Aug. 22, 1943 the Japanese submarine I-182 sailed from Truk for a patrol in the New Hebrides over 1,800
miles away, she is never heard from again. Three days earlier the I-20 also sailed from Truk for the New
Hebrides, that boat also failed to return, so the question is, what happened to them?
Published accounts are all I have to go on so here is what I found. In the DANFS (Dictionary of American Naval
Fighting Ships) the I-182 is reported to have been sunk Sept. 9, 1943 by USS Trout SS-202 in the Suriago
Strait in the Philippines. The JANAC report also credits Trout with sinking I-182, however I believe this can be easily discounted as the Suriago Strait is 1,800 miles west of Truk, the opposite direction of where I-182 was
ordered to patrol. I have been unable to associate a different submarine with this reported attack, but it is clear
it was not against the I-182 and may have been against a non-sub target.
Both subs should have been in the New Hebrides in late August and the I-20 for sure was, her commander
reported torpedoing the tanker W. S. Rheem on Aug. 31 at position 15.51S - 167.02E, 20 miles southwest of
Malo Island, this is south of Espiritu Santo. The next morning, Sept. 1 USS Wadsworth DD-516 attacked a
submerged submarine 15 miles north of the attack on Rheem, it is believed the unknown submarine was sunk
and it is thought by some this was the I-182, however the close proximity to the previous attack by the I-20
leads me to believe this was the I-20 and not the I-182.
On Sept. 3, 1943 the USS Ellet DD-398 attacks a submarine 212 miles north-northwest of the Wadsworth
attack, it is possible that this was the I-182. There is no way to know for sure which submarines were sunk by
which destroyer, if any were sunk at all, but it is certain neither boat returned and both crews remain lost at
sea to this day.