Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

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Alaric
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Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by Alaric » 21 Jan 2009 03:39

In this last connection, I note that on 22 November your link gives a Japanese intelligence source as stating, "The naval defense area, patrolled against possible lightning attacks, extends in the north from Salina Cruz on the Tehuantepec Isthmus to Monepene (on ?) the Gulf of Fonseca. The southern limits extend to the air base on the Galapagos Islands." What air base? I didn't know the US had started to build the air base yet, but if the Japanese thought they had this would rather scupper the use of the Galapagos as a launch point for the attack)


I think this link will show that no air bases were constructed in the Galpagos Islands until after the attack on Pearl Harbor:

On 11 December 1941, Army Headquarters, Army Field Forces, advised Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command, that Ecuador had made available to the United States the Galapagos Islands and the Ecuadoran Coast for “the establishment of such military bases as may be necessary.”5

[2] On 12 December 1941 the Comandant, 15th Naval District, issued orders directing that a temporary advance air base be established at Seymour Island of the Galapagos group.1

On 4 January 1942, the Commanding General, Caribbean Defense Command, directed that steps be initiated for the construction of auxiliary air bases in the Galapagos Islands.2

From May 1942 through the remainder of the year, there were many conferences and letters concerning proposed written agreements between the United States government and the Ecuadoran government for the use of the Galapagos Islands, but no formal written agreement was ever concluded.3


The first plane landed on the Galapagos air strip in early April 1942, only two months after the beginning of construction. The runway was used constantly from that date until its final completion, July 1943.1 Two important factors were ever present during the process of construction: shortage of water transportation to afford the needed supplies and equipment; furnishing the troops and construction forces with sufficient water. On 10 March 1942, Colonel (later Brigadier General) Young, then Panama District Engineer, stated: “The situation as regards the construction at base Beta2 is critical on account of the failure to provide water transportation.3 He reviewed General Andrews' original order that the Navy would furnish the shipping facilities and outlined the failure of that plan to afford enough materials. The Navy planned to handle the shipping by using the “Ferncliffe.” This ship arrived in the Canal Zone after some delay, loaded aboard all that


http://www.galapagos.to/TEXTS/USAF1947.HTM

It's apparent from these links also that an air base was not constructed on Baltra Island until after the Pearl Harbor attack:

The map was producd in 1942 in response to the realization of the Galapagos' strategic importance for a war in the eastern Pacific ­ a very real threat after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. set up a base on Baltra Island at the northeastern tip of Santa Cruz.


http://www.junglephotos.com/galapagos/gmaps/oldmaps/usnchart.html

[b]During World War II Baltra was established as a US Air Force Base. Crews stationed at Baltra patrolled the eastern Pacific for enemy submarines and provided protection for the Panama Canal. After the war the facilities were given to the government of Ecuador. Today the island continues as an official Ecuadorian military base. The foundations and other remains of the US base can still be seen on the island.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltra_Island

My guess is that if the Japanese agent actually mentioned "air base on the Galapagos Islands" in his communique of 22 November 1941 he was referring to a proposed air base site that he may have caught wind of. It's amazing what a little internet research can turn up.

BTW Sid, weren't you the guy that totally derailed a fascinating thread about U-boat landings in southern Argentina circa July 1945 with this same kind of obtuse questioning of every single detail?

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by LWD » 21 Jan 2009 04:50

Alaric wrote: ...BTW Sid, weren't you the guy that totally derailed a fascinating thread about U-boat landings in southern Argentina circa July 1945 with this same kind of obtuse questioning of every single detail?

It's hardly derailing when one refutes or brings into question "every single detail" of what is pretty clearly a conspiracy theory.

I note that while you did find when the fields were built you did not refute that the Japanese may have believed that there was a field there.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Sid Guttridge » 24 Jan 2009 13:04

Hi Guys,

If I am not mistaken, the reference to SEDTA applying for a licence to the Galapagos originally comes from Burden's book. This rather spendid volume, for all its merits, was a wartime production by the US and so any claims it makes about Axis airlines must be viewed with some caution.

