Japanese Submarine Visits Albuquerque

Photo of Captured Sub in Downtown Albuquerque
Japanese Midget Submarine HA-19 in downtown Albuquerque January 14, 1943
Photo courtesy of the Albuquerque Museum – PA1982.118-19

On Sunday, July 15th, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Dick Brown, a Navy submarine veteran, will use photographs and news clippings to tell the story of the Japanese mini-sub that was captured the day after Pearl Harbor attack. That submarine toured New Mexico between January 7-18, 1943.

HA-19, a Japanese Midget Submarine captured after the attack on Pearl Harbor, was paraded along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue as part of a cross-county tour to sell war bonds. On January 14, 1943, the Albuquerque Journal ran a full-page article, featuring three US Navy photos of HA-19, for the War Bond Parade. By mid-morning, 20,000 public-spirited Albuquerqueans lined Central Avenue to see the sub on a 90-foot truck-trailer rig.

The program will be held at the Albuquerque Museum at 2000 Mountain Rd. NW in Old Town. Parking is free in the lot south of the Museum. Admission to the Museum and the AHS program is also free.

Photo of Dick Brown on top of the sail of USS New Mexico
Dick Brown on the sail of USS New Mexico

Our presenter, Dick Brown, is a Cold War submarine veteran, retired engineer and life member of the Navy League of the United States. He is also a regular contributor to the Naval Submarine League’s quarterly journal The Submarine Review. Dick spearheaded the Navy League’s statewide grassroots initiative that resulted in the Navy naming its sixth Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN-779). He chaired the commissioning committee and has been supporting the officers and crew of USS New Mexico for 15 years.

He qualified in submarines in 1963 during a strategic deterrent patrol in the far North Pacific on one of the first missile-carrying submarines. He was a reactor operator on a ballistic missile submarine while making four patrols in the Mediterranean Sea. As a civilian, he has been to sea on USS New Mexico three times, USS Santa Fe one time, and USS Albuquerque six times. Regarding the latter, he made the very last cruise when Albuquerque journeyed from San Diego to Bremerton, WA and he had the honor of sounding the diving alarm for the submarine’s 1,075 th and last dive.

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Treasury Department’s War Savings Bond campaign, Dick has researched the route of a captured Japanese midget submarine through New Mexico, including its serving as the centerpiece for the largest ever downtown Albuquerque parade in January 1943, followed by a cruise through Tijeras Canyon, all part of a grand fundraising tour through 2,000 cities and towns in 41 states.