1784 - On August 28th the
of China arrives at Whampoa, port of Canton. She is the first U.S.
flagged ship to arrive in China.
1843 - Landing party ashore at
Canton from St.
Louis after disturbances at trading factories.
1844 - Treaty of Wanghsia
Caleb Cushing grants Americans most favored nation status. This
American citizens to extraterritorial status and eventually gave the
government the right to protect American flagged shipping in Chinese
1853 - American flagged pilot
boarded by Chinese Navy.
Plymouth, on station at Shanghai responds by
an apology to the American Flag.
U.S. Marines and naval landing party from Plymouth
troops in securing foreign concessions at Shanghai against Chinese
and other bandits.
1854 - Susquehanna
to Wuhu opening the river to navigation by American warships and
the principle of patrolling the river and showing the flag. This task
until the earliest days of World War II.
Landing parties ashore at Shanghai to assist British forces
the foreign concessions.
American Concession established at Shanghai.
1855 - May 19-21 - Landing
at Shanghai to secure foreign consessions.
Naval forces engage pirates in the vicinity of Hong Kong to
1856 - October 22 to December 6
party ashore at Canton to protect American interests and to avenge an
of a us flag ship.
1859 - July 31 - August 2 -
ashore at Shanghai to protect American interests.
is the first American warship to arrive at Hankow.
By the end of the year Wyoming
is the only U.S. Navy ship remaining on the East India Station.
1863 - British and American
at Shanghai consolidated to form the International Settlement under a
1866 - Early - U.S. Asiatic
of five ships.
The British China Station had 45 ships including 29 gunboats.
June 20 to July 7 - Landing party ashore at Newchange to
for an attack on the American consul.
By the end of the year six additional ships; Monocacy, Ashuelot,
Wachusett, Shenandoah, Hartford,
Supply, and Relief had arrived on station. None are
of river operations during low water conditions.
Shore support facilities shifted from Macao to Hong Kong.
1874 - The Ashuelotis
the first American warship to reach Ichang. An exploring party
on shore to Keifu surveying the lower gorges. They returned to Ichang
May 3, Landing parties ashore from Ashuelot and Yantic
at Shanghai to protect American interests at the International
1879 - April 30 to June 16 - Ashuelot
hosts former President U.S. Grant in Chinese waters from Hong Kong to
USS Luzon [PR-7]
1883 - On February 18th the Ashuelot
sunk after striking Lamock Rocks, off Amoy.
1889 - Steamship Leechuan
at Chungking. First steamship through the Upper Yangtze Gorges.
1894-95 - Landing party ashore
to protect American consulate and other interests. Expeditionary force
proceeded to Peking to secure the legation during the Sino-Japanese War.
Landing party ashore at Newchang to protect American
1898 - Monocacy
Landing party ashore at Tientsin and Peking to protect
other foreign interests during rebellion.
US NAVY - CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION SERVICE
1900 - Boxer uprising in
Yangtze Valley remains mostly calm.
Marine detachments from Newark
form part of the international force defending the Legation Quarter.
Additional American land and naval forces participate in the
of Tientsin and the Taku forts.
American forces participate in the international force
U.S. Army units assigned as Legation Guard until 1905.
1903 - Ex-Spanish gunboatsElcano,
Villalobos and Pompey arrive at Shanghai. They are grouped
as the station ship at Shanghai to constitute a task force patrolling
Yangtze and tributaries.
Other gunboats added in the next few years to enlarge the
organize a group based at Hong Kong to patrol the Canton - Hong Kong -
Amoy axis. All the ships are assigned to the larger Battleship
1905 - Marines assigned to a
Guard at Peking. The garrison remains until surrendering to the
on December 8th, 1941.
1907 - March 31st, Asiatic
with the Pacific Fleet. Gunboats in Asian waters become the Sixth
of the Third Squadron, Pacific Fleet.
1908 - Gunboats in China
the Second Division, Third Squadron, Pacific Fleet.
Southeastern China in 1910
1910 - February 10th, Asiatic
from Pacific Fleet units in Asian waters.
USS New Orleans Un-numbered Cruiser Series
USS Saratoga [ACR-02) Former USS New York Later USS Rochester
1911 - In
Hankow numerous riots in Chinese city and adjacent to concession areas.
Early September, New
Orleans arrives in Shanghai with CinC Asiatic Fleet aboard. New
proceed to Nanking and then New Orleans proceeds to Hankow.
September 15th, RAdm Murdock performs the last exchange of
an American warship and an Imperial Chinese officer.
October 9th, revolution against the Qing Empire begins in
Concession at Hankow that was
ultimately successful and led, after nearly forty years of strife to
formation of the Peoples' Republic of China in 1949.
October 10th, through end of month, landing parties from Samar,
ashore in international concession areas to support international
and suppress looting and attacks on foreigners.
