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IJN Ex-Chinese Class Light Cruisers

Two Chinese cruisers, the Ning Hai and the Ping Hai were built initially with assistance from Japan until 1933, then completed and launched with help from a German Mission. At the outset of hostilities between the Republic of China and Japan, the Ning Hai was captured and turned over to the Japanese puppet government of Wang Ching-Wai. Her sister ship, the Ping Hai was initially sunk in the Yangtze, but was raised by the Japanese, and turned over as well. The two ships remained in this service capacity until halfway into the Pacific War, when the Japanese repossed both ships and renamed them Ioshima and Yasoshima.

Neither ship survived the war. The Yasoshima was sunk at Luzon by American carrier borne aircraft. The Isoshima was sunk the the American submarine Shad.

Yasoshima, a 2200-ton (standard displacement) escort vessel, was built at Shanghai, China, as the Chinese Navy's cruiser Ping Hai. Of Japanese design, and fitted with guns and much other equipment from that nation, her construction was delayed by strife between Japan and China in 1931 and 1932, but was resumed later. She was completed in June 1936.

In August of the next year, after full-scale war began with Japan, Ping Hai was sent up the Yangtse River as part of the defenses of Nanking, China's capital city. While on this duty on 22-23 September 1937 she was attacked by aircraft from the aircraft carrier Kaga and sunk in shallow water.

The Japanese raised Ping Hai's wreck in 1938 and towed her to Sasebo, Japan, where she remained until the beginning of 1944. Her only employment during this time was as an accomodation hulk. However, the critical need for escort vessels to defend Japan's shipping against U.S. submarines caused her reconstruction for active service between January and June 1944.

Renamed Yasoshima and placed in commission in the latter month, she performed escort service during July and August. In September she was reclassified as a second class cruiser and began conversion for use as a flagship. Upon completion of this work in mid-November she was sent to the Philippines. On 25 November 1944, while steaming off the western coast of Luzon in company with three transport vessels, Yasoshima was attacked and sunk by planes from U.S. Third Fleet aircraft carriers.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:22:42 ZULU