An Extended Stay
EXPANDED MISSION1When General Wedemeyer returned from Washington he quickly confirmed General Rockey's judgment that there would be no early withdrawal of the IIIAC. In a conference held on 7 November, Wedemeyer told the corps commander it was imperative that substantial numbers of Marines remain in North China, and that reductions in strength made necessary by the world-wide demobilization rush of American forces be phased over a period of months. Rockey immediately radioed this information to FMFPac in order to maintain the continuity of resupply shipping and to assist General Geiger's staff in the involved planning necessary to provide replacements for the veterans in IIIAC.
The continued requirement for Marines in North China stemmed from two complementary causes. One was the U.S. commitment to assist the National Government in eliminating all Japanese influence from China, and the other was the overriding determination of Chiang Kai-shek to recover control of Manchuria. As a direct result of the obstructionist tactics of Soviet occupation forces, the Nationalist Army was unable to move into Manchuria with either the speed or the limited forces that had once been planned. Instead, the first-line troops which had been scheduled to relieve the Marines of repatriation and guard duties were committed to an overland advance through Shanhaikuan.
In his capacity of chief of staff to Generalissimo Chiang, a wartime role that was dropped before the year's end, General Wedemeyer was sharply aware of the low military potential of the Nationalists. He recommended against the move in strength into Manchuria after Communist opposition developed. Instead, the American commander told Chiang that he should first consolidate his political and military hold on North China as a base of operations. Although the Central Government's armies possessed a three to one superiority in manpower over the Communists, and a considerable edge in weapons and equipment as well, Wedemeyer believed that the Nationalist forces would become overextended and increasingly vulnerable if they attempted to occupy and hold Manchuria.
Despite General Wedemeyer's advice, the recovery of Manchuria became the focus of Chungking's military effort. The Japanese-created industrial complex and the rich agricultural resources of the area made its position seem essential to the economic well-being of postwar China. This argument lost much of its force, however, as a result of the action of the Soviet occupation army
during the fall and winter of 1945. Stripping the best of machinery and equipment from Manchuria factories and power plants under the guise of war reparations, and immobilizing the remainder by this selective robbery, the Soviets effectively converted Manchuria from an economic asset to a liability. Its gutted factory cities added nothing to Nationalist strength when they were taken over, and Communist military action made certain there was no opportunity to rebuild what had been lost.
As the pattern of events in Manchuria began to take shape, the United States anxiously strove to appraise its position in Chinese affairs. General Wedemeyer returned to Chungking from the States with instructions to survey the current situation regarding American forces and future prospects for his country's interests. After visiting Shanghai, Peiping, and Mukden and talking to top American, Chinese, and Soviet commanders, he submitted a detailed report on 20 November. In it he analyzed the relationship of the III Amphibious Corps to the Central Government and its plans, saying:
The Generalissimo is determined to retain in their present areas the Marines in North China. As a matter of fact he desires the Marines to expose long lines of communications in their occupational area. He visualizes utilizing the Marines as a base of maneuver. The Gimo [Generalissimo] would like to concentrate plans based on conducting a campaign against the Chinese Communists instead of repatriating the Japanese. Such a campaign may require several months or years . . . in the interim the Marines are subject to unavoidable incidents which may involve the United States in very serious commitments and difficulties. Careful consideration has been given to the implications of suggesting that we withdraw all of our American forces including the Marines from China. It is impossible to avoid involvement in political strife or fratricidal warfare under present circumstances, yet I am admonished to do so by my directive. The presence of American troops in the Far East as I view it, is for the expressed purpose of insuring continued peace and accomplishing world order. Under the provisions of the lofty aims of the United Nations Charter, however, I doubt that the American people are prepared to accept the role inherent in world leadership. We can justifiably be accused, by removing our forces at this critical time, of deserting an Ally. It is readily discernible that China is incapable of solving her political and economic problems and also repatriating the millions of enemy troops and civilians within her borders.2
President Truman and the Joint Chiefs asked the theater commander to suggest several alternative lines of actions for consideration by policy makers in Washington. Accordingly, Wedemeyer recommended that either all U.S. forces be removed from China as soon as possible, or that American policies under which they were being employed be clarified to justify their use in a situation of imminent danger. He also suggested that American troops might be withdrawn and that economic aid to the Central Government be stepped up, or, in lieu of this course, that a straightforward policy declaration be made affirming U.S. support of the Central Government until it had solved its internal problems and repatriated the Japanese. In an attempt to discover a solution to the ominous Manchuria situation, the general proposed that a four-nation trusteeship (U.S., Great Britain,
U.S.S.R., and China) be established to control the territory until Chiang's government could demonstrate that it was able to take over. He further suggested that planning already underway for the creation of a Military Advisory Group to handle American aid to the Nationalist army be continued, but that consummation be withheld until military and political stabilization was accomplished to U.S. satisfaction.
Following his report directive, General Wedemeyer did not point out what he considered was the only workable solution to the China problem. In later years he wrote:
I could do no more than make my views of the situation clear, while refraining from stating definitely that only one course in China would preserve American interests and those of the free world; namely, unequivocable assistance to our ally, the Chinese Nationalist Government.3
The senior Marine officers most concerned shared Wedemeyer's belief that the directives under which they had to operate were ill-considered and ambiguous in meaning. The American forces in China, particularly the IIIAC, were placed in an untenable position by instructions that made them at once neutral and partisan in China's civil strife. Some officers felt, as did General Rockey, that U.S. Forces were committed to the extent that American public support would permit. Other officers on the scene, whose view was shared by General Worton, felt that more active backing of the Nationalists could be undertaken without undue risk. The split in opinion between the III Corps commander and his chief of staff was indicative of the split existing throughout the directing bodies of the U.S. Government.4 Regardless of their personal feelings, however, the Marine generals conscientiously tried to comply with their instructions.
The dominant consideration in determining U.S. policy toward China was a sincere desire for the restoration of peace. Ambassador Hurley had directed a good part of his efforts in Chungking toward ending the civil war and achieving collaboration of both sides in a practical coalition government and army. When he left China in late September, Hurley was convinced that he had made substantial progress toward that goal; some agreements on general principles of settlement had been reached and the ambassador had engineered the convening of a Political Consultative Conference which would consider details of implementation. Then, on 26 November, Hurley announced his resignation as ambassador, on grounds of his lack of confidence in certain officials within the Department of State.
Immediately following Ambassador Hurley's unexpected resignation, the President asked General of the Army George C. Marshall to become his special representative in China. Marshall who had just stepped down as Army Chief of Staff, a position that he held with distinction throughout World War II, returned to duty at the request of his
commander in chief. The stage was set for a renewed effort on the part of the American Government to restore peace in China.
