Letter by Leland Harrison, American Legation, to Cordell Hull, US Secretary of State, 13 June 1944


Bern, June 13, 1944

No. 8472

      Subject: Transmitting copy of note to Swiss Federal Political Department protesting against attack by Swiss planes on American bomber.

The Honorable
      The Secretary of State,


      I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 1861 of May 30, 1 p.m., directing the Legation to register a formal and energetic protest against an attack on April 24, 1944, by Swiss aircraft upon an American bomber flying over Swiss territory which resulted in the death of three officers and three non-commissioned officers.
      There is transmitted herewith the text of the formal note accordingly addressed to the Federal Political Department on June 5, 1944, after consultation with the Military Attaché who suggested certain changes of detail to accord with his own latest reports on the subject to the War Department.
      With respect to the final sentence of the Department’s instruction which directed the Legation to request the Swiss Government to reaffirm existing instructions to Swiss air corps personnel so that there may not be a recurrence of this incident, I report that the instructions to Swiss air corps personnel have in fact already been changed, in part due to this happening. The changes referred to were notified by the Military Attaché in his telegram to the War Department, No. 1383 of May 13, 1944. The Legation has expressed to the Federal Political Department the hope that the now clarified and supplemented instructions will avoid recurrence of this tragic incident.

                Respectfully yours,

                Leland Harrison.

      To Federal Political Department, June 5, 1944.

File No. 711.4
In triplicate to the Department