(HAURAKI later HOKI MARU, prewar)


Tabular Record of Movement

© 2015-2016 Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall

E 1921:
Dumbarton, Scotland. Laid down by William Denny & Brothers Ltd. for Union SS Co. of New Zealand, London as a 7,113-tons passenger/cargo ship with accommodation for 12 passengers. The ship is unusual as an early motorship with two large 8 cylinder 4 stroke diesel engines originally with blast injection.

28 November 1921:
Launched and named HAURAKI.

13 May 1922:
Completed and registered at London with ON 146533 and Call Sign KLST.

E 1931:
Calls at Sydney and Melbourne, Australia ~ Fijis ~ Vancouver, Canada ~ Cook Islands and Sydney.

Calls at Sydney ~ Suva, Fijis ~ Rotuma Island, Fijis ~ Navau Island, Fijis and Sydney.

Call sign is changed to GJFR.

4 April 1933:
Departs Vancouver.

Departs California having the distinction of carrying the first Douglas DC2 as deck cargo from the USA to Melbourne for Holman Airways.

14 April 1936:
Arrives at Melbourne.

17 November 1938:
Arrives at San Francisco.

Requisitioned by the British Ministry of War as a general transport. Albert William Creese is appointed Master of HAURAKI.

February 1942:
Calls at Sydney ~ Aden (now Yemen Arab Republic) ~ Port Said, Egypt and Haifa, Palestine (now Israel).

9 June 1942:
Departs Sydney.

E June 1942:
Calls at Melbourne and Fremantle, Australia. In the Great Australian Bight runs into a heavy storm that stoves in the engine skylight and stops both engines, floods the crew accommodation and stoves in the lifeboats. The ship puts into Fremantle for repairs.

4 July 1942:
Departs Freemantle for Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) alone laden with war supplies to the Middle East.

12 July 1942:
Indian Ocean, near Ceylon. IJN armed merchant cruisers HOKOKU and AIKOKU MARUs capture HAURAKI at 17-36S, 80-27S. After capture, a Japanese prize crew is put on board HAURAKI. The deck crew is locked below, but the engine crew is engaged under guard to run the ship's machinery. In the course of the voyage back to Japan the engine crew manages to pitch most of the spare machinery parts and engine plans over the side and dump diesel into the lubricating oil tanks. As a result, the Japanese never obtain much use from the ship. [1]

July 1942:
Arrives at Penang, Malaya.

29 August 1942:
HAURAKI is taken over by the 10th Special Base Force personnel. The Japanese prize crew disembarks and returns to HOKOKU MARU.

E September 1942:
Renamed HOKI MARU. Call sign is changed to JWIY. Ship is operated by Mitsui Kisen K.K. personnel.

27 November 1942:
Arrives at Saigon, French Indochina (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).

5 December 1942:
Departs Saigon.

16 December 1942:
Arrives at Moji.

31 December 1942:
Registered in the IJN as an auxiliary transport (Otsu) category attached to the Yokosuka Naval District with Yokosuka as home port under Navyís instruction No. 2447. Assigned that same day directly to the Navyís Department. [2]

2 January 1943:
Departs Moji.

4 January 1943:
Arrives at Osaka.

10 January 1943:
Departs Osaka.

13 January 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

16 January 1943:
Maintenance directive No. 333 is implemented.

1 June 1943:
Yokohama. Conversion begins at Asano Dock K.K. shipyard.

13 September 1943:
Scheduled for trials by Yokosuka personnel.

30 October 1943:
The conversion is completed.

31 October 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

3 November 1943:
Arrives at Muroran, Hokkaido.

8 November 1943:
Departs Muroran.

11 November 1943:
Arrives at Kawasaki.

15 November 1943:
Departs Kawasaki.

18 November 1943:
500m NE of Tsurushima lighthouse. At 1530, collides with IJA shared tanker (A/C-AO) NANEI MARU. Only moderate damage is sustained by both ships.

