The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of War (Stimson)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to top secret telegram no. 2947 of July 13, 5 p.m.74 from the Office of the United States Political Adviser to Allied Force Headquarters at Caserta, paraphrased copies of which have been made available to the War Department, which concerns the proposed construction of an airport at Rome. It is understood that the contents of this message are already under consideration by officers of the Air Transport Command.

It will be noted from the telegram that Ciampino airport near Rome, although the best existing airport in the Rome area, is not considered to be satisfactory for technical reasons and that surveys made by engineers of the Air Transport Command and the Mediterranean Theater of Operations have disclosed a more satisfactory site for an airport which could be requisitioned, if immediate action is taken. It is further reported that the operational requirements of United States Army Forces would justify the installation of a runway, a taxi strip and hard standing as well as radio equipment.

The Department is of the opinion that every effort should be made to establish an airport in the Rome area suitable for the operation of American equipment and built in accordance with American standards. In addition to the operations of air transport services as contemplated in JCS75 paper 1151/3 and SWNCC76 paper 31/3, you are aware that the Civil Aeronautics Board has recently issued a certificate to Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc., for the operation of commercial air transport services from the United States into Rome. [Page 1328] It is obviously, therefore, in the national interest as well as desirable for military purposes that advantage be taken of the present opportunity to establish satisfactory airport facilities in Rome. It is believed that the negotiations of a peace treaty with the Italian Government will adequately safeguard the rights of the United States with respect to any airfield that may be constructed. The Department would greatly appreciate urgent favorable action being taken by the War Department on this matter and desires to be advised with respect thereto.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph C. Grew
  1. Not printed.
  2. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  3. State—War—Navy Coordinating Committee.