World War Two – 1944 BAAG sketches of Japanese ships in Hong Kong
Elizabeth Ride: BAAG agents sometimes made outline sketches of shipping seen in HK harbour. Here are six dated 15 Sep 1944.
Hugh Farmer: Straying somewhat from the industrial history of HK I thought however it would be of interest to find out a little more about these ships. A couple have a closer connection to HK that just being spotted in HK harbour. My main source of information has been wrecksite though a couple of the ships already have a mention in other articles on the website.
Wrecksite usually provides a photo of the ship so you can compare what the BAAG agent saw, or at least drew, and what the camera took. As Elizabeth adds in the comment below These sketches are drawn from details memorised by BAAG agents (they obviously could not draw them in situ). The sketches accompanied actual reports.
As you will see I cannot find details about the Tenichi Maru.
Choan Maru – Luxury liner from the OSK line.
Built 1927. Sunk 10th May 1944
No further information on wrecksite. However, Elizabeth has added notes describing the ship, its time in Hong Kong and especially in Taikoo Dockyards in the first comment below.
Passenger and cargo ship
Date seen: 30 Jul 44
Position: east of Taikoo dock
Colour: dark grey
Tonnage: about 500 tons
See also Indhhk article Taikoo Dockyard
Shinshu Maru – Landing Ship
Built 1935. Sunk 3rd Jan 1945 (Wikipedia says Construction began 8th April 1933, Launched 14th March 1934)
Kanzan Maru – Cargo Ship (I am cannot find information about the Kanzan Maru. Should this be the Kazan Maru? But then as stated below this was sunk in 1943 and this BAAG report is from 1944. Am I missing something? Clarification would be useful)
Elizabeth has added further details about the ship in HK and of undergoing repairs at Taikoo Dockyards.
Built 1935. Damaged by US submarine 23rd Oct 1943, sank the following day.
Heikai Maru – Cargo Ship
Built 1945 ( according to wrecksite however the BAAG report seen below says “under construction 24th Oct 1944”)
Elizabeth adds in her second comment below further details about the ship’s time in HK and Taikoo Dockyards.
Including – On 11.8.44 BAAG reported: “Work on this vessel which commenced in March 44 has been suspended pending shipment to Hongkong from Formosa of 1 and a quarter inch rivets which cannot be manufactured in Hongkong, the Taikoo dockyard being able to turn out 7/8″ rivets only”.
Bombed and Sunk in HK Harbour 3rd April 1945
see Indhhk article Taikoo Dockyard
Koto Maru- Passenger/Cargo Ship
Built 1939. Sunk 31st May 1944
- 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 –
Related Indhhkk articles:
The website has several articles about BAAG reports from HK during WW2 and about various aspects of life in HK during the Japanese occupation. The index shows all of these.