Bassett, Leonard, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Primary NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1965-1967, 111X, Naval Ammunition Depot, Oahu, Hawaii
Service Years
1940 - 1970

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Shane Laemmel, MR3 to remember Bassett, Leonard, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Pine Bluff
Last Address
Coronado, California

Date of Passing
Feb 06, 2006
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Gun Captain (pre-1969) WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
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Cold War Event - Tachen Islands Evacuation (China)
Start Year
End Year

The development of the international situation with regard to Formosa and the
Nationalist-held offshore islands of China in February and March is described below
under cross-headings.
Following repeated and heavy Chinese Communist air attacks on the Tachen Islands
the Chinese Nationalist Government announced on Feb. 6 that
the islands were to be evacuated. The announcement stated that the evacuation had
been decided upon in order to meet the new challenge of international Communist
aggression, and so that the forces defending the Tachens could be redeployed to
strengthen the defence of other islands such as Quemoy, Matsu, etc, The State
Department in Washington had announced on Feb. 5 that, at the request of
the Chinese Nationalists, the U.S. Seventh Fleet had been ordered to help in the
evacuation of the Tachens.
The evacuation accordingly took place on Feb. 7–11, a U.S. State Department
announcement on the latter date saying that the operation—which was under the
command of Vice-Admiral Pride—had been completed and that the U.S. naval and air
forces which had taken part would now resume their normal operations in the
Formosa Strait. The statement added, however, that the U.S. forces would be alert
to any concentration or employment of Communist Chineseforces obviously
undertaken to facilitate an attack upon Formosa, and will be prepared to take
appropriate action. The evacuation of the islands—which included also the small
islands of Yushan and Peishan some 30 miles north and south of the Tachens
respectively—was unopposed by the Chinese Communists, who withdrew all their
forces from the area.
The only incident occurred on Feb. 9 when a U.S. plane on antisubmarine patrol was
shot down by Communist anti-aircraft fire some 20 miles south-west of the Tachens;
another plane was hit, but landed safely. Vice-Admiral Pride announced after the
incident that the lost aircraft—whose crow were rescued by an American destroyer—
had made an error in navigation.
The U.S. Seventh Fleet, in a communiqué issued on Feb. 13, said that it had employed
132 vessels and 400 aircraft in covering the evacuation, and that it had taken off
10,000 Nationalist troops, 4,000 guerillas, 14,500 civilians, and 40,000 tons of
military equipment and supplies.
Shortly after the completion of the evacuation the Communist New China News
Agency announced on Feb. 13 that the Chinese People's Liberation Army had
liberated Tachen, Yushan, and Peishan islands, that all enemy-occupied islands
off the Chekiang coast had now been liberated, except the southernmost, Nanchisan
island, and that the liberation of the islands had created favourable conditions for
the liberation of Taiwan ( Formosa) and other coastal islands. Earlier (Feb. 7)
the Chinese Communist radio had described the U.S. assistance in the evacuation of
the Tachens as a war provocation against the People's Republic of China and a
grave threat to the peace of the Far East.
The Nanchi Islands (of which Nanchisan is the most important), south of the Tachens
and some 130 miles north of Formosa, were evacuated by the Chinese Nationalists
on Feb. 23–25, about 6,000 troops and some 2,500 civilians being taken off. The
evacuation, which was carried out despite repeated Nationalist assertions that the
Islands would be defended at all costs, was effected without assistance from U.S.
forces. The islands were occupied by the ChineseCommunist forces on Feb. 26.
Following their occupation of the Tachen and Nanchi Islands,
the Chinese Communists-renewed their attacks on the Nationalist-held islands of
Quemoy and Matsu, the most important islands, remaining in Nationalist hands
besides a Formosa and the Pescadores. The Nationalists reinforced their garrisons on
the two islands, and by mid-March were reported to have more than 60.000 troops on
Quemoy atone, whilst the Communists, who on March 25 announced that they were
withdrawing a further six divisions from North Korea into China, were reported to be
massing-troops in Fukien Province on the mainland opposite the islands. It was also
reported that the Communists had brought up heavy artillery pieces, opposite
Quemoy, putting the whole of the island within range of heavy artillery fire.
An attempted assault by 40 Communist motorised Junks on Kaoteng Island (In the
Matsu group) was driven off on March 4, whilst on March 14 the Nationalists
announced that their aircraft had destroyed three Communist gunboats and seven
armed Junks west of Wu Yu Island, south-east of Amoy; apart from these
engagements there was little activity during; February andMarch except for exchanges
of gunfire between Quemoy and the mainland opposite and Nationalist air attacks on
Communist shipping.
The Chinese Nationalist Government continually reiterated their intention to defend
Matsu and Quemoy and not to evacuate them, but opinion among the Western
Powersremained divided. InBritain, Sir Winston Churchill stated on Feb. 23 that there
was a great deal of difference between the coastal islands of China and the island of
Formosa, whilst Sir Anthony Edensuggested on March 8 that the Nationalists should
withdraw from all the coastal islands (see 14100 A). In the United States on the other
hand, where a number of leading Republicans argued that U.S. forces should go to the
assistance of the Nationalists if Quemoy and Matsu were attacked, both President
Eisenhower and Mr. Dulles refused to say what U.S. policy would be in that
eventuality. In Canada, Mr. Lester Pearson (Minister for External Affairs) declared
on March 24 that he did not consider a conflict over Quemoy or the Matsus to be a
situation requiring any Canadian intervention in support of the Chinese Nationalist
regime. TheIndian Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru stated on Feb. 25 that the offshore
islands were obviously parts of China and should be immediately evacuated by the
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
To Year
Last Updated:
Feb 8, 2013
Personal Memories

Bexar made another tour of the Far East (23 October 1954 - 22 April 1955) during which she participated in the Tachen Islands Evacuation (February 1955).

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  4 Also There at This Battle:
  • Harman, Charles, PO2, (1952-1956)
  • Martin, Ed, LCDR, (1954-1974)
  • Perreault, Conrad, PO2, (1952-1956)
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