National Affairs: Rugged Individualist

The confusion of policy and reality in China gave the State Department another embarrassing problem this week. A fiery Danish-American named Hans Isbrandtsen, the ruggedest individual among U.S. shipowners, sent his American freighter, Flying Arrow, through the Nationalist blockade to deliver his cargo to the Chinese Communists. Two Nationalist destroyer escorts opened up on it and rifled 30 to 40 shells into the ship without hurting anyone (after missing with the first 38 shots). Then the Nationalist warships hovered by the crippled freighter.

Owner Isbrandtsen, learning that his ship was unseaworthy, wired President Truman and Defense Secretary Louis Johnson, loudly demanding the...

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