WW2-era Japanese Sailors to Stay in Wreck
On 31 May 1942, Lieutenant Katsuhisa Ban and Petty Officer Mamoru Ashibe piloted the midget submarine M-24 around the defensive nets in the Sydney Harbor and fired two torpedoes at American cruiser Chicago moored off Garden Island. They missed, but one of them struck Australian accommodation vessel Kuttabull, killing 19 Australians and 2 Britons. "These were the elite of the elite in the Japanese navy," said Australian War Memorial historian John White. "They were highly trained, very fit and expert navigators." Ban and Ashibe escaped, but they sank after sailing about 13km northeast.
Until Nov 2006, the sunken submarine under 54m of water had always been thought to be a reef. After the initial discovery by recreational divers, Australian Navy diving team had made an investigation and noticed that the escape ladder was still outside the submarine, which suggests that the Ban and Ashibe are still inside. Yesterday, Able Seaman Ryan Dart made his fourth and final dive onto the wreck yesterday watched by an eager media pack. The sand will be given to the brothers of the two Japanese sailors.
Because of the high costs involved, it has been determined that the submarine will remain on the seabed. The wreck is now an historic shipwreck and a protected zone, enforced by sonar alarms and underwater cameras.
For more information, please see http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSSYD17843120070522.
Back to Main | Back to 2007 News Index
Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
- » WW2-era bomb defused in Frankfurt (9 Jul 2019)
- » Birthday Celebration for WAAF Teleprinter Operator (7 Jul 2019)
- » Passing of Richard Cole, Doolittle Raider (10 Apr 2019)
- » Wreck of Wasp Found (13 Mar 2019)
- » Wreck of Hornet Found (12 Feb 2019)
- » Wreck of Hiei Found (11 Feb 2019)
- » See all news
- » 1,059 biographies
- » 331 events
- » 36,626 timeline entries
- » 1,031 ships
- » 332 aircraft models
- » 184 vehicle models
- » 343 weapon models
- » 104 historical documents
- » 188 facilities
- » 461 book reviews
- » 25,633 photos
- » 290 maps
Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939