793.94/11268: Telegram

The Second Secretary of Embassy in China (Atcheson) to the Secretary of State

951. At least two Japanese heavy bombers accompanied by six pursuit flew over Nanking at 1:30 p.m., and laid a line of about 20 bombs in the central market district not far east and south of the banking circle (Hsinchiehkou). Three bombs fell by the National Art Gallery (next to National Peoples Assembly building) demolishing its courtyard wall at corners of Kuo Fu Road and Peitinghsiang, breaking the gallery windows and partially demolishing small shops across street. Five or six fell at the College Ricci, a French Catholic mission school not in session, demolishing part of courtyard wall and badly damaging main building. About six fell in Yu Fu Street off Er Lan Miao, a crowded district of small shops and the telephone exchange, killing about 40 civilians including several children. Two fell on Chungshan road east near Er Lan Miao, demolishing wall and damaging several small shops. Casualties were not larger probably because, judging from size of bomb holes we inspected, bombs dropped were very small. Only defense was anti-aircraft.

This is first bombing inside city since mass bombing of September 25.
Number of places along Shanghai-Nanking Railway and elsewhere between here and Wusih have been raided in the last few days with increasing frequency as the Japanese lines have advanced in this general direction. Three alarms at Nanking November 22, two on 23rd, and three so far today.
Sent to Department. Repeated to Ambassador on Luzon, American Embassy, Peiping, American Consul, Shanghai. Peiping please repeat Tokyo.