Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth) to the Under Secretary of State (Webb)
Subparagraph 6 of this memorandum states, in part, “The Third Marines as a reduced battalion landing team will remain at Tsingtao”. In this connection, I am now informed by the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations as follows: “The Chief of Naval Operations directed ComNavWesPac to release on 15 March 1949, conditions permitting, the 9th Marines, less one company, now in the USS Bayfield in Shanghai, from their present assignment for return to the United States. ComNavWesPac has reported that the Bayfield with the embarked Marines is expected to sail for the United States about 31 March. This will leave the 3rd Marines, approximately 900 officers and men, in the Western Pacific as a mobile force. As you know, approximately one company is billeted ashore at Tsingtao for guard and shore patrol duty; a platoon of one officer and 42 enlisted has been, and is now in Nanking as the Embassy guard. The remainder of the battalion will be ship based. It is my understanding that the ship based Marines will remain in a mobile status in the Western Pacific but that they will not be restricted to any single locality such as Tsingtao.”
The Assistant Chief of Naval Operations has given me the following additional information with respect to U.S. Naval forces in the Western Pacific:
“It is presently planned to reduce the naval forces assigned to Com NavWesPac to two cruisers, eight destroyers, one amphibious force flagship, one destroyer transport, one aircraft or seaplane tender, one destroyer tender, one tanker, one LST, one LCI, and a few seaplanes. It is anticipated that this reduction of forces will be completed about 12 May.
In this connection, Admiral Badger’s instructions require that he maintain seagoing forces in the Tsingtao area adequate to embark promptly the shore based company in the event an emergency makes their withdrawal advisable.”
The foregoing is brought to your attention inasmuch as the Department of State was designated coordinating agency in implementing NSC 11/3 and FE was assigned action within the Department.