Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

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David Thompson
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by David Thompson » 26 Jan 2010 16:47

An off-topic post from Sid Guttridge was deleted by this moderator - DT.

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Andy H
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Andy H » 27 Jan 2010 12:20

From the link provided by Sid

http://www.laahs.com/index.php?option=c ... &f=2&t=182

Regards

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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by David Thompson » 27 Jan 2010 14:58

Another off-topic post from Sid Guttridge was removed by this moderator - DT.

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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Anon mouse » 28 Jan 2010 04:33

USAF HISTORICAL STUDY NO. 63

ACQUISITION OF AIR BASES IN LATIN AMERICA
JUNE 1939 – JUNE 1943

- - - - EXTRACT - - - - EXTRACT - - - - EXTRACT - - - - EXTRACT - - - - EXTRACT - - - -

From Chapter IV – Acquisition of Air Bases in Central and South America and the Antilles by the Caribbean Defense Command, pages 89 – 101 with corresponding footnotes and maps

BASES IN ECUADOR

After Pearl Harbor, Ecuador immediately offered the United States the use of her coast for the establishment of such military bases as might be deemed necessary.10 Although Talara was preferred as the southernmost Pacific patrol terminal, the willingness of the Ecuadorean government to make its Salinas area immediately available prompted General Andrews (NB - Major General Frank M Andrews, Commanding General Panama Canal Department Air Force) on 13 January 1942 to notify the American Minister in Quito of his intention to establish an air base at this site.11
Following a reconnaissance of the Salinas area by Army and Navy officers, Brigadier General Edwin B. Lyon of the Caribbean Defense Command and a naval representative met with the Ecuadorean Minister of National Defense, upon the invitation of the American Minister, to discuss the establishment of a joint base at Salinas. On 24 January 1942, an agreement was signed which authorized the Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command to construct landing fields in the Salinas district and General. Andrews directed that the development of the base be started at once.12
During this same period, the State Department was discussing with the Ecuadorean Government a cooperative defense agreement between the two governments, In order to maintain harmony between the proposed defense agreement and the negotiations for the Salinas base, the State Department had instructed the American Minister that the United States did not desire either to purchase or lease defense sites; instead, the Government of Ecuador was expected to conduct all land acquisitions, and the United States would reimburse her for reasonable expenses incurred in these transactions.13 This directive was followed in the formulation of the 24 January agreement. General Lyon agreed to recommend that the sum of $35,000 be paid immediately to Ecuador to cover expropriation and indemnization costs with the understanding that this sum would represent the total cost assumed by the United States for the Salinas base rights. The agreement was to remain in force until one year after the signing of the peace treaties that would end World War II and was subject to renewal after the expiration date if both governments concurred.14
On 2 February 1942, the United States and Ecuador signed a Hemispheric Defense Agreement for the period of the emergency with the stipulation that it would remain in force until a later date if a threat of aggression by a non-American power against an American power should exist.15 A few days later, the Ecuadorean Foreign Minister notified the American Minister that his Government: wished to make the following changes in the 24 January agreement:

(1) The addition of a specific statement that the United States would not acquire ownership of the land upon which the defense sites would be situated.
(2) The addition of an article authorizing the Ecuadorean officials to inspect the Salinas base.
(3) The incorporation of an article to the effect that the Agreement would remain in effect only so long as the Hemispheric Agreement of 2 February was operative.
(4) The incorporation of a provision for the disposition of base facilities upon the termination of the Agreement.

