Class: Type “A” Midget Submarine
At: Kure Naval Dockyard, Japan
Length: 78 feet, 5 inches
Beam: 6 feet
Draft: 6 feet
Displacement: 46 tons (submerged)
Armament: Two 18-inch torpedo tubes
National Museum of the Pacific War
340 East Main Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
Fax (830) 997-8220
Latitude: 30.2729774289, Longitude: -98.8672721923
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HA-19 is one of five Japanese midget submarines that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. HA-19, with her four companions, was supposed to penetrate the harbor and attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet. However, none of the vessels managed to damage or sink any U.S. ships. HA-19 developed problems with its gyrocompass, forcing it to make a visual approach to the harbor entrance. It ran aground on a coral reef. Draining its batteries attempting to back off the reef, the boat was abandoned by it’s two-man crew. Scuttling charges failed to work. The boat, with one crewmember, was captured by U.S. forces.
The vessel was powered by a single shaft electric motor capable of 600 horsepower. It was brought close to its targets by a conventional submarine. HA-19 had a surface speed of 23 knots and a submerged speed of 19 knots. At top speed the submarine’s battery charge would only last 55 minutes. While at a submerged speed of 2 knots, the submarine had an effective range of 100 miles.
During World War II, HA-19 was put on tour across the United States to help sell War Bonds. The tour included a stop in Fredericksburg in 1943. She is now displayed in the museum’s George Bush Gallery in a setting depicting her just prior to launching from the deck of the I-24 mother submarine off the coast of Oahu.
HA-19 is a National Historic Landmark.