321. Memorandum From Arthur McCafferty of the National Security Council Staff to Bromley Smith of the National Security Council Staff1


  • Planning for Stanleyville Operation

I have put together a small package of cables which I hope will assist you in understanding the complexities of this operation.

Tab 1 (Leo 1895)2 contains an excellent résumé of VDW plans and coordination for use of air drop (Dragon Rouge) and [less than 1 line not declassified]. VDW plans to jump off from Lubutu, approximately 225 KM from Stanleyville, about 24 November. Hopefully he will reach Stanleyville in 24 hours. He would call for air drop according to resistance capability shown by rebels as he advances. [less than 1 line not declassified] will be joined with VDW forces and act in accordance with instructions in Deptel 12353 (Tab 2). You will note that Col. Rattan will act as communicator for VDW and will communicate VDW’s views and/or desires re air drop, etc.

Tab 3 (Brussels 937)4 contains an outline of operation Dragon Rouge and Tab 4 is USCINCEUR OPLAN 319/64 (nickname Dragon Rouge). Briefly this operation calls for a U.S. airlift of approximately 550 Belgian paratroops and equipment to Stanleyville. The U.S. will supply 12 C–130E aircraft with crews, support and maintenance personnel totalling approximately 200. The force will be pre-positioned at Ascension for deployment on call by VDW (after top level decision in U.S. and Belgium). The planning is flexible at this point to permit deployment to Kamina in the Congo for refueling and final briefing and coordination with VDW or direct deployment to Stanleyville. Belgian CO plans drop on golf course, then a three-pronged attack to: A—block and control access to airport; B—clear and occupy tower and Sabena guest house; C—clear airfield. Following airstrip clearing, paratroops [Page 469] will proceed into city proper to other known areas of hostage imprisonment.

Art McCafferty5
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. VII, Memos & Miscellaneous, 11/64. Top Secret. A handwritten “S” on the memorandum indicates Smith saw it.
  2. None of the tabs is attached. Telegram 1895 from Leopoldville is dated November 15. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)
  3. Dated November 13. (Ibid.)
  4. Dated November 13. (Ibid.)
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.