(Bogota entering Singapore Harbor)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2010 Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler

E 1937:
Wesermünde, Germany. Laid down at Schiffbau-Gesellschaft "Unterweser" A. G., as yard No. 259, a 1,230-ton freighter for Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) Line of Bremen.

17 December 1937:
Launched and named BOGOTA. Sponsored by Mr. Rocha-Schloss, consul of the Republic of Columbia at Bremen.

18 March 1938:
Completed and delivered to Norddeutscher Lloyd.

22 March 1938:
Departs Bremen under Captain Alfred Möller on her maiden voyage with cargo for the west coast of Central America. After arrival, employed in coastal shipping service between harbors on the northern and western coasts of South America. Stationed at Puerto Cristobal, on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal.

26 August 1939:
After having received a pre-arranged war warning signal, BOGOTA departs Puerto Cristobal for Guayaquil, Ecuador and passes through the Panama Canal. En route to Guayaquil, she makes a stop at Buenaventura, Columbia.

1 September 1939:
Danzig, Baltic Sea. At 0445, old German battleship SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN opens fire on the Polish military depot at Westerplatte. German troops invade Polish territory.

That same day, BOGOTA arrives at Guayaquil, Ecuador.

3 September 1939: The Second World War Begins:
Noon. Germany does not reply to an ultimatum from Prime Minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain to Germany to withdraw its forces from Poland, consequently a state of war now exists between Great Britain, France and Germany.

3 January 1940:
Departs Guayaquil, Ecuador for Coquimbo, Chile.

11 January 1940:
Arrives at Coquimbo, Chile. Sister ship QUITO arrives the following day.

After several futile negotiations with the Chilean Government to sell the vessel, Captain Möller is finally instructed to wait for a dark night to depart Coquimbo for Yokohama.

4 April 1941:
Authorities at Callao, Peru inform the British C-in-C America and West Indies that BOGOTA and QUITO had applied for clearance from Coquimbo and might attempt to break out on 14 or 15 April. Canadian armed merchant cruiser (ex-Canadian National liner) HMCS PRINCE HENRY is ordered to establish a patrol off Coquimbo. PRINCE HENRY patrols the area for two weeks, but BOGOTA and QUITO make no effort to sail. On 19 April, PRINCE HENRY is directed to Antofagasta, Chile to watch that port.

18 May 1941:
Departs Coquimbo for Yokohama. QUITO also departs that same night, but the two ships do not sail together towards Japan.

15 June 1941:
BOGOTA arrives at Ailinglapalap Atoll, Marshall Islands. Refuelled by German supply ship ELSA ESSBERGER (6,103 grt). Crew members of ELSA ESSBERGER support BOGOTA's crew in camouflaging the ship as a Japanese merchant.

16 June 1941:
Departs Ailinglapalap Atoll camouflaged as HEIZAN MARU.

18 June 1941:
BOGOTA intercepts an emergency call from HAPAG-motorship OSORNO (6,951 grt) which has become unnavigable due to an engine breakdown. BOGOTA finds disabled OSORNO and, after taking her in tow, heads toward Yokohama. Enroute BOGOTA is twice refueled from OSORNO´s bunkers. [1]

3 July 1941:
Both ships arrive at Yokohama finishing an incredible towage over a distance of 1,800 nautical miles.

28 July 1941:
Officially requisitioned by the Deutsche Kriegsmarine (German Navy) as a Marine Sonderdienst (auxiliary) Versorgungs Schiff (supply ship).

22 December 1941:
Yokohama. Enters No. 3 Drydock of Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.K. Yokohama Zosensho.

12 January 1942:
Leaves No. 3 Drydock.

10 September 1942
Chartered to Teikoku Senpaku K. K., a Japanese Government financed shipping company operated by Kawasaki Kisen K. K., Kobe, renamed TEIHO MARU and given signal code JGHR.

