The Director of the Office of Strategic Services (Donovan) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Two of our men, Captain Ilia Tolstoy and Lieutenant Brooke Dolan, are being sent on a mission via India and Tibet to General Stilwell1 in China.

This office, therefore, requests that the State Department should instruct the head of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, India, to expedite the obtaining of a permit from the British authorities in India for Ilia Tolstoy and Brooke Dolan to enter Tibet, by way of India, and to be allowed freedom of travel in Tibet in so far as the British are able to grant it without the necessity of returning to India.

Our military authorities in India will verify and confirm this mission to the State Department representatives in New Delhi in order that negotiations with the British authorities, civil and military, may be facilitated.

This mission is of strategic importance and we hope will prove of long term value in the furtherance of the war effort in the Asiatic theatre.

We are keeping this project most secret and we feel it desirable to avoid any mention of the military status of these two men in any negotiations. When they personally contact American State Department and Military authorities in India, the matter can be discussed and arranged in fullest confidence with the British. Certain British authorities in India are already informed as to the nature of their mission.


William J. Donovan
  1. Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in China, Burma, and India.