361.1123 L 25/14: Telegram
The Consul at Vladivostok ( Macgowan ) to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received 7:59 p.m.]
12. Department’s telegram of January 13, 7 p.m.17 On January 8, 4 a.m., Langdon descended steep icy sidewalk on the west side Peter the Great Street, using hand lamp continuously. When he was opposite headquarters Japanese eleventh division on the east side of the street, a Japanese sentry ran across street asked, “American?”. Langdon answered affirmatively, proceeded. Sentry fired at about 6 [Page 357] feet with rifle apparently from the position charge bayonet. Ball ranged upwards, emerging above the heart. Langdon turned around, fired revolver twice, proceeded to ship.
Foregoing paraphrase of first statement of Langdon. Later on he declared he had halted until he answered in the affirmative.
He was fully conscious when he made this statement and never used any alcohol. Front overcoat has a very great hole.
All of the high ranking Japanese army, naval officers have called Albany expressed regret, sorrow, offered every assistance. Japanese Minister of War telegraphed condolence through the Mikasa.
The Japanese at first said the sentry stated that Langdon advanced toward sentry box, shot first. At the court of inquiry sentry said that Langdon remained on the walk, that he pursued Langdon and fired first. Board of investigation and court of inquiry comprising Japanese exclusively, no others being present, was held at the request of Richardson. Final report sentry was that he ran across street, called halt thrice, but that Langdon did not halt, that the sentry took position three steps in front Langdon charge bayonet and then Langdon stopped, shifting lamp to his left hand groped with the right hand in his overcoat that the sentry took the position for action and asked “Russian or American”, that he was very excited and fired rifle by accident but did not intend to shoot Langdon but to seize lamp and accompany Langdon to guard and ascertain who it was, that Langdon fired two or three revolver shots after he fired.
It is thus established that the sentry left his post and molested officer in uniform who was proceeding orderly along the street.
Memorial service is to be held next Tuesday at the Y. M. C. A.
- Not printed.↩