20 November 1943:
Arrives at Moji.

21 November 1943:
Departs Moji and arrives at Kure later that day.

E 22 November ~ 2 December 1943:
Probably undergoes repairs.

3 December 1943:
Departs Kure.

5 December 1943:
Arrives at Niishima.

6 December 1943:
Departs Niishima.

7 December 1943:
Arrives at Daito Wan (Bay).

8 December 1943:
Departs Daito Wan.

9 December 1943:
Arrives at Dairen, Manchuria (now Dalian, northern China).

15 December 1943:
Departs Dairen.

20 December 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

25 December 1943:
Departs Kobe and arrives at Osaka later that day.

29 December 1943:
Departs Osaka.

30 December 1943:
Arrives at Kure.

7 January 1944:
Departs Kure.

9 January 1944:
Arrives at Nagoya.

10 January 1944:
Departs Nagoya in convoy No. 8110 also consisting of IJA shared tankers (A/C-AO) ZUIYO, TACHIBANA and SHINCHO MARUs, IJA transport WAKATAKE MARU and auxiliary transport NAGATA MARU.

13 January 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

14 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka and arrives at Tokyo later that same day.

16 January 1944:
Departs Tokyo and arrives at Yokosuka later in the day.

20 January 1944:
Departs Yokosuka for Truk, Central Carolines in convoy No. 3120 also consisting of auxiliary transport KOWA MARU and IJA transports SAN FRANCISCO MARU and UNKAI MARU No. 6 escorted by kaibokan OKI. The convoy arrives at Tateyama later in the day.

21 January 1944:
Kaibokan MANJU joins the convoy as additional escort. Departs Tateyama.

22 Jan 44
MANJU discovers enemy submarine and drops 20 depth charges, results are unknown.

23 Jan 44
MANJU performs several anti-sub threatening attacks.

27 Jan 44
Convoy is still tracked by persistent enemy submarine. Therefore decision is made to shelter at Saipan.

29 January 1944:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas.

31 January 1944:
Departs Saipan.

1 Feb 44
MANJU discovers and attacks enemy submarine with gunfire and depth charges, results are unknown.

3 Feb 44
MANJU drops threatening depth charges.

4 February 1944:
Arrives at Truk.

17 February 1944: American Operation "Hailstone" - The Attack on Truk:
Beginning at dawn, Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Marc A. Mitscherís (USNA í10) Task Force 58's five fleet carriers and four light carriers, supported by six battleships, ten cruisers and 28 destroyers, launch air attacks on airfields, shore installations and ships in the lagoon. Mitscher launches 30 strikes of at least 150 aircraft each. The strikes are launched about every hour.

Off Eten Island. USS ESSEX (CV-9), USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) bombers and USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17) torpedo planes hit HOKI MARU, loaded with aviation fuel, bombs, ammunition, two tractors, four Isuzu Type 94 trucks, cars, diggers, two bulldozers, one prime mover, steamrollers, etc. The transportís midship is devastated by bomb damage and the foreship opened up by gasoline explosions. HOKI MARU sink at 07-21N, 151-56E with the loss of 23 crewmen.

18 February 1944:
In two days of raids, Task Force 58 sinks 31 transports and 10 naval vessels (two cruisers, four destroyers and four auxiliary vessels, destroys nearly 200 aircraft and damages severely about 100 more. Truk is eliminated as a major fleet anchorage for the IJN.

31 March 1945:
Removed from IJN Navyís list under instruction No. 508.

HOKI MARU is one of the most attractive wrecks for divers in the Truk lagoon.

Authors notes :
[1] This story was given first hand to Peter Cundall by HAURAKI's 3rd Engineer.

[2] There were two categories of Zatsuyosen. (Ko) category with an IJN Captain as supervisor aboard and (Otsu) category without.

Thanks go to Gengoro S. Toda of Japan. Thanks go also to Erich Muelthaler of Germany for additional info on convoy No. 3120.

Gilbert Casse and Peter Cundall.

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