Men doing their duty
This man is Tsutomu Sakuma. He was a career naval officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy,
and a pioneer submarine commander,
known primarily as the commanding officer during the sinking of Submarine No. 6.
On 15 April, 1910, Submarine No. 6 was lost with Lieutenant Sakuma, its commander,
and the crew men, during maneuvers in Hiroshima Bay.
Lieutenant Sakuma' s story of the tragedy lay in the cunning tower when it was raised by a wrecking party
from the cruiser Tomodashi. This sailor' s log, hereunder quoted, recorded the creeping approach of
a slow but certain death between 10 A. M. (after total immersion) and 12: 40 P. M.,
the lingering ordeal thus lasting two hours and forty minutes.
It was addressed to the Navy Department as a confidential report:
It was at . M on the 15th inst. that the boat sank. Surrounded gas,
the crew strove to pump out the water. As soon as the boat sank the water in the main tank was out.
The electric light was extinguished and the gauge was invisible,
but it seems the water in the main tank was completely pumped out.
The electric current has become useless, gas cannot be generated, and the is our only hope.
The vessel is in darkness, anda note this down by the light through the conning tower at 11: 45 A. M
The crew are now wet and it is extremely cold.
It is my opinion that men embarking in submarines must possess the qualities omgoodness and nerve,
and must be extremely painstaking; they must be brave and daring in their handling ofthe boat.
People may laugh at the opinion in view , but the statement is true.
We have worked hard to pump out the water, but the boat is still in the same position.
It is now twelve o' clock. The depth bywater here is about .
The crew ofa submarine should be the bravest, the coolest, or they will be allittle use in time -
in such as we are now. My brave men are doing their best.
1 always expect death when awayfrom home. My will is therefore prepared and is in the locker.
But this is ofmy private affairs. I hope Mr. Taiichi will send it to .
A word to His majesty the Emperor.
It is my earnest hope that Your majesty will supply the means unliving to the ofthe crew.
This is my only desire, anda am so anxious to have unfulfilled.
My respect and best regard to the following: Admiral Saito, Minister of the Navy;
Vice Admirals Shimomura and Fujii, Nawo, Mameshiba and Narita -
the acupressure is so light that ffeel as iorny eardrums will be broken -
Captain and Ide, Commander Matsumoto, Matsumoto (this is my elder brother),
Captain Fukuyoshi, Mr. Marita, and Mr. -
it is now 12: 30 PM
My breathing is so difficult .
1 thought I could blow out gasoline, but I am intoxicated with it -
Capt. Hakano -
Here the record ended. The crew had been suffocated by gas.
The journal was posted in later press reports, and Sakuma became a posthumous national hero
and an example for courage and steadfastness within the Imperial Japanese Navy.