Ordered to Asia

General Wedemeyer served in the Asia theatre twice during World War II. The first tour was divided into two parts, one part from October 1943 to the spring of 1944 as Admiral Mountbatten’s second in Command, and the second part from the spring of 1944 to the end of the war as Commander of United States forces in China as well as in the dual capacity as Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. As Commander of the United States forces in China he replaced General “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell who was recalled by President Roosevelt. When Wedemeyer left Mountbatten’s staff in the spring of 1944 for the second part of his first Asian tour the South East Asia Command was then split into two parts, with Mountbatten retaining command over forces in India and Burma, and China being separated and placed under Wedemeyer.

The second tour of duty in China was for only two months in 1947 as a Special Ambassador to China for the purpose of making a report and recommendations concerning America’s foreign policy toward China and Korea. This chapter will deal with the circumstances surrounding Wedemeyer’s transfer to Asia, and the almost one year Wedemeyer served as Mountbatten’s Chief of Staff. The second tour of duty will be covered in Chapter VII.

A. C. Wedemeyer