On 15 December, President Truman made a public statement of U, S. policy toward China which was substantially the same as that in his instructions to Marshall. The President believed it essential that a cease-fire be arranged between the Nationalist and Communist armies for the purpose of completing the return of all China to effective governmental control. He stated that a national conference of representatives of major political elements should be arranged to develop an early solution to the civil strife, one which would bring about a unified country and army. At the international level the U.S. would continue to support the Central Government, and within China would concentrate on assisting the Nationalists to disarm and repatriate Japanese forces.
The sense of the President's directive to General Marshall was that the American representative should act as mediator to bring the two sides together, using as his most powerful goad the dispensing or withholding of American economic and military aid. When Marshall arrived in China shortly after the President's statement was released, he immediately began a round of conferences with the Communist emissaries and Nationalist officials in Chungking. General Wedemeyer and Admiral Barbey, who had taken over Seventh Fleet from Admiral Kinkaid on 19 November, briefed Marshall on the American military situation.5 All were impressed with his obvious determination to carry out his directive and see an end to the fighting.
While General Marshall was still in Washington preparing for his China assignment, he helped draft a set of instructions to General Wedemeyer which would cover American support of Nationalist forces. The theater commander was authorized to step up the program for the evacuation of Japanese repatriates, and to arrange for the transportation of CNA units to Manchuria ports uncovered by the Nationalist overland advance. He was informed that "further transportation of Chinese troops to north China, except as north China ports may be necessary for the movement of troops and supplies into Manchuria, will be held in abeyance.6 Provisional plans for Nationalist troop lifts to North China might be made but would not be put into effect unless General Marshall determined that carrying them out would be consistent with his negotiations.
The temporary halt to the movement of Nationalist soldiers into Hopeh and Shantung emphasized the fact that relief for the Marines was yet to come. In late October the 1st Marine Division had been forced to extend its hold on the Peiping-Mukden line because of the reluctance of Nationalist commanders to outpost the vital railroad in effective strength. A directive from China Theater to General Rockey, which ordered this further exposure of the American troops, declared:
It is a military necessity that at least 100,000 tons of coal reach Shanghai each
month. The mines in the Tangshan-Kuyeh area are the only immediately available sources of coal for Shanghai. Action has been initiated to dispatch to Chinwangtao sufficient shipping to move at least 100,000 tons of coal per month to Shanghai. It is understood that the Chinese railway company will endeavor to operate 4 daily coal trains to Chinwangtao by the end of the month provided the III Phib Corps will furnish train guards. It is desired that you take the necessary action to protect the port of Chinwangtao and the rail line and rail traffic to Chinwangtao to the extent necessary to permit the movement to and outloading from Chinwangtao of at least 100,000 tons of coal per month destined for Shanghai.7
In short order, Marine rail and bridge guard detachments, most of them taken from the 7th Marines, were spread out along the length of the Peiping-Mukden line from Tangku to Chinwangtao. In many instances the outpost units were little more than squad size and the duty they drew was lonely and dangerous. Their quarters, their clothing, and even their rations were often not suited, at first, for the North China winter. Those Marines whose spell of China duty consisted of rail, coal, and train guard during the winter of 1945-1946 have a far different story to tell than the fortunate majority who were stationed in the cities.8 The headquarters, support, and combat units that remained in relative comfort in Tientsin, Peiping, and Tsingtao were a stand-by reserve that was never called upon although always ready.
TSINGTAO STAND-BY9China duty for the ground elements of III Corps at Tsingtao often seemed to be divorced from the main current of Marine activities in North China. In contrast to the extended deployment of the 1st Division in Hopeh, the 6th Division had no security responsibility for communication routes in the interior of Shantung. With the exception of the rifle company regularly on guard at Tsangkou Field, no unit of General Shepherd's command held a position exposed to Communist harassing attacks. The Japanese disposition to cooperate in repatriation matters kept the requirement for Marine supervisory and guard personnel low. Once it was well established ashore, the 6th Division met demands that hardly taxed its strength and it could operate at little more than idling speed.
The 6th Marine Division was thus better able than the thinly spread 1st to meet a requirement for reinforcements along the Peiping-Mukden line. On 30 October, the corps ordered General Shepherd to ready a reinforced rifle battalion for transfer to Chinwangtao. The 1st Battalion, 29th Marines, was picked for the task and the division attached to
it Battery E of 2/15, platoons from the tank and motor transport battalions, and detachments of engineers and ordnance men. The new rail guard unit left Tsingtao on 6 November and arrived at the coal port the following day, reporting to the 1st Division for orders. On the 9th, when all its supplies and equipment were unloaded, 1/29 moved to Peitaiho to set up its command post. Operationally attached to the 7th Marines, the battalion from Tsingtao was soon deeply involved in the mettlesome routine of guarding the Chinese railway.
General Shepherd realized that one of his major problems in Tsingtao was keeping his men usefully occupied. So long as the Communists posed no serious threat to the city and the repatriation process ran smoothly, there was a good chance that combat troops might lose efficiency. Idleness, even that of a relative nature, can be a curse to a military organization geared to operate at full capacity. In order to maintain unit standards of discipline, appearance, and performance, Shepherd instituted a six-week training program on 12 November which laid emphasis on a review of basic military subjects. The division commander also directed that each unit schedule at least ten classroom hours a week of studying academic and vocational subjects, to be held concurrently with the military training schedule.
Among the officers and men in the wing squadrons at Tsangkou Field there was equal emphasis and interest in an educational improvement program. Work schedules were arranged to encourage study, but heavy flight commitments of MAG-25 and MAG-32 ate into the time available for training not directly connected with operations. By the end of October, Tsangkou had developed into the wing's busiest and most important base in China. Command of the field and its complement rested with General Johnson, the assistant wing commander, who reported to General Woods at Tientsin for orders except where the defense of Tsingtao was concerned. General Rockey had altered the original command setup to give General Shepherd operational control of both ground and air units in a defensive situation.
As a result of the wide separation of major elements of III Corps in North China, Marine transports flew an extensive schedule of personnel and cargo flights connecting Tsingtao, Tientsin, Peiping, and Shanghai. In order to make maximum use of the planes available, MAG-25 operated VMR-152 and -153 as one squadron.10 The transport pilots and crewmen frequently returned to Pacific island bases, particularly Okinawa, to pick up cargo from the vast supply dumps assembled to support the invasion of Japan. The demand for cold weather gear was constant and pressing, and most of that which found its way to the men manning rail outposts and windswept flight lines arrived at Tsingtao and points north in the transports of Marine Aircraft Group 25.
While most transport flights kept well above the range of Communist small arms, the scout and torpedo bombers of MAG-32 frequently landed with bullet holes in their fuselages. Chance alone prevented some riflemen or machine gunner from bringing down one of the planes; the near misses were frequent.
