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14 Utah B. Bull. 1 (1944)

handle is hein.barjournals/utbabult0014 and id is 1 raw text is: The Utah Bar

Official Organ, The Utah State Bar
The truth is that complexity is in our lives more indelibly than in our laus.'
Volume XIV              January-February, 1944              Nos. 1 & 2

Internment of Military Aviators
Member of the District of Columbia Bar

On the 15th of January, 1943, there
landed at the Sacavem Airport near Lis-
bon, Portugal, eleven P-39 fighter planes
of the United States Army Air Forces. (1)
Although accounts of the circumstances
attendant upon the arrival were varied, it
was generally believed at the time that
the American warplanes, allegedly en-
gaged in supporting a bomber formation,
had been driven off their course by the
severe storms then prevailing over the
Iberian Peninsula, until finally, with their
fuel nearly expended, they were forced
to alight on Portuguese territory.
All of the aircraft were reported seized
intact, (2) and the eleven pilots were de-
livered to Portuguese officials for intern-
ment in the fortress of Elvas, near the
Spanish frontier.
(1) The New York Times, Vol. XCII, No.
31,038, p. 1.
(2) One American pilot, on landing, attempted to
destroy his ship by hurling a grenade against
its side. The missile, however, failed to

Several days thereafter, a prominent
commentator on military affairs, analyzing
the incident, asserted that the interned air-
craft were not engaged in escorting
bombardment aviation, but actually con-
stituted a ferrying movement of fighter
airplanes in transit from Britain to North
Africa.(3) The point was advanced to
illustrate the fact that single engine fighter
airplanes then had achieved a stage of
development and technical performance
enabling them to undertake extended over-
seas hops.
Irrespective of the mission upon which
the United States aircraft were involved,
their ultimate arrival in neutral Portugal,
and their seizure by officials of that coun-
try, focuses attention upon the application
of the law of internment to military air-
It is believed to be the right of a State,
generally, to enact such prohibitions, re-
strictions, and regulations as it may deem
(3) Hanson Baldwin in the New York Times,
Vol. XCII, No. 31042.

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