On June 11, 1944 departed Tanapag
Harbor on Saipan as part of a convoy bound
for Japan. During the voyage, U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft from Task
Force 58 (TF-58) including planes from fifteen aircraft carriers attacked the
convoy. During the attacks, Hinko Maru was severely
damaged by an aerial torpedo. On June 12, 1944 intentionally beached
at Chi Chi Jima Harbor on Chi
Beached high out of the sea, the shipwreck was consistently strafed by American
pilots returning from missions in the area or returning from targets in Japan.
Roy Wiggs recalls:
"The remnants of the hull are still visible
but just barely."
Bill Marks recalls from 1952:
"Our ship USS Toleda visited the Bonin Islands. About 10 of us
went on a swimming party just to get off the ship for a while. There was a ship
with a large hole in the side about 500 hundred feet from the beach [Hinko Maru].
I attempted to swim out to the ship, but turned back because of sharks.
Frank Mulhall recalls:
"The Hinko Maru was aground when we were there and the later pictures show
her out in the harbor. I had researched that and found out a typhoon in the 1960's
slipped her off shore and she came to rest where the picture you have shows .
She turned almost 180 degrees and the stern began settling into the sea."
George Pierce, Jr visited the in 1951 and recalls:
"She had a great hole in the port side just forward of the beam. One of the natives told us that one night they bombed the harbor while
there were no ships there, all their bombs falling seemingly harmlessly in
the water. The Japanese laughed at the silly Americans for doing this. Actually those bombs were aerial mines, and when the Jap fleet later
entered the harbor several of them struck mines and were sunk."
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August 18, 2018