The Secretary of Army (Royall) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: Reference is made to your letter, file reference CA, dated 22 October 1947,6 and inclosure, Airgram A–199 of [Page 1001] 6 October 19477 from Nanking, outlining proposals made by the Chinese Government for United States assistance in the aerial mapping of certain Chinese provinces.
The Department of the Army has the following comments and recommendations reference the proposals contained in the subparagraphs of paragraph 3, Airgram A–199 from the American Embassy, Nanking, China.
Availability of competent civilian technicians in this field who would accept an offer from the Chinese Government is severely limited. None of those solicited would accept the offer at this time. Minimum salaries were determined to range from $12,000 to $20,000 per year. An alternative would be to assign qualified Army and Air Force personnel to the Army Advisory Group, Nanking, and designate them to assist the Chinese project. This alternative will be investigated if such a course is considered necessary. It is estimated that not more than five such technicians would be required. They could perform their duties either in civilian clothes or military uniform, whichever is appropriate. It is pointed out that the number of military personnel assigned to this project will increase the total U. S. personnel in China by a corresponding number.
Approved without change.
Approved providing all expenses other than training and actual participation be paid by the Chinese Government.
The Chinese Government can be furnished five B–25 aircraft stripped of armament. An effort will be made to replace aircraft rendered ineffective by attrition; however, replacement will depend upon the availability of surplus aircraft of this type and replacement parts.
Because of meager amount of terrain information now available of interior provinces and the limited scope of the project envisioned by the Chinese Government, it is considered that procurement of trimetrogon photography will be far more beneficial than single lens vertical photography. Trimetrogon photography will permit production of adequate charts at a scale of 1:250,000. Accordingly, it is requested that the Chinese Government give consideration to the use of this equipment which can be furnished for installation in the B–25 aircraft. In addition, sufficient film and use of Pacific theater laboratory facilities can be provided for processing exposed film.
Priorities for accomplishing the aerial survey, as expressed by the [Page 1002] Chinese Government, are acceptable to the Department of the Army and are as follows: Sinkiang, Kansu, Ningsia, Suiyuan, and Chahar.