The initiation of a service to the Galapagos was not dependent on an airfield. As already discussed, numerous Latin American air routes used floatplanes or seaplanes precisely because of the unavailability of airfields.

The reference to Panagra being given a US subsidy to set up in competition with SEDTA refers to the existing SEDTA routes on the mainland. (The US used similar devices to eliminate Axis airlines elsewhere in Latin America.) SEDTA was operating at a loss already, and was thought to be sustained by a German government grant. It was driven out of business in 1941, I believe. I have details somewhere and will check.

I do not think that there was any airfield on the Galapagos at this time (December 1941). I would suggest that, in the context we are discussing, the important point is that Japanese intelligence seems to have believed that there was an airfield on the Galapagos being used as part of the canal's defences on 22 November 1941 - only a fortnight before Pearl Harbour. Of course, one can eliminate this obstacle, as so many others, by appealing to an Alternative Time Line in which Japanese intelligence gets its facts right on this subject, but as things stand I would suggest that if Japanese intelligence believed there was a US airfield on the Galapagos they would be markedly less likely to consider using them as a base.

Personally, I think all the convoluted Latin American involvement (Ecuador, Argentina) is unnecessary embroidery. KISS - Keep it Stupid Simple.

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 24 Jan 2009 13:53, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by robdab » 31 Jan 2009 19:56

glenn239,

I think that if a plan is so fragile that it cannot even withstand something as mundane as torpedo nets, then its time to re-examine the whole thing. - And what would have happened to the OTL Japanese attack plan for Pearl Harbor had the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu reported that anti-torpedo netting had indeed been installed prior to Dec.7'41 ?
I suspect that the Japanese would have re-thought their attack plans to include far fewer torpedoes. Just as I am now attemtping wrt to my ATL Panama Canal scenario. There are references to inspections of the Canal by Stimson and Robert Watson-Watt which state that the Canal was vulnerable to bombing but as of today I have been unable to find details of what targets they refered to. Still searching ...

Sort of take a Galapagos jumping-off point out of the equation...if THIS is the information that Tokyo has about USN operations - that they covered the Galapagos...


That would be checkmate for the proposed scheme then. - I don't believe so. As I have typed previously, if the ATL Japanese had been planning such an ATL strike on Panama then I think it likely that they would have more thoroughly investigated the Galapagos Islands well before Nov.22'41. Such investigations would have revealed that the only Galapagos airfield was the civilian connection point to Ecuador. The USN was not yet present.

As I previously posted from pg #36/7 of http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/Bui ... es-18.html

"Ecuador
Galapagos Islands.--Galapagos was the focal point for a wide arc of aerial patrols protecting the western approaches of the Panama Canal.1 From these island, 800 miles from the Pacific Coast, naval seaplanes flew northeast to Corinto, Nicaragua, and southeast to Salinas, Ecuador. Army landplanes assisted in covering the southern route.
South Seymour (or Battra) Island was selected as a base. The island is low, dry, barren, and volcanic, covered with from two to four feet of rocky soil, from which grows only sparse vegetation. It was necessary to import all materials, water, and provisions, as well as Ecuadorian labor.

The naval seaplane base, at Aeolian Cove, on the western side of the island, contained anchorage space in which refueling ships could be hidden.

Five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the Panama Canal was considered in imminent danger of a similar attack, the Navy rushed a token force of 36 men aboard a British tramp steamer, to the Galapagos Islands to establish a refueling depot for patrol planes, a few days later, seaplanes were being refueled by hand pumps from a motor launch. A timber pier to handle unloading of gas drums and a 70-foot timber seaplane ramp were then planned. In January 1942 the Army surveyed for an 8,000-foot air strip and let a contract for its construction.

