Created: 5/28/1948

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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XltCRaXDIEIE SECRETARY CfUBJECT; Clandestine Air Transport Operations

The attached report has been prepared concerning clandestine air operations. aircraft anfl crera In foreign countries.

The report not only contains in consolidated fora tho material forwarded to tho Secretary of Defense onB, but also includes the latest Information on this subjectto the Central Intonigencc'A^ency. urmiary andhave been added which Indicate. national

security is unfavorably affected by these developments and that It could be seriously jeopardised by continued illicit traffio


R. H. hTLLEfcKQE7TER Rear Admiral, USX Director of Central










Incidents involving the clandestine transport well as the delivery of aircraft into foreignensitivity, are rapidly increasing.






wra: Tide reportonsolidation oi1 information obtained through

channels of the Departoent of State, Department of the Air Forces, Department^ewM Inbellieence Agency. The Central Intell^enctfibllf^investleation of occurrences within jj ert^ess includes in this report certain information obtained in the US by agencies other than CIA, whichirect bearing on the subject.



liaison with left-wing political groups in foreign countries for the delivery of anus, thereby increasing the threat of force against local parties opposed to Communist doctrine.

Promote protests to the OS from friendly governments causing embarrassment and loss of US prestige.


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The historyingle operation undertaken by an aircraft coned by Service Airways is here cited as typicalraffic which has now grown to large proportions. 6 air transportewish American crewfrom the US for Italy early in The crew obtained clearance for the aircraft and US visas for themselves by false statements and the exhibition of letters froa their company. Thisontract existed with an Italian aircraft manufacturing concern for the conversion of several aircraft from cargo to passenger accommodation. The aircraft took offow Jersey airport and was next reported at Geneva, Switzerland, having flown the route by way of Greenland, Iceland, and France. The crew, dressed in US Army uniforms without insignia, permitted only the Swiss airport superintendent to board the plane. Secrecy evidenced by the crew, and the fact that they wars wearing uniform caused the Swiss official to believe that thisS Air Force operation and no inquiry was made other than to learn that tho aircraft's next destination was Roma.

The Swiss official reportedargo of small anas and commented on the unusually large number of crew Bombers. Taking off from Genevaarchull load of gas, the aircraft proceeded to land at Castigllone del Largo, near Perugia, Italy. Its arrival was evidently anticipated by Italian customs officials who were dispatched to the airfield. They stated later that flight clearances and "all documents for the aircraft" wore in order. No report was made of ths cargo, although the aircraft was later seen to have been unloaded. The aircraft eventually took off without clearance for Catania, Sicily, where, on arrival, the crew declared their intention to return to Castigllone del Largo, Instead, having left behind certain members of tho crew, the aircraft took off for Paris where it was last seenay at Orly Field.

No modification of the aircraft, it is now learned, was undertaken by tha Italian concern (Socitta Aeronautics Itallana). This company, furthermore denies that any contract exists between the owners of the aircraft for such work. Orders have been issued by Italian authorities to impound the aircraft Involved in this incident should it return to Italian territory.

The Italian Government apparently has cooperated with Service Airways, believing it to be engaged in bonafide operations. The behavior of minor Italian officials, however, in failing to report6 incident to American authorities in Italy and in apparently expediting the aircraft's movanents, indicated that the cargo of arms probably was unloaded andof with their knowledge and collusion. Since this operation took place prior to the Italian elections, it was suspected at first that its purpose was to aid the Communists. Sufficient evidence is now available, however, to attribute the activities of the crew of this aircraft to illegal traffic in arms for the Jewish underground. (Left-wing Italians are activelywith the Jewish covement and following the party line laid down by the USSR in sponsoring partition of Palestine.) Latest investigations discloses

of Jewish race*

lrAero Club> "arranged clearance for the aircraft" into Italy and

jaajn^cjos^contact with the ere* during the entire period of their a(

Two crew members of this aircraft who. with sooe others, did notthe aircraft to Paris, were later held in custody by Greek Police, hairing landed at Rhodes for gasoline. These nen were cooperating with British pilots engaged in flying four Anson aircraft to Palestine to Join the nucleusionist air force.

a6 air transports (also believed owned by Service Airways) have now arrived at Rome froa Nice and are being held by Italian authorities for failure to obtain entry permits and for other irregularities. These aircraft (togetherhird which crashed, killing two crew members, an Englishmananadian) were reported bound for Palestine.

Ocean Trade Airways, Inc. This irregular carrier operates from an air-field'a't laurinburg-iiaxton, North Carolina, about twenty-five miles from Pope Field (USAF base). Ralph Cox of New Tork, owner of the Airline, and stoat of the operating personnel, are employed by American Airlinesart-time basis. When working for Ocean Trade Airways, crows wear Americanuniforms with the company Insignia removed. The airline apparentlyeavy schedule of commitments and is flying EC-3's as wells on missions to South America and Europe.

U transport plane owned by this company landed with an American crew at Prague, Czechoslovakia, onarch. It was immediately surrounded and isolated by Czechoslovak security police andasesotal ofounds were loaded onto the aircraft frcm two large trucks. The plane took off immediately without obtaining the necessary clearances from airport officials. Their protests, however, were overruled by the Chief of Security Police who stated that thisovernment operation. Thereturned the following day and the pilot and crew were interrogated at the US Embassy. worn statement, Seymour Lemor admitted being in charge of tha flight and revealed that Ralph Cox of New Tork owna andharter airplane service under the name of Ocean Trade Airways. The plane was chartered in Paris by Lemerritish subject named Cooper, vtthout the knowledge, but under the general authority given by Cox to Lerner to carry freight while in Europe to "various destinations." The pilot stated his cargo to have been "hand tools and surgical instruments" whloh he flewon-stop flight to Beit Daras, Palestine.



is particular aircraft, together ransports have been engaged in shuttle flights to Palestine. The aircraft have been identified on Czechoslovak military airfields and in each instance were well guarded and all inquiries were turned aside.

" These operations appear to be sponsored by the Czechoslovak (Overnment, but, as the Czechoslovaks have recently had an arms mission in Cairoto sell munitions to the Egyptians, it is uncertain whether aid is being flown to the Jews or Arabs, or both.

Original document.

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