(ATAKA in 1922)

IJN River Gunboat ATAKA:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2010 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

15 August 1921:
Laid down at Yokohama Dock Co. as first-class 725-ton ocean-going gunboat and named NAKOSO. She is the first ship built at Yokohama Dock Co.

11 October 1921:
Renamed ATAKA.

11 April 1922:
Launched. After a delivery cruise to Yokosuka, a bulge is fitted at the waterline.

12 August 1923:
Completed and registered in the Sasebo Naval District. Cdr Umeda Ryozo (31) is appointed Commanding Officer.

1 October 1923:
Attached to the China Area Fleet’s First China Expeditionary Fleet.

1 December 1923:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Shimomura Shosuke (35) is appointed CO.

20 November 1924:
Cdr Nakajima Naokuma (34)(former CO of HAKAZE) is appointed CO.

15 November 1927:
Cdr (Rear Admiral, posthumously) Suzuki Kozo (36) is appointed CO.

15 June 1928:
Cdr Noguchi Koichi (35) is appointed CO.

18 September 1931: The "Mukden Incident":
Liutiaohu, about 25 miles from Mukden (now Shenyang), the capital of Manchuria. Japanese soldiers detonate an explosive on the Japanese-owned Southern Manchurian Railway. Chinese soldiers retaliate with gunfire. The Japanese Kwantung Army reinforces their troops and settles the conflict. The Japanese continue N to Mukden, attack the city and win control the next day. The “Mukden Incident” is the beginning of the Pacific War.

18 January 1932:
Reassigned to the 11th Squadron as flagship of Rear Admiral (later Admiral) Shiozawa Koichi (32)(former CO of FURUTAKA) First China Expeditionary Fleet.

20 January 1932:
In protest over the Mukden Incident, in the preceeding weeks, the Chinese boycott the import and sale of Japanese goods. The Japanese retaliate by burning factories and shops. The Japanese Consul-General demands that Shanghai’s Mayor Wu T'ieh-ch'eng dissolve all anti-Japanese organizations, pay compensation and end anti-Japanese agitation. Admiral Shiozawa backs Japanese demands on the mayor.

23 January 1932:
Rear Admiral Shiozawa, flying his flag in ATAKA, is the senior Japanese naval officer present at Shanghai, and as the Japanese garrison at Shanghai consists of the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF), he is in complete control of IJN forces in Shanghai. These consist of ATAKA and gunboat KATATA, cruisers OI and HIRADO, minelayer TOKIWA and destroyers URAKAZE, HAGI, FUJI, SUSUKI and TSUTA.

28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
At dawn, the Japanese men-of-war at Shanghai take up stations alongside Japanese wharves and other interests. ATAKA comes alongside the N.Y.K. wharf adjacent to the Japanese consulate. Seaplane carrier NOTORO arrives at Shanghai.

Although Mayor Wu gives in before the deadline, other foreign settlements mobilize as does Admiral Shiozawa who informs the commanders of other foreign defense forces that he might have to take action against the Chinese on the following day. In the afternoon, newly modernized cruiser YUBARI arrives with twelve destroyers. The Shanghai SNLF of about 2,500 troops is dispatched to evict two lightly armed divisions (over 20,000 men) of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai.

That same day, the Japanese attack the forts of Wusong and Jabei. That night, Admiral Shiozawa has NOTORO's seaplanes drop flares to frighten the opposition, but the Chinese think they are being attacked. They retaliate and there are many Japanese casualties.

29 January 1932:
Huangpu (Whangpoa) River, Shanghai. Admiral Shiozawa calls on NOTORO to launch an aerial attack on Chinese military positions. Her E1Y3 floatplanes make ten low-level attacks on the old Chapei sector, artillery positions outside the city and on an armored train in the North Railway Station. The attacks, in foggy weather, result in a heavy loss of civilian lives and property. The Chinese unify against the Japanese who are unable to capture Shanghai. Large-scale fighting breaks out. The IJN brings its heavy naval guns to bear on the Chinese.

1 February 1932:
The IJA is called in to assist the badly outnumbered Shanghai SNLF. By the end of the month, IJA troops number 50,000 men under General Shirakawa.

