Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009-2017 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.
Revision 1

14 December 1939:
Tokyo. Laid down at Uraga Dock Co. as as Yard No. 446, a 4,351-ton passenger-cargo ship for Northern Japan Steamship K.K., Tokyo.

30 January 1940:
During construction transferred to Nippon Kai Steamship K. K., Tokyo after its establishment.

14 August 1940:
Launched and named HAKUSAN MARU. [1]

20 August 1941:

August 1941-May 1944:
Sea of Japan. HAKUSAN MARU alternates on regular circuit voyages between Niigata, Japan and Rashin (Najin) and Seishin (Chongin), northern Korea carrying passengers and cargo.

2 June 1943:
Departs Rashin harbor, Najin, Korea, after offloading 1,022 tons cargo, 549 passengers and embarking 135 passengers. Later that day, arrives at Seishin. [2]

In response to a statement by the Japanese Government that it might consent to receive supplies overland or by sea from Soviet territory, the American Red Cross ships more than 2,000 tons of urgently needed food and medical supplies to Vladivostok, USSR for use by Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and internees.

After relief supplies for Allied POWs had lain in Soviet warehouses for a year, the Japanese agree to send ships to Vladivostok to pick them up, but since Vladivostok is a naval base, the Soviets suggest transferring the supplies to Nakhodka, Primorsky Krai, USSR, an equally accessible Soviet port just 100 miles S of Vladivostok.

E 1944:
HAKUSAN MARU is requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA) as a Haitosen or Army/Civilian (A/C) shared employment (A/C-APK) ship and alloted Army No. 5519. Normally these ships were operated by IJA on outward voyages carrying troops, military supplies, etc., and on its return voyage carried cargo for the benefit of its civilian owner(s).

25 October 1944:
The Government of Japan informs the U. S. government, via the International Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland that a Japanese ship will proceed to a Soviet port to pick up prisoner of war (POW) relief supplies.

28 October 1944:
HAKUSAN MARU departs Kobe for Nakhodka, carrying consignments of about 300,000 eleven-pound food parcels packed by the American and Canadian Red Cross societies; 2,661 cases of drugs and medical supplies; 19,500 sets of clothing; 7,080 overcoats; 4,200 pairs of shoes; 125 cases of shoe-repair material; 21,000 sets of toilet articles; 1,000,000 cigarettes; and 299 cases of books and recreational and religious material shipped by the YMCA.

November 1944:
The Government of Japan informs the U. S. government, via Geneva, that the supplies will be distributed to POWs in Japan proper and other localities as far south "as feasible."

8 November 1944:
HAKUSAN MARU arrives at Nakhodka, Siberia and loads 2,200-tons of relief supplies sent by the American and Canadian Red Cross societies for distribution to British, Canadian, American, Dutch and other Allied POWs and civilian internees.

The POW supplies consist of eleven-pound food parcels that contain such nonperishable items as prunes, raisins, liver pate, coffee, corned beef, sugar, dried milk, oleomargarine, biscuits, orange concentrate, cheese, canned salmon or tuna fish, chocolate bars, cigarettes, and soap. Other packages consist of medical supplies, clothing, toilet articles, and seeds and gardening materials.

9 November 1944:
Departs Nakhodka and later that day arrives at Moji. [3]

11 November 1944:
Arrives at Kobe. The remaining POW supplies are unloaded.

November 1944-August 1945:
HAKUSAN MARU resumes its regular service between Niigata, Najin and Seishin, Korea.

18 August 1945:
Strikes a mine and sinks off Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan.

The Shipping Control Authority for the Japanese Merchant Marine (SCAJAP) is established by Allied forces.

Raised and rehabilitated. HAKUSAN MARU is refloated and repaired. She is assigned SCAJAP No. H005. Later, resumes service.

Circa 1951:
Owners restyled as Nihonkai Kisen Kaisha.

Sold to Toyo Yusen K.K. Tokyo.

Japan. Scrapped.

Authors' Note:
[1] Not to be confused with IJN transport 10,380 GRT '23 or IJA transport No. 405 (2,197 GRT ’20).

[2] This entry is shown as a typical example of the hundreds of regular voyages made by HAKUSAN MARU between Niigata and Korea.

[3] A declassified USN file says: “That same month, HAKUSAN MARU made its first call at a Korean port and unloaded about 150 tons for the prisoners of war held in Korea and Manchuria. The vessel then proceeded to Kobe, where the American Red Cross requested the International Red Cross delegate to supervise the forwarding of the supplies so that they be distributed to all Allied, as well as American, prisoners of war and civilian internees in all Japanese-held areas.”

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

Back to Prisoner of War Relief Supply Ship Page