willingham fires two torpedoes from his stern tubes. One hits and disables the I-28. Willingham closes the range and fires another torpedo. The I-28 fires two torpedoes back at the TAUTOG! Willingham dives. The I-28's torpedoes miss, but Willingham's third shot does not. It sends the I-28 to the bottom with all 88 hands at 06-30N, 152-00 E.

15 June 1942:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Note:
Special thanks for help in preparing this TROM go to Dr. Higuchi Tatsuhiro of Japan. – Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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