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HA. 19 (Japanese Midget Submarine)
Ha-19 grounded in the surf on Oahu after the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 1941
HA.19 grounded in the surf on Oahu after the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 1941
Career (Japan)
Name: Ha-19
Builder: Kure Naval Dockyard, Kure
Launched: 1938
Captured: Grounded, Oahu 7 December 1941
Status: Museum Exhibit
General characteristics
Type: Type A Ko-hyoteki-class submarine
Displacement: 46 long tons (47 t) submerged[1]
Length: 23.9 m (78 ft 5 in)[1]
Beam: 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Height: 3 m (9 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: 1 × electric motor, 600 hp (447 kW)[1]
2 × counter-rotating screws
Speed: 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) surfaced
19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) submerged[1]
Range: 100 nmi (190 km) at 2 kn (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph)[1]
80 nmi (150 km) at 6 kn (11 km/h; 6.9 mph)
18 nmi (33 km) at 19 kn (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Test depth: 30 m (98 ft)[1]
Complement: 2[1]
Armament: 2 × 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedoes, muzzle-loaded into tubes[1]
1 × 300 lb (140 kg) scuttling charge

The HA. 19 (also known as Japanese Midget Submarine "C" by the US Navy) is a historic Imperial Japanese Navy Type A Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine that was part of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. This submarine was ordered to enter Pearl Harbor then attack the American warships with its torpedoes and then scuttle it with its scuttling right next to a warship. However, she did not enter the harbor, and was grounded and captured. The submarine was eventually put on display near the submarine squadron at Naval Station Key West, Florida, then moved to the nearby Key West Lighthouse and Military Museum. HA-19 is now displayed at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.


Ha-19 was built at Kure Naval Dockyard, Kure, Hiroshima, Japan as a Type A Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine in 1938. The Type 92 periscope was installed later in May 1941.

Pearl Harbor

File:Kazuo sakamaki.jpg

Kazuo Sakamaki

Kiyoshi Inagaki

In November 1941, Ha-19 was part of the Kido Butai and physically attached to I-24 as its mother ship at Kamegakubi Naval Proving Ground. Its two-man crew consisted of Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki (1918–1999) and Chief Warrant Officer Kiyoshi Inagaki (1915–1941). On 7 December 1941 at 3:30am, Ha-19 launched from I-24 with a broken gyrocompass. The crew had four and a half hours to get to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to join the attack on Pearl Harbor and had to fix the compass en route. Ha-19 reached the entrance to the harbor, and impaired by the broken compass, hit a reef three times and grounded on the right side of the entrance at 8:00am. With the attack on the Harbor underway, the stranded submarine was spotted and attacked at 8:17 by the USS Helm. The destroyer missed and managed to blast Ha-19 off the reef, knocking Sakamaki unconscious. Inagaki dived the submarine, and when he resurfaced at 8:18, Helm opened fire again and missed. Inagaki dived once more to escape the confrontation.

When Sakamaki awoke, they made another attempt at the harbor. The grounding had damaged the vessel so she could not fire one of her torpedoes. HA-19 flooded and the batteries were giving off fumes from being in contact with seawater. Attempting to enter the harbor they hit the reef again and reversed for another attempt. On the next try, she grounded again, but after adjusting the ballast was freed. On the final attempt, HA-19 came under a depth charge attack that disabled her ability to fire the other torpedo and damaged the periscope. The crew decided to abort the attack and return to I-24 near Lanai. The fumes given off by the batteries finally overcame them and HA-19 was carried by the currents. The crew awoke to find it was night, and they intended to land the submarine ashore at Waimānalo. The engine died and she grounded on another reef. Sakamaki ordered Inagaki to abandon ship while he set the scuttling charge and followed suit. The charge failed to detonate likely from being in contact with seawater. Sakamaki managed to swim through the surf to shore where he collapsed and was captured the next day. Inagaki drowned and his body washed ashore the next day.


Ha-19 being hauled ashore at Waimānalo, 1941

HA. 19 was given the designation of “Midget C”, the third letter of the alphabet, for being the third midget submarine sighted from the Japanese attack force. On 8 December 1941, HA. 19 was bombed by Army planes. The bombs missed and she broke free and washed ashore. In the days following the attack and with the aid of an Army tractor, she was pulled out of the sea. HA. 19 was built to be disassembled into three parts, and this characteristic was utilized. It was transported to the Naval Submarine Base Pearl Harbor and searched, yielding various documents. It was determined that most of the damage to HA. 19 was a result of the multiple groundings.


Ha-19 on war bond tour at Mare Island Navy Yard, 1942

HA. 19 was sent to the US mainland in January 1942 where she went on war bond tours. She was at Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois when the War ended.

On 20 January 1947, HA. 19 was put on outdoor display at Naval Station Key West, Key West, Florida. On 2 December 1964, she was loaned to the Key West Art and Historical Association and moved to an outdoor exhibit at the Key West Lighthouse and Military Museum adjacent to Key West Light. On 30 June 1989, HA. 19 was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places,[2] and was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark.[3] [4] In 1990, the association administering the Key West museum decided to transition their facility to strictly a lighthouse museum and began divesting itself of its military collections. In 1991, the HA. 19 was moved to Fredericksburg, Texas to become part of the National Museum of the Pacific War at the Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site. That same year, Sakamaki attended a historical conference in Texas and was reunited with his submarine.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Stewart, A.J., LCDR USN. "Those Mysterious Midgets", United States Naval Institute Proceedings, December 1974, p.55-63
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nris
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nhlsum
  4. Delgado, James P. (December 1988). "Japanese Midget Submarine HA-19 / National Historic Landmark Study". Maritime Landmarks Large Vessels. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 


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