Sixth Fleet-Imperial Japanese Navy
Commander Tatsunosuke Ariizumi, Commander, I-400 fleet - the British may have called him "the Butcher" but his reputation inside the Imperial Japanese Navy was just as tough. When it came time to lead the I-400 subs, he had no qualms sacrificing his men for the mission.
Lt. Commander Nobukiyo Nambu, Captain of the fleet flagship, I - 401: - Ariizumi's increasing instability would force Nambu to make the toughest decision of his life.
ComPac Sub - U.S. Navy
Commander James D. Fulp, Jr., Captain USS Segundo (SS-398) - a candidate for the Navy Cross, his crew trusted him like no other skipper.
Lt. Commander Stephen "Slick" Johnson, Captain, USS Segundo (SS-398) - Fulp's replacement, his cockiness and seeming lack of experience rattled his crew. Nevertheless, it was his task to persuade the I-401 to surrender, or risk the resumption of war.
As incredible as Japan's I-400 subs may seem, the idea of an aircraft-carrying submarine was first explored by Germany in 1915 and was quickly followed by British and American efforts all which had mixed results. Here, a July 1918 issue of the "Electrical Experimenter" poses the prescient question whether German plane-bearing submarines will bomb New York City?
The author's interest in the I-400 subs was kindled in part by the cover story he wrote about them for the May 2008 issue of Aviation History magazine. The author also helped shepherd into production the PBS documentary, Japanese SuperSub, which tells the story of the I-400 subs and their audacious mission. Mr. Geoghegan served as both Technical Consultant and writer on the production, which the New York Times called, "consistently...fascinating history."
For more photos see Image Gallery