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Owner: Skibs-A/S Randi
Delivered from Moss Værft, Moss, Norway (28) in Jan.-1917 as Lillemor to Th. Brøvig, Farsund, 226.2' x 36.6' x 15.7', Tripple exp. (builders), 127 nhp. Sold in 1935 to Skibs-A/S Randi (Wahl & Co.), Oslo and renamed Randi.
Captain: Bjarne H. Johansen.
According to Page 1 above, she was trading in The Far East when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2. It'll be noticed, that she appears to have spent a long time in Bangkok that summer. She had arrived there from Sourabaya on July 27 and departure is given as Sept. 23, when she proceeded to Singapore.
Randi had departed Singapore on Nov. 30-1941, bound for Bangkok with a cargo of about 1410 tons kerosene. She arrived Bangkok in the evening of Dec. 4 (Page 2) and started to discharge her cargo into barges the following morning. Upon completion of this work on the 9th she proceeded to Bangkok Dock for some minor repairs, but as no work was being done the captain sought permission the next day to move to Thai Maritime Wharf. She was still at the same spot outside the dock the following morning, Dec. 11, when some Japanese officers came on board. While the Chinese 2nd mate remained on Randi, Captain Johansen, 1st Mate Fredrik Flock, 1st Engineer Waldemar Schnitler and 2nd Engineer Harald Pettersen were ordered ashore, and were taken aboard the British Kalgan (seized Dec. 12, later Nishi Maru), where they were placed under guard until Dec. 14, at which time the captain and 1st engineer were sent back to Randi to get her ready to move. At the same time the captain received permission to go ashore, so he reported the situation to the Norwegian Consulate. The next day (Dec. 15) Randi, with soldiers on board, was moved alongside Hai Ping. Her name was removed the following day and a new name, Hakko Maru painted fore and aft. The captain sent in a written protest through the Norwegian Consul about this.
The 2 Norwegian officers who had remained on Kalgan were returned to Randi on Dec. 18, but in spite of repeated attempts at getting permission to go ashore, this was denied. Randi was moved again on the 22nd, this time next to Kalgan. On Christmas Eve they received some more provisions, enough to last them for 10 days. That same day the entire crew came into the saloon, locking the door, demanding their pay up until the 24th, and under the circumstances the captain had no choice but to comply. They remained in the same spot until the 28th, when they moved to Wharf No. 28, later out into the river, then on the 31st, 3 Japanese officers came on board and ordered them to Bangkok Dock. The captain was now allowed ashore, but none of the other officers received permission.
A Japanese officer came on board again on Jan. 3-1942 wanting misc. information about the ship. The Norwegian officers were asked if they would remain on board and sail her about 40 miles down the coast, but as they assumed this would be under the Japanese flag they all refused, though the Chinese 2nd Mate and the entire Chinese crew (44) remained on board, having reached some sort of an agreement with the Japanese. After all their luggage had been examined, the others were sent ashore and were accommodated at Eagle Hotel.
Hearings were held in Bangkok on Jan. 10-1942 with Captain Johansen, 1st Mate Flock, 1st Engineer Schnitler and 2nd Engineer Pettersen appearing.
The Norwegian officers got passage to the U.K. on a "diplomat ship" from Bangkok on Aug. 4-1942 and subsequently rejoined the Norwegian fleet. (There's a 1st Mate Fredrik Flock listed in my crew list for Grado, when she was sunk in 1943).
Jan-Olof, Sweden has told me that "Lloyd's War Losses, Vol I - British, Allied and Neutral Merchant Vessels Sunk or Destroyed by War Causes, 1989 reprint" states that Randi arrived Bangkok (from Singapore) on Dec. 4-1941 with a general cargo & rice. Renamed Hakko Maru after capture by the Japanese. Sunk by US aircraft from TF 38 on Oct. 12-1944 in 22 37N 120 15E (Kaohsiung, Taiwan).
Robert Cressman lists several ships by the name Hakko Maru in his entries for 1944 in "The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II" (ref. external link below). He also mentions the heavy airstrikes on Oct. 12 in which TF 38 aircraft (Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher) sank or damaged a number of Japanese ships, among them Hakko Maru, giving the position as 22 37N, 119 34E (off Takao). Charles Hocking also lists 6 Hakko Maru, all of which were sunk in 1944, except 1 which was the former Dutch Duymaer van Twist, bombed and sunk by U.S. land-based aircraft off Macassar on May 7-1945.
Other Norwegian ships caught up in the Japanese operations in Dec.-1941 were D/S Hai Ping, D/S Hai Tung, D/S Ngow Hock, D/S Helios, D/S Hafthor, M/S Høegh Merchant (see the Master Ship Index) and several others.
See also my page about Norwegian Merchant Marine Prisoners of the Japanese.
Related external link:
Back to Randi on the "Ships starting with R" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flate", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II and misc. others as named within narrative (My sources page has more information on the books mentioned here).