To Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer1
November 30, 1945 Radio No. WARX-86183. Washington, D.C.
TOPSEC from WARCOS and CNO.
Under consideration by the State Department is a restatement of U.S. policy, which if approved, will result in a new directive to Commanding General, U.S. Forces, China Theater [COMGENCHINA] along the following lines:
The Commanding General, U.S. Forces, China Theater, after coordination with SCAP, will probably be responsible to make necessary arrangements with the Chinese authorities for repatriation of Japanese from the China Theater. The U.S. will furnish assistance in the form of military supplies and advice to the Chinese authorities. The U.S. Marines will probably remain in North China for the time being for the purpose of assisting in the repatriation of Japanese Nationals, military and civil, from that area, the duration of such employment to be subject to future directives from the JCS. It is intended that they would be more or less confined in their employment to holding ports or beachheads.
To effect the above and also to assist the Chinese Central Government in reestablishing control of the liberated areas of North China and Manchuria, the U.S. will furnish transportation for additional Chinese troops. It is emphasized that neither the policy nor the directive given above has yet been approved.
To assist you, 100 Liberty type ships can be made available to COMGENCHINA at the rate of 50 ships per month. If needed, a greater number may be made available.
Your use of these ships depends upon following factors:
1. These Liberty ships are now awaiting discharge in AFPAC2 and their time of availability is contingent upon capability to discharge. This requires selection of ships based on cargo utilization or possible sale. Some of these ships are now loaded with supplies that might well be used by Chinese Army. Particularly pertinent in this connection is ammunition requirements of Chinese Forces. Would you desire to have ammunition dumps or depots established at Chingwangtao, Tientsin, Tsingtao, or Shanghai by shipment from Philippines or Okinawa direct and thus avoid long air flights of munitions from Yunnan.3
2. Temporary accommodations for repatriated personnel to be installed by China Theater at ports.
3. COMGENCHINA would be responsible for making necessary arrangements with the Chinese for delivery of personnel to ships.
4. Establishment of a procedure with SCAP for rate of reception and grouping of Japanese to provide for proper port of discharge in Japanese homeland.
5. Possibility of utilizing either Chinese or Japanese crews to replace U.S. crews in toto or in part as conditions warrant.
6. Necessary berthing, servicing, and administrative arrangements for Liberties including minimum arrangements necessary to make into personnel carriers for Japanese type of passenger.
7. Possibility of employing LSTs now in western Pacific crewed by Japanese.
The above factors suggest the need for immediate conference by addressees of this message.
Request comments of all action addressees to JCS.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-86183, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. This message was also sent to the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Pacific, Advance, Tokyo (i.e., MacArthur’s headquarters) and to the navy’s commander in chief, Pacific (Raymond A. Spruance) and for information to the commanders of the Fifth and Seventh fleets (John H. Towers and Daniel E. Barbey).
2. U.S. Army Forces, Pacific (AFPAC), one of General MacArthur’s commands, controlled all army resources in the Pacific theater except those of the Southwest Pacific Command and the Alaskan Department.
3. Yunnan province is in southwest China, bordering Indochina and Burma; its capital, Kunming, was the endpoint of the Burma Road and the “Hump” air route, and consequently the major depot for incoming U.S. lend-lease supplies during the war. Kunming is more than twelve hundred air miles from Peiping and Tientsin.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981– ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945–January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 375–376.