793.94/10169: Telegram

The Commander in Chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet (Yarnell) to the Commander of the Yangtze Patrol (Marquart)8a

0021. Yesterday the following letter was sent to Admiral Hasegawa.

“My Dear Admiral Hasegawa: I have received the notice which was issued through the Japanese Consulate General with reference to the proposed bombing by Japanese naval air force of Nanking, the operations to begin after 12 o’clock, noon, on September 21st.

This notice contained the advice that foreign warships are advised to moor upstream from Hsiasanshan.

The United States Navy has at Nanking two river gunboats, the Luzon and the Guam. These two ships are anchored in the river abreast of the Butterfield and Swire Pontoon.

As long as the United States Embassy and any United States nationals remain in Nanking, it is necessary for these two vessels to remain there also. These two vessels are distinguished by the United States flag being spread horizontally on the upper works.

It is requested that you issue the necessary instructions to the Japanese naval air force to avoid dropping bombs in the vicinity of these vessels. In case Japanese Army planes are bombing in this vicinity it is requested that they be issued similar instructions.”

In view of the fact that your anchorage has been notified to the Japanese Admiral, Cincaf considers it the safest location in case of bombing attacks. 1123.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department of State by the Navy Department on September 21, 1937.