(Chinese Ning Hai-class light cruiser)

IJN YASOJIMA: Tabular Record of Movement

© 2008 Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp

28 June 1931:
Shanghai. Laid down at the Kiangnan Dock & Engineering Work's shipyard for the Chinese Navy as a light cruiser of Japanese design.

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.

20-28 January 1932: The "First Shanghai Incident":
Shanghai. In protest over the Kwantung Army's occupation of Manchuria, the Chinese boycott import and sale of Japanese goods. The Japanese retaliate by burning Chinese 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. Although Mayor Wu agrees, the IJN dispatches the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) of about 2,500 troops to evict two divisions of the Chinese 19th Route Army from Shanghai.

Construction is delayed by the tensions between Japan and China. The Japanese refuse to provide secondary armament for the cruiser, but with help from a German Mission the Chinese obtain 40mm Bofors AA and machine guns from Krupp.

Shanghai. After IJN torpedo boat TOMOZURU capsizes in a storm, it is felt this Japanese-designed cruiser also suffers from a top-heavy design. Remedies include reduction of her secondary armament from six to three 3-inch guns and relocated, deletion of her floatplane and hangar, and elimination of one engine and screw. Further, her bridge is redesigned, her heavy tripod mast deleted and more ballast is added to improve stability and sea-worthiness.

28 September 1935:
Launched and named PING HAI.

30 October 1935:
Arrives off Aioi, Japan for installation of armament and fitting out at the Harima shipyard.

18 June 1936:
Completed. Captain Shen is the Commanding Officer. Departs Aioi for Shanghai.

7 July 1937: The Marco Polo Bridge (The First "China") Incident:
Hun River, Lugouqiao, China. Japanese troops on night maneuvers at the bridge fire blank cartridges. Nearby Chinese troops fire back, but do not cause injuries. Later, the Japanese discover a soldier missing and assume the Chinese captured him. They demand entry to a Peking (Beijing) suburb to look for him. The Chinese refuse, so the Japanese shell the city and an undeclared war begins. .

11 July 1937:
The IJA and IJN agree to operational jurisdictions in China. The IJA takes responsibility for northern China and the IJN assumes assumes responsibility for central and southern China. The IJN's air power in-theater at this time consists of only about 80 planes on carriers KAGA, RYUJO and HOSHO on station in the East China Sea.

August 1937:
Chiang Kai Shek's Chinese Nationalist Government sends PING HAI and sister NING HAI, old cruiser YING JUI and a gunboat down the Yangtse River to Koin (Chiang Yin) to help defend Nanking, the Nationalist's capital city.

22-23 September 1937:
Koin. PING HAI is attacked several times by aircraft from KAGA operating from Hangchou Bay south of Shanghai, and the ground-based 2nd Combined Air Flotilla. PING HAI sustains hits by eight bombs and several near misses. Her captain is badly wounded, but continues the fight. PING HAI settles in shallow water near Koin. The Chinese shoot down several IJN aircraft and damage others.

5 December 1937:
Yangtse River. The IJN captures the wreck of PING HAI.

PING HAI is refloated successfully. She is towed to Shanghai where she undergoes basic repairs. Later, the hulk is towed to Sasebo.

111 July 1938:
PING HAI is reclassified as a coastal defense and training vessel. Renamed MISHIMA.

Sasebo. MISHIMA serves as an accomodation hulk.

January 1944:
MISHIMA is towed from Sasebo to Kure.

4 January 1944:
Kure. Begins reconstruction.

1 June 1944:

10 June 1944:
Completes reconstruction. Registered in the Kure Naval District as a kaibokan coast defense ship.

15 June 1944:
Reserve LtCdr Matsumura Sonichiro assumes command.

June 1944:
Inland Sea. Conducts training operations.

2 July 1944:
At 1800, YASOJIMA departs Yokosuka for Chichi-Jima with kaibokan AMAKUSA and OKI, minesweeper W-20, auxiliary minesweeper SHOWA MARU No. 7, auxiliary subchaser CHa-9 and an unknown warship escorting convoy No. 3702 consisting of SHIBAZONO, EIKO, DAIJI, RYUKO and YAEI MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 7 and oil tanker No. 3995.

4 July 1944:
After receiving reports of an enemy carrier task force conducting raids on Chichi-Jima, the convoy reverses course for the homeland and later is dissolved.

5 July 1944:
The convoy is reorganized and renumbered No. 3706. It now consists of SHIBAZONO, and YAEI MARUs, UNKAI MARU No. 7 and oil tanker No. 3995 escorted by YASOJIMA, kaibokan OKI, auxiliary subchaser SEKI MARU No. 2 and subchaser CH-52.

6 July 1944:
At 0645, convoy No. 3706 departs Hachijo-Jima.

7 July 1944:
At 0700, arrives at Chichi-Jima.

30 August 1944:
At 1100, YASOJIMA departs Yokohama for Chichi-Jima with first-class transport (APD) No. 7 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 escorting convoy No. 3830 consisting of TOKIWASAN and TAKUNAN MARUs and HAKUUN MARU No. 2. Late that night, the convoy anchors off Tateyama in Tokyo Bay.

31 August 1944:
At 0400, departs Tateyama. After receiving reports that Chichi-Jima is under air attack, the convoy reverses course and returns to Yokosuka where it is dissolved.

5 September 1944:
Reclassified as a second class cruiser.

6 September 1944:
YASOJIMA departs Yokosuka for Haha-Jima with kaibokan HACHIJO, CD-4 and CD-12 escorting convoy No. 3905 consisting of SHORYU and TOKIWASAN MARUs.

E 7 September 1944:
Arrives at Tateyama.

9 September 1944:
At 1520, the convoy departs Tateyama. At about 1600, shortly after the ships leave port, LtCdr Anton R. Gallaher's USS BANG (SS-385) torpedoes and sinks both TOKIWASAN and SHORYU MARUs at 28-58N, 137-45E.

10 September 1944:
At 1600, YASOJIMA departs Chichi-Jima for Yokosuka with subchaser CH-51 and auxiliary subchaser TAKUNAN MARU No. 10 escorting convoy No. 4901A consisting of NAGATA and TAKUNAN MARUs and HAKUUN MARU No. 2.

11 September 1944:
At 0400, LtCdr Robert R. William's USS FINBACK (SS-230) torpedoes and sinks HAKUUN MARU No. 2 at 27-45N, 140-00E.

11 September 1944:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 September 1944:
Rear Admiral Sone Akira’s (44)(former CO of NACHI) 1st Transport Squadron is established consisting of YASOJIMA (F) and naval transports T. 6, T. 9, T. 10 and six type T. 101s.

October 1944:
TransRon 1 is reassigned to Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi’s Southwest Area Fleet.

15 October 1944:
Sasebo. Begins conversion for use as a flagship. Additional communications gear is installed.

15 November 1944:
Sasebo. Completes conversion. Departs for Manila.

25 November 1944:
Near Santa Cruz Bay, N of Manila. YASOJIMA is steaming with second class transports T. 113, T. 142 and T. 161. At about 1400 local, the convoy is attacked by Grumman TBF "Avengers" of Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Frederick C. Sherman’s TG 38. 3 USS TICONDROGA (CV-14) and LANGLEY (CVL-27).

YASOJIMA is hit in the stern by a Mark-13 aerial torpedo dropped by a TBF of TICONDROGA's Torpedo Squadron 80 (VT-80). She sinks at 15-0N, 119-45E. LtCdr Matsumura and about 100 of his crewmen survive.

10 January 1945:
Removed from the Navy List.

Authors' Notes:
YASOJIMA was also known as YASOSHIMA.

- Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp.

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