45.10.20 General Marshall; Regarding Telegram

Author:  Patterson, Frederick Douglas
Date: October 20, 1945

Subject: Postwar

Tuskegee Institute
Office of the President
Tuskegee Institute, Alabama

General George C. Marshall
Chief of Staff
War Department
Washington, D. C.

Dear General Marshall:

I appreciate your kind letter of October 16 in which you express understanding of my position in connection with the telegram sent you on September 29.

I apologize for mentioning the matter further because you have already given a generous portion of your time in the connection. I feel I must say this additional word, which needs no reply, in support of the splendid understanding and cooperative relationship which has existed between us during the war effort and which I hope will continue.

My telegram was based on one point only: that being the fact that the men themselves in these tactical units had objected strenuously, or at least an important share of them had, to being based in this area. I felt that under these circumstances the tendency would be to interpret every unfavorable act of any kind as an affliction peculiar to a relationship into which they had be forced. This seemed particularly important in view of the fact that I had heard from time to time of the opposition of the white community to the basing of these squadrons here. I felt this latter opposition was not serious and that with understanding and proper performance on the part of the flying officers in their several relationships this concern would abate just as concern abated in connection with the government hospital. It is clear, however that the Negro officers themselves would have to understand this and be in accord with it to enable satisfactory progress to be made. I was particularly disturbed about the attitude of the Negro officers because I had taken the time to talk with persons whose interests were involved and whose attitude I considered reliable. It was not until after they had definitely indicated their endorsement of my position that my original suggestion was made to you. Later when a different opinion was expressed and these individuals made no effort to support the stand I had taken I was left in the position of urging something that only I seemed to want.

With appreciate and regards.

Sincerely your,

F. D. Patterson

Digital Downloads

45.10.20 General Marshall


, ,

Location: Vault
Call No. Box 88 Folder 42

Language: english