BAAG Report KWIZ #75 Naval Reports – information about Holt’s Wharf, Taikoo Dock, Kowloon Dock and Naval Dockyard
Elizabeth Ride has sent BAAG Report KWIZ #75, dated 17th November 1944, and noted earlier: After KWIZ #4, the Naval section is not included in the AWM papers, and does not appear again until KWIZ #66, and then in a slightly different format.
HF: I am afraid because of time constraints I am no longer able to summarize and list the most salient points in KWIZ reports as I did with the BAAG Naval Intelligence Reports, many of which are listed in our Index.
HF: If you are able to provide images of vessels or locations mentioned in this report or information about subjects referred to which you think is relevant to our website I would be delighted to hear from you.
The British Army Aid Group (BAAG) was a military intelligence unit which operated in China between March 1942 and December 1945, originally as a branch of MI9. The officers were mainly European men with a Hongkong connection, and the operative agents were mostly local Hongkong men and women who offered their services, often at great risk, in occupied Hongkong and outside, in the fight for the restoration of their home and freedom. Throughout the the war the BAAG provided unique intelligence – military, political and economic – about conditions in both Hongkong and China; they also gave medical and humanitarian assistance to civilians and military alike, and eventually were able to play a part in the restoration of legal rule in Hongkong.
- 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 https://www.hongkongheritage.org/Pages/FindingAids/LibraryCollection/Elizabeth_M_Ride_Collection.aspx
Our Index contains several examples of BAAG Naval Section Intelligence Summaries, other BAAG material plus many articles about Hong Kong during the Second World War.
This article was first posted on 4th April 2020.
Related Indhhk articles:
- BAAG Report KWIZ#1, Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ#2, Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ#3, Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ#4, Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ #66 Naval Reports – information about Taikoo, Aberdeen, Kowloon & Cosmopolitan dockyards
- BAAG Report KWIZ #67 Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ #68 Naval Reports – sketch plan of Naval Dockyard 1944
- BAAG Report KWIZ #69 Naval Reports
- BAAG Report KWIZ #70 Naval Reports – information about Kowloon, Taikoo, Naval and Cosmopolitan dockyards
- BAAG Report KWIZ #71 Naval Reports – information about Aberdeen,Kowloon, Taikoo and Naval dockyards
- BAAG Report KWIZ #72 Naval Reports – information about Cosmopolitan, Kowloon, Taikoo and Naval dockyards and Kowloon wharves
- BAAG Report KWIZ #73 Naval Reports – information about Holt’s Wharf, Taikoo Docks, Aberdeen Dock, Kowloon Wharves and Kowloon Docks
- BAAG Report KWIZ #74 Naval Reports – information about Naval Dockyard
Our Index contains numerous examples of BAAG reports, extracts from them and other articles related to Hong Kong during World War Two.
Some interesting insights into Japanese shipping movements at this critical time. In Oct 1944 Formosa (Taiwan) was subject to US carrier aircraft raids for the first time and many ships fled Takao (Kaohsiung) to the relative safety of Hong Kong.. A very large convoy known as the MOTA-27 Taihi (refugee) convoy arrived in Hong Kong from Takao on 8th October. The previous day (7 October) at 1800 a 5 ship routine convoy HO-509 had left HK for Takao- it is unclear if it was recalled to Hong Kong but it certainly sought shelter rather than crossing the Taiwan Straits. Several of the ships listed came from these convoys.
Using the serial number to the left of each entry the following can be identified
S/203 is Yamako Maru (山幸丸) also called Yamasachi Maru or Sanko Maru, as shown). This was a tanker built 1943 5948 gross tons (gt) converted from an ore carrier. This ship was a member of MOTA-27 Taihi.
S/204 is very likely Kenzui Maru 乾瑞丸 built 1904, 4156 gt. This ship was also a member of MOTA-27 Taihi.
S/205 is as correctly noted Kaiko Maru 海口丸 built 1902 2690 gt. This ship was a member of HO-509.
S/206 is as correctly noted Sorachi 空知丸 , built 1930, 4109 gt. This ship was also a member of HO-509.
S/208 is not as stated Gyoku Maru. This ship had been torpedoed and sunk 18 Sep 1944 in the Yellow Sea. The reference to a kingpost and similar sizing and the fact that the first character is the same as the second character suggests this could be Sorachi Maru S/206 that returned to Hong Kong and departed 26/10/44 in a convoy TA-509 to Takao.
S/213 is correctly identified as Ranzan Maru. The ship was built 1902, 1380 gt and was formerly Kwong Sai.
S/214 is probably Tozan Maru, 斗山丸 built 1920, 2604. This ship left Hong Kong 26 October in TA-509 with Sorachi Maru and 6 others.
S/215 correctly identified Kwong Fook Cheung. The ship was known as Kofuku Maru 廣福丸 by the Japanese. Built in 1923, 881 gt.
S/217 correctly identified as Yulin Maru (often shown as Yurin Maru as there is no L in the Japanese syllabary). 楡林丸. Unfortunately there were two large ships of this name and both traded in the general area so the identity of this ship is uncertain.
S/218 correctly identified as Tenichi Maru 天一丸 built 1929 942 ex Tin Yat. The claim the ship was sailing as far south as Singapore appears unlikely- usually the ship traded to Hainan and French Indo China. It is quite possible that the ship was carrying cargo to be onforwarded to Singapore.
The other ships listed without names are unidentified. It is possible based on the descriptions to make some guesses as to identity but that’s all.
Towards the bottom there are references to three vessels trading to Canton. Kinsei Maru 金星丸, Ginsei Maru 銀星丸 and Densei Maru.電星丸 .These appear to be Star ferries = respectively Golden Star (1924, 147 gt) Silver Star (no details) and Electric Star (1933 164 gt). These are the first references I have seen to presumed Star Ferries under wartime control.
More info on the ships can be found on the spreadsheet I posted under Shipping dated Aug 20 2020.
What is the name of the Japanese convoy MOTA-23?
MOTA-23 is the convoy name. From Feb 1944 the Japanese introduced a new convoy numbering system replacing the three digit number 100 series they had been using for the Moji-Takao convoy route since commencement of formal convoys in April 1942. MOTA stood for Moji (MO) and Takao (TA)- today called Kaohsiung and was the single biggest artery of the Japanese convoy system. Ships arriving at Takao then branched sailing principally to Manila or St Jacques (Vung Tau) but sometimes to Hainan Island (Sana, Haikow or Yulin) or to Hong Kong.