Excerpts from Scuttlebutt (March 2014) – a publication of the China Marine Association

By Tom Nallen, USMC, retired

[Two Sons of China] is interesting because it deals with China in the wartime years, 1943-45, and the activities of the Nationalist and Communist forces as well as the occupying Japanese immediately prior to our arrival there post-WWII. It also deals with the “Dixie Mission,” a little known U.S. government mission to determine if we should begin supporting the Chinese Communist guerilla efforts which, at that time, was against the Japanese invader.

I think many CMA members would enjoy this trip in time back to China.


Book Review by Tom Nallen, USMC, retired

As a young U. S. Marine I was stationed in north China (1946-47) at the close of WWII helping to repatriate Japanese military and civilian personnel who had occupied China throughout the war. I was billeted near the village of Nan Yuan, just south of Peiping (now Beijing) and had never seen anything like the poverty and horrendous standard of living endured by the average Chinese citizen.

I was surprised at how the author’s description of scenes in villages and cities in the novel snapped me back in time to again witness cotton clad peasants scurrying along a narrow street, dust blowing from the walls of a rough old clay building and the majesty of the ubiquitous temple. Aside from telling an interesting story, this book provides a very realistic and accurate look at what life was like in China during the mid-forties.

Dr. Andrew Lam’s book “Two Sons of China” is an illuminating, interesting and fast paced action novel depicting the turmoil and suffering endured by the Chinese people during WWII and into the postwar era. Readers will also learn of a little known American intelligence-gathering group called the “Dixie Mission”.