The Embassy of the Soviet Union to the Department of State

No. 261

The Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics presents its compliments to the Department of State and has the honor to communicate the following:

On December 23, 1947, at 2:15 p. m. in the region of Mys Chukotski, an American airplane violated Soviet territory by flying about seven miles along the coast of Chukotski Poluostrov at a distance of two miles from the shore.2

In communicating the foregoing, the Embassy, on instructions from the Soviet Government, requests that an investigation be made of the said case of violation of Soviet territory by an American airplane and that measures be taken for the prevention of similar violations in the future.3

  1. During 1947 and 1948, and continuing into the future, there occurred incidents of alleged violations by overflights of American airplanes of territory of the Soviet Union or of the freedom of commercial navigation by the too close approach of American airplanes to Soviet shipping. Protests were made by the Soviet Union which were investigated by the United States. Only representative incidents are illustrated, but additional documentation and details are to be found in the files of the Department of State under 711.61 and 811.2361.
  2. The Acting Secretary of State replied on April 20, 1948, to this note from the Embassy of the Soviet Union, stating that an investigation by the appropriate American authorities disclosed that an American aircraft was flying in the vicinity of Cape Chukotsk at the approximate time mentioned, but there was no indication that the Soviet frontier had been violated. The reply concluded: “American aircraft are under standing instructions to avoid any violation of the Soviet frontier.” (811.2361/1–548)