The Ambassador in Mexico (Messersmith) to the Secretary of State

No. 18,726

Sir: …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As a result of my last communications to you18 to the effect that the President had informed me that the squadron was ready to leave and in response to my suggestion that an officer of our air force come down here to make arrangements for the reception of the squadron by our air force in the United States for training, Colonel L. O. Ryan,19 Colonel George Braga and Colonel George Prentice20 arrived here last Friday.21 Immediately after their arrival I took them to call upon Dr. Tello, the Under Secretary of Foreign Relations, in the absence of Dr. Padilla, the Minister, who stated that he would immediately get in touch with President Avila Camacho. Colonel Ryan in the meantime and I discussed with Dr. Tello details with regard to the training of the squadron and its departure and certain procedural and financial aspects in connection with the project.

We left with Dr. Tello a secret memorandum dated July 10,22 of which a copy is transmitted with this despatch, and which is self-explanatory. Dr. Tello immediately had a translation thereof made and got it into the hands of President Avila Camacho.

President Avila Camacho received me and Colonel Ryan on July 10 at 9:30 a.m. and I discussed with him in some detail the arrangements and procedures set forth in the secret memorandum of July 10, hereto attached. The President said that the arrangements therein were satisfactory and that the squadron would be ready to leave Mexico City in order to arrive at Randolph Field in Texas on July 25. In accord with the President’s desires, Colonel Ryan was informed that he could discuss details with regard to the departure of the squadron and other details with General Guzman Cardenas, who is the Chief of Staff in the Ministry of National Defense.

Colonel Ryan has discussed with General Guzman Cárdenas the details of the sending forward of the squadron. It has been arranged [Page 1191] that the squadron will leave here by rail so that it should arrive at Randolph Field on or about July 25.23

With respect to the financial arrangements, they are clearly set forth in the appended secret memorandum of July 10 furnished me by Colonel Ryan and of which a copy was left at the Foreign Office here and came to the attention of President Avila Camacho. The financial arrangements indicated in the memorandum are satisfactory to the Mexican Government and to the President of Mexico.

In order to facilitate the financial arrangements under Lend-Lease, Dr. Tello, the Under Secretary for Foreign Relations, is addressing two notes to this Embassy. In the first note he will state that the Mexican Government wishes to send forward this squadron of the Mexican air force for training in the United States preliminary to going forward for combat duty at a combat front and he makes the request that I inform the Department of State and the War Department that the squadron is prepared to be in the United States at the place designated on or about July 25. In the second note the Foreign Office will state that it desires me to inform the Department of State and the War Department that the Mexican Embassy in Washington and the Mexican Ambassador, together with the Military Attaché, General Alamillo, will be authorized to make all arrangements with the Department of State and with the War Department with respect to such parts of the expense of the squadron which will be chargeable to the Mexican Government under Lend-Lease.

These notes the Under Secretary, Dr. Tello, will submit to President Avila Camacho at his weekly interview with him on July 13, and immediately thereafter deliver them to me and I will send them to the Department immediately.24 I am sending this preliminary information to you in order that you may know that the Mexican Government is in accord with the procedural and financial arrangements set forth in the secret memorandum of July 10, 1944, hereto appended, and that the appropriate notes will reach the Department. The Mexican Ambassador and General Alamillo will be authorized to carry on all conversations and to enter into all arrangements and to sign the documents in connection with Lend-Lease involved, with the Department of State and with the War Department.

In order to facilitate the arrangements President Avila Camacho has instructed General Alamillo to proceed to Mexico City immediately [Page 1192] and he is expected to arrive here today for instructions from the President in the foregoing sense and he will return to Washington immediately.

Colonel Ryan, Colonel Braga and Colonel Prentice have returned to Washington and immediately on the return of General Alamillo will be prepared to take up these matters with the Department of State and with the War Department.

I have wished to get this preliminary information to you in order that it may be clear that the appropriate notes from the Mexican Government giving authority on the part of the Mexican Government for the necessary understandings under Lend-Lease will go forward within a few days.

It will be noted that all the arrangements made are still on the basis of the squadron going forward for training for combat duty and that no mention is yet made of the ultimate destination. This is still necessary in view of the fact that the ultimate destination of this squadron will have to be kept secret until the Mexican Congress has given the appropriate authorization to the President of Mexico to send Mexican forces outside of this continent. It is contemplated that the training of the squadron will be completed about November 10, 1944 and that it will then be ready to go forward to a combat area.

In view of the still very secret character of this matter, I would appreciate your being good enough to take the appropriate steps to assure that this matter remains only within the knowledge of a few people in the Department and as few people as possible in the War Department in order that the appropriate secrecy with regard to the ultimate destination of the squadron may be maintained.

Respectfully yours,

G. S. Messersmith
  1. Reference is to the Ambassador’s letter dated July 2, 1944, not printed.
  2. Col. Llewellyn O. Ryan, Deputy Assistant Chief of the Air Staff for Training, United States Army Air Force.
  3. Col. George A. Braga and Col. George W. Prentice, officers in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Training.
  4. July 7.
  5. Supra.
  6. The squadron arrived at Randolph Field, Texas, July 25, for processing prior to specialized training elsewhere.
  7. Copy of the first note, Foreign Office note 2–077, dated July 11, addressed by Manuel Tello to Ambassador Messersmith, was transmitted in despatch 18,743, July 13, 1944; neither printed. Copy of the second note, Foreign Office note 2–013 dated July 19, addressed by Ezequiel Padilla to Ambassador Messersmith, was transmitted in despatch 18,996, July 20, 1944; neither printed.