BAAG records of shipping in HK during 1944-45 – Japanese Gunboat
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.
BAAG Report #KWIZ 66 15th September 1944.
A Japanese gunboat was seen on 12 July 1944
Arrived on 2 July 1944 from Japan
Inward passengers: 500 wounded soldiers. This batch of wounded soldiers formed only part of the 2,500 transported from Japan to HK in 4 cargo ships at the end of June 1944. 3 of these were sunk by allied A/C on route. 500 of the soldiers were saved and transferred to this gunboat which brought them to HK.
Departed on 10 July 1944 escorting the Kinka Maru and Hongkong Maru to Formosa.
An image of this ship would be helpful.
This article was first posted on 16th April 2017.
- 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
- The BAAG papers are kept at the Hong Kong Heritage Project – Elizabeth M Ride Collection
Based on the description above this almost certainly refers to elderly destroyer (Kuchikukan) 栗 (Kuri) that was due to depart Hong Kong at 2300 on 9th July 1944 for Takao escorting a convoy. Some of the armament calibre is misquoted and it is unclear if Kuri carried a smaller gun in the well forward of the bridge that had been formerly occupied by torpedo tubes, It would seem quite plausible that she did given the hazards of air attack at this stage of the war.
The Hong Kong Maru referred to was not the Osaka Shosen 35, 2797 vessel that had been sunk 21/6/43. Rather it was a war captured vessel. There are two possibilities- one was the former Argus 01, 1025 that later became Shinnan Maru after being converted from a cable layer. The second ship possibility is that the ship was a salvaged wreck of a Dutch hopper barge called Hong Kong recovered at Hong Kong.
Kinka Maru was 37, 9300 and a fast motorship. The ship is confirmed leaving Hong Kong this date and arriving Takao the following day.