2 February 1932:
Attached to the China Area Third Fleet’s First China Expeditionary Fleet.

1 March 1932:
General Shirakawa's troops encircle the Chinese 19th Route Army and force a Cease-Fire. That same day, the Japanese establish the puppet government of Manchukuo (former Manchuria). They make Henry Pu Yi , the last Emperor of China, the Emperor of Manchukuo.

1 December 1932:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Hara Chuichi (39) is appointed CO.

20 May 1933:
Attached to the China Area Third Fleet’s 11th squadron as flagship.

20 October 1933:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Mori Kunizo (40) is appointed CO.

Sasebo Navy Yard. Additional ballast is loaded.

15 November 1934:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Hori Yugoro (41) is appointed CO.

25 October 1935:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

1 December 1936:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Shibazaki Keiji (43) is appointed CO.

April – July 1937:
Kure Navy Yard. Undergoes modernization reconstruction. A tripod mast and anti-torpedo bulges are fitted and other improvements made to improve stability. Her beam increases to 32.9 feet/9.78 m and displacement to 1094 tons. Rearmed with one 120 mm/45 cal., dual 76 mm/40 cal., dual 7.7 mm mgs; and dual 76 mm/40 cal, 2 dual 13.2 mm mg and one depth charge thrower.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River, Lukuokiao, China. Japanese troops at the bridge fire blank cartridges during night maneuvers. Chinese troops fire back. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing. They demand entry to the Peking (Beijing) suburb of Wanping to look for him, but the Chinese refuse. The Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war on China begins.

29 July 1937:
The Japanese capture the ancient Imperial Chinese capital of Peking (now Beijing).

30 July 1937:
Departs Kure for Shanghai as the new flagship of the 11th Gunboat Division under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanimoto Umataro (35) )(former CO of CHOKAI) , replacing minelayer YAEYAMA.

July-early August 1937:
The 11th Gunboat Division evacuates Japanese civilians from the interior to Shanghai.

13 August 1937: The Second Battle of Shanghai
Shanghai. At 0900, more than 10,000 Japanese troops enter the suburbs. Fighting begins in the Zhabei, Wusong and Jiangwan districts. ATAKA and the 11th Gunboat Division put ashore Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) reinforcements. At 1600, warships of Vice Admiral (later Admiral) Hasegawa Kiyoshi’s (31)(former CO of NAGATO) 3rd Fleet in the Huangpu (Whangpoa) and Yangtze Rivers begin bombarding Chinese shore positions.

14 August 1937: "Bloody Saturday":
Shanghai. Flagship USS AUGUSTA (CA-31), carrying Admiral Harry E. Yarnell (former CO of SARATOGA, CV-3), CINC, U.S. Asiatic Fleet, arrives from Tsingtao and anchors in the Huangpu River. That same day, the Chinese Air Force (CAF), under retired Captain (later LtGen) Claire L. Chennault, launches aircraft to attack IJN flagship IZUMO and the Japanese fleet. The CAF mistakenly bombs British cruiser HMS CUMBERLAND, but their bombs fall wide. Two bombs also fall close alongside AUGUSTA, but no one is killed. Other CAF fliers also bomb Shanghai city, killing more than 1,700 civilians and wounding 1800 others.

19 August 1937:
In view of the increasing danger, it is decided to repatriate Shanghai’s Japanese women and children. About 20,000 of the total 30,000 residents are successively returned home.

23 August 1937: :
50 km NE of Shanghai. The IJN lands General Matsui Iwane's 3rd, 8th, and 11th Divisions at Chuanshakou, Shizilin, and Baoshan under the cover of the 3rd Fleet's guns. The IJN also makes other large-scale landings of Matsui's troops at Liuhe, Wusong and Chuanshakou.

25 October 1937:
Chinese troops begin withdrawl from parts of Shanghai.

5-12 November 1937: - The Fall of Shanghai:
S of Shanghai. The IJN lands the IJA 10th Army in Jinshanwei, nearly unopposed. On 8 November, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek issues an order for a general retreat. By 12 November, Shanghai is cleared of Chinese troops. On 26 November, the Chinese Army fall backs to the capital of Nanjing (Nanking); thus the battle for Shanghai lasted three months.

