793.94/16775: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

1173. The following is a translation of a statement which was handed today to the naval attaché at the Navy Department:

“Concerning the incident of the U. S. S. Tutuila being damaged during our air raid of Chungking on July 30, the following conclusion was drawn upon the basis of report by commander at the front line, detailed explanations by a staff officer specially despatched to the front, and repeated and minute investigations:

The bomb which fell in the vicinity of the Tutuila was dropped from a plane in a formation that participated in the air raid in following a course the formation was compelled to take, and the bomb went wide of its mark on account of an infinitesimal delay in releasing it. The incident was caused by a pure accident. (We wish to emphatically deny a rumor reported to be current in certain quarters that we intentionally bombed American interests at the time of the air raid, and hope very much that no such misunderstanding exists).

Our air forces are under strict orders to exercise utmost caution during operations in China lest American interests, particularly American men-of-war, should be damaged and heretofore the orders were well observed. However, the attention of the commander at the front was called immediately to the regrettable incident.

In informing you results of our investigation we wish to express our profound gratitude and respect towards the American Government for the measures it took in connection with the incident.”