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820.7961 Dept. of Commerce Flight/26

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Cuba (Williamson) No. 191

WASHINGTON, July 12, 1928. Sir: Reference is made to despatch No. 325, dated June 26, 1928, from the Embassy at Habana, transcribing a telegram received by it from the Embassy at Buenos Aires with respect to a flight from Buenos Aires to New York contemplated by Lieutenant James Doolittle, in which it is stated that Lieutenant Doolittle plans to stop at Cienfuegos for fuel and requests that permission be obtained from the Cuban Government to land and fly in Cuba and that customs courtesies be accorded him. In the absence of previous information concerning the flight of Lieutenant Doolittle, the Embassy requested to be instructed whether it should ask the Cuban Government to grant the facilities mentioned.

In reply you are informed that, under arrangements made by the Department of Commerce, two American built airplanes recently were sent to South America on an experimental flight under the supervision of Mr. James D. Summers, Aeronautical Trade Commissioner of the Department of Commerce for Latin America, and that Lieutenant Doolittle was a member of the party. In connection with this flight the Department addressed instructions to certain missions in Latin America directing them to request free entry for the equipment and permission for the flight in the territory of the countries to which they were respectfully accredited.

In view of the foregoing, you are authorized to inform the appropriate authorities of Lieutenant Doolittle's proposed stop at Cienfuegos and to request free entry for such equipment as he may carry and permission for his flight in Cuba. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:


820.7061 Dept. of Commerce Flight/27

The Ambassador in Brazil (Morgan) to the Secretary of State No. 3037

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 17, 1928.

[Received August 2.] SIR: Replying to the Department's telegraphic instruction No. 2, of January 7 last, 8 P. M., I have the honor to report that Lieutenant James Doolittle, an Army pilot on leave, arrived at Rio de Janeiro by airplane from Asuncion, Paraguay (distance 965 miles and flying time 7 hours) on July 2 last, and has received what assistance this office has been able to render him in making known the Curtiss Hawk single-seat pursuit plane which he employs and the manufacturer of which he represents. Our Naval and Military attachés have introduced him to officers of the Brazilian army and navy.

Lieut. Doolittle contributed an exhibition of sensational "aerial stunts” never before seen in this city to the 4th of July program with which the American colony commemorated our national birthday. He repeated this exhibition on July 14, at the military aviation field, before a large number of spectators, among whom were the members of the French Military Mission, which organized "an afternoon of aviation” to commemorate the French national holiday.

Lieutenant Doolittle and Mr. Webster, the business manager of the Curtiss Company, have been on excellent terms with Lieutenant Wade, representing the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, of Buffalo, New York, who is also in Rio de Janeiro engaged in attempting to dispose of airplanes of the said company.

In reporting the activities of Messrs. Doolittle and Wade the Military Attaché, under date of July 9, makes the following observations regarding the relations of these representatives of competing aeroplane manufacturers:

"A particularly pleasing feature of the local situation and one bound to impress the Brazilians strongly is the cordiality manifested by the competing representatives of American concerns. and the fact that the Americans, each out for orders, are able to co-operate and assist each other in many details of their local arrangements is a valuable object lesson to their prospective customers." I have [etc.]


Boeing Airplane Company and Pratt and Whitney Motor Corporation

811.79620 Boeing Airplane Co./1 The Assistant Secretary of Commerce (MacCracken) to the Assistant

Secretary of State (White)

WASHINGTON, February 4, 1928. MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: Mr. Ralph A. O'Neill of the Boeing Airplane Company, Seattle, Washington plans to sail on the Steamship Southern Cross February 11 for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also represents the Pratt and Whitney Motor Corp. of Hartford, Connecticut. He is taking with him a Boeing pursuit plane and a Boeing mail plane. At the end of six months, there will be shipped to him a Boeing flying boat which is now in the process of construction. Mr. O'Neill plans to give demonstration flights of these ships for the army and navy air services of the various countries which he visits. He is taking with him the necessary personnel and subsidiary equipment.

Mr. O'Neill's contemplated route is as follows: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina to Montevideo, Uruguay; Montevideo, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile; Santiago, Chile, to La Paz, Bolivia; La Paz, Bolivia to Lima, Peru; Lima, Peru to Guayaquil, Ecuador; Guayaquil, Ecuador to Bogota, Colombia; Bogota, Colombia to Caracas, Venezuela ; Caracas, Venezuela to Panama City, Panama. This is a contemplated itinerary only and may be subject to change depending upon local conditions. At the end of six or eight months, Mr. O'Neill plans to be in Panama to assemble the flying boat, which will be shipped to him and to reverse. his route around South America, ending in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Will you kindly communicate the necessary information to the governments concerned through the American Embassies and Legations and obtain the necessary permission for this expedition to visit and fly in these countries. Also, if possible, please obtain permission for the equipment of the expedition to be entered and shipped out of the various countries free of customs charges. It is suggested that Brazil, the Argentine, and Uruguay might be communicated with by cable and the remaining countries by letter. It would be advisable to have a reply from Brazil before the expedition sails.

