RIKUGUN YUSOSEN

(VENUS, later UNKAI MARU No. 6)

UNKAI MARU No. 6
Tabular Record of Movement

2016 Bob Hackett


E 1905:
Venus Steamship Co. of Newcastle places an order with William Gray & Co., Ltd. of West Hartlepool (Sunderland),England for a 3,152-ton cargo cargo ship that is subsequently laid down as as Yard No. 714.

30 October 1905:
Launched and named VENUS.

December 1905:
Completed and placed in service by Cornhill S.S. Co., Ltd. (Harris & Dixon - Century Shipping Co.- Brinkburn S.S. Co.-Cornhill S.S. Co.- Lunsford S.S. Co.), London.

1913:
Sold to Leander S.S. Co. Ltd. (Scaramanga Bros.), London.

1920:
Sold to Thompson Steamshipping Co. Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland (same managers)

1921:
Sold to Nakamura Seishichiro, Kinoye. Renamed UNKAI MARU No.6 and registered in Hiroshima.

1927:
Owner restlyed as Nakamura Gumi Ltd., Kinoye.

1927:
Owner restlyed as Nakamura Kisen K. K.and registered in Kobe.

E 1930s:
Requisitioned by the Imperial Army (IJA). Alloted Army No. 15.

E 1930s:
Released by the IJA back to her owners.

6 August 1941:
Chartered by the Imperial Navy (IJN) as a general work ship and assigned to the Kure Naval District.

13 August 1941:
Departs Kure.

14 August 1941:
Arrives at Moji. Loads 2,700 tons of cement.

18 August 1941:
Departs Moji.

25 August 1941:
Arrives at Pagan. Lands cement.

28 August 1941:
Departs Pagan

29 August 1941:
Arrives at Saipan, Marianas. Lands cement, then departs that day.

30 August 1941:
Arrives at Tinian. Lands cement.

5 August 1941:
Departs Tinian.

5 September 1941:
Arrives at Saipan. Lands cement.

10 September 1941:
Departs Saipan.

15 September 1941:
Arrives at Palau. Lands cement.

19 September 1941:
Departs Palau. Arrives at Peleliu. Lands cement.

29 September 1941:
Departs Peleliu.

39 September 1941:
Arrives at Ngardmau. Loads bauxite ore.

3 October 1941:
Departs Ngardmau.

12 October 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

12 October 1941:
Arrives at Kure.

15 October 1941:
Departs Kure.

16 October 1941:
Arrives at Kobe. Lands bauxite ore. Released by the Kure Naval District back to her owners.

8 December 1941:
The Pacific War Begins.

5 January 1944:
Chartered by the IJN as a general work ship and assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District.

15 January 1944:
Departs Tokyo and arrives at Yokosuka.

20 January 1944:
UNKAI MARU No. 6 departs Yokosuka for Truk in convoy No. 3120 also consisting of auxiliary transport HOKI (ex-British HAURAKI) MARU, SAN FRANCISCO and KOWA MARUs escorted by Kaibokan OKI. The convoy stops at Tateyama, probably to refuel.

21 January 1944:
Tateyama. Kaibokan MANJU joins the escort. The convoy departs Tateyama.

22 January 1944:
An enemy submarine is detected and MANJU drops 20 depth charges with unknown results.

29 January 1944:
After several submarine contacts the convoy diverts to Saipan and arrives there and shelters.

31 January 1944:
Departs Saipan.

1 February 1944:
In response to a submarine contact MANJU drops depth charges.

4 February 1944:
Arrives at Truk, Caroline Islands.

17 February 1944: USN "Operation Hailstone"- The Attack on Truk:
UNKAI MARU No. 6 is initially attacked by planes from USS ESSEX (CV-9). Hit port side and port quarter, she lists to starboard. Later that day, she is attacked by planes from USS BUNKER HILL (CV-17) and USS YORKTOWN (CV-10). A 1000-lb. bomb from a YORKTOWN plane hits amidships and causes a large fire.

18 February 1944:
UNKAI MARU No. 6 is still burning in the morning when planes from ESSEX reappear and score hits around her bow, lifting it out of the water. UNKAI MARU No. 6 sinks shortly afterwards off the 6th fleet anchorage at 07-19N 151-45E. Three crewmen are KIA during the attacks.


Authors' Notes:
[1] No data were found on UNKAI MARU No. 6's movements in 1942 and 1943. Readers with access to such data are asked to please post the information on the Discussion and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message Board

Thanks go to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany and Berend van der Wal of the Nethrlands.

- Bob Hackett.


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