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  Unkai Maru No. 6

3,220 Tons
331 / 49 / 21

Ship History
Built by William Gray & Co., Ltd. in West Hartlepool, England on order for Venus Steamship Co. of Newcastle, England. Laid down as as Yard No. 714 in 1905. Launched October 30, 1905 and named Venus. Completed in 1905 and placed into service by Cornhill S. S. Co., Ltd. of London, England.

In 1913, sold to Leander S.S. Co. Ltd. in London. Next in 1920 sold to Thompson Steamshipping Co. Ltd. in Glasgow, Scotland with the same managers. In 1921, sold to Nakamura Seishichiro, Kinoye and renamed Unkai Maru No. 6 and registered in Hiroshima. In 1927, renamed Nakamura Gumi Ltd., Kinoye and the same year renamed Nakamura Kisen K. K. in Kobe.

Wartime History
During the 1930s, requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Army and allocated No. 15, then returned to the owner.

On August 6, 1941 chartered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a general work ship assigned to the Kure Naval District at Kure and used to transport cement around Micronesia. On August 13, 1941 departs Kure and two days later arrives at Moji and loads 2,700 tons of cement. On August 18, 1941 departs Moji bound for Pagan arriving seven days later to unload the cement. On August 28, 1941 departs Pagan and the next day arrives at Saipan and unloads cement and departs the same day. On August 30, 1941 arrives at Tinian to unload more cement.

On September 5, 1941 departs Tinian and the same day arrives at Saipan to land more cement. On September 10, 1941 departs Saipan bound for Palau and unloads more cement departing nine days later then to Peleliu landing more cement. On September 29, 1941 departs Peleliu for Ngardmau to load bauxite ore. On October 3, 1941 departs Ngardmau arriving at Kure nine days later and departs three days later for Kure. On October 12, 1941 arrives at Kure and departs three days later for Kobe to unload bauxite ore.

Afterwards, returned to Nakamura Kisen K. K. and resumed civilian service for the remainder of 1941 until early 1944. On January 5, 1944 again chartered by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a general work ship and assigned to the Yokosuka Naval District. On January 15, 1944 departs Tokyo and arrives at Yokosuka the same day.


On January 31, 1944 departs Saipan and a day later escort Manju fires on and releases depth charges on a submarine. On February 4, 1944 arrives at Truk Lagoon.

Sinking History
On February 17, 1944 during "Operaiton Hailstone" attacked by carrier aircraft from USS Essex CV-9 and was hit in the port quarter and begins to list to the starboard. Later in the day, attacked by aircraft from USS Bunker Hill CV-17 and USS Yorktown CV-10. Hit by amidship by a 1,000 pound bomb from a Yorktown plane that causes a large fire.

On February 18, 1944 in the morning, the ship is still burning and attacked again by carrier planes from USS Essex that score hits around her bow raising it out of the water before sinking roughly Lat 7° 19N Long 151° 45' E off the 6th Fleet anchorage into into Truk Lagoon. During the attacks, three of the crew were killed.

During 1980, the shipwreck of the Unkai Maru No. 6 was located by Klaus Linderman.

No. 1 Hold
Army equipment including shoes, gas masks, bottles, china, boxes, and debris.

No.2 Hold

The Bridge
  Badly burned but a strong box and toppled communication equipment exists. The engine room was gutted by fire.

Rear Holds
Empty and have two large wenches nearby and a one at the stern.

Combined Fleet - Unkai Maru No. 6 Tabular Record of Movement
WWII Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon pages 101, 116, 147, 155-156, 161, 168, 171, 328, 447, 516 (index)

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


115' - 130'
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