The search and reconnaissance missions requested by General Shepherd in October evolved into a daily patrol routine that gave the Marines at Tsingtao an excellent picture of Communist activity in eastern Shantung and kept them informed of the progress of Japanese units moving toward the repatriation port. One search pattern was flown over the mountains of Shantung Peninsula to Chefoo with a return leg that paralleled the northern coast and turned south at Yehhsien to follow the main cross-peninsula road into Tsingtao. (See Map 33.) A second route took the planes up the railroad as far as Changtien before turning south and west through mountain valleys to the road and rail junction at Taian; from Taian pilots followed the tracks through Tsinan and all the way home to Tsangkou. The third route covered by regular aerial patrol ran south to the mountain chain that bordered the coast before turning north through tortuous defiles to Weihsien and the favorite railroad return route.
The importance of the railroads indicated by the attention given them in the MAG-32 patrol schedule was emphasized on 2 November when a semiweekly rail reconnaissance over the whole length of the Tsingtao-Tsinan-Tientsin rail net was directed. The two-seater bombers returned to Tsangkou Field across the Gulf of Chihli reporting on junk traffic that passed beneath them.
The hazardous nature of winter flying over mountainous terrain was vividly emphasized by an accident that occurred on 8 December. A major portion of each MAG-32 squadron flew to Tientsin that day to take part in an aerial show of strength on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The show went off without a hitch, but on the return flight to Tsingtao the planes ran into one of the season's first snow storms over Shantung Peninsula. Each squadron was proceeding independently, and the planes of VMTB-134 and VMSB-244 climbed above the storm to come in. The scout-bombers of VMSB-343, attempting to go under the tempest, were caught up in its blinding snow swirls. Only six pilots managed to bring their planes home safely; six others crashed into the mountain slopes near Pingtu in the center of the peninsula.11
As soon as it became evident that the VMSB-343 craft were down, intensive efforts were made to locate them. Virtually every plane in MAG-32 and VMO-6 had a turn at the search, but it was three days before Chinese civilians brought word of the location of the crash and pilots confirmed the fact. Communist villagers had rescued the only two survivors, one of whom was injured. The Communists of Shantung Peninsula also held two other Marine airmen at this time, the crew of a photo reconnaissance plane which crash-landed on 11 December on the shore near Penglai. Leaflets were dropped in both wreck areas offering rewards for the return of the living and the dead.
The photo plane at Penglai was part of a flight of three from VMD-254 on Okinawa which had tried to fly around a heavy weather front and reach Tsangkou Field. All three planes were forced down, one by propeller and engine trouble and the other two by empty fuel
tanks.12 Both crew members of the second plane died in a water landing near Weihaiwei, but the crewmen of the third craft, which went down on the beach near Jungchen, escaped unscratched and were picked up by OYS of VMO-6 on 13 December. On the 15th, the VMD-254 plane crew from the Penglai crash and the uninjured survivor of the mass accident at Pingtu were released by the Communists. Recovery parties of the 6th Division picked up these men, and also drove north on 24 December to accept the remains of the VMSB-343 flyers killed on 8 December, The injured survivor of this crash was returned to Tsingtao on Christmas Day. Though all the negotiations attending the recovery of these Marines, the Communist villagers had been most cooperative, refusing the proffered rewards, and treating well the men they rescued.
By prior arrangement with the Communists, an attempt was made to recover the photo plane down near Jungthen. The 6th Division organized a task force built around Company F of the 29th Marines with appropriate air and ground attachments to handle the job of getting the plane airborne again. Traveling to Jungchen on the 17th on board an LST, the recovery force found the plane could not take off because of soft ground. The aircraft was stripped of usable parts and the carcass burned. The same fate met the wreck of the plane down at Penglai. In both instances, the cooperation of the local villagers was exemplary. For whatever reason, the Communist harassment of the Marines in Shantung faded a bit after the crashes of December. The respite unfortunately proved to be temporary.
The sporadic ground fire that met American air patrols was a severe trial to pilots who had to stand the sniping. General Rockey attempted to establish a set of conditions under which this antiaircraft fire could be returned, and on 6 December he issued combat instructions. The flyers could shoot back if the source was unmistakable, if the fire from the ground was in some volume, if the target was in the open and easily defined, and if innocent people were not endangered. With permission to fire hedged by these qualifications, and the possibility of open warfare always resting on their decision, the Marine pilots remained discreet but frustrated. While in General Wood's opinion the individual pilot should have been given considerably more freedom of action, no Marine in China, regardless of his position, had anything resembling a free hand in conducting operations, The orders from General Rockey were an accurate reflection of the policy directives that reached him from higher headquarters.
Certainly, the directive most difficult to comply with was the admonition to avoid support of the Nationalist armies in the civil war. The very presence of the Marines in North China holding open the major ports of entry, the coal mines, and the railroads was an incalculably strong military asset to the Central Government. And the fact that the U.S. had provided a good part of the arms of the troops scheduled to take
over North China and Manchuria made the situation even more explosive. The supply of ammunition and replacement parts for these weapons, even though they were now used to fight the Communists rather than the Japanese, was a charge upon the American government. On at least one occasion, the Marines at Tsingtao wound up providing this ammunition directly to a Nationalist force hotly engaged with the Communists.
The 8th Chinese Nationalist Army began landing at Tsingtao on 14 November, its mission to accept the surrender of the Japanese Forty-third Army at Tsinan. The Nationalist commander moved his troops through the city and encamped between it and Tsangkou while he regrouped for the drive north. The Communist reaction to the landing was immediate and violent. On the night of the 14th, the railroad was effectively knocked out for a distance of 37 miles above Tsangkou by a spread of destructive raids. General Shepherd immediately moved 2/22 reinforced by tanks to the airfield to back up the rifle company already there, withdrawing the battalion as soon as the Nationalists began their advance.
The forward units of the 8th CNA tangled with the Communists soon after clearing Tsangkou's outskirts on 19 November. The prospect of a continuous series of fire fights was most disturbing to the Nationalist commander whose army was quite low on ammunition at the time it debarked from the American transports which carried it to Tsingtao. On 20 November, he made a formal request to General Shepherd for the ammunition he needed. Shepherd forwarded the request to Rockey, who in a meeting with Wedemeyer at Peiping on the 23d received permission to make the transfer. The III Corps commander sent an order to Shepherd authorizing him to turn over to the 8th CNA one unit of fire13 for the infantry weapons of a Marine division. A hurry-up request to FMFPac asked for immediate replacement of this ammunition.
The majority of Japanese troops to be repatriated through Tsingtao were intended to be released from guard duties by the action of the 8th CNA. Once the Nationalist army had reached Tsinan and disarmed the Japanese there, it was to turn these arms over to puppet troops in the area which had declared for Chiang Kai-shek. The 8th was then to return along the railroad taking over the guard assignment from the Japanese who held it. This plan failed of accomplishment in many respects, but principally because the Nationalist unit, with a strength of less than 30,000 men, just could not handle the job assigned it. At the end of a month of fighting, the 8th CNA had reached a point just below Weihsien and could go no farther. Nationalist authorities changed its mission to one of rail security and pinned their hopes for relief of Tsinan on armies approaching overland from central China. The former puppet troops at Tsinan dug in for a protracted defense of the city,
while the Japanese Forty-third Army set its own schedule for troop movement to Tsingtao.
