Wantung

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Wantung.
ID /IMO. 1153672.
Type Cargo/passenger.
Gross Registered Tonnage 1,061 grt. 558 nett.
Builder Kiangnam Dock & Engineering Works, Shanghai. Yard No.390.
Delivery date 1921.
Hull Steel, clincher construction.
Decks 2.
Length 198 ft.
Width 31 ft.
Depth 9.5 ft.
Engine Type 2, Triple expansion.
Engine cylinders 3 per engine.
Propulsion mode Twin screw.
Speed 9 kts.
Power Steam.
Fuel Coal.
Propeller 2, Right and left hand.
Propeller formation Solid.
Propeller material Cast Iron.
Original owner Robert Dollar & Co., Shanghai.

History

1921. Built as the "Alice Dollar" for Robert Dollar & Co.Shanghai and employed on the Upper Yangtse River work.

1925. Acquired by China Navigation Co. when they purchased Robert Dollar & Co. Shanghai. Only this subsidary of the American parent Co.

Aug 30th 1926. Seized at Wanhsien by Chinese troops belonging to General Yang Sen. Recovered after an attack by the Royal Navy on Sept. 5th. Stuart Harcourt Bates was master during this incident.

For details of the situation on the Yangtsze river, Google "THe Naval Review. 1927, issue I, pages 202 t0 224", for a description of the action by the Royal Navy involving the Wantung, and Google "The Naval Review 1927, issue 4, pages 766 to 778"

1930. Transferred to Taikoo Chinese Navigation Co.

1937 Nov./Dec. 1937. INCIDENT INVOLVING THE SINKING OF THE U.S.S. "Panay"

Captain Donald Brotchie, Master of the Wantung, was involved in carrying out a significant role in the evacuation of civilians and foreign staff from Nanking during the Japanese final assault, when over 300.000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered.
Google:- "U.S.S. Panay" for full descriptions and movie clip of the incident.

:The log of the Wantung from Nov. 25th to Dec 17th. 1937.

