MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
SUBJECT: Memorandum of DUcussions with Secretary Vance
Following tho mooting wiih Kelly Johnson, at ai, covered in the attachedalled Secretary Vance and stated:
he operational readiness of four aircraft1stapability to overfly Cubaeet was contingent upon placing ofthe
highest priority. It was, among other things, dependent upon flight testingaximum frequency basis fromh to November 1st, and developing from these test flights the betterments and modifications which most be incorporated in the operational aircraft as part of the operational readiness program.
Moreover, the program called for the equipping ofperational aircraftwith parts and replacement*riority basis as they became available and then operating these four planes on check-out teats, simulated runs, etc. In the period prior to November lat.
The speed teat. If attempted, weald foreclose the operationfeat planes for about one month and the affect this would have on the operational readiness date could not be calculated. Furthermore the diversion of parts,o Edwards would reduce tha number of operational aircrafto 2.
It was Mr. Johnson's conclusion that the diversion of component parts and the utilisation of experienced personnel In therun testa daring the latter part of August and early part of September would seriously affect the prospect of meeting the operational readiness date of November 1st and would probably delay this date for at leastays and perhaps longer.
NOTE: In thismphasised to Mr. Vancead serious reservations about the November lat date and felt lt could only be met if2 program retained the highest priority.
2. With respect t th* spaedointed oat that theircraft *ero last ia line from tho standpoint of being equipped for miTltrnim speed became, with respect to thos* planes,wasigher priority andere being flown to test tha armament features rathar than to attain speed. Therefore weeffect taking soma of the least well-equipped planes and trying to put them aheadraah program in order to run th* speedaid thla feature alone mad* tha success of th* apoud test highly qnaatloBabl* in my mind.
In view of tha abov* it was my specific recommendation that tha speed test be abandonedished him to confer with Secretary HcNamara prior to McNamara'a departure on his vacation aoinal dec ia ion could be reached by Vance and nan upon my arrival In Washington this evening.
After my conversation, General Stewart stated that he concurred in my rslon and hoped they would be accepted. Col. Ledford also concurred and Kallay Johnson concurredmphatically. None ofoard th* responses from Secretaryut all could hear my recommendations and the reasons as expressed abov*.
Upon arrival inalled Vance and ha reported that h* and McNamara had agreed with my recommendation that tha speed test be abandoned and that the work onZ program be givent priority. Vane* than asked that we explore tha possibility of running th*est at an early date with2aid that thla had beent involved aome questions of disclosure,ould examine the question and discuss the matter further with