April 7, 1959


I saw General T. D. White at his request on Saturday morning, April fourth. He said that, on Mr. McElroy's suggestion, he would like for me to take up with the President a proposal for development of a capability to disperse SAC bombardment aircraft to a certain number of civilian airfields. The plan involves dispersal at some 45 such bases. There would be never more than fifteen aircraft on any one field. There would be a small Air Force detachment, totalling about seventy personnel.

He indicated the Air Force would like to work toward a 15 May deadline to institute the program. There is a need to obtain data and to consult with the local authorities regarding ramps, service facilities, etc.

Since such consultation seems likely to attract a certain amount of public notice, he wished to raise the matter with the President.

On Monday I mentioned the matter to Secretary Herter and the President while they were together. Both thought the idea is a good one, and the President asked me so to advise General White. Today the President referred again to the project and said that he is quite keen on it. The actions would not be linked to the Berlin situation but would instead be part of the steady, orderly process of dispersal of our striking force. The President suggested that it be said that we now have B-52s in such number that we require more fields to disperse them on.

I so advised General White and he said he would inform Mr. McElroy.

A. J. Goodpaster
Brigadier General, USA