811.2361/12–447: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union


57. Based on Air Force and Navy inquiry into alleged violations Sov territory by American aircraft reported Embtel 3319 Dec 41 reply to Sov note should take following line:

Careful inquiry has been made by appropriate American authorities into alleged violations Sov territory by American aircraft. Investigation discloses that at 2138 hrs Greenwich time Aug 2 single US naval aircraft on ice reconnaissance mission sighted and passed over Sov trawler Temp approx 35 miles northeast of Cape Wellen. Aircraft passed trawler at distance of about one mile. When vessel sighted by US aircraft it was on high seas and not in Sov territorial waters.

Re alleged violations state frontiers USSR by flights over Kurile Islands Oct 28 and 29 investigation reveals only flights US aircraft this area dates mentioned were departure two US Piper Cub planes on Hokkaido-Alaska stage world-circling flight. For reason of safety on this dangerous stage of flight Piper Cubs were accompanied by Army B–17 based Japan. Three planes took off from airport Hokkaido Oct 28. Escort plane returned to its base Oct. 29. Flight log indicates planes did not pass over Sov islands either outward or return flight.

US planes are under standing instructions from appropriate authorities to avoid violation of Sov frontiers. On basis info disclosed by investigation however USGov convinced no violation Sov frontiers occurred in cases cited and accordingly unable accept protest made in reference note.2

FYI foregoing cleared with Air Forces and Navy.

  1. Not printed. This telegram contained a full summary of the Foreign Ministry’s note No. 374 of December 1, 1947.
  2. The Embassy in the Soviet Union incorporated this reply in its note No. 32 to the Foreign Ministry on January 19, 1948.