Japanese submarine I-27

I-27 was a submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy which saw service during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. I-27 was commissioned at Sasebo, Japan on February 24, 1942.

Empire of Japan
Name: I-27
Commissioned: February 24, 1942
Fate: Sunk February 12, 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Type B1 submarine
  • 2,631 tonnes (2,589 long tons) surfaced
  • 3,713 tonnes (3,654 long tons) submerged
Length: 108.7 m (356 ft 8 in) overall
Beam: 9.3 m (30 ft 6 in)
Draft: 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in)
Installed power:
  • 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph) surfaced
  • 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
  • 14,000 nmi (26,000 km; 16,000 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) surfaced
  • 96 nmi (178 km; 110 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged
Test depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Crew: 100
Aircraft carried: 1 × floatplane
Aviation facilities: 1 × catapult

Service history

On June 4, 1942, Iron Crown while en route Whyalla-Newcastle was torpedoed and sunk 44 miles SSW of Gabo Island by I-27. Thirty eight of her forty two crew were lost, with the survivors being picked up by SS Mulbera.[1]

On March 20, 1943, Fort Mumford was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean (10°00′N 71°00′E) by I-27.[2] The sole survivor of this sinking made no comment as to the fate of the crew, although some publications suggest that they may have been killed by the crew of I-27.[3] There is no evidence either way, but there is also no evidence of I-27 taking such action on other occasions.

On June 3, 1943, I-27 torpedoed and sank SS Montanan in the Indian Ocean.[4][5] Five of Montanan's crew were killed and 58 were rescued.[6]

On July 5, 1943 I-27 torpedoed and sank the Alcoa Protector, sailing as part of convoy PA44 in the Gulf of Oman. The turbine engines of this ship were later salvaged and used to propel the Great Lakes freighter Kinsman Independent.

On November 8, 1943, I-27 sank the Liberty ship SS Sambridge. The survivors made it safely to lifeboats and the ship's captain, Captain H. Scurr, was taken prisoner. A burst of machine-gun fire was heard by the survivors, but its reason is unknown as Scurr was eventually freed from Changi prison camp at the end of the war.[7]

The submarine torpedoed and sank the Allied steamship SS Khedive Ismail near the Maldives on February 12, 1944, killing 1,297 passengers and crew. After the attack, I-27 attempted to hide under Khedive Ismail's survivors who were floating in the water. Nevertheless, the British destroyers HMS Paladin and HMS Petard located the submarine and destroyed it with depth charges, ramming, and torpedoes at 01°25′N 72°22′E. Ninety-nine of I-27's crew were killed. One survivor was captured by the British.


  1. "Broken Hill Proprietary". Mercantile Marine. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. "Fort Ships K-S". Mariners. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  3. Quiet Heroes: British Merchant Seamen at War, 1939-1945, Bernard Edwards, Pen and Sword, 2010, ISBN 1783036788, 9781783036783
  4. "Santa Paula SP-1590". Navyhistory.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  5. "Indian Ocean – Red Sea 1943". U.S. Ships Sunk or Damaged in South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Red Sea During World War II. American Merchant Marine at War, www.usmm.org. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  6. Stone, Eric. "American-Hawaiian Steamship Co. in WWII". SS Arkansan. Eric Stone. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  7. Shipping Company Losses of the Second World War, Ian M Malcolm, The History Press, 2013, ISBN 0750953713, 9780750953719


  • Hashimoto, Mochitsura (1954). Sunk: The Story of the Japanese Submarine Fleet 1942 – 1945. Colegrave, E.H.M. (translator). London: Cassell and Company. ASIN B000QSM3L0.
  • Hackett, Bob; Sander Kingsepp (2003). "HIJMS Submarine I-27: Tabular Record of Movement". Sensuikan!. Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  • Hackett, Bob; Sander Kingsepp (2003). "Type B1". Sensuikan!. Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 10 May 2009.

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