On January 24, 1942, Ecuador granted permission to proceed with essential construction in Ecuador (Salinas and Galapagos), specific agreements to be signed after Lend-Lease details had been settled."

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by phylo_roadking » 31 Jan 2009 20:13

Robert, your quote seems to apply to events AFTER the 7th of December in parts...and there is MORE material on those pages than you choose to quote...

Galapagos Islands.--Galapagos was the focal point for a wide arc of aerial patrols protecting the western approaches of the Panama Canal.1 From these island, 800 miles from the Pacific Coast, naval seaplanes flew northeast to Corinto, Nicaragua, and southeast to Salinas, Ecuador. Army landplanes assisted in covering the southern route.
South Seymour (or Battra) Island was selected as a base. The island is low, dry, barren, and volcanic, covered with from two to four feet of rocky soil, from which grows only sparse vegetation. It was necessary to import all materials, water, and provisions, as well as Ecuadorian labor.

The naval seaplane base, at Aeolian Cove, on the western side of the island, contained anchorage space in which refueling ships could be hidden


Baltra (the writer gets the name wrong there) AKA Syemour Island was as you've said not begun to be constructed until JANUARY 1942...Page 36 -

In January 1942, seaplane bases were begun simultaneously at the Galapagos Islands and Salinas, Ecuador


The naval seaplane base, at Aeolian Cove, on the western side of the island, contained anchorage space in which refueling ships could be hidden.

Five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the Panama Canal was considered in imminent danger of a similar attack, the Navy rushed a token force of 36 men aboard a British tramp steamer, to the Galapagos Islands to establish a refueling depot for patrol planes, a few days later, seaplanes were being refueled by hand pumps from a motor launch. A timber pier to handle unloading of gas drums and a 70-foot timber seaplane ramp were then planned. In January 1942 the Army surveyed for an 8,000-foot air strip and let a contract for its construction.

On January 24, 1942, Ecuador granted permission to proceed with essential construction in Ecuador (Salinas and Galapagos), specific agreements to be signed after Lend-Lease details had been settled.

Our immediate occupation of the Galapagos Islands served to provide a key point for aerial patrols, and to prevent the enemy from securing a nearby foothold, as was accomplished in the Aleutians.


In other words, being next door to Aeolian Cove on Baltra, the sheltered anchorage was useable by FRIENDLY USN oilers!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

And Well Done - you've actually reinforced my point about ANY Japanese shippingor aircraft in the Galapagos being spotted by Civilian aviation as well as the USN patrolling by PBY from Panama...

Why?

BALTRA was already the site of the Panagra field!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Don't you think aircraft and naval ships belonging to a known belligerent sitting at the ocean end of your runway wouldn't be remarked upon???

P.S. that brings me to something else you've forgotten with your idea of a "peaceful" sending of Japanese flying boats to South American countries as aid going unremarked-upon, or that japanese ships would be free to make good-will visits to South or Central American countries - since the Japanese had occupied the rest of French Indochina earlier in 1941 they were regarded internationally as a belligerent, not as a neutral :wink:

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by robdab » 01 Feb 2009 20:25

phylo_roadkingl on those pages than you choose to quote...

Galapagos Islands.--Galapagos was the focal point for a wide arc of aerial patrols protecting the western approaches of the Panama Canal.1 From these island, 800 miles from the Pacific Coast, naval seaplanes flew northeast to Corinto, Nicaragua, and southeast to Salinas, Ecuador. Army landplanes assisted in covering the southern route.
South Seymour (or Battra) Island was selected as a base. The island is low, dry, barren, and volcanic, covered with from two to four feet of rocky soil, from which grows only sparse vegetation. It was necessary to import all materials, water, and provisions, as well as Ecuadorian labor.

