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March 30, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1905 to the American Embassy Rome

The State Department instructs the embassies in Ankara and Rome of the importance of avoiding “fallacious comparison between Jupiter dismantling and withdrawal Soviet missiles from Cuba.” To help do that, the embassies should ensure that “no official facilitation will be given press or photo coverage of missile dismantling.” In response to any press queries, the embassies could state that “dismantled missiles will be transported over period several weeks.” To avoid an “air of mystery” around the dismantling, the Department opposed efforts to block media coverage of missiles in transit. The embassies should approach Italian and Turkish officials “along [those] lines.”

March 29, 1963

Memorandum from John McNaughton, General Counsel, Department of Defense, to McGeorge Bundy

One of the few pieces of declassified evidence showing John McNaughton’s role in the Jupiter removal process, his report to McGeorge Bundy concerned the “physical operation” to remove the missiles and the related press management.  Dismantlement actions would begin on April 1 in Italy and April 15 in Turkey.  For both countries, the dismantled missiles would go to a “graveyard.” The arrival of Polaris submarines during April would be publicized along with a visit to Turkey around April 14-15. No photographers would be allowed on site, but no “special limitations” would apply when the missiles were in transit. One of McNaughton’s concerns was that the dismantling operation be handled in a way that “reduced[d] … erroneous comparisons with Cuba.”

March 28, 1963

American Embassy Rome Airgram A-1368 to State Department, 'Exchange of Notes Affecting Replacement of Jupiter Missiles in Italy'

On March 22, 1963, through an exchange of notes, the U.S. and Italy confirmed the final agreement on the dismantling of the Jupiter missiles and their replacement with patrols of Polaris submarines assigned to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. The Polaris patrols would begin on April 1, 1963, and the dismantling operation would occur during the next 25 days.

March 19, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1890 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

The Embassy had informed the Italian Foreign Office of the need to coordinate the dismantling with military officials, but, according to the U.S. military assistance mission, Ministry of Defense officials were without instructions. An “early exchange of notes would help button up matter promptly.” The Embassy made the point that the “action to be completed within 25 days includes removal from Italy of nose cones, warheads and guidance systems, and laying missiles in horizontal positions, but that salvage of missile hulls and disposal of assorted administrative equipment … might take as long as six-eight months.”

March 19, 1963

Memorandum from Major General W. O. Senter, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, U.S. Air Force, with attachment 'A Plan for the Withdrawal and Disposition of the SM-78 (Jupiter) Weapon System from Italy and Turkey [:] Operation Pot Pie

The Joint Chiefs of Staff had appointed the Air Force as “Executive Agent” for taking charge of the Jupiter removal from Italy and Turkey, and Air Force General William Senter signed off on the plan of action. Under the plan, the Jupiter’s classified components, including the warheads and guidance systems, would be returned to the United States, while remaining portions of the missiles were to be rendered “unidentifiable,” the meaning of which was described in detail (PDF p. 7): removal of the missiles from launching areas, separating the engines from the missiles, dismantling “sub-systems,” and “orderly disposition of the remaining components.”  This was consistent with the Joint Staff’s recommendations for salvage procedures to ensure that both Italy and Turkey had access to useful non-sensitive equipment and parts.  Under the plan, various U.S. military organizations, including the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, would have specific responsibilities, which were described in detail as were procedures for the return of the warheads, re-entry vehicles and guidance systems to the United States.

The dismantling operation in Italy, nicknamed Pot Pie I, would begin on April 1, while the operation in Turkey, Pot Pie II, would begin on April 15, with a “minimum of publicity” in both countries.  The plan would be classified as “Confidential NOFORN,” although, as noted, elements of it were to be shared with Italian and Turkish officials.

March 18, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 1097 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Hare informs the Department that, in light of the Wood mission, the Turkish military would not request any changes in the text of the notes to be exchanged on the Jupiters/Polaris arrangement. It might be possible for the Turkish government to sign an “executive-type” agreement instead of taking the matter to parliament.  With the U.S. willing to talk with Turkish officials and provide “reassurance,” the Wood mission “played large role in obtaining Turkish cooperation” in the details of the “missile substitution.”

March 15, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1772 to the American Embassy Rome

The State Department instructs the Embassy to inform Italian authorities that if the Jupiter dismantling was to be completed within the first 25 days of April, as the Italian government requested, military officials needed to be notified accordingly.  According to the Deputy CINCEUR, Italian military officials had not yet received authorization on the dismantling. The State Department hoped that Italian military personnel would be available for the operation “notwithstanding Easter holidays."

March 15, 1963

John W. Bowling, GTI [Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Office of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs] to Mr. Kitchen, G/PM [Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs], 'General Wood’s Visit to Turkey'

Having accompanied General Wood on the mission to Turkey, Bowling provides Kitchen with a copy of the top secret record of the discussions with the Turkish General Staff (which remain classified). According to Bowling, Wood “accomplished his mission” by conducting the talks with “great skill and vigor”: “There will be no stalling on Jupiter removal from the Turkish military.” With the Turkish Chiefs of Staff “badly shaken up” by the implications of the Jupiter removal, Wood helped check “the slide in … morale” by addressing concerns about MAP funds, Turkish participation in Polaris targeting, the selection of a port for the Polaris visit (with Izmir preferred by Turkey), and the disposition of facilities at Cigli.

March 11, 1963

Department of State Telegram 820 to the American Embassy Ankara

The Kennedy administration found it necessary to solve the problem raised by Ambassador Hare lest military assistance cuts delay or prevent action to dismantle the Turkish Jupiters. After the Wood mission left Washington, in accordance with NSC 1550 (setting requirements for foreign aid funding decisions), the State Department undid the cuts by authorizing Wood to discuss specific quantities of approved equipment that could be delivered during FY 1963 and quantities and types of equipment that could be provided during FY 1964. For the latter, equipment could be provided up to a level of $150 million (thus providing the modernization resources sought by the Turkish military), but Wood was not to mention any dollar values during the talks.   

March 9, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 1063 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Concerning levels of military aid, Hare warns that “abrupt and negative action on our part could have certainly foreseeable reaction detrimental not only to proper resolution of existing problems but also to our fundamental relationship” with Turkey.