318. Telegram From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wheeler) to the Commander in Chief, European Command (Lemnitzer)1

JCS 001745. From CJCS.

1. Confirming telecon between Lt General Burchinal, Director, Joint Staff, and Maj General Oberbeck, J–3, USEUCOM, you are authorized to send Brigadier General Dougherty, Lt Colonel Gray and Captain Brashears to Brussels without delay. Mission of these officers will be to plan with appropriate Belgian officials use of US airlift for approximately one company of Belgian paratroopers for possible emergency parachute assault on Stanleyville, Congo, in order to free US and European hostages. C–130 aircraft for this purpose will be drawn from those available to you. It is possible that Belgians may request small airlift capability additional to that required for assault drop in order to evacuate Europeans and Americans from Stanleyville area.

2. Officers will proceed to Brussels in civilian clothes and report to Ambassador MacArthur who will put them in touch with appropriate Belgian officials. Maximum discretion in carrying out this mission mandatory.

3. Lt Colonel James E. Dunn from Joint Staff proceeding in civilian clothes ASAP to join group at American Embassy, Brussels, for purpose of keeping JCS and Secretary of Defense informed and providing any required assistance.

4. Repeat that purpose of party is planning only. Decision to execute operation is reserved to highest US governmental level.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. VI, Memos & Miscellaneous, 10/64–11/64. Top Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Wheeler. Repeated to CINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA, the Embassy in Brussels, the Department of State, and the White House.