Japanese submarine I-177
Japanese submarine I-177 was a Kaidai-type of cruiser submarine that served during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). I-177 was a KD7 subclass boat, commissioned on 28 December 1942 and sunk by USS Samuel S. Miles (DE-183) on 3 October 1944, with no survivors.
I-176, lead submarine of the class that includes I-177
|Empire of Japan|
|Commissioned:||28 December 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk by USS Samuel S. Miles (DE-183) on 3 October 1944|
|Class and type:||Kaidai type, KD7-class|
Following the end of the Pacific War, Australian war crimes investigators investigated whether the I-177 and its Commander Nakagawa were responsible for sinking the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur. The Centaur was torpedoed off the Australian east coast on 14 May 1943. The torpedo ignited a fuel tank, setting the ship ablaze. It rolled to port and sank within 3 minutes. Of the 332 crew, patients, medical staff, and passengers on board, 268 died – only 64 were rescued.
Commander Hajime Nakagawa survived the war because he had been transferred from the I-177 before it was sunk. Several of the investigators suspected that Nakagawa and I-177 were most likely responsible, but they were unable to establish this beyond reasonable doubt. However, Nakagawa was charged with ordering the machine-gunning of survivors from torpedoed ships on three different dates in February, 1944. He was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment at Sugamo Prison as a Class B war criminal. Nakagawa refused to ever speak on the subject of the sinking of the Centaur, even to defend himself. He died in 1991.
- Dennis & Grey 2009, p. 124
- Jenkins, Battle Surface, pp. 284–5
- Combinedfleet.com HIJMS Submarine I-177: Tabular Record of Movement
- Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey (2009). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-551784-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Jenkins, David (1992). Battle Surface! Japan's Submarine War Against Australia 1942–44. Milsons Point, NSW: Random House Australia. ISBN 0-09-182638-1. OCLC 0091826381.