701.4193/119: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

844. It is reported that at 4 p.m. today three motor cars, one of which carried British Assistant Air Attaché and three other British subjects, were machine gunned by Japanese planes near Sungkiang while en route Nanking to Shanghai. It appears that a number of Japanese planes spotted the cars; they dived low over the cars and one of them opened fire with machine guns. Occupants of the cars scattered to the fields and none were injured. The car carrying the British subjects was prominently marked with British flag. It is stated to have been hit a number of times. British authorities have not yet issued any official statement. They are investigating. I am unable to confirm report that an American was in one of the three cars and believe the report is inaccurate. The secretary to the Soviet Military Attaché is said to have been in one of the cars.