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D/S Sheng Hwa
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Owner: Skibs-A/S Thule
Built by J. Coughlan & Sons Ltd., Vancouver, Canada in 1920. Previous names: Canadian Prospector until 1934, Prospector until 1935 (Maritime Navigation Co., Montreal), Mitwo until 1938.
Her voyages are listed on this original image received from the National Archives of Norway.
She had a Chinese crew, Norwegian officers.
Judging from the information found on the above archive document, Sheng Hwa was in Shanghai when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940, having arrived there from Calcutta on March 30. From Shanghai, she proceeded to Hong Kong on Apr. 20.
There's some conflicting information about this ship. "The World's Merchant Fleets 1939", R. W. Jordan states she was seized in Japan by the Japanese on Dec. 7-1941, renamed Kazan Maru in 1942 under the Japanese flag. "Nortraships flåte" says she was seized in Japan in Nov.-1940, along with the company's D/S Ven Koh (a year earlier than stated above), and destroyed in 1941. Another Norwegian source, "Norges, Sveriges og Danmarks handelsflåter, tilgang og avgang i 1940-1945" says she was seized by the Japanese government in Wakamatsu on May 10-1941. This is, in fact, confirmed in an extract from the deck log presented at a subsequent inquiry in Kobe on May 14-1941, saying that after Sheng Hwa had discharged cargo at Yawata on Nov. 11-1940 she left for Wakamatsu to await orders. On May 6-1941 orders were received from Messrs. Myachi & Co., Ltd., Kobe to get ready to take on board 400 tons of bunker coal on May 10. On that date representatives of Messrs. Miyachi & Co. came on board, accompanied by the Wakamatsu harbour police. A Japanese captain and crew also came on board. The Norwegian flag was lowered and replaced with a Japanese one, and her crew was ordered by the police to leave the ship by the following afternoon.
Captain at the time was K. Einarsen, 1st mate was O. Snekkestad, and 1st engineer was Karsten B. Hansen, all of whom appeared at the inquiry on May 14. None of the 3 officers knew why she had been taken over by Japanese authorities; they had heard nothing from the owners (Skibs-A/S Thule) to indicate the change of flag. The captain stated that they had received orders from Nortraship to go to Hong Kong on Nov. 28-1940, but the customs at Wakamatsu had refused outward clearance.
Again, see also the archive document.
Recovered. Scuttled on Jan. 25-1946 at Malacca Strait.
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The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume II, Norwegian Maritime Museum, and misc., as named within the above text.