421. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

142. Embtels 2282 and 232;3 Deptel 2520;4 STR J–3 OM 5730 (June 9).5 You requested inform Tshombe that due to other commitments and under utilization aircraft US regrets it unable reply favorably to his request retain C–130’s in Congo. You should remind him of arrival C–123 which will help fill gap. FYI only. US willing if sufficient prior notice given and in your judgment sufficient urgency exists to allow C–130’s which regularly transit Leo to stop over briefly to provide internal lift. Obviously if real crisis occurs USG willing consider request temporary detail one or more C–130’s to Congo. End FYI.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, DEF 19–8 US–THE CONGO. Secret. Drafted by Schaufele; cleared by Colonels Kennedy and Lang of DOD, Officer in Chargé of Belgian Affairs Jay P. Moffat, and McElhiney; and approved by Fredericks. Repeated to Brussels, CINCSTRIKE, and DOD.
  2. Telegram 228 from Leopoldville, August 4, transmitted the text of a letter from Tshombe stating that General Mobutu informed him that the United States had decided to withdraw the C–130 aircraft that had been assisting the Congolese forces for many months. Mobutu emphasized the grave consequences that would result from their departure, and Tshombe asked U.S. authorities to review this decision and agree to prolong their stay until the end of the year. (Ibid.) The remaining two U.S. C–130s left the Congo on August 18.
  3. Dated August 4. (Ibid.)
  4. Dated May 12. (Ibid., DEF 19–3 US–THE CONGO)
  5. Not found.