“Circa 1943: two Seabees (U.S. Naval Construction Battalion personnel) stand atop Japanese midget submarine Kohyoteki 11 on Guadalcanal. Kohyoteki 11, a Type A, was the first Kohyoteki used by the Japanese at Guadalcanal, and launched on November 7, 1942, by mother submarine I-20.
The crew, Lt(jg). Shinji Kunihiro and PO1 Goro Inoue, successfully attacked the USS Majaba (AG-43) off Lunga Point and escaped the ferocious counter-attacks. The crew then beached the kohyoteki and escaped. Shinji Kunihiro survived the war.
“26 July 1994: the author went back and found Kohyoteki 11 still there and in good condition. At this time, Kohyoteki 11 was in similiar orientation, and the author is standing on the shallowest part of it. This significant archaeological site is extremely vulnerable to damage from salvagers or looting.
It is fully protected under the Protection of Wrecks and War Relics Act 1980. It should remain in situ for as long as possible to prevent catastrophic deterioration. Ideally, at some point in the future, it may be recovered whole, but conservation and the costly funding to do it, must be in place prior to recovery. Perhaps recovery to Japan would be the best possible outcome to save this historic relic”.