Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Rice Paddy Navy: U.S. Sailors Undercover In China

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden wrote a good review of an interesting book, The Rice Paddy Navy: U.S. Sailors Undercover in China.

The U.S. Navy conducting intelligence operations in the inner regions of China? Including arming and directing guerrilla bands to fight the Japanese?

As far-fetched as that might sound, such is exactly what happened in World War II, in what was one of the best kept secrets of the war. Although several books have been published about the “rice paddy navy,” Linda Kush's book is the most thorough exploration of the work of an extraordinary joint venture, the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO).

Two conflicts were being waged in China in the 1940s — the struggle against Japanese invaders and the civil war between communist insurgents and the government of Chiang Kai-shek.

The driving force behind SACO was Comdr. Milton “Mary” Miles, who had served for eight years in China in the 1920s and 1930s on river parole boats. (His feminine nickname was bestowed on him by Annapolis classmates, a takeoff on the name of the popular silent screen actress Mary Miles Minter.)

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:



  1. Thank you very much for this post, Paul. I really enjoyed researching and writing this book, and I hope readers will enjoy it too.

  2. Linda,

    I have a copy of your book and as a Navy veteran (I served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War) and the son of a Navy veteran (my father was a WWII UDT frogman in the Pacific)I look forward to reading your interesting book. I also hope to interview you in the future.