The naval seaplane base, at Aeolian Cove, on the western side of the island, contained anchorage space in which refueling ships could be hidden


Baltra (the writer gets the name wrong there) AKA Syemour Island was as you've said not begun to be constructed until JANUARY 1942...Page 36 -

In January 1942, seaplane bases were begun simultaneously at the Galapagos Islands and Salinas, Ecuador


The naval seaplane base, at Aeolian Cove, on the western side of the island, contained anchorage space in which refueling ships could be hidden.

Five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the Panama Canal was considered in imminent danger of a similar attack, the Navy rushed a token force of 36 men aboard a British tramp steamer, to the Galapagos Islands to establish a refueling depot for patrol planes, a few days later, seaplanes were being refueled by hand pumps from a motor launch. A timber pier to handle unloading of gas drums and a 70-foot timber seaplane ramp were then planned. In January 1942 the Army surveyed for an 8,000-foot air strip and let a contract for its construction.

On January 24, 1942, Ecuador granted permission to proceed with essential construction in Ecuador (Salinas and Galapagos), specific agreements to be signed after Lend-Lease details had been settled.

Our immediate occupation of the Galapagos Islands served to provide a key point for aerial patrols, and to prevent the enemy from securing a nearby foothold, as was accomplished in the Aleutians.


In other words, being next door to Aeolian Cove on Baltra, the sheltered anchorage was useable by FRIENDLY USN oilers!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

And Well Done - you've actually reinforced my point about ANY Japanese shippingor aircraft in the Galapagos being spotted by Civilian aviation as well as the USN patrolling by PBY from Panama...

Why?

BALTRA was already the site of the Panagra field!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Don't you think aircraft and naval ships belonging to a known belligerent sitting at the ocean end of your runway wouldn't be remarked upon???


phylo, I do not understand what you are getting at with this posting ?

My quote was provided purely to prove that there were NO USN PBY flights based out of the Galapagos on Dec.7'41, that such only began a couple of weeks later.

I have never suggested that my ATL Chitose would "set up shop" and prepare her brood of 3 Mavis for a surprise Panama attack from a bay right beside the Galapagos civilian airport, as you seem to think. Where would you get such an idea ?

As much as I dislike it, Wiki quickly gives us, "The Galapagos Archipelago consists of 7,880 square km (3,042 sq. miles) of land spread over 45,000 square km (28,000 miles) of ocean. The group consists of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets." I'm sure that some secluded lee bay could have been pre-scouted for an overnight stop, from that wide a selection.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Feb 2009 15:02

Hi Guys,

I am unclear who originally posted that "BALTRA was already the site of the Panagra field", but could they please give me their source?

I have found no trace of any Panagra or other airfield on the Galapagos in December 1942.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Feb 2009 15:45

For example, how many of the dozens of books by Feldgrau authors are available free on the internet? Any?


Apparently - lots. They just don't know about it - and the "free download sites" boasting them among their book listings require you to join up to some dubious sites to get at them... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Not of course that that has ANYTHING to do with THIS thread...

In THIS case, you'd be amazed at the paucity of certain sources. You won't find a mention of a NAMED Panagra passenger field on the Galapagos, for instance...but there WAS an air mail strip - for the "service" referred to in two sources seems to have been an air mail route rather than a passenger one :wink: ; I'm still looking for a go-live of the actual service, for the story given in the source mentioned up the thread may NOT be definitive, the commercial battle in Ecuador for internal and the Galapagos service between SEDTA and Panagra may NOT have been as easily resolved at it would appear from that source - look HERE -

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,801249,00.html

...looks as if the story may not have been as final as indicated; just like if we had worked from JUST the "official history" on the defence of the Caribbean we'd STILL be working on the basis of only THREE airfields IN TOTAL in Panama and the Canal Zone...whereas thanks to AAFHS-42 we NOW know of a couple of dozen auxiliary and diversional landing strips by late 1941.

