825.248/220: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Chile ( Bowers )

139. Department’s 80, January 21, 10 p.m. Please inform the Chilean Government at the earliest opportunity that the Government of the United States will be glad in the interest of hemisphere defense to make available 15 AT–6 advanced training planes, together with a pilot and co-pilot for each plane who would remain for the purpose of giving such instruction to the Chilean troops as may seem desirable. These planes are effective combat aircraft for oversea missions as each carries three .30 caliber machine guns and four 100 pound bombs. The ammunition would be forwarded by ship. The Under Secretary of State discussed this matter with the Chilean representatives at Rio de Janeiro.

The planes are now in the United States and can leave for Chile about February 20. Deliveries can be made at Arica, Antofagasta or Santiago. The War Department requests to be informed as to which of these places the planes should be sent.

With reference to the payment for these aircraft, you may state that if the Chilean Government should desire to include them among the equipment which that Government may be planning to acquire under the provisions of the Lease-Lend Act, the signing of the basic agreement would greatly facilitate the delivery of these planes. Otherwise it would be necessary to follow a less convenient procedure.

During their stay in Chile the crews of these planes would be under the supervision of the United States Military Aviation Mission until the equipment is transferred to trained Chilean crews.

Please request an early reply to this offer owing to the urgent demands for planes of this type.