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442' | 446' | 60'
Justin Taylan 2000
Justin Taylan 2006
During August 1937, requisitioned by the Japanese Army to support the 21st Sentai in China. Next, requisitioned by the Japanese Navy on November 29, 1940. Converted to an armed auxiliary aircraft transport at Mitsubishi Zosen at Yokohama with a 4.7" deck gun installed at the bow and the stern, completed by January 15, 1941.
Departs on March 6, 1941 for Micronesia with Captain Nakamura Masao in command, and makes trips to Takao, Japan, Micronesia and China.
Next, on March 14, arrives Kendari and delivers cargo of A6M Zeros for the 3rd Kokutai, and departs on March 18. Next, March 20, arrives Makassar and delivers cargo of A6M Zeros for the 3rd Kokutai, departing on the 23. On March 25, arrives at Bali to deliver A6M2 Zeros and munitions to 3rd Kokutai, then departs on April 2.
On April 4 arrives at Kupang and probably delivers A6M fighter aircraft to elements of the 3rd Kokutai and departs the next day. On April 7 arrives Ambon to deliver A6M2 Zero aircraft to the 3rd Kokutai and departs the same day. On April 10, arrives Davao and departs later that day.
On April 18, 1942 at roughly 10:30am, B-26 "Shittenengitten" 40-1404 on a bombing mission over Rabaul attacked shipping in Simpson Harbor dropped its four 500 lbs bombs aimed at this ship, two missed hitting the shore (one did not explode), one 500lbs bomb scored a direct hit, the forth landed in the water. The ship's stern exploded violently and the ship settled with only the deck remaining above water.
The explosion set fires ashore among bombs and fuel that were being unloaded and set fire to buildings and the jetty. In total 11 KIA , 31 WIA from the Tainan Kokutai plus 11 others WIA. Captain Nakamura survived the attack. Later, eighty Australian POWs accused of applauding at the sinking ship were later beaten in retribution.
Around 2:00pm, Japanese shore batteries fire at the ship attempting to fully sinking it, but were unsuccessful. This was the first Japanese ship sunk into Simpson Harbor.
A Japanese soldier at Rabaul made a diary note:
Postwar, the shipwreck was filled with cement and became a permanent dock.
At one time after the war locals were using part of the wreck as an open toilet and so a sign was erected which read: “No ken pek pek” (Do not defecate). The wreck then became known as the “No ken pek pek Maru”. As, known as the "Wreck Wharf". To this day it is still most probably full of munitions and a very dangerous site. Never-the-less, for over 50 years now, it’s filled-in hulk has been used as a wharf.
Salvage Diver Johnno
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