No. 35  NAI DFA Secretary's Files A2

Memorandum by Colonel Patrick A. Mulcahy of a conversation with Air Commodore Roderick Carr1

DUBLIN, 1 April 1941

Air Commodore Carr expressed great pleasure at our ability to repair and fly back the Lockheed Hudson2 which had forced landed at Sligo. He said that he had been dubious of the success of our efforts and it certainly proved that we had good workmen.

He had been in London recently and Air Marshal Sholto Douglas, C in C Fighter Command had asked him how his Irish friends were getting on with the Hurricanes.3 Douglas expressed great surprise when he learned that we had not got the Hurricanes because, he stated, one of his last acts before he left the Air Ministry to take up his present command was to sign a memo releasing 13 Hurricanes to Éire.

Carr was impressed when he realised that the Shannon Airport had no A.A. or Fighter defences. He said that the British cannot fully realise that they are sending over Flying Boats and other expensive aircraft to an undefended area in the war zone. He will speak to the Air Ministry again.

He stated that Commander Gallery4 U.S. Navy, had the ears of very influential persons in America.

He asked me what would be the reactions to conscription in Northern Ireland. I said that I thought it would unite North and South against the 'common enemy' because the Nationalists would resist, the Unionists would hide behind the Nationalists and we in the South would resent conscription of our countrymen.

1 Air Commodore Sir Roderick Carr (1891-1971), Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force, Northern Ireland.

2 An American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft flown by the Royal Air Force from 1939 to 1944. In 1941 Hudsons were crossing the Atlantic Ocean on delivery flights.

3 Hawker Hurricane, a British-built single-seat fighter aircraft that entered service in 1937, later playing a major role in winning the Battle of Britain for the RAF. The Hurricane entered Irish Air Corps service in 1941.

4 Daniel V. Gallery (1901-77), United States Naval Attaché to Great Britain (1941).

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