Irrespective of the $35,000 payment, Ecuador wanted it understood that these concessions were freely granted as a part of her contribution to the defense of the Western Hemisphere.16
In mid-February, General Andrews recommended to the War Department that the above changes be adopted and, soon thereafter, sent Colonel Serafin M. Montesinos of the United States Army as his personal representative to discuss the proposed changes with the Ecuadorean officials. The negotiations were concluded quickly in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and the amendment to the 24 January agreement was signed by the two Governments on 20 February.17
Colonel Montesinos delivered the check for $35,000 to the Ecuadorean Finance Minister who, in turn, designated a commission to begin evaluating the expropriation costs of Salinas properties required for the air base. Within a week after the commission had begun its work, the Ecuadorean Treasurer notified Colonel Montesinos that inflated land prices, high costs of building materials, and exorbitant claims by property owners, necessitated an increase in the expropriation costs to $80,000, as determined by the commission.18 General Andrews found it difficult to under stand why the original figure would not satisfy the expropriation costs. He observed that, prior to the signing of the 24 January agreement, the Ecuadorean officials had estimated this sum to run less than $18,000 and, in order to provide a flexible margin; General Lyon had almost doubled this figure. General Andrews pointed out that the funds were not intended to be used for land purchases since title to the real estate would vest in Ecuador, that Ecuador was already receiving substantial financial assistance from the United States in the form of Lend Lease funds, grants, and loans, and that, upon the termination of the war, Ecuador would receive the Salinas base, valued at several hundred thousand dollars, without cost. Noting the recent willingness of Peru to have an air base established at Talara, Andrews warned that the refusal of the Ecuadorean Government to abide by the provisions of the Salinas Agreement might necessitate greater use of the Talara site and a de-emphasis of Air Force activities at Salinas.19
By the summer of 1942, it became evident that the expropriation costs for the Salinas site could not be contained within the $35,000 limit and an additional sum of $16,560 was presented to the Ecuadorean Government as liquidation of all claims against the United States under the agreement of 24 January, as amended. At approximately the same time, it was determined that the Salinas area would have to be enlarged to meet existing defense requirements. On 27 July, Colonel Montesinos, accompanied by the American Ambassador, and other military representatives, conferred with President Carlos Arroyo del Rio who granted permission to make the extension to the base. The United States agreed to make rental payments, based on an annual computation, to all property owners in the affected area beginning on the date that military forces occupied the Salinas area. President Arroyo del Rio agreed to send a representative to Salinas to act as coordinator in effecting the additional acquisitions.20
By late September, United States and Ecuadorean officials had completed a joint survey of the additional lands required at Salinas and defined the precise metes and bounds of the enlarged base. On 1 October 1942, Colonel Montesinos and a representative of the Ecuadorean Government signed an agreement for the new area which became the second amendment to the 24 January agreement, The United States agreed to pay the sum of $20,000 to defray expropriation and indemnization expanses involved in the additional acquisitions, which made a total outlay of $71,500 for the entire area. Ecuador authorized the United States to begin construction immediately on the enlarged site.21
Feeling that a more formal agreement than the one signed on 24 January might be desired to protect United States interest in the Salinas base, the War Department in mid-June 1942 forwarded to General Andrews a draft agreement, drawn up by Department staff officers, for study and recommendation. In general, the proposal embodied the provisions of the 24 January agreement, as amended, and provided for the addition of other defense areas in the future. The War Department observed that, should Andrews approve the draft, it would be submitted to the State Department for further consideration.22
While conceding that the proposed draft agreement was an improvement over the existing Salinas Agreement, General Andrews felt that more would be lost than gained by reopening negotiations since Ecuador considered the 24 January agreement as something more than informal. He further indicated that the United States might be compelled to pay higher expropriation costs to the Ecuadorean Government under a new agreement. The War Department concurred in Andrews’ recommendations.23 Hence, the agreement of 24 January 1942, as amended on 20 February and 1 October, continued to serve as the basic authority for the establishment and occupation of the Salinas air base by the Army Air Forces during World War II.
Defense considerations in Ecuador were not confined to the mainland, Soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, General Andrews had appointed a board composed of Army and Navy officers to determine how Ecuador's Galapagos Islands could be used in joint defense operations. On 6 January 1942, the board recommended the establishment of a combined Army-Navy air base on Seymour Island and the construction of auxiliary fighter bases at other sites on the Galapagos archipelago to afford protection during the building phase. Two days later, General Andrews authorized work on the Seymour Island Airdrome; War Department approval followed on 14 Jaauary.24 At Andrews’ request, the American Minister conferred with the Ecuadorean officials in late January and found them favorably disposed toward the establishment of the Galapagos base.25
During the early part of February, Colonel Montesinos held several conferences with the Ecuadorean authorities for the purpose of negotiating an agreement for the use of the proposed base. As a result of these meetings, a draft agreement, similar in terms to the Salinas Agreement, was drawn up and presented to the Ecuadorean Minister of Defense on 24 February.26 Three days later, the Defense Minister informed Colonel Montesinos that, while authority was granted for the most essential construction to proceed at the Galapagos base, the conclusion of a permanent agreement for the site would be postponed until the United States reached a final settlement with his Government in regard to Lend Lease matters, already under discussion for more than a year.27
By May 1942, the Galapagos Islands were considered essential to long range defense plans for the protection of the Panama Canal; consequently, General Andrews directed Colonel Montesinos to sign no agreement with the Ecuadorean Government which might limit the use of the Galapagos base to the war period.28 At the same time, Andrews informed the American Minister in Quito that the continued occupation of the Galapagos base under the existing informal arrangement would be preferred to that under a formal agreement.. Because of his inability to gain access to the details of the prolonged discussions between the two Governments about the islands General Andrews was apprehensive about signing any local agreement for fear of prejudicing State Department objectives. He did suggest, however, that the State Department approach the Ecuadorean Government in regard to arriving at a long term agreement for the occupation of the Galapagos base.29
General Andrews followed up the above suggestion on 16 May by recommending to the War Department that the United States acquire by purchase or long term lease the entire Galapagos Archipelago through negotiations with Ecuador, for the following reasons:

