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VIII. U.S. Reaction To Events in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 1–10


256. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219, DeSoto Patrols, August. Confidential; Flash. Repeated to CINCPAC. Received at 8:46 a.m.


257. Memorandum From the Duty Officer in the White House Situation Room to the President

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Operation Pierce Arrow. No classification marking. Printed in part in Johnson, Vantage Point, p. 112. The President recalled that this memorandum was sent to him in his bedroom. Since his Daily Diary shows breakfast at 9 a.m., he must have received it before that time.


259. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Maddox Incident. Secret; Immediate. Repeated to MACV, Saigon, the White House, CIA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, among others.


260. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 33–6 US–VIET N. Confidential; Flash. Drafted by William McAfee (INR) and cleared with Green, Hughes, and the Department of Defense.


261. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of-Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp)

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Vietnam Country File, Maddox Incident. Secret; Flash. Repeated to Saigon, MACV, the White House, the Department of State, CIA, and the Department of Defense, among others.


262. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219, DeSoto Patrols, August. Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Also sent to the White House, CIA, and the Department of Defense. Received at 12:15 a.m.


263. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15–1 VIET S. Secret, Priority Exdis. Repeated to CINCPAC, the White House, ICS, and the Secretary of Defense.


264. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Agency for International Development

Source: Department of State, Central Files, AID (US) VIET S. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Received at 11:12 a.m.


266. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Vietnam Coordinating Committee (Forrestal) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group files: Lot 72 D 219, Maddox Incident. Top Secret. The source text bears the handwritten notation: “Secretary Saw.”


268. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Solbert) to the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD/ISA Files: FRC 69 A 7425, Vietnam 381. Top Secret; Sensitive. Received in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at 4:49 p.m. The source text bears the stamp “Sec Def has seen.”


270. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Limited Official Use; Flash. Drafted by Corcoran (S/VN); cleared with Green, Forrestal, Harriman, Trueheart, Blouin, McGeorge Bundy, Ball, and others; and initialed by Rusk. The text of the protest is printed in Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1964, p. 258.


271. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 33–6 US–VIET N. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Forrestal and initialed by Rusk.


274. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Transcribed by Carolyn J. Proctor.


275. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense (McNamara)

Source: Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Transcribed by Proctor.


277. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Thailand

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 33–6 US–VIET N. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by Trueheart, cleared with Ball, and initialed by William Bundy. Repeated to CINCPAC.


278. Summary Notes of the 538th Meeting of the National Security Council

Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 3, Tab 20. Top Secret; Sensitive; For the President Only. Drafted by Bromley Smith.


279. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Vietnam

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 72 D 219, DeSoto Patrols, Aug. Top Secret; Flash; Exdis; Pierce Arrow. Drafted by Forrestal and cleared by William Bundy.


280. Notes of the Leadership Meeting, White House

Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File, August 4, 1964. No classification marking. Drafted by Walter Jenkins of the President's Staff. Attached to the source text were two notes dated August 24 and 25 concerning its drafting. One of these reads: “Put that on my desk—I'll need it every day. LBJ:JRJ 8/27/67.” In addition to the participants, Senator Kuchel and Representatives Vinson and Morgan were present. A 3–1/2–page summary of the meeting is ibid.


281. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis; Pierce Arrow. Drafted by Green and Robert Creel (EUR) and initialed by William Tyler, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. Sent to Bonn, Brussels, The Hague, Luxembourg, Paris (for the Embassy and USRO), and Rome and repeated to the other NATO capitals and Madrid. Similar messages were sent to 14 other capitals at 11:01 p.m. (Circular telegrams 222 and 223; ibid.) and at 11:02 individual messages were sent to New Delhi and Karachi. (Telegrams 266 and 136; ibid.) At 9:12 and 10:32, the U.S. representatives to NATO and SEATO were instructed to call sessions of their organizations to report on the U.S. position (Topol 198 and telegram 175 to Bangkok; ibid.)


282. Message From President Johnson to Prime Minister Macmillan

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 33–6 US–VIET N. Top Secret; Immediate; Nodis; Pierce Arrow. Transmitted to the Embassy in London in telegram 861, August 4, 9:41 p.m. with the explanation that the message had been sent to the Prime Minister by a separate channel. Telegram 861 is the source text.


283. Message From President Johnson to Prime Minister Khanh

Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S. Secret; Flash; Exdis; Pierce Arrow. Transmitted to the Embassy in Saigon in telegram 342, 9:47 p.m., for delivery to Khanh with President Johnson's statement (see Document 286). Telegram 342 is the source text.


284. Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 319, HQDA Message Center, Reel 11885. Secret; Priority. According to another copy, this telegram was repeated by the JCS to the White House, CIA, NSA, and the Department of State at 8:47 p.m. and was received in the Department of State at 10:26 p.m. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 27 VIET S)