Landing parties ashore at Shanghai, Nanking, Chinkiang,
and other points to protect American and other foreign interests.
December - 15th Infantry arrives at Tientsin as a
garrison supporting the Legation Guard in Peking. The regiment remains
until March 12, 1938, when it is replaced by a much smaller force of
1912 - Qing Dynasty comes to an
Emperor Pu-yi abdicates. China remains in disarray until 1949.
Landing parties and 15th Infantry secure American
several points in China.
USS Monocacy 1914-1939
USS Helena in Asian waters
1914 - Monocancy
#2 and Palos #2 launched at Shanghai and commissioned.
World War I begins. Participating
exit China before internment would be required. American ships provide
the sole foreign patrol of the interior waterways.
ashore at Nanking to secure American interests.
Mid-year, roster of ships and
Monocacy @ Chungking Palos @ Tungting Lake/Changsha Villalobos @ Hankow Samar @ Kiuking Quiros @ Nanking Helena@
@ Shanghai Galveston @ Shanghai Wilmington on roving assignments Pompey - Laid up @ Hong Kong - no
1917 - April
6th, Monocacy, Palos, Samar, Quiros, and Villalobos
with short crews at Shanghai following America's entry into World War I.
August 14th, China enters World War I on the side of the
Germay and Austria-Hungary lose special treaty status. Their
become special administrative areas.
August 16th, interned ships are released from internment and
December 4th - 6th, a landing party from Palos is
the American Consulate at Chungking.
USS Cincinnati [C-7]
1918-1928 - Anarchy, banditry
war throughout China. Troubles continue following the ascendancy of the
Kuomintang (Nationalists) over the Communists and the invasion by and
against the Japanese beginning in 1931 and lasting until 1945.
1919 - December 25th, the Yangtze
Patrol formally organized with base and homeport at
Ships on station were as follows:
Elcano, Monocacy, Palos, Quiros, Samar, and
as Yangtze Patrol. Helena and Pampanga at Canton and Hong Kong as
1920 - During inspection and
Yangtze Valley COMYANGPAT briefly shifts his flag to HMS Widgeon.
The only recorded instance of an American commodore using a British
as his flagship in peacetime.
March 14 - Landing party ashore at Kuikiang to support
other foreign interests.
After nearly 20 years on station in China the homeport for
gunboats shifted to Shanghai from Manila.
1921 - YANGPAT base of
administration, logistics, and medical services shifted to Hankow.
Tiny Shameen Island at Canton contained two concessions.
and British concession areas were separately administered but with
cooperating municipal services. On June 23, 1925, British and French
fired on rioters attempting to storm the barricaded bridge entrance.
1922-23 - Landing parties
at various points in China to secure American interests.
1924 - September - Landing
at Shanghai to protect American and other foreign interests.
1925 - South China Patrol
standby at Shameen Island concessions, Canton, to assist British and
forces protecting the foreign concessions.
January 15 to August 29 - Landing party ashore at Shanghai
American and other foreign interests.
May 30th, Shanghai International Settlement Police fire into
threatening to storm a Municipal Police Station.
June 10th, Villalobos landing force ashore at Hankow
June 12th, Paul Jones
landing forces ashore at Hankow assisting international forces
rioters. Villalobos departs for Changsha.
June 14th, Villalobos standing by at Changsha
gunboat force consisting of British, Japanese, Italian, and French
June 23rd, British and French security forces fire into a
the barricaded bridge at Shameen concessions connecting the
to the main part of Canton.
October 26th, Riot at British Concession in Hankow.
- Landing party ashore at Hankow to protecct American and other foreign
interests. Guard maintained at Consulate-General after disturbances
August 27-September 5 - Battle of Wanhsien over
seizure of British flagged merchant ships. This involved two British
HMS Cockchafer and HMS Widgeon, and elements of a
army at Wanshien. Of 110 British personnel involved seven were killed
fifteen wounded. This incident, unprecedented on the Yangtze, gave
for consideration of the whole question of foreign policing of the
(see side bar).
November 4-6, Landing party ashore at Kuikiang to protect
other foreign interests.
YANGTZE SERVICE STREAMER
attempts to storm the British Concession at Hankow.
Pope and Pigeonlanding
forces ashore at Hankow to support British naval landing force ashore.
Both British and American forces are ordered withdrawn that night.
British Government in London decides to not defend the
Hankow and Kiukiang. British forces ordered back to their ships and the
Concession Police ordered to not defend the barricades.
January 4th, the British Concession at Hankow was overrun by
mobs. No destruction of foreign property.
January 12th, at Changsha, foreign residents are evacuated
and HMS Woodlark to Hankow.
