The USS Panay incident was a Japanese attack on the American gunboat Panay while she was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now known as Nanjing), China on 12 December 1937. Japan and the United States were not at war at the time. The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity. Nevertheless, the attack and the subsequent Allison incident in Nanking caused US opinion to turn against the Japanese. Fon Huffman, the last survivor of the incident, died in 2008.
The astonishing newsreel footage seen here was shot by Universal News cameraman Norman Alley, and Movietone News’ Eric Mayell. Both men were covering the on-going Japanese invasion of China in the mid-1930’s, and found themselves in the thick of things in early December of 1937 as Japanese forces moved on Nanking. Fearless and tough, Alley had a reputation as an outstanding documentarian. He had filmed the sinking of the steamer Eastland in 1915, traveled with Pancho Villa during the Mexican-American War, and was gassed in the Argonne Forest while covering the front in WWI. His credo said it all: “Go to hell if you must — but bring back pictures of it!” See www.USSPanay.org for more information about this.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2K. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com