740.0011 European War 1939/33743a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Portugal (Norweb)

831. The following information has been received from Commander Naval Forces Europe March 15, 1944; subject matter approved by Navy:

In an effort to introduce a U.S. Squadron into Azores the British Ambassador will propose following formula which British have agreed upon:

Reassignment of certain coastal command squadrons required for second front preparations. It is strategically urgent and necessary to substitute for one squadron at the Azores a long range squadron [Page 21] designed for distant anti-submarine operations. As no British squadron is at hand, it is thus desired to transfer to Lagens an American squadron of 12 planes already included in the British Coastal Command and now in England.
Salazar may not know that for over a year a number of American squadrons has been included in British Coastal Command, completely manned by U.S. personnel, forming an integral part of the command, and controlled by British operations.
Salazar knows that a military commander must necessarily be free to dispose his forces as he sees fit. Therefore U.S. squadrons in Coastal Command may be stationed anywhere in the command. It follows that as Lagens is a Coastal Command station exchange of squadrons is simply a proposal put forward by operational necessity.
Prime Minister may want to know that presence of American squadron in Azores will not mean more American nationals there since personnel employed in construction work, soon to be released, approximates that of squadron.

Last sentence of paragraph (a), suggested by Commander Naval Forces Europe, is considered by him to be strongest available argument.