5 June 1943:
Yokohama. Enters No. 2 Drydock of Mitsubishi Jukogyo K. K. Yokohama Zosensho.

10 June 1943:
Leaves No. 2 Drydock.

Autumn 1943:
BOGOTA is sent southward to serve as a supply vessel for German and Italian transport submarines.

11 November 1943:
Early in the morning, IJN submarine I-34 departs Seletar, Singapore for Penang, Malaya. The German plan calls for BOGOTA to refuel I-34 in the Indian Ocean on 25 November and 4 December 1943 before the submarine enters the South Atlantic enroute to France, but on 13 Nov 43, LtCdr (Later Captain) Mervyn R. G. Wingfield's submarine HMS TAURUS torpedoes and sinks I-34 at 05-17N, 100-05E.

23 December 1943:
Early in the morning, BOGOTA replenishes Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Kinashi Takakazu's submarine I-29 that takes on 120-tons of diesel oil in six hours and some food. This is the only refueling I-29 undertakes during her successful "Yanagi" mission to Lorient, France.

14 August 1944:
At 1000, BOGOTA departs Surabaya for Makassar, Celebes with IKUTAGAWA MARU (ex-Italian CALITEA II) and transport (ex-seaplane tender) KIMIKAWA MARU escorted by minesweeper W-11. At 2030, BOGOTA and KIMIKAWA MARU are detached and steam independently. [2]

20 September 1944:
BOGOTA departs Surabaya for Balikpapan. [2]

18 October 1944:
At 0800, BOGOTA departs Singapore and at 1830 reaches the Banka Straits. [2]

19 October 1944:
At 0830, arrives at Jakarta (formerly Batavia). [2]

15 January 1945:
At 1205, arrives at Singapore, probably from Jakarta.

17 January 1945:
At 1205, a message from Singapore reads "German vessel BOGOTA arrived." (transporting supplies to Singapore.) [2]

17 February 1945:
A message from Tokyo to Berlin reads: “BOGOTA left Singapore for Jakarta with supplies on 17th February. She will return in about 20 days time.”[2]

18 February 1945:
U-862 departs Jakarta. That night, BOGOTA escorts U-862. [2]

10 March 1945:
BOGOTA is in the Singapore area. [2]

14 March 1945:
At 0130, BOGOTA departs Jakarta. At 2130, she anchors for the night at the southern entrance to the Banka Strait. [2]

15 March 1945:
At 1700, BOGOTA is at the northern entrance to the Banka Strait. By 0001, she is at 00-37S, 105-00E making 12.5 knots.[2]

18 March 1945:
At 0825, a message from Singapore reads "BOGOTA returned to Singapore on 17 March from a voyage to Jakarta. No. 1 diesel casing was torn several times. It will take at least 4 weeks to effect repairs.” [2]

18 April 1945:
At 1200, departs Singapore at 11.5 knots.

20 April 1945:
BOGOTA arrives at Jakarta and is to return to Singapore soon. [2]

5 May 1945: Germany Ceases Hostilities with the United States and Great Britain:
Tokyo. German naval attaché, Admiral Paul Wennecker (former CO of Panzerschiff DEUTSCHLAND/LÜTZOW) and Deutscher Admiral Ostasien (German Admiral, East Asia) sends the code-word signal "Lübeck" to all U-boats in Asia. It signifies that Germany has ceased hostilities.

The Kriegsmarine base commander at Jakarta, Korvettenkapitän (LtCdr) Dr. Hermann Kandeler (former gunnery officer of DKM raider THOR) announces that Adolf Hitler is dead and that Germany has ceased hostilities in the West, but continues to resist Soviet forces overrunning Berlin.

The Japanese seize BOGOTA and intern her crew.

