811.30 Asiatic Fleet/460: Telegram

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

473. At 11:10 this morning the Senior Aide to the Navy Minister, Captain Kondo, stated the following to the Naval Attaché:

  • “1. The Japanese naval authorities are extremely worried over the presence of the U. S. S. Monocacy near Kiukiang. While they are taking all precautions to prevent the recurrence of any untoward incident, having in mind the extremely unfortunate Panay case, the Japanese naval authorities request that in view of the impending heavy fighting in and around Kiukiang, the Monocacy be for the present withdrawn upriver to Hankow.
  • 2. If this movement be impossible (as, for example, due to mines or boom), the Monocacy’s location be beforehand communicated to the Japanese commander and the Monocacy be marked or painted so as to be readily identified from afar (and high aloft). In view of the Japanese Navy’s experience that flags on masts or spread of awnings are not visible from great heights, and as the river from a height appears white and the color of a vessel’s hull therefore is difficult to distinguish, the Japanese Navy desires that appropriate distinguishing mark(s) be used by the Monocacy. It was suggested that a ‘wind sock’ or flashed mirror (heliograph) be used in day and a search light by night.”

The Naval Attaché states that Captain Kondo emphasized that the Japanese (1) requested the Monocacy’s withdrawal, (2) desired the Monocacy to be especially marked or otherwise be made distinctly recognizable from afar (and from high aloft).

Repeated to Shanghai for relay to Hankow and to the Commander-in-Chief.

Grew