122. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State0

4752. CINCPAC for POLAD. Department for Assistant Secretary Robertson from Ambassador Jones. Foreign Minister telephoned this [Page 221] morning and asked me to call at his home at 8:15 to inform me that rebel B–26 had strafed Gorontalo Sunday morning at 9 o”clock.

Since all useable airfields in Menado and vicinity are now under GOI control, including Morotai, only airport from which plane could have come, Foreign Minister said, was Sanga Sanga in Philippines. Foreign Minister said Indonesian air force wanted to follow plane and destroy it but Foreign Minister and Prime Minister prevented, not wishing to become involved in international incident in last stage of military effort. Foreign Minister said obvious reason for strafing instead of bombing was that plane could not travel distance from Sanga Sanga to Gorontalo and return with bomb load.

Foreign Minister requested that US Government make further representations to Government of Philippines along lines of previous efforts to discourage further aid to rebels. He said GOI knew that Colonel Warouw middle of May had visited both Taiwan and Korea in effort to obtain additional B–26’s and B–17’s. GOI had assumed this mission was unsuccessful in view of developments since then but Sunday strafing has caused considerable concern. At this stage it would seem in interest of all concerned to end conflict as soon as possible at least to keep conflict within framework of Indonesian internal problem. Foreign Minister said he had already instructed his Ambassador in Manila to approach Philippine Government in effort to discourage further use of Sanga Sanga by rebels.

Menado military campaign was progressing most favorably, he reported. Government troops were approaching Menado from three sides and were now within 40 kilometers of city.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/6–1758. Secret; Limit Distribution. Also sent to CINCPAC.
  2. In telegram 170258Z from Djakarta, June 17, Naval Attaché Perry Shuman reported that Sunario informed both Shuman and Cole, on instructions from Nasution, that a rebel B–26 bomber had attacked Gorontalo on June 15. “Sunario said that Nasution understands that flight was probably without our knowledge and beyond our control,” the message noted, “but desires any reassurances you may desire to make because he is being pressured by strong faction of senior Javanese colonels.” (Ibid., 756D.00/6–1758) See Supplement.

    In telegram 3799 to Djakarta, June 19, the Department informed the Embassy as follows: “You may assure SubandrioUS deplores the B–26 attack on Gorontalo and what appears to be evidence military assistance to rebels originating outside of Indonesia.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/6–1758)