There are a number of books and publications, both period and current I’ve found invaluable to understanding Marine activities in China. A small sampling of titles include:


Treading Softly, by George Clark

The United States Marines in North China 1894-1942, by Chester Biggs

Behind the Barbed Wire, by Chester Biggs

The Untied States Marines in North China, by Col. John White

From China Marine to Jap POW, by William Howard Chittenden

The Marines in China 1927-1928, by retired Marine Commandant David Shoup

The Old Corps, by BG Robert Williams

My Four Years in the Marines, by James Jodon

Yangtze Patrol, by Kemp Tolley

Far China Station, by Robert Johnson

Good-Bye to Old Peking, edited by Roger Jeans & Katie Letcher Lyle

Hold High the Torch, by Kenneth Condit

Combat Letters Home, By Maj Richard J Kennard, USMCR, Ret

Patchwork Child and Early Memories, by Brooke Astor

Foreigners within the Gates, by Michael Moser and Yeone We-Chih Moser

Never Leave Your Dead, by Diane Cameron


The Legation Guard News (LGN). A bimonthly publication produced by the Marines of the Peking Legation Guard. Publication ran from July 1922 through November 1941. Originally issued as a newspaper, sometime during 1928 it transitioned to a magazine style format. It also underwent a series of name changes (see below) and would end up becoming a monthly publication in the late 1930s.   

The Embassy Guard News. In keeping with the establishment of an embassy in China, the LGN changed its name to Embassy Guard News as of 1 October 1935.

The Peiping Marine. When a sizable portion of the Marine Detachment, Peiping was split off to serve at Tientsin, in February 1938, the Embassy Guard News changed its name to reflect Marine activities in Peiping.    

The North China Marine. After Marine detachments in Peiping and Tientsin began shrinking as a result of the ordered May 1940 draw-down, both The Peiping Marine and The Tientsin Marine were consolidated into a single magazine prior to June 1941. The last issue of this magazine was published November 1941. In 1945 Marines returning to north China reused this name for their own newspaper.

The Tientsin Marine. The monthly publication of the Marine Detachment at Tientsin, starting in December 1938 and continuing until consolidation with The Peiping Marine in mid-1941.

Walla-Walla. A weekly publication done by the 4th Marines in Shanghai. According its creators Walla Walla meant “much talk” in Chinese. In June of 1929 it shifted from a small bound broadsheet to a magazine format.  

The Orient. A slick but short-lived monthly publication started 1924 by a U.S. naval officer who left the service while in China to produce a magazine devoted to all US military activities in China. The magazine must have gone out of business within a few years of the time the Walla-Walla began publication.

The Chevron. A folding newletter produced for NCO's who were members of the 4th Marine Club, Shanghai. The copies I've examined were similar to the Walla-Walla: stories on promotions, changes to uniform regulations and stateside sports scores.

Whoops. A short lived publication started by former Marine John McElroy, highlighting Shanghai bar life, and featuring midly risque jokes, cartoons and ads for local beers.  Published 1933 and available via subscription or at selected night clubs, Whoops does not appear to have remained in publication for very long.



Legation Guard Annuals. A high school-like year book highlighting the yearly activities of the Legation guard in Peiping. At the end of 1922 the Legation Guard News published a “special holiday edition” that set the format example for future annuals. Their production was probably inspired after seeing a 15th Infantry Annual produced in the early 1920’s. Publication of Legation Guard Annuals resumed in 1929 and is known to continue through 1935. Tientsin produced its own annual for only one year covering 1939.  

4th Marine Annuals. Similar to the Legation Guard Annuals aimed at the 4th Marines in Shanghai, was known to be produced between 1931 and 1936.  

American Forces Annual. Known to have been produced 1938-1940, in Shanghai by the Mercury Press. This publication was aimed at US Marine and Naval forces stationed in, or passing through the Shanghai area. 

USS Augusta Under Fire, A private publication for the crew of the USS Augusta c.1938  

Distinguished Service, by Chaplain J.H. Brooks Regimental Chaplain 4th Marines

A Marine Among the Idols, by Claude Curtis

The Landing-Force and Small Arm Instruction, USN, 1912 ed.

The Landing-Force Manual, USN, 1912 and 1927 editions.