(TOBA in 1935)

IJN River Gunboat TOBA:
Tabular Record of Movement

©2010 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

7 July 1911:
Sasebo Navy Yard. Laid down as a domestic river gunboat.

7 November 1911:
Launched and named TOBA.

17 November 1911:
Completed. Attached to the China Area Fleet’s Shanghai Base Force.

14 August 1914:
Japan sends Germany an ultimatum which goes unanswered. On August 23rd, Japan formally declares war on the German Empire.

16 August 1917:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Fujiyoshi Akira (31) is appointed Commanding Officer.

3 June 1918:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

August 1919:
Assigned to the First Fleet.

6 October 1921:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Suzuki Kozo (36) is appointed CO.

20 April 1922:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Suzuki Kiyoshi (35) is appointed CO.

13 August 1923:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

1 May 1924:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Goto Eiji (37) is appointed CO.

21 June 1924:
LtCdr (later Vice Admiral) Suga Hikojiro (38) is appointed CO.

1 December 1925:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

1 December 1927:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Katsuno Minoru (40) is appointed CO.

30 November 1929:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

2 February 1932:
Assigned to the Third Fleet.

2 May 1932:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Kase Saburo (44) is appointed CO.

1 December 1932:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

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

1 November 1934:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Mutaguchi Kakuro (44) is appointed CO.

31 October 1935:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

1 December 1936:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Kubota Toshi (46) is appointed CO.

April – July 1937:
Kure Navy Yard. Undergoes modernization reconstruction. Bulges are fitted and beam increases from 8.99m to 9.78 m and displacement to 866/1094 tons. Rearmed with one 120 mm/45 cal., dual 76 mm/40 cal., dual 7.7 mgs; and dual 76 mm/40 cal 11-shiki, 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 (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 TOBA that is based at Ichang.

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. TOBA 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. Cdr (later Rear Admiral) Shimizu Toshio (46) is appointed CO of TOBA.

26 June 1938: The Battle of Madang:
Yangtze River. TOBA takes part in the battle with minelayers NASAMI, NATSUSHIMA and TSUBAME. They bombard Chinese positions, sweep mines, and lay buoys. 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.

14 July 1938:
Hukou, near Madang, Hubei Province. IJN minelayer KAMOME is hit by Chinese Thorncroft Wen-class MTB "Wen-93". KAMOME loses her stern and is run aground. She is raised and repaired later. Wen-93, in turn, is hit by TOBA, but suffers no casualties.

15 December 1938:
LtCdr (later Rear Admiral) Akazawa Shizuo (49) is appointed CO.

Two pair of dual 13.2 mm mgs are fitted.

20 October 1939:
An unknown officer is appointed CO.

15 November 1939:
Attached to the renamed Third Fleet’s 11th Squadron.

9 October 1940:
Shanghai. Arrives at Kiangnan (Konan) Engineering and Dock Works.

1 November 1940:
Patrols the upper Yangtze River.

20 September 1941:
Attached to Vice Admiral (Fleet Admiral, postumously) Koga Mineichi’s (34)(former CO of ISE) China Area Fleet’s Shanghai Base Force.

30 October 1941:
Arrives at Shanghai. Assigned to the Shanghai Base Force as Vice Admiral Makita Kakusaburo’s (38)(former CO of KIRISHIMA) flagship.

8 December 1941:
Shanghai. Assists in sinking Royal Navy gunboat PETEREL and the capture of American gunboat WAKE.

8 August 1942:
Departs Shanghai for Nanking.

29 August 1942:
Arrives back at Shanghai.

1 September 1942:
Undergoes servicing and repairs at Kiangnan (Konan) Engineering and Dock Works.

13 October 1942:
Arrives at Nanking. Undergoes inspection activity.

20 August 1943:
Reassigned to the Yangtze River Special Base Force.

September 1943:
At Nanking.

October – December 1943:
Shanghai. Undergoes repairs at Kiangnan (Konan) Engineering and Dock Works.

7 December 1943:
Patrols the lower Yangtze River.

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

September 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Shanghai. Ceded to the Chinese National Party. Renamed YANG CH’I.

Captured by the Chinese Communists. Renamed HO HSEUEH by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Author's Notes:
Thanks go to Matthew Jones for help in identifying COs.

-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

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