I-30,Commander Shinobu Endo
5 August 1942:
The I-30 is met by eight German M-class minesweepers and one Sperrbrecher (mine barrage breaker) who escort her to Lorient - the largest of the five German U-boat bases on the French coast. The I-30 is the first Japanese submarine to arrive in Europe during World War II.
The I-30 ties up to a buoy and her crew is transferred by a French tender to the deck of the U-67. Cdr Edo and his crew are greeted by Grossadmiral Erich Raeder, Oberbefehlshaber (CINC) der Kriegsmarine (OKM), Admiral (later Grossadmiral/Führer) Karl Dönitz, Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote (BdU) and the Japanese Naval Attaché to Germany Captain (later Rear Admiral) Yokoi Tadao who have traveled from their headquarters for the occasion.
The Lorient station band plays martial music and Cdr Endo is decorated with a German medal. A woman presents him with a bouquet of flowers traditionally given to successful arriving U-boat commanders. Ashore, U-boat men, soldiers, nurses, signals women and civilians line up to greet the I-30.
I-8,Commander Shinji Uchino
31 August 1943:
The I-8 arrives at Brest. Cdr Uchino and his crew turn out on deck in their dress blues. They are greeted by Admiral Theodor Krancke (former CO of Panzerschiff ADMIRAL SCHEER), CINC of the Kriegsmarine's Marineoberkommando West (Group West) and receive German war decorations. The German station band plays welcoming martial music. The event is filmed for propaganda purposes. A French tug assists the I-8 in berthing in Pen "A" of Brest's huge U-boat bunker.
I-29,Commander Takakazu Kinashi
11 March-15 April 1944:
The I-29 arrives safely at Lorient. She anchors next to Kapitänleutnant Max Wintermeyer's U-190. The U-boat's crew cheers and waves welcoming greetings to the I-29's crewmen on parade in their dress uniforms on her deck. Later, the I-29 is berthed in one of Lorient's massive Keroman bunkers....Cdr Kinashi travels to Berlin. Adolf Hitler presents him with the Iron Cross, 2nd Class for sinking the USS Wasp.
Another two failed in the attempt to berth in Axis Europe,both sunk:
I-34,Commander Tatsushi Irie
13 October 1943:
The I-34, still under Cdr Irie, departs Kure on the first leg of a "Yanagi"* mission to Nazi-occupied France. She is the third IJN submarine to undertake such a mission. The Japanese code name the I-34 "Momi" (Fir) and the Germans code name her the "U-Tanne". Radio traffic between Tokyo and Berlin concerning the I-34's mission is transmitted in diplomatic code, but is intercepted and deciphered by Allied code-breakers.
I-52,Commander Kameo Uno
6 June 1944:
Berlin. Rear Admiral Kojima Hideo (former CO of KASHII), the Naval Attache, signals Tokyo and the I-52. He indicates that the Allies have landed at Normandy. Kojima notes that arrival at Lorient will be dangerous and, depending on the situation, the I-52 may have to proceed to Norway. He further instructs the Captain of the Momi to rendezvous on 22 June with a U-boat at 2115 (GMT) at 15N, 40W.