The United States Marines in North China, 1945-1949


Henry I. Shaw, Jr.

Printed 1960
Revised 1962
Reprinted 1968

Historical Branch, G-3 Division
Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps
Washington, D.C. 20380

China, 1945

China, 1945

Department of the Navy
Headquarters United States Marine Corps
Washington, D.C. 20380


The United States Marines in North China, 1945-1949 is a concise narrative of the major events which took place when Mairne ground and air units were deployed to the Asian mainland at the close of World War II. The text and appendices are based on official records, interviews with participants in the operations described, and reliable secondary sources. The pamphlet is published for the information of Marines and others interested in this significant period of Marine Corps history.

R.G. Owens, Jr.
Major General, U.S. marine Corps
Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3

Reviewed and approved: 29 April 1968

The United States Marines in North China, 1945-1949

Henry I. Shaw, Jr.

Hopeh Operations1

The III Amphibious Corps (IIIAC) had just begun a period of intensive training, in preparation for the invasion of the Tokyo Plain, when the war ended abruptly. Within 48 hours, a warning order had been dispatched to all units of the corpos to be prepared to mount out for the Shanghai area about 1 October. In anticipation of a wide variety of possible military operations, the trianing schedule was modified and accelerated. But before a week had passed, Admiral Nimitz advised the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMMFPac), that tentative plans contemplated the employment of IIIAC in North China, to accept the surrender of Japanese troops for the Chinese Central government and to supervise the repatriation of Japanese military and civilians. The corps headquarters and corps troops together with the 1st Marine Division would occupy positions in the vicinity of Tangku, Tientsin, Peiping, and Chinwangtao in Hopeh Province and the 6th Marine Division (less the 4th Marines) would move into tsingtao in Shantung Province. The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing would move its planes and men to airfields in the Tsingtao, tientsin, and Peiping areas. (See maps inside front and rear covers). Commitment of the entire corps in the Shanghai region was assigned as an alternate mission. Tentative plans for these operations were issued on 29 August, setting the mounting-out date for 15 September. The 3d Marine Division on Guam and the 4th Marine Division on Maui were designated area reserve for the operation.


Hopeh Area of Operations

Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation