©2010 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp
20 January 1940:
Sakurajima. Laid down at Osaka Iron Works shipyard as a 999-ton ocean-going gunboat.
1 August 1940:
26 September 1940:
30 April 1941:
Completed and fitted to act as a flagship. Registered in the Yokosuka Naval District. UJI is the last river gunboat built for the IJN. LtCdr (later Captain) Suzuki Masaaki (48) is the Commanding Officer.
Attached to the 11th Squadron, First China Expeditionary Fleet, China Area Fleet.
1 June 1942:
LtCdr Kenziro Watabe (49) is appointed CO.
Five additional Type 96 25 mm AA guns are fitted bring her 25 mm suite to nine barrels. Used as floating anti-aircraft artillery. Also depth charge racks are installed for escort duty.
20 August 1943:
The First China Expeditionary Fleet is deactivated. Attached to the Yangtze Base Force, China Area Fleet.
3 February 1944:
LtCdr Koyano Hitoshi (49) is appointed CO.
21 April 1944:
UJI departs Tungchiaoshan (near Shanghai ) with gunboat ATAKA in the escort of the "Take" 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, UNKAI and TEIKO MARUs, YOSHIDA MARU No. 1 and UNKAI MARU No.12 and an unidentified ship.
27 April 1944:
UJI departs Takao with kaibokan FUKUE and CD-2 escorting convoy TAMO-18 consisting of TAINAN MARU, SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and eight unidentified ships.
2 May 1944:
Arrives at Keelung. At 1500, UJI departs for Moji with kaibokan FUKUE and CD-2 escorting convoy TAMO-18 consisting of TAINAN and TOYOURA MARUs and SHINSEI MARU No. 5 and fleet storeship MAMIYA and
four unidentified ships.
6 May 1944:
E China Sea. At 0325, LtCdr Josepth W. Williams' USS SPEARFISH (SS-190) torpedoes and sinks TOYOURA MARU and damages MAMIYA at 32-16N, 127-08E. Later that day, Williams attempts unsuccessfully to finish off MAMIYA. The escorts counter-attack SPEARFISH and inflict minor damage. UJI probably tows MAMIYA.
E 9 May 1944:
Arrives at Moji.
4 August 1944:
UJI departs Moji for Takao with kaibokan ETOROFU, HIBURI, FUKUE, CD-8, CD-10, CD-25, CD-32 and CH-49 and minelayer TAKASHIMA escorting convoy MOTA-22 consisting of KENJO, GASSAN, HAKUSAN, TEIKO, TERUKUNI, TACHIBANA, NANREI, GENKAI, TEIHOKU (ex-French PERSEE), HIOKI, MANSHU, SHIRANESAN, SHONAN, KOSHIN and RAKUTO MARUs and YAMAMIZU MARU No. 2, DAIBOSHI MARU No. 6 and five unidentified ships. Among other cargo, the convoy carries the IJA's 25th Tank Regiment redeploying from Baotau, North China to Formosa.
6 August 1944:
Off SW Kyushu. At 0411, LtCdr (later Admiral/CINCPACFLT) Bernard A. Clarey’s USS PINTADO (SS-387) torpedoes and sinks SHONAN MARU at 30-53N, 129-45E.
9 August 1944:
At 1310, KOSHIN MARU's cargo suddenly explodes and the ship sinks at 26-10N, 124-15E.
10 August 1944:
Arrives at Kirun (Keelung).
11 August 1944:
Departs Keelung and later that day arrives at Saei (Tsoying) near Takao.
16 August 1944:
At 1835, UJI departs Woosung, China for Naha, Okinawa
with destroyers TSUGA and HASU escorting convoy No. 609 consisting of KAZUURA, TSUSHIMA and GYOKU MARUs. The convoy is carrying about 6,000 troops of the 62nd Infantry Division and over 900 horses for its Field Heavy Artillery. KAZUURA
MARU carries 2,409 soldiers and 440 horses, TSUSHIMA MARU carries 3,339 soldiers and 449 horses and GYOKU MARU carries 3,175 soldiers and 40 horses.
19 August 1944:
Arrives at Naha.
21 August 1944:
At 1835, UJI departs Naha for Moji with destroyer HASU
escorting convoy NAMO-103 consisting of TSUSHIMA, GYOKU and KAZUURA MARUs.
TSUSHIMA MARU is evacuating 826 school children from Okinawa and carrying
another 1529 passengers and crewmen.
22 August 1944:
Ryukyu Islands. Cdr John Corbus’ USS BOWFIN (SS-287) attacks the convoy. At 2212, Corbus torpedoes and sinks TSUSHIMA MARU at 29-32N, 129-33E. Fearing submarine attack, no ships in the convoy stop to rescue survivors in the water. Later, only 59 of the children are saved. Corbus makes four other attacks and fires numerous torpedoes. UJI and HASU do not
24 August 1944:
Arrives at Nagasaki.
5 January 1945:
Attached to the Shanghai Base Force, China Area Fleet.
15 August 1945:
Shanghai. Notice of the termination of the war is received.
13 September 1945:
Ceded to the Republic of China as a war reparation. Renamed CHANG CHI by the Nationalist Navy.
25 October 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.
Captured by the Chinese Communists. Given an unknown new name by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Rearmed with Soviet 37mm AA guns and other weapons.
Little data were found about UJI's movements during 1942 and 1943.
Readers with access to such data are requested to post the information on the Discussion
and Questions board or j-aircraft.org's IJN Ship Message
-Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp