Memorandum by the Commanding General, Army Air Forces (Arnold) for the President’s Naval Aide (McCrea)1
Memorandum for Captain McCrea:
Subject: Conversion of Military Type Planes to Transport Use in India and China.
As far as I know, there is only one airplane (B–24) that has been converted to transport use for the purpose of supplying China from India.
So far, only one pilot model has been produced, and even if it is accepted as a military type airplane, it will be many months before they come out in quantity.[Page 473]
We are studying this matter now and trying to determine what effect such production will have on existing orders for bombers, critical equipment, raw materials, engines, or any other items of a critical nature. As soon as this study is completed, we will know what to do next.
Lieutenant General, U.S.A.
Commanding General, Army Air Forces
This memorandum was prepared in response to a request contained in a memorandum of June 22, 1942, from McCrea to Arnold which read as follows:
“At the last meeting of the Pacific War Council Mr. T. V. Soong asked the President if it was contemplated converting any 4-engined military type planes to transport uses for the purpose of supplying China from India. The President asked to be advised in this connection.
Would it be possible for me to have this information in time for the next meeting of the Pacific War Council on Wednesday, 24 June, at 11:30 A.M.?” (Roosevelt Papers)
Arnold’s memorandum bears the following hand-printed notation, presumably by McCrea: “This was shown to, but was not read aloud by the President at the June 25th meeting.” For the record of the Pacific War Council of June 25, see ante, p. 449.↩