USS Tulsa (PG-22)
Technical Data:  The "patrol gunboat" USS Tulsa was commissioned on December 3, 1923, one of the last U.S. Navy ships outfitted with auxiliary
 sails.  Built at the Charleston, South Carolina, Navy yard, the Tulsa stretched 241 feet from stem to stern, with a beam of forty-one feet, three inches
and a displacement of 1,270 tons.  Powered by oil, she had a top speed of twelve knots and carried a crew of nine officers and 157 enlisted men.
Brief History:  Under Commander Mac Gillivray Milne, the Tulsa initially served in Central America and the Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico,
Mexico, and Cuba.  In 1929, the Tulsa departed for China where it served in various capacities, patrolling rivers and sea coasts.  During World War II,
the Tulsa earned two battle stars, engaging Japanese forces near the Philippine Islands and Australia.  The Tulsa was decommissioned March 6, 1946,
and struck from the roles of the Navy on April 17 of that year, designated for disposal.

The USS Tulsa in China:  On April 1, 1929, the USS Tulsa was designated flagship of the South China Patrol, operating out of Hong Kong and Canton

for cruises up the Pearl River and along the south China coast.  In June, she was relieved as flagship and moved up the coast for a two-week deployment

with the Yangtze Patrol.  While on that mission, she steamed upriver as far as Hankow.  In July 1929, she was assigned duty as station ship at Tientsin

in north China.  There, she served as a mobile source of information for Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet.

Charley's Story:  Charley Plummer boarded the Tulsa in late December, 1928, at Mare Island, California, where the ship was, in his words, "fitting out
for duty in Asia."  Less than one month later, the Tulsa steamed across the Pacific toward Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, first layover en route to the strange,
enchanting land of China.  For the next five years and ten months, Charley took his watch at the helm, steering the Tulsa up and down the Chinese
coastline during a period of open hostilities between communist forces and the Nationalist Party of Chiang Kai-shek.  Living conditions were grueling,
but the heat and sweat and grime were quickly forgotten, with each new exotic port-of-call.  China fascinated Charley, and he absorbed as much of the
culture as he could, memorizing words and phrases, eating questionable foods in back alley restaurants, spending nights with beautiful almond-eyed
women on sampans in the harbor.  After nearly six years in Asia, the captain thought Charley was becoming too "Chinese," so, in November, 1934,
he was transferred back to the United States for a well-deserved stint of shore duty.


 (Click here for photos from Charley's time on the Tulsa)

Ports-of-Call USS Tulsa (1929-1934) 
(from Charley Plummer's Diary) *
Location Date(s) Location Date(s)
Amoy  (China coast)  September 1932  Nanking  (Yangtze River)  Dec '28 - Jun '29  
 14-24 Aug '33  Oct '32 - Mar '33 
6-19 Dec '33   1May 1933 
Anking  2 May 1933   19 May - 30 Jun '33
Canton  (Pearl River) unknown Olongapo (Philippine Islands)  26-28 Nov '33 
Cavite  (Philippine Islands)  Apr '32 - Jun '32  Pagoda-Anchorage  (Min River)     27-30 Sep '33  
 19-31 Oct '33  Peking  (China) unknown
 1-25 Nov '33  Shanghai  (China coast)  Oct '29 - Dec '29 
Chefoo  (China coast)  Apr '31 - Jun '31   Apr '33 - Jun '33 
 13-31 Jul '33   May '34 - Oct '34
 1-12 Aug '33    1-12 Jul '33 
Chekiang  (Yangtze River)  June 1929  Subic Bay  (Philippine Islands) unknown
Dairen  (South Manchuria)    unknown Swatow  (China coast) 25-31 Aug '33  
Foochow  (Min River) unknown  1-7 Sep '33 
Guam unknown  1-18 Oct '33 
Hankow  (Yangtze River)  June 1929    April 1934 
 4-12 May 1933  Taku Bar  (Gulf of Pohai)  Jul '29 - Sep '29 
Hong Kong  (China coast)  10-25 Sep '33   Tientsin  (Pei-Ho River)  Jan '30 - Mar '31 
20 Dec '33 - Jan '34 Tsinan  (Shantung) unknown
Hsinho  (Pei-Ho River) Jul '31 - Feb '32  Tsingtao  (China coast) unknown
Kuikiang  (Yangtze River)  June 1929  Wuhu  (Yangtze River)  June 1929 
 13-16 May '33   17-19 May '33 
Manila  (Philippine Islands)  Jul '32 - Aug '32 
 29-30 Nov '33 
 1-5 Dec '33 


(1)  The Tulsa Historical Society Internet Web Site
(2)  personal diary of Chief Quartermaster Charley Madison Plummer
     (Serial No. 380-09-65),  United States Navy (1920-1950)
(3)  Continuous Service Certificate of Chief Quartermaster Charley Madison Plummer
       (Serial No. 380-09-65),  United States Navy (1920-1950)
(4)  U.S.S. Tulsa New Year's Day Menu 1934 -- Hong Kong, China (Pg. 6, "1933 Itinerary")
The ports-of-call above are listed in Charley's diary in no particular order and without
corresponding dates.  For ease of reading, they are listed here in alphabetical order.  Those
dates depicted in green ink were extracted from Charley M. Plummer's "Continuous Service
Certificate," a record of his career duty assignments and proficiency ratings maintained by
shipboard personnel in accordance with Navy Department regulations.  Those dates depicted
in blue ink were extracted from the official menu of the formal New Year's Day 1934 USS
Tulsa on-board meal -- from an enclosure titled "1933 Itinerary."  Those dates depicted in
red ink were gleaned from statements of fact on the Tulsa Historical Society web site.  (See
paragraph above titled "The USS Tulsa in China," specifically sentences two and three.)

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