393.115 President Hoover/53: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China ( Johnson )

296. Your 659, September 15, 11 a.m., and previous. Reports prepared by the surgeon of the President Hoover in regard to injuries sustained by crew and passengers of that vessel read in part substantially as follows:

  • Lionel Haskell, died on August 31 due to hemorrhage and shock from shrapnel wounds.
  • John Kulik, shrapnel wound left chest (1), right thigh (4), right arm (1), right groin (1).
  • B. Novak, possible fracture of the lower left ribs axillary line.
  • Edmund Hallen, shrapnel scalp wound.
  • Rufino Cordero, laceration of second and third fingers of left hand. Shrapnel injury.
  • Paul Engelhardt, glass cut on the back of right hand.
  • V. Morris, shrapnel wounds in scalp (1), right arm (2), and back (2).

With reference to the above-named individuals, all of whom were members of the crew, it would appear from other reports received by the Department that injuries sustained by John Kulik were viewed as more serious than those sustained by other surviving members of the crew.

With reference to injured passengers, the surgeon’s report states in part as follows:

  • E. T. Ruffner, multiple glass cuts on the scalp, have practically healed but there is a 1-inch disfiguring scar on the forehead at the hair line.
  • M. S. Cowen, four small shrapnel wounds in left arm and forearm.
  • G. J. Whitfield, 1-inch laceration of right calf. Struck by shrapnel.

In bringing the foregoing to the attention of the Chinese Government you should indicate that, as the citizenship of Whitfield has not as yet been established by the Department, his name is, at least for the time being, included merely for purposes of record. In this connection, as Whitfield’s address is given as “Rawnsley Dutton Park, Brisbane, Australia” he may be British and it is therefore suggested [Page 483] that this possibility be brought informally to the attention of your British colleague.

In your approach to the Chinese Government you may care to emphasize again the favorable reaction which probably would result from a voluntary offer of solatium payments to the injured parties.