The Rice Paddy Navy

U.S. Sailors Undercover in China

The Rice Paddy Navy cover

The Rice Paddy Navy

U.S. Sailors Undercover in China


A detailed history of SACO-“the rice paddy navy”-the U.S. Navy's accomplished, top-secret, covert operation in China during World War II.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy knew it would need vital information from the Pacific. After a meeting and a handshake agreement with Chiang Kai-shek, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization was born.

This top-secret network worked hand in hand with the Nationalist Chinese to fight the Japanese occupation of China while it intercepted Japanese code, laid mines, and trained Chinese peasants in guerrilla warfare. Its work supplied critical information to the U.S. and contributed to the felling of more than 70,000 Japanese – while losing only five of their own men.

SACO – “the rice paddy navy” – was one of the best-kept secrets of the war. Linda Kush uncovers the military accomplishments and political wrangling that colored one of the most successful and little known efforts of World War II.

Table of Contents

PART 1 Setting the Stage for the Rice Paddy Navy
Chapter 1 The U.S. Navy Mission in China
Chapter 2 A Handshake Creates the Sino–American Cooperative Organization

PART 2 A Strange Cast in a Strange Drama
Chapter 3 China in Turmoil
Chapter 4 Dai Li and Milton Miles

PART 3 SACO From the Ground Up
Chapter 5 Building the Rice Paddy Navy
Chapter 6 Happy Valley, SACO Headquarters
Chapter 7 Backstage SACO: India and Over the Hump

PART 4 SACO's Battle Within the U.S. Military
Chapter 8 SACO and the OSS: A Shaky Alliance
Chapter 9 A Landlocked Navy in Stormy Seas

PART 5 Operations and the SACO Experience
Chapter 10 Teaching: A Learning Experience
Chapter 11 Doing Something About the Weather
Chapter 12 Intelligence: Radios, Spies, and Coast Watchers
Chapter 13 Life as a SACO
Chapter 14 Secret Adventures Revealed

PART 6 Amazing Groups Among Remarkable Men
Chapter 15 The Yangtze River Raiders
Chapter 16 The Crown Jewel on the Gobi Desert
Chapter 17 The Sailors and the Flyboys
Chapter 18 Adventures with Pirates, a Princess, and a Priest

PART 7 The Adventure's End
Chapter 19 It's All Over
Chapter 20 Wrapping Up and Looking Back

Selected Bibliography

Product details

Published 20 Nov 2012
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 304
ISBN 9781782003120
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 15 b/w; 10 col
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Linda Kush

Linda Kush is a freelance writer whose work has ap…


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