(1) Seymour Island, site of the main air base, lacked a water supply, while sufficient quantities existed In. the other islands.
(2) Potential air warning sites were available on the other islands.
(3) It was necessary for the United States to have jurisdiction over the entire population of the Archipelago to protect the military installations from acts of espionage and sabotage.
(4) The control of the islands by a single government, as opposed to two, would lessen administrative difficulties and misunderstandings.30

After discussing the proposal with the State and Navy Departments, the War Department notified Andrews on 6 June that an attempt by the United States to gain sovereignty over the Galapagos Islands would be contrary to national policy and, consequently, could not be approved. Since it was anticipated that the Ecuadorean Government would demand material assistance from the United States in return for the use of the Islands, the War Department recommended the conclusion of a temporary agreement for the Galapagos base while the question of assistance to Ecuador was being resolved at a higher level.31
During the rest of the summer, the Galapagos base agreement remained in abeyance. When General Andrews suggested on 21 June that Army and Navy officers meet with the American Minister in Ecuador to draw up a wartime agreement for the Seymour Island air base, the Minister replied that no action could be taken on this proposal until appropriate instructions were received from the State Department.32
Upon learning through diplomatic channels that Ecuador was prepared to begin discussions on the Galapagos base agreement, General Andrews in mid-September submitted to the War Department a copy of the draft agreement which had been prepared by Colonel Montesinos in consultation with Ecuadorean officials on 24 February and recommended that it be used as a basis of negotiations. On 27 September, Andrews was notified that the War and Navy Departments had approved the draft; with the incorporation of minor changes, the State Department gave its approval one week later. The American Ambassador presented the proposed agreement to President Arroyo del Rio on 5 October and to his Defense Minister on the following day. Several days later, the President informed the Ambassador that negotiations for the Galapagos agreement would have to await consideration of the draft by the Foreign Relations Committee before further action could be taken, since the Ecuadorean Congress was then in session.33
Five months passed before discussion of an agreement for the Galapagos Islands was again revived.34 In reply to a request by Lieutenant General George H, Brett, successor to General Andrews as Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command, on 12 March 1943, Colonel Montesinos made a resume of the Galapagos negotiations and recommended that the Islands be purchased or leased for a period of 99 years, He pointed out that, under the proposed agreement presented to the Ecuadorean Government on 5 October, the United States would be obligated to evacuate the Seymour Island base at the end of the war, and he urged that the Ecuadorean Government not be pressed to sign the accord.35 General Brett incorporated the recommendations of Colonel Montesinos in a letter to the War Department on 16 March and, two weeks later, the Department stated that, unless the Ecuadorean Government reopened negotiations, the military authorities should continue to use the Galapagos base under the existing informal arrangement. If negotiations should be revived, however, the War Department promised to impress again upon the State Department the military necessity for securing permanent operational control of the Islands.36
Six months later, on 28 September 1943, General Brett informed the War Department that the time was appropriate for initiating negotiations with the Ecuadorean Government for a formal written agreement, granting the United States permanent operational control over the Galapagos Archipelago. Several days earlier, Brett had learned that a proposal was before the Ecuadorean Congress to elevate the Islands from the status of a territory to that of a province because of its strategic defense importance to the Republic. General Brett feared that this change would make it virtually impossible for the United States to gain permanent rights over the Islands in the future. Two weeks later, the War Department expressed full sympathy with the General’s recommendation and stated that it would urge the State Department to begin negotiations at once.37 At an informal meeting with the Ecuadorean Defense Minister on 2 December, Colonel Montesinos was told that both the Executive and Legislative bodies of the Government desired to execute a formal agreement for the Galapagos Islands.38
Two days later, the State Department informed its ambassador in Ecuador that should the Ecuadorean Government so desire, a representative of the Caribbean Defense Command would be available to sign the Galapagos agreement at any time. Despite the apparent willingness of Ecuador to reopen negotiations at this time, the resumption of discussions did not materialize. * 39
Before six months had passed, a revolution on 28 May 1944 removed from power the officials of the Arroyo del Rio administration who had participated in the negotiations for a Galapagos agreement. 40
By early June, the United States recognized the new government of Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra.41 In the meantime, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had forwarded to the State Department a statement of postwar requirements for military facilities in the Galapagos Islands. Observing that the proposed Galapagos agreement did not even meet the minimum military requirements, the State Department informed its Ambassador in Ecuador to consider the proposed accord on the basis of tactics rather than content, Since it was not felt that the time was right for negotiating a permanent agreement, the Ambassador was authorized to sign the temporary draft under the following conditions:

(I) The agreement would remain in effect for a period of five years, thereafter to continue In operation until either Government notified the other of its intention to terminate the accord. The agreement would end one year from the date of notification.
(2) Prior to signing the agreement, the Ambassador would inform the Ecuadorean Defense Minister that the United States reserved the right to negotiate a more permanent accord at a later date. The matter of compensation for the Islands would not be a topic of discussion by the American representatives.
(3) If it would not delay the execution of the agreement, two articles should be incorporated in the instrument: the first, providing that, during the term of the agreement, the Ecuadorean Government would not grant commercial, military, or property rights in the Islands to any third Government or National without first securing permission from the United States; the second, Ecuadorean officials would not participate in the supervision and inspection of the defense areas on the Islands.42

On 25 July, the War Department radioed General Brett to detail a general officer to Ecuador to participate with the Ambassador in the Galapagos negotiations.43 In view of the importance of the discussions, Brett personally conferred with the Ambassador on 1 August and decided that it would be impossible to secure a temporary agreement beyond the existing verbal arrangement for the use of the Islands. The State Department advised the Ambassador that, if an agreement were not concluded by 10 August, it would be preferable to begin negotiations on a postwar agreement. The demands for extensive modifications of the draft agreement by the Ecuadorean officials and the realization by the State Department that the United States forces would be committed to a definite termination date if a long-term agreement were not signed within five years resulted in the abandonment of hope for securing a favorable wartime agreement with Ecuador for the use of the Galapagos Islands.44 The Air Forces continued to use the Seymour Island base for the remainder of World War II under verbal authority from the Ecuadorean Government.45

* A review of available documents does not explain why negotiations were not resumed.
- - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Notes 10 through 45, Chapter IV

10. Radio #118, TAG 20 CG CDC, 11 Dec 41, in CDC 686 War Files,

11. Hist. Caribbean Air Force, 8 May 41-6 Mar 42, in USAF HD 462.01, pp. 497- 503; Hist. Sixth Air Force, 6 Mar 42-27 May 43, in USAF HD 465.01, pp. 219-26; Radio, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 13 Jan 42, in CDC 686 War Files. Maj Gen Davenport Johnson, CG CAF, preferred the development: of the Guayaquil site to Salinas since commercial airways facilities were in operation at the former while an entirely new installation would have to be constructed at the latter site.

12. Ltr, US Minister, Ecuador to CG CDC, 16 Jan 42, in CDG 092.2 Treaties and Agreements with Ecuador; CDC Historical Study, Salinas, Preliminary Historical Study, in OCMH 8-2.9, AP, pp. 24-25.

13. Ltr, US Minister, Ecuador to CG CDC, 16 Jan 42, in CDC 092.2 Treaties and Agreements with Ecuador.

14. Agreement Between the United States and Ecuador for the Salinas Base, 24 Jan 42, in CDC 092.2 Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador.

15. US-Ecuador Hemispheric Defense Agreement, 2 Feb 42, in US Aviation Agreements, in ACJAS- 4 file.

16. CDC Historical Study, Salinas, Preliminary Historical Study, in OCMH 8-2.9, AP, pp. 25-26.

17. Ibid. ; Amendment to Agreement Between the United States and Ecuador for the Salinas Base, 20 Feb 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador. In regard to point #4, it was agreed that the base facilities would become the property of Ecuador upon termination of the agreement,

18. Ltr, US Minister, Ecuador to GG CDC, 17 Apr 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador,

19. Ltr, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 23 Apr 42, in CDC 092.2 Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador.

