Italian minelayer Lepanto
Lepanto in 1938 at Yokohama
|Builder:||Cantieri Navali Riuniti (C.N.R.), Ancona|
|Launched:||22 May 1927|
|Fate:||Scuttled 9 September 1943 at Shanghai|
|General characteristics as Lepanto|
|Class and type:||Azio-class minelayer|
|Displacement:||615 long tons (625 t)|
|Length:||66.0 m (216 ft 6 in) (overall)|
|Beam:||8.7 m (28 ft 7 in)|
|Draft:||2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|Speed:||15.0 knots (27.8 km/h; 17.3 mph)|
|Builder:||Navy 1st Construction Department at Shanghai|
|Acquired:||8 November 1943|
|Commissioned:||1 March 1944|
|Decommissioned:||30 September 1945|
|Fate:||Surrendered to Republic of China on 15 September 1945|
|General characteristics as Okitsu|
|Class and type:||Gunboat|
|Displacement:||700 long tons (711 t) standing|
|Length:||62.18 m (204 ft 0 in) Lpp|
|Beam:||8.69 m (28 ft 6 in)|
|Draft:||2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)|
|Speed:||13.7 knots (25.4 km/h; 15.8 mph)|
|Name:||ROCS Hsien Ning (79)|
|Acquired:||15 September 1945|
|Fate:||scrapped in 1956|
|General characteristics as Hsien Ning|
Lepanto was an Azio-class minelayer of the Italian Navy. She was reclassified as gunboat in 1934 and remained in Italian service in the far east from 1933 to 1943, when she was scuttled in China, during World War II. She was then recovered by the Imperial Japanese Navy and taken into service as Okitsu, spending the remainder of the war escorting convoys. She was surrendered to the Republic of China after the end of the war and served for a further ten years with its navy as the Hsienning.
Italian Navy service (1927 – 1943)
Imperial Japanese Navy service (1943 – 1945)
On 8 November 1943, Lepanto was refloated by Navy 1st Construction Department (海軍第一工作部 Kaigun Dai-1 Kōsaku-Bu). By 1 March 1944 repairs were completed, and she was registered in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and renamed Okitsu. She was sent to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to have her armament fitted, which was finished by 14 May.
Starting 5 June, she started escorting convoys in the Shanghai area. She was fitted with radar at the Sasebo Naval Arsenal in April the following year. On 17 July 1945, she shot down three North American P-51 Mustangs and one North American B-25 Mitchell at Shanghai.
On 15 September 1945, her crew surrendered to the Republic of China, being decommissioned on 30 September.
Republic of China Navy service (1945 – 1956)
In 1946, the vessel was renamed Hsien Ning (咸寧). Her known career in the Republic of China Navy from that point was fairly uneventful, except for the capture of a British merchant ship in July 1950. Some time in 1956, she was decommissioned.
IJN Okitsu on 18 June 1945.
ROCS Hsien Ning around 1956.
- "Rekishi Gunzō"., History of Pacific War Vol. 51, The true histories of the Imperial Japanese Vessels Part 2, Gakken (Japan), June 2002, ISBN 4-05-602780-3
- Ships of the World special issue Vol. 47, Auxiliary Vessels of the Imperial Japanese Navy, "Kaijinsha"., (Japan), March 1997
- The Maru Special, Japanese Naval Vessels No. 45, Japanese gunboats, "Ushio Shobō". (Japan), November 1980