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5-459 To Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer and Vice Admiral Charles M. Cooke, Jr.

   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 4, 1946

Subject: China


To Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer and Vice Admiral Charles M. Cooke, Jr.

June 4, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 826. [Nanking, China]

Confidential

Propaganda agencies the world over are building up the thought that naval vessels are extensively engaged in supporting Government troops engaged in civil strife. I understand that there is no American shipping (except for Chinese manned SCALS) now engaged in supporting Nationalist forces in Manchuria or engaged in movement of Nationalist troops between places within China.1

From the standpoint of my present negotiations it is important to maintain this position with regard to U.S. naval shipping. Except for the Communist movement from Mirs Bay area and UNRRA shipments on Yangtze, are there any plans afoot to utilize American flag ships to assist the military forces of either side?2

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Department of State (RG 59), Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. On December 11, 1945, President Truman approved a Joint Chiefs of Staff plan to place under the control of the Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in China (COMGENCHINA, i.e., Wedemeyer’s headquarters) some war surplus Liberty ships—initially twenty-five but quickly reduced to ten. These ships were soon placed under the control of a new staff agency called Shipping Control Authority Liberty Ships (SCALS). Pending purchase by the Chinese government, the ships were being operated by the Chinese National Shipping Administration with Chinese crews under a contract with and flying the flag of the U.S. Maritime Commission. (Lieutenant Colonel James I. Muir, Jr., Memorandum for Colonel Carter, June 13, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Division of Chinese Affairs, Shipping].)

2. During a June 3 morning meeting with Chou En-lai, Marshall said that he had just received a message from Admiral Cooke’s headquarters asserting that no U.S. Navy ships were carrying government troops or supplies to Manchuria or along the coast. Moreover, Seventh Fleet had but ten LSTs: two were being held to pick up Communists at Mirs Bay near Kowloon; eight were hauling U.N.R.R.A. supplies on the Yangtze River. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 958.) For Marshall’s further comments on these ten ships, see Marshall to Carter, June 16, 1946, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-477 [5: 594-95].

Cooke confirmed Marshall’s understanding, adding that the U.S. Navy was also moving Nationalist Army vehicles from Hankow to Nanking and Shanghai. (Cooke to Marshall, June 8, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, Messages In].)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 575.

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Holding ID: 5-459

Rights: Public Information