I-55 (1943)

I-55, date unknown. Imperial Japanese Navy photo.

Nation
Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1942
Launched
1943
Commissioned
1944
AD/BC
AD
History

The I-55 was a Type C-3 Fleet submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Commissioned 20 April, 1944, I-55 was quite large, at 108.7m (356 feet) in length, and displacing over 2000 tons, making her larger than many contemporary destroyers. She and her sisters were intended as cargo carriers, for cross-global exchange missions. As such, I-55 had an impressive cruise range of 21,000 nautical miles. She carried two 140mm (5.5 inch) deck guns and nineteen torpedoes for her six 533mm (21 inch) tubes. Shortly after commissioning, I-55 was selected for conversion for launching balloon bombs, but was deployed to support the defense of the Marianas before work could begin. Initially tasked to tow a cargo container to Guam, she was redirected to a rescue mission to Tinian during July, 1944. The Japanese lost contact after the 13th, though the exact cause of her loss is uncertain. It is currently credited to USN destroyers on 14 July.