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  Hinko Maru
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Click For Enlargement
George Pierce, Jr 1951

Click For Enlargement
Dan King 1992
Wartime History
On June 11, 1944 departed Tanapag Harbor on Saipan as part of a convoy bound for Japan and was attacked by , U. S. Navy (USN) Task Force 58 (TF-58) carrier aircraft from fifteen aircraft carriers that targeted the convoy. During the attacks, Hinko Maru was severely damaged from the explosion of an aerial torpedo.

Shipwreck
On June 12, 1944 the damaged ship was deliberately beached bow first in Chi Chi Jima Harbor on the western coast of Chi Chi Jima. Afterwards, U. S. aircraft often strafed the shipwreck to expend their ammunition when returning from missions. Postwar, the shipwreck remained largely intact. By the 1990s, the shipwreck had broken up with the bow section only above water.

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."

References
Thanks to Bill Marks, George Pierce, Roy Wiggs and Dan King for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020

 

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