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    Chou En-lai sends his thanks and condolences after the tragic crash of a C-47 that killed 14 members of the Communist Party

    Chou En-lai Typed Letter Signed. One page, 8.25" ; Office of Chinese Communist Delegation, 263, Chun San Road, Chungking; April 14, 1946. A letter to Colonel John Hart Caughey sending thanks and condolences: "I wish to offer my heart-felt thanks for every effort that has been put forth in search for the missing plane C-47 No. 6361 continuously for several days, and also for the condolences you gave me on behalf of General Marshall as well as for yourself. Hereby I express my deep sorrow for the loss of 4 U.S. aircrew members of the mussing plane who were killed in the tragic accident together with those passengers while performing their duties for the public good..." General Chou signs in Chinese characters.

    Colonel Caughey served with General George C. Marshall in China after the close of World War II. The Marshall Mission sought to unify the Communist and Nationalist parties. Caughey kept a diary during this time, and his entry for April 11, 1946 notes: "A U.S. C-47 was lost between here and Yenan on the 8th. 14 Communists aboard - some were very important people. O feel especially bad [ab]out it because I arranged for and dispatched the plane."

    The ruins of the plane were discovered the next day, with everyone aboard killed. Caughey records on April 13 that the Communist attacks on the Nationalists have grown more violent. Despite American efforts to bring the two sides together, the Nationalists led by General Chiang Kai-shek would flee to Taiwan. Chou En-Lai would become the first Premier of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

    This letter is from the personal papers of Colonel Robert Caughey and are offered at auction for the first time.

    Condition: Age toning, with file holes at top. Creasing along top and right edge, with tiny tears resulting.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
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