In THIS particular case however - we are hindered by the fact that there is actually VERY little published material on Panagra. TWO corporate histories are "lost" to public gaze - due to a fued between one Pat Zarht ,author of "B-Liner" the company newsletter (and gatherer of "dirt" on company executives) of Braniff Airways (who bought and merged Panagra many years after the war) and Harding Lawrence, a Braniff executive, he binned a company history of Panagra that Zarht had written. A second and probably more definitive history is buried HERE a long with a LOT more material on Panagra - http://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/manuscripts/ms214.pdf - the extensive personal documents of Harold Harris, but unfortunately I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic for that.

Exclusive reliance on the internet, such as this thread is getting perilously close to, is to cut oneself off from much of the latest published research, most in-print, in-copyright publications and almost completely from primary archival sources.


Likewise there DOES seem to be two very active and publishing historical and architectural societies in Panama these days, and very active in researching wartine and period defences, but travelling there to look up and scan backcopies doesn't appear to be the best use of my limited funds...
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Galapagos Islands Air Base in Nov 1941?

Post by robdab » 09 Feb 2009 21:48

Sid Guttridge,

I repeat, for the third time, "I have looked into this subject area long before this thread and found no reference to any Ecuadoran or Panagra airfield on the Galapagos in 1941 or earlier. However, it is not impossible, so I would like to know what your two sources are so that I may check them."

It is obscure but if you check the "postal items" section at the bottom of http://www.galapagos.to/EPHEMERA/INDEX.HTM you'll find a 1936 PANAGRA Air Mail letter sent from the Galapagos.

The quote, "When SEDTA in May 1940 applied for a permit to establish a service from the mainland to the Galapagos Islands, in which the United States had already indicated its strategic interest, the American government was moved to action. President Roosevelt in June authorized the loan of funds to Pan American-Grace Airways (Panagra), Pan American's associate, to enable it to establish a competing line. Panagra inaugurated its service in December 1940, with equipment and service superior to that provided by the German line." comes from page #242 of:
http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/ ... k/ch10.htm

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Feb 2009 10:59

Hi Phylo,

I unreservedly apologise for mistakenly replying to Robdab’s offer of two inadequate sources for a Panagra airstrip on the Galapagos as if they were yours.

It was extremely foolish of me to assume that you would supply sources I requested, given your long past history of making historical claims you refuse to either substantiate, qualify or withdraw when challenged or exposed. A practice that is extremely damaging to historical forums and the internet generally, as it leaves them littered with ineradicable inaccuracies that the uninformed are unable to differentiate from the actual facts.

More specifically, you have a record of evading this particular question (6 Feb 1834, 7 Feb 1131, 9 Feb 1149). But full marks to Robdab for stepping in after you three times avoided it. He, at least, is prepared to tackle this head on in articulate posts. Why can’t you?

This is what you wrote on 5 February 14.45:

"You won't find a mention of a NAMED Panagra passenger field on the Galapagos, for instance...but there WAS an air mail strip - for the "service" referred to in two sources....."

All the emphases are yours. You are not simply stating this as a fact, but attempting to hammer it home through artificial emphases. You must therefore presumably be very confident in your sources, of which there are apparently two.

All I want to know is what these sources are, because I have looked into this subject long before this thread and found no evidence of any Panagra airfield on the Galapagos. (For those who are losing the plot, the Galapagos are the proposed launching point for the attack on the Panama Canal in the thread title).

We have an absolute obligation on a historical forum such as this to either reveal sources, qualify our utterances in their absence or withdraw the original claim. I am asking of you no more than you are obliged to offer.

How you choose to reply is up to you, but continued evasion is not an option that will do your reputation, let alone historical accuracy, any favours.

I have tackled you many, many times before on this subject of making historical claims you refuse to substantiate, qualify or withdraw, but you continue to leave a trail of misinformation across the internet.

Please, please, please have the humility to recognize that you have a responsibility to the facts here and act appropriately when errors or omissions are revealed. This is absolutely fundamental to the effective functioning of the internet as a research tool and to the credibility of sites like AHF.