1 December 1937:
Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Kondo Eijiro (36)(former CO of KAGA) is appointed CO of the 11th Gunboat Division. That same day, Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Matsumoto Takeshi (45) is appointed CO of ATAKA.

13 December 1937:
The 11th Gunboat Division heads to Xiaguan led by ATAKA. The division returns fire against blistering attacks from Liu Zijiang’s trenches. Gunboats HOZO and SETA are in front and ATAKA, gunboat HIRA and main force destroyers KAWAKAZE and SUZUKAZE follow. The Yangtze River and the riversides are full of routed Chinese boats and rafts. Each gunboat attacks them.

26 March 1938:
Cdr Oishi Kenshiro (42)(former CO of FUTAMI) is appointed CO.

13 June 1938 - The Battle of Wuhan:
Midway down the Yangtze River. The Japanese land at Anqing supported by Rear Admiral Kondo’s 11th squadron and 100 vessels, including more than 40 destroyers, mine sweepers, naval and river gunboats and blockade boats. The landing force totals about 12,000 men and 80 to 90 guns. The Japanese begin the Battle of Wuhan to annihilate the Chinese Army and force a surrender. The battle rages for over four months and ends in a stalemate.

24 July 1938:
Rear Admiral Kondo’s Yosuko (Yangtze) Force lands troops of the Kure No. 4 and No. 5 Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) on the banks of the Yangtze. Gunnery support is provided by Kondo’s 11th Gunboat Division consisting of YAEYAMA (F), ATAKA, SAGA, HASU, HIRA, NATSUSHIMA, SARUSHIMA, KAWASEMI, DesDiv 11, DesDiv 21’s TSUGA and KURI, TorpBoat Div 1’s KASAGI, HIYODORI, OTORI and HAYABUSA, gunboats HOZU, SETA, ATAMI, FUTAMI and KASIDA, Special Minesweeper Unit 1’s TSUBAME, KAMOME, SUGI MARU and KASIWA MARU and Special Minesweeper Unit 2. Air cover is provided by seaplane tenders KAMIKAWA MARU and NOTORO. Threatened with envelopment, the Chinese withdraw.

15 December 1938:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Ishizuka Chitoshi (45) is appointed CO.

Two pair of dual (2 x 2) 13.2 mm mgs are fitted. 15 November 1939:
Cdr (later Vice Admiral) Kaizuka Takeo (46) is appointed CO. Attached to the China Area Fleet’s 11th squadron, First China Expeditionary Fleet. Arrives at Hangkow. Later, conducts patrols from there.

3 May 1940:
Patrols from Hangkow.

15 November 1940:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Nijima Nobuo (46) is appointed CO.

1 October 1941:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Mutaguchi Kakuro (44) former CO of YAKAZE) appointed CO.

11 August 1941:
Attached to the China Area Fleet in Vice Admiral, Prince, Komatsu Teruhisa’s (37)(former CO of NACHI) First China Expeditionary Fleet.

17 November 1941:
Arrives in Shanghai.

20 November 1941:
Enters Dock.

6 December 1941:

20 December 1941:
Attached to the Yangtze River Squadron's Lower River Division.

1 January 1942:
Departs Shanghai for Hangkow.

7 January 1942:
Arrives at Hangkow. Patrols the Yangtze River coast fortifications between Hangkow and Nanjing.

1 April 1942:
Patrols the Yangtze River between Nanjing and Hangkow.

17 April 1942:
Yangtze River. Shells advance positions of Chinese troops at the village lake on the other side of the river.

November 1942:
At Shanghai.

7 December 1942:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Hosoya Sukehiko (47) is appointed CO.

12 December 1942:
Undergoes repairs and servicing, then patrols the Yangtze River

21 December 1942:
Engages in a patrol and transports Special Naval Landing Force troops.

20 August 1943:
The China Area Fleet's First China Expeditionary Fleet is deactivated. ATAKA is detached and attached to the China Area Fleet’s Shanghai Base Force.

