BAAG records of shipping in HK during 1944-45 – the Fukuan Maru, ex-Shu Kwang operated by Asiatic Petroleum Company

Elizabeth Ride has British Army Aid Group (BAAG) records of shipping movements for 1944-45 in Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation in World War Two.

These provide information not only about the ships themselves but what cargo was being brought into and out of Hong Kong during the latter stages of WW2, passengers carried, and of godowns, docks etc that were being utilised.

The Fukuan Maru, a river steamer, was seen on 15 Aug 1944

Its engine, steam, was built by Taikoo Docks

[SHU KWANG was a River class tanker built for Shell in 1924 by the shipyard Yarrow & Co, Glasgow. She was managed by the Asiatic Petroleum Co. Ltd. In 1940 she was sold to the British Admiralty and used as a patrol vessel. In 1942 she was renamed FUKUAN MARU (Japanese?), In 1944 FUKUAN MARU was mined and sunk.(1)]

On 19 Aug 1944 was on Taikoo Docks Slipway No.1 for repairs to hull and engine

This is the former S.S. Fook On scuttled off North Point. Salvaged by Japanese on 1 July [what year?]  and towed to Taikoo Docks for repairs. [Clarification needed as to alternative names prior to being renamed the Fukuan Maru. There was a Fook On Steam Ship Company see Inddhk related articles below: Sai Hing Steam Ship Company – smuggling, pirates and bombs…]

shu-kwang-aka-fukuan-maru-snipped-helderline-improved-image-idj

Undated image of the ship as the Shu Kwang Courtesy: www.helderline.nl Thanks to IDJ for improving the quality of the original photo

baag-kwiz-70-5-fukuan-maru

Further information:

  1. For general information about the Elizabeth Ride collection, her father Sir Lindsay Ride, and the British Army Aid group during WW2 a very useful introduction is through http://gwulo.com/node/13968
  2. The BAAG papers are kept at the Hong Kong Heritage Project – Elizabeth M Ride Collection

One comment

  • I believe the site’s analysis may confuse two separate ships, which had a similar gross tonnage figure and were built in the same year. The FOOK ON was a lesser-known Hong Kong area passenger ferry and the SHU KWANG was a well known Yangtse tanker. The BAAG records appear to refer to FOOK ON but the photo is of SHU KWANG.

    Below is the information that I had on each of these ships. I did not know the history of FOOK ON from 1937 to 1944, so Elizabeth’s BAAG material is very enlightening indeed. The material suggests the ship was scuttled, raised on 1/7/44 and re-engined with a steam engine built by the Mitsubishi Taikoo dockyard and given a new mast or masts..

    FOOK ON (1924-?) 738 gross tons / built 1924
    Built by Quan Lee or Lau Wa Ping shipyard, Hong Kong, As built, powered by Vickers diesel. Dimensions in feet 160.6×27.1×8.4. Passenger ferry operating in Pearl River Delta area.
    Listed in Lloyd’s Register books until at least 1936-37. Captured by Japan, renamed. FUKUAN MARU.. 24/12/44 while under IJN control sunk by mine off Palembang, South Sumatra, 4 crew dead.

    SHU KWANG (1924-42) 788 gross tons / built 1924 (T8cy builders 2-sc., petroleum in bulk)
    Summer moulded draught not to exceed 8’6”.
    Built by Yarrow & Co. (1922 Ltd.), Glasgow for Asiatic Petroleum Co. North China, Shanghai. 1940 sold to RN and comm. as aux. patrol vessel HMS SHU KWANG. 14/2/42 left Singapore for Colombo but several hours later attacked twice in Java Sea by Japanese bombers, 20 dead/273 rescued. Sunk by gunfire from TANJONG PINANG.

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