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

No. 15,033

Sir: With reference to my telegram no. 188 of March 13, 1947, I have the honor to transmit herewith a report33 submitted at my request by the retiring chief of our Air Mission in Chile.

The report in question is, I believe, self-explanatory, and contains recommendations for Chilean aircraft strength which are practical and take into consideration the many limitations under which the Chilean Air Force operates.

Hampered by severe budgetary difficulties, with limited personnel, inadequate servicing facilities and a paucity of air fields suitable for tactical aircraft, it is the Air Mission Chief’s opinion that Chile should be supplied not with many types of planes, but rather with adequate supplies of a reduced number of types which could best serve the Chilean Air Force’s present needs. Due to Chile’s long coast line, the necessity for transport planes is evident. It will be noted that, while the Interim Allocation Plan calls for the supplying of six C–47’s, the Air Mission Chief’s report recommends twelve of these planes and eighteen C–45’s (AT–11) instead of ten. Furthermore, it is suggested that Chile be supplied with six OA–10 or PBY flying boats instead of the proposed two.34

Although purchase of the planes recommended in the attached report would cost some $320,000 more than the Interim Allocation Plan’s budget, it should be borne in mind that annual operating expenditures would be cut some $307,000, an important consideration considering local budgetary difficulties.

A copy of this report has been submitted to the Chilean Air Force, but no official comments have yet been received. Nevertheless it is believed that the return of the Mitchell A–25 bombers referred to in my above-mentioned telegram would be appreciated by the Chileans, as they realize that a plane more economical to run and which can be used for transport purposes is of greater use in the long run.

Respectfully yours,

Claude G. Bowers
  1. Not printed.
  2. The C–47’s, C–45’s, and AT–11’s were transport planes; the OA–10’s and PBY’s were navy patrol planes.