Besides, failure to do so calls into question all the other things you affirm with such apparent confidence here, so it is in your own interest to be helpful in this matter.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. I will return to other outstanding points later.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Feb 2009 15:02

Sid, this thread contacts two VERY obvious references to a Panagra field on the galapagos. If YOU can't find them, that REALLY isn't my problem - for they're in there IN PRINT for anyone to find.

I unreservedly apologise for mistakenly replying to Robdab’s offer of two inadequate sources for a Panagra airstrip on the Galapagos as if they were yours


Sadly, I decline to accept. You were obviously blinded by your own issues with regard to me.

Sid, read the next part of what I'm going to say VERY carefully.

Through this thread you have SO far

1/ referred us to two books - that YOU obvoioulsy haven't had access to, as you haven't posted a single referenced piece of relevant material from EITHER of them;

2/ broke your OWN standards on "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" by demanding that people accept there were NO airfields on the Galapagos just because YOU can't find them;

3/ made comments on the Canal Zone's AA defences...yet when requested to provide ANY evidence to back up your comments you don't;

4/ made comments on the number of U.S. installations in Paman outside the Canal Zone...yet when requested to provide ANY evidence to back up your comments you dont;

5/ the LACK of either of the above is doubly suprising - given the large amount of research you've claimed TWICE now to have carried out recently into this aspect of WWII.

We have an absolute obligation on a historical forum such as this to either reveal sources, qualify our utterances in their absence or withdraw the original claim. I am asking of you no more than you are obliged to offer.


So where's YOUR sources, qualifications etc. on YOUR "claims" regarding the Canal Zone's AA defence and U.S. military installations???

Evident in their absence.

Sid - you've sadly made yourself into a complete irrelevance in this thread by all THOSE ommissions. You've literally brought NOTHING to the table here except YOUR opinions and unqualified statements. And when called on them, you reply with adhominem attacks and not a single fact as requested. Remember - "Besides, failure to do so calls into question all the other things you affirm with such apparent confidence here". So - as YOU say - "qualify your utterances in their absence or withdraw the original claim" - with respect to the AA defences of the Canal, and the number of U.S. installations outside the canal Zone by December 1941.

Motes and logs, Sid. There's only ONE lack of integrity here - and it's not on my part :wink: Which is why I cannot accept your apology; you CONTINUE to attack me for sins that YOU have committed in spades. Any "moral highground" you seem to believe you occupy is visibly below sea level for anyone who reads this thread.

Besides, failure to do so calls into question all the other things you affirm with such apparent confidence here, so it is in your own interest to be helpful in this matter.


Everything *I* have used here in this thread has been cited (As I said at the top of this post, if you can't find the references, that's not MY problem. Nor did I say *I* cited them first...) - whereas YOU are the one lacking ANY references at all for your comments on the Canal's defences or U.S military installations. Thus your "affirmations" clearly by your own rules and those of the forum remain "personal opinions" ONLY. You cannot presume to judge other people when you are found so wanting...

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2009 15:24

Hi Phylo,

Sorry, but it is not down to me to find your claimed sources. You made the claims, so it is up to you to justify them if requested. This is a history forum, the essence of which is informed debate. If you want to harangue people without come back, you should start your own blog.

This is what you wrote on 5 February 14.45:

"You won't find a mention of a NAMED Panagra passenger field on the Galapagos, for instance...but there WAS an air mail strip - for the "service" referred to in two sources....."

All the emphases are yours. You are not simply stating this as a fact, but attempting to hammer it home through artificial emphases. You must therefore presumably be very confident in your sources, of which there are apparently two.

All I want to know is what these sources are, because I have looked into this subject long before this thread and found no evidence of any Panagra airfield on the Galapagos. (For those who are losing the plot, the Galapagos are the proposed launching point for the attack on the Panama Canal in the thread title).