Nov. 25. At 5.00pm. "Siangtan" alongside to take bank staffs (Passengers)
Nov. 26. "Wantung"'s bank charter transferred to "Siangtan"
Nov. 27. Air raid warning.
Nov. 28. Air raid warning.
Nov. 29. 7 am. shifted to pontoon No 5 (Berth No. 6) - below wharf at Pukow for 150 tons bunkers. G.P.O. a/c - 5.30 back to anchorage.
Nov. 30 "Whangpu" anchored ahead of us. "Wenchow" (illegible).
Dec. 1. Capt. Jacobs. A.P.C. "Tien Kwang" to tiffin.
Dec. 2. Graham Torrible Ch.Officer to Hankow as Passenger per "Whangpu". Air raid.
Dec. 3. Shifted anchorage off French gunboat for G.P.O. (general protection ? ) purposes.
Dec. 4. Fresh NE wind, cold and clear.
Dec. 5. Forenoon air raid. Two anti-aircraft shells fell in river 100 yards ahead of ship. Bombs with much smoke in Nanking. Dr. Wang ([unreadable] married to Chinese) with Chinese girl boarded looking for Changchow. At noon proceeded to Changchou.
Dec.6. Fine, calm and cold. Forenoon air raid warnings. 1.30 to 2.00 pm. Pukow much bombed causing fires.. Pieces of anti-aircraft shrapnel falling around ship. Windows rattled by explosions one to two miles away.
Dec. 7. Proceeded (9.05 am) to anchorage about one mile above upper (unreadable). 9.30 am anchored - 4 to 5 fathoms. 2.30 pm. air raid on Pukow. Minister of Communications left Nanking today.
Dec.8. Light ENE wind, cold and fine. Afternoon air raid Pukow.
Dec.9. Loght wind, fine and cold. 10.00am air raid. anti-aircraft firing. Visit from British Consul, Prideaux Brune ("PB"), Vice Consul. Times war correspondent and another. Pukow heavily bombed. HMS Scareb and HMS Cricket moved to anchorage near "Wantung". "Mei An", "Mei Hsia" and "Mei Ping" anchored astern of Jardine's hulk. 12.00pm. "Woosung" down river Hankow.
N.B. The three tankers "Mei An", "Mei Hsia" and "Mei Ping" later left the anchorage with the USS "Panay" and were sunk/destroyed by the Japanese.
Dec.10. Light wind, overcast. Shelling vicinity of Nanking. Some air raids. pm. - extensive fires below Pukow. Mr Roseu German Consul ( secretary to Embassy) and Vice Consul to dinner. Mr.Ritchie's (Postal Commissioner) geusts.
Dec.11. Light Wind, cold and fine. Heavy shelling vicinity of Nanking. 11.30am. to HMS "Scareb" to drink King's health (accession). 2.10 pm safety zone shelled. ( it should be noted that the Japanese sometimes designated safety zones for foreign shipping where they promised not to bomb or shell ) Two shells in river between ships and bank, about 100 ft off ship no casualties. 2.15 pm. weighed (anchor) and proceeded up river (first off the mark). Other ships following. Anchored some two miles up river. Shelling resumed. Proceeded to anchorage off Resina ....... 5.15pm anchored astern "Whangpu" in 6.5 fathoms. Later "Whangpu" towed up E.O.W. hulk. 11'30 pm. HMS "Scareb" and HMS "Cricket" arrived at anchorage.
Dec.12. Fine, clear with sound of shelling and machine guns. USS "Panay" and Socony Vacuum steamers passed to anchorage considerably above us-8.30am. 1.30 pm three Jap planes bombed the anchorage - terrific power diving and explosions. Several seemingly aimed at "Whangpu" and E.W.O. hulk alongside. HMS "Scareb" and HMS "Cricket" drove off the planes with fierce gunfire. 3.20 pm. anchored after following the gunboats. Concentration now more spread out. 4.30pm planes returned. A.P.C. "Tieu Kwang" just missed (fragments marking hull white) - also "Whangpu". Gunboats fire drove drove them off again. All to meeting on HMS "Cricket" - decided to take berth at north bank and land all Nanking G.P.O. staff (including 19 girls) before daylight - all could hide in the reeds. 9.15pm. berthed at north bank, with lighter No.6 on starboard side and gangway to shore (7.20 to 9.15pm.)
Dec.13. All P.O. Office Staff and crew away in hiding by daylight (some chose to stay n board). 10.00am., as promised by radio, three reconnaissance planes over concentration. Gunboats ready for action. Forenoon, seven planes in formation back upriver - frequent flights over ships throughout the day - heard of USS"Panay" and Socony disaster. HMS"Ladybird" shelled at Wuhu, six hits. (Able bodied seaman killed).
Dec.14. Gentle westerly wind, fair weather. 10.00-11.30am. on HMS"Cricket" with McKenzie and Jacobs to conference for news. 12.20 to "Tieu Kwang" for radio news. 3.50pm. anchored near HMS"Cricket" in 4 fathoms, with No.6 lighter alongside. Three Jap destroyers and a light cruiser with a Rear Admiral passed upriver. Later a destroyer passed through concentration at full speed endangering lighters and tugs. 9.45-11.30 on "Tieu Kwang" for news. Message from Rear Admiral :- "Could not guarantee safety due to Keenness of flying officers".
Dec.15. 7.00am. light easterly wind, fog. 2.50pm. weighed anchor. 3.15pm. proceeded down river with "Whangpu", HMS"Ladybird", USS"Oahu", and two Jap destroyers. 4.28pm. anchored in 9 fathoms, approximately 4 miles above Nanking. Gunfire in vicinity.
Dec.16. 8.15am proceeded. Light ESE wind. 7.00 "Kingyuan", 9.10 "Tungchow II / Hsin Peking II", 11.24 "Wuhu III" - proceeding upstream, 2.45pm. "Woosung II". 5.00pm. Berthed at French Bund, Shanghai.

1941 Dec 8th. Seized by the Japanese at Shanghai. Renamed "Heizan Maru"

1943 Dec 28th. During an air raid by USAAF B-25s and P-40s was sunk along with the "Unyo Maru" and the "Koko Maru" in the Yangtse river, position 30 degrees 40' N, 117 degrees 30' E.

Service

Refer to;- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Cockchafer_(1915) for the details of the 1926 Wanhsien Incident.

Events / Stories

Images