133. Memorandum From Alfred T. Wellborn of the Office of the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, to the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hilsman)1


  • AF Meeting with Agency Representatives, January 15, 1963


  • Messrs. Fredericks, Tasca and Ford (item 1), AF; Messrs. Tweedy and [name not declassified] (item 1), CIA; and Mr. Wellborn INR/DDC

1. Congo. Mr. Tweedy remarked that recently the Agency’s activities in the Congo had been very quiet on the political action front.2 It had been largely a matter of intelligence acquisition. He did, however, wish to raise the question of what should be done about the [less than 1 line not declassified] pilots who were now limited to flying in the immediate vicinity of Leopoldville. As he saw it there were two valid alternatives—either pull them out or augment their capability, generally as outlined in the proposal that had gone to the Special Group. Mr. Tweedy said that he was not at this time making any recommendation—merely [Page 189] raising the question. Mr. [name not declassified] observed that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Godley, Director of AFC, who was in favor of expanding the Congolese Government’s air capability. The Congolese Government could well use such an instrument to maintain order.3 The tribal fighting in Kasai was a case in point. Until the Congolese Air Force could develop a native capability under the Greene plan4 training, which would take months, the [less than 1 line not declassified] pilots would be very useful. Mr. Fredericks indicated he also favored providing the Congolese Government with an air force capability. Mr. Wellborn reviewed the status of the proposal—it had been approved by the Special Group but held in abeyance because of the rapid developments in the Congo right after that and the emergence of other considerations.

As Mr. Tweedy was going to get the views of the Embassy and the Station on what to do about the pilots, Mr. Wellborn suggested the field’s views and the Agency’s recommendations be submitted to the Department by [less than one line not declassified] memorandum. This could form the basis of a memorandum to Mr. Johnson, from INR incorporating AF’s recommendation.5

[Omitted here is discussion of unrelated subjects.]

  1. Source: Department of State Files, INR/IL Historical Files, AF Meetings, 1963. Secret. Sent through the Deputy Director for Coordination, Joseph W. Scott, Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
  2. Telegram 5614 from Leopoldville to CIA, January 2, reported that the “creeping coup” was crawling to a climax, and that there had been no reaction so far to Adoula’s January 1 announcement that parliament was being closed. It appeared that they might have lucked through, despite the [cryptonym not declassified] failure to take the precautionary steps recommended by the Station. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 2, Folder 1, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations)
  3. Katanga’s secession ended on January 21, 1963.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 123.
  5. At a meeting with Fredericks and G. McMurtrie Godley on March 13, Tweedy noted that the Cleveland Report considered valid the Congolese Air Force’s need for a tactical air capability represented by six Harvard aircraft and that to maintain this capability the services of non-Congolese pilots were needed for at least a year, until Congolese pilots could be trained. However, it was quite another matter to work out practical arrangements, Tweedy remarked. The [text not declassified] were now there essentially on a crash, short term basis. If their services were to be extended for a year, or probably longer as it was difficult to foresee that Congolese pilots could be trained in that time, the arrangements would have to be on an entirely different basis. (Memorandum from Alfred Wellborn to Roger Hilsman, March 13; Department of State Files, INR/IL Historical Files, AF Meetings, 1963)