Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 15 Issue 04

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Volume 15, No. 4
Pages 35 - 40


The Search, Discovery, and Survey of a World War II Japanese Type "A" Midget Submarine

By John C. Wiltshire, Terry Kerby , and Algis N. Kalvaitis 
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This paper describes the search, discovery and inspection of a World War II (WW II)-era Japanese midget submarine discovered in waters off Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This discovery was made on August 28, 2002, by the Pisces IV and Pisces V, two deep-diving submersibles operated by personnel from the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL), one of six research centers comprising the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Undersea Research Program (NURP). This Japanese midget submarine was the first vessel sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and it is evidence of the first shot of the war in the Pacific. 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. This midget submarine 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.


Wiltshire, J.C., T. Kerby, and A.N. Kalvaitis. 2002. The search, discovery, and survey of a World War II Japanes type “A” midget submarine. Oceanography 15(4):35–40, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2002.04.

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