Info. from Wiki
Op Ten Noort became what is called a Japanese hell ship.  On 20 December 1942 she was renamed the Tenno Maru an official Japanese Hospital Ship. The Dutch ship crew was taken off the ship and became POWs at Camp Myoshi, near Yokohama. Japan had signed the Hague Convention X of 1907 that stated attacking a hospital ship is a war crime.
With the war coming to an end, the ship was changed in October of 1944. A second dummy smokestack was added to "hide her". She was renamed the Hikawa Maru No.2. She both served as a hospital ship and transported war cargo. For the latter part of 1944 and into 1945 she traveled from Singapore and Manila with a cargo of looted gold and other valuable Japanese conquests. The weeks before Japan surrender she arrived in Japan with gold, platinum, diamonds and gems. On August 15, 1945, the Japanese officially announce surrender. To cover up the war crimes and to hide the stolen loot, the ship was sunk on August 17, 1945, at Wakasa Bay in 400 feet of water. To sink her two 328 pound explosive charges were place in the bottom of the hull. To complete the hiding of the crime and the loot the crew that placed the bombs were killed on site.  On 17 August 1945 the ship was scuttled at Wakasa Bay by placing explosive charges in the hull, to cover up the war crimes.
The Netherlands thought the Op Ten Noort sank as the Tenno Maru near Makassar by a sea mine. Not knowing about the Hikawa Maru No.2 plot. In 1952 the Op Ten Noort was found after port area of Chinju Prefecture had a salvage investigations done. Professional diver from Kyoto, Mr. Shinta Koyua, photographed the wreck and it was identified as the lost Op Ten Noort. In the 1953, the Dutch Government filed 700 million Yen claim against the Japan for compensation. After years of talks, in the end 100 million Yen ($500,000) were paid to the Dutch Government in 1978. Info about the loot in the shipwreck is not public.
Message Thread | This response ↓
« Back to index