20. CDC Historical Study, Salinas , Preliminary Historical Study, in OCMH 8-2.9, AP, pp.30-31; CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation, and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC files, pp.35-36; Incl #1 to Note #3316, US Amb, Ecuador to CG CDC, 28 Jul 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador. It should be noted that General Andrews disapproved of the precedent established by the Ecuadorean Expropriation Commission in charging the United States for the cost of privately owned lands situated within the Salinas base area. At the 27 July conference, the Ecuadorean President assured Colonel Montesinos that his Government would acquire title to all lands initially and then deliver the parcels to the United States for defense purposes; in the case of public lands, there would be no charge for their use by the United States,

21. Second amendment to Agreement Between the United States and Ecuador for the Salinas Base, 1 Oct 42, j, CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador.

22. Ltr, TAG to CG CDC, subj: Defense Site Agreement with Ecuador, 12 Jun 42, AG 380(6-11-42) MS-3, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador.

23.1st Ind (ltr, TAG to CG CDC, Subj: Defense Site Agreement with Ecuador, 12 Jun 42), CG CDC to TAG, 21 Jun 42, AG 380(6-12-42) MS-3, in CDC 092.2 Treaties and Agreements - Ecuador,

24, Report of Proceedings of Committee of Officers at Quarry Heights, 6 Jan 42, in AA.G 680.1, Galapagos Islands; Memo for Chief Engr CDC from C/S CDC, subj: Establishment Army Air Base, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, 8 Jan 42, in AAG 680.1, Galapagos Islands; Radios Nos.130, CG CDC to TAG, 9 Jan 42 and 84, TAG to CG CDC, 14 Jan 42, in CDC War Files.

25, Ltr, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 21 Jan 42, in AAG 686, Galapagos; ltr, US Minister, Ecuador to CG CDC, 3 Feb 42, in AAG 040, American Ambassador to Ecuador.

26. Ltr, Col S. M. Montesinos to CG CDC, subj: U. S. Base, Galapagos Archipelago, 2 Mar 42, in AAG 686 Galapagos. The draft agreement provided that:
(1) The United States would construct landing fields and accompanying facilities for air and naval operations in the Galapagos Archipelago.
(2) It would be in effect for the period of the war with option of United States occupancy continuing thereafter, if, in the opinion of the two Governments, danger of aggression should continue to exist.
(3) The expropriation proceedings for the land comprising the defense areas would be conducted by Ecuador. The United States would compensate the Ecuadorean Government for the amount of reasonable indemnification brought about by these proceedings; however, no rent or other compensation would be paid for the use of the defense areas.
(4) The title to the lands in question would remain with the Ecuadorean Government and that Government would retain full sovereignty over the defense areas at all times.
(5) The United States would abandon the subject lands or any part thereof by giving Ecuador advanced notice of such intentions. All fixed improvements would become the property of the Ecuadorean Government after abandonment of the defense area by the United States.
(6) The United States would be permitted to use any additional areas in Ecuador for defense purposes by supplemental agreement at any time during the period of the agreement for the remaining period of the agreement on the same terms contained in this agreement and included as additional annexes, unless there should be special reasons to the contrary.
[See Draft of "Agreement for the Use and Operation of the United States Defense Areas in the Galapagos Archipelago, " in AAG 092.2 Treaties and Agreements, US - Ecuador.]

27. Ltr, Col S. M, Montesinos to CG CDC, subj: U. S. Base, Galapagos Archipelago, 2 Mar 42, in AAG 686 Galapagos.

28. Memo for Col S. M. Montesinos from CG CDC, 9 May 42, in CDC 092.2 Treaties and Agreements, US - Ecuador.

29. Ltr, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 10 May 42, in AAG 686 Ecuador; ltr, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 14 May 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US - Ecuador.

30. Ltr, CG CDC to TAG, subj: Galapagos Islands, 16 May 42, in LUG 686 Galapagos.

31.1st Ind (ltr, CG CDC to TAG, subj: Galapagos Islands, 16 May 42), TAG to CG CDC, 6 Jun 42, in AAG 686 Galapagos.

32, Ltr, CG CDC to US Minister, Ecuador, 21 Jun 42, in AAG 686 Galapagos; CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC Files, pp. 47-48.

