USS Luzon (PG-47)
USS Luzon PG-47/PR-7
|Builder:||Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works, Shanghai|
|Laid down:||20 November 1926|
|Launched:||12 September 1927|
|Commissioned:||1 June 1928|
|Struck:||8 May 1942|
|1 battle star|
|Fate:||Scuttled 6 May 1942|
|Fate:||Sunk 3 March 1944|
|General characteristics |
|Displacement:||500 long tons (508 t)|
|Length:||210 ft 9 in (64.24 m)|
|Beam:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Draft:||6 ft (1.8 m)|
|Speed:||16 kn (30 km/h)|
|Armament:||• 2 × 3"/50 caliber gun
• 10 × .30 caliber machine guns
The first USS Luzon (PG-47) was laid down 20 November 1926 by the Kiangnan Dock and Engineering Works, Shanghai, China; launched 12 September 1927; sponsored by Miss Mary C. Carter, daughter of Commander Andrew F. Carter, USN; and commissioned 1 June 1928.
One of eight gunboats built for service on the Yangtze River in China, Luzon was redesignated PR-7 on 15 June. From commissioning until December 1938, she served as the flagship of the Yangtze River Patrol, operating out of Hankow, between such ports as Nanking, Chunking, and Shanghai. In August 1937, after the Japanese had attacked Shanghai, Luzon evacuated the American Embassy staff to Chunking.
In December 1938 the river gunboat arrived at Shanghai to relieve Augusta (CA-31) as station ship. Except for infrequent calls at Nanking, Wuhu and other ports on the Yangtze, she remained off Shanghai until 29 November 1941 when she departed for the Philippines.
Luzon arrived at Manila on 30 December, just 23 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. She then began patrol operations in the waters of the Philippines, assisting in the defense of both Bataan, from 1 February until the surrender of the peninsula to the Japanese 9 April, and Corregidor, from the beginning evacuations of that entrance island to Manila Bay until the enemy landings 5 May.
The next day, with the surrender of the Corregidor and Manila Bay forts to the Japanese, Luzon, along with Oahu (PR-6) and Quail (AM-15), were scuttled in Manila Bay to prevent capture, and subsequently struck from the Navy List on 8 May 1942. Luzon received one battle star for World War II service.
Service in IJN
In late May, 1942, Luzon was salvaged by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), and repair begun at the 103rd Repair Facility at Cavite. Her forward 3-inch AA gun was replaced by a built-up superstructure and her bow is adorned with two imperial crests, one on each side, and on 1 August, Luzon was renamed Karatsu (唐津) by the Japanese, and assigned to the Sasebo Naval District and assigned to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo's (36) (former CO of Kirishima) Southwest Area Fleet's Third Southern Expeditionary Fleet. Although classified by the Japanese as a riverine gunboat, repair work continued to convert her into a submarine chaser, including the installation of a sonar system. When refit work completed on 14 October, she was reassigned to Cebu Guard Unit the next day. For the next two years she operated mostly in conjunction with Imperial Japanese Army to conduct counterguerrilla operations, with the secondary escort / patrol missions, and it was during one of these escort / patrol mission, she sunk Cisco (SS-290) with the help of two Nakajima B5Ns from the IJN 954th Air Group (海軍第954航空隊九七艦攻). The river gunboat was fatally torpedoed in the Philippines by Narwhal (SS-167) on 3 March 1944, and had to be towed back to Cebu when its bow was blown back to the bridge. However, the damage was too extensive to be repaired at Cebu, so she was towed to Manila to be repaired at No. 103 Repair Facility at Cavite. On 22 January 1945, before the repairs could be completed, she was ordered to depart Manila as soon as possible, but due to the progress of the war, IJN had no options but to scuttle it as a blockship in Manila Bay on 5 February, and on 10 April, Karatsu was struck from IJN naval list.
- Silverstone, Paul H (1966). U.S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. p. 243.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery at navsource.org