The actual mechanics of repatriation through Tsingtao were deceptively simple. They represented, however, a wealth of preliminary work at the theater level, principally logistical arrangements,14 and the ironing out of details at the port of embarkation among Nationalist representatives, Japanese military and civilian leaders, and operations and civil affairs officers of the 6th Marine Division. When the routine of repatriation was settled, only one company of the 29th Marines plus a relatively few liaison officers and interpreters from division headquarters were needed to supervise and control the program.
Basically, the repatriation system at Tsingtao worked in this way. All Japanese civilians and those military units which had not surrendered to the Marines came under control of Nationalist authorities. When the Nationalist 11th War Area representative released the military from guard duties or certified the civilians for return they assembled at a coke factory just north of Tsangkou which was designated as the processing and staging center. Within the center the Japanese handled all the administrative work necessary to set up embarkation rosters within priorities established by the Marines. The housekeeping details of the various billeting areas were also managed by the Japanese. Security details at the coke factory, along the train route to Great Harbor, and at the docks were shared by the Nationalist police and the Marines. In like manner, the inspection of repatriates' baggage for contraband was a joint procedure; the Japanese were allowed to carry away little more than a handbag full of personal effects, a small amount of cash, and a five days' supply of food for the voyage.
Initially, 15 American LSTs were assigned to shuttle between Tsingtao and Japan carrying military repatriates, while the civilians had to wait on Japanese merchant vessels to carry them home. Seventh Fleet, in an effort to speed up the repatriation process, first authorized the use of LSTs by male civilians and later opened their decks and holds to family groups also. Regular repatriation runs from Tsingtao began on 19 November when three landing ships sailed with 2,873 naval base troops and nine civilians on board. Similar shipments of approximately 3,000 men were made on the 21st and 23d. On board each LST, in addition to the repatriates, were six Marine guards and a Japanese interpreter. The first substantial shipment of civilians departed on 5 December when 4,152 left on a Japanese vessel which had brought in 1,961 Chinese from Japan. on ships carrying civilian repatriates, Japanese guards and medical personnel were added to the operating complement.
By the year's end, 33,500 Japanese military and civilians had cleared Tsingtao. The figure could have been much larger but Nationalist reluctance to release rail guards or vital civilian technicians kept the total down. Communist destruction of the tracks, bridges, and roadbed slowed the movement of Japanese from Tsinan, and the
43d Army advance units which alternately marched and rode down the railroad had to fight off harassing attacks. There were still 125,000 Japanese scheduled to move home through Tsingtao on 31 December, and most of these people had not as yet begun to move toward the port city.
The main interest of the Nationalist military authorities in the Japanese forces was their weapons, equipment, and ammunition. The considerable stores of munitions that III Corps units had collected in disarming the Japanese were a prize that the Nationalists wanted badly. During October and November, the Marine division commanders had a seldom-exercised authority to make emergency issues from these stocks to Nationalist units. The American feeling was that control of the surrendered military supplies should pass to the Central Government only when full responsibility for the Japanese and their repatriation was assumed. On 13 December, in a move calculated to prod Nationalist authorities, corps withdrew even the limited authorization that had existed to turn over Japanese weapons and ammunition.
In keeping with this decision, General Shepherd turned down a request made by the 8th CNA that it be given the matériel taken from the 5th Independent Mixed Brigade. The Marine general in reply pointed out that these surrendered Japanese troops were the particular responsibility of the 6th Division. This fact was evident in the voluntary tribute that the 5th Brigade commander, General Nagano, paid General Shepherd in presenting the Marine with a priceless Samurai sword "on behalf of all Japanese soldiers under my command who are moved by your open and honorable conduct toward them." The Japanese officer continued:
Exemplary conduct and actions on the part of your soldiers inspired our minds with respect and wonder. Personally I like plain speaking. Indeed, it may sound strange for us Japanese soldiers to speak of American soldiers in this strain, but let the fact speak for itself. I feel it is my pleasant duty to report to you that every Japanese in Tsingtao City feels grateful to you for your fair and square dealings. This is the last thing that we expected of your Marines of the Okinawa Battle fame.15
The occasion for this presentation was General Shepherd's departure from China; at the same time an heirloom suit of Samurai armor was given him in behalf of the Japanese civilian repatriates who praised his Marines for their impartiality and "strict maintenance of military discipline."16 On 24 December, General Shepherd, who was returning to the States to organize the Troop Training Command, Amphibious Forces, Atlantic Fleet, relinquished command of the division which he had organized and led throughout the Okinawa fighting. In a formal ceremony before the division staff and the regimental and battalion commanders and executive officers, Shepherd turned over his command to Major General Archie F. Howard, who had been Inspector General, FMFPac,
General Howard's assumption of command coincided with the arrival at Tsingtao of a merchant ship loaded with 9,500 tons of coal. Had the vessel come a few days later, only the Marines would have had fuel for heat and light since the stockpile for public purposes was exhausted. In peacetime, coal mines in the Poshan region of Shantung had supplied Tsingtao, but Communist activity had shut off this source. The city had to limp along on a dole reluctantly taken from the supplies intended for Shanghai.
Despite the fact that Tsingtao received only the fuel necessary to power essential public utilities, enough coal somehow found its way into private hands to keep a thriving souvenir industry heated during the winter of 1945- 1946. The souvenir shops, like the inevitable honky-tonk district that sprang up almost in the footsteps of the first Marines to land, were attracted by the American dollar. The free-spending habits of the Marines, and of the sailors of Seventh Fleet who often came ashore with several months pay in their pockets, gave Tsingtao a superficial aspect of prosperity that extended only as far as the customary haunts of American servicemen.
Inflation of the local puppet currency was an ill common to all North China when the 111 Corps arrived. Since the Marines were not an occupying force in the sense that the Allies were in Japan, the steadying influence of a controlled economy in such unsettled conditions was absent. The Nationalists were not strong enough to impose their economic will, and the almost daily upward spiral of the exchange rate precluded payment of Americans in anything but American money. Even the many Chinese employees of the Marines had their wages set in terms of American money with payment at the going rate of exchange.
The fact that most Marine enlisted men could have afforded a personal servant in China, and in fact did share the services of one with his fellows in a ratio set by his commanders, was an attractive feature of China duty. In the city garrisons, each platoon had several houseboys who made up bed% shined shoes, cleaned the quarters, ran errands, and generally made themselves useful. Naturally, the fact that someone else was doing many of the necessary but irksome jobs which fall to the lot of lower ranks in any military organization was universally appreciated by the men who held those ranks.