33. Memo for CG CDC from US Amb, Panama, 16 Sep 42, m CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Galapagos; ltr, CG CDG to TAG, subj: Agreement re Base in the Galapagos Islands, 17 Sep 42,. in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Galapagos; 1st Ind (Itr, CG CDC to TAG, subj: Agreement re Base in the Galapagos Islands, 17 Sep 421, TAG to CG CDC, 27 Sep 42, in CDG 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Galapagos; ltr, US Amb, Panama to CG CDC, 2 Oct 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Galapagos; ltr, CG CDC to US Amb, Ecuador, 4 Oct 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US- Galapagos; CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC Files, p. 51; ltr, US Amb, Panama to CG CDC, 15 Oct 42, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Ecuador.

34. In the meantime, preparations were being made in Washington for the visit of the Ecuadorean President. Anticipating the fact that the status of the Galapagos Islands would be a topic of conversation between the two parties, General George C. Marshall suggested to Admiral William D. Leahy, Advisor to the President, on 22 November 1942 that this occasion would be a propitious time to reach an agreement with the President of Ecuador on the use of the Galapagos Islands by United States military forces. It was felt that the recent successes of American military forces in North Africa might create a favorable psychological climate for such discussions. Realizing the importance of the Galapagos Archipelago in the defense of the Panama Canal, General Marshall stated that the United States should secure permanent operational rights there. While various political factors would determine the manner in which such rights would be secured, ranging from outright purchase to an agreement for special operational privileges, General Marshall felt that, from a military point of view, any agreement with regard to the Galapagos Islands should make provision for the following minimum requirements:
(1) The exercise of complete control by the United States over the Seymour Islands and the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island.
(2) The right to establish certain defense installations under the control of the United States on any of the Galapagos Islands for the protection of the air base on South Seymour Island.
(3) The right of United States military aircraft and vessels to operate freely in the entire Galapagos Islands.
(4) The privilege of shipping personnel and equipment to the Islands without the requirement of paying duty or taxation to the Ecuador e m Government.
(5) The right to obtain water from San Cristobal Island.
In conclusion, General Marshall pointed out that the rapidly mounting financial investment by the United States in the Galapagos Islands, estimated to eventually approach $8,000,000, might cause the Ecuadorean officials to demand an excessive value as compensation for the use of the Islands, if negotiations between the two Governments were protracted. In late 1942, President Roosevelt met with President Arroyo del Rio of Ecuador in Washington and, while the Galapagos Islands question was discussed, no understanding was reached in regard to a formal agreement for the use of the Islands by the military forces of the United States, [See Memo for Admiral Leahy from General George C. Marshall, 22-NOV 42, in AAG 381 CDC Operations and Defense of Galapagos and Salinas; and, CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC Files, p. 57.]

35, Memo for Col S. M. Montesinos from GG CDC, 12 Mar 43, in AAG 381 Galapagos; Memo for CG CDC from Col. S. M. Montesinos, 13 Mar 43, in AAG 381 Galapagos.

36. Ltr, CG CDC to C/S WD, subj: The Galapagos Islands, 16 Mar 43, in AAG 381 Galapagos; 1st Ind (ltr, CG CDC to C/S WD, subj: The Galapagos Islands, 16 Mar 43), TAG to CG CDC, 30 Mar 43, in AAG 381, Galapagos.

37. Ltr, CG CDC to TAG, subj: Galapagos Islands, 28 Sep 43, in. AAG 381, Galapagos; ltr, TAG to CG CDC, subj: Galapagos Islands, 11 Oct 43, in AAG 381, Galapagos; CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC files, p. 63.

38. Memo for CG CDC from Col S. M. Montesinos, subj: Conversation held with General Alberta C. Romero, Minister of National Defense of Ecuador, 2 Dec 43, in AAG 381 Galapagos.

39. CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC files, 11. 67-69. Two events occurred at this time; the absence of the Ecuadorean President from Quito and a recommendation by the Aviation Sub-committee of the House Committee on Military Affairs that the United States acquire permanent military rights in the Galapagos Islands. In view of the former, the Ambassador was unable to immediately convey the State Department's message of 4 December and, in respect to the latter, the Ambassador was concerned lest this report be publicized and thereby jeopardize the execution of the Galapagos agreement. The effect of these two events on the negotiations between the two Governments can not be determined from available sources.

