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  Borneo Maru
IJN
Passenger-Cargo

5,864 Tons
385' x 51' x 36'


Click For Enlargement
circa 1970
Sinking History
Built by Kawasaki Shipbuilding at Kobe. Laid down July 5, 1917 as a passenger and cargo vessel. Launched October 28, 1917 as Daifuku Maru No. 14. Completed November 24, 1917 and purchased by Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) and renamed Borneo Maru and registered in Osaka.

Between 1918 until 1941 operates on OSK North American route from Kobe then across the Pacific to Tacoma in Washington State then down the west coast and via Panama Canal to ports in the Gulf of Mexico and New York. Also, operated on the OSK routes in the Indian Ocean.

Wartime History
On October 4, 1941 requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as No. 520 and converted into a troop transport.

On October 6, 1942 departs Otaru on Hokkaido bound for Kiska Island. On October 13, 1942 at 11:00am bombed by three B-24 Liberators northeast of Attu Island and sustains slight damage. On October 14, 1942 at 2:10pm anchors in Gertrude Cove off Kiska Island and begins unloading.

Sinking History
On October 15, 1942 at 9:00am a formation of U.S. bombers strike and bomb Borneo Maru with bombs bracketing both sides of no. 3 hold and damage the hull in two places. Aboard two soldiers and five crew are killed. At 10:30am the ship raised anchor and request two Daihatsu barges to tow. Shortly afterwards, Captain Noguchi Wada ran the ship aground to prevent it from sinking and to allow unloading to continue. Aboard, the crew remove plates and hatches from the damaged vessel and use them to construct a metal bunker ashore for use as an air raid shelter.

Shipwreck
Afterwards, the damaged and beached ship was targeted by U.S. planes and repeatedly bombed and strafed for the remainder of October 1942 and into early November 1942.

On October 16, 1942 the vessel is bombed by B-26 Marauders with incendiary bombs. Reportedly, during the attack, a B-26 is shot down and crashed into the hatch of the no. 4 cargo hold and the fuel caught fire. During the attack, two soldiers and three crew are killed.

On November 7, 1942 the shipwreck was bombed by U.S. planes. On November 9, 1942 two B-26s and four P-38s bomb the ship but score no hits. On November 11, 1942 three B-26 bomb the ship unsuccessfully.

The shipwreck remained until the 1970s. By 2001, the forward hull had collapsed and disintegrated and is submerged underwater.

References
Note, Japanese sources give the dates of the air raids and ran aground between October 13-21, 1942.
Lloyds of London - Borneo Maru : Lloyd's Register of Ships
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1930-31 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1931-32 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1932-33 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1933-34 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1934-35 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1935-36 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1938-39 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1939-40 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1940-41 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1941-42 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1942-43 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1943-44 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1944-45 [PDF]
Lloyds of London - Lloyd's Register - Borneo Maru 1945-46 [PDF]
Combined Fleet - Borneo Maru: Tabular Record of Movement
Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) - Japanese Naval and Merchant Shipping Losses pages 34, 101 (index)
(Page 34) Date: October 8, 1942 / Borneo Maru / Cargo / 5,863 Tons / 51-56N, 177-27E / Sunk: Army Aircraft

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Last Updated
November 9, 2021

 

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