We have an absolute obligation on a historical forum such as this to either reveal sources, qualify our utterances in their absence or withdraw the original claim. I am asking of you no more than you are obliged to offer.

How you choose to reply is up to you, but continued evasion - you have now failed to answer this question four times - is not an option that will do your reputation, let alone historical accuracy, any favours.

In order to give you as much assistance as possible, I will ask another simple question - are they either of the sources Robdab offered in the post I mistakenly attributed to you?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Andy H » 17 Feb 2009 16:57

Early in January 1939 General Stone formally recommended extending the defenses of the Canal westward into the Pacific. Only three possibilities offered. The Galapagos Islands, belonging to Ecuador, were the most favorably placed. A group of five good-sized islands and ten small ones lying about 1,000 miles southwest of Balboa, the Galapagos could be developed as an advanced base and radar station

General Stone at the end of 1938, after rumors had circulated that the government of Ecuador was considering selling the Galapagos, found sites for airfields, seaplane bases, and AWS stations and reported suitable seaplane anchorages and radar sites on Cocos Island. This was the basis for General Stone's recommendations of 5 January 1939 that steps be taken to acquire the islands either by purchase or by an "exclusive" lease "for the purpose of establishing thereon such advanced naval air bases and AWS stations as may be necessary


http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... rd-12.html

During 1941, while the Caribbean theater was being organized, the Pacific approaches to the Canal were likewise being secured. Before the year was out, permission to build bases in the Galapagos Islands had been obtained from the government of Ecuador, negotiations for similar bases at Salinas, Ecuador, and Talara, Peru, were under way, and a squadron of Army bombers had begun operating from airfields in Guatemala


The question of acquiring bases on the Galapagos Islands had made one of its periodic appearances at the beginning of the year. At that time the War Plans Division had taken the position that nothing should be done unless the President expressly directed it and unless an outright lease was obtained from the government of Ecuador. If these conditions were met, the War Plans Division agreed that assistance should be offered the Ecuador air force in return for use of a base in the Galapagos Islands. During the following weeks reports filtered in from South America that the government of Ecuador would not be averse to ceding a base on the islands to the United States. At this point, in the spring of 1941, the question was still considered primarily a matter for the Navy Department to act upon, just as it had been three years earlier. Although definitely related to the defense of Panama, a base in the Galapagos fell within the Navy's responsibility for offshore patrol. The Army was officially concerned only to the extent that the base would have to be defended.

Meanwhile, the question was being approached at a more oblique angle than naval or military, or even diplomatic, channels permitted. President Roosevelt knew the Galapagos Islands and recognized their strategic importance; but he was also alive to the undesirable repercussions that would follow any attempt of the United States to establish a base there. He made various proposals aimed at setting up some sort of collective protectorate over the islands, but nothing came of them. More promising were the activities of the Pacific Development Company. This was a corporation organized and headed by a retired naval officer and chartered in Delaware for the purpose of developing a concession on the largest of the Galapagos Islands. Having received a sweeping grant of authority from the Ecuadoran Government and a large loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Pacific Development Company entered into negotiations with the private owner of the island. President Roosevelt, who had been introduced to the project by his naval aide, Capt. Daniel J. Callaghan, apparently intended to use the company much as the Pan American Airways Corporation was being employed in the airport development program. The Navy Department, somewhat to the annoyance of Admiral Stark, thus had to deal with the Pacific Development Company for the facilities it desired.34 Then a hitch occurred. The man with whom the development company was negotiating owned only 10 percent of the necessary property, it now transpired, so that the lease for most of the land would have to be obtained from the Ecuadoran Government. At about the same time an account of the Pacific Development Company and its activities appeared in the column of a Washington journalist. Although the story was far from complete, it nevertheless served to draw aside the curtain of secrecy that was essential to the success of the company's negotiations.