It might also be useful to suggest that the American diplomatic missions in each place render all possible assistance to the expedition, especially with regard to communicating with the American diplomatic mission in the next contemplated stop and obtaining necessary permits, visas, etc.

The Department of Commerce is notifying its representatives in the cities named of the itinerary and plans of this expedition, and they are being requested to render every aid possible by cooperating with representatives of the Department of State and officials of the local governments. The Department of Commerce is also requesting the War and Navy Departments to advise the military and naval attaches in South America to render all possible assistance.

For your information, I may say that the Boeing Airplane Company is one of the leading manufacturers of airplanes in the United States, supplying planes to the Navy Department and also supplying mail planes to certain airmail routes which it operates in the west. The Boeing planes, powered with the Pratt & Whitney motors, rank among the very best manufactured in the United States.

Mr. O'Neill is a captain, aviation specialist, Air Corps Reserves. He served in the First Pursuit Group, A. E. F., and was one of the first Americans to be rated as Ace. He received the D. S. C. with two oak leaves, and the Croix de Guerre while serving as Flight and Squadron Commandant of the 147th Aero Squadron. After the war, he obtained a contract with the Mexican Government to organize the Mexican Air Force, and he served there as Chief and Technical Consultor for five years.

Any assistance that can properly be accorded Mr. O'Neill and this expedition will be beneficial to American aeronautics. Faithfully yours,


811.79620 Boeing Alrplane Co./2: Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil



WASHINGTON, February 6, 1928–6 p. m. 3. Captain Ralph A. O'Neill, representing the Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle, and the Pratt and Whitney Motor Corporation of Hartford, Connecticut, is sailing on S. S. Southern Cross February 11, for Rio de Janeiro for an experimental flight and to demonstrate before army and navy air service.

Please request free entry for equipment, including Boeing pursuit plane, Boeing mail plane and accessories, and ask permission for flight in Brazil. Reply by cable.


811.79620 Boeing Alrplane Co./7

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Commerce (Hoover)

WASHINGTON, February 8, 1928. The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Secretary of Commerce, and with reference to Mr. MacCracken's letter of February 4 to Mr. White regarding the projected journey of Mr. Ralph A. O'Neill to various South American countries in the interest of the Boeing Airplane Company and the Pratt and Whitney Motor Corporation, has the honor to say that appropriate instructions have been sent by cable to the American Embassies at Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Lima, and to the American Legation at Montevideo.o? Instructions have also been sent by mail to the American Legations at La Paz, Quito, Bogotá and Caracas."

It is assumed that Mr. O'Neill will communicate with the United States War Department in order to obtain permission to fly over the Panama Canal Zone and to arrange for flying in Panamá.


The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date to the missions in Argentina (No. 6), Chile (No. 14), Peru (No. 9), and Uruguay (No. 2).

See telegram No. 3, Feb. 6, to the Ambassador in Brazil, supra.
See instruction No. 1036, Feb. 9, to the Minister in Colombia, infra.



811.79620 Boeing Airplane Co./17

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Colombia (Piles) ** No. 1036

WASHINGTON, February 9, 1928. Sir: The Department transmits herewith for your information and appropriate action a copy of a letter under date of February 4 from the Department of Commerce 1 in connection with the journey of Mr. Ralph A. O'Neill to various South American countries in the interest of the Boeing Airplane Company and the Pratt and Whitney Motor Corporation.

It is desired that you request the Colombian authorities for permission to fly in Colombia, as well as for the free entry of the equipment mentioned in the enclosed letter. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:


811.79620 Boeing Airplane Co./9: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss) to the Secretary of State

BUENOS AIRES, February 9, 1928—6 p. m.

[Received February 9—3:55 p. m.] 10. Your telegram No. 6, February 6, 6 p. m.? Does Captain O'Neill intend to demonstrate before Argentine Army and Navy air service! What information have you as to approximate date of his arrival in Argentina and does he intend to arrive by air or by ship?


811.79620 Boeing Airplane Co./19 : Telegram The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Bliss)

WASHINGTON, February 10, 1928—2 p. m. 8. Your 10, February 9, 6 p. m. (1) Yes, if invited to do so. (2) Date of arrival will be communicated to you by Embassy at Rio de Janeiro (3) He plans to fly from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires and thence to Santiago in order to demonstrate capabilities of machines.


The same, mutatis mutandis, on the same date to the missions in Bolivia (No. 336), Ecuador (No. 574), and Venezuela (No. 1218).

* Ante, p. 818.
See footnote 96, p. 820.

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