Part one can be found here.
In the darkness one of the midget submarines, I-20b, crewed by Lt Akieda Saburo and PO1C Takemoto Masami slipped into the harbour. Only two ships were on patrol at the mile wide harbour entrance. It's no wonder they missed the six foot wide submarine.
|Type A Midget submarine as carried by a Japanese sub.|
However the sudden loss of weight caused by the firing one of the torpedoes meant that I-20b was suddenly buoyant and floated to the surface. An Indian lookout on the nearby tanker British Loyalty spotted the conning tower of the submarine. Someone on the tanker managed to get an anti-aircraft gun pointed in the direction of the midget submarine and squeezed off a burst. The volley flew wide and the submarine submerged before he could re-aim.
|Tanker British Loyalty|
With both the I-20b's torpedoes gone Lt Saburo set course for the open sea, and the rendezvous point. However they didn't get far as their batteries were depleted. With no power the two Japanese sailors set their scuttling charge and left the boat but the charge failed to detonate. Both men reached the shore, where they approached natives and asked to be ferried to the mainland, which the natives happily helped them with.
Their new plan is to reach a rendezvous point on the northern tip of the island, to be picked up by their mother submarine.
|The only picture I could find of the Crew. Lt Saburo is seated.|
One of the locals immediately went and found a patrol of British soldiers, these were from 5 Commando. The native explained about the visit of a pair of odd looking Chinese men, with pistols and curved swords, it appears the native wanted a payment for the information.
The Commandos set off in pursuit of the Japanese and cornered them at Amponkarana Bay. The Commandos asked the Japanese to surrender, but they ducked into cover and opened fire, killing one of the Commando's. After a short firefight there is a lull, and two shots rang out. Both Japanese sailors had shot themselves instead of risking capture.
In 1972 a monument was erected at the site of the Japanese officers deaths. In 1976 a more official plaque was set up.
www.pacificwrecks.com and www.combinedfleet.com
It's a Challenger.... An A30 Challenger to be exact. Designed to investigate the way remote vision and laying work. The gun is a 75mm recoilless rifle.