Thursday, January 17, 2013

U.S. Navy Training In Quindao, China in 1948

To put Razorback's 1948 visit to Quindao in context, and to show the importance of the work that Razorback and the other vessels were trying to do, we thought we would share some photographs from the National Archives in College Park, Maryland that were taken in Quindao during this same time period.

After WWII ended, the United States attempted to support the Chinese Nationalist Party in their civil war against the Chinese Communist Party.  The U.S. Navy, in particular, provided surplus vessels, and then provided the technical training that the Chinese crewmen would need to keep the ships running.  The American effort was spearheaded during this period by Admiral Charles Cooke, a submariner who had been strategist for the U.S. Navy during World War II (he was also a native Arkansan).
In this picture, a Chief Motor Machinist, J.O. Cooke demonstrates engine handling to a class of Chinese trainees while an American officer watches on.

Both a "Boot Camp" for future enlisted sailors and an "Annapolis-like" school were established for officers in Quindao.

In this picture, Chief J.D. Lyons checks the aiming of Chinese sailors on twin 40-mm guns.  These guns would be found on many of the small surface craft that the U.S. Navy was transferring to the Chinese Nationalist Navy.

Here, a Chinese sailor practices using a sextant.

These are Midshipmen at the Chinese Naval Academy.  It was modeled closely after Annapolis, and the students would have become Ensigns in the Chinese Navy had they been able to complete four years of study.

Unfortunately, despite all the assistance and training, Quindao fell to the Chinese Communist Party on June 2nd, 1949, little more than a year after Razorback's visit.  Most of the trainees in these pictures likely evacuated, along with the rest of the Chinese Nationalist military, to the island of Taiwan, where a strong naval tradition still exists today.


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