57. Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff0

312200Z. In COMSEVENTHFLT 291558Z pasep,1 he reports critical situation and expresses opinion that we will have to knock out ChiCom artillery batteries if islands are to survive. Taipei to State 2602 is Ambassador’s assessment of Commie intentions. He is convinced that they intend to occupy the islands and that build-up in Amoy–Fuchow area and subsequent assault on the offshore islands is not merely for the purpose of provocative probing or to cause ChiNat or US counteraction which could brand US as “aggressors”. JCS 9472983 authorized Smoot and me to make clear to ChiNats that we do not share the feeling of inevitable loss of islands through bombardment alone. I submit that this assessment must be reviewed in the light of COMSEVENTHFLT’s report. I concur in the Ambassador’s assessment that Kinmen defenders can be [Page 109] strangled if we do not take more positive action. I believe we are virtually at the point of phase II as defined in para 4C(2) of JCS 947298. I recommend, therefore, that my authorization be extended to provide escort and air cover into ChiNat territorial waters of Kinmen and up to the east coast beaches. I recommend that I be authorized to insure that supplies are landed. I recommend that the ChiComs be informed that we are taking this action. I would then interpret my orders and issue the necessary instructions to neutralize any ChiCom interference whatsoever in the accomplishment of my mission. As stated in my 282358Z,4 we are completely within our rights to assist our allies to land supplies on the beaches of their own territory. The right of self-defense cannot be challenged.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, 381 Formosa (11–8–48), Section 38. Top Secret; Operational Immediate. Repeated to CNO, CINCPACFLT, CINCUSARPAC, CINCPACAF, and COMUSTDC. A copy is in Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/8–3158. The documents cited in footnotes 1 and 2 are in the Supplement.
  2. Not printed. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, 381 Formosa (11–8–48), Section 38)
  3. Dated August 30. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/8–3058)
  4. Document 53.
  5. See footnote 3, Document 53.