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New post from Jerry Stevik

Posted by on January 30, 2012
Here is a photo of 9-Boat, Jerry Stevick, George Perkins, and Crew 9 taken by China.  Also attached is an explaination of the circumstances

Grave and Serious Warning

It was the practice of the People’s Republic of China, in the 1960s, to issue what

they called a Grave and Serious Warning to the United States when they considered

that an American aircraft had flown into what they claimed to be their air space, or

in their opinion “harassed” one of China’s merchant ships.

This situation mostly occurred near Hainan Island, which was clearly China, or one

of the small islands in the South China Sea, such as the Paracel Islands, not so clearly

the possession of China. Recall that China claims Taiwan as part of China. The United

States had patrolled the South China Sea since World War II. Particularly, the part off

Vietnam, and across the sea lanes between the Philippines and the main land were of

interest to the United States.

The nationality of merchant ships in the region was reported by the U.S. Navy to various

agencies. This was in itself not intrusive. But by the 1960s tension had increased with

China and the U.S.  Almost any encounter had the potential for attention. It was also safe

to say that there was an attraction to close surveillance by American pilots. I was no

exception. In one case I had saved the JATO takeoff assistance rockets and discharged  

them close aboard a China merchant. This situation generated a Grave and Serious Warning

from China. When told, my flight crew seemed pleased, perhaps with the exception of my

technical officer who was a very serious man.

In 1968, while assigned to the National Security Agency, I found a propaganda magazine

in which a photograph was shown of our aircraft and implying that we had bombed and

strafed the merchant ship. The magazine, from China, was in English and focused mostly

on U2 over flights of China, but we were included as part of the conflict with the United


The subject photograph is included in these stories, the aircraft is mine and our crew, and

the dates match my flight log book.

                                                            JCS                                21 October 2011

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