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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
Yangtze Service 1926-1927, 1930-1932
Shallow draft gunboats of the U.S. Navy sailed China's
largest river for over 50 years before being officially organized
as the Yangtze Patrol Force in August, 1921.
These ships protected U.S. citizens against the bandits and
warlord forces in a turbulent China. In the mid-1920's, the internal
struggle for power was accompanied by many acts of violence against
foreigners. Units of the Yangtze Patrol, reinforced by destroyers
and light cruisers from the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, steamed upriver
to protect Americans and national interests.
Numerous confrontations occurred. When the situation stabilized
an uneasy peace returned to the Yangtze valley, and the gunboats
resumed anti-bandit activities. In the early 1930s severe floods
along the entire river valley brought the gunboats and additional
ships of the Asiatic Fleet into action again, this time in the
humanitarian cause of aiding the millions of Chinese left homeless
by the catastrophe.
15 July 1996