No. 41  NAI DFA Secretary's Files A2

Memorandum from Colonel Patrick A. Mulcahy to
Colonel Liam Archer (Dublin)

DUBLIN, 12 April 1941

At 10.30 hours on 11.4.'41, Pryce telephoned me to say that two friends had come over to see certain bits and pieces and asked where they could see them.

I telephoned you and, subsequent to your conversation with External Affairs, you gave me instructions which I carried out.

At 15.00 hours, Pryce accompanied by Flight Lieut. Hawkins and Flt./Lt. Colley came to Baldonnel. Hawkins is an ex-Colonel of the Royal Artillery and is the Air Ministry representative at Belfast. He is an expert on foreign aircraft and foreign bombs and bomb equipment. Colley (aged 35 yrs.) was 12 years in U.S.A. and served in the American Air Force. He is still an American citizen but is serving with the R.A.F. and is an expert on wireless.

Their interest was in some new bomb equipment which is operated by wireless and which is reported to be in use on the F.W. Condor aircraft. No such equipment was found amongst the wreckage at Baldonnel.

I showed them a list of the crashed Condor equipment which is at Rineanna and they decided that it was not necessary for them to inspect it.

In conversation later, the main items of interest were:-

  1. The British hope that the American Pilots will not come over before they are fully trained as, otherwise, they would be about as useful as the Italians were against London. They do not wish to see American Pilots in numbers for another 12 or 18 months. Even if the British get into trouble in Greece, they will be able to hold out in England for that length of time without full American aid.
  2. The air raid on Belfast was a 'small affair '. The first bomb was a lucky one. It hit a timber stack and lit a 'beacon' for the other aeroplanes following on. Newtownards Road was badly damaged. Some bombs fell in Harland & Wolff's and in the docks. No ship of any kind was hit. The raid will do Belfast 'a lot of good' because the people had not been taking the war seriously.
  3. Hawkins could not understand why equipment was not being released to us. He thoroughly agreed that no one would defend Ireland better than Irishmen themselves. He is a personal friend of the present Director of Supplies and he will speak to him immediately.
  4. They experience great difficulty in regard to examination of crashed aircraft because, in spite of orders, every aeroplane is ransacked by unauthorised persons before the arrival of the technical people.
  5. They expressed surprise that we took such trouble with crashed foreign aeroplanes. They did not know of any international code which necessitated neutrals going out of their way to salvage or care for such crashed materials.
  6. It was Hawkins' first time in Southern Ireland and Colley's first visit to Ireland. Colley claimed Irish connections through his mother 's people in Waterford.

Sgd. P. A. MULCAHY Col.

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