The American Consulate in Ponta Delgada announced that this week, two technicians from the Luís da Silva Ribeiro Public Library and Regional Archive, were at the Lajes Base to digitize the North American archives relating to the period of World War II,...
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The American Consulate in Ponta Delgada announced that this week, two technicians from the Luís da Silva Ribeiro Public Library and Regional Archive, were at the Lajes Base to digitize the North American archives relating to the period of World War II, when they had a base in Santa Maria. After the closing of the American air base in Santa Maria in 1946, all documents were transferred to Lajes.
On June 2 of this year, the US Consul in the Azores, Kathryn Ryan Hammond, the Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency, Pedro Faria e Castro, the Mayor of Vila do Porto, Carlos Rodrigues, and the President of the LPAZ Association, António Sousa Monteiro, participated in a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the transfer of Santa Maria airport from military and American to Portuguese and civilian. For this ceremony, the president of the LPAZ Association, António Sousa Monteiro, had asked the US Consul in the Azores to find these files. He thought they would have been transferred to Ramstein, Germany, in the early 2000s.
After a first contact, the consul was able to confirm that the material was still in Lajes and the necessary authorization was given by the 86th Airlift Wing's Office of the Historian, in Ramstein, for digitization and dissemination.
Consul Hammond contacted the Regional Secretary for Culture, Science and Technology, Susete Amaro, who agreed to digitize them and keep them in the Regional Archive, in Angra do Heroísmo, so that the community could access them.
This entire process would not have been possible without the indispensable help of the command of the US detachment in Lajes. The Consulate also praises the enthusiasm of the young technicians from the Public Library and Regional Archive Luís da Silva Ribeiro, Beatriz Corvelo and Pedro Santos, for their meticulous work.
The LPAZ Association is pleased to provide and facilitate access to these archives, hoping to be a first step towards the organization and development of an estate with a view to studying the geostrategic function of the Azores in contemporary times, particularly with regard to aviation.
Consul Hammond, who has a degree in History, could not be more pleased with this collaboration - between islands and countries - of securing the necessary approvals and successfully completing this project, as mentioned in the note sent to the press.