Yang Slid Sho

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“If today’s naval officers were asked to name the longest uninterrupted naval operations in almost 200 years of military history, few would be able to give the correct answer. It is not well known that for three quarters of a century, through wars, revolutions, and “times of trouble” a flotilla of odd looking ships sailed China’s principle river with a unique singleness of purpose-to protect American lives and property. This was YangPat, the legendary Yangtze Patrol.” Kemp Tolley, Rear Admiral , U.S. Navy (Ret.), 1963


The Beginning of Navy Patrols on the Yangtze China was essentially closed to foreign trade and residence up until 1844. Treaties signed after the Opium Wars with Great Britain opened China to foreign trade at a number of locations known as "treaty ports”, where foreigners were permitted to live and conduct business. These treaties also established the doctrine of extraterritoriality, a system whereby citizens of foreign countries living in China were subject to the laws of their home country, not those of China. Most favored nation treatment under the treaties assured other countries the privileges afforded Great Britain; as a consequence foreign commerce with China flourished. The MONOCACY (I) and the ASHUELOT were sent to China specifically to protect American interests along the Yangtze River and to show the colors of the United States of America.




“The handling of a ship in the river gorges is a hair raising experience for a commanding officer on his first trip. In one or two of the rapids the current is fast enough to make a 13-knot ship lose headway and sometimes go astern. The reader may imagine the feeling of a captain coming down the river for the first time in these same rapids when the pilot heads straight for a large rocky obstruction on the side of the gorge with water boiling all around it, and then turns the ship just in time to clear the stern by about 10 feet with the ship going at about 16 knots. A ship more then 150 feet long cannot make the turns necessary in the gorges…, even if it is equipped with four rudders as was the PALOS.” Lieutenant R.C. Stliff, Duty in a Yangtze Riverboat. 1935


MONOCACY (I) and the ASHUELOT were the first two ships sent specifically for river duty, in 1866, to protect American interests along the Yangtze. Their presence was legalized by the Sino-British Treaty of 1858 allowing the United States equal rights as a Treaty Power USS MONOCACY (I) commissioned in 1866. She was nicknamed “jinricksha of the Navy “ and served 37 years in the Far East. In 1903 she was decommissioned and sold. Http://www.spanam.simplenet.com


Hat band from the MONOCACY (1) http://www.spanam.simplenet.com


“...On 28 August 1926 she (VILLALOBOS) ran aground. While elsewhere in the Fleet such an incident would be grounds for a court-martial, in China the frequent capricious currents and changing river levels frequently resulted in such nautical mishaps.” Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol.7; 1981


USS ISABEL US Naval Institute Proceedings Commissioned December 28, 1917 Decommissioned February 11, 1946 Former yacht , rumored sold to the Navy for one dollar, converted to a destroyer. Served as flagship for the Yangtze Patrol. The black smoke from the ships became apart of the Yangtze landscape.


December 25, 1919 Yangtze River Patrol Formally Organized The first ComYangPat was Captain A. Kearney, USN The MONOCACY (II) and the PALOS were the first two specially designed draft gunboats to join the patrol. They were lighter, more powerful, and had four rudders with a shallow draft which made them better able to navigate the waters of the mighty river. In 1924 six new Yangtze gunboats were authorized, as most of the patrol were ex-Spanish gunboats captured during the Spanish American war and were aging beyond seaworthiness. Funds were appropriated in 1926 and construction on the new ships began in Shanghai.


USS MONOCACY (II) and the USS PALOS The first of eight ships to be specially built service on the Yangtze River. Shown here in 1912, as they were built side by side in Mare Island Navy Yard, then disassembled, shipped to China, were they were reassembled, and commissioned on June 24, 1914. Neither ship would ever make it back to the U.S.


USS MONOCACY (II) Patrolling the waters of the Yangtze River Decommissioned at Shanghai January 31, 1939 She was sunk in the China Sea Proceedings of the US Naval Institute


USS PALOS The PALOS at Chungking One of the first warships built specifically to navigate the treacherous waters of the Yangtze and the first (U.S. warship) to reach Chungking, 1300 miles from the sea, on August 28, 1914. After patrolling the Yangtze for 23 years she was decommissioned on May 21, 1937 and sold. Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. 5, p. 205 Picture from the Yangtze River Patrol Exhibit, Dudley Knox Library, NPS, Monterey CA


USS GUAM The USS GUAM , was commissioned on December 28, 1927 and renamed the WAKE on January 23, 1941. She patrolled the Yangtze under the US flag until 1941. In Shanghai on December 8, after a failed scuttle attempt, she was captured by the Japanese. The only American man-of war to be captured intact by the enemy during World War II. After the surrender of Japan, the ship fell to the communists and her fate is unknown. One of two smaller ships built for the service on the Yangtze river. Proceeding of the United States Naval Institute Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol.. 3, 1968


The USS TUTUILA was Commissioned on March 2, 1928. One time, while on patrol, she was fired on by warlord troops. The warlord explained that his men were only “country boys”who meant no harm. The CO of the ship commented that he too had some country boys and noted that he had seen them tinkering with the aft 3 inch gun, pointing it at the warlords headquarters, the sniping suddenly stopped. The TUTUILA was stranded in Chungking after Japanese forces captured Hankow. After the fall of Hankow the Japanese turned their attention to Chunking stepping up air attacks. On July 30, 1941 the TUTUILA was attacked by Japanese planes . The Japanese quickly apologized for the accident. With no way to travel down the river her crew was ordered to depart Chunking without the ship. She was turned over the Chinese on Feb 16, 1942, and scuttled by Chinese Nationalists to prevent capture by the communists. USS TUTUILA sister ship of the GUAM Photo from the Yangtze River Patrol Exhibit


