611.95A241/11–3054: Telegram

No. 415
The Ambassador in India (Allen) to the Department of State1


727. Reference Embassy telegram 712 November 27.2 RK Nehru gave me information today concerning American fliers sentenced in China. He said this information had been sent to Krishna Menon in case discussion arises in UN. Indian Embassy in Peking has telegraphed translation of Court decrees.3 According to these decrees, first case involved two airmen named Downey and Fecteau and nine Chinese. They are said to have been traveling in C–47 and shot down over northeast China November 29, 1952. Documents, implements and other evidence on plane said to support evidence of espionage. Both reported to have confessed that they came to [Page 961] China to “pick up agent Pu Ching Wu and take him back to Japan.” Downey allegedly admitted his employment by CIA and that he had trained Chinese agents on Saipon Islands, who were dropped into China in 1951 and 1952.

Second case involved eleven American airmen. Commanding Officer named Arnold and nine others said to have belonged to Air Supply and Communications Wing 581. In July 1951 this Wing allegedly transferred to Philippines “to operate against China and USSR.” Eleventh prisoner, Baumer, was Operations Officer of 91 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. Baumer is said to have admitted two flights over China. Plane carrying Arnold, Baumer and nine other Americans shot down January 12, 1953, over Liaoning Province and fell near Antung. Wing 581 said not to have been engaged in Korean War, its task including evacuation and recovery of underground personnel. Plane alleged to have been different from usual combat type, with only two guns mounted in tail.

RK Nehru said GOI had no information re these cases other than Court decrees, which it passed on to us without, of course, any comment or observation re justification or accuracy.

  1. Repeated for information to London.
  2. Reference is apparently to telegram 715 from New Delhi, Nov. 27, which reported a conversation with Foreign Secretary R. K. Nehru, in which Allen suggested that the Indian Government might wish to interest itself in the case of the American airmen sentenced by the Chinese. (611.95A241/11–2754)
  3. The texts of the decrees are printed as a supplement to People’s China, Dec. 16, 1954.