306. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler)1

You are authorized to order a reconnaissance flight over the Stanleyville area, provided that the flight:

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1. Will not be carried out before Monday, November 2nd.

2. Will be made by a C–97 aircraft.

3. Proceed according to a flight plan filed in advance.

4. Fly in an altitude of 10,000 feet or above and no closer than 10 miles to Stanleyville.

Please develop the detailed operational plan for the mission and clear it with State through ISA, and then through the Country Team, before issuing the operational order to the appropriate commander.

If you have any further questions on this matter, please consult with either Mr. Vance or me.2

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 218, JCS Files, 9111 (64). Top Secret.
  2. During the October 30 meeting of the 303 Committee, Vance emphasized that the Department of Defense was insistent about the necessity of a reconnaissance flight over Stanleyville prior to the activation of any CINCSTRIKE operation in that theatre, and that a lead time of 7 days between accomplishment of the reconnaissance mission and activation of such an operation would be required. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80B01285A, 303 Committee Meetings (1964))
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates McNamara signed the original.