Photos from the Yangtze River Patrol Exhibit, Dudley Knox Library , NPS Monterey CA “The typical old Yangtze sailor, the “river rat”, was too pleased with his lot to allow himself to become a disciplinary problem of any consequence and thus run the risk of being shipped “outside”.” Kemp Tolley, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)


USS PANAY 1928 One of two medium sized ships built for Yangtze service. The USS PANAY was commissioned September 10, 1928. Named for an island of the Philippines, she was built for duty on the Yangtze Patrol. “While on the patrol she was routinely fired upon by Chinese bandits and warlords. The ship’s commanding officer wrote, “Firing on gunboats and merchant ships have(sic) become so routine that any vessel traversing the Yangtze River, sails with the expectation of being fired upon..fortunately, the Chinese appear to be rather poor marksmen and the ship has, so far, not sustained any casualties in these engagements”.” Patrol Craft Displacement 450 tons Length 191’1” Beam 28’1” Draft 5’3” Speed 15 knots Armament 2x1 3 inch/50 10x1 .30 cal AA Complement 65 Reciprocating engine twin screws


On December 12, Japanese naval aircraft were ordered by their Army to attack “any and all ships” in the Yangtze above Nanking. Knowing of the presence of the PANAY the navy requested verification of the order, which was received before the attack began about 13:27 that day. The Japanese fired on and sank the PANAY with colors fully displayed. The Japanese claimed the attack was unintentional, and accepted full responsibility. Three men were killed, 43 sailors and 5 civilians were wounded. Sinking of the USS PANAY Dec. 12, 1937


USS OAHU Sister ship of the PANAY Proceeding of the US Naval Institute Commissioned October 22, 1928 the OAHU participated in regular Yangtze River duties such as escorting foreign and American merchantmen up and down the river, supplying armed guards to U S and British rivercraft, landing blue-jackets at treaty ports threatened with unrest, and evacuating US citizens and foreign nationals in times of danger. Escaping China in November 1941, she sailed the open sea to Manila where she operated until she was sunk by enemy gunfire on May 5, 1942 off of the island of Corregidor. Dictionary 9f American Fighting Ships, Vol, 5 p.124


“Throughout most of its length a lunatic stream that runs right, left, up, down, crossways, corkscrew fashion, and about in every possible direction but straight downstream except perhaps in the heart of each rushing rapid” CDR Sheehan , 1943 Http://www.solidsoftware.com.au


USS LUZON One of two of the largest of the Riverboats to be built in Shanghai The USS LUZON was commissioned on June 1, 1928 and served as the flag ship for the patrol until 1938. She escaped out of China in 1941, and although not built for open seas, she made it safely to Manila. The LUZON conducted patrol operations in the Philippines until May 6, 1942 when she was scuttled in Manila Bay to prevent capture. Salvaged by the Japanese, she was renamed the Karatsu. After two years of operations in enemy hands she was attacked and sunk on March 3, 1944. US Naval Institute Proceedings Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. , 1981.


USS MINDANAO sister ship of the LUZON Commissioned July 10, 1928 She served on the Yangtze protecting American interests and suppressing piracy util December 4, 1941 when she was ordered to the Philippines. En route, on December 9th, she intercepted a Japanese tanker and took ten prisoners, the first taken by Americans in World War II. After arriving in the Philippines she patrolled off the coast near Corregidor until her crew was ordered ashore to help defend Fort Hugheson, the MINDANAO was scuttled to prevent capture May 2, 1942. Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. 4 p. 365 metalab.unc.edu/hyperwar/USN/ships/PR/PR-8_Mindanao.html


Navy streamers are 3 feet long and 2 3/4 inches wide. The coloring and designs of the streamers are the same as the ribbon from which the medal is suspended. The Navy’s battle streamers total 27. Like the Marine Corps, the Navy flies a single streamer for each campaign, war, or theater of operation . Yangtze Service Battle Streamer Yangtze Service Medal


“YangPat was dead” Kemp Tolley, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) In anticipation of Japanese aggression, orders were given to the Captains of the ships; “they should preserve the personnel and ships by leaving for the Philippines and if that could not be done then to inflict the greatest possible damage to disable the ships.”. On November18, 1941 CinCAF recommended to OpNav to immediately remove the gunboats. On November 29 after frantic preparation, and although designed only for river travel, the gunboats started to leave China toward open sea. On December 8 the unit designation disappeared and U.S. Navy Patrols along the Yangtze ceased.


The Qing, C’hing or Manchu Empire banner was used by China as a national flag from 1890 until 1912


Yangtze River


The Yangtze River at 3,900 miles is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world


Life on the Yangtze Qutang Gorge www.compusmart.ab.ca www.china-guide.com www.discovery.com


The town of Zigui in the Xiling Gorge www.discovery.com


LIPOTES VEXILLIFER Commonly called the Baiji, the Yangtze River Dolphin is the most endangered aquatic mammal in the world www.coingot.cn.net


Director/Producer Robert Wise http://www.execpc.com/~cgarcia/index2.html Sand Pebbles was written by Richard McKenna and based on his personal experience, with the U.S. Navy, in China


Sand Pebbles stars Steve McQueen. His performance in the movie won him his first and only nomination for Best Actor. http://www.execpc.com/~cgarcia/index2.html


. http://www.execpc.com/~cgarcia/index2.html Nominated for 8 Academy Awards 1966


The “San Pablo,”constructed for the movie Sand Pebbles, cost $250,000 making it one of the costliest props at the time. http://www.execpc.com/~cgarcia/index2.html

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