The Consul General at Tsingtao (Strong) to the Secretary of State
[Received 1:37 p.m.]
9. Communist prisoner of Government forces Lingshan when interrogated by US marine officer January 8 reported 5 marines in jeep December 25 were fired upon with machine guns when driving into Communist-held town of Wangtan-yuan. One marine returned fire with carbine. One marine killed, one Communist wounded. Identity marine reported killed unknown. Marine authorities here prepared to send detachment to recover body dead marine if approximate location grave becomes known and if such action appears feasible and indicated.
Government general at Lingshan reports he has assigned four secret operatives in Communist territory to obtain information whereabouts condition of captives.
Handling of case by marines has been hampered by contradictory and confusing reports from garrison commander, whose first report on December 29 of death one marine in incident was denied by alleged eye witnesses interviewed by marine officer at Lingshan December 31. Garrison commander in press conference January 8 reiterated one marine killed.