Operation Rising Sun

The I-52 Recovery Project

Operation Rising Sun is a group of professionals dedicated to the raising and preservation of the WWII Mitsubishi C-3 cargo submarine, the I-52. There are no WWII Japanese full-sized submarines on display anywhere in the world. The I-52 can be raised. The U-534 was raised in August of 1993 from a depth of over 200'. The U-534 was sunk on May 6th, 1945, the last day of WWII. Plenty of unique items survived, including paper documents, even after years of being submerged in water. The same can be true for the I-52. What secrets remain to be discovered ? Was there a peace proposal from Tokyo that never made it into the hands of its intended recipient, Yoshikazu Fujimura ? Yoshikazu Fujimura, the assistant naval attache in Switzerland, had been in secret peace negotiations with a US representative, Allen Dulles. Is it posible that this document survived ? Also there is the recovery of the 49 boxes containing 146 bars of gold. The gold, about 2.2 metric tons, is worth millions in todays market. Lost for over 5o years, the I-52 was found, after 5 years of research, on May 2, 1995 by Paul Tidwell. The I-52 is amazingly intact and well preserved in water 17,000 feet deep. Her identification numbers can still be clearly read on the conning tower. Now the recovery story of the I-52 is about to begin and you can be a part of this historical event. The technology exist to make this project a reality.

Note that even after so many years under water, the painted indentification numbers are still clearly visible. This is rare, because by this time in the war Japan had gone to not painting I.D. numbers on their submarines and would display I.D. banners that could easily be removed to identify their submarines. This kept Allied bombers from recognizing their submarines easily. It also shows the importance of this mission. Not only were the I.D. numbers prominately displayed, they were also displayed twice on each side of the conning tower. The numbers may have been dispayed so prominately so that the German U-530 would have no problem identifying the I-52 for their secret rendevouz in the Mid-Atlantic. Communications between Japan and Germany, after the I-52's sinking, showed both countries were devistated by the loss of the I-52.. Why was this mission so important to both Germany and Japan ? Why were the Allies also so desperate to sink the I-52 ? Remember that the Allies had broken the Enigma Codes and were listening in on the coded transmissions between Germany and Japan. Did this have something to do with the secret cargo waiting on the docks for the I-52's arrival ? A shipment that also contained Uranium Oxide ? Some of the questions that we hope to answer when we raise the I-52...... Commander Uno Kameo (US documents had mistakenly listed his name as Uchino Kameo ) was in command of I-52, a new Kaidai on her first and only mission. Kameo was a graduate of Etajima, the Japanese naval academy. Before he could be assigned to the submarine force, considered to be an elite group, he had to go through years of intense undersea training. Kameo, a desendant from a samurai family, was hand picked for the I-52 Yanagi (exchange) mission with Germany.

It was very likely that Kameo and Gamo Santonobu (Mitsubishi engineer and also Chief Ordinance officer of the I-52) were the only persons onboard who knew of the special cargo that had been stowed on I-52 before her departure from Kure, Japan. Although Kameo may have known the cargo, it was very unlikely that he knew about the contents of the diplomatic pouches that may have held the key to changing the future of Japan.

The only known photo of the I-52. The I-52 was sunk while on her maiden Yanagi (exchange) mission.
Commander Uno Kameo