40. Austin F, MacDonald, Latin American Politics and Government (New York, 1949), 17, pp. 446-48; Arthur P. Whitaker (editor), Inter-American Affairs, -1944 ( New York, 1945), pp.36- 38.

41. Whitaker, Inter-American Affairs, 1944, pp. 251- 52.

42. Radio, TAG to CG CDC, 25 Jul 44, in CDC 092.2, Treaties and Agreements, US-Ecuador [enclosing State Dept. Dispatch to US Amb to Ecuador]

43. Ibid.

44. CDC Historical Study, Procurement, Occupation and Use of Air Bases in the Galapagos Islands, and at Salinas, Ecuador, in CDC Files, pp. 74-76, 78-79.

45. The air base in the Galapagos Islands was actually located on Baltra Island, immediately south of and adjacent to Seymour Island. The initial designation of the location as Seymour Island was probably due to the lack of accurate maps of the area and insufficient information in respect to the Locality. Since the Army referred to the site as Seymour Island initially, the air base in the Galapagos Islands was referred to by that designation during World War II, if for no other reason, to prevent confusion. [See CDC Historical Study, Construction and Real Estate Activities the Caribbean Defense Command, 1 Nov 46, in OCMH 8-2.8, AL, Vol. IT, p. 609.]

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Jan 2010 12:57

Hi Anon,

This has been referred to earlier on the original ".....Panama....." thread and the full text can be found on:

http://www.afhra.af.mil/shared/media/do ... 01-032.pdf

Unfortunately it doesn't address the issue of whether there was a preceding Ecuadoran airfield, for which sources were claimed but never produced.

In any event, it is a useful text and it is good to see someone posting a real source.

Cheers,

Sid.


P.S. In the event that this post is also deemed off-topic, I include the following in the hope that it saves a little time (please delete above as appropriate):

"Another off-topic post from Sid Guttridge was removed by this moderator - DT."

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Andy H
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Andy H » 23 Apr 2010 01:33

Thought this may be of interest:
THE HEPBURN REPORT got the Navy "into production" on bases. This expansion, however, was almost entirely of facilities of conventional design, not of a mobile type adapted to the war which impended. Th germ of mobility must be sought elsewhere, in the special problem of defending the Panama Canal on the Pacific side.

Toward the Atlantic, the Canal is shielded by a string of islands far to the East. The Hepburn Report allowed for the simple strategic fact, and its recommendation for the development of facilities at Guantanamo, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Coco Solo were explicitly influenced by it. The failure of the report to treat of the defense of the Canal from the West certainly reflects the different political and geographic situation. In the Pacific, not only did the United States not possess sites for air bases, either on American soil as at San Juan and St. Thomas, or on territory in which adequate rights were secured by treaty, as at Guantanamo Bay, but the very ground from which such bases could be built hardly existed. In lieu of the chain of islands which extends from Cuba to Trinidad, there are only the islets of Cocos and the Galapagos group; the one controlled by Costa Rica and the other by Ecuador. In neither had the United States any rights, and the acquisition of such privileges, at least in time of peace, was impeded by jealous Latin suspicion of Yankee imperialism. There was no apparent means to provide for the Canal on the Pacific side protection equivalent to that on the Atlantic.

While this vital problem could not be examined in such a public analysis of the defense needs of the United States and the Hepburn Report, equally it could not be ignored in the war plans of the Army and Navy. For the planners, in CNO and ComFIFTEEN, for example, the question was not so much the selecting of the best adapted sites for air bases, as it was the development of a means of getting bases into operation in very short order. Mobility was the desideratum.

A solution to the problem of adequate defense of the Canal from the Pacific sprang from the principal roots. Early in 1940, at the request of President Roosevelt, who had just returned from a cruise in the Panama area, both the General Board of the Navy and the Army Navy Joint Board studied the subject and reached the conclusion that preparations must be made for the operation of constant air patrols over a wide area to the west of Panama. Specifically, they suggested that patrol squadrons of seaplanes, supported partly by tenders and partly by shore facilities, be based near Guayaquil on the Ecuadorean coast, in the Galapagos, and in the Gulf of Fonseca in Nicaragua, with minor facilities on Cocos Island for use in emergencies. The Galapagos, it was held, were the key to the situation. Every effort should be made to secure the necessary right and construct essential installations there. At the very least, their use by an enemy must be prevented.1