21 August 1943:
Hankow. Fourteen B-24 “Liberator” heavy bombers, 7 B-25 “Mitchell” medium bombers and 11 P-40 “Warhawk” fighter-bombers of MajGen (later LtGen) Claire L. Chennault 's USAAF Fourteenth Air Force attack the docks and the airfield. A large force of Japanese fighters (50+) attacks the formation, shooting down two B-24's; other B-24 gunners claim a large number (40+) of fighters shot down. ATAKA is not damaged in the raid. Later, she departs Hangkow for Shanghai.

22 August 1943:
Departs Shanghai on a patrol that lasts 27 days.

25 December 1943:
Cdr Teranishi Takechiyo (46) is appointed CO.

1 April 1944:
Departs Ssu Chian Shan escorting an unidentified convoy.

5 April 1944:
Returns to Ssu Chian Shan.

21 April 1944:
ATAKA departs Tungchiaoshan (near Shanghai ) with gunboat UJI in the escort of the "Take" (Bamboo) convoy with destroyers ASAKAZE, SHIRATSUYU and FUJINAMI, kaibokan KURAHASHI, CD-20 and CD-22, minelayer SHIRATAKA (F), minesweeper W-22, subchasers CH-37, CH-38, and auxiliary minesweeper TAMA MARU No. 7. The convoy is carrying troops of the IJA's 32nd and 35th divisions from China via Manila to New Guinea and consists of KAZUURA, MITSUKI, BRAZIL, TENSHINZAN, TAJIMA, ADEN, YOZAN, MANSHU, FUKUYO, KANAN, TEIKAI and TEIKO MARUs, YOSHIDA MARU No. 1, UNKAI MARU No. 12 and two unidentified ships.

26 April 1944:
Off NW Luzon, Philippines. LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Thomas M. Dykers’ USS JACK (SS-259) intercepts the convoy. Dykers makes three separate attacks and fires 18 torpedoes at the convoy. At about 0600, from two to four torpedoes hit YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 portside. She breaks in two and sinks quickly at 18-06N, 119-40E taking down an IJA regiment of 3,189 men including its commander.

Tokyo. Prime Minister and Army General Tojo Hideki learns of the losses inflicted upon convoy Take No. 1. Fearing further attacks by American skip-bombers, like those suffered earlier in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Tojo orders the convoy diverted from Manokwari, New Guinea to Halmahera, Moluccas.

28 April 1944:
Arrives at Manila. Several ships are detached, but it is unknown if they include ATAKA.

23 May 1944:
Departs Ssu Chian Shan escorting an unidentified convoy.

26 May 1944:
Arrives at Kirun (Keelung).

30 May 1944:
ATAKA departs Takao with destroyers ASAGAO and HARUKAZE, kaibokan CD-2 and auxiliary gunboat TOMITSU MARU escorting convoy TAMO-20 consisting of KOSHIN MARU and 22 unidentified merchant ships.

5 June 1944:
Arrives at Moji.

August 1944:
Yangtze River. Undergoes repairs at an unidentified location, then escorts an unidentified convoy escort from Shanghai.

1 June 1945:
Ssu Chian Shan. Undergoes an air raid by USAAAF aircraft. Eight men are KIA.

15 August 1945:
Notice of the termination of the war is received.

September 1945:
South China Sea. Prior to the cessation of hostilities, men of USS ROBINSON (DD-562) capture and board ATAKA. A prize crew headed by ROBINSON’s operations officer Lt (later Admiral/CNO) Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. is sent aboard to take charge. Lt Zumwalt serves as commander (as prize crew officer) of ATAKA with a crew of 200 (her Japanese crew supervised by the American prize crew). Zumwalt takes ATAKA, flying the United States flag, up the Huangpu River to Shanghai. There they help restore order and assist in disarming the Japanese.

September 1945:
Requisitioned by the Chinese Nationalist Party. Renamed AN TUNG.

8 December 1945:
Lt Zumwalt is relieved of duty aboard the former ATAKA.

3 May 1947:
Removed from the Navy List.

Captured by the Chinese Communists and given an unknown new name by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Discarded and scrapped.

Authors' Notes:
Thanks go to Matthew Jones for help in identifying COs and ATAKA's organizational assignments. Thanks also go to Keiko Jones for help in translating some Japanese names and C. Peter Chen for info about the Battle for Shanghai.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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