At 1730, a message from Singapore to Japanese R.N.O. Jakarta reads "According to a message sent by the German R.N.O. Jakarta to the German R.N.O. here, the German R.N.O. Jakarta has ordered U-219 and BOGOTA to be - - and interned. Although we have - - please advise situation immediately." [2]

6 May 1945:
BOGOTA is renamed BOGOTA MARU and assigned to the IJN’s 10th Area Fleet. She is rated a tokusetsu-sokaibokan (auxiliary minesweeper tender). At 1250, a message from the Commander -in-Chief (CINC) 10th Area Fleet reads “When is it expected BOGOTA and TAITO MARU (4100 grt) will be ready to sail from Jakarta?” [3]

11 May 1945:
A message from Surabaya to Singapore reads: “SUMIRE MARU and BOGOTA are to carry out the following programme: 11 May at 0800 leave Jakarta, 1200 arrive at Payung Island, 1530 arrive at Jason Rock, 1900 arrive at Sugama Island, 12 May, 0800 arrive at southern entrance to Bangka Strait, 2000 anchor at Muntok, 13th May 0700 weigh, 14 May 0100 anchor at 'B' Point, 0700 weigh, 1400 arrive at Singapore. They will be escorted by No. 17 SHONAN MARU as far as Bangka.” [2]

19 May 1945:
At 1108, a message from R.N.O. Jakarta to CINC 10th Area Fleet (Singapore) reads: "Request following immediate drafts for BOGOTA. Gun's crews for 3 20 mm machine guns and 2 signalmen. Intend for the time being to fill vacancies in ship’s company with former German crew on the spot. Request arrangements be made for BOGOTA to proceed to you. "[2]

20 May 1945:
At 1619, a message from CINC 10th Area Fleet reads: "(1) 12 gunnery ratings and 2 signalmen are to be supplied by 3rd Personnel Supply Department to act as guards for German ship BOGOTA now interned at Jakarta. (2) Arrangements are to be made to ensure that former German crew does not board her. Request advice number of vacancies among that crew.” [2]

21 May 1945:
At 1930, a message from R.N.O. Jakarta reads: "Provision of crew for German ship BOGOTA requires engagement of various branches including engine room electricians, stewards, apprentices and deckhands; totaling 22 men. Engine room ratings have to be experienced in diesels. Others will be recruited locally.” [2]

BOGOTA and submarines U-161 and U-862 in Singapore are being manned by the Japanese. Jakarta reports that BOGOTA is manned and ready for sea on 28 May. [2]

1 June 1945:
At 1721, a message from R.N.O. Jakarta reads: "Former German tanker BOGOTA is assigned to l0th Area Fleet."

11 June 1945:
At 1546, a message from Jakarta to Singapore reads:"(1) Cargo in ex-German BOGOTA is 165 tons of pyrotechnics, 41 tons engine and aircraft spares, 100 tons aviation fuel, 31 tons caustic soda, 120 tons salt, 71 tons tobacco, 336 tons – vehicles, 2 tons vegetables, 130 tons rice and groceries.” [2]

September 1945:
Singapore. BOGOTA MARU is taken over by the Allies in unseaworthy condition.

