Roosevelt Papers

Memorandum by the Commanding General, Army Air Forces (Arnold) for the Presidents Naval Aide (McCrea)1


Memorandum for Captain McCrea:

1. Investigation of the India-China air cargo situation reveals that as of May 8 approximately 3,500,000 pounds had been transported into China from Dijan (Sadiya). The returning aircraft are reported to have evacuated several thousand people from Burma.

2. No definite statements have been received as to the amount of freight carried within the last thirty days. General Stilwell has indicated, however, that the following number of tons will be transported during the next few months:

128 tons June
264 July
400 August
400 September
400 October

[Page 468]

3. In a telegram just received from General Wheeler he makes the statement that the most favorable estimate of the capacity of the air transport link from Assam to Kunming will be 200 tons per week commencing July 10th. This appears to me to be an optimistic estimate of the air transportation capacity during the monsoon season. It is approximately double that indicated by General Stilwell.

4. It is the opinion of those who have looked into this situation, both on the spot and in Washington, that the largest single factor which will restrict a considerable increase in tonnage during the months mentioned is the unsuitable weather occuring during the monsoon season. It is reported that flying conditions in this area will show no improvement for the next three months. General Stilwell reported that the maximum planes he could handle in India and China would be 75. This number of airplanes will be furnished.

H. H. Arnold

Lieutenant-General, U.S.A.
Commanding General, Army Air Forces
  1. This memorandum came under discussion at the meeting of the Pacific War Council on June 25, 1942; for the record of that meeting, see ante, p. 449.