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
Naval Ensign of Japan.svgEmpire of Japan
Name: I-177
Commissioned: 28 December 1942
Fate: Sunk by USS Samuel S. Miles (DE-183) on 3 October 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Kaidai type, KD7-class
Complement: 86

War crimesEdit

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.[1] 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.[2] Nakagawa refused to ever speak on the subject of the sinking of the Centaur, even to defend himself. He died in 1991.


  1. ^ Dennis & Grey 2009, p. 124
  2. ^ Jenkins, Battle Surface, pp. 284–5

Further readingEdit

  • 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.