The NSW Government continues to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth and Japanese governments to protect this highly significant site. Wreck of the midget submarine M For over 60 years one of the greatest Australian wartime and maritime mysteries was the whereabouts of the third and last Japanese midget submarine, which invaded Sydney Harbour on the evening of 31 May That night, the harbour was full of allied naval vessels and the midget submarines were on a mission to inflict maximum damage. Two of the midget submarines M22 and M27 were destroyed almost immediately and recovered from Sydney Harbour within a week, but the third M24 could not be found.
M24 midget submarine
Recording M24 the Japanese midget submarine - Australian National Maritime Museum
Southeast Asia. Southwest Pacific. North America. Manchuria and North Korea. On the night of 31 May — 1 June, three Ko-hyoteki -class midget submarines , each with a two-member crew, entered Sydney Harbour , avoided the partially constructed Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net , and attempted to sink Allied warships.
Midget submarine attack on Sydney 31 May – 1 June 1942
It was one of three submarines to the attack on Sydney Harbour on the evening of 31 May , and the only one whose fate was unknown. As M24 is a war grave and a difficult site to dive, access to the site is restricted. In a high resolution 3D model of M24 was produced, providing a map of the wreck in unprecedented detail. We spoke to the team leader, maritime archaeologist Matt Carter, about this exciting project.
On 29 May five large Japanese I- class submarines rendezvoused some 35 nautical miles northeast of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Before daylight the next morning an E14Y Glen float plane launched from one of the submarines, I , and crewed by Warrant Flying officer Susumo Ito and Ordinary Seaman Iwasaki, flew a daring reconnaissance mission over the harbour, twice circling the cruiser USS Chicago before flying off to the east. The aerial intrusion was observed and reported but it did not initiate any special harbour defensive measures being implemented. Many mistakenly believed it an American floatplane conducting a routine training flight.