World War II in the Pacific
During World War 2 the Gripsholm (by US) and the Drottningholm (by UK) made 33 voyages to exchange prisoners of war, diplomats, women and children, between the warfaring nations.
The Gripsholm of 1925 was the first transatlantic motorship. The original machinery remained in the ship throughout her life.
The Gripsholm made the first cruise in Swedish American Line's history, from Göteborg to the Mediterranean on February 1, 1927. During her service with SAL she carried a total of 321,213 transatlantic passengers and 23,551 cruise pasengers.
During World War 2 the Drottningholm and the Gripsholm were used as repatriation ships
and made 33 voyages to exchange prisoners of war, diplomats, women and children, between the warfaring nations.
She was sold in 1954 to Norddeutscher Lloyd and renamed: MS Berlin.
she was sold for scrapping in 1966 after forty years of steaming.
"Exchange Ship", by Max Hill, 1942. It tells the tale of Americans being repatriated from Japan on
the ASAMA MARU and CONTE VERDE, sailing down and across the Indian Ocean to Laurenco Marques,
where they were exchanged with deportees from America. They boarded the GRIPSHOLM for the
voyage home to New York from Laurenco Marques.
MS Gripsholm was an ocean liner, built in 1925 by Armstrong, Whirthworth & Company in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England for the Swedish American Line for use in transatlantic traffic from Gothenburg to New York. From 1927 onwards she was used as a cruise ship alongside transatlantic crossings.
From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of State chartered Gripsholm as an exchange and repatriation ship, carrying Japanese and German nationals to exchange points where she then picked up Americans and Canadians (and British married to Americans or Canadians) to bring home to America and Canada. In this service she sailed under the auspices of the International Red Cross, with a Swedish captain and crew. The ship made 12 round trips, carrying a total of 27,712 reptriates. Exchanges took place at neutral ports; at Lourenco Marques in Mozambique or Mormugoa in Portuguese India with the Japanese, and Stockholm or Lisbon with the Germans.
After the war, Gripsholm was used to deport inmates of US prisons to Italy and Greece.
The Swedish American Line sold Gripsholm to Norddeutscher Lloyd in 1954, who renamed her to MS Berlin.
The ship was sold for scrap in 1966.
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In January of 1945 the State Department and the War Department announce that the Gripsholm, a mercy ship, will leave New York traveling to Marseilles on or about January 6, to carry out a further exchange with Germany of seriously sick and seriously wounded prisoners of war who are found eligible for repatriation under the terms of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention. Also included in the exchange will be a number of German civilians in US custody and a number from Mexico who are being repatriated in exchange for US nationals and nationals of certain other American republics. The repatriation list consisted of 857 names.
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Japanese Ships mentions in Repatriations.
January 21, 1940. -- British light cruiser HMS Liverpool stops Japanese passenger liner Asama Maru 35 miles off Nozaki, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, and removes 21 Germans from the ship. All but nine are naval reservists, survivors of the scuttled passenger liner Columbus ; the nine civilians are released. The incident further strains relations between Great Britain and Japan.
21 January 1943. -- US submarine Pollack (SS-180) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Asama Maru off Kushiro, Japan,
24 February 1944. -- US submarine Grayback (SS-208) sinks Japanese oiler Nanho Maru about 20 miles east of Formosa, and damages transport Asama Maru.
JAPANESE MERCHANT SHIPPING LOSSES DURING WWII
Note : the same name may exist for different types of ships and ships were renamed for prior ships.
ASAMA MARU TRANSP. 01NOV1944
KOTOBUKI MARU NO 5 XYN 1 0/25/1942
KOTOBUKI MARU PA/KA 05/08/1945
KOTOBUKI MARU NO 7 CARGO 05/26/1945
SS Conte Verde was an Italian Lloyd Sabaudo Line ocean liner active in the early 20th century.
It was built in 1923 of 18.765 tons. She originally provided transatlantic passenger transport between Genoa and New York City. After acquisition by Italian Line in 1932, she became a part of Lloyd Triestino (also chartered by Italian Line) for luxury liner service between Trieste and Shanghai.
Due to the Italian Armistice in 1943, she was scuttled in Shanghai by Italian forces to prevent seizure by Japanese forces ; but the Japanese forces recovered the ship that same year. The ship was towed to Japan, repaired, and converted into a troopship, Kotobuki Maru. However, in 1944, she was sunk a second and final time by a United States B-24 bomber near Kyoto.
10April 1944 . Damaged by mines laid by USAAF B-29s on 4 and 28 March are Japanese destroyer Tsubaki, 58 miles off Woosung, China; gunboat Uji and transport Kotobuki Maru (ex-Italian liner Conte Verde); Coast Defense Vessel No.124 near Futaoi-Jima; Coast Defense Vessel No.156 off Mutsure Light; and minesweeper W.21 east of the mouth of the Yangtze.
07Aug 1944. --
USAAF B-24 aircraft damages Italian passenger liner Conte Verde (scuttled in September 1943), Shanghai.
08May1945 . -- Transport Kotobuki Maru (ex-Italian liner Conte Verde) is damaged by mine laid by USAAF B-29 off southern Korea.
26May1945. -- US submarine Billfish (SS-286) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship No.7 Kotobuki Maru off Nagasaki, Japan.,
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Last updated on September 13, 2009
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