(SETA in 1935)

IJN River Gunboat SETA:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2011-2014 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
Revision 2.

29 April 1922:
Aioi. Laid down at Harima Zosensho as a 340-ton river gunboat.

30 June 1922:
Launched and named SETA.

20 January 1923:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Suzuki Kozo (36) is appointed Chief Equipping Officer (CEO).

6 October 1923:
Completed and registered in the IJN. LtCdr Suzuki is the Commanding Officer. Disassembled in sections and shipped to Shanghai, China. [1]

Shanghai. Re-laid down and reassembled at Tunghwa Shipbuilding.

1 December 1924:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

1 June 1926:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Yamazaki Sukeichi (39) is appointed CO.

1 December 1926:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

15 November 1927:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Shibata Yaichiro (40) is appointed CO.

10 October 1929:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

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

1 December 1932:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Sugimoto Michio (41) is appointed CO.

20 May 1933:
Attached to the Third Fleet’s 11th Squadron.

1 November 1933:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Nakao Hachiro (40) is appointed CO.

1 November 1934:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Kamijo Fukashi (39) is appointed CO.

15 November 1935:
Cdr Oshimi Nobuichi (43) is appointed CO.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The"First China Incident") Incident:
Hun River, Lukuokiao (Peking), 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.

July 1937:
Japanese residents in the Yangtze River area are guarded by Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Tanimoto Umataro's (35)(former CO of CHOKAI) 11th Gunboat Division including SETA that is based at Changsha.

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

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. SETA 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.

7 October 1937:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

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.

26 June 1938: The Battle of Madang:
Yangtze River. SETA takes part in the battle with gunboats TOBA and KOTAKA, minelayers TSUBAME, KAMOME, NATSUSHIMA and NASAMI. They also take part in the battle of Jiujiang and sweep mines, lay buoys and bombard Chinese positions. Chinese troops return fire with light arms, but cause many casualties among exposed crewmen. Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops land behind the fort and Madang falls.

27 July 1938:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) (later Rear Admiral) Kondo Saburo (46) is appointed CO.

15 November 1939:
Attached to the First China Expeditionary Fleet’s 11th Gunboat Division.

Ca. 1940:
Rearmed with dual 3.1-inch/40 cal. AA and five 13.2 mm mgs.

11 June 1940:
Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Kishi Yoshiyuki (47) is appointed CO.

5 October 1940:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

11 August 1941:
Attached to the First China Expeditionary Fleet, China Area Fleet.

4 November 1941:
Arrives at Hangkow. Attached to the Yangtze Upper River Division. Conducts patrols from Hangkow.

25 December 1941:
Cooperates with the Imperial Army and engages in mopping-up operations near Cheng-ling-chi located on the right bank of the Yochow Reach, the eastern outlet of Tung-Ting Lake.

2 May 1942:
Shanghai. Undergoes maintenance service.

June 1942:
Completes servicing, then conducts Yangtze River upper river patrols again.

22 June 1942: Operation SE (SE-Go Sakusen):
SETA and river gunboats KATADA and SUMIDA and four small unidentified gunboats are attached to the Tung-Ting Lake Force, one of several forces participating in Operation SE.

25 November 1942:
An unknown USAAF Fourteenth Air Force aircraft type attacks and damages SETA. Five crewmen are KIA.

Ca. 1943/1944:
SETA's five 13.2 mm mgs are landed and replaced with six Type 96 25 mm AA guns.

6 June1943:
Near Shasi, Yangtze River. SETA is attacked by 7 USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40´s fighter bombers. Her No. 2 gun, 12 mm MG mount, search-light and wireless transmitter are hit. 14 crewmen including her CO, Cdr Matsumoto Hisashi are KIA. 14 other crewmen are WIA.

June-July 1943:
Shanghai. Undergoes battle-damage repairs at Kiangnan (Konan) Engineering and Dock Works.

1 August 1943:
Conducts patrols with the Yangtze Upper River Division again.

20 August 1943:
Attached to the Yangtze Special Base Force, China Area Fleet.

1 September 1943:
A USAAF Fourteenth Air Force P-40 “Warhawk” fighter-bomber attacks SETA, but fails to inflict damage.

22 May 1944:
A Fourteenth Air Force P-51 “Mustang” fighter-bomber attacks SETA, but fails to inflict damage.

11 June 1944:
A Fourteenth Air Force P-38 “Lightning” fighter-bomber attacks SETA, but fails to inflict damage.

17 August 1944:
A Fourteenth Air Force aircraft bombs SETA and wrecks her stern rendering her unnavigable. Later, she is towed to Shanghai for repairs.

10 October 1944:
Attached to the Yangtze Area Special Base Force’s 21st Gunboat Division with gunboat KATATA.

24 October 1944:
Shanghai. Repairs are completed.

26 November 1944:
An unidentified USAAF Fourteenth Air Force aircraft bombs and destroys SETA.

SETA's useable armament is removed and shipped ashore for use in land defenses.

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

30 September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Author's Notes:
[1] Because the draft of this type of boat was so shallow, even when the seas were a little high, there was a great danger of turning over, so it was transported disassembled and re-assembled at its operating locale.

Thanks go to Matthew Jones for help in identifying COs and to Erich Muehlthaler of Germany for info in Rev 1.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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