Meanwhile, non-military agencies had become interested in the Galapagos. A proposed Pan-American convention for the preservation of wild life, which might develop strategic or military implications as a by-product, was under consideration by the State Department. A reserve office on inactive duty, who was, however, a graduate of the Naval Academy, Lieutenant Commander Paul. F. Foster, secured, early in 1940 from the private owners, an option to lease Albermarle Island, the principal member o the Galapagos group, the purposes of commercial exploitation. Foster, whose chief, though concealed, interest was military, attempted to obtain a Federal subsidy for the dummy corporation which he established after approval of his ostensible project had been given by the government of Ecuador. In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy designed to enlist the support of the Department, Foster avowed his primary motivation, enclosed a detailed report on the islands, and explained his scheme for the conversion to military use, if expedient, of the radio station, landing field, and port facilities necessary for the commercial disguise worn by this United States penetration of the Galapagos. The War Plans Division prepared for the Chief of Naval Operations an endorsement to Foster's letter, in which it was recommended to the Secretary that the proposition be rejected, largely because the best site for a base in the Galapagos was not on Albermarle Island. Nevertheless, at President Roosevelt's wish, Foster was granted the assistance which he desired, although the Navy endeavored to keep to a minimum the installations which the government financed.
full extract here:- http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/Adm ... ses-2.html

Regards

Andy H

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Apr 2010 20:35

Andy, that's the first time I've seen a Foster reference at THAT source :wink: Thanks for posting it up. As you may know from here and from the other WI Panama Thread, buried in State Department records David Thompson found on other matters, State was ALSO opposed to Foster's plan....because their position was the U.S. government didn't fund so large (50%) investments in private concerns...

However, if you look at the other thread - (possibly moved across by David to here) Foster DID indeed get his money, and the first developments began on Albemarle in September 1941.

Foster seems to have enjoyed the personal confidence of FDR to a considerable degree - as we know, he was VERY soon after this to be asked by FDR to carry out a survey of the defences and patrol regime in the PCD. AND subsequently enjoyed a very high profile postwar diplomatic career himself :wink:
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Nov 2021 15:07

Hi Guys,

Page 28 of Air Wars between Ecuador and Peru by Amaru Tincopa gives a complete list of "Ecuadoran Air Bases and Airfields, June 1941". There is no mention of any Ecuadoran airfield on the Galapagos Islands at that date. Given that Ecuador was in the middle of a confrontation with Peru until October 1941, it is highly unlikely it built an airfield on the Galapagos in the intervening months to November 1941, not least because it had almost no aircraft to base there and no military aircraft with the range to reach the islands. Furthermore, it had almost no fleet or merchant marine and was under blockade by the Peruvian Navy for almost all that time.

Cheers,

Sid

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Dec 2021 06:35

Not a record for necroing a thread, I may hold that, but a fair effort at it.

Have not read eveyword of this thread, so perhaps I missed it. Bu, what were the Japanese intel assumption there was a airfield based on? Unfounded rumors? A actual visit? Documents obtained? Knowledge of the construction effort or related matters?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Dec 2021 20:27

Hi Carl,

From the timing, it appears that Japanese intelligence in Panama may have picked up (accurate) rumours of US plans to build an air base on the Galapagos. However, no prior Ecuadoran or Panagra airfield yet existed. There would have been little point, as none of the Ecuadoran Air Force's few planes had the range to get there, it only had one or two Ju52s registered to a Lufthansa subsidiary, it was no use as a way point to anywhere else and it was not yet a tourist destination.

Of itself, this is of little importance, but it was part of a long stream of false propositions put up here and on Feldgrau by Phylo Roadking, which sadly, still deface both sites. What made it worse was that Phylo was a Moderator on Feldgrau, which made him unusually influential and seems to have given him protection not just there, but here. (For example, according to him it was a US-crewed Catalina that spotted the Bismarck. I went to the crew lists in the squadron records in the PRO, but he still wouldn't acknowledge his error. Another of his unwithdrawn propositions was that the French Navy launched a destroyer raid into the Baltic in 1939. It didn't. And so on.)

Regretably, it is very easy to propogate false information on the internet. It is much more difficult to squelch it, as it remains up in perpetuity. Post #55 here illustrates the problem when posters put up false information but won't either offer sources or withdraw it, despite multiple requests. In this case I asked Phylo at least 12 times and he wouldn't do either.

Cheers,

Sid.

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