793.94/16787: Telegram

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

344. Your No. 188, June [August] 11, 7 p.m.56 From August 8, 2 p.m. to the hour of this message, Chungking has sustained a total of over 30 successive raids by Japanese navy bombers. Eight of these raids have occurred at night. Total number of bombers involved over 500 by personal observation; official count will probably be larger. All planes fly high beyond anti-aircraft fire at approximately 20 to 25 thousand feet. Each raid apparently has had definite objective, including industrial areas along both banks of the Yangtze River above and below Chungking and both banks of the Chialing River. The area of the old walled city, that is, the area immediately opposite the Embassy and the paddock has not been bombed and there has been no bombing in the so-called safety zone on the south bank, but the city area to the west of the officially walled city has been included repeatedly among objectives.

Spacing of the raids has been such as practically to immobilize all activity in and around Chungking since Friday afternoon. Embassy radio station can operate only during brief all clear intervals thus delaying receipt and despatch of all messages as well as code messages of the Navy. Details as to damage and casualties cannot be obtained at this time because of disruption of communications. So far only damage to American property is brief report just received that American Methodist Mission at Dzenkiangai in area west of the old city was damaged during raid at 1 o’clock on the morning of the 11th.

Sent to the Department. Repeated to Peiping. Shanghai repeat to Tokyo.

  1. Not printed.