January 7th, Kiukiang's British Concession overrun
February 19th & March 2nd, the Chen-OÕMalley
for termination of British concessions at Hankow and Kuikiang on
1st, 1929, following a orderly transition to Chinese control.
February 24th, 4th Marines
March 8th, Landing force from Preble ashore at
HMS Wolsey with evacuation of American and British nationals.
Customs and other foreign facilities damaged.
March 21st - 25th, at Nanking, American, Noa, Preston
British, Emerald and Wolsey; and four Japanese ships
foreign residents under fire from disorderly Nationalist forces.
and British warships fire at Chinese forces in self-defense and use
landing parties to secure the safe removal of most resident foreigners.
Three US Navy signal men earn the Navy Cross for heroism under fire.
British and Japanese consulates sacked, staff abused and shot, and
USS Asheville [PG-21]
USS Sacramento [PG-19]
March 21st, the 4th Marines land
at request of the American Consul General to protect American interests
and assist in defending the International Settlement. The 4th
remain in Shanghai until the end of November, 1941.
March 21st, Sacramento
Marine detachments land at Shanghai and are attached to 4th Marines.
March 25th, at Hankow, foreigners evacuated on SS Long Wo
Shanghai. Portions of the Hankow concession areas are sacked with
intervention from Chinese authorities.
Forty-seven foreign warships and 23,071 troops protect the
Settlement (see table below)
FLEET AT SHANGHAI
OR AT YANGTZE MOUTH
TYPE OF SHIP NATION
DESTROYER OR SLOOP
- MARCH 1927
April 3rd, mobs overrun Japanese Concession at Hankow.
land under fire to eject the mob and evacuate Japanese residents but
Japanese government later agrees to the the termination of their lease.
April 12th, the Nationalist versus Communist civil war
and soon spreads to other points in China. It continues in fits and
into the 1950s.
April 28th, 6th Marines, and 3rd Brigade Troops
May 6th, Sacramento and Asheville landing
to their ships.
May 16th, Emergency declared over.
June 2nd, 6th Marines and 3rd Brigade Troops
Tientsin and eventual return to the United States.
December 28th, the purpose built Guam (later Wake)
launched at Shanghai. Five additional ships; Panay, Tutuila,
Luzon, Oahu, and Mindanao, are launched and in operation by
the middle of 1928.
1929 - January 1st, foreign
at Hankow revert to Chinese control.
Japan invades Manchuria
1932 - January 28th, Japan
The Municipal Council declares an emergency, requests assistance from
treaty powers and activates the Shanghai Volunteer Corps.
Japanese forces openly violate the neutrality of the
Settlement by launching attacks on Chinese forces from within their
In effect the Municipal Council no longer governs the area protected by
February 4-5, the Army's 31st
from the Philippines reinforces the 4th Marines at
Forces ashore at Shanghai - British Brigade 3,600; 4th
1,625; 31st Infantry; 1,100; Shanghai Volunteer Corps 1,500. French
in their concession number approximately 3,000.
June 13th, Emergency ended, 31st Infantry released and returns
1933 - 1935 - Marines from the 4th
supplement the Yangtze Patrol sailors as boat guards on Yangtze
Rapid Steamship Company ships between Shanghai and Chungking.
ashore to protect the American Consulate at Foochow.
CHINA SERVICE STREAMER
1937 - July
Polo Bridge Incident near Peking. Japan begins unrestricted
warfare on China.
Yangtze Valley remains calm until August 12th when Japanese
Chinese forces guarding Shanghai. Japan openly violates the neutrality
of the International Settlement by moving troops through the Japanese
of the settlement.
August 14th, landing parties from Sacramento
reinforce 4th Marines at Shanghai.
September 19th, 6th Marines and 2nd Brigade Troops
to assist 4th Marines in securing the International Settlement.
Panay and British ships
foreign nationals from Nanking and depart as the Japanese invest and
the undefended city. During the Rape
of Nanking over 300,000 Chinese civilians were murdered.
December 12, Panay,
at anchor with convoy near Nanking, sunk by Japanese aircraft and
gunned by Japanese Army units operating from small boats. Crew and
eventually rescued after several days in hiding by HMS Ladybird, HMSBee,
and USS Oahu. Two sailors and one
passenger died of wounds. Crew assigned to USS Augusta CA-31 for
Japan apologizes and pays damages.
1938 - February
17th, 6th Marines and 2nd
Troops are withdrawn from Shanghai.
August 3-10, Tutuila
and Luzon transport the American Embassy staff and baggage to
October 25th, Chinese government abandons
party from Guam is ashore for four days to secure oil
and protect American interests until Japanese forces arrive.
Monocacy #2 decommissioned at Shanghai during October
trapped at Kuiking during Japanese advance up the Yangtze Valley.
