(1K HIDAKA MARU by Ueda Kihachiro)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2012 Bob Hackett

8 August 1942:
Tsurumi, Yokohama. Laid down at Nippon Kokan K.K., as a 5,486-ton Type 1K Standard Merchant ore carrier for Nippon Yusen K. K. (NYK), Tokyo.

20 February 1943:
Launched and named HIDAKA MARU.

31 March 1943:

Requisitioned by the IJN and operated with civilian crew (B-AK).

27 December 1943:
At 0800, HIDAKA MARU departs Rabaul for Palau escorting convoy O-706 consisting of SHIRANESAN, RYUA, HARUNA and HOKKAI MARUs and KOSHU MARU No. 3 escorted by subchasers CH-39 and CH-33.

3 January 1944:
Arrives at Palau at 0800. After arrival, HIDAKA MARU begins loading 2,230-tons of bauxite (aluminum) ore. [1]

9 January 1944:
HIDAKA MARU departs Palau for Saeki, Japan escorting convoy FU-905 consisting of SORACHI, SHIRANESAN, TOYOKAWA, HIDAKA and KURAMASAN MARUs escorted by torpedo-boat SAGI and subchaser CH-26.

20 January 1944:
260 km SE of Cape Muroto. At 0103, LtCdr Wayne R. Merrill's USS BATFISH (SS-310) attacks the convoy on the surface. Merrill fires eight torpedoes and gets two hits in HIDAKA MARUís No. 4 hold that cause her to lose power, steering and communications. She drifts helplessly for many hours. At 1456, HIDAKA MARU sinks by the stern south of Shiono Misaki at 31-32N, 135-58E. 14 passengers and 2 crewmen are KIA. [2]

Removed from the Navy List

Author's Notes:
[1] In 1899, Spain sold Palau to Germany and it became a German protectorate. The Germans began mining bauxite and phosphate. After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles granted control of Palau to the Japanese who started mining Bauxite for use by their industry.

[2] One source claims that, in addition to her cargo of bauxite, HIDAKA MARU also carried about 1,000 troops of unknown units. Notwithstanding the long time it took her to sink, the relatively small number of persons KIA raises doubt that HIDAKA MARU carried that many troops.

-Bob Hackett

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