1 December 1945:
BOGOTA MARU is assigned to to the Allied Repatriation Service and assigned SCAJAP number B022. [4]

25 March 1946:
Arrives at Tamano for repairs.

16 April 1946:
Repairs are completed.

20 April 1946:
Departs Kure.

21 April 1946:
Arrives at Saeki and departs later that day.

26 April 1946:
Arrives at Saigon. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

30 April 1946:
Departs Saigon.

1 May 1946:
Arrives at St Jacques (Vung Tau). Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

3 May 1946:
Departs St Jacques.

13 May 1946:
Arrives at Otaka. Disembarks troops and passengers.

16 May 1946:
Departs Kure. Disembarks troops and passengers.

28 May 1946:
Arrives at Bangkok. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

30 May 1946:
Departs at Bangkok.

2 June 1946:
Arrives at St Jacques. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

4 June 1946:
Departs St Jacques.

13 June 1946:
Arrives at Uraga. Disembarks troops and passengers.

19 June 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Uraga Dockyard.

4 July 1946:
Repairs are completed.

9 July 1946:
Departs Uraga.

14 July 1946:
Arrives at Hong Kong. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later the same day.

20 July 1946:
Arrives at St Jacques. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later the same day.

23 July 1946:
Arrives at Singapore. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

6 August 1946:
Departs Singapore.

9 August 1946:
Arrives at St Jacques. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated.

10 August 1946:
Departs St Jacques.

22 August 1946:
Arrives at Uraga. Disembarks troops and passengers.

27 August 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Uraga Dockyard.

19 September 1946:
Repairs are completed.

20 September 1946:
Departs Uraga.

22 September 1946:
Arrives at Nagoya and departs later the same day.

28 September 1946:
Arrives at Okinawa. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later the same day.

7 October 1946:
Arrives at Palembang. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later the same day.

11 October 1946:
Arrives at Singapore. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated and departs later the same day.

23 October 1946:
Arrives at Otaka. Disembarks troops and passengers.

25 October 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Kure Dockyard.

8 November 1946:
Repairs completed and departs Kure.

18 November 1946:
Arrives at Singapore. Embarks troops and passengers to be repatriated

9 December 1946:
Departs Singapore.

21 December 1946:
Arrives at Uraga. Disembarks troops and passengers.

22 December 1946:
Undergoes repairs at Kure Dockyard.

31 January 1947:
Repairs are completed.

July 1950:
Returned to the Norddeutscher Lloyd (NDL) Line and registered to the Roland Line Schiffahrts Gesellschaft.

28 May 1955:
Sold to Oluf Svendsen, Copenhagen, Denmark and renamed ASTRID SVEN, port of registry Copenhagen.

December 1957:
Sold to Hellenic Mediterranean Lines, Piräus, Greece and renamed PHRYGIA.

Sold to Alcyone S.A., Piräus and renamed ALCYONE.

9 May 1964:
100 km north of St. Louis, Senegal. An explosion in engine room causes a fire that burns out the ship at 16-49N, 16-29W.

11 May 1964:
Senegal. Sinks at 16-47-30N, 16-32W.

Authors' Notes:
[1] HAPAG = Hamburg-American Packet Company/Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfarhrt Aktien-Gesellschaft.

[2] The source of these date are transcripts of decrypts of Japanese radio messages by the USN Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne, (FRUMEL), Australia.

[3] Although the IJN rated BOGOTA MARU a tokusetsu-sokaibokan (auxiliary minesweeper tender), we could find no indication that she was ever employed in this role. Rather, she was used as a tokusetsu-sensui bokan (auxiliary submarine tender) and supply ship.

[4] Allied occupation forces were responsible for the return of six million Japanese military personnel and civilians from Japan's defunct far-flung Empire. In addition, there were over a million Korean and about 40,000 Chinese prisoners and conscript laborers and approximately 7,000 Formosans and 15,000 Ryukyu Islanders to be repatriated.

Some Allied and many former IJN warships, from aircraft carriers to kaibokan, were used to facilitate the enormous repatriation effort. Japanese vessels and crews were used to the fullest extent possible to conserve Allied manpower and accelerate demobilization. Each ex-IJN ship first had to be demilitarized; guns removed or, in the case of large warships, barrels severed, and ammunition landed. Repatriation of the Chinese on Japanese shipping began early in October from Hakata, but U.S. guard detachments had to be placed on many ships to prevent disorder because the Japanese crews could not control the returnees.

Japanese-run repatriation centers were established at Kagoshima, Hario near Sasebo, and Hakata near Fukuoka. Other reception centers were established and operated at Maizuru, Shimonoseki, Sasebo, Senzaki, Kure, Uraga, Yokohama, Moji and Hakodate. Allied line and medical personnel supervised the centers. Incoming Japanese were sprayed with DDT, examined and inoculated for typhus and smallpox, provided with food, and transported to his final destination in Japan.

Special thanks goes to Hans McIlveen of the Netherlands for information regarding FRUMEL decrypts.

-Bob Hackett, Peter Cundall and Erich Muehlthaler

Back to Submarine Tender Page