RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(HINKO MARU, prewar)

HINKO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement

© 2013 Bob Hackett


21 November 1935:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Zosensho K K., as a 5,418-ton cargo ship for Dairen Kisen K. K., Dairen, Manchukuo.

19 June 1936:
Launched and named HINKO MARU.

20 September 1936:
Completed.

1936:
Placed in service transporting coal from Manchukuo to Japan.

26 December 1942:
At 1700, HINKO MARU departs Yura for Tokyo Bay in East Convoy No. 56 also consisting of KARI GO, KOSHU, KURETAKE, RENZAN (ex-British HATTERLOCK), UNYO and WAKATAKE MARUs escorted by mineweeper W-17.

13 January 1943:
HINKO MARU departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 7113B also consisting of CEYLON, CHOYO, KANSEISHI, KOGEN, SEINAN, SEIWA and TAMAHIME MARUs escorted by subchaser CH-14. The convoy heads down the Honshu coast towards the Inland Sea.

17 May 1944:
At 0616, HINKO MARU departs Tateyama, Japan in convoy No. 3515 also consisting of AKISHIMA CHIYO, EIKO,HAKUSAN, KINSHU, NATSUKAWA, NIPPONKAI, REIKAI, SEIGA and TOYO MARUs and UNYO MARU No. 8 escorted by destroyer HATAKAZE, kaibokan CD-16, MIKURA and MIYAKI, minelayer SARUSHIMA, mineweeper W-20, CH-48 and auxiliary netlayer KOA MARU No. 2.

23 May 1944:
At about 0900, W-20 is detached from the convoy.

25 May 1944:
At 0708, the convoy arrives safely at Saipan.

28 May 1944:
At 0245, HINKO MARU departs Saipan in a convoy also consisting of REIKAI MARU escorted by minelayer SARUSHIMA, mineweeper W-20 and auxiliary minesweeper FUMI MARU No. 2. At 1915, arrives at Guam.

11 June 1944:
Saipan. All navigable ships flee in fear of an imminent Allied landing. At 0400, HINKO MARU departs Tanapag Harbor, Saipan in convoy No. 4611 also consisting of transports BATAVIA, BOKUYO, FUKOKU, IMIZU, INARI, MOJI, NITCHO, SHINTO, REIKAI, TATSUTAGAWA, and TENRYUGAWA MARUs, storeship MAMIYA, auxiliary netlayer KOKKO MARU and 16 unidentified ships escorted by kaibokan CD-4, torpedo boat OTORI, subchasers CH-33, CH-55, auxiliary minesweeper Wa-6 and auxiliary subchasers CHa-20 and CHa-50.

12 June 1944: American Operation “Forager” – The Invasion of Saipan:
Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Richmond K. Turner’s (USNA '11) Task Force 52 lands Marine LtGen Holland M. Smith’s V Amphibious Corps and the invasion of Saipan begins. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA '10) Task Force 58 launches aircraft from 15 carriers to attack airfields, defenses and shipping in the Marianas.

About 100 nautical miles W of Alamagan Island, northern Marianas. At 0935, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscher’s (USNA ’10) Task Force 58’s carriers ESSEX (CV-9), LANGLEY (CVL-27) and COWPENS (CVL-25) attack and the convoy and heavily damage HINKO MARU. 12 passengers and nine crewmen are KIA.

4 July 1944:
HINKO MARU suffers further damage and is intentionally beached, then abandoned near the shore of Sakaiura Beach, Chichi-jima, Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands at 17-28N, 144-19E.

5 August 1944:
Futami Bay, Chichi-jima. The hulk is destroyed by a USN aerial torpedo attack. At the time of sinking she was loaded with aircraft engines.


-Bob Hackett


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