This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Admiral Lin Chien-chang is a native of Ming Hou Hsien, Fukien Province. Under the Manchu regimé he served in the Imperial Chinese Navy: having command, first, of a torpedo boat and, later, of various battleships. He was one of the first graduates of the Navigation Class of the Kiangnan Naval Academy.
During the revolution of 1911, when several Chinese battleships stationed in the Upper Yangtse were short of ammunition and certain fortresses situated in strategic positions above Nanking had not been taken by the Republican Forces, Admiral Lin, at great risk to his staff and himself, steamed his flagship, the “Nan Shun”, heavily loaded with ammunition and supplies, up the river to the rescue of his compatriots, disregarding strong defense guards en route. This dangerous expedition, undertaken at great personal risk, is indicative of the strong character and fearlessness of Admiral Lin.
Upon the formal inauguration of the Provisional Government at Nanking, Admiral Lin was given command of the “Hai Yung”, one of the principal battleships in the service of the Chinese Navy. During the World War and after China declared war against Germany, Admiral Lin was appointed Assistant Commander of the Chinese Navy. As such, he took part in the preparations for active participation in the war. After the cessation of the war, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the First Fleet of the Chinese Navy.
Owing to certain political differences with the Central Government at Peking, Admiral Lin declared the independence of his fleet and sailed to Shanghai: where he remained for several years as Commander of the independent naval units which were stationed there.
In November 1924, after the coup d’état effected by General Feng Yu-hsiang forcing the Chihli party out of power, Admiral Lin was appointed Minister of the Navy in the cabinet formed by Marshal Tuan Chi-jui the provisional Chief Executive; and he proceeded to Peking to take up his new duties.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925). 58.