From the Archives: Japanese sub at UCLA-USC football game


A captured Japanese midget submarine was paraded around the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during USC-UCLA football game Dec. 12, 1942.

The sub, Ha-19, was one of five Japanese midget submarines that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor. On Dec. 7, 1941, Ha-19 ran aground on a reef outside Pearl Harbor. The damaged sub was captured after it ran aground again on the east side of Oahu.

During World War II, Ha-19 was trucked around the United States for war bond drives. On Dec. 12, 1942 — about a year after the Pearl Harbor attack – the sub appeared in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.


The next morning, Times writer Nadine Mason reported:

Rooting sections, football teams and the roaring crowd of servicemen and civilians that filled the Coliseum yesterday were all fighting on the same side of a big war.

There was a game, of course. A good football game played with cleanness and precision that made winners and losers proud of each other.

And there was the war.

“Buy Bonds Today at the Half,” blared the speaker before 1:30 p.m. as the great stadium was filling.

“Buy Bonds Today,” spelled the spectacular rooting sections of both U.C.L.A. and S.C. during the half.

The blue-uniformed band of U.C.L.A. and the crimson-clad music group of S.C. maneuvered over the field playing American fighting songs. They gave the old Bronx cheer, “Right in Der Fuehrer’s Face,” and they “Passed the Ammunition” to the delight of both sides. ...


More than $1,000,000 worth of bonds was said to have been purchased during the intermission….

Hisses and boos were reserved for the captured Japanese submarine which was paraded around the track.

Ha-19 is now on display at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

For more check out this Ha-19 website.

On Dec. 19, 1942, Times Ssorts columnist Braven Dyer reported that the war bond drive collected nearly $2 million.

UCLA won the football game 14-7.

This post originally was published on Dec. 7, 2011.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here