Prince Mansur, Saudi Arabian Minister of Defense, left Saudi Arabia on April 21 for Paris, the first stop on a trip to the United States for medical treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Telegram 6668 from Paris, May 2, reported that Mansur had died on May 1 at an American hospital in Paris (786A.11/5–251). Telegram 680 from Jidda, May 20, reported that Prince Misha’al, 11th son of King Saud, had been appointed new Minister of Defense and head of Civil Aviation (786A.13/5–2051).
A letter from Burton Berry to Major James H. Burns, dated August 24, recommended that the Department of Defense invite the new Minister of Defense to visit the United States as the guest of the Secretary of Defense. The Department of State considered the visit timely in view of the recently concluded agreements with Saudi Arabia for military assistance and Dhahran Airfield and suggested it might be desirable for the Minister of Defense to see in action some of the equipment recommended for Saudi Arabia by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (786A.13/8–2451) A reply by Frank Nash, dated September 5, accepted [Page 1068] the recommendation and requested the Department of State to invite Prince Misha’al on behalf of the Secretary of Defense (786A.13/9–551).
Telegram 177 from Jidda, October 1, advised the Department of State that the Minister of Defense accepted the invitation and would visit the United States in November (786A.13/10–131). A Department of the Air Force memorandum, dated November 6, contained a copy of the itinerary of the Saudi Arabian party and biographical information on its members. They were scheduled to arrive in the United States on November 12, and the official visit was scheduled to last until December 6. It included visits to numerous Air Force bases, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and tank and automobile factories in Detroit. (786A.11/11–651) Documentation on the visit is in Department of State files 786A.11, 786A.13, and 786A.58.