(LUNG SHAN at Hong Kong, a newer vesion than the '23 LUNG SHAN)
Freighter MARUKO MARU:
Tabular Record of Movement
© 2011 Bob Hackett
Hong Kong. Laid down by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co. Ltd. as a 3,068-ton cargo ship for Hong Kong, Canton & Macao Steamboat Co. Ltd.
Launched and named LUNG SHAN.
Renamed LUNG SHIN.
July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River. Japanese troops fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers at the Marco Polo Bridge. Chinese troops across the river fire back, but do not cause injuries. At morning roll call, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese have captured him. The Japanese demand entry to the Beijing suburb of Wanping to look for the soldier, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.
13 December 1937: Japan Seizes Nanking, former Capital of China:
The Italian Consulate requisitions LUNG SHAN on behalf of isolated Italian consulates at Hankow and Kiukiang. Renamed MARCO POLO (after the famous Venetian explorer).
Purchased by Societa Anonima Italiana Di Navigazione, Genoa (Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione S.A.I.) of Shanghai.
10 June 1940:
Rome. Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, declares war on France and Great Britain.
8 December 1941:
Japan Begins the Pacific War.
8 September 1943: Fascist Italy Surrenders:
Rome. Mussolini is deposed and Italy declares an armistice.
Nanking. MARCO POLO, laying at anchor, is seized by the Japanese. Renamed MARUKO MARU and placed in Japanese service.
7 December 1944:
Yangtze River. Off Kiukiang. At 1317, two USAAF North American P-51 “Mustang” fighters attack MARUKO and RASAN MARUs and river gunboats TATARA and NARUMI anchored nearby. The extent of damages incurred by the Japanese ships is unknown.
16 July 1945:
Shanghai. MARUKO MARU strikes an aerial mine laid by a USAAF aircraft and sinks about four miles from Woosung.
Thanks go to Luca “Luke” Ruffato of Italy.
- Bob Hackett
Ex-Italian Merchants in Japanese Service