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 in the first combat action of the as yet unopened Pacific War. Another, the Ha , 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 in deep water, some five miles off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The other three have been salvaged.
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Type A Kō-hyōteki-class submarine
Japanese Mini Submarines at Pearl Harbor | Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
At The sunken midget sub was located during the last of a series of test and training dives conducted annually in the military debris fields off Pearl Harbor. HURL is now undertaking its regular four to five month dive season of scientific and engineering dives focusing on fisheries enhancement , coral reef habitats, undersea volcanism, landslide monitoring, acoustic identification of fish and their habitats and other engineering and oceanographic studies. This midget sub find has been described as the most significant modern marine archeological find ever in the Pacific, second only to the finding of the Titanic in the Atlantic. The Japanese midget sub was one of five attached to five I-class mother submarines and brought from Japan to be launched hours before the aerial attack, within a few miles of Pearl Harbor. Each had a crew of two.
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Japanese mini Submarines at Pearl Harbor
The remains of a Japanese mini-submarine that participated in the Dec. Five mini-subs were to participate in the strike, but four were scuttled, destroyed or run aground without being a factor in the attack. The fate of the fifth has remained a mystery.
The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, on December 7th, , was a two pronged attack, comprised of both aerial and underwater components. Five Midget submarines were launched from I-Class mother subs, at the entrance to the harbor. The five Midgets took part in the attack, but history was unclear as to what degree.