While the matter of acquiring the land and providing the physical plant had been occupying the attention of the Pacific Development Company, the business of obtaining permission to make use of the islands and the territorial waters of Ecuador had been the subject of independent and direct negotiation between the State and Navy Departments on the one hand and the Ecuadoran Government on the other. More progress was made in this respect than by the development company. Before the company's negotiations reached a standstill, the Navy obtained permission to use the Galapagos Islands as a patrol base. The State Department thereupon began negotiating a formal agreement providing for the establishment of naval facilities and installations on the islands and a base on the mainland as well, in the vicinity of Salinas. Colonel Ridgway of the War Plans Division was informed of these developments by Capt. W.O. Spears, USN, on 16 October, during discussion of an Army staff study recommending that the War Department take active steps to acquire Aircraft Warning Service and landplane bases in the Galapagos. This study, advocating what was for the War Department a reversal of policy, had been drawn up in the War Plans Division and submitted to Captain Spears for comment. Now, informing Colonel Ridgway of the progress made in the negotiations for naval bases, Captain Spears offered the opinion that the Navy Department would be "very reluctant to consent to the diversion of any more materials . . . required by the establishment of additional bases." The naval bases, he thought, would suffice.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor intensified Ecuadoran fears for the safety of the islands and put an end to earlier objections by the State Department that a base agreement with Ecuador might offend Peru. Less than a week after the attack, an advance unit of the Navy's base force was on its way to the Galapagos on a British steamer. The War Department on 20 December informed Under Secretary of State Welles that it desired to obtain from Ecuador "the right to construct landing fields on those islands at U.S. expense and to station necessary defensive forces there for protection of the fields. Without the latter, it does not wish the former." At a meeting of the Standing Liaison Committee, later the same day, Mr. Welles voiced his assurance that, in view of previous statements by the government of Ecuador, the War Department could proceed with its plans before the signing of a formal agreement, which was expected to take place the following week. A similar request by the War Department with respect to Peruvian airfields would, according to Mr. Welles, have to await the reply of the Peruvian Government. Although Talara, Peru, had apparently been preferred by War Department planners as the southern terminus of the patrol arc, when no reply came from the Peruvian Government, the War Department switched to Salinas, Ecuador, which had already been designated as the site of the naval patrol base. The first Army planes reached Salinas on 16 January 1942, when a flight of heavy bombers (four B-17's) arrived from Panama. Toward the end of the month construction of a joint Army Navy base at the Salinas airfield was begun. In the Galapagos everything started from scratch, since there were no existing facilities,


http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA ... rd-13.html

Regards

Andy H

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Feb 2009 17:29

Hi Phylo,

You have yet again completely avoided answering the following:

This is what you wrote on 5 February 14.45:

"You won't find a mention of a NAMED Panagra passenger field on the Galapagos, for instance...but there WAS an air mail strip - for the "service" referred to in two sources....."

All the emphases are yours. You are not simply stating this as a fact, but attempting to hammer it home through artificial emphases. You must therefore presumably be very confident in your sources, of which there are apparently two.

All I want to know is what these sources are, because I have looked into this subject long before this thread and found no evidence of any Panagra airfield on the Galapagos. (For those who are losing the plot, the Galapagos are the proposed launching point for the attack on the Panama Canal in the thread title).

We have an absolute obligation on a historical forum such as this to either reveal sources, qualify our utterances in their absence or withdraw the original claim. I am asking of you no more than you are obliged to offer.

How you choose to reply is up to you, but continued evasion - you have now failed to answer this question five times - is not an option that will do your reputation, let alone historical accuracy, any favours.

In order to give you as much assistance as possible, I will ask another simple question - are they either of the sources Robdab offered in the post I mistakenly attributed to you?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Andy H
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Re: Dec.7'41: A Day That Nobody Bombed Panama !

Post by Andy H » 18 Feb 2009 13:10

http://www.galapagos.to/EPHEMERA/INDEX.HTM

Scroll down to the US Army section for some pictures of the airfield

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