U.S. Army's 15th Infantry withdrawn fron Tientsin
with a much smaller garrison of Marines that formed a detachment of the
1939 - Spring 1939, landing
(DD-217) and other ships ashore at Amoy to secure the American
and the International Settlement during the Japanese occupation of the
seaport city. Whipple
serving as flagship of South China Patrol.
Late in the year all seagoing Asiatic Fleet units withdrawn
and United States.
October, Monocacy #2 sunk at sea February 10.
The Yangtze and South China Patrols (five river gunboats
along with Marines at Peking, Tientsin, and Shanghai are the only
forces remaining in China.
1940 - August 26th, all British
and most naval units are withdrawn from North China and Yangtze Valley.
This leaves French, Italian, and American forces in Shanghai along with
the part-time Shanghai Volunteer Corps.
December, all American military and naval dependents are
Asia. All American civilians advised to depart.
July 31st, Tutuila
damaged by Japanese bombs at Chungking. Japanese apologize.
November 7th, the President authorizes withdrawal of Yangtze
and South China Patrol.
November 8th, the President authorizes withdrawal of all
China. Fourth Marines at Shanghai and the Legation Guard with
at Peking and Tientsin ordered to depart China.
November 18th, all naval forces in China except Tutuila,
at Chungking, ordered out of China.
November 23rd, Yangtze Patrol godown (supply depot) at
November 24th, Wake departs Hankow for Shanghai with
for Japanese navy escorts.
November 27th, First echelon of the 4th Marines departs
November 28th, Wake arrives Shanghai and her crew
transfers to Oahu
and Luzon. Oahu and Luzon depart that night for Manila.
remains with a 14 person crew as a communications ship supporting the
Department. The last echelon of the 4th Marines, except a four member
section, departs Shanghai for Subic Bay in the Philippine Islands.
December 4th, Mindanao clears Hong Kong enroute to
December 5th, Luzon and Oahu arrive at
Patrol dissolved with ships joining the Inshore Patrol at Manila Bay.
December 8th, HMS Peterel
its mooring in Shanghai by Japanese artillery after refusing to
USS Wake surprised, boarded at her mooring and surrendered at
Marines at Tientsin (49), Chinwangtao (22), and Peking (141) surrender.
December 10th, Mindanao arrives Manila Bay from Hong
China Patrol dissolved. Mindanao joins the Inshore Patrol.
Navy Yard destroyed by aerial bombing.
January 19th, Tutuila
decommissioned at Chungking. Ship is transferred to Colonel James
USMC, the Naval Attaché. Tutuila's crew of 22,
four Chinese steward's mates, was removed by air to Calcutta, train to
Bombay, and then by ship via South Africa, to Trinidad, where they
the U.S. Navy.
February 16, Tutuila is transferred to the Chinese
April 10th, gunboat crews man coast artillery batteries at
May 3rd, Mindanao sunk off Corregidor I.
May 4th, Oahu sunk off Corregidor I.
May 5th, Luzon sunk off Corregidor I. Salvaged later
Navy and renamed HIJMS Karatsu.
May 6th, Corregidor surrenders.
POST WORLD WAR TWO
1945 - September 2rd, two armed sailing junks with US flags
by American officers enter Shanghai harbor.
September 13th, HIJMS Ataka,
American colors above Japanese flag entered Shanghai harbor escorted by
USS YMS 49.
1945-1949 - U.S. forces assist
of Japanese civilians and military forces from China. They also assist
Chinese Nationalist forces in re-establishing Chinese administration
central and northern China.
U.S. forces provide security to the Marshall party and
to Chinese Nationalist forces.
All U.S. forces removed from the mainland portions of China
1949 - April 20, HMS Consort
relieved from station duty at Nanking proceeding to Shanghai. HMS Amethyst
proceeding to Nanking as relief for Consort
attacked by Red Army, disabled and beached below Nanking with 25
and 17 dead. Consort attacked with
30 wounded and 8 dead. Consort proceeded
Relief ships HMS London
Swan pounded by artillery and forced to withdraw after being
damaged and 20 wounded and 15 killed.
Negoiations continue for several months. Some of Amethyst
crew allowed to be evacuated. Local Red Army commanders allow supplies
and visitors aboard.
July 30-31, Amethyst escapes
at night to Shanghai and then to Hong Kong
Late 1949, British and American forces
most of their nationals remaining in Shanghai as the city is taken by
that the present type of gunboat used in China is becoming obsolete. A
little tin gunboat on a narrow river is no match in a fight with a
army equipped with modern heavy artillery. Unless the foreigners build
heavier and better protected gunboats, a difficult thing to do in view
of the shallowness of the rivers - the Chinese are shortly [if they are
not ready now] going to drive the gunboats off the river."
China Weekly Review, November 13, 1926.
in Kemp Tolley, Yangtze Patrol The U.S. Navy in China
Naval Institute Press, 1971) page 144.