The Ambassador in China ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 19—6:30 a.m.]
826. 1. Nanking was raided twice during the night. Some 12 Japanese planes said to be from Lienyun harbor carrier came at 2:30 a.m., and dropped number of bombs in military airfield region causing a large fire believed to have been burning mat huts and poor dwellings near the airfield. Planes flew high, sky was cloudy. Another flight of Japanese planes of unknown number came in from the North at 4 a.m., flew over the Embassy and dropped more bombs [Page 621] in area of attack (these night raids followed closely after Japanese spokesman’s press interview at Shanghai yesterday in which he criticized Chinese for aerial operations at night when visibility poor and bombing necessarily inaccurate and stated that Japanese bombed only in daytime and only military objectives).
2. Another alarm at 9 a.m., which was reportedly caused by nine Japanese planes which again bombed Tanyang, southeast of Chinkiang.
3. Chinese state that (1) yesterday afternoon’s raid was conducted by 12 planes from Shanghai, (2) damage in airfield vicinity was slight, (3) one Japanese plane was shot down after raid by antiaircraft battery near Tangshan, 20 miles east of Nanking, and pilot who bailed out was captured.
4. Chinese sources also report that (1) Soochow was raided by Japanese planes 9 times yesterday and that railway tracks and passenger trains were targets for 50 bombs which caused little damage because most of them fell wide of mark, (2) Nanking-Shanghai Express which left here yesterday morning was bombed at Hushukwo Station midway between Wusih and Soochow but details of damage if any not reported, (3) two Japanese planes yesterday morning dropped four bombs at Hofei, Central Anwhei, working considerable damage.
5. Sent Department, repeated Peiping, Shanghai, Tokyo.