(Salvage Tug by Takeshi Yuki scanned from "Color Paintings of Japanese Warships")

IJN Salvage and Rescue Vessel HARUTA MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2009 Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall

Elbing, Germany. Laid down at Schichau GmbH ship yard as a 1,515-ton cargo ship for Bruusgaard Kiøsteruds Skibs of Norway.

Launched and named HALLDOR.

November 1925:
Completed and placed in service by Bruusgaard Kiøsterud & Co. under Captain Jørgen Jørgensen. Port of registry is Drammen, Norway.

August 1937:
Chartered by Yamashita Kisen and departs Nagoya for Yokkaichi and later Handa.

On trade route service with ports of call at Bangkok, Singapore, Port Swettenham, Hong Kong, Penang and Rangoon.

E 1 December 1941:
Departs Bangkok, Siam (Thailand).

5 December 1941:
75 miles SW of Saigon. An unidentified Imperial Japanese Navy warship stops, boards, inspects and releases HALLDOR.

9 December 1941:
Arrives at Hong Kong. The Japanese have surrounded the city and are bombarding it.

16 December 1941:
Hong Kong. HALLDOR is hit by a shell. The 2nd Engineer is killed and Captain Jørgensen is seriously injured; he dies in a hospital shortly thereafter.

25 December 1941: Christmas Day and the Fall of Hong Kong:
Governor Sir Mark A. Young decides to surrender the outnumbered British garrison because of lack of food and water. At 1800, in Japanese headquarters in the Peninsula Hotel at Kowloon, Young surrenders the Crown Colony. Nearly 6,500 British and Commonwealth troops go into captivity.

HALLDOR is captured by the China Area Fleet’s Hong Kong Special Base Force. Renamed HARUTA MARU.

30 January 1942:
Departs Hong Kong escorted by auxiliary gunboat KASAGISAN MARU.

1 February 1942:
KASAGISAN MARU is detached.

5 February 1942:
Destroyer TSUGA joins as escort.

11 February 1942:
Sasebo. Begins conversion to a salvage and rescue vessel.

10 February 1942:
Arrives at Ainoura, Nagasaki.

20 June 1942:
HARUTA MARU is registered in the Sasebo Naval District as an auxiliary salvage and rescue ship.

25 June 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

27 June 1942:
Arrives at Osaka.

29 June 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

1 July 1942:
Assigned to the First Southern Expeditionary Fleet and attached to the 11th Special Construction and Repair Section.

18 July 1942:
Departs Osaka.

21 July 1942:
Arrives at Sasebo.

25 July 1942:
Departs Sasebo.

30 July 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

9 August 1942:
Departs Hong Kong.

August 1942:
Arrives at West Mitsugi.

August 1942:
Departs West Mitsugi.

August 1942:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

5 August 1942:
Reassigned to the Department of the Navy attached to the 11th Special Construction and Repair Section.

1 February 1943:
Arrives at Saigon.

7 March 1943:
Departs Saigon.

18 April 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

6 June 1943:
Departs Hong Kong in fleet convoy No. 41 consisting of unidentified ships.

8 June 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

18 June 1943:
Departs Takao.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Mako.

25 June 1943:
Departs Mako. Arrives at Takao.

27 June 1942:
Departs Takao.

29 June 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

9 September 1943: Surrender of Fascist Italy:
Whangpoo River, Shanghai. In the early morning, 18,765-ton Italian liner SS CONTE VERDE of the Lloyd Triestino Line, moored off the Shanghai Club, is scuttled onto her port side by Capitano di Corvetta (LtCdr) Chinea’s Italian crew so not be captured by the Japanese.

14 September 1943:
HARUTA MARU departs Hong Kong.

20 September 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

20 October 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

24 October 1943:
Arrives at Hong Kong.

1 November 1943:
Departs Hong Kong.

6 November 1943:
Arrives at Shanghai.

28 December 1943:
Departs Shanghai.

22 January 1944:
Arrives at Shanghai.

1 June 1944:
Ensign Hidaka Saburo assumes command of HARUTA MARU.

6 June 1944:
The hulk of CONTE VERDE is uprighted to 37 ½ degrees when a lifting cable breaks and work has to be stopped.

8 June 1944:
Loads coal.

9 June 1944:
Loads stores.

16 June 1944:
The lifting operation continues, but is stopped when 43 degrees is achieved

22 June 1944:
Loads fresh water.

26 June 1944:
The lifting operation continues, but when 58 degrees is achieved a lifting cable breaks and work has to be stopped once more.

5 July 1944:
The hulk is uprighted to 67 degrees. At this point uprighting work ceases and ordinary salvage work commences. [1]

23 July 1944:
Loads fresh water.

8 August 1944:
Shanghai. Whangpoo (Huangpu) River. Moored CONTE VERDE is attacked by a single LAB (low-altitude bombardment)-equipped B-24 bomber of 373rd Bomb Squadron, 308th Bomb Group flown by Lt Col William D. Hopson. Hopson makes two radar guided approaches at very low altitude through rain and fog. On his second pass, his B-24 drops six bombs on the liner. CONTE VERDE falls on her starboard side and sinks for the second time.

6 September 1944:
Loads fresh water.

26 September 1944:
Loads fresh water.

5 October 1944:
Loads stores.

7 October 1944:
Loads coal.

12 October 1943:
Loads fresh water.

24 October 1944:
Loads stores.

25 October 1944:
Loads fresh water.

29 October 1944:
Loads coal.

31 October 1944:
Salvage work is resumed on CONTE VERDE. HARUTA MARU assists again.

16 December 1944:
Shanghai. CONTE VERDE is successfully refloated and placed in drydock at Kiagnan Dockyard for minimum repairs to enable the vessel to proceed to Japan under its own power. The work includes conversion of her fuel system from oil to coal. Four of her eight boilers and her two turbines are repaired enabling her to steam by own power.

21 January 1945:
Hong Kong. 14th Air Force B-24 “Liberators” bomb the port. HARUTA MARU is hit and sinks at 22-20N, 114-10E.

1 March 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

The wreck is broken up.

Authors' Notes:
[1] The Japanese intended to convert CONTE VERDE into a small aircraft carrier. She was to be towed out to Japan in August 1944 for further repairs and reconstruction. She was renamed KOTOBUKI MARU at an unknown date.

- Bob Hackett and Peter Cundall.

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