While only a small portion of the Marines in North China were steadily engaged by occupation tasks, the presence of the remainder as a necessary reserve lent emphasis to the actions of the pilots, the rail guards, and the repatriation details. Unit commanders were particularly concerned that the off-duty hours of men used to having their time and abilities fully occupied be filled in a manner that would maintain morale and discipline, Since the majority of the veterans in 111 Corps had been in the Pacific islands for a year or more when the North China landings were made, the chance at liberty in Chinese cities was eagerly taken up. The novelty soon wore off, however, as few pocketbooks could stand the strain of constant spending at inflated prices. To meet the problem, General Rockey took steps to set up an
extensive recreational program which would offer the most service at the least cost to his men.
Rockey invited the Red Cross to extend its service club operations to the III Corps area and sent planes of MAG- 25 to Shanghai and Kunming to pick up personnel and equipment. The facilities that these people opened in October in Tsingtao, Peiping, and Tientsin were elaborate and luxurious beyond any experience of Marines overseas.17 To supplement the Red Cross support, Rockey encouraged the formation of unit clubs, particularly at remote stations, to offer varied and inexpensive recreation.
The breakup of Army commands in southwestern China provided the Marines with a radio network. Three surplus 50-watt transmitters with enough broadcasting equipment to set up radio stations at each of the three major IIIAC bases were obtained. The Army-run newspaper at Shanghai, a theater edition of The Stars and Stripes, was distributed in North China, but it was overwhelmingly concerned with units and experience of little interest to the Marines. General Rockey felt strongly that the corps should have its own newspaper, and as a result, The North China Marine began weekly publication on 10 November. The paper, which took its title from a predecessor put out by the prewar embassy guard, was printed in Tientsin at a local press and distributed free by rail and air to all IIIAC installations.
The Central Government, through its War Area Service Corps (WASC), provided a wealth of educational and cultural opportunities to the Marines. Hostels run by WASC were the principal quarters for transient servicemen from the fleet and from outlying posts who visited the principal cities garrisoned by the corps. Peiping in particular was a mecca for tourists in uniform who flew in or came by rail from all over North China as part of a systematic effort to grant liberty in the ancient city to those not fortunate enough to be stationed there. By the end of December 1945, consistent command effort, ably seconded by the work of the Red Cross and WASC, brought into being a corps-wide recreational program that significantly eased the tension of waiting inherent in the Marines' situation.
LINE OF COMMUNICATION TROOPS18In the northern sector of III Corps responsibility, the processing machinery at the focal point of repatriation ran as smoothly as it did in the south. (See Map 34.) Essentially the process was the same at the Tientsin-Tangku port of embarkation as it was at Tsingtao. The 1st Marine Division had full charge of the program, and the 1st Marines supplied the necessary guards, including 39 six-man details to ride the LSTs carrying
military repatriates. The Japanese through their military command and a civilian liaison committee handled most of the administrative and logistical requirements of selecting, feeding, housing, and moving the thousands who arrived at the assembly area near Changkeichuang Field. The Nationalists provided police protection along the line of march to the railroad station at Tientsin and inspectors for the search of baggage at the docks.
Three Japanese merchant ships were available for civilian repatriation during November, and the 1st Division was able to send home 8,651 people during the month. Five times that number left in December as more ships became available and LST transportation was authorized for nonmilitary repatriates.19 The feeling of the Japanese civilians toward the Marines of the 1st Division paralleled remarkably the sentiments expressed to General Shepherd regarding the men of the 6th Division. The spokesman for the civilian repatriates wrote to General Peck commending the attitude of the Marines and pointing out that the first repatriates had "kept requesting that the profound gratitude they felt for the kind and understanding treatment accorded them by your men be given expression."20
After LSTs became available for military repatriation on 13 November, the 1st Division was able to process and ship out 33,583 men from Tangku by the 30th and an additional 20,450 the following month. The cumulative total for the northern sailings stood at 112,022 on 31 December.
The major factor controlling repatriation totals was the relief of Japanese troops from rail security duties. In Shantung the Central Government forces assigned to this task were unequal to it; in Hopeh there was very little disposition on the part of the Nationalists to make the relief at all. Of necessity, the 1st Marine Division did the job for Chiang Kai-shek's forces by securing the lines of communication between cities where Marines were stationed. Repeated American policy statements pointing to repatriation assistance as the principal reason for the presence of Marines in China made the relief of the Japanese mandatory after the 1st Division extended its hold on the Peiping-Mukden Railroad.
The Nationalist headquarters which was assigned the job of taking over Manchuria, the Northeast China Command of Lieutenant General Tu Li Ming, did not start its troops in motion up the Shanhaikuan corridor until 17 November. In ten days the advance guard had reached Chinchow at the foot of the Manchuria plain without encountering much Communist opposition. Generalissimo Chiang then ordered the Nationalist force to hold up and not press on for Mukden and Changchun; by not proceeding farther, he intended to emphasize the lack of cooperation of the Soviets. The American decision to provide him with troop lift which would expedite his take-over program caused him to revise his strategy. At this point, the Soviet occupation command became much more amenable to Nationalist requests, but the damage both to Manchuria's industrial
capacity and to its chances for a peaceful future had already been done.21
The movement of Nationalist armies north into Manchuria interfered with the execution of the mission given III Corps to keep coal flowing from the KMA mines near Tangshan and Kuyeh for Shanghai, and, quite naturally, for Peiping and Tientsin, too. Before the advance began, Marine civil affairs officers got word that Northeast China Command intended to take a great deal of rolling stock beyond the Great Wall to support its operations. General Wedemeyer was asked to take steps to prevent this and he, in turn, passed the request on to Chiang Kai-shek. On 30 November, the III Corps was told that only 2 locomotives and 60 cars would be taken permanently. A board was set up with Marine representation to control the allocation of stock on each side of the wall. Before this agreement was made, however, Marine sources estimated that 25 locomotives and 500 coal cars disappeared into Manchuria in the initial stages of the Nationalist advance. In order to prevent this confiscation, Marine guards riding coal trains to Chinwangtao stayed on board during the turn-around period and kept the Nationalists from seizing the engines and cars.22
One result of the severe 10SSto carrying capacity involved in the appropriation of coal cars for troop transports was a disappointingly low total of coal moved from the KMA mines during November. Only 22,000 tons reached Chinwangtao for transshipment, while 37,000 tons were sent to Tientsin. In December the situation improved tremendously, 94,000 tons were shipped to Chinwangtao and 98,000 to Tientsin. A good part of the increase could be traced to a definite slackening of Communist pressure against the rail line after the first part of the month. In Hopeh, as in Shantung where the same thing was happening, the widely publicized peace efforts of General Marshall were the most probable cause of the temporary lull.
The destruction wrought by Communist raiding parties in the first weeks of November was often enough to halt all traffic on the Peiping-Mukden line for a day or more. Chinese track repair gangs, however, profited from the wealth of experience provided them by these attacks and made continuous improvement on the time necessary to restore service. Damage to rolling stock was handled in the large railroad shops at Tangshan whose Japanese technicians were declared essential by the Nationalists and withheld from repatriation.
The OYs of VMO-3 frequently flew along the line to check for damage, since the railroad signal system was almost non-existent. Often the first news that engineers had of a break in the tracks would be their own sighting of twisted or broken rails. Under the circumstances a ride on a train which traveled the well-patched stretch of tracks between Tangku and Chinwangtao was a memorable experience.
Just before noon on 14 November, Communist troops firing from the protection of a village six miles north of Kuyeh stopped a train carrying the 1st Marine Division commander. General
Peck, who was inspecting 7th Marines positions along the railroad, ordered his escort platoon to return fire. Using a radio jeep mounted on a flatcar to contact the nearest Marine garrison at Linsi, he directed that reinforcement be dispatched immediately; at the same time, he radioed General Rockey requesting air support and permission to call down a strike on the village if it should prove necessary.23 The Communists faded away as soon as Company L from Linsi arrived, set up a mortar, and dropped a few rounds in the area from which the firing had come.24
General Peck returned to Tangshan for the night and on the next day started again for Chinwangtao. Just beyond the point at which he had been fired upon the previous day, Peck found the track torn up for several hundred yards. A track gang which was traveling on the train began making repairs while Marines beat down scattered sniper fire which was covering the break. The area proved to be mined and several of the Chinese repair gang were killed or injured when a mine exploded. The extent of the repairs necessary indicated that no trains could get through for two days, so General Peck returned to Tangshan and flew up to Chinwangtao.
In the exchange of messages between Generals Rockey and Wedemeyer which resulted from this incident, the IIIAC commander indicated that he was ready to authorize a strafing mission if fire continued from the offending village. The reply from Wedemeyer is interesting since it vividly demonstrates the difficulties attending Marine combat operations in China:
If American lives are endangered by small-arms fire received from village about 600 yards north of Loanshien as indicated in your radio CAC 0368, it is desired that you inform the military leader or responsible authority in that village in writing, that fire from that particular village is endangering American lives and that such firing must be stopped. After insuring that your warning to said military leader or responsible authority has been received and understood, should firing that jeopardizes American lives continue, you are authorized to take appropriate action for their protection. Your warning and action should include necessary measures to insure safety of innocent persons.25
General Peck, on his arrival at Chinwangtao, was authorized to deal directly with General Tu Li Ming, in order to get the Nationalists to take offensive action against the Communists along the railroad. On the 16th, the generals agreed that if the Marines would mount guard on all railroad bridges over 100 meters in length between Tangku and Chinwangtao, the Nationalists, using the troops thus relieved, would conduct an offensive sweep driving away the Communists. Ten days later, after Marine detachments had taken control of the
ARROW, made of blankets and clothing, directs Corsairs to village from which Chinese Communists fired upon a Marine patrol.
COMMUNIST MINE damages roadbed of Tientsin-Chingwantao railroad.
Standing figure at left is 1st Division commander, Major General DeWitt Peck.
bridges, Northeast China Command informed the 1st Division that it did not have enough troops available to meet its offensive commitment. Then in early December, as if to clinch the situation, the commanding officer of the 7th Marines was told by the Nationalist 43d Division commander that he had no instructions to relieve the Marines of bridge guard, nor did he have enough men to make the relief if it was ordered.
It is undoubtedly fortunate that the Communist forces harassing the Peiping- Mukden Railroad in Hopeh were unaware of the hedging restrictions on combat use of Marine air in North China. A steady procession of fighter planes was kept aloft over the railroad, seemingly ready at any time to support ground action. Beginning on 1 November, the squadrons of MAG-12 alternated the duty of flying two show-of-strength flights daily to Chinwangtao and return; in December the Corsair units were also assigned a 25-mile radius daily search of the Peiping area.26 The night fighters of MAG-24 also made a daily flight to Chinwangtao, moving cross country to the coal port from Nan Yuan Field and returning over the railroad.27 The group's two squadrons flew a daily search pattern in the Tientsin area in December with orders to report any unusual incidents to an air-ground liaison jeep.28
On 10 November, a torpedo bomber of MAG-24's Headquarters Squadron was forced down by mechanical failure about 80 miles south of Peiping while on a routine flight to Tientsin. The pilot and five passengers were held by the local Communists, and the plane was camouflaged in an attempt to conceal it from aerial observation. On 15 November, however, a pilot of VMF(N)-541 spotted the aircraft,27 and negotiations were immediately undertaken to have the men returned. Civilian emissaries who contacted the Communists reported that all the Marines were well and being fairly treated. On 17 December, 38 days after the plane had gone down, Communist troops brought the men to a Nationalist outpost near Tientsin and from there they proceeded to 1st Wing headquarters. The reason for the delay in releasing the men was not explained. The Marines reported that the Communists questioned them repeatedly about American aid to the Nationalists, a sore point that was obviously being emphasized by Yenan's propagandists.
Not all the incidents involving attacks on Marines could be laid clearly at the door of the Communists. Intelligence officers were often forced to put an "unidentified Chinese" label on the assailants. One such case, involving the murder of one Marine and the severe wounding of another, achieved considerable publicity in the States as the result of an inaccurate report of its circumstances.
On 4 December two Marines of 1/29, hunting near their railroad outpost two miles west of Anshan, were shot without warning by two Chinese civilians who approached them. One Marine escaped by feigning death, although
each man was shot again after he had fallen. The survivor watched the Chinese disappear into a nearby village and then made his way back to his post. Near dusk, the executive officer of 1/29 led a small party to the area, set up a 60mm mortar close to the village, and then entered it with an American interpreter. The Marine told the village headman, who acknowledged the entrance of the gunmen, to surrender the murderers within a half hour. If he failed to do so, the officer promised to shell the village. When the time set elapsed without the terms being met, 24 rounds of high explosive and one of white phosphorus were fired toward the village. The impact area was deliberately kept outside the village walls, and there was little property damage and no injury to any of the inhabitants.30 The murderers were never apprehended.
The story of the punitive action taken to force the disclosure of the guilty Chinese was garbled in its transmission to 1st Division headquarters. The report received stated that the mortars fired into the village, This was the initial report that General Rockey received from the division, and which he released in response to a directive from theater headquarters. The wire service reporters already had an incorrect version and were prepared to send it out whether or not it was officially released. One reporter in building his highly speculative narrative wrote that "combat men estimated that the village could have been wiped out if all the 60-mm mortar shells scored direct hits."31
Building upon the incorrect report of firing into the village and imaginary casualties, some American newspapers blasted the Marines in China. One editorial writer compared the alleged firing on defenseless Chinese villagers to the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese in Asia.32 A board of inquiry which General Rockey immediately convened made a detailed investigation of the events at Anshan and recommended that no disciplinary action be taken against the officer involved, a finding which Rockey strongly approved.33 As might be expected, the correct version of what happened never received the currency of the original sensational story.
The wide circulation given the false report of the Anshan incident emphasized the heavy responsibility which lay on the shoulders of the Marines who led the men keeping open the Peiping- Mukden line. Should even a bridge guard commander prove too aggressive and exceed his orders to maintain an essentially defensive attitude, the chain reaction to his rashness might well be all-out guerrilla warfare against Marines throughout North China. On the other hand, the same commander by being too circumspect might encourage Communist incursions. It was largely
due to the discretion required, expected, and obtained from the "junior officers and senior NCOS who commanded the track detachments along the Peiping- Mukden that the very delicate . . . internationally explosive phase of U.S. foreign policy requiring the protection of the Peiping-Mukden railroad from Tientsin to the Manchuria mountains was accomplished successfully."34
The KMA mines and the tracks from Tangshan to Chinwangtao were the focus of Communist harassment. Marine defensive arrangements in this area were kept fluid and changed as the situation required. The regimental headquarters of the 7th Marines moved to Peitaiho in November in order to facilitate control. Three of the four battalions assigned to the 7th's command at this time held the key area, while 3/7 secured the long stretch of track between Tangshan and Tangku. Even though many men were necessarily tied down at fixed posts, bridges and railroad stations, strong mobile reserves were maintained in each battalion sector of responsibility for emergency call.
Common sense on the part of the men concerned and the requirements of their mission helped develop a workable operating procedure for the track guard. A brief consideration of the defensive organization of the 30 miles of track assigned to the center battalion, 2/7, can serve as an example of the general deployment at the turn of the year. (See Map 34.)
The 2d Battalion's sector reached from the walled city of Changli to the bridge across the Luan River at Luanhsien. Seven bridge guard detachments and four station details were mounted, each with a strength based upon the importance of the installation, the capacity of the quarters at hand, the proximity of adjacent detachments, and personnel available. The detachments ranged in size from 1 officer and 18 enlisted men, who held a small bridge only a half mile from the track command post, to a skeleton company of 4 officers and 85-100 men who guarded the bridge over the Luan River. The destruction of this half-mile-long bridge would have effectively cut the railroad to Manchuria for a lengthy period. To supplement individual weapons, the Marine guard at Luanhsien was equipped with two 81mm and two 60mm mortars plus four light and four heavy machine guns.
This concentration of supporting weapons was characteristic of the track outposts where firepower was called upon to make up for manpower shortages. As demobilization had its effect in early 1946, the battalion for a time had to concentrate its training on providing operators to replace fully qualified weapons men on these crew-served pieces. At least one mortar was made a part of detachment armament for night illumination and support. Frequently, unit commanders, who had orders not to "interfere in any engagement or conflict between Communists, Puppets, Nationalists, or any other troops, except as necessary to protect yourself, your own troops, and the installations with which you are charged," 3S shot up flare shells
when close-lying CNA outposts were attacked. The incidental protection and assistance provided the Nationalists by this natural Marine precaution was undoubtedly interpreted as active support by the Communists.
When the men of the 7th Marines first moved out on bridge guard, they took over existing Japanese troop quarters. Few of these buildings, which were often peasant huts in poor repair, were acceptable billets. As fast as they could be shipped from Okinawa, quonset huts were set out along the railroad to provide suitable accommodations that could be adequately winterized.36 Although each detachment had a considerable store of rations at its post in case it was cut off, daily hot meals were distributed by track galleys. In 2/7's sector, six of these galley cars were used to service the outposts. All other supplies reaching the men, including mail and special services kits of recreational and educational gear, came by rail also.
Both wire and radio contact with sector headquarters was maintained by each detachment, but the Communist proclivity for cutting the phone lines placed primary reliance on radio. Frequent inspection trips by battalion and company commanders were an established part of the routine of rail guard to ensure that standards of discipline and performance remained high. Marines on outpost were rotated frequently to compensate for the monotony and constant strain of watchfulness of the duties they performed. Regular liberty parties were flown to Peiping from Tangshan with priority of place going to men who had stood the lonely vigil at the bridges of the Peiping-Mukden Railroad. Throughout a period of frequent disruptive personnel changes brought about by demobilization, the morale of the men charged with rail security was excellent. They had a tangible and important job to do, and they did it well.
DEMOBILIZATION AND REPLACEMENT37The Marine Corps demobilization program for its reservists was based on a point discharge system developed by the Army for its non-regular veterans. Those few reservists who were over the upper draft age limit of 36 were also eligible for release regardless of the points they had accumulated.
Marine regulars who had completed their terms of enlistment and those who had served two years or more overseas were also scheduled for return home for discharge or reassignment. Naval personnel serving with the Marines were eligible for discharge under a different schedule of point accumulation which generally paralleled the Army-Marine system. The actual point total for discharge was determined by the service concerned, and most men in the States were separated as
soon as their personal score was reached. Similarly men serving overseas were returned home as their point total neared the discharge level and transportation was available.
Although the Marine Corps had a well organized schedule for demobilization before the end of the war, one which was realistic in terms of occupation commitments, the public pressure to have veterans released from service did not allow its efficient execution.38 The point score for discharge dropped rapidly in the final months of 1945 with most 50-point men in the States separated by the end of the year; 48,000 more Marines were discharged by 11 January 1946 than had been originally planned. On that date, the occasion of a report by the Commandant to Congress, Marine Corps strength stood at 301,070. Of this total 45,981 Marines were serving in North China, a figure quite close to the original Marine Corps landing strength of III Corps.
Through December, no significant reduction in the size of IIIAC had been effected although changes were in the offing. High-point Marines in China had to be replaced rather than withdrawn as had once been the plan,39 and low-point men from the States and from other units of the FMF were sent to North China to release those eligible for separation and rotation. More than 11,000 replacements arrived at Tsingtao and Tangku in December and early January, enough Marines to enable all the 50-point men to be home and discharged by the end of February.
Within two months' time, the III Amphibious Corps lost one quarter of its veterans, and received in their place an equal number of Marines who were short on service and military experience. In the transportation pipeline from the U.S. were even more young Marines, many of them fresh from boot camp, who were scheduled to replace the men with point scores in the 40s and 30s. The problems which arose in assimilating these new men into units disrupted by the loss of key officers and NCOS were formidable. The most characteristic activity of Marine commands during the spring of 1946 was the implementation of a repeated cycle of basic training which enabled them to maintain a satisfactory level of performance.
In view of the rapidly shrinking size of the Marine Corps overall, a reduction in the strength of Marine forces in North China was inevitable. The change in official views regarding the early withdrawal of the IIIAC from China did not alter the plans for the peacetime strength of the FMF to be reached by the summer of 1946.40 Four of the six Marine divisions activated during the war were scheduled for reduction and disbandment. Plans for the first major step in this program to concern III Corps were issued in December to take effect on order.
The 6th Marine Division was to be reduced to brigade strength with one
infantry regiment, the 4th Marines. At an appropriate time, after necessary reductions and detachments had been made in Japan, a skeleton headquarters group, incorporating the name, the colors, and the traditions of the regiment, would sail for Tsingtao. Once the Chinese base was reached, the regiment would be newly constituted from disbanded infantry units of the division. Supporting elements of the brigade would be activated from units performing similar functions within the division.
The news of the first major reduction of Marine strength in North China emphasized the many such changes pending in 1946. In the coming year, the principal task set IIIAC when it was dispatched to Hopeh and Shantung--the repatriation of the Japanese-- was successfully accomplished. A new mission of support of General Marshall's attempt to bring about peace in China made the year chiefly memorable, however, for its wasted effort and endless frustrations.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (V-2) * Next Chapter (V-4)
1. Unless otherwise noted, the material in this section is derived from: Eyes Alone Radios Folder (Wedemeyer File, TAGO, KCRC); Rockey interviews, 14-15Apr59 and 9Ju159; Worton interview; U.S. Relations with China; Wedemeyer, Reports.
2. Quoted in Wedemeyer, Reports, p. 452.
3. Ibid., p. 359.
4. In November seven different joint resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Marines from China were introduced in Congress. 79th Congress, 2d Session, Congressional Record (Washington, 1945), v. 91, pt 8, pp. 11007, 11156.
5. ComSeventhFlt WarDs, Nov-Dec45 (OAB, NHD).
6. Quoted in U.S. Relations with China, p. 607.
7. Corps SO No. 226-45, dtd 6Dec45, in IIIAC WarD, Dec45.
8. The 1st Division commander considered rotating troops in outlying positions with those in Tientsin and Peiping, but found the members of his own staff and the unit commanders "were almost all opposed to the rotation idea. Instead, we worked out a liberal recreation schedule which allowed troops on outlying duties to frequently visit Tientsin and Peiping." Peck ltr.
9. Unless otherwise noted, the material in this section is derived from: IIIAC WarDs, Nov-Dec45; 6th MarDiv WarDs, Nov-Dec45; 1st MAW WarDs, Nov-Dec45; MAG-32 WarDs, Nov-Dec45; Rockey interview, 14-15Apr59; Shepherd interview; Woods interview.
10. VMR-152 WarD, Nov45.
11. VMSB-343 WarD, Nov45.
12. Aircraft Accident Cards of F7F-3Ps Nos. 80381, 80419, and 80423, dtd 11Dec45 (Unit HistReptFile, HistBr, HQMC).
13. The unit of fire was a measure of ammunition supply. It represented a specific number of rounds of ammunition per weapon which varied with its type and caliber. The IIIAC took three units of fire to China to cover the possible requirements for ammunition of its ground components.
14. Wedemeyer, Reports, pp. 351-352.
15. MajGen Eiji Nagano, IJA, ltr to Maj Gen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., dtd 15Dec45 filed with Shepherd interview.
17. General Rockey was very complimentary to the Red Cross for its services to IIIAC, citing in particular its club in Peiping, which had luxurious quarters in the rented Italian Embassy. Rockey comments.
18. Unless otherwise noted, the material in this section is derived from: IIIAC WarDs, Nov-Dec45; 1st MarDiv WarDs, Nov-Dec45; 1st MAW WarDs, Nov-Dec45; LtCol James D. Hittle, "On the Peiping-Mukden Line," Marine Corps Gazette, v. 31, no. 6 (Jun47); Rockey interviews, 14-15Apr59, 29Apr59, and 9Jul59; Peck interview; Woods interview.
19. IIIAC G-5 PeriodicRpt No. 2, Nov45, dtd 1Dec45 and No. 3, Dec45, dtd 1Jan46.
20. Mr. H. Imura ltr to MajGen DeWitt Peck, dtd 12Nov45, filed with Peck interview.
21. Chiang, Soviet Russia, pp. 146-147.
22. IIIAC G-5 PeriodicRpt No. 2, op. cit.
23. General Woods recalled that he received an order specifying that planes loaded with ammunition only be sent to the scene. He protested that bombs should also be carried, but directed that the planes be made ready. Shortly after this, "the original order was cancelled by telephone and no planes were sent." Woods ltr. General Peck noted, however, in his contemporary notebook, that some planes did eventually fly over at 1500, but that the pilots reported they did not sight any hostile force. Peck ltr.
24. A Chronological Hist of 3/7, 1st MarDiv Activities in China, 30Sep-15Apr46, n.d., p. 3.
25. Quoted in IIIAC WarD, Nov45, pp. 4-5.
26. VMF-115 WarD, Nov45; VMF-211 WarDs, Nov-Dec45; VMF-218 WarD, Nov45.
27. MAG-24 WarD, Nov45.
28. VMF(N)-533 WarD, Dec45.
30. Maj Gen Keller E. Rockey ltr to Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift, dtd 29Dec45 (Vandegrift Personal Correspondence File, HistBr, HQMC).
31. New York Times, 9Dec45, p. 23.
32. "Semper Fidelis," The Washington Post, 12Dec45, p. 10, filed with Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift ltr to Mr. Eugene Meyer, dtd 13Dec45, published in The Washington Post, 15Dec45, p. 16 (Vandegrift Personal Correspondence File, HistBr, HQMC ).
33. Rockey ltr to Vandegrift, 29Dec45, op. cit.
34. Hittle, "On the Peiping-Mukden Line," op. cit., p. 20.
35. 1st MarDiv OPIan No. 5-45, dtd 22Oct45 in 1st MarDiv WarD, Oct45.
36. General Woods recalled that many of these quonset huts were Navy ones being sent to house aviation personnel; he gave orders to turn some over to IIIAC to provide suitable accommodations for Marines on bridge guard. Woods ltr.
37. Unless otherwise noted the material in this section is derived from: 6th MarDiv WarDs, Nov-Dec45; CMC ltr to Hon Francis Case, dtd 11Feb46 in 79th Congress, 2d Session, Congressional Record (Washington, 1946), v. 92, pt 9, p. A653.
38. CMC ltr to CNO, dtd 13Oct49, Subj : Demobilization Planning (2515-35 File, Nav Sec, FRC, Alex).
39. Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift ltr to LtGen Holland M. Smith, dtd 30Nov45 (Vandegrift Personal Correspondence File, HistBr, HQMC).
40. CominCh disp to CinCPac, dtd 30Sep45 in CinCPac WarD